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The new year has started and that means it's time to give your business or a clients business a fresh start! One of the best ways is to go with a simple back drop and some great lighting! You can do a quick bio, interview, or overview of the company, maybe even take some nice corporate head shots. There are many options when it comes to creating some great content with a decent backdrop shot and here at The Lens Depot we have a couple of options that should suit your needs!
The Westcott X-Drop White Background Kit 5'x7' is a great backdrop option because it takes a couple minutes to set up and stretches large enough to properly frame your subject. If you are looking for something a little larger, you could always grab the Photoflex BackDrop Support Kit which is a 12'x12' extension! You could grab your own backdrop or check out our selection in the Backgrounds and Support section.
Using some great triangle lighting or a nice strobe light will help kill some of those unwanted shadows. If you are taking photos, renting the Elinchrom D-Lite-4 IT 400W Light Kit is a great option, because it comes with two 400W strobe lights that you can trigger wirelessly and move around to get the right angles. On the video side, the Ikan IB508 LED 3 Light Kit provides great continuous lighting and controls that allow you to adjust the intensity and the color temperature of the lights. All of these options and more are available to rent at The Lens Depot!
We all want to save money in the photography/video industry, but most of the time saving money means sacrificing quality. Yes, many times, the more expensive an item is the better the quality, but there are some great combinations and options that can help you save some money and still produce great results. You can save money in most areas and here are a couple of combinations to help get you started.
If you are going to get some nice landscape photography done and the Canon 5D Mark IV Camera is out of your price range then you can definitely give the Canon 60D Camera a shot and pair it up with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Another nice wide angle lens, that may be more budget friendly, is the Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 Lens. No matter what way you decide to mix and match these options you are going to get a satisfying result.
If you are doing some professional video work and can't afford a Cooke 25mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens then you can give the Rokinon Xeen 24mm T1.5 Lens a try, which is definitely a great runner up I am sure you will be satisfied with!
No matter which area of equipment you decide to dive into, The Lens Depot has you covered on all ends! So go ahead and check out the options that work best for you and your budget!
We have continued to expand our line of video rental equipment to meet the demands of our customers. We are very proud to announce the addition of Cooke Lenses to our line of Cinema Lenses. Cooke lenses are world renowned by director's of photography across the world for their robust build quality and what people call the "Cooke Look." We have added the Mini S4/i line of Cooke cinema lenses with focal lengths ranging from 18mm up to 100mm.
All of the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses offer an aperture of T2.8, allowing them to be smaller and lighter than the traditional Cooke S4 lenses. There's no sacrifice in image quality and the lenses are still able to provide the "Cooke Look" - a sharp, subtle, smooth rendering that provides dimensionality and high contrast. They can easily handle resolutions of up to and beyond 4K.
All of the lenses come equipped with /i technology. On compatible cameras, this allows continuous remote readout of focus, t-stop, and depth of field settings. This information can all be recorded digitally and synced with timecode, streamlining both the production and post-production process.
Coated or Uncoated
All of the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses come with multi-coated elements that you would expect from a modern cinematic lens. This increases sharpness and contrast, while reducing flare and reflections. Cooke also recognizes that some videographers would like lenses with an "older" look that is a little softer in contrast, and have uncoated elements that can provide this look. We will be offering the option of ordering your Cooke Mini S4/i with Coated or Uncoated elements. If you are planning on ordering the uncoated version, please give us some lead time to make the optical switch The difference is very profound, and each can provide a unique look. Here is a demo of the differences between the two:
As of right now, all of the Cookie Mini S4/i lenses will be available for rent in the PL Mount. These will mount on any video or cinematic camera equipped with a PL mount, but they can only provide the /i metadata information to cameras that utilize the /i Technology. We do offer a PL Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter that will allow you to utilize the lenses on cameras like the Sony FS7 or Sony A7S II. Cooke did however recently announce they will be offering interchangeable mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Micro Four-Thirds. These are not yet available, but we are planning on adding these as they become available. We'd love your feedback on which mounts you'd like to try the Cooke lenses in!
The Cooke Mini S4/i lenses are available to rent now in the following focal lengths:
Cooke 18mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 25mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 32mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 50mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 75mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 100mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Hot off the success of their Phantom and Inspire1 series, DJI has announced a new addition to their drone line, the Mavic Pro. What makes the DJI Mavic Pro Drone so special? It is able to fold down for travel and transport to a mere 7.8" x 3.26" x 3.26" and weighs in at only 1.64lbs. Despite it's size, it can fly at up to 40MPH when in Sport mode, similar to that found in the DJI Phantom 4. The brand new controller is small enough to fit in your pocket and if you don't want to bother with the controller you can completely control the drone with your smartphone using virtual joysticks! Lets take a look at some of the key features this drone has to offer!
True 4K Quality
The Mavic has done away with electronic image stabilization in the camera to give you true 4K image quality! Instead, they have built the smallest 3-axis high, precision gimbal that DJI has ever made. All 3-axis's are equipped with a brushless motor to give you smooth great looking footage without being affected by the movement of the DJI Mavic Pro Drone. The camera featured on the drone is equipped with a 1/2.3 inch sensor with the ability to record DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24fps, UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 24, 25, & 30fps, 1080 at 96fps and can take 12mp stills.
Safer & Smarter
The DJI Mavic Pro Drone is a safer and smarter drone. The drone comes equipped with dual IMU Senors which acquire the angle, speed and acceleration of Mavic and dual compasses which provides its ability to navigate. If one sensor goes out the other sensor kicks in ensuring safe and proper flight reliability. The Mavic takes full advantage of collecting data about the environment around it through FlightAutonomy which uses 5 cameras, dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS), 2 ultrasonic rangefinders, redundant sensors, and 24 specialized computing cores. This technology examines the 3D space around it and takes photos to create a 3D map to let it know the location of everything surrounding it. Having forward and downward sensors active, the DJI Mavic Pro Drone can fly with complete stability indoors or out. The onboard ultrasonic system also gathers height information to keep the Mavic leveled while flying over changing terrain.
Dynamic Control Options
The DJI Mavic Pro Drone comes with a newly designed touch screen enabled control that is small enough to fit in your pocket. The Mavic utilizes OcuSync transmission system opposed to the commonly used WiFi transmission system. Utilizing the new system gives the Mavic the ability to stream 720p video at a maximum distance of 4.3 miles and 1080p video in short range mode. The new DJI Mavic Pro Drone also has several different flight modes including a new tap to fly mode which enables users to simply tap the screen where you would like the drone to fly without using the joysticks. Not to worry if you forget your controller at home. You can use your smart phone through wifi and still have access to all the great features and fly with on screen virtual joy stick.
The Mavic is essentially a breakthrough drone! Everyone is excited about the power behind this 4K drone. This drone can truly serve the purpose to any beginner looking to try a drone out or the professional looking to take his or her project to the next level! If you want to get a little more in depth, check out the video below. Reservations being accepted now on the new DJI Mavic Pro Drone!
Manual vs Electronic Stabilization
One of the most common questions asked when getting into video is whether you should choose manual or electronic stabilization? What's better? What are the pros and cons for each? Should I use both? Lets take a good look into both of these options and weigh out the differences to help you make the best decision on the route you'd like to take!
Manual Stabilizer Examples
- Designed for compact, low profile cameras weighing from 2 to 6 pounds. What makes Glidecams different from an electronic stabilizer is that you play a huge part in physically controlling your stabilization and how it looks. The Glidecam HD 2000 is stabilized by a three axis free floating gimbal that is attached to a handle that you control. This gives you the ability to move your handle in all different directions without affecting the movement of the gimbal. This also allows you to run and make sudden movements without creating undesirable motions. You control the post that can freely rotate 360 degrees with your opposite hand, giving you the ability to control your pan and tilt at whatever speed you desire. The Glidecam HD 2000 can also flip upside down in an inverted mode to catch those nice low angle shots. It also features a 1/4" mounting hole at the base to mount an LCD Monitor. It also features a no-tool design. The downside of the Glidecam HD 2000 is the weight strain on your arm muscle and wrist after long periods of use, but luckily there is a solution for that, by simply using the Glidecam Arm Brace. The brace distributes the weight of the entire system over your whole forearm, the system becomes an extension of your body for smooth and natural shooting.
- Shoulder Rigs are considered the king when it comes to manual stabilization. The Redrock DSLR Deluxe Cinema V2 for example is compatible with most DSLR cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark III. A shoulder rig does not give you the greatest stabilization but it's a significant improvement to handheld shooting. One of the greatest strengths of the shoulder rig is it's ability to carry optional external attachments like LitePanels MicroPro hotshoe LED Light, Field Monitor Marshall HDMI 7 inch LCD, Redrock Matte Box, Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Microphone Kit. You have so many possibilities in terms of building up your rig and making it your own. Rigs work great for event shooting since you can pack all your gear on the rig and start shooting.
Electronic Stabilizer Examples
Lets look at a few electronic stabilizer examples!
- The Ronin has taken the electronic stabilizing market by force. Suitable for most camera types and configurations up to 8lbs, the DJI Ronin-M Video Gimbal features a 3-axis brushless gimbal computerized motor that works to stabilize the roll, tilt, and pan of the camera! What makes this different from the traditional manual stabilizer is you don't control the pan and tilt manually. You control this by the movement of your hands. This allows you to take more focus off of controlling the pan and tilt and more focus on the art of the video. The DJI Ronin-M Video Gimbal can also get a bit heavy after long continuous usage, but luckily there is a solution for that with the Easyrig Cinema Vario 5 Camera Support System, which will allow you to easily use this system for hours without having to worry about putting it down too often. There is no room for an external monitor, but you can use the DJI Ronin-M Monitor Bracket, which attaches right onto the arms and gives you the option to mount an external monitor like Small HD 502 Field Monitor. This gimbal is great for smooth moving shots and nice sweeping shots from different angles.
- This all in one electronic stabilizer is a run and gun shooters dream come true. One of the main strengths of this gimbal is that it's light weight and can be controlled all from one hand. This specific handheld gimbal already features the Zemuse X3 Camera with a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor that features full DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) video recording at 24 or 25p. You can also use the same type of all in one stabilization setup with your own camera by using the ikan DS1 Beholder Gimbal & Grip Kit. This stabilizer features different modes to help you achieve different shots and also has a joystick on the handle to give you manual control over the pan and tilt axis. This DJI Osmo X3 Gimbal and Camera works alongside with your smartphone and also features a smartphone holder, so you can live view and operate the features and setting of the camera right from your smartphone. If you are worried about mounting decent external audio there is a perfect solution with the Rode VideoMicro & Osmo Quick Release.
So which is better for you? The real answer is not whether electronic or manual is better for you, but which product suits your needs the best. Each one might have its own benefits in certain situations. It's good to try out all of the products that seem to fit your needs since you might choose one or multiple. They all serve a purpose and a great way to start is to try it for yourself and find which fits your production needs the best.