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There are stacks of new gear that have come out recently or are being funded via kick-starter. It’s been said before and I will say it again: Buying gear is not the most important thing, nor will it make you a better filmmaker BUT some of it can help you in filmmaking for sure, and some of this stuff is beyond cool! Some of the most innovative tools are coming from Kickstarter right now.

I am a big fan of projects on Kickstarter that are helping starts up and also giving you something back, a physical product. My biggest investment so far has been the Digital Bolex on Kickstarter. The only downside is there is less of a legal comeback if they don’t deliver.

Here are some of the most interesting ones currently still open to backing:

THE KICK

The Kick is a bloody genius idea for a pocket sized lighting tool. Check out the video below to learn more. I have invested in this. Looks fab. The features that are demoed in the video are beyond cool.


SNAPFOCUS

is one of the most out-there ideas for filmmaking accessories, but you know you what, I think it will work and will be a damn intuitive way of focusing via handgrips. Very clever and real “out of the box” thinking from these guys! I know it looks rather inelegant and looks like it was taken from a bike, but watching the video has really intrigued me. I have not tried this myself but my interest is definitely there!


THE AVIATOR JIB

is a really nice looking and well seemingly very well made lightweight jib. DSLR devices already have a small lightweight jib which is pretty damn nice and dirt cheap at £225. Is this any better? Only time will tell but I have backed it and look forward to trying it out!


THE GENIE

The Genie is a motion control device. I like the panning aspect more than the way it attaches to sliders via rope to do time lapses, but it’s pretty clever and not a bad price. My biggest reservation on the genie is if you are just using it on a Kessler slider, you are better off just buying their basic motor kit; it’s cheaper and more elegant. If you don’t have a Kessler slider or want panning, this could be for you!

Non Kickstarter projects to check out below:

TRIGGERTRAP

Triggertrap is a billiant little device and iPhone app for timelapse and much more. I just got this and have been trying it out. It’s very very clever! Check out the video. It explains it very clearly. The app is just under $10 and the dongle and cable are pretty damn cheap. Love the eased timelapse function!

ALPHATRON EVF

The Alphatron EVF was announced a while ago and is made in conjunction with my favourite broadcast monitor makers TV LOGIC. I got a chance to have a fiddle with it in Korea last week, and I was very impressed with the LCD screen that looks pretty much like an iPhone 4s screen in its resolution as it is a 3.5″ “retina display”. It does HDMI and SDI in and out and crossover. It comes with a loupe which looks around just 1.5x, but with a screen of this quality it doesn’t seem too little. I didn’t get a chance to take it on a shoot, so a review will be on its way at some point I hope. Looks very interesting indeed! Bigger than the Zacuto EVF and pricier, we shall see how they compare soon!

METABONES E mount to EF

This is the only product here that I already own and it’s fabulous. It is the neatest most elegant solution for using Canon EF lenses on the Sony E-mount system, the FS100, FS700 (which I just took delivery of) and NEX 5/7. It controls the iris through the camera, powers the lens through the camera, supports IS and even works with the notoriously tricky 85mm F1.2L canon. I did have some issues on one of my long Canon lenses, the 100-400 so am investigating, but I believe it can be firmware updated. Whether this can be done at home or sent all the way back to Asia I don’t know. It is constantly out of stock from the official site, and they don’t take advance orders, but CVP in the UK are. A bit pricier though…These things fly out of the door as soon as they come into stock, and it is a seriously essential addition to your FS100/ FS700 if you own Canon glass. You can order it from CVP here.

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Comments

  1. wbrock001 says:

    The light is very cool! I wonder how hard it would be for them to make a larger version. Right now the Zylight IS3 and Kino Celeb 200 (which doesn’t do the entire color spectrum) are around $2500-3000 each…so hopefully this company can bring something to bear.

  2. ninevolt says:

    What about the DigiPlate! http://kck.st/digiplate

  3. Fellini Flex says:

    Hey Philip, thanks for this awesome recomendations. What about the Aviator Jib? i saw it after you twitted about it last week and i was immediately hooked. I am about to invest on that jib so i’d like to know if you don’t think its a good investment anymore.
    Best wishes from Chile

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      whoops! fixed. thanks

  4. Alex says:

    Only issue I’ve had with the Metabones is the weight of some of the larger lenses will sometimes introduce a little bit of play on the lens/adapter electronic contacts which causes the iris to go wonky. But I still think it’s fantastic.

  5. MOONGOAT says:

    The Kick looks awesome, but no Android app? What a cop out… Not everyone uses the iPhone.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      give it time…

  6. David Lagos says:

    Phil Bloom, always spottin’ the good stuff.

  7. I just bought the Triggertrap and backed the Kick Plus light. I’ve backed a few Kickstarter items before, including the GoPano 360 degree lens and the Lens/Focus Shifter, and haven’t been disappointed yet (knock on wood). I think small, portable lights like the Kick Plus are a great alternative to my larger panels and soft boxes for close work, interviews and so on, especially with the ability to dial in a specific colour or effect. I see a lot of fireplace conversations in my future ;-) (A combination of sites like Kickstarter and blogs like yours make for a powerful alternative to retail shopping, so thanks for the tips.)

  8. Thanks for this Philip. I’m in the market for an EVF. The Alphatron looks promising. I remember Iris mag did a short column on the Kinotehnik ‘LCDVF’. From what I remember, that too uses an iPhone 4 resolution display… Comes in at around £600. Have a Metabones on order, like you say, the demand is high! Especially with the FS 700′s release.

  9. First leaned of Metabones E to EF mount here in January and have been trying to locate one ever since for my FS100 ( another of your reviews and great camera), Tickled that my very own adapter is not only in the mail but in the US and should be delivered in next few days. Looking forward to adding it to my kit.

    Keep those reviews coming.

    pbw

  10. DerekDoublin says:

    Philip,

    If you’re in LA anytime soon, swing by EVS (Express Video Supply in Glendale off Victory BLVD). They have a first generation and second generation prototype of the SnapFocus there for people to try. It’s absolutely one of the most revolutionary pieces of film and TV equipment I’ve used in a long, long time. I had no idea it was made in Los Angeles! I recently walked into EVS to get some gels and saw one sitting on the counter. Apparently the guy that makes them lives very close to this particular store. They only have prototype demo units, so they look pretty rough around the edges, but once I picked one up and used it, it became very clear that this device is not a gimmick. It’s going to change things. You’re going to see these everywhere. It’s THAT good. It feels more natural than any other focusing device I’ve ever used and I’ve been working in TV for 20 years. I’m really excited to see what you think about it when you get your hands on one.

  11. terryjohnm says:

    Great products! Thanks for sharing

  12. terryjohnm says:

    Another amazing product I have brought into my arsenal recently for my camera crane setup on my 5D is the Okii USB focus controller. It works really well and combined with the zacuto EVF lets you put your DSLR in a whole lot of crazy locations and still see what you are recording and controlling focus and recording functions!

    Thanks for the inspiration and continued encouragement!

    http://store.zacuto.com/FC1-USB-Focus-Controller.html

  13. fkilander says:

    Have you seen this neat attachment? It fastens your mini-HDMI cable so you no longer have to worry about it at all.
    http://www.smallhd.com/5d-mark2-port-protector/index.html