Today before the festive stuff began I attached the Letus Extreme Mini to the Canon HV20 to see how it worked.
I went into my parents rainy garden for 15 minutes and stood under the gazebo and knocked off a dozen shots.
This is far from art, far from my best work. But I could hardly spend a couple hours today out somewhere pretty making the most of it. Then again the 15 minutes I spent with it highlighted my inexperience with the HV20. Coming from a professional camera or even a “prosumer” camera, the HV20 is VERY fiddly. Only the focus has an independent control, all the others that are controllable are through the menu.
I didn’t use an external monitor as I think that defeats the original concept of the mini. A portable Letus that you just stick on the HV20 when you go away or don’t want the hassle of a full rig.
Obviously coming from the EX1 this was always going to be a shock. It was. Focusing to start with was incredibly difficult. I had no idea when stuff was in focus properly. I kept having to change the little focus dial to adjust focus. Not sure why as I would have thought once it was focused on the GG it should be fine.
Gain…there are no manual gain controls and it was grim outside. Not much light so the little HV20 was introducing a fair bit without my permission. I think there are some fiddly work arounds like pointing the camera at bright light then locking in that F stop then tweaking but not sure, if anyone could give me an idiot’s guide then please do. The image I got mostly was grainy as hell and not very nice. Not a mini fault, not really an HV20 fault. More a novice operator fault. We have it easy with Pro cameras, all the controls are on the body and very obvious and very easy to control. these little ones take much more work to get good stuff out of them. The compression of this clip hides most of the gain and no don’t ask me for a 720p version. When I have something I am proud of that will happen!
Apart from the fiddly controls, when there was no gain AND I managed to get proper focus it worked very well. The mini is just like it’s bigger brother, only er, smaller. It’s lighter but apart from the smaller body everything optically is identical. It’s a shame with the small lens diameter you can’t stick it on a bigger camera. If you could then rods wouldn’t necessarily be needed. Talking of which I didn’t use any rods and it was fine. Although when I stuck on my 105mm lens I was nervous…
I need to do further proper tests in better light and with a clearer understanding of how the exposure works. After all, I like to shoot wide open on my 35mm lenses a lot of the time so most exposure I like to control from the camera…
Very interested to see Letus have released their modular flip for use on all the 35mm adaptors out there bar the M2. The competition between the makers is really hotting up. Can only be good for all of us!
Again, apologies for the rushed nature of this test. It is Christmas Day, the weather is pants and I missed my EX1. I felt like I was being unfaithful! You can visit Letus here.