10 (new) Cool Gadgets for Photographers and Filmmakers. Part 1

1• Edelkrone SliderPLUS
Edelkrone’s SliderPLUS is a super-compact and very smooth slider that easily fits onto Tenba’s Video Backpack. Unlike other sliders, this one moves with the camera, taking full advantage of rails’ length. With a price tag of $500, this toy is at the top of my shopping list.

2• Redrock Micro’s One Man Crew Parabolic Camera Motion System
This amazing gadget consists of a motorized parabolic track slider that “guides the camera on a precision-curved track at any speed while keeping the subject stationary in frame.” The system includes speed control, automatic in and out stops, and 36” of track for camera systems under 20lbs. All for $1,500. If you are part of a small crew doing a lot of corporate interviews or a single photographer creating educational content or product demos, this is an extremely attractive option.

3 and 4• Blackmagic Pocket and 4K Production Cameras
The company surprised everybody for the second year in a row, this time with two new products: a Pocket Camera and a 4K Production Camera. First things first. We’ve had the opportunity to shoot with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and while the image quality was outstanding the experience was far from smooth. This excellent article describes the pros and cons of a Blackmagic system.

The Pocket Camera is about the size of a Sony NEX, uses a 1920×1080 Super 16mm CMOS sensor (a bit smaller than a Panasonic GH3), records in Apple ProRes 422 and CinemaDNG RAW to SD cards, and has a Rolling shutter, Mini HDMI output, and a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. All for $1,000.


Black Magic Design Pocket Camera



The bigger Production Camera, identical in size and weight as last year’s BMCC, uses a 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor (almost the same size as a Canon 7D), captures compressed DNG RAW, has a global shutter, Canon EF mount, and sells for only $4,000. Obviously that low price comes with sacrifices, like no internal audio metering or ND filters, but let’s not forget that a system with similar features (like Sony’s PMW-F55 CineAlta) was priced at $29,000 before NAB.

5• Atomos’ Ninja-2
A portable, touchscreen HD recorder, monitor, and playback device able to capture 10-bit 4:2:2 video and audio directly from any DSLR’s HDMI source to HDD or SSD Media. (Note: If you are curious about the difference click here to learn more.)

Video capture happens in real-time and directly from the camera’s sensor, so basically the camera is not even “aware” that you are shooting, effectively extending the recording times. The monitor offers all the usual benefits: focus peaking, adjustable zebra, false color, etc. With the imminent firmware update for Canon’s 5D Mark III, this device will be very attractive to both individual shooters and rental houses.

Atomos Ninja2

We will discuss the next 5 hot products on Part II. Are you considering purchasing any of these products?