The past few years have been AMAZING for new additions to our equipment list. We have updated our video cameras, lighting, audio recording tools, monitors, drones, motor-controlled sliders, teleprompter, as well as adding two Gimbals, a Midi Controller Keyboard (to make beautiful music) and a huge variety of other improvements to our production kits.
photo credits: Matthew C. Abourezk
New for 2022… We've upgraded our slider kit with the latest from Edelkrone. This fully motorized and computer controlled slider will allow us to quickly get some amazing shots for you. Small enough to fit in a backpack, but loaded with top-quality features and abilities. The motorized head and slider immediately improve the cinematic quality of any project.
photo credits: Zoom Corp
For our larger productions, as well as for live sound and live music recording, we have added a 12-channel piece of magic to our gear. This board records incredibly clean audio with seemingly countless options for recording and routing. This board has 5 monitor mixes for live shows or for headphones in a recording session or a jam with friends. Truly amazing piece of hardware from Zoom.
photo credits: Akai
The Akai MPK249 Midi Controller Keyboard is an amazing tool for writing, performing, and recording music beds and foley effects. Coupled with Logic Pro X, this is going to streamline the authoring process as well as to provide thousands of new soundscape opportunities. Of all of the recent updates, this one is the most fulfilling in what it will enable us to produce. Without good sound and music, a video project falls flat. This keyboard has semi-weighted keys, world class drum pads, and industry-standard Virtual Instruments. It controls major functions of Logic Pro and really streamlines the process and quality of the music we author for our projects.
photo credits: Zoom
Although the list of major new additions to our equipment is long (much longer than what we are sharing on this page), the Zoom F8 audio recorder is arguably the most significant upgrade we have made this year. The F8 is not only portable, versatile, and extremely rugged; the audio quality is absolutely exceptional. For those of us shooters who are accustomed to hearing reasonable audio when recording direct to our cameras, you will be shocked when you hear the difference with the F8. The first time we recorded audio with the F8 as a test, we thought something was wrong. There is no hiss whatsoever (typically referred to as the noise floor). Literally, you can't hear any hiss at all. So not only are we now recording MUCH richer and fuller audio overall, we have less need to fix audio edits when we make cuts in post production. This has been a game changer for us, and really a surprise as to the extent of the impact it has had on the quality we provide.
photo credits: Zoom
The Zoom F-Control FRC-8 is the perfect companion tool to control the Zoom F-8 Digital Audio Recorder. Small enough to fit in the audio kit, this controller gives us quick access to all of the major functions of the Zoom F-8 in an easy-to-use interface.
photo credits: CAME-TV
Of course, what good does it do to have cameras if you don't have light? We already have SO many lighting options (ranging from a 2000 watt tungsten scoop light to 8 portable on-camera LED lights and everything in between.
But what we were missing was the ability to "Throw" light, so this has been the year of the "Fresnel" for us. (Pronounced Frenell). Fresnel lights have a lens over a single light source (in this case, COB LED light source) so that it literally throws the light across the room. The lens is extendable so we can throw light ranging from a wide flood to a tight spot with the simple turn of a knob. We added four new Fresnel lights to our light kit this year. The 100 Watt COB MONSTER of a light, and three smaller 55 watt COB LED Fresnels. All four can run on batteries or AC. All four are fan-less so we can shoot in a critical audio environment. All four include a wide variety of accessories to throw colors, patterns, wide soft light and tight discreet lighting. And all four are Bi-Color so we can match the color of any ambient light on set.
These new lights have made a major impact on the quality of our deliverables this year.
photo credit: DJI
In addition to the corporate workhorse, the DJI Ronin MX, we have now acquired the stealthy Ronin-S Gimbal… Alongside our trusty Easy Rig support system, we now have three amazingly portable and cinema quality mobile stabilization systems. The Ronin-s (pictured top above) allows us to shoot in more congested areas without need for the large ring or handle set of the Ronin-MX (pictured just above) while also offering greater functionality for a single shooter. This is a perfect rig for events, weddings, corporate work, and more. The Ronin-S is so stable that we are even using it to replace many shots that would have previously required a slider. So now we get that cinematic look without having to set up an extra tripod, slider, motors, etc.
photo credit: Hasselblad
Well, if we are going to update our cameras on the ground, we better update our cameras in the air. We are proud to announce an addition of the Mavic 2 Pro aerial camera platform to our "squadron" of Phantom 4 drones.
The Mavic 2 Pro features a startlingly sharp Hasselblad lens, along with all of the other goodies offered with DJI controller software. The Mavic 2 Pro is much smaller and much more easily transported to locations than the larger Phantom Series, but actually offers a higher quality image with better transmission range, better stability, and a MUCH quieter flight. Smaller size and quieter operation allows us to be more discreet and reduce the chance of bothering the neighbors.
photo credit: Matt Abourezk via the iPhone
Our most recent camera update comes with the amazing Panasonic GH5s. Yes, it is small, Yes, it is a DSLR body, but this is an amazing camera. We have already shot more than 30 projects with this camera and it has become an essential "go-to" for much of our work.
In this image, you see the GH5s coupled with a Canon L-Series lens via a Metabones Adapter. This adapter not only allows us to shoot with the Canon L-Series glass, it opens up new cinematic options that go far beyond that of our ENG styled DVX-200. So if we choose to shoot with the Super-sharp Panasonic MFT lenses attached, we can easily match the image quality and color science of the DVX in two-camera shoots, but we can also choose Canon lenses for a more cinematic and selectively focussed look… Incredible combination in a small, ultra-low light camera body.
photo credit: ikan Corp
Ok, so what good does it do to shoot in luscious 4K if your CEO can't remember his lines? Well, we have a solution for that… the 12" ikan teleprompter, complete with custom developed software. The script playback is geared toward keeping up with the talent so they can read at THEIR pace rather than trying to match the pace of the prompter. We are lucky enough to work with an incredible software engineer who is customizing the prompter application to fit our needs. Our clients immediately notice the difference and even those who have a legacy of hating prompters are asking us back with our prompter in hand.