March 03, 2015, 10:14:39 AM

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Topics - expatinasia

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Videography Technique / DSLR Sliders, Jibs, Supports and More
« on: February 07, 2015, 05:32:51 AM »
In the next few days I will be buying some if not all the following: a slider, a shoulder support and/or stabiliser, probably a Ninja external monitor and if it is feasible, a jib (compact crane).

I travel internationally with all my gear a lot and do not want to pay excess luggage (nor have to buy any new luggage to fit it all in), so whatever I buy I need it to be as light and compact as possible, while also doing the job properly without worring about its quality etc.

Any recommendations on brands, particular products or suggestions?

For example, in your experience is there a minimum length for a slider? A max?

Is the Ninja the best external monitor (to help see focus and get a better idea of what I am shooting etc?)

The camera I will mostly be using is an 1D X fitted with a 70-200L f/2.8 ii and at other times a 17-40L. My tripod is fine in terms of strength, and the head I use is a Manfrotto MVH502AH.

Unfortunately, not everything you recommend will be available where I live, but I hope to at least get an idea of what not to buy, and what to look out for etc.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / DP Review of New Canon 5Ds
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:11:32 AM »
Interesting review of the cameras just launched:

Answers a lot of questions.

Seems they both have USB 3.0, but no headphone jacks.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / 1D X Power Adapter
« on: February 05, 2015, 08:49:49 AM »
From memory the 1D X did not come with a power adapter, and despite having two batteries there are times when it would be useful to be plugged into the mains and save the battery for when that is not an option.

As such, has anyone used the Canon ACK-E4 AC Adapter Kit (100-240v)? Any thoughts or comments on it?

It looks pretty straight forward and genuine, but thought I would ask here before buying it.


EOS Bodies / 1.3X and 1.6X Crop Modes on New 5Ds
« on: February 05, 2015, 01:26:14 AM »
I am not very technical, so could someone kindly explain what the crop modes on the two new 5D cameras do, how they affect the image and how would that differ in IQ from using a TC (1.4 or 2) etc?

Is this something that is likely in the 1D X Mark II? Or is it really only feasible with very high MPs?


Videography Technique / Good Wireless Lavalier Mics and Set Up
« on: January 23, 2015, 09:57:24 PM »
When I shoot video interviews I use my 1D X, Tascam DR-60D mounted on top and a couple of Audio Technica AT-831b Cardioid Condenser Lavalier Mics.

This works fine when I am in a controlled setting, but there are times when I need more flexibility and less wires, which is why I am looking for two good quality wireless mics so that I can move around (an exhibition or other event for example) and set up a quick shoot relatively easily without having to carry the mic cables etc.

Ideally I would like a very small and light receiver (can one pick up sound from both mics?) that can sit on top of the Tascam DR-60D so that I can move around without having to unplug everything etc. If the receiver could work with three mics that would be even better for those times when a three-way interview has to be done.

What do you recommend please?

Thank you.

Pricewatch Deals / B&H Shipping Prices - International
« on: November 01, 2014, 11:33:44 PM »
Is it just me, or has B&H dramatically increased the international shipping fees it charges?

Some of the items B&H sells are much cheaper than in Asia, and even the UK etc.

I have saved loads on CF cards, SD cards, external HDs, even the Tascam DR-60D etc etc., and while shipping has been expensive it still works out cheaper than buying it locally.

For a long time now shipping has always been around US$ 42 and was sent via UPS, arriving in just a few days. Really was an excellent service, especially considering at that time it was the cheapest shipping option they offered me.

Now though, UPS is no longer the cheapest, it is instead Priority Mail International which they say takes 10-14 days and costs around US$ 44, whereas the same UPS service as before starts at US$ 67 (US$ 25 more than it has normally been for a long time now).

I like B&H but these new prices really put me off, and I will look more at Adorama to see how much they charge, as well as to see what the prices there are.

Anyone else noticed this change?

Videography Technique / Tascam DR-60D ON TOP of Camera
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:37:55 PM »
The Tascam DR-60D is designed to sit under the camera, which is how I use it at the moment. However I am unhappy with it like that, as I find when you have a 1DX with 70-200 f/2.8 ii sitting on it, the camera rocks a little if touched even slightly.

Of course you do not touch the camera when doing an interview anyway, but I am not comfortable with the set up as it makes me nervous.

For this reason I am going to buy a hot shoe adapter to fit into the 1DX hot shoe and attach the Tascam DR-60D to that. Has anyone tried that? I do touch the Tascam DR-60D sometimes when doing an interview but normally just to change the different mic volumes slightly which should not cause an issue with the image.

I cannot think of anything else which might be an issue with putting the DR-60D on top of the camera rather than under it, can you?

edited: I always call it the Tascam D60, but its real name is the Tascam DR-60D.

Business of Photography/Videography / 4K, 5K, 6K and Up Video
« on: September 05, 2014, 09:02:26 PM »
I would bet that most of us do not even have a 4K screen at home, or work. I know I do not, and I am not planning on buying one, even though many cameras already take 4K video, which is great.

All those manufacturers will have to sell off their stock, and I am sure a few won't be too pleased that Dell has just confirmed the "world's first" 5K display!!

This makes me wonder. How long do you think it will be before we are seeing cameras with more than 4K shooting ability? What is holding the technology back in terms of how far can it go in just the next few years?

Let's not discuss whether we need 4K, 5K, or 6K and more, or even whether the human eye can distinguish between them, as that cat is well and truly out of the box and there is no heading back, whether you like it or not.

I won't be upgrading my TV until I know I can get a 4K or 5K+ signal on the channels I watch (like Setanta, BBC etc), but I am very happy to buy a new camera for the videos I do (now use the 1DX) if it has more XK.



Sorry forgot the link for the 5K Display news.

Lenses / Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L IS
« on: July 01, 2014, 08:01:26 AM »
Now that Canon has released the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS, how long do you think it will be - if at all - until there is a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L IS? - a Mark III if you like, although of course Mark I and II do not have IS.

Seems like SAR has already picked up on the Canon rumours of a new sensor.

I do not know if he was joking, but he says that:

All I can tell you know is that I heard about a 54 Full Frame Megapixel sensor from Sony (with 2460 focusing points (no joke!) and the focusing area covers 78% of the entire sensor). It was actually planed for a 2015 release but maybe Canon will make them change those plans…


Not sure if it is just very quiet in the rumour website business at the moment, and they have all agreed to throw a little spice into the mix, but it looks like Photokina could be a very interesting show to attend.

Software & Accessories / Best Case for Canon TCs
« on: June 18, 2014, 01:49:54 AM »
What case(s) do you use to keep your extenders in?

I find the Lowepro 8x6 to be the perfect solution for both the 1.4X and 2.0X.

The 2.0X only just fits, but the little case offers perfect protection for when travelling or moving around.

Pricewatch Deals / 1D X for Below US$5,000
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:22:29 PM »
I am posting this for two reasons:

1) I find it interesting to see what is happening to the price of the 1D X around the world; and

2) One (1) person may be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and buy it!

I have never seen the 1D X this cheap before.

At Duty Free in Hong Kong they have a 1D X on sale for HK$ 38,320 which is roughly US$ 4943.

I asked the salesman about this deal and he said it had been going on for a month or two now (I need to check prices at the airport more often, as normally they are more expensive than in town so I normally do not bother), but they now only have one camera left in stock at that price. Once it is sold the price will revert to HK$ 47,XXX which is more than what you would pay in town.

The camera is brand new, original of course and comes with China/HK warranty, plus a silly canvas Canon 1D X bag.

I did not buy it, but it was there a few hours ago!

Software & Accessories / Microfibre Cloths for Lens Cleaning
« on: May 03, 2014, 11:54:42 PM »
I was at an event recently and somehow the conversation turned to the cloths we use to wipe our lenses. This one guy said he had bought one from a country in Europe, and although they no longer make it, it is the only one he is prepared to use.

Do you have a favourite brand of cloth? How often do you wash it and how?

I was surprised to learn that this guy who is a full time pro photographer just throws his precious cloths in the wash with all his other clothes. When I asked whether he is concerned about the chemicals in the cleaning fluids (and more importantly the softener) and the impact they could have on the lens, he said no.

I used to collect crystal whisky glasses (I love a good Scotch or Irish whisky), and I learned very quickly that you have to be very careful with some of the chemicals you use to wash or dry the glasses - even to the extent of the chemicals used to wash the cloth that dries the glasses.


Videography Technique / 1D X and Manfrotto MVH502AH
« on: May 03, 2014, 08:49:28 PM »
When I shoot video with my 1D X I sit it on a Manfrotto MVH502AH - a head which I love. As this head is designed more for video cameras, rather than DSLR, if I put the plate on the body it means I cannot properly tighten the plate into the head. It does tighten, and there is little risk to the camera, but the knob for doing so hits the base of the camera which means you cannot tighten it as much as you might like. If I put the plate on the tripod foot (I normally shoot video - especially interviews - with my 70-200 f/2.8 ii) I eliminate this problem.

However, many people including a "video expert" at Cathay in Singapore, have said I should not put the plate on the tripod foot as it creates tension where camera and lens meet.

What are your thoughts on this? Surely if the camera just sits still and does not move at all (interviews) then there should not be any tension other than gravity (which would be like a monopod), and if I do need to shoot video where I move the camera (panning or whatever) then would it be better to sit the camera body on the head rather than the tripod?

Am not sure if any of that makes any sense (still not finished the first coffee of the morning!) but your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.

Third Party Manufacturers / Sony RX100 MIII
« on: April 29, 2014, 06:18:38 PM »
Since Sony launched the RX100 I have been an interested fan. Seems to be a very useful camera with some great features and it is so compact it can easily fit on your belt.

Now that they are supposed to launch the Mark III (tomorrow - 1 May) I must admit that the improvements they are rumoured to be making are more attractive than ever. It is expected to have a new 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens.

It also seems to have quite a following over at DPR.

Anyone here have an RX100 or interested in the new Sony RX100 Mark III? What are your thoughts and impressions?

One good and bad thing about Sony is that you are always guaranteed a new version within the next 12 months - sometimes just 6.

Added specs supposed to be:

 20MP sensor (same as RX100/M2 models)
 ISO 125-25600
 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens
 Built in View finder (SVGA OLED Tru-Finder 1440k dots)
 Tiltable screen (180 degrees up)
 Record in XAVC S format (Same format of the Sony A7s but with no 4K output option)
 Others same as RX100 II

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