Camera Accessories Buyers Guide
So, you’ve got your camera and your lens but there’s something missing. Professional camera rigs are always growing and changing depending on what you need on a specific job. Whether it’s a field monitor that can also act as a recorder, wireless transmitters for remote cameras and a simple battery, Scan can help you.
Wireless transmitters are becoming more and more common amongst camera operators. This ability to take an output from your camera to any other piece of equipment without having the tether of a cable getting in the way, gives you the freedom to roam.
Wireless transmission devices often come as a pair. The transmitter, which takes a video signal from your camera and convert this to a wireless signal. The receiver picks up this wireless signal and then outputs it over a standard video connection.
When choosing a wireless video system, it is important to ensure that they support the video standard (frame rate and resolution) you will be working in and can transmit over a sufficient range for your needs.
Some solutions allow you to add multiple receivers meaning that your director, assistants, clients and DIT can all view the same image in real time.
Video Assist/Field monitoring and recording
Whilst most cameras come with an in-built screen, these often don’t provide the best image for reviewing what you’re actually shooting. It’s common to see an additional field monitor attached to a camera rig. These field monitors provide more viewing options than traditional camera displays with many offering support for tally, scopes and LUTs.
The ability to add a lookup table or LUT as they are most commonly referred to, can be used to calibrate the display, for accurate colour representation, or help you better visualise the final look of a shot. This is great if you are shooting in a log profile as these images will look flat out of the camera and adding a LUT can give you a better idea of what the graded shot will look like.
Many field monitors also come with recording functionality as well. This makes capturing an isolated backup or generating proxies in a more lightweight codec far easier.
EVFs or Electronic Viewfinders, like field monitors, are added to a camera to give you a better view of your scene. These are generally small displays with an eyepiece. These allow you to concentrate on framing, focus and be more mobile when using camera on the shoulder or handheld. Most EVFs have functions like zebras, focus peaking and tally.
Zebra patterns are used to help expose your image by displaying diagonal lines across any part of the image that goes over a user defined luminance level. This helps to avoid any clipping of the image during capture.
Focus peaking is a function that will display a coloured outline around objects that are in focus. As you rack through focus you will see this outline move between whichever the object is the sharpest.
Batteries and battery plates
All professional cameras tend to use detachable batteries with the most common being V and Gold mount batteries. These batteries are the same but the way in which they mount to the camera differs. Many cameras come with no specific mounting plate allowing you to choose your own. Gold mount batteries use 3 gold studs or pins and lock in to the battery plate sideways. V mount batteries use a V shaped locater that locks vertically into the plate.
Lots of professional batteries feature what is known as a D-tap output. This is an additional output from the battery that can be used to power accessories such as field monitors or wireless transmitters.
Some camera also support battery grips which are small grips which hold multiple batteries and slot into the battery slot of the camera. This gives you much longer usage time for your camera without having to replace batteries too often.
Grips and cages
With all these accessories a fully rigged camera can start to run out of mounting points. For this reason, amongst others, Scan stock a range of cages and rigs for your camera. Rigs can add handles for stability and provide multiple mounting points to help you design and build the camera of your dreams.
Standard 15mm or 19mm rails can also be added to most rigs and cages allowing you to add supports for large lenses or even teleprompters.
Another reason to have your camera in a cage or rig is for protection. There’s no worse feeling that seeing a camera fall from a tripod or be knocked over whilst on a shoot and while we all want to be as careful as possible, we can’t predict the unexpected!
We’ve all seen the teleprompters used by television show hosts and news presenters but these are common across any shoot where someone is presenting to camera. Scan stock a range of teleprompters that are designed to be used with tablets and smartphones to help you keep your talent on script.
Teleprompters use a special glass that sits on front of the lens on which the text is reflected and the lens is able to see through, without picking up the text.
Wetsuits and protection
To round it all off we need to keep our lovely new equipment safe. Scan Pro Video has a range of protective bags and hard shell cases to protect your investments. We also provide wetsuits for those outdoor shoots where mother nature is against you!