Recently, I explained how to build a Shape style shoulder mount rig for under $300 and one essential part of the kit was the Kayo Maxtar V-Mount Li-Ion Battery. The Kayo Maxtar is the best, pound for pound V-Mount battery out right now. With a whopping 177Wh 12000mAh, the Kayo provides all day power for your camera and accessories like field monitors, audio recorders, lights, etc. There’s also an independent 5V/2.1A USB output perfect for charging your smart phone. Another cool feature is the included D-Tap battery charger which is a bargain considering most brands require you to buy a seperate charger. The Kayo Maxtar V-Mount battery is currently $228.99 which is less than what you would pay for most 98Wh Li-Ion batteries. And with our custom coupon code: RSH8BJNK, you will receive a 5% discount. This promotion is for a limited time only so don’t wait too long.
On a recent trip overseas, I worked alongside a videographer who was shooting with a Sony A7s on a Revo SR-1000 shoulder rig with counterweight. Although I’ve had passing glances at the Revo while browsing online, I’ve never seen it up close. Because of its minimalist, almost artistic design, affordable cost, and versatility, I got my hands on the SR-1000 and proceeded to add modifications to it. The Revo SR-1000 is currently on sale at B&H for $67.96, a savings of 15%, but only until March 9, 2015.
The SR-1000 is strikingly simple with clean, curved lines thats very attractive for video enthusiasts. There are rigs that make my back hurt just by looking at them but the SR-1000 is sleek and forgoes the chunkiness of universal compatibility for aesthetics. A single handle attached to a sliding baseplate allows for one handed operation with thin, curved rails that bend seamlessly with the adjustable the foam padded shoulder mount. An optional Revo Counterweight can then be added to the rear to complete the design. Although I took it off for my mod, it’s definitely a must have accessory when shooting with only the camera.
My first add on was the Varavon Armor Cage for the Pansonic GH4. The lightweight cage also features red trim that matches the colors of the SR-1000. The top handle can be reversed to attach accessories such as the Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder which hangs slightly behind the GH4 for even weight distribution across the middle of the rig.
For the rear counterweight, I detached the plate from the Revo Counterweight and attached it to the Ikan Tilta HyperDeck V-Mount using a standard 1/4-20 screw which connects to the Revo shoulder mount with the remaining screws.
The Ikan Tilta is then fitted with a Switronix XP-L90S Li-Ion battery and Fiilex D-Tap power cable. Because the Switronix battery is unusually light, I added a Flashpoint 2.5lb Counterweight to the Tilta HyperDeck using two short 15mm rods. This evened out the weight distribution for the rear.
There are countless ways to configure the Revo SR-1000 such as adding additional handles and accessories to the baseplate but I found this setup to be the most efficient for run and gun shooting. Hit me up in the comments if you have any questions.
I recently received the long anticipated Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder and paired it up with the Panasonic GH4 on a branded content shoot for ICON Q featuring Producer, DJ and Designer Emily Oberg. After reaching out to a few Shogun owners I came prepared with all the essentials necessary for this beast of a recorder: a few SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB SSD drives, a Fiilex D-Tap Cable, Switronix V-Mount Batteries and an Ikan Tilta V-Mount Plate.
We used a GH4 mounted on a Varavon Armor cage and RedRock Shoulder Rig. The Atomos Shogun was powered by the Switronix XP-L90S Lithium Battery that doubled as a counterweight while attached to the Ikan Tilta HyperDeck Shuttle V-Mount Plate. This would be our main rig setup throughout the day as we had to run and gun across multiple interiors and exteriors throughout New York City.
The Shogun is a serious accessory for the GH4 which create a ProRes 10-bit 4K image that really does make a difference when compared to recording on SD cards. I noticed less artifacts when shooting in lowlight situations, deeper shadows and more detail overall. There are however, some caveats when shooting with this workflow.
Just when you got used to capturing loads of manageable 4K footage, the Shogun will immediately humble you. Shooting at regular ProRes 422 will give you about an hour and change with a 240gb SSD drive. While SSD drives continue to drop in price, having to copy these files to your edit and backup drives can quickly fill up space.
Another thing to consider is power. The Shogun uses standard Sony NP batteries but you’ll quickly run through them if you’re not constantly powering on and off. I opted for using Switronix V-Mount batteries to double as my main power source as well as a counterweight to the Shogun. One Switronix XP-L90S should get you through an entire day unless you’re powering other devices.
The Shogun’s image quality is top notch with a highly responsive touchscreen. A red outline and flashing front and rear lights let you know when you’re recording and the ability to auto trigger record through the GH4 body is also a nice touch. One major thing to keep in mind is the delay on HDMI output. It’s somewhere around 3 frames of delay which is pretty significant. Hopefully this will be improved with firmware upgrades but for now it’s manageable. The GH4 LCD screen should still be used as a way to double check your settings and also serve as a backup “real time” preview screen.
Overall, the Atomos Shogun is a hefty investment but worth the price tag for those who want to unlock the 10bit capabilities of the Panasonic GH4 and 4K capture on the Sony A7S. Just be prepared to shell out more money for extra accessories and a beefier, data heavy workflow. Be sure to check out the final ICON Q video featuring Emily Oberg coming soon.