Video + Filmmaking

10 New Pieces of Gear for Filmmakers

October 16, 2019

By Greg Scoblete

Filmmaking Gear

Editor’s Choice: Atomos Shinobi 

The company’s first standalone small monitor, the 5-inch Shinobi boasts a 5-inch, full HD resolution display with 447ppi. With a brightness of 1,000 nits, the Shinobi is capable of reproducing HDR video and is viewable even in bright sunlight. You can connect the Shinobi to your camera via HDMI and access a raft of composition tools including focus peaking, 4:1, 2:1 and 1:1 zooming, zebra stripes, waveforms, RGB parade and vectorscopes. The Shinobi marks the debut of a new Atomos Analysis View, which simultaneously displays a live-view preview of your scene alongside a waveform, histogram and vectorscope, ensuring complete control of your image. The monitor is capable of displaying DCI 4K up to 30p, UltraHD video up to 30p and full HD at 60p. You can load 3D
LUTs onto the Shinobi using an SD card.

Price: $299

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Zhiyun Crane M2

The M2 can be remotely controlled via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and features a battery life of up to eight hours. There’s an OLED display to read out settings and remaining battery life, plus several dedicated shooting modes. In addition to your basic pan, tilt and follow modes, there’s a Full Range POV setting that enables 360-degree movement on all three axes. A Vortex mode creates 360-degree barrel shots while a Go mode enables fast panning and tilting to follow the action.

Price: $269

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TV Logic F-7H mk2 Monitor

Ideal for still or video shoots under bright lights, the F-7H mk2 monitor has a 7-inch full HD display with a maximum brightness of 3,600 nits. For those shooting HDR video, the monitor supports several HDR emulations including PQ, HLG and Slog3. There are both HDMI and 3G-SGI inputs and four programmable preset keys on the front of the display for quick access to frequently used settings. The unit is equipped with an anti-glare film and a new sharpness and peaking boost function to help confirm focus. It runs off of V-mount or Gold-mount batteries and has a D-tap connector for other power sources.

Price: $2,295

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Benro 3XM

This three-axis gimbal supports 360-degree rotation across all of its axes. Its swivel handle design lets you position in the camera upright or at a low angle, depending on your shooting needs. It can hold up to 3.9 pounds of camera gear with a battery life of 12 hours. Shooting modes include a universal follow mode for circling a subject, a horizontal follow mode to replicate jib/slider movement and a locked down mode for panning shots. There are cables for Sony and Panasonic cameras so you can remotely control select settings on those cameras.

Price: $399

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The Ronin-S Compact (or SC) is a three-axis gimbal designed for mirrorless cameras. It’s a lighter version of the original Ronin-S, weighing 2.4 pounds (41 percent leaner than the S). It can hold up to 4.4 pounds of gear with a battery good for 11 hours of operation. There’s a dedicated joystick and a mode button to control gimbal movement. It can be disassembled for transport. The Ronin-SC adds several features not included on the S including three-axis locks on the pan, tilt and roll axis to simplify balancing. There’s also a new position lock system that DJI says makes remounting a camera faster.

Price: $439

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Video Cameras

Editor’s Choice: DJI Osmo Action Camera

This GoPro competitor has a few novel features to set it apart from the pack, including both front- and rear-facing color displays (the rear is a touch display; the front isn’t) and a SnapShot mode that immediately activates camera recording by pressing the shutter once when the camera is powered off. DJI’s “RockSteady” stabilizer works on full-resolution video to keep it silky smooth. Beyond that, the Osmo records 4K video at up to 60p with a bit rate of 100Mbps. You can record HDR 4K at up to 30 fps to coax out three more stops of dynamic range than non-HDR video.

Price: $349

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Canon XA55

The XA55 records 4K/30p video via a 1-inch CMOS sensor. There’s a built-in 15x zoom (25.5-382.5mm, f/2.8-4.5 equivalent) with optical image stabilization and a 3-inch display alongside a .24-inch EVF. It uses Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocusing system covering 80 percent of the sensor. A Wide DR Gamma mode helps boost dynamic range by up to 800 percent. Footage is saved to a pair of SD card slots and there are two XLR terminals for adding high-quality mics.

Price: $2,699

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Sony RX0 II

The RX0 II sports a 1-inch, 15-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS image sensor capable of internal 4K video recording (3840 x 2160) at 30p with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. The camera can also record full HD at up to 120p or snap 15-megapixel still images. There are several slow-motion options as well for pushing frame rates from 240 to 960 fps. The RX0 II delivers an ISO range of 80 to 12,800. It’s fronted by a 24mm f/4 Zeiss Tessar T* lens that can focus on objects as close as 7.8 inches.

Price: $700

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Ricoh Theta Z1

The Z1 features a 1-inch, backside-illuminated sensor capable of recording a 23-megapixel, 360-degree image. Aside from the larger sensor, Ricoh has added several new features to the Theta lineup including Aperture Priority mode (with three options f/2.1, 3.5 and 5.6), DNG format support and three-axis rotational stabilization. Also new is a .93-inch status display and a customizable function button. The Z1 can record 4K 360-degree video and sports a redesigned image-processing algorithm for sharper images. The camera now automatically applies dynamic range compensation to images.

Price: $1,000

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Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

The 6K version of the Pocket Cinema Camera features a larger, Super 35mm-sized sensor than its 4K predecessor, plus an EF lens mount. The camera delivers 13 stops of dynamic range and supports two native ISOs up to a top sensitivity of 25,600. It records at 6144 x 3456 at 50 fps in the 16:9 aspect ratio or at 60 fps in the 2.4:1 aspect. You can hit faster frame rates by cropping the lenses and use anamorphic lenses to record 3.7K footage.

Price: $2,495

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Panasonic AG-CX350

Capable of recording 4K resolution at 10-bit or live-streaming over Facebook, YouTube and others, the CX350 features a 1-inch CMOS image sensor and a built-in 24.5-490mm (equivalent) lens. The lens is optically stabilized with a three-stop ND filter and an IR filter. You can control the camera via a free app (in fact, you can control eight CX350s from a single app) and output an HD video signal at 10-bit, 4:2:2 via HDMI. You’ll frame your scene through a 3.2-inch display or a high-res OLED EVF.

Price: $3,695

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