Prokit's Blog

 

After talking about shooting cinematically with Canons popular EOS C100 and C300 cameras all day, we cornered host Matt Davis for a quick run down of the the day. He also spoke about what to expect from our advanced Canon EOS C100 masterclass on Thursday 7th August .

If you own a C100 and want to learn more about how to get the most out of it, you can sign up the the masterclass here.

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  Often copied but never matched, SMALLHD monitors combine pro features, performance and value making it the perfect partner for your camera.
DP4 £305+vat
The DP4 is equipped with pro software featuring Focus Assist Plus, False Color, and DSLR Scale Mode. Housed in a strong yet lightweight frame, the 4.3” monitor adds production value without adding the bulk.
• 4.3″ 800X480 LCD • Lightweight – only 6.4oz • DSLR scaling & focus assist • LP-E6 battery plate included • Full size HDMI loop through
DP7-PRO-LCD £895+vat
The DP7-Pro is the perfect combination of performance and value. Ideal for either HD-SDI or HDMI outputting cameras, it’s the ideal entry to Small HD’s DP-7 range.
• 7” 1280×800 8-bit IPS LCD • 24 Quick-access ‘Smart-Keys’ • Full-screen Waveform & Scopes • 2-way Cross Conversion (SDI / HDMI) • Custom Look Support (3D-LUTs)
DP7-PRO-LCD-OLED £1470+vat
Our favourite of the DP-7 Range. Gorgeous picture with all the features of the DP-7-Pro, but with the added black-level accuracy of OLED.
•Perfect Rec.709 Color Gamut via 3D LUT • True black levels – infinite contrast ratio • 1280×800 high definition display resolution • 2-way Cross Conversion (SDI / HDMI) • “X-Port” expandability port
DP7-PRO HIGH BRIGHT £1920+vat
The DP7-PRO High Bright Field Monitor features a 1500 nit, 720p IPS LCD which is 3x brighter than traditional LCD displays. Having a screen this bright makes it easy to monitor outdoors-especially if the camera operator is unable to utilize a sun hood (i.e. Steadicam rig).
• 7″ 1280×800 8-bit IPS LCD • Daylight Viewable (1500 nits) • 24 Quick-access ‘Smart-Keys’ • Full-screen Waveform & Scopes • 2-way Cross Conversion (SDI / HDMI) • Custom Look Support (3D-LUTs)
Gimbal based handheld camera stabilisation systems from DEFY allow you to float through a scene like no other creative tool. Created by Cinematographers, these gimbal systems are made of lightweight carbon fibre tubes and high quality aluminium components. Incorporating a limited number of easy to adjust thumb screws into their design, users can field assemble and balance without tools in just minutes.
Defy G2 Gimbal £1995+vat
The lightweight option. Perfect if size and weight are an issue. Popular cameras used on the G2 include: Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera. Panasonic GH2, GH3, and GH4. Sony Nex Series, A7, A6000.
Defy G5 Gimbal £2950+vat
The middleweight workhorse. Suits a large range of camera and lens combinations up to 3kg. Most popular Camera’s used: Canon 1D, 1DC, 5D, 6D, 7D, 60D, Canon C100, C300, Black Magic Cinema, Black Magic Pocket Cam, Nikon D800, Panasonic GH3, Sony Alpha 99
Defy G12 Gimbal £6520+vat
The no-compromise heavyweight. Can take the weight of heavier cameras including: RED: Epic, Epic Dragon Phantom Miro, Sony: F55, FS700, ARRI Alexa M, Canon C500, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Production Camera 4K
ON DEMO IN OUR SHOWROOM
We have the G2, G5 and G12 rigged up with our showroom ready to demonstrate with a camera of your choice.
If you want to get hands-on with them come in for a demonstration, or book a time with one of our staff if you want to learn the finer points of balancing the systems.

 

                 

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Leading British battery manufacturer, PAG, have published a comparison table. The PAGlink PL96T is compared to recent introductions from IDX and Anton Bauer.

PROKIT supports all three brands but is pleased to share PAG’s findings with you.

 

 

V-Mount Battery Comparison Table

 

 PAGlink PL96T  IDX Cue D95  Anton/Bauer D90
Capacity96Wh only, but uses linking technology to create higher capacity batteries: 2 = 192Wh,
3 = 288Wh.
 Capacity75Wh, 95Wh & 150Wh options available.150Wh batteries are restricted to 2 per person on passenger flights.   Capacity90Wh, 150Wh & 190Wh options available.150Wh batteries are restricted to 2 per person on passenger flights; 190Wh batteries are banned.
 Current8A individually and 12A when linked (more than other systems and ideal for power- hungry cameras and multiple accessories). Current6.3A, which is considerably underpowered. Current10A.
 Run-Time DisplayRun-time information on-load, expressed in hours and minutes. The display is on the top of the battery for easy reading. This has been a feature of PAG batteries for 16 years. Run-Time DisplayNo run-time information, just a 4 LED charge status indicator. Run-Time DisplayFor the first time, Anton/Bauer offers numeric run-time information on-load, expressed in hours and minutes. The display is on the side of the battery.
 Size & WeightThe smallest and lightest of the 3 options.W84 x H133 x D50mm / 0.73kg  Size & WeightThe next largest and heaviest.W97 x H146 x D59mm / 0.80kg
Size & WeightBy far the largest and heaviest of the 3 options.W112 x H165 x D69mm / 0.90kg
Battery LinkingThe only one that can be linked to combine capacities, and linked for charging; up to 8 batteries in each case. Battery LinkingNot available with this model.  Battery LinkingNot available with this model.
Digital Communication
Compatible withmultiple camera data systems that display capacity in the viewfinder.
Digital Communication
Not known.
Digital Communication
Not known.

 

They conclude:  “PAG’s unique intelligent linking technology and ultra-compact battery design provide innovation that benefits the camera operator and keeps PAG ahead of the competition.” 

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A refreshingly  impassioned, unbiased and accurate product review.

HD Video Pro magazine’s Neil Matsumoto has reviewed and published his assessment of the Miller Air tripod system.

 

Miller Air 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what he says:

“The Miller Air Carbon Fibre Tripod System contains the Air Fluid Head, which has Miller’s fluid head pan and tilt technology. The Air Apparent.

Due to their small size and inconspicuous nature, the biggest advantage in shooting with a DSLR or compact camcorder is that you’re able to shoot in locations where most full size digital motion picture cameras cannot. But if you want stabilized shots, you’re going to need a solid tripod system – a tool that usually negates a DSLR’s small size. I’ve always found that when shooting with a DSLR, it’s best to shoot with a tripod system that complements the camera’s small size.

Australian-based Miller Camera Support Equipment has released the Air Tripod System range, which includes the Air Alloy and Air Carbon Fibre System. Considered “little brothers” to Miller’s Compass tripods, the Air system can serve both the indie filmmaker and the working pro in capturing stable static shots or smooth pans and tilts. Both Air systems are very lightweight and easy to set up, making them ideal for the run-and-gun shooter who needs to capture shots at a moment’s notice. Both the Alloy and Carbon Fibre consist of the Air Fluid Head, which have Miller’s fluid head pan and tilt technology, and the Solo 75 2-Stage Tripod.

The Air System is lightweight and easy to set up, making it an ideal top for the run-and-gun filmmaker.

Miller Air 4

Miller sent over a review unit of their Air Carbon Fibre System, which I tried out with a Canon 70D DSLR. From my experience, most fluid heads have been a little large for DSLRs but the Air fluid head’s camera plate was the perfect size for a compact system. The fluid head offers a two-position counterbalance knob, which can support a payload range of approximately 4.4 to 11-pounds. The fluid drag system remains constant across all temperatures and offers extremely smooth performance, so that you won’t have any sudden jerky moves. (This is no surprise since Miller is the creator of the fluid head.) The quick release plate slides out easily once the release knob is pushed. Overall, the metal build of the Air fluid head has a solid and dependable feel. One of the best heads I’ve tested with a DSLR.

 

I’m a previous owner of a Miller Solo DV Tripod system and I’m a big fan of the Solo’s adjustable tripod legs. The carbon fiber legs have two stages that are easy to unlock, extend and lock. A soft and protective Neoprene casing lets you comfortably grip the legs to make adjustments. You can quickly adjust the length of individual legs, making the Solo Tripod ideal for shooting in uneven and rough terrain such as a mountain range or stadium bleachers.

The Air fluid head offers a two-position counterbalance knob, which can support a payload range of approximately 4.4 to 11-pounds.

What I also love about the tripod is that you can pivot each leg low to the ground to shoot at extremely low angles (approximately 9-in. off the ground). In terms of maximum height, you can extend up to 69 inches. But because there’s no spreader and because the system is very lightweight, make sure to keep it within eyesight because it will tip over if bumped. (With a ground spreader you can throw a sand bag on top of it.) You have to remember that the Air Tripod systems are meant to be used primarily for run-and-gun shooting with lightweight cameras, not heavy full-size cameras. For better traction outdoors, you can wind up the rubber feet and dig into the ground with its built-in spikes.

For low angle shots, you can pivot each leg low to the ground (approximately 9-in. off the ground).

The entire system weighs less than 10-lbs and is easy to grab one of its legs and throw the entire system over your shoulder. (The Air Alloy comes in at 10.8-lbs.) Included is a no-frills weatherproof carry case that lets you pack the Air for travel. (The entire unit can easily fit in an overhead bin on a plane.) There’s also an optional ¼” accessory mounting block to attach accessories like a monitor or recorder.”

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Hi all,

 

It has been a long time coming and we can finally say that Prokit has become the first UK distributor for SmallHD’s fantastic range of monitors and accessories! If you are unfamiliar with their product, then you are in for a treat!

SmallHD have gained a huge following by creating high quality, feature packed and user friendly monitors at a great price. They have also created a range of accessories for all of their monitors including handles, screen protectors, sun hoods and signal splitters and can be configured in a way that works best for you.

 

Small HD-DP4We’ll start off with the popular DP4:

With a 4.3″ 800 x 480 LCD, the SmallHD DP4 is  the perfect on board monitor for DSLR shooters who need focus/exposure assists  and operators of larger cameras who need both an extra screen or viewfinder (using the additional loupe accessory). Inside the box you will find a screen protector, hood, LP-E6 (Canon 5/7D) battery plate, ball head mount, HDMI cables and more, which makes is the most complete kit on the market!

Software features include: focus assist , false colour, DSLR Scaling, pixel to pixel and more.

Price ex.VAT: £305.00

 

Now we move onto the wonderful DP7 range of monitors:

It comes in three flavours: the 7″ DP7-PRO, 7.7″ DP7-OLED and 7″ DP7-HIGH BRIGHT and all make great monitors for camera operators, assistants and directors due to their slimline, sturdy design and packed with so many features we couldn’t possibly list them all here. Don’t worry though we will cover the main ones below.

As well as your usual features such as peaking, zebra, waveforms and scopes, SmallHD have listened to the modern film maker and introduced ’3D LUT Technology’ into the DP7 range. This means that if you are shooting in a flat picture profile you can overlay the “final graded look” giving you a far more pleasing image to look at and keeping your director or client happy. These can be uploaded with the supplied SD card.

 

 

DP7-PRO

The DP7-PRO is the most cost effective of the bunch and loaded with a 7″ high-res 1200 x 800 LCD, 24 quick-access ‘Smart-Keys, full-screen Waveform/Scopes and 2-way cross conversion allowing you convert HDMI to SDI and vice versa.

 

 

Price ex.VAT: £895.00

 

 

DP7-PRO-OLED

The DP7-OLED takes everything from the DP7-PRO and slaps a 7.7″ 1200 x 800 OLED screen making it one of the most colour accurate HD monitors you can buy! The touch screen also allows even easier access to the great features.

 

 

Price ex.VAT: £1470.00

 

 

DP7-PRO-HBLast but not least is the DP7-HIGHT BRIGHT which is the perfect choice for the shooter who finds themselves, more often than not, outside in less that ideal conditions. It shares the same spec as the 7″ 1200 x 800 DP7-PRO but is three times brighter allowing you to get those perfect shots even in the brightest of conditions.

 

 

Price ex.VAT: £1920.00

 

 

Every DP7 field monitor comes with a mains adapter and SD card for those LUTs. A multitude of battery plates are available including Sony NPF, Canon BP series and V-Lock and if you want to power your whole set up off of one battery we keep D-Tap cables in stock too.

 

All monitors are available to demo and to buy in our showroom.

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The second of our Open Days this week concentrated on our range of Gimbal stabilisers from Defy. We’ve seen gimbal stabilisers develop over the last two years and at Prokit we’ve selected the Defy range as they represent a combination of quality build, materials and performance at an excellent price.

Gimbal Wide Shot 3   With a Defy gimbal you can pull off fast tracking shots that skirt the ground and then tilt up, pan in different directions and float though open windows. The shot possibilities available to you with these gimbals are really down to the limit of your own imagination. We had the Defy G2, G5 and G12 gimbals set up and ready with a selection of popular mirrorless, DSLR and large-sensor video cameras.

THE G12:

G12 The G12 is at the top of the Defy range and takes up to a 6KG payload, so we put that to the test with a Canon C300, 24mm cine lens and Atomos Ninja Blade. This was the heaviest of our set ups but it worked a treat: We can see this system working well with Sony F5/55, Red Epic (stripped down) and the Canon C500 with an external recorder bolted to the top bar.

THE G5:

G5 The G5 can take up to 3KG and is perfect with a Canon 5D (and other DSLRs, even a 1DC) and stripped down C100 and Sony FS700s. This is their mid-range system and was very popular during the Open Day! We had this system decked out with a SmallHD DP4 monitor clamped to the top bar.

 THE G2:

BMPCC on Defy We coupled our G2 – the smallest Defy gimbal – with a super lightweight Sony NEX-3 mirroless camera. This system was a revelation: We could run with it, lift it high to low like a jib shot…anything we wanted! It really did pay to have an ultra-lightweight solution. Imagine this system with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera , or a new 4K Panasonic GH4. Or rather than imagining it, come down and try it out! We really enjoyed our Defy Gimbal Open Day at Prokit and thanks to everybody who attended. Remember our showroom is open Monday-Friday and if you could not make the day you can always call us and book some time with us to get to grips with these versatile new devices.

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It’s been a busy start to this week at Prokit with two Open Days in as many days.

Monday saw our Canon XF205 and Atomos Open Day here at our Chiswick showroom. We had experts from both Canon and Atomos demonstrating the new Canon XF205, Atomos Ninja Blade and new Ninja Star.

The Canon XF205 proved to be a compact and versatile addition to Canon’s XF arsenal. Slotting in between the XF100/105 and 300/305, the camcorder combines a new 1/1.28” sensor with dedicated focus/zoom/iris rings, 20x optical zoom and the proven 50mbps 4:2:2 MPEG2 recording capability, along with a 35mbps MPEG4 mode as well. We think it’s an ideal actuality/events/documentary camcorder thanks to the great zooming range and diminutive form factor.

XF205

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atomos have added a miniature Pro Res recorder called the Atomos Ninja Star to their range of inexpensive external recorders. The recorder is absolutely tiny, has an L-series battery mount moulded into the body and takes CFast cards. The kit (which is only £179 + vat!) includes a mounting cheeseplate and a small battery, along with a neat carry case.

It’s fair to say that we are excited by this recorder. It’s portable, low-cost and very simple to use. In the photo below we’ve bolted it to our C100, thus making it broadcast legal:

Star for C100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prokit would like to thank Saj from Canon and Richard from Atomos distributor Global Distribution for their expertise and help on the day, and everybody who came down to see these new products.

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NBA_nila

 

 

NILA was privileged to be invited to light one of the arenas for the NBA Development League tournament that took place in Reno, Nevada, USA earlier in 2014.  The arena was lit exclusively with 115 tungsten-balanced NILA Boxers.  The lights had a total power draw of 23,000 watts.  That’s in place of the usual load of 100,000 watts used by the traditional fixtures at last year’s tournament.  

For those of you keeping score, that’s less than 1/4 of the power.  Nila was clearly the winner of this year’s tournament!

 

NILA LED Lighting is distributed by Prokit in the UK.

 

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In May 2014 American Cinematographer, Daniel Landin, BSC on Alien Ways:

983650_705193226213577_4189989846336454195_n

 

“In the living room scene when they’re watching TV, we could have really played with the TV effect, but instead we looked at the way the room was actually lit. It had a stark overhead source, so we just put a small 1K Rifa exactly where that fixture was.”

 

Lowel Rifa LC-88, 1000 watts

 

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Miller travels Japan’s Majestic Scenery for Shane Peel’s Debut Documentary Film “Snowsurf”

 

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN — When award-winning Australian photographer and writer Shane Peel, moved to Hokkaido, Japan for the production of his debut documentary film “Snowsurf,” Miller Camera Support Equipment, a leader in the production of innovating camera support solutions, was along for the ride to offer its assistance with its Compass 12 Solo 75 Carbon Fibre system.

“The reality of film making is that it’s a whole lot more complex than capturing stills; camera movements are the key to this type of storytelling, which is why I chose to work with Miller’s Compass 12 Solo 75 2-Stage Carbon Fibre system as my primary camera support solution on this project,” Peel says. “Miller tripods and fluid heads have been in my equipment roster since day one. Shooting in Hokkaido, where long hikes in waist-deep snow and negative 30 degree wind chills are the norm and a simple mistake can take your life, means that the equipment decisions have to make sense from the get-go. Working with Miller’s exemplary camera support solutions makes the most sense to me.”
Shane is currently one year into the production of his first full-length film, “Snowsurf,” which is a documentary that dives into the history of a special snowboard subculture that exists in Japan’s northern-most island, Hokkaido. Primarily a surf photographer, Shane is generally used to shooting projects in warmer, more leisurely atmospheres. However, for “Snowsurf,” he says that working in the back-country of one of the world’s snowiest, and sometimes incredibly treacherous, places makes the weight and functionality of his equipment of utmost concern.
Miller’s Compass 12 Solo 75 Carbon Fibre system consists of the Compass 12 Fluid Head and the ultra light, yet rigid, Solo 75 3-stage Carbon Fibre Tripod. Key features to the system that Peel found particularly useful while shooting through such harsh, snowy conditions include its selectable smooth pan/tilt drags, illuminated bubble level and quick release sliding camera plate with 60mm travel.
“Communications during this project have been difficult. As my crew doesn’t speak a word of Japanese, we are often faced with sudden changes while shooting, because language barriers often hinder the communication between the rider and the crew. For instance, a slow, steady panning shot can turn into a rapid double axis ‘L’ movement in a matter of seconds,” Peel says. “To be able to smoothly adjust the Compass 12 Fluid Head’s movement speed to any of the three pressure options in a moment’s notice has been a real advantage. Additionally, the illuminated bubble level has been incredibly handy, especially when working during the darkening blizzards I often experience! The head is a joy to work with.”
Peel also says that the light weight of the Compass 12 Solo 75 2-Stage Carbon Fibre system has proved essential when he shoots in really remote locations during this project, as the system is very portable. Furthermore, he mentions that the quick release sliding camera plate not only saves time with its efficient locking mechanism but also eliminates unnecessary pack weight.
“I have experienced some amazing days, shooting in unique places that boggle my mind—awesome silver-birch glades, natural hot springs and majestic snow-capped volcanoes are just some of nature’s amazing gifts that I’ve seen,” he says. “And, the defining element, through it all, has been the smooth, clean movement of Miller’s Compass 12 system.”
“Snowsurf” is slated to release in late 2015. To read more about the documentary film and receive exclusive insights into the latest project developments, visit its Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pages/Snowsurf/672189579472050
This is the latest publication in Miller’s Sharpshooters series.

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