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What's one of the best parts about being a video professional? All the cool gear! In this weekly series, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman team up to discuss the latest and greatest equipment for video production and post. They talk about the newest cameras, like the Blackmagic 4K, pocket cinema cameras, and GoPros; accessories and adapters that will make your shoots run smoother; and the great tech being invented every day. And because they keep both cost and quality in mind, you'll never have to worry about blowing your budget or compromising production value. Come back every Friday for a new tip.
This series is from RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this training in our library.
- Welcome to this week's episode of Video Gear Weekly. Rob, last week we took a look at just regular sliders using a rail-type system and really putting the camera into motion. - Yeah, and we're almost there. We got I think almost everything there except we got no juice. - Yeah, you gotta have juice. Well, if I'm shooting in a studio environment or on set where there's stingers and lights, plug the thing in. Nothing beats a wall plug because theoretically it's gonna last pretty long, as long as you've got power for the lights, you've got power for the slider. - Again, just the only thing to be careful about if you're gonna use an AC adapter is just the cord and the cable.
You'll notice that the power adapter is right here on the block, you don't want to get this caught up, so just like the actual motor cable, be aware of where that cable is. - And one thing that I would say about any of these units, in any production shop, mine's no different, we got a bin full of things like this that we don't know what they belong to - Yeah, label it. - And we've had production folks accidentally plug something in to the wrong unit, leading to an over powerage. Just because the plug fits, doesn't mean the wattage is right. - That's right. - So, you'll notice, Rob, this is just general production advice, I made a sticker, actually it came with stickers, Oh, it's the eMotimo? It's the eMotimo.
- Makes sense to me. - There you go. - Now, Rich, I have seen these before, but this looks like to be something more for an iPad or your iPhone or you see a lot of road warriors who travel a lot carrying these things. - And that's exactly what they're for. These are Anker batteries. There's lots of other brands out there, I like this one. They've got great warranties. - They do. - And, they have three USB ports and they also have a power plug port that you can get adapter cables to run things like a laptop on. - That's actually pretty unique about these. A lot of the ones you'll see are USB only, which power your tablet or your phone or whatever.
But, the ability to actually put out a different connector for your laptop or something like that, or in this case something like this rig, works well. - And sometimes I am using the USB port to power an iPad because I'm using that as a sun path calculator to see where things are going. or maybe I've connected the iPad to the camera to do bulb wrapping., but it's pretty straightforward. You're gonna need to get a cable that connects these two. Now, the cables are always going to be proprietary, so I' ordered, of course, three extras, and I've already lost one. That's what always happens, you lose the things - It does.
- But you take that and you connect the power. Now, the yellow end is going to go to the battery. This end, and this end goes over here. And once we connect it, we have to make sure that this has got the right wattage. So, you see it's flashing, you may have to cycle between the different voltage. And, in this case, it's at 12 volts. Now, I found shooting in the cold desert, I could shoot for about five or six hours on one of these batteries. If I put the unit at an incline, where it had to really work to go uphill or even downhill, it still has to hold position, it sucked up more juice.
- Now you mentioned one thing that always reminds me of situations like this ,and this is why you have extras, especially if you're working outdoors. Remember, cold weather is going to zap batteries faster than working in warmer weather. Alright, Rich, I'm really intrigued now that we got power, we got the motor, I want to play some games with your Nintendo controller here. What's going on with this? - Well, there's actually one thing to do first. - Oh, Ok. - One more control which is the camera's got to go on. - Oh, the camera's gotta go on. - Yeah, - Oh yeah, I forgot about that - Yeah, we're putting this all together because we want a camera - Right - And I tend to actually put the motor side on the back here, so it gives me a wider range, but you could reverse that forward or backwards depending upon what you want to shoot.
It's ultimately up to you, and that's gonna give you that movement. I've modified this unit to use a Really Right Stuff plate because I like Arca-Swiss mounts, real easy thumb screw to attach. But, it comes with it's own plate. And then, I gotta admit, I've screwed this one up before. There's one more cable, Rob. I've forgotten this cable before, and if I don't go from the box to the camera, what don't I get? - Well, you're not gonna be able to sort of control the camera, in terms of having an intervalometer going on. So, if you're doing time-lapse and then movements, and all that kind of stuff. So, this is just a cable that attaches from the box to the camera that controls the camera letting it know when to fire off.
- And so, you'll invariably on the side of the camera have a control for the actual camera itself. Make sure you don't confuse the headphone port with the camera control port. It's right here at the top on this particular one. And, I connect. - Now, Rich, do I need to use the intervalometer cable if I'm shooting video? - Well, it depends. If you wanted to start and stop the camera, you can. - Ok. Alright Rich, we got, I think, everything connected. - Yes. - We made it seem like this is a lot of stuff, but in practicality, once you get used to sort of attaching the system a couple times, it goes really quick setting it up.
But, we have one more little fun thing to play with, and you're gonna show us how to use our little Nintendo remote control here to actually operate the system, and we'll go ahead and do that next.
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