Posts Tagged ‘ DSLR

Zacuto Zip Gears

Zacuto Zip-Gears


First came a set of four Zip Gears which I’m using on my L Series prime lenses. I liked the look of the zip gears because they are low profile and easy to fit and remove. Like most Zacuto products they are expensive, in fact I’d say these things are probably the most over-priced items I’ve purchased to date. Buy them from creativevideo in the UK and you pay a whopping £407 for four! In the US they retail for around $430.

Okay so thats the bad news out of the way, so why would you be mad enough to spend that kind of cash in these tiny bits of metal? They just work really well, In operation the gears do exactly what you would expect, they mesh with the follow focus and allow the lens to be focused – pretty simple really. That basic operation is definitely not worth all the money you have to spend on them though, where these are special is that they include hard stops.

The hard stops mean that it’s possible to use modern SLR lenses like my Canon L series lenses that do not by design stop at each end of the focus rings travel.

I made the mistake of ordering mine without the red stop parts so I haven’t actually tested the gears with both stops in place yet, I’m having some shipped from Zacuto and I’ll post my findings as soon as they arrive and do a full review with pics.

[update 22-01-2010] I’ve just posted a full review of the Zip Gear.

Zacuto & Genus reviews

I’ve just posted a couple of small reviews for some support gear I’ve been buying lately. Click the links below to read my thoughts…

Zacuto mini base-plate


Genus matte-box and advanced support rods


Hello 5D mkII – Goodbye brevis!

I’ve been watching with great interest the development of DSLR video over the last year or so and have recently decided to jump onboard myself. For nearly a year now the has Canon 5D mkII has been producing some awesome examples, but the biggest limitation with that camera has been that it’s fixed to 30 frames per second. That’s not the 29.97 flavour of 30p that’s common amongst video cameras but an exact 30 fps. Living in a PAL region where pretty much all video is 25 fps that makes it a bit of a nightmare to cut with footage from other cameras.

A few days ago I took the plunge and invested in a Canon 7D which addresses this problem by including multiple frame rates. The 7D doesn’t have as large a sensor as the 5D2 though but it still produces pretty nice video.

I also splashed out on a lovely set of L series lenses, a 35mm 1.4, a 50mm 1.2 and a 70-200 2.8 IS. You can’t beat good glass!

Once I started playing with the 7D I was immediately struck by the noise it produces in the image with an ISO rating over 200, it’s by no means terrible but it always seemed to grab my attention for some reason. I started to question whether I should have gone for the 5D2 which is reported to be less noisy. Then by sheer luck Canon announced that they are going to introduce multiple frame rates for the 5D2 next year. That was it, I had to change to the 5D!

The shop where I got the 7D were pretty good about allowing me to swap the camera, I obviously had to pay the difference of £288 and I’m pretty sure they palmed me off with an ex demo model but I walked out with a 5D2 earlier today.

My first shots with the 5D2 today have shocked me to be honest, they are so much better than anything I’ve managed with the Brevis adapter on my EX1. I think I’d even go as far as to say the images almost look similar to those from the EX1 but with a much narrower depth of field. There’s obviously a lot more going for the EX1 than it’s image though, and the 5D would never replace it as my main camera, but it’s certainly looking like it will mean the end of the Brevis adapter as my shallow DOF tool.