First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm

Continued from the previous post, more photos of the Hawk-Woods battery and charger...

Note the vents on the side of the charger...

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Vents on the bottom, slightly elevated, as well as the sides. I prefer this to a fan, but it does mean being mindful of dust and liquids...

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Top of the charger on the left and the bottom of the battery on the right. When mated, they lock. There's a latch, visible just to the right of the charger's power cord, to release the battery.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 2:02 pm

This morning I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery, when fully charged, will power my Pocket 4K when the camera is standing by.

Blackmagic says in the Operation Manual that the camera “requires 16 Watts when in standby”. With a 50Wh battery, this suggests that the camera should run for about 3h 7m (50Wh ÷ 16W = 3.125h).

I got 4 hours, but by the skin of my teeth. As the table below shows, power delivery falloff started to accelerate at 3h 30m. The voltage display went red at 4h 1m, and the camera shut down at 4h 3m. Blackmagic doesn’t define standby, but for me it includes the following settings:

1. LCD display: 75% brightness
2. Tally Light: off (I don’t use this light)
3. BlueTooth: off (I don’t use BlueTooth)
4. Audio: “None” (I don’t use the camera to record audio)
5. Recording Medium: CFast 2.0 card in the camera

As Blackmagic recommends when using an external battery, the Canon LP-E6 battery compartment was empty. I used a Blueshape 1m (39”) power cable to connect the Hawk-Woods P-tap port to the camera’s DC Wei-Pu port. The battery remained cool to the touch throughout the test.

The camera’s LCD display shows volts in the upper right corner. I don't know how accurate these numbers are. However, I only care how long the camera runs, and when, and how rapidly, power delivery starts to fail. I should note that I accidentally had the camera on record for about one minute during the test. I doubt that this made a meaningful difference. The table below shows voltage readings that I recorded until the camera shut down.

Later today, I'll post how long it takes to re-charge the battery with Hawk-Woods's VL-MX1 charger.


[EDIT: The post five down has a table that includes both the data in this table and data from a "Filming" test.]
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Last edited by robedge on Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 7:30 pm

This post will be more understandable if one has a look at the five posts immediately above.

The bottom line is that I'm a very happy camper, with both Hawk-Woods's battery and its charger.

I used the VL-MX1 charger to recharge the 50Wh battery after using the battery to power my Pocket 4K until the camera shut down. According to the camera’s voltage display, the battery initially provided 16.4V. When the camera shut down four hours later, the camera display said that the battery was providing 9V, with power delivery dropping rapidly. The table in the post just above shows how the battery behaved from the moment it started to power the camera to camera shutdown.

For context, Hawk-Woods says that its 98Wh battery charges “in just over three hours”. It does not provide that info for the 50Wh battery. My experience today…

According to the charger, the battery was “80% Charged” (charger light alternating between yellow and green) in 1h 15m. It was “Ready” (charger light showing solid green) in 1h 25m. The battery’s own lights, activated when one presses on the word “Press” on the battery, showed solid green in 1h 30m. Prior to that, the battery’s lights blinked green. Over the course of charging, the charger got mildly warm, but not hot. Due to the use of air vents rather than a fan, it also didn't make any noise (although I'll make sure that I don't set down a large coffee beside it).

I plan to phone or write Hawk-Woods to get clarification on three points. When the 50Wh is generating 9V and rapidly falling, just how discharged is it? From the perspective of battery life, need I concern myself with discharging it further? Secondly, when the charger and the battery say that the battery is fully charged, does the charger shut off or does it start to “saturate” the battery? As I understand it, some lithium ion chargers, including two that I own for Sony L-series batteries, will proceed to saturate. Finally, why do some retailer specs suggest that an alternating yellow and green light on the charger means 90% charged rather than 80%? Given that a full charge only takes another 10 to 15 minutes, this last question is just one of curiosity.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 9:26 pm

Having the fan-less charger is convenient as you could have it close to your camera while operating the camera and it will charge a second battery while you’re shooting using the first battery.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 12:19 am

rick.lang wrote:Having the fan-less charger is convenient as you could have it close to your camera while operating the camera and it will charge a second battery while you’re shooting using the first battery.


Hi Rick,

Despite initial reservations for cost reasons, I now have no doubt that purchasing Hawk-Woods’s own charger, instead of a generic charger, was the right decision. It’s well-made, well-designed, compact for travel, gives helpful feedback on charge state and gets the job done fast. I also like the air vents and the resulting silence. I say that as someone who once brought a laptop to a premature end by knocking over an open can of Coke onto the keyboard. Lesson learnt, I hope. It’s a small thing, but I also appreciate that the charger came with a 2m/79” power cable.

Experience with Hawk-Woods has been very good. Its U.S. distributor arranged to get me the battery and charger despite the fact that the two resellers in my area were closed for nine days for Succos, and Hawk-Woods responded within a few hours to an e-mail question about another product. According to the HW web site, like Bebob it will recondition/re-cell its batteries. Although it’s probably mostly of interest to people in the U.K., the company also makes cables to order.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 12:45 am

Yesterday, I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery would run my Pocket 4K when the camera is on standby. The result is four posts up.

Tomorrow, I’ll test how long the battery will run the camera when I’m filming. In the Pocket 4K Operation Manual, Blackmagic gives an example. It says that the camera consumes 22 Watts when it does all of the following:

1. powers an external solid state storage drive such as a Samsung T5;*
2. communicates with an electronic lens;
3. maintains full screen brightness;
4. maintains full tally light brightness; and
5. records at a high frame rate.

In Blackmagic’s hypothetical example, the arithmetic says that a 50Wh battery should run the camera for: 50Wh ÷ 22W = 2.27h = 2h 16m. That is 51m less than Blackmagic's standby estimate, which works out to 3h 7m. As the post four up shows, I got 4h on my standby test, barely, but with accelerating falloff in power delivery starting at about 3h 30m.

For this second test, I’ll use settings that I think will be useful for me as rough guidance. These settings are different from the ones that Blackmagic uses in its example:

1. Recording Medium: CFast 2.0 card, Blackmagic approved, 256GB (when the camera display warns that the card is almost full, I’ll stop record and reformat the card);
2. Lens Communication: I use, and only have, manual lenses;
3. LCD Brightness: For the test, I’ll use 75% as an average; also “On” for Zebra, Focus Assist, False Colour, Frame Guide and Status Text;
4. Tally Light: “Off”, I don’t use this light;
5. Frame Rate: 24fps will do for the test, I rarely use high frame rates;
6. Audio: “None”, I don’t use the camera to record audio;
7. BlueTooth: “Off”, I don’t use Bluetooth;
8. Resolution: 4K UHD 3840 x 2160; and
9. Codec: ProRes 422.

When I've finished the test, I'll post a table like the one four posts up, showing the battery's performance from when it first powers the camera to when the camera shuts down.


* I interpret Blackmagic’s reference to “recording to external media” as a reference to SSDs. The full Operation Manual passage is in the following screen capture:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 8:31 pm

Further to the above post, today I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery will power my Pocket 4K when the camera is filming.

In the Pocket 4K Operation Manual, Blackmagic says that the camera “requires 22W” when being used to film in accordance with example settings. With a 50Wh battery, arithmetic says that with the example settings the camera should run for: 50Wh ÷ 22W = 2.27h = 2h 16m.

The post above this one discusses Blackmagic’s example settings and the settings that I chose to use, having regard to my own equipment and what settings I wanted to test.

I got 3h 20m, but barely. As the table below shows, power delivery falloff started to accelerate before that. The voltage display went red at 3h 26m, and the camera shut down at 3h 29m.

I’ve now done both a “Standby” test and a “Filming” test. The post four above this one reports on the Standby test. The table below consolidates the results of both tests. I last charged the Hawk-Woods battery two days ago. However, I don’t think that “topping up” the charge would have added more than a minute or two of runtime to today’s test, if that.

For both tests:
    1. In accordance with Blackmagic’s recommendation when using an external battery, the Canon LP-E6 battery compartment was empty;
    2. I used a Blueshape 1m (39”) power cable to connect the Hawk-Woods P-tap port to the camera’s DC Wei-Pu port;
    3. The battery remained cool to the touch throughout the tests.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Oct 12, 2020 11:58 am

My conclusions about the Hawk-Woods 50Wh Mini V-Lok battery and 3 Amp charger...

The battery is equivalent, as a practical matter, to five genuine Canon LP-E6N batteries in terms of runtime, and is US$65 less expensive than five Canons.

Given that the battery weighs 300g/10.6oz and fits in a shirt pocket, it can easily be used from a pocket, belt pouch/clip, camera rig or tripod.

The 3 Amp charger fully charges the battery in 90 minutes. That's clear from the runtime test discussed in the post immediately above, which was done two days after a 90 minute charge from near empty. Generic chargers are quite a bit less expensive, but if one can spare the funds I think that the Hawk-Woods charger is worth its price. See posts above for photos of the charger and my reasons.

From an American and Canadian customer perspective, I think that Hawk-Woods and its U.S. distributor, both well-established companies, are reliable suppliers. More on this three posts above. Being big and being "local" aren't everything. More than two weeks after sending a simple pre-sales question to a major U.S. maker of V-Mount batteries, located 28 miles/45km from me, I'm still waiting for a response.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 4:18 pm

Sounds like a good deal. Thanks for doing those tests, always good to get real-life data on these things.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 8:53 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:Sounds like a good deal. Thanks for doing those tests, always good to get real-life data on these things.


Doing the tests was easy and I learned a lot about how the camera and battery interact. My conclusion is that I'm living on borrowed time when the camera's voltage display shows about 13V. I expect that to happen at about three hours of recording time, which is more than enough for my purposes. Like you, I have a background in large format photography, and I tend to ask, before pressing record, whether I really want to spend time processing and watching what I'm about to film :)

I've put my camera settings for the tests, and the table showing the results, on my phone. I think that this information will be useful for planning, and I want to see how the data stand up to experience over time. It's also good to know that it only takes 90 minutes for the battery to charge from nearly empty. That also makes planning easier. I'm looking into getting a power inverter to use the charger in the car.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 10:30 pm

I can't imagine ever needing three hours worth of time so that's got me covered. After seeing the cost of the H-W charger, I'll be one of those guys getting a wall wart D-tap charger for $50. At this point I'm thinking about getting the H-W for my Video Assist and continuing to use my Juicebox for the camera. But first I'm going to contact the Wooden Camera guys about my dilemma of wanting to use one battery for both devices. From seeing your chart I can see that power dips a lot over time, so I can see where even getting the 98 Wh battery might not be enough power for both. I mean, sure to power, but safely? Not sure.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 15, 2020 2:12 am

Chris Leutger wrote:I can't imagine ever needing three hours worth of time so that's got me covered. After seeing the cost of the H-W charger, I'll be one of those guys getting a wall wart D-tap charger for $50. At this point I'm thinking about getting the H-W for my Video Assist and continuing to use my Juicebox for the camera. But first I'm going to contact the Wooden Camera guys about my dilemma of wanting to use one battery for both devices. From seeing your chart I can see that power dips a lot over time, so I can see where even getting the 98 Wh battery might not be enough power for both. I mean, sure to power, but safely? Not sure.


The charger was an impulse purchase while speaking with the reseller. Now that I have it, I'm not about to give it back, but a generic charger will no doubt do the job for a lot less money.

I'm interested in what Wooden Camera tells you. As I understand it, their plates, which were designed in consultation with Anton/Bauer, have what is analogous to a fuse. I'm curious about what triggers the fuse and what it protects. As you know, there are plates that regulate power delivery, but they are expensive. I'm curious about who in the camera world buys plates that actively regulate power and why. As a practical matter, how do the Wooden Camera plates differ?

I find it interesting that all three of the plates on the market that feed power to a MixPre via a Hirose connection, including Sound Devices's own, regulate how much power is going to the recorder. Is that just overkill? Is it because the MixPre is not designed to regulate power coming from the battery compartment? Is it related to the fact that sound recordists who use that plate are typically powering more than one device from a single battery?

At the recent (October 1-2) Sound Devices/Lectrosonics Virtual Sound Summit, Sonosax presented this video. Like a lot of professional location sound recordists, this guy is using a power distribution box. The tall, rectangular external battery that he doesn't identify (01:05) is made by a French company called Audioroot. His power distribution box may be Audioroot as well. You won’t find Audioroot products at B&H. In the U.S., Audioroot devices are sold by specialist vendors like Gotham Sound and Trew Audio:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 15, 2020 11:02 pm

Trew Audio also in Canada.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 16, 2020 12:11 am

rick.lang wrote:Trew Audio also in Canada.


Right, Trew Audio has offices in Toronto and Vancouver as well as Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville.

Gotham Sound is in New York and Atlanta.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 11:55 am

Anton/Bauer and Core SWX have now released V-mount/Gold-mount batteries to compete with Hawk-Woods and Bebob on battery size and weight.

Anton/Bauer's series is called Titon Micro and comes in 45, 98 and 140 Watt hours. Core SWX's Nano Micro comes only as 98Wh. These join Hawk-Woods's Mini V-Lok batteries (50, 98 and 150Wh) and Bebob's Micro batteries (43, 98, 147 and 196Wh).

Core SWX undercuts its competitors on price. If one is happy with the size, weight and output of its 98Wh Nano Micro, at US$245 it is significantly less expensive than the competing 98Wh batteries from Anton/Bauer ($310), Bebob ($325) and Hawk-Woods ($345). Indeed, it is priced within a few dollars of those manufacturers' 43Wh to 50Wh batteries.

The Hawk-Woods batteries have a Power Tap port. The others add a USB-A port. When I purchased Hawk-Woods's 50Wh, I didn't have a use for a USB-A port and saw it as just another thing to go wrong. Bebob's USB-A port is 5V, 1A, which will not deliver enough energy to power, for example, a Sound Devices MixPre audio recorder, which needs 7.5W. I am not interested in using a V-mount battery to charge a smartphone. In any event, if I came across an actual use for 5V, 1A, it's likely that I'd be mounting the battery on a V-mount battery plate that would itself have a USB port.

That said, the USB-A port on Core SWX's new Nano Micro 98Wh is 5V, 3A. This should support a draw of up to 15W, which some people may find useful.

Anton/Bauer's data sheet says that the USB-A port on its Titon Micro batteries is 5V, but is silent on amperage. An Anton/Bauer support person was unable to say what it is. She said that she'll get back to me after consulting Anton/Bauer's engineering department after the holidays. I'll update this post when I receive an answer.

The Power Tap ports on these batteries vary on maximum sustained draw, which may matter to some people, depending on use.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Jan 04, 2021 1:59 pm

As noted in the above post, Anton/Bauer's data sheet for its new Titon Micro batteries does not say what the amperage is for the USB-A port. This morning the Vitec Group, which owns Anton/Bauer, told me that it's 2A. See e-mail below (personal info deleted). So:

Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok: No USB port
Bebob Micro USB-A: 5V 1A
Anton/Bauer Titon Micro USB-A: 5V 2A
Core SWX Nano Micro USB-A (available only as 98Wh): 5V 3A

Watts = 5V x A


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 06, 2021 9:18 pm

I’ve had a Wooden Camera UltraArm for a few years, but I wanted to try a different approach to supporting a monitor, microphones and other devices.

I’ve settled on Bright Tangerine’s Titan Arm, demonstrated in the first 1m 25s this Nino Leitner/CineD video. Note the arm’s graduated tension:




Probably on the weekend, I’ll post some photographs of the arm in use with my Pocket 4K. I plan to use it with a monitor and microphones, and possibly with an Easyrig Minimax. I think that it would work well with the Minimax, or indeed with an electronic viewfinder.

For me, the Titan Arm has three main attractions. First, it's rock solid in use. Secondly, unlike other articulating arms, tension in the arm is graduated rather than on/off. See the video above. This makes it easier to change or fine-tune the position of the monitor or other device that it is supporting.

Finally, I think that the Titan Arm is probably less susceptible than most articulating arms to performance degradation with use. The arm has now been on the market for about four years. There are many complaints on the internet about articulating arms failing, but not about this one. Rick Lang, a participant in this forum who uses a Titan Arm, has quite positive views on it.

I also considered the somewhat heavier Matthews’s Infinity Arm, and was able to try both arms before purchase. The Matthews appears to be extremely well-built. Its advantage is that tips are easily interchanged. Want to hang a light fixture? Just change the tip(s). With the Titan Arm, a change in tip requires surgery with a heat gun or kitchen blowtorch, Loctite, an Allen Key and a 10mm wrench. See video below. For my needs, I decided to go with the lighter weight and graduated tension of the Titan Arm.

Speaking of weight, that was my main reservation. Although lighter than the Matthews, the Titan Arm is still 570g (20oz). I’ve decided that that’s acceptable, and in some cases may actually help with balance of the camera. I can use the lighter UltraArm when it might be a better choice from the perspective of weight.

This is one of six videos showing what’s involved in changing a Titan Arm tip, this one on how to remove the 1/4” male thread in order to install another tip. Not something I anticipate doing on a regular basis, if ever :)

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 12:36 am

I have this option with two quick release points.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1446612-REG
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 3:07 am

My suggestion for you (and all BMD Pocket shooters) is to invest in a viewfinder. I use mine mounted on a SmallRig cage and SmallRig dual rail swivel. My viewfinder is a cheapo $259 form B&H, but it does what I need, AND, gives me a third point of contact for stability. I use it most when handheld, but with my cine zoom (I went with the DZO 20-70mm) on a nice tripod, it makes it far easier to see - both in bright light and because I can tilt the viewfinder easily for higher and lower shots.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 13, 2021 1:36 pm

Having now used the Titan Arm (three posts up) for over a week, I'm sold on it. Used to support a monitor, the arm's graduated tension/drag makes setting up a monitor and changing its orientation between shots easier, and the setup feels rock solid.

I also like the fact that the arm gives me a lot of options about where to place my monitor in relation to my camera cage. The arm has up to 28cm (11") of extension. I'm considering an Easyrig, in which case I do not want to mount a monitor, as is often done, on a short, compact support on the cage top handle. The Easyrig line that supports a camera is itself attached to a camera's top handle and would get in the way of an unobstructed view of the monitor. Probably for this reason, Evan Bourcier, who has made two of the better Easyrig videos on YouTube, uses the Titan Arm with his Easyrig setup. See the screen captures below. I also think that the weight of the Titan Arm could help balance an Easyrig setup when the camera is used with a zoom lens and is front heavy.

I purchased the basic version of the Titan Arm, which is US$245. Bourcier is using the basic version in these screen captures. I don't doubt that Rick Lang's super deluxe version with quick release (two posts up) has its advantages, but I'm just not there financially. If I recall, Rick got an attractive price on that version :) His version also comes with an anti-twist plate, but twist has not been an issue for me, either at the camera cage end of the arm or at the monitor end.

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Last edited by robedge on Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 13, 2021 1:40 pm

This screen capture is from a recent video by Easyrig "ambassador" Brad Walker. While he and his partner aren't using a Titan Arm, note that like Bourcier above they are using an articulating arm that gives the operator a good deal of flexibility over monitor placement.


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This is a good overview of the Easyrig Minimax, but I think that the compact mount for the monitor is quite limiting and that viewing the monitor past the Easyrig support line would be annoying.





In this screen capture from the video, the Easyrig support line is directly in front of the monitor and inches away from it. The gentleman who made this video uses the standard Easyrig connection throughout the video, except in the clip that the screen capture is from. In that clip, he clearly uses the fairly new, lower profile Easyrig quick release connection. There is a popular method of rigging the standard connection (the method is shown in the photos of Bourcier's rig one post up) that I suspect would make this type of monitor mount even more undesirable, if not unworkable. The gentleman may have changed to the quick release connection - he doesn't talk about the apparent change - precisely because of this problem.


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Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 1:57 am

Good summary. Evan looks very comfortable with his setup.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 5:05 am

Videoguy16x9 wrote:My suggestion for you (and all BMD Pocket shooters) is to invest in a viewfinder. I use mine mounted on a SmallRig cage and SmallRig dual rail swivel. My viewfinder is a cheapo $259 form B&H, but it does what I need, AND, gives me a third point of contact for stability. I use it most when handheld, but with my cine zoom (I went with the DZO 20-70mm) on a nice tripod, it makes it far easier to see - both in bright light and because I can tilt the viewfinder easily for higher and lower shots.

What's the exact Smallrig rail swivel did you get?
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