Tag Archives: LG G3

Ikan Fly-X3 Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Unboxing + Test Video

At NAB 2015, we stopped by the Ikan booth where we tested the Ikan Fly-X3 Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer. Several manufacturers have been creating smartphone gimbals including Shape and Lanparte. Retailing for about $350, the Ikan Fly-X3 seems to hit the right price point for a small 3-axis gimbal.

As smartphones continue to advance their video recording capabilities, they will eventually begin to crop up in more and more professional shoots. Take for example the recent Sundance hit “Tangerine” which was shot on a few iPhone 5’s with stabilizers.

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The Ikan Fly-X3 Plus comes in a durable hardcase bag with nylon straps, a charger, one battery, and counterweight for large phones. For a few more dollars you can get the GoPro mount attachment for flying the Hero 3/4. The grip has a comfortable rubberized coating and the gimbal itself has a sturdy, metal construction that feels like just the right amount of weight for flying a smartphone. Design-wise it would have been nice if Ikan had included some 1/4-20 threads on the grip both on the sides and below for mounting accessories.

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Filmic Pro for iOS

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Cinema FV-5 for Android

After unboxing the Fly-X3, I immediately paired it with both my Apple iPhone 6 and LG G3 smartphone. In order to move in and out of different lighting situations, I wanted to have more control over the manual settings. So I did some research on the web and discovered the two best mobile video apps for each platform – the $7.99 Filmic Pro for iOS and the $2.49 Cinema FV-5 for Android devices. While both apps theoretically do the same thing, the iOS Filmic Pro is able to record in 60p for slow motion in addition to manual control of the shutter angle. Unfortunately for the Android Cinema FV-5, the camera drivers on Android phones do not provide developers access to shutter control.

Depending on your phone, the Ikan Fly-X3 can have either very sharp and quick moves or more natural, fluid moves. As you can see in the video above, the iPhone 6 moves at a slower, more steady pace due to the aluminum Ztylus case that helped add some weight to the Fly-X3. The LG G3 is a very lightweight phone so the moves feel a little more abrupt and sudden. With a metal case to help add weight to the Fly-X3, the LG G3 should fly more fluidly. A heavier and larger phone like the Samsung Note 4 would probably require the counter balance.

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Shooting outdoors on an Android phone without shutter control created a staccato-like effect. To solve this I made a DIY ND filter by taking a pair of plastic sunglasses, popping out the lens and gaffing it to the front of the G3 lens. While it isn’t pretty, this helped to bring down the shutter angle and create better exposure.

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While shooting on a smartphone gimbal can feel a little weird, it’s much easier to get smooth, candid tracking shots in public places as it attracts very little attention. Most people think its just a holder for a smartphone. And because of it’s size, you can come up with some really inventive one take shots where you can fly it through small spaces and do hand offs. If you have any questions about the Ikan Fly-X3 Plus 3-Axis smartphone gimbal, hit me in the comments below.

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product information button runplayback Ikan Fly-X3 Plus 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer Kit with GoPro HERO3/4 mount

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product information button runplayback LG G3 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Metallic Black)

Shooting with the Panasonic GH4 and LG G3 in the Dominican Republic

A few months ago I had the opportunity to shoot overseas in the Dominican Republic for Project Picture Day, a non-profit organization that creates school pictures for children in under developing countries. The clip above chronicles our journey through Cienfuegos, Santiago.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Campos

The Panasonic GH4 and LG G3 became my tools of choice for the portability. For a more detailed explanation on how I used the LG G3 on this shoot click here. I realized early on that it was best to travel as light as possible and to only bring the essentials to avoid attracting too much attention. According to our local hosts, DSLR-style cameras are common items targeted by opportunists on motorcycles.


product information button runplayback Panasonic GH4 4K Video Recording

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product information button runplayback LG G3 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Metallic Black)

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product information button runplayback Dot Line SMARTbracket Smartphone Tripod Adapter

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Campos

For on camera sound I used the Rode VideoMic and for the interviews, the Aspen HQ-S Stereo Lav Mic and Zoom H1 were a perfect combo. Everything was contained in my Lowepro Pro Runner which fits into most carry on compartments and can handle a lot of abuse.

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product information button runplayback Rode VideoMic Pro Compact Shotgun Microphone

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AspenMics Lavalier Microphones

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product information button runplayback Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder

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product information button runplayback Lowepro Pro Runner x450 Rolling AW Backpack

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Campos

Since our goal was to capture candid moments with school children, I wanted to appear as if I was just another photographer shooting stills. The GH4’s built in EVF is surprisingly sharp and detailed and was perfect for shooting in the carribean climate of Santiago. Without the need for a huge rig or a field monitor, I could quickly and easily build out my camera to shoot spontaneous moments.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Campos

I’m really pleased with the work we accomplished in the Dominican Republic. To shoot for a positive cause that can directly influence or inspire children is a feeling that’s very different than any other job and I look forward to doing it again. Please visit the Project Picture Day website for more information and hit me up in the comments if you have any questions!

LG G3 Camera Review

Recently, I had the chance to test out the LG G3 4K camera in Santiago, Dominican Republic for Project Picture Day, a group that creates tangible memories for families and children in developing countries through organized picture days. To travel light and quick I brought along my shoulder mounted Speedbooster GH4 as my A camera. For shots that had to be fired off quickly or in tight spaces I used the LG G3 for it’s QHD (2,560×1,440-pixel resolution) display, as well as it’s laser-guided autofocus.

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The LG G3 is surprisingly lightweight and one handed operation is a breeze with it’s smooth, glossy finish. The power button and volume rocker are located in the rear with no buttons visible on the sides or front of the phone. While unusual at first glance, the minimalist design makes it perfect for run and gun shooting. By double tapping the screen and swiping across the camera icon, I was able to access the camera with no fuss whatsoever.

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I also utilized the Dot Line Smart Bracket which is a universal smartphone mount that I attached to my GH4 cage via standard 1/4-20 screw. The Smart Bracket is made of heavy duty metal but contains soft rubber lining which gripped the G3 securely. This setup was incredibly helpful for popping off stills or video while shooting simultaneously with the GH4. As a one man band, I was able to capture so many more candid moments with this rig than if I used the cameras separately.

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The G3, with it’s 13-megapixel camera and laser-guided autofocus captured highly detailed stills especially in natural daylight. Video wise, the G3 performed admirably in the right conditions. Natural daylight was optimal as low light situations lowered the shutter speed way too much to be useable. Additionally, artifacts would appear during fast motion scenes. Minimizing camera shake and auto exposure was also important for getting the right shots. While the freedom to shoot 4K on a phone was liberating, I still found myself using it like my GH4. Having the camera weighted down on a rig brought a sense of self control that helped me compose and frame my shots. Had I wielded the G3 around “selfie-style”, many of my clips would have looked like obvious smartphone footage.

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Overall, I’m pleased with the G3’s performance, especially in run and gun conditions. Paired with the GH4, it became the ultimate accessory as a low maintenence B camera. I’m looking forward to using the LG G3 in a more controlled environment and attached to a camera gimbal for steady tracking shots.

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product information button runplayback LG G3 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Metallic Black)

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product information button runplayback Dot Line SMARTbracket Smartphone Tripod Adapter