Articles tagged #LED
Articles tagged

Using your smartphone to create video and streaming content

In this odd time when we are all looking to work differently, people are looking to use their smartphones to create video and streaming content. It may be that you don't have access to your normal equipment or that everybody else has beaten you to the 'hot product' and you are having to think laterally. .

It is worth noting that the cameras on modern smartphones are quite good if you make sure there is enough light and you are within the correct focal length of the lens. It would be no good trying to film a football match with a phone but an interview or talking head will work well. I don't imagine you will be wanting to film a football match at the moment anyway.
Where smartphones do fail is on audio, there are several manufactures catering for smartphone audio and arguably the best is our own, homegrown, Rode. They offer options for Apple devices (Lightning connector) or Android (3.5mm jack TRRS). There are Lapel microphones like the Smartlav+ or Wireless Go which can be attached to an individual person or Directional microphones which can stay attached to the phone and work well over 2 or 3 meters. The Rode SC6 and SC6L allow you to connect two TRRS mics like the Smartlav+ simultaneously.
[caption id="attachment_4789" align="alignnone" width="380"] Rode SmartLav+[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4790" align="alignnone" width="380"] Rode Wireless Go[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4791" align="alignnone" width="380"] Rode SC6-L[/caption]
Another main consideration is mounting your camera/phone effectively so the picture is stable and your arm doesn't fall off halfway through the interview. Manfrotto makes a simple inexpensive clamp for your phone which allows it to be connected to a tripod or mount either in portrait or landscape or should I say Insta and everything else! It's called the PixiClamp. They also make a small desk-mounted tripod called the Pixi Mini Tabletop tripod. The nice thing about the clamp is that it has standard 1/4" threads allowing you to connect it to most tripods and lighting stands.
[caption id="attachment_4795" align="alignnone" width="380"] Manfrotto Pixi Clamp[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4794" align="alignnone" width="380"] Manfrotto Pixi Tabletop Tripod[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4803" align="alignnone" width="507"] Or available for purchase as a combo![/caption]
Lighting is the last hurdle. If the available light isn't giving you the production values you are used to seeing. The good news is that there are lots of powerful, battery-operated colour correctable lights available at very reasonable prices. You can consider the small Aputure Amaran AL-MX rechargeable light or a twin kit with stands like the Ledgo Luxpad E268C which offers unbeatable value.
[caption id="attachment_4797" align="alignnone" width="380"] Aputure Amaran AL-MX LED Light[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4798" align="alignnone" width="380"] LEDGO Luxpad E268C Lighting Kit[/caption]
.. For a full range of products suited to use with your smartphone click here
Anyway enjoy setting up your home studios and we can't wait to see what you create!
Blog Post by Simon Anderson

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Product Review: LitraTorch 2.0

News & DocumentaryPerfect for this!

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Brighter, wider, lighter — Litepanels raises the bar with Gemini

Next-generation LED panel delivers precision color control and flicker-free light in a highly portable new form

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Litepanels Launches New Caliber 3-Light Kit

Litepanels has announced the debut of its new Caliber 3-Light KitTM. Ideal for webcasting, blogging and professional content creation the Caliber 3-Light Kit is designed specifically to provide the portable, out-of-the-box lighting solution that today’s professional videographers require. The latest addition to Litepanels’ award-winning line of LED Fresnels, the Caliber is a true Fresnel fixture with wide focus range that can be powered via AC or with AA batteries. The daylight-balanced LED offers the controllability and light-shaping properties inherent in a Fresnel light at a fraction of the power draw of conventional fixtures. Flicker-free at any frame rate or shutter angle, the Caliber Fresnel offers ultra-smooth dimming from 100 percent to zero, with no noticeable color shift throughout the entire range. With professional accessories like a color frame, correction filters and a 4-way barndoor, the LED Caliber brings the functionality of large Fresnels into a small size factor. The dimmable light provides a ¼-20 post for direct mounting using common hardware. The fixture’s compact size, high intensity output and portability make the Caliber 3-Light Kit a valuable production tool in the field. Litepanels’ compact Caliber 3-Light Kit has been carefully crafted to enable ease of travel and a fast setup. Weighing in at less than 13 pounds (six kilograms), each kit contains three Caliber fixtures and AC Adapters with international plug sets. Also included are three multi-jointed flexible tripods, allowing the lights to be fixed in a number of positions, and a compact stand with stand adapter, offering additional placement options. The Caliber 3-Light Kit’s contents are all packaged in a fully customizable soft case, with additional storage space provided for batteries, camera lenses and other items. Cinematographer Lan Bui recently served as a beta tester for the new Caliber Kit. “I’m often stuck in very hard situations with limited power choices, so having a standardized battery power option built right into the lights is a key feature for me,” noted Bui. “Being able to set up the lights anywhere without running cables or worrying about location power is an incredible convenience. Using only the AA batteries, I’m able to use the lights to compliment the shot I’m composing.” Bui added, “The Caliber lights have a surprisingly bright output for their size and power sources. The quality of light, coupled with the ability to focus the light down and use the provided barndoors, makes these fixtures a ‘must have’ on any travel or run-and-gun location shoot. I don’t see how I’ll ever go out on a shoot without the Caliber Kit again. ” Caliber 3-Light Kit includes:

  • Three Caliber Fresnels Fixtures (Beam Angle: 15° to 73°)
  • Three Multi-Jointed Flexible Tripods
  • Three Gel Sets and Color Frames
  • Three 4-Way Barndoors
  • One Compact Light Stand
  • One Stand Adapter with Ball Head
  • Three International Power Supplies
  • One Soft Case with Customizable Interior Compartments
“The Caliber is a game changer for professional shooters,” said Alan Ipakchian, product marketing manager for Litepanels. “Our customers in this space have been requesting a Fresnel kit with high-production value at an affordable price, and the Caliber delivers for them. It’s a true Fresnel fixture that produces soft, directional illumination, yet has a very low power draw. Its light weight means that it can run anywhere light is needed. We’ve also packaged it in a completely functional kit that is designed with an eye to future expandability.” The new Litepanels kit delivers a portable, flexible and accessibly priced solution for content creators on the go and is a great, low-cost investment for any professional looking to work more efficiently.  

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Videocraft Builds Full Production Facility For Hillsong Church

[caption id="attachment_375" align="alignleft" width="400"]

Hillsong Church’s new state of the art full production facility in Alexandria designed and built by Videocraft[/caption] The title for one of the year’s more impressive studio builds currently belongs to Hillsong Church’s new state of the art full production facility in Alexandria, which Videocraft helped design and build. Hillsong TV Technical Manager Luke Irvine explained, “For years our Waterloo campus in Sydney has been growing and we've had a great need to expand our facilities to house the increasing numbers of people attending. As a church we have looked at many options to help relieve the pressure and time restraints that we faced with our current building in Waterloo. Before we embarked on this new project, we were running eight services on the weekend to try and accommodate everyone. Thus the decision was made to custom-build an additional venue so the campus could still grow and not be crippled by time and space.” The venue Hillsong chose was in the neighbouring suburb of Alexandria which was, before construction, an empty warehouse with shop fronts requiring a major construction effort to get it ready for use. Irvine continued, “The warehouse building was converted into a 950 seat auditorium so we knew we had to have a high quality production facility to cater for that many people. That’s why we turned to Videocraft to help us build it.” Hillsong and Videocraft have had a successful relationship with the church utilising many of the company’s rental services over the last few years. After a personal customer service call from Videocraft’s Shane Jones ignited the project, the church decided to put out an industry-wide RFQ which was particularly well responded to. Once the tenders had been submitted, due to the nature and importance of the project, Hillsong took a good deal of time to study each one with great care before deciding on Videocraft as their equipment partner and systems integrator. The RFQ, according to Irvine, had some very specific requirements that made it unique from a traditional broadcast facility, but with quality always the overarching feature that had to be factored in. In essence the system revolved around dual Ross Carbonite switchers chosen predominantly due to their flexibility, functionality and cost effectiveness. The Carbonite switchers particularly excel with their onboard format conversion capabilities, built-in high quality multi-viewer and integration with the Ross Dashboard, which also oversees control and diagnostics of all Ross components across the entire system. Irvine added, “In short our requirements were that the system must be HD, facilitate four cameras, three projection screens and multiple external rooms. The system also had to enable linking to and from all other campuses and keying of song words had to be achieved on five different feeds with different backgrounds and different overlays with ease of use for one volunteer operator. The system had to be cost effective but extremely reliable, easy for volunteers to use on a weekly basis and versatile enough to accommodate for future changes that will happen within the campus. Every source and destination needed to be easily monitored by the relevant volunteer operators and the system had to also be capable of a broadcast TV record for our television programme Hillsong Television – in other words yes, it was quite an extensive set of requirements.” Irvine said, “Videocraft worked closely with us to find really good solutions to achieve a great result. They where willing to look at all options to give us the best outcome and price. They also gave us pros and cons of equipment and allowed us to make changes as we went along to take advantage of cost savings and usability of the system. Videocraft also worked very hard to fully understand our requirements and workflow – this was key to the success of the system especially in tricky areas like the integration between the keyer cards and switcher. They also had a great attitude even through some of the really challenging construction problems of the building.” When complete Hillsong’s new production studio included two Ross Carbonite vision switchers, a Ross video router, Sony OLED and LCD monitoring, several TV One scan converters, Blackmagic design Teranex 2D converters and HyperDeck Studios, a GVG T2 Turbo server, Ross OpenGear and mini converters, Sony cameras, Canon lenses, Vinten and Miller tripods and fluid heads and live IP video links between campuses. There were also significant audio, comms, display, rigging and lighting components supplied by others that Videocraft worked with and integrated seamlessly. Irvine and the Hillsong team were particularly impressed with the quality level and attention to detail of Videocraft’s involvement. He commented, “The Videocraft team were extremely helpful and continually suggested ways of making the system better and more cost effective. They were always professional and impressively took total responsibility for the systems integration, equipment selection, system design and diagrams, installation and labeling all in-house. Videocraft's willingness to work with us, take our ideas and make them work was a major plus. Also the fact that they could work with very tight budgets and be totally honest about the real cost of things from the very beginning was excellent. Listening, thinking outside the box and working with tight budgets is classic Videocraft. To that end I must say a particular thank you to Andy Liell, Glenn Beaumont and the entire Videocraft team for their outstanding effort and commitment to this project.” When inspecting Hillsong’s new production facility it’s sometimes a little difficult to believe that only a few short months ago it was a deserted warehouse. Hillsong Project Manager Sebastian Heck said, “We have often had people from other part of the building install project come and admire the cabling work and the neatness of the racks in the Videocraft install. Many of our volunteers comment on the professional look and feel of the control room and how it looks like we are part of a TV broadcast station control room. The song words on screen setup is my personal favourite as it is so easy for the operator to control the five different feeds they need to without them really having to think much about it at all.”

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