“Fusion 9 is a massive new release with features specifically designed for the latest virtual reality, visual effects, motion graphics, and 3D workflows! The entirely new VR toolset makes Fusion indispensable for virtual reality projects, while new camera and planar tracking features make it possible to precisely track and composite objects while maintaining perspective and camera motion. Fusion 9 also includes delta keyer, with advanced image science that makes it the world’s most advanced keyer. In addition, you also get Studio Player which includes new multi user collaboration tools for tracking and managing shots, along with version history, annotation notes and more!…”
Prescript, as it were
Since I wrote this article near the beginning of 2017, a number of camera cages for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 have appeared on the market and I have been able to take a look online at many of them. In the case of one GH5 cage, Seercam’s Cube GH5, I have been kindly sent one and have had the opportunity of taking a closer look than websites permit.
I admit to a degree of well-informed bias. I have a Seercam cage for my GH4 and it has served me and my GH4 well, amply living up to Seercam’s mission of providing the best protection possible. If it were not for that cage, my GH4 might be in pieces due to an accident that occurred shortly after I bought it. The cage took the impact and my GH4 was saved.
Seercam, by the way, is the new international trading brand name for the South Korean camera accessories company Motion9 and so my GH4 cage was branded as a Motion9 product.
After buying my GH4 cage, named the CubeMix GH4/3 due to it fitting the GH4 and GH3, Motion9 improved its design with the addition of a quick-release top handle and a quick-release cable clamp under the new product name, CubeMix GH4/3 Pro.
If those accessories were still in production, I would snap them up in a second as they solve the single biggest problem I had with the GH4 cage back then, the need to rapidly remove and reattach the CubeMix GH4/3’s three handles when working fast on location.
Quick release accessories, whether attached via dovetail rails, NATO rails or Arri rosettes, are clearly the way to go for speed and efficiency and permit safely carrying your caged camera about in a backpack or shoulder bag then quickly removing it and snapping on handles and other quick release accessories ready for work.
None of my current shoulder bags or backpacks are dedicated video camera bags permitting carriage of fully assembled video rigs, but Peak Design’s 30-litre Everyday Backpack with its flexible internal space has proven to be a good solution for carrying cage-mounted cameras and other oddly-shaped and sized video equipment.
Sometimes though, transporting a fully assembled video rig is beyond the capabilities of even the best and biggest bag. Nick Driftwood’s GH5 rig for anamorphic moviemaking above, also depicted further down this page, is a case in point.
Anamorphic lenses aside, big rigs like Mr Diftwood’s are not uncommon when shooting full-length documentaries, the main purpose for which I bought my GH4 then added Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 cage followed by a Panasonic DMW-BGGH3 battery grip for stability and added power in handheld video and stills photography.
Communications with the Seercam team reveal they are working on further GH5 solutions including an international-standard external battery pack, a special longer rod for the Extension Kit for Cube GH5, left and right side handles and an updated quick release rod riser.
- Seercam – Cube GH5
- Seercam – Extension Kit for Cube GH5
- Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success – Seercam Cube GH5 Camera Cage for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, First Look
- Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success – Seercam Previews XLR Audio Extension Kit for Its Innovative Cube GH5 Camera Cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5
- Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success – Seercam’s Brilliant New Cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Available Soon, Extension Kit to Follow
The original article
With the March 2017 release of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 Super 16/Micro Four Thirds looming, my attention turns to the many and various accessories needed to make the most of this revolutionary camera. One essential accessory for filmmakers seriously considering the GH5 is a cage, and at least two cage-makers are known to be working on designs at the moment.
I am most familiar with two brands of cage makers – SmallRig and Seercam, formerly Motion9, links below. I currently own one cage made by each and would definitely consider purchasing from both again.
The folks at SmallRig design their new products via a crowdsourcing process, as it were, seeking input and new ideas from users. Seercam is interested in hearing from potential users and I have, accordingly, sent them the photograph of Nick Driftwood’s GH5 anamorphic rig below.
More images of SmallRig’s GH5 cage currently in development
The Seercam folks tell me that they are waiting to test one of the three GH5s currently available in South Korea and will finish their design at the beginning of March. They will be showing it and other products off at NAB in April.
Nick Driftwood’s GH5 rig for anamorphic moviemaking
At the very least a cage must offer protection for the camera within and prevent twisting and damage when accessories are mounted on it.
I am not fond of mounting large or heavy microphones or recorders on hotshoes – I would much prefer to attach them via coldshoes on a cage. If something untoward happens to the coldshoe then it can be replaced. Not so a hotshoe.
I am becoming enamoured of battery grips especially when shooting battery-sucking 10-bit 4:2:2 4K or DCI. I prefer attaching recorders beneath the camera and attaching mics to them via coiled XLR cables.
At present I don’t use a rig like the one in Mr Driftwood’s photograph, but I may well need a rig like that minus the anamorphic lens when shooting a feature-length documentary.
The rest of the time my typical rig will be stripped right down for MOS (without sound) handheld video, or with a recorder beneath camera-plus-battery-grip and a microphone on top of the cage. Plus variations.
If a cage and its accessories can be made to accommodate all the typical scenarios one encounters in the course of a typical working career in stills and video – I often use cages for both applications – then I will be very happy indeed.
- Motion9 – CubeMix GH4/GH3 Pro cage – out of stock
- SeerCam website
- SmallRig – SMALLRIG Cage for PANASONIC Lumix GH5 1965 – “Still collecting ideas”.
Photograph of Nick Driftwood’s Panasonic Lumix GH5 rig courtesy of Nick Driftwood.
Hero image of SmallRig cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 processed in Alien Skin Exposure X2 using a cyanotype preset.
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Camera, Kits, Battery Grip and V-Log L
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only) – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens Kit – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens Kit – B&H
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens – B&H
- Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
- Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500 – B&H
SDXC V90 cards
- Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory Card – B&H
- Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory Card – B&H
- Panasonic 128GB UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory Card – B&H
- Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera Body – B&H
When I returned to Sydney after a long sojourn elsewhere, photographers of my acquaintance reported fewer were earning a living from photography alone, more taking up creative side professions like video or graphic design.
Now the ever onwards march of technology has placed the possibility of shooting top quality video in the hands of photographers, great stills cameras in front of cinematographers and so the creative landscape changes once again.
Although stills and video production hardware has been roaring ahead, one key aspect of production software has lagged behind, media management. Kyno has filled that gap and, after taking advantage of developer Lesspain Software‘s 14-day trial offer, Kyno looks like it is doing an outstanding job of it.
I reported on my impressions of an earlier version of Kyno in Kyno, the Last Big Missing Piece in a Professional Stills, Video and Audio Workflow? and those thoughts have been validated by Kyno winning NewsShooter‘s Best Software of 2016 award:
Kyno is one of those programs I wish someone had come up with a long time ago. In short it allows anyone to view, log, organise, and transcode footage from just about any type of camera or codec.
New Version 1.2 Kyno Key features:
- New audio, movie and stills file formats – now including Olympus and Fujifilm raw stills files, Apple Core Audio, ProRes MXF, DNxHR, Hap video, AVI ultrasound and FRAPS for gaming captures.
- Overhaul for Final Cut Pro X – a complete rethink of the FCPX export workflow.
- Improved transcoding – option to add handles when batch-exporting subclips and increased flexibility handling file timestamps and timecodes across all export, transcoding and rewrap operations.
- Simplified batch sub-clip exporting – you can now define the content you wish to extract from large amounts of footage faster and easier than ever before, great for observational documentary.
Further information about this latest version of Kyno is available at the 1.2 release notes.
- Lesspain Software @ Medium – Andy Lesauvage — blurring the line between photos and video
- Lesspain Software @ Medium – Orlando de Guzman — cinéma-vérité & Kyno
- Lesspain Software @ Medium – Thomas Schmithausen & Kyno: a documentarian’s best friend
Header image by Carmel D. Morris.
Feature film and documentary DoP Nancy Schreiber is the very first female cinematographer to receive the ASC’s Presidents Award and it might, just might, inspire young women to take up cinematography with an eye on working in feature films. I certainly hope so.
As reported in Variety, over the last thirty years the American Society of Cinematographers has given the Presidents Award to a list of distinguished male Directors of Photography including Gimme Shelter‘s Albert Maysles, Blade Runner‘s Douglas Trumbull, Justified‘s Francis Kenny and Star Wars‘ Richard Edlund.
Before the World Wide Web came into being freeing up the sharing of information, gatekeepers controlled access to facts about career possibilities, especially for women.
Growing up in a far-flung regional capital meant submitting to what one was told one was permitted to do artistically and professionally, and those who kicked against the pricks were severely censured, even blacklisted.
There were no female cinematographers or directors to be seen, no role models and certainly no mentors. Potentially brilliant careers were curbed and subjected to the interests of the gatekeepers’ hold on power.
Only those of the right gender and background were permitted to know about further professional moviemaking education then given the chance of applying for it, often with a well-mentored career to follow.
Without positive examples of successful female filmmakers and especially cinematographers, I and other visual storytelling creatives of my acquaintance flushed their hopes and dreams of moviemaking careers for more mundane occupations supporting men in the traditional manner or employment in production support if they were lucky.
Most just stopped being creative, dreams shattered completely.
The Presidents Award, writes Variety‘s Valentina I. Valentini, “honors a member’s contribution to the next generation of DPs. Schreiber has been a longtime mentor to younger camera crew members, and has worked with Film Independent’s Project Involve — a program designed to enhance the careers of women and people of color.”
We all know the dismal statistics about the lack of filmmakers of color in the industry. Women and LGBT artists also nearly impossible to find. Project Involve is working to change all that….
Ms Schreiber, Variety‘s article continues, “has taught advanced cinematography at the American Film Institute, and is a guest lecturer at film schools around the world.”
If only someone like Nancy Schreiber had existed when I was young, and had reached out to potential young filmmakers outside the film school system in the east.
Variety‘s article ends with this inspirational quote:
“If this award does anything,” says Schreiber, “it will open some doors to the younger generation of women, to show that they can succeed, that they can work in all areas of the film and television industry.”
As the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media so wisely states in its motto, “If she can see it, she can be it.”
Header aka featured image created for this website in Photoshop by Carmel D. Morris.