Panasonic Gh4

Apr 082014

So NAB 2014 is here. If you like video production, this is the place to be. Las Vegas. Ahh, crack whores, strippers, gambling, the conclusion of March Madness, dudes all over the sidewalks handing out flyers to strip clubs, and NAB. Ideally you do Vegas properly and get a little taste of everything I just listed.

Major Announcements for Day 1 of NAB 2014

  • Atomos Ninja Star ($295): Captures ProRes 4:2:2 in 1080p. Designed particularly for DSLR shooters.
  • Atomos Shogun ($???):  Records 4K. Records in ProRes, DNxHD, and Cinema DNG RAW. Features a 7 inch IPS monitor.
  • AJA Video Systems CION ($9,000): Records 4K as well as 12bit 4:4:4 ProRes (not sure at which resolution). It can record 4K @ 120fps, and has an internal SSD. The big deal is that it is priced at $8,995 which is cheap for all the features this cam offers.
  • Blackmagic URSA ($5,995+): Super 35 sensor size, can record in 12 bit Cinema DNG RAW at up to 4K, features a 10 inch flip out LCD monitor, two additional smaller 5 inch LCD touch screens, and dual recording so you can record continuously for several hours (forever? until the camera overheats and blows up??).
  • Blackmagic Studio Camera HD ($1,995): 10 inch LCD display, and it shoots 1080p. It is not practical for indie filmmakers because it wasn’t really designed with them in mind. With that said something draws me to this camera. Its ugliness maybe? If your specialty is broadcast studio work the BM Studio Camera is literally the camera for your budget needs.
  • Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner ($30,000): A cool looking device that scans film in real time. Scans 35mm film into digital Ultra HD (4K) in real time.
  • Sony A7s ($1700): Old news, but I may as well lump it in. Basically a Panasonic GH4 competitor. Shoots 4K, has a better sensor. Buckle your seats for a 4K war at the sub $2000 price point.
  • Juicedlink Little DARling: ($???): A small recorder, that is designed to fit on a belt or whatever else you want to attach it to. It records two tracks (main track, and backup track at lower dB).

Pretty cool to see stuff for the amateurs. If you have $5,000 to spend, you can basically have a professional production. The A7s, Juicedlink Little DARling, and the Atomos Ninja Star all contribute to the arsenal at our disposal. Can’t wait for Day 2!

Mar 132014

The website is down, people were laid off with no warning, and the management of the whole situation was poor. They seriously couldn’t afford to pay the hosting for a week or so to let everyone know what’s going on? I’m glad I do all my DSLR related shopping at B&H, Adorama, Amazon and Ebay…


It sucks for the employees, particularly. Calumet never really branded its self well on the internet in my opinion. I have purchased tons of gear online, and never once did I buy from Calumet. Same story with my brother (he buys even more gear than I!).  It sucks that Calumet is out of business… less competition means Amazon, B&H, and Adorama have one less retailer to keep up with.

Mar 132014

The contest is called “My RODE Reel” and I think you can technically you can win $70,000 worth of prizes if you win every single category. Rode has confirmed on their Facebook page that you can submit multiple entries. The competitions has already begun, and it lasts until May 31st, 2014. If you submit your film before April 1st, you get a free t-shirt as well as PluralEyes 3 (software that is very useful for syncing audio and video, worth about $200). In fact, the first 1,000 submissions get a free t-shirt.


The prizes are split across 3 grand prize categories and 6 smaller categories. The smaller prize categories consist of Best Sound Design, Best Soundtrack, Best Cinematography, Best Documentary, Best Non-English Film, and Best Location. The winners of these categories receive a Rode NTG3, Blimp, Boompole and Event 20/20 monitors.

The Grand Prizes are awarded to four categories: Judges’ Film, People’s Choice, Short Film Sound Design, and Judges’ Behind the Scenes. Basically you get a shit ton of gear if you win in these categories. Tons of Rode Gear, Zeiss lenses, Black Magic cameras, Kessler Cranes etc… This is where the majority of the $70,000 prize pool lies.

For example, the winner of the Judge’s Panel wins:

  • BlackMagic Cinema Camera
  • GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition
  • Kessler CineSlider
  • Kessler Paralax
  • Miller Air Tripod System
  • RedRock Micro UltraCage
  • SmallHD DB7 Pro SB
  • Teradek Bolt Pro HDMI
  • Zeiss 35mm ZE lens
  • Zeiss 50mm ZE lens
  • G-Technology G-Dock EV (2TB)
  • ThinkTank Photo Airport Security
  • ThinkTank Photo SpeedRacer
  • ThinkTank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 4
  • ThinkTank Photo Pixel Pocket Rocket
  • Tether Tools iPad Teleprompter kit (including iPad case, connect bracket, RockSolid arm, Pro Clamp, 15mm rail adapter)
  • 12 month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • RedGiant Color Suite
  • RedGiant Shooter Suite
  • RedGiant Keying Suite
  • $500 licensing credit for The Music Bed
  • Event Opal (pair)
  • RODE Blimp
  • RODE Boompole
  • RODE PG2, 1 x RODE WS7
  • RODE Reporter
  • RODE VideoMic Pro
  • RODE Stereo VideoMic Pro
  • RODE DeadCat VMP
  • RODE DeadKitten
  • RODE iXY
  • RODE smartLav (4)
  • RODE Lavalier (2)
  • RODE Micon-2 (2)
  • RODE Micon-5 (2)
  • RODE RODEGrip+
  • RODE iClamp

So what is the catch? You need to submit an original short, plus an original behind the scenes video that shows you using a Rode microphone. Both videos must be at least 60 seconds long. The short film is limited to 5 minutes, while the behind the scenes film is limited to 10 minutes. Just go to to learn more.

If you don’t own a Rode microphone, I would suggest renting one. If you don’t have any local rental shops, BorrowLenses can ship you one. Or, you can always buy a used Rode microphone off Ebay or Amazon. If I had only $150 or so to invest, I would just get the new Rode VideoMic ($150). Rode also sells a GO version of that mic (Rode VideoMic GO) for $100 brand new, but that mic has poor sound quality.

lens rental

The best deal on Amazon is the Rode VideoMic bundle that comes with a Rode Dead Cat ($40 value) for $160 shipped.

Film Brute