iPhone 11: LumaFusion, Filming without a Gimbal

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    Here’s DP Review’s video (Chris Niccolls, Rishi Sanyal and Jordan Drake shooting).

    In response to a question in the comments, Sanyal says that the whole thing, including shots of Niccolls and Sanyal walking and talking while Drake was walking backwards, was shot with a Manfrotto PIXI and a phone clamp. The rig can be seen at 13:15 and 13:20.

     
    #21 Rorick Edge, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  2. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    43
    "Manfrotto PIXI Mini"

    How comfortable is the grip when the legs are closed? It looks pretty fat in the photo.
    Also, has anyone determined whether the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod is worth more than twice the money?
    Smallrig also has a mini tripod that looks like it could fold into a handle, but they don't emphasize that.
    https://www.amazon.com/SMALLRIG-Tab...=Manfrotto’s+PIXI+Mini&qid=1570488877&sr=8-12
    And there are copies of the Manfrotto PIXI that also look like they could fold into a handle:
    https://www.amazon.com/ATMO-Mini-Tr...=Manfrotto’s+PIXI+Mini&qid=1570488877&sr=8-15
    And to go really cheap, but maybe just as functional, if you already have a ball head:
    https://www.amazon.com/Ulanzi-Mini-...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    I have several tiny to small tripods (Including a Leitz Trinovid from the olden days), and some hand grips. But it might be time to consolidate.
     
  3. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    The video shows Jordan Drake holding the PIXI Mini at 13:20. It’s actually a photo from his Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3F3Y7dhOEf/?igshid=9pyj0j6fw3r4

    I have a PIXI Mini and I think that the size is fine for handheld shooting. I think that the PIXI Evo is too large for this purpose.
     
    #23 Rorick Edge, Oct 7, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  4. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    Thought I’d mention that Wooden Camera is selling a discontinued 153mm/6” cheese plate for US$75 on its site and for US$65 on e-Bay. If you could use one in this size, Wooden Camera’s gear is very high quality. The original price of $199 reflects the fact that it was designed with a particular video camera setup in mind. I’ll be using it as a general purpose plate, including with my iPhone 11 Pro Max; and given how well-made their gear is, I think that $65 is a good price.

    $75 on their site: https://woodencamera.com/products/ultimate-top-cheese-plate-6
    $65 on e-Bay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wooden-Camera-Ultimate-Top-Cheese-Plate-6-154400-NEW/273691697519
     
    #24 Rorick Edge, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  5. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    43
    "And to go really cheap, but maybe just as functional, if you already have a ball head:
    https://www.amazon.com/Ulanzi-Mini-...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU="

    I bought one of these, and it's very nice. The legs and hinges are plastic, but sturdy plastic. It folds into a rod that's comfortable to hold. It could be a bit longer, but for the price, I'm satisfied. I had a new, small, black ball head, and combined with a screw-tightening iPhone clamp, it makes a good, cheap combination to throw in the camera bag.
     
  6. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    I’ve started using a rig with the iPhone 11 Pro Max which may intrigue some people. I wouldn’t purchase this rig just for amateur use with a phone, but I have it anyway to record stereo sound and I’ve discovered that it works well with the Pro Max. It also works with a Sony RX0, and probably with small mirrorless cameras such as the Sony RX100. I mount the rig, which is mostly aluminum and quite light, on a monopod or tripod.

    The core of the rig is the stereo bar in this photo. I have the bar in two lengths, 30cm/12” and 66cm/26”. As you can see, there are two microphone mounts on the bar. These can be slid and locked down anywhere on the bar. I use the short bar for two methods of stereo recording called ORTF and XY (two mikes that are very close together, indeed overlapped) and the long bar for a method called AB Spaced (two microphones spaced up to 60cm/24” apart).
    9EFA0765-11B0-4F22-AC76-233F90B9BE1B.jpeg

    Outdoors, I protect the microphones from wind with windscreens that are hollow inside to create an air cushion. These windscreens are compact (10cm/4” in diameter) but very efficient, and can be used with or without a fur cover depending on how much wind there is. The photo below shows how a boom operator on a film set, who uses a shock mount to isolate his mike from vibrations in his boom pole, would set up a Schoeps CMC mike with one of these windscreens. For filming with the Pro Max, I don’t have a general need for a shock mount, just an ordinary swivel mike mount. Outdoors in New York, where I live, I tend to record with a low cut/high pass filter (80Hz) activated anyway, which itself cuts out low frequency sound.
    02D51FA0-B68B-4209-B588-04FBD7C49235.jpeg

    When I want to film with the Pro Max and record AB stereo sound at the same time, I can use the 66cm/26” bar and add a third microphone mount and adapter* for the phone near the centre, between the two mounts for the microphones. If I want to film while recording monaural sound, I can use the 30cm/12” bar, mounting the phone at one end of the bar and a single mike at the other end. It’s also possible to use this rig with the Pro Max and a mike in a full zeppelin (e.g. a Rycote Windjammer), but the 10cm/4” diameter windscreens shown in the photo are adequate for most conditions.

    I carry the sound recorder, a very compact Sound Devices MixPre 3, around my neck, over my shoulder or clipped to my belt via a Peak Design belt clip.

    I’m finding that a carbon fiber monopod (see post #11 above) with this rig works really well for filming with the Pro Max. I continue to believe that a monopod is more versatile than a gimbal, and that the Pro Max doesn’t need a gimbal for most shots. The stereo bar rig, holding both phone and mike(s), lets me keep both hands free to guide and place the monopod.

    I said that I wouldn’t purchase this rig just for amateur use with a phone. The reason is that even for sound recording this is expensive gear. However, it is possible to take this approach for video, but with fewer bells and whistles on the sound side, for a small fraction of what the components of this particular rig cost.

    * Note on adapters: The stereo bar in the photo uses 5/8” connections (U.S. music gear standard) but is also available with 3/8” connections (rest of world standard). Adapters are readily available, including for the 5/8” male on the microphone mounts to the 1/4” male that phone clamps need. To mount the rig on my monopod, which has a 3/8” top plate screw, I use a 5/8” to 3/8” reducing bushing.

    Triad-Orbit 5/8” male to 1/4” male for phone clamp: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1176868-REG

    Manfrotto 5/8” to 3/8” reducing bushing to mount the stereo bar to a tripod or monopod: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/284333-REG
     
    #26 Rorick Edge, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    I’ve now finalised my basic setups for shooting with the Pro Max without a gimbal, the choice depending on what I want to film and especially what kind of sound I want to record.

    Setup #1
    Carbon fiber monopod
    Pro Max/phone clamp mounted on the monopod
    * A lapel mike cabled to a preamp (DPA d:vice) in my shirt pocket and then to the phone’s Lightning jack
    Lapel mike wind protector
    Wireless (BlueTooth) headphones or earbuds to monitor sound recording (Bose QC 35 with noise cancellation off, or Apple AirPods)

    Setup #2
    Carbon fiber monopod
    A 30cm (12”) or 66cm (26”) aluminum bar mounted on the monopod
    Pro Max/phone clamp, and one condenser mike (mono recording) or two (stereo recording), mounted on the bar
    Condenser mike wind protector(s)
    A compact sound recorder over my shoulder or clipped to my belt (Sound Devices MixPre 3)
    Wired headphones to monitor sound recording (Sennheiser HD 25)

    I also have a lightweight travel tripod and a Manfrotto PIXI Mini, but I don’t see using them a lot. For me, a monopod is generally the best solution having regard to versatility, stability and arm fatigue. It may sound counterintuitive, but I am convinced that a monopod is not just more versatile, but over the course of a shoot easier on the arms, than a gimbal or something like the PIXI Mini or ShoulderPod S2.

    Details on these setups are in earlier posts in this thread (post #9 and following) and to some extent in my signature.

    * I can mike two people with setup #1, or even make a binaural stereo recording, because I have, and the preamp accepts, two lapel mikes. Binaural stereo recordings can be made with lapel mikes by mounting a mike just inside each ear.
     
    #27 Rorick Edge, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  8. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    As the last two posts imply, I’m kind of excited to use the Pro Max while recording in stereo. I shoot video in New York and stereo sound makes a big difference.

    One of the participants in this forum, @John Chu, uses his iPhone, and sometimes an MCR, combined with special mikes to make videos that are best heard with headphones. I follow his YouTube channel to see and hear the resulting videos. I admire the approach, as well as John’s and others’ experiments with 360° video, but I’m not ready to put this cutting edge technology into practice. I’ll be happy if I can just make Pro Max videos with a standard field of view and good stereo sound.
     
    #28 Rorick Edge, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    Another 11 Pro video shot completely handheld by “A Walk”:

     
  10. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    43
    #30 Stephen Hart, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    Rorick Edge likes this.
  11. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    Morrison is using a rig that is very similar to this Beastgrip rig, except made by Neewar and less expensive. Can’t find the Neewar version, so here’s Beastgrip’s: https://beastgrip.com/collections/shop-now/products/beastclamp-rig

    I’m extremely happy with the setup that I talked about in post #26. However, it’s an expensive option that puts a lot of emphasis on sound recording, both monaural and stereo. The mike windshields alone are US $200 each, which makes no sense unless you’re using high end microphones and a recorder like a Sound Devices MixPre. Not something that will interest most people.

    But it’s a killer rig if you’re involved in field recording and want to use a smartphone or compact camera to document your recordings. It will also work very well for video projects where sound is a priority.
     
    #31 Rorick Edge, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  12. Pavel Houda

    Pavel Houda Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    21
    “Can’t find the Neewar version,” - maybe spelling, I can find “Neewer” all over.
     
  13. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    It’s Neewer, not with an “a”.
     
  14. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    43
    There are many bits and pieces that can be put together into a two-handled camera holder available on Amazon, from Neewer, Smallrig, etc.
     
  15. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    I’ve finally found a way to mount a phone on a tripod that is both rigid and makes me feel that my expensive phone is secure, neither having been the case with any of the clamps I’ve tried.

    Check out an Australian company called Quad Lock. It makes smartphone cases that have a low profile, strong connection on the back of the case for accessories that Quad Lock also makes, including a tripod attachment: https://www.quadlockcase.com/

    Bicyclists and motorcyclists have apparently been using Quad Lock’s cases and attachments for years. Despite riding a motorcycle myself, I’d never heard of them until three days ago.

    Today, I received one of their cases together with the tripod attachment. The case is well made and a strong, tight fit (iPhone 11 Pro Max). The case/tripod attachment connection is solid. The attachment is 1/4” female thread. Mounted the phone on my monopod and could not be happier. Rigid and rock solid. Significantly superior to everything else that I’ve looked at and tried, and since the case is integral to the concept, it kills two birds with one stone.

    Can’t believe that there is next to no discussion about this solution in photography circles.

    P.S. Delivery from California to New York City took three days, USPS. Shipping was included in the price. They also offered a 10% discount on the order, but note that I found that to use the discount code I had to use my credit card directly rather than via Apple Pay, which they also accept. Total cost for the case and tripod attachment, delivered, was US $40.41. If you’re looking for a case anyway, the price is extremely attractive.
     
    #35 Rorick Edge, Oct 30, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  16. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    43
  17. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2018
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    81
    One of the reasons that I’m comfortable using the MCR is that the clamp is almost twice the width of other clamps on the market and built more substantially generally. If people are nervous about using the MCR with the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s because of the loss of surface engagement. More surface engagement adds both rigidity and security.

    Obviously, people should use whatever they are comfortable with from a security perspective and that they think provides a sufficiently rigid clamp from the point of view of play. For me, Quad Lock, which effectively turns the whole phone case into the clamp, is a significant step up on both counts. I also think that their locking mechanism for connecting attachments is superior to springs and screws. There are good reasons why bicyclists and motorcyclists are using these cases with attachments relevant to those activities.

    That said, if you’ve found something that works for you, great. This is just another option, perhaps particularly attractive for people who are in the market for a case.
     
    #37 Rorick Edge, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019

Share This Page