Aputure Amaran F7 & MX Deliver Power & Portability

Aputure Amaran F7 & MX Deliver Power & Portability

I have to admit, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Aputure.  For me, some of their products are a bit kludgy, with lots of pieces and cables, that I really think could be a better more streamlined. That said, Aputure Is the one company that keeps churning out products that meet both my functional and budgetary needs. The Amaran F7 & MX are the latest examples of that.

Amaran F7 & MX

Let take a look at their latest announcements. The F7 is the modern answer to the very popular Amaran 198c. Of course, it has more LED and better output. I would expect anything less.  Aputure also listened to customer feedback and improved the powering options with the addition and d-tap and USB-C power ports. but the feature that impresses me the most is how they have managed to get some light power out of this bi-color light.  I have always in team Bi-color. I love the flexibility and speed it offers and I’ve learned to just live with the fact that bi-color light is going be less efficient than the daylight version.  For this first time that I’m aware of, Aputure has selected warm 3200k and cool 9500k LEDs so that when both are at full output, the resulting light is perfectly balanced to 5600K. Let’s face it, it’s in daylight situations that we need all that light. Many other bicolor units produce about 4000K and max output. That’s a bit of a compromise but can work in some situations.  Oh, and did I mention the $98 price tag.  I’m already sold.


The MX (or M10) this the big brother to the very popular M9. It’s bright, lightweight and tiny enough to fit just about anywhere.  The MX takes that to the next level.  It has it bit more bulk to accommodate the durable all aluminum construction. It has a 4-hour internal battery that allows you to tuck into tight spots, with needing room for an NP-F style battery. There’s also a clever Boost Mode that overdrives the LEDs, in 60 sed. burst, for increased output.  I guess this is limited to 60 sec. to preserve the longevity of the LEDs. I can see this being pretty helpful on still shoots but less so for video.

Amaran F7 Specs

  • 256 LED
  • 3200k – 9500k Color Temp.
  • 45° Beam Angle
  • 1500 LUX @ 1m
  • CRI 95
  • TLCI 95
  • 15w power draw

Amaran MX Specs

  • 128 LED
  • 2800K – 6500k Color Temp
  • 120° Beam Angle
  • 200 LUX @ 1m
  • 260 LUX @ 1m Boosted
  • CRI 95
  • TLCI 95
  • 2A power draw

All in all, these look like two very handy lights to have in your package.  In fact, a couple of each could make for nice little lighting kit for when you have really to travel light. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on both of these as soon as I can. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep at least one MX in my camera bag and a pair of F7 in my light kit.  Stay tuned for more.

RED Gemini 5K S35 Dual ISO Low light Sensor Announced

RED Gemini 5K S35 Dual ISO Low light Sensor Announced

There’s lots to celebrate about the various sensor options offer from RED, but low light performance has never been a touted feature. Well, with the help of a well-known space pioneer, RED has a new box to tick with its recently announces GEMINI 5K S35 sensor for the RED EPIC-W camera.

Following a trend from camera makers like Panasonic and Kinefinity, the new sensor features a dual base ISO sensitivity (800 & 3200). When in low light mode, RED promises images at 3200 that are as clean as its 800 ISO base. You can also expect to see about 2 more stops of detail in the shadows at the price of highlights clipping about 2 stops early.  This really isn’t an issue, considering that maintaining super bright highlight detail is not typically the challenge of low light photography. In standard mode, the retention of highlight detail is better than some of RED earlier sensors. In low light mode, you do lose a bit of dynamic range, but according to RED, Its only about 1/2 a stop.

All in all, I happy to see RED tackle the low light issue. The Gemini 5K S35 version of the EPIC-W promises to a popular tool among commercial and indpendent filmmakers.



Today, RED introduced the new GEMINI™ 5K S35 sensor for the RED EPIC-W camera. GEMINI 5K S35 leverages dual sensitivity modes to provide creators with greater flexibility for a variety of shooting environments. Whether capturing with GEMINI’s Standard Mode for well-lit conditions or its Low Light Mode for darker environments, RED EPIC-W 5K S35 delivers incredible dynamic range and produces cinema-quality images.

The GEMINI 5K S35 sensor provides exceptional low-light performance, allowing for cleaner imagery with less noise and better shadow detail. Operators can easily switch between modes through the camera’s on-screen menu with no down time and experience an increased field of view at 2K and 4K resolutions compared to the higher resolution HELIUM sensor. In addition, the sensor’s 30.72 mm x 18 mm dimensions allow for greater anamorphic lens coverage than with the HELIUM or RED DRAGON sensor.

Built on the compact DSMC2 form factor, the RED EPIC-W 5K camera and sensor combination captures 5K full format motion at up to 96 fps, boasts incredibly fast data speeds of up to 275 MB/s, and provides in-camera support of RED’s enhanced image processing pipeline, IPP2. Like all cameras in the DSMC2 line up, EPIC-W 5K is able to shoot simultaneous REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR recording and adheres to RED’s dedication to OBSOLESCENCE OBSOLETE—a core operating principle that allows current RED owners to upgrade their technology as innovations are unveiled without having to purchase all new gear.

“While the GEMINI sensor was developed for low-light conditions in outer space, we quickly saw there was so much more to this sensor,” says Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema. “In fact, we loved the potential of this sensor so much, we wanted to evolve it to make it have a broader appeal. As a result, the EPIC-W GEMINI now sports dual-sensitivity modes. It still has the low-light performance mode, but also has a default, standard mode that allows you to shoot in brighter conditions.”

Beginning at $24,500, the new RED EPIC-W with GEMINI 5K S35 sensor is available for purchase online and through select worldwide RED Authorized Dealers. Alternatively, WEAPON Carbon Fiber and RED EPIC-W 8K customers will have the option to upgrade to the GEMINI sensor at a later date.

Gemini 5K senosr performance comparison


  • Low Light Optimized 15.4 Megapixel 5K S35 sensor
  • Dual sensitivity sensor
  • Seamless switching between Standard and Low Light modes
  • Same RED Cinematic image
  • 16.5 stops Dynamic Range
  • 5K up to 96 fps Full Format
  • 4K up to 120 fps and 2K up to 240 fps Full Format (no crop)
  • Simultaneously record REDCODE plus ProRes or Avid
  • Up to 275 MB/s write speeds
  • Interchangeable lens mount
  • Full modularity and a small, lightweight design
Is Kinefinity the Next Big Name in Cinema?

Is Kinefinity the Next Big Name in Cinema?

Kinefinity Cinema Cameras

As we all know, there’s no shortage of quality cinema cameras, at every price point.  While Kinefinity isn’t a new name in the field, It hasn’t had much of presence in the US market until recently. The Terra 4K and 6Ks have been showing up more and more. With the announcement MAVO and MAVO LF, plus a set of affordable Cine Primes, with help from NiSi, we’re likely to be hearing a lot more about Kinefinity is the coming day.

Philip Bloom has spent quite a bit of time with the Terra 4k. His lengthy and informative review is enough to make you want to take a closer look. Like many camera makers not called Arri, Canon, Panasonic or Sony, the big questions will be timely delivery and reliability over time.  The lack of a North American service center will like give many pro shooters reason to be wary. Will see if Kinefinity is able the address some of those concerns. I’m looking forward to visiting with them at NAB this year.

Cinematic Camera Movement Using the Segway miniPRO and a Gimbal Rig

Cinematic Camera Movement Using the Segway miniPRO and a Gimbal Rig

Black Magic Tim, Derek Allen and Chris Downing talk bout the benefits of adding the Segway miniPRO to your arsenal of camera movement tools.

Looking for your own Segway miniPro?


Need a gimbal rig? Check out some of these.

DJI Ronin M

Freefly Movi M5

Gudsen Mosa Air

Gudsen Moza Lite 2

Zhiyun Crane

Update Old Tungsten Fresnels with VisionSmith ReLamp LEDs

Update Old Tungsten Fresnels with VisionSmith ReLamp LEDs

VisionSmith ReLamp System

The VisionSmith ReLamp System just might be the LED solution I’ve been looking for to breath new life into my old fresnels. In the past few years, I’ve become more and more reliant of LED fixtures.  I’ve come to appreciate the low power consumption. The low power needs allow me to run almost everything on batteries, the lightweight of the fixtures and the versatility of LED in terms of color.

LEDs have really changed the way I work.  On many shoots, I’m able to move faster and be or agile with my lighting.  But sometimes I miss the utility of the fresnels in my trusty old Arri kit.  There a number of companies making very effective LED fresnels. Rayzar 7, Intellytech, Arri, and Ikan just to name a few.  The problem I have with these is a combination of the price, size and output trade-offs. Also, I have all these great fixtures gathering dust in my garage.

VisionSmith ReLamp is a direct replacement for Tungsten bulbs in most traditional fresnel lamps. It’s not retrofit that requires modification of the fixture, rather this upgrade is as simple as a bulb replacement. (Although, removing the internal reflector and swapping in VisonSmith’s fresnel lens does produce better performance.)

The ReLamp system offers replacements for 300w, 650w, 1000w and 2000w fixtures. They come in both Tungsten (98CRI) and Daylight (95CRI) options. As with other LED lights, they use a fraction of the power of tungsten or HMI fixtures of similar output.  They all work with common dimmers. No need for LED specific dimmers. Best of all the cost is about 1/4 of a comparable LED.



Fujinon MK 18-55 f2.8 E-mount cine zoom first look

Fujinon MK 18-55 f2.8 E-mount cine zoom first look

Dan Chung, editor as Newsshooter.com takes at deep dive into the new affordable, light-weight 18-55mm cine zoom lens from the Optical Imaging Division of Fujifilm. The new cine zoom is full of features that cinematographers will come – over the commonly used stills lens. Parfocal, Long focus throw, dampened and geared focus, zoom and iris rings, adjustable back-focus are just a few highlights offered by the 18-55mm zoom.

Newsshooter.com editor Dan Chung takes a first look at the Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 cine zoom lens. It is designed for E-mount cameras like the FS7, FS5, FS700 and a7R II and a6500. Read the full review at Newsshooter.com – http://www.newsshooter.com/2017/02/22…