Staying busy and successful as a video production company means always being ahead of the curve.
In a world where technology is ever-evolving at a rapid rate, not a week goes by without some new camera gear release. At this point, it’s almost too hard to keep up with them all. As the year winds down, we’ve started to think about the filmmaking gear we want to get our hands on in 2019. Here are a few new releases that have particularly peaked our interest.
1. Insta360 Titan 10K
This basketball-sized 360 VR camera is the next VR system released by Insta360. The Titan operates 8 cameras simultaneously which means a seamlessly stitched 360 output. It also comes equipped with large micro four third sensors providing greater dynamic range, high bit depth, and less noise in low light.
Another improvement on its younger sibling, the Insta360 Pro, is that the Titan shoots in 10k at both 30 and 60 frames per second.
The workflow also looks super-efficient, with a new transmission system that allows you to preview a live feed and allows you to control the camera from up to 500 metres, meaning you’ll never get caught in your own frame.
We’ve been really excited to get into the VR space, but in a relatively new and ever-evolving field, having future proof gear is necessary. The fact that the Titan can shoot in 10k gives us the peace of mind that this camera won’t become eclipsed by newer tech as resolution standards get higher and higher.
2. LAOWA 24mm f/14 probe lens
The LAOWA 24mm f/14 probe lens is one of a kind.
For anyone doing a lot of macro shoots, this is a game changer. Whether it’s food photography, nature and wildlife content or anything in between, the LAOWA lets you get into nooks and crannies that are not accessible with any other lens.
The team at Venus Optics have also made sure this lens is equipped for those off-the-beaten-path environments you might find yourself in. The tip is both waterproof and has an LED ring lite attached.
What makes this lens so unique is its bug-eye perspective. Most macro lenses on the market have a long focal length that has the subject fill most of the frame and isolates it from the background. While the Laowa allows you to focus super tightly on a subject, it also offers a wide-angle bug-eye perspective that allows you to maintain detail in the background.
Macro filming and photography often involve capturing tiny subjects. This lens 2:1 magnification allows you to pick up details that even the naked eye can’t see.
We’re most excited to try this lens out on a “food-porn” shoot where detail is everything. Check out this cool behind the scenes video to see just how special this little lens is.
3. Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
It’s no surprise that this camera has gotten a lot of buzz this year; this small-but–mighty cinema camera packs a serious punch. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K offers up a full-sized 4/3 sensor which reduces crop factor, leaving you with a wider field of view. Its 13 stops of dynamic range add to its pristine image quality.
In 4K, the camera can record up to 60fps, and up to 120fps in windowed HD. For those looking for great low-light performance, the dual native ISO of 25,600 is another great perk.
For those who already own Black Magic products, the Pocket camera comes with a MFT lens mount, allowing you to work seamlessly with older Black Magic lenses.
What we love most about this camera is that all of these pro features are so tightly packed into it. We often do doc-style shoots that involve a lot of locations and a lot of moving around. This camera is the perfect b-cam. Its picture quality matches that of an Amira or the RED, but its small size means it adds very little bulk to your gear. For those shoots when a b-cam is needed but space is tight, the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is the obvious choice.
A bonus? This camera doesn’t break the bank.
4. Zhiyun Crane 3 LAB
When a prototype was revealed at this year’s IBC 2018 conference in Amsterdam, there was a lot of talk about gimbal manufacturer Zhiyun’s Crane 3 LAB model. Officially launched just five ago, this gimbal makes operators’ jobs easier.
The L-shaped design allows easier access to the camera and gimbal functions while operating and the wireless image transmission system and ViaTouch control gives more options for control and monitoring.
Each axis can be locked into place individually, making it great for transport and balancing. It can support up to 4.5kgs, making it compatible with nearly every DSLR on the market, and a good handful of cinema cameras.
This gimbal runs of 18650 batteries, which are already readily available. The run time for the Crane 3 is an estimated 7.5 hours.
One thing that might take some getting used to is its size. Its protruded control stick makes low-angle and underslung shooting much easier, but it also adds some bulk to the gimbal. For those (like us) used to operating on a DJI-Ronin, it might take a few tries to get comfortable with it.
Take a look at this detailed walkthrough of the camera.
5. The Cooke Anamorphic/i SF 35-140mm
The Cooke family of anamorphic lens has steadily been growing, and the newest addition is particularly interesting because it’s the first non-prime lens. The newly announced 35-140mm cine zoom lens provides the same famous “Cooke Look” of the primes, with added flexibility and the advantage of saving time on set by avoiding swapping prime lenses.
The Cooke Anamorphic/i-SF series of lenses feature a special coating that adds extra flare in addition to the oval-bokeh and sideways flare you’d’ expect from most anamorphic lenses.
If you need some proof that these lenses are no joke, just take a look at some projects they’ve been used on recently including Lady Gaga hit A Star is Born.
The Cooke Anamorphic/i-SF series of lenses already includes a 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm Macro, 75mm, 135mm, 150mm and 300mm.
6. DaVinci Resolve 15.2
Earlier this year, Black Magic released DaVinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018. Since then. They’ve launched a pretty significant update with DaVinci Resolve 15.2. The goal of this update is to streamline workflows and increase efficiency and productivity in the app.
The edit timeline promises to draw at a higher frame rate for more responsive and precise trimming. There is also a cool new plugin the “Blanking Fill, which allows you to blend media from different frame rates and aspect ratios by creating a customized background to fill out your frame. This will come in handy if ever you’re working with footage shot on a phone in portrait mode, for example.
A fairly requested update is complete keyboard customization. You can preprogram all of your hot keys and even import and export keyboard setups to ensure your shortcuts are the same across all platforms. If, for example, you’re most comfortable with Premiere Pro’s default keyboard setup, you can match your Resolve interface to it.
Visit Black Magic’s website for a full list of update features.
7. G-Drive SSD
Every filmmaker knows that a key – and sometimes underestimated – part of their workflow is data transferring and storage. Nothing’s worse than finishing a long shoot and loading out only to wait around for your footage to offload at a snail’s pace because your hard drive just isn’t up to snuff.
We take our storage pretty seriously here at SVG. While storage and editing drives that come with terabytes upon terabytes of space are crucial for storing and editing, a good set drive is just as important, and harder to find.
We’re always on the lookout for set drives that are fast, durable, rugged and transportable. For that reason, we’ve been loyal to the LaCie rugged series for years, but the new G-Drive Mobile SSD might be giving LaCie a run for its money.
This new solid-state drive from G-Drive is the definition of compact, coming in at less than 4” long and 2” inches wide. It is also water and dust resistant, and comes equipped with an aluminum core which prevents it from overheating and maintains optimal performance.
The most pleasantly surprising feature is its speed. This micro powerhouse has transfer speeds of up to 560mb/s making data transfer a breeze.
Did we miss anything that you’re particularly pumped for? We’d love to hear what other filmmakers are getting excited about. Drop us a line in the comments.