Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Did your Panasonic GH5 arrive today? A complex beast isn’t it! I have a few setup tips to share with my fellow GH5 tribe. The menus are complex at first glance. I’ve been taming my camera since I got it, it’s like putting a lion in a dog basket. SIT! The GH5 has no less than [...]

The post Tips and tricks for new Panasonic GH5 owners appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

More often than not, it’s difficult for potential clients to understand that there’s a lot more to do in each location aside from just getting the gear and crew and start shooting. Read on for this guest post from Katharina Lichtenberg, a line producer with over 15 years of experience as a line producer.

producer

Let’s take a look at the very important role of the line producer

“Can you also arrange XYZ for us?” … Sound familiar?

After more than 15 years of experience in the field as a line producer, I’ve developed a couple of tools to make sure I totally understand what I am getting myself into every time I accept a project. One of my methods – especially for small, short-term requests – is to go through an internal set of questions I ask myself, and a series of steps to take.

What To Ask Yourself Before Taking Accepting a Job

  • Take out more than enough time to find out what your client wants to get done – the Full Monty, everything.
  • Check if they are already working with a local service producer. If so, great! Go ahead and do your job. If not:
  • After discussing the tasks regarding your own department, ask specifically how far along your client is in prep, and if there are any open questions regarding locations and logistics, even if they didn’t include this in your job description.
  • Find out if all the issues are already being taken care of in order to gauge if some additional tasks might ultimately end up on your table.
  • Estimate as good as you can if you need to work outside your department, and how much time to allocate to that.
  • Check your timeline: how tight are your bookings, can you even make time for these additional efforts?
  • Check with your client regarding charges for extra work, and make them aware of all additional costs.
  • Offer a solution: take it upon you to complete the missing tasks or suggest a line producer or service producer to your client to get it done.

Of course, this process is restricted to one single, isolated project. If you are planning on sticking around, then also:

  • Reach out to your local media community as well as the community of where your shoot is going to be.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Get in touch with media professionals who not only work in your field but also in neighbouring professions.
  • Specifically look for a good production person you trust.
  • Develop these relationships over the years.
  • Be patient. No great team has ever just fallen from the sky onto your lap.

While working on a specific prep, the following considerations may also help you:

  • Be clear about what and who you need. If you are not clear about what or who you need, engage in discussions and interactions to find out what those things are.
  • The more specifically you know who and what kind of qualifications you’re looking for to complement your own work, the better.

A Scenario

Your position: DoP, or any other position except producer.
Shoot: 3 days in your base area, with no travel days and no travel time. 10-hour days. Mainly exterior shoots. Prep time: 0,5 day, typically not charged for. Wrap: 0,5 day, typically not charged for.
Equipment: Taken care of by you (own equipment or rental) and charged to client. Enquiry comes in 10 days before the first shooting day.

After finding out what is required of the DoP, asking the set of questions we established above gives us a better picture of the whole venture:

  • There is no local service producer involved (yet).
  • Open tasks in the production department: 1 location still needs to be found, and one driver + van are required for 5 days (pickup – shoot – return).
  • Open tasks in the sound department: 1 sound recordist + equipment are required for 3 days.

Estimating the time for completing the above

Location scouting:

Easy public EXT location; scouting, sending pictures and drawing the permit. Only 1 option is presented. Please keep in mind that if you need to present more than one option, you will most likely need more than a day to find a shooting location, unless you’re already drawing from an archive. Take application periods into consideration and communicate them! The field of location scouting and management within the context of line production is huge. Make sure you check out every aspect of the shooting requirements before settling on a place to shoot. If there is only enough time to make one suggestion, it has got to work out. Estimate: 1 day.

Finding a driver and booking a car:

Unless you already know someone personally, this might be the time to look for a producer or production company instead. You don’t want to get just anyone as a driver, but you should also be comfortable with the person and be certain that they know what they’re doing. They must also come with the appropriate language skills and a knowledge of the area where you will be moving around in order to make everyone on the team feel comfortable and safe. Booking a car is not a very demanding task, but getting the price and rental conditions right can become a bit nerve-wrecking, especially on short notice. Estimate: 0,5 day.

Finding and booking a sound recordist:

The same goes for the sound recordist: unless you already know a reliable person to do the job, this is the time to go to a producer. Remember, you are always responsible for the crew you bring with you. If they can’t deliver, then you can’t either. Depending on your pre-existing network, estimate: 0,5 day.

Total extra time required: at least 2 days (depending on the exact circumstances).

Further Considerations

Time management:

  • Can you do these extra tasks, and do you want to make time to take care of them?
  • Is the schedule still compatible with your other obligations?

A lack of time for the actual prep in your own field may not only affect this particular shoot, but also lead to you losing out on more shoots where your contributions in your core field(s) are appreciated.

Money management:

  • Is there actually more money in it for you?
  • Consider the additional risk you are taking on. Is it worth it?
  • You may need to pre-finance other parts of the production other than your fees. Can you afford this? Think “cashflow” and “financing costs”.

Consider that if you’re charging an international client, you may need to prosecute the company for example in the US. If you take a step back and go through a local production company, you have a better position in terms of payment in case anything goes wrong.

Especially when you’re new to the industry and in the process of finding your place, you might want to have an experienced professional handle money matters. They can accurately estimate a realistic budget range and communicate with the client on an even level. Sometimes this also means that certain shoots will not happen, usually for the benefit of everyone involved.

Qualifications and experience:

  • Will the quality of your work in your core field suffer?
  • What will you potentially sacrifice?
  • What will you potentially gain?
  • Are you ready for this?

A long read, I know. But this thought process is actually what you need to go through consciously or subconsciously every time you take a decision between accepting or passing on a project. Make it a routine to go through all the aspects before taking the next steps.

I hope you enjoyed reading this rather lengthy post and you got something out of it. Let me know your thoughts – I’m happy to discuss different points of view!

The post Production Tips: Do I Need a Producer? appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DKatharina Lichtenberg

More often than not, it’s difficult for potential clients to understand that there’s a lot more to do in each location aside from just getting the gear and crew and start shooting. Read on for this guest post from Katharina Lichtenberg, a line producer with over 15 years of experience as a line producer.

producer

Let’s take a look at the very important role of the line producer

“Can you also arrange XYZ for us?” … Sound familiar?

After more than 15 years of experience in the field as a line producer, I’ve developed a couple of tools to make sure I totally understand what I am getting myself into every time I accept a project. One of my methods – especially for small, short-term requests – is to go through an internal set of questions I ask myself, and a series of steps to take.

What To Ask Yourself Before Taking Accepting a Job

  • Take out more than enough time to find out what your client wants to get done – the Full Monty, everything.
  • Check if they are already working with a local service producer. If so, great! Go ahead and do your job. If not:
  • After discussing the tasks regarding your own department, ask specifically how far along your client is in prep, and if there are any open questions regarding locations and logistics, even if they didn’t include this in your job description.
  • Find out if all the issues are already being taken care of in order to gauge if some additional tasks might ultimately end up on your table.
  • Estimate as good as you can if you need to work outside your department, and how much time to allocate to that.
  • Check your timeline: how tight are your bookings, can you even make time for these additional efforts?
  • Check with your client regarding charges for extra work, and make them aware of all additional costs.
  • Offer a solution: take it upon you to complete the missing tasks or suggest a line producer or service producer to your client to get it done.

Of course, this process is restricted to one single, isolated project. If you are planning on sticking around, then also:

  • Reach out to your local media community as well as the community of where your shoot is going to be.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Get in touch with media professionals who not only work in your field but also in neighbouring professions.
  • Specifically look for a good production person you trust.
  • Develop these relationships over the years.
  • Be patient. No great team has ever just fallen from the sky onto your lap.

While working on a specific prep, the following considerations may also help you:

  • Be clear about what and who you need. If you are not clear about what or who you need, engage in discussions and interactions to find out what those things are.
  • The more specifically you know who and what kind of qualifications you’re looking for to complement your own work, the better.

A Scenario

Your position: DoP, or any other position except producer.
Shoot: 3 days in your base area, with no travel days and no travel time. 10-hour days. Mainly exterior shoots. Prep time: 0,5 day, typically not charged for. Wrap: 0,5 day, typically not charged for.
Equipment: Taken care of by you (own equipment or rental) and charged to client. Enquiry comes in 10 days before the first shooting day.

After finding out what is required of the DoP, asking the set of questions we established above gives us a better picture of the whole venture:

  • There is no local service producer involved (yet).
  • Open tasks in the production department: 1 location still needs to be found, and one driver + van are required for 5 days (pickup – shoot – return).
  • Open tasks in the sound department: 1 sound recordist + equipment are required for 3 days.

Estimating the time for completing the above

Location scouting:

Easy public EXT location; scouting, sending pictures and drawing the permit. Only 1 option is presented. Please keep in mind that if you need to present more than one option, you will most likely need more than a day to find a shooting location, unless you’re already drawing from an archive. Take application periods into consideration and communicate them! The field of location scouting and management within the context of line production is huge. Make sure you check out every aspect of the shooting requirements before settling on a place to shoot. If there is only enough time to make one suggestion, it has got to work out. Estimate: 1 day.

Finding a driver and booking a car:

Unless you already know someone personally, this might be the time to look for a producer or production company instead. You don’t want to get just anyone as a driver, but you should also be comfortable with the person and be certain that they know what they’re doing. They must also come with the appropriate language skills and a knowledge of the area where you will be moving around in order to make everyone on the team feel comfortable and safe. Booking a car is not a very demanding task, but getting the price and rental conditions right can become a bit nerve-wrecking, especially on short notice. Estimate: 0,5 day.

Finding and booking a sound recordist:

The same goes for the sound recordist: unless you already know a reliable person to do the job, this is the time to go to a producer. Remember, you are always responsible for the crew you bring with you. If they can’t deliver, then you can’t either. Depending on your pre-existing network, estimate: 0,5 day.

Total extra time required: at least 2 days (depending on the exact circumstances).

Further Considerations

Time management:

  • Can you do these extra tasks, and do you want to make time to take care of them?
  • Is the schedule still compatible with your other obligations?

A lack of time for the actual prep in your own field may not only affect this particular shoot, but also lead to you losing out on more shoots where your contributions in your core field(s) are appreciated.

Money management:

  • Is there actually more money in it for you?
  • Consider the additional risk you are taking on. Is it worth it?
  • You may need to pre-finance other parts of the production other than your fees. Can you afford this? Think “cashflow” and “financing costs”.

Consider that if you’re charging an international client, you may need to prosecute the company for example in the US. If you take a step back and go through a local production company, you have a better position in terms of payment in case anything goes wrong.

Especially when you’re new to the industry and in the process of finding your place, you might want to have an experienced professional handle money matters. They can accurately estimate a realistic budget range and communicate with the client on an even level. Sometimes this also means that certain shoots will not happen, usually for the benefit of everyone involved.

Qualifications and experience:

  • Will the quality of your work in your core field suffer?
  • What will you potentially sacrifice?
  • What will you potentially gain?
  • Are you ready for this?

A long read, I know. But this thought process is actually what you need to go through consciously or subconsciously every time you take a decision between accepting or passing on a project. Make it a routine to go through all the aspects before taking the next steps.

I hope you enjoyed reading this rather lengthy post and you got something out of it. Let me know your thoughts – I’m happy to discuss different points of view!

The post Production Tips: Do I Need a Producer? appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DKatharina Lichtenberg

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Time to spend some quality time with the Panasonic GH5. The wait is over and 3 years after the GH4 we have the highly anticipated new camera. In some ways an evolution but mostly, I’m glad to say a revolution. This is going to be a popular camera and there may be a bit of a wait if you didn’t pre-order [...]

The post Panasonic GH5 day zero appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Music Vine music licensing platform update

Since we first looked at Music Vine back in March last year, they have steadily grown and worked on becoming a more prominent player in the music licensing arena. Now with a broader catalogue of tracks and a refurbished interface, the platform looks to be maturing as they solidify their position in the market. In their own words, they’re “offering a refreshingly diverse selection of top-end music at affordable licence prices.” – Sounds promising. Let’s take a closer look.

It seems like music licensing is becoming a growingly crowded field, which is the best that could happen to us filmmakers. As there’s more competition, we see prices go down and quality go up. This is also the case for Music Vine, as they started out with a limited collection and a limited set of features that has now received several updates and can better compete with other music licensing platforms like MusicbedArt-List, Marmoset, Audio Network and Filmstro, just to name a few.

New Features at Music Vine

Music Vine music licensing platform playlists

The guys at Music Vine have recently added 5 new features to the site and gave us a run-down on the enhancements:

Surf The Waveform

Just like we’ve seen it on most other platforms, Music Vine have added a sizeable waveform visual to their tracks. This is a big one for them, as you can now start playing a track midway through by clicking at a certain point along the waveform. Also there is minimal lag, the whole site is fast and responsive, which is always important when you have to listen to hundreds of tracks to find the right one for your project.

Music Vine Waveform Feature

Playlists

You can now add tracks into personal playlists. While playlists certainly aren’t a groundbreaking feature for any serious music licensing site, the way it works on Music Vine is refreshingly straight-forward, with some very handy sharing options. That last point gives you the ability to share selections with your clients or team. Very useful.

Music Vine Playback Modes Feature

Playback Modes

For many of us, it’s not uncommon to play a track in the background to see how it works alongside footage, something that is often an awkward juggling act. The chaps at Music Vine have endeavoured to offer some help here by including several new playback options. One of these is a mode called ‘first 15 seconds only’ which, as you’d expect, plays only the first 15 seconds before moving onto the next track. This can be useful for those who like to set a collection playing in the background while they work, just to listen out for the ‘right’ track.

 

Music Vine Versions Feature

Additional Versions

At Music Vine many of the tracks have alternative versions that come bundled-in when you purchase the licence. This is a great benefit and certainly something we’d like to see on other platforms as well. Audio Network offers a number of alternative tracks for a lot of their huge selection and other platforms also offer tracks as instrumental options for example. But on Music Vine there is no additional charge or licensing for the extras.

With that in mind, the new ‘versions icon’ on the main browse page shows how many versions are included with each track and when you hover over the icon it provides a summary of those versions. The slight downfall here, however, is that we can’t preview those alternative versions – but the Music Vine team said that they are working on this as well.

No More Watermark

We did previously mark the platform down a little because of the audio ‘watermark’ that would regularly intrude while browsing. This has now been given the boot which is great news.

What’s Next?

Co-founder, Lewis, has explained to us that they are currently rebuilding the Music Vine platform from the ground-up after having received significant investment in autumn last year. We’re pretty happy with the current updates, but we’re looking forward to find out what else they will have in store for us.

On a side-note, this update also falls together with Art-list.io‘s relaunch of their site, that we heard about earlier this month and is due to hit us next week. It’s great to see these music licensing sites grow and thrive. Right now most of them continue to follow in the footsteps of Musicbed, which is the largest site with over 600 musicians, lots of quality tracks, but also the most expensive licenses.

Get 20% off your first licence purchase with discount code: C5DMV20
Check out the Music Vine website here: musicvine.net

The post Music Vine Gets a Makeover – The Lowdown on What’s New appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DSebastian Wöber

Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

 

Photoshop in 60 Seconds: Dirty Sketch Effect

Creating a sketch of any model or object can be quite time consuming. But you can bypass all the hassle by using photograph! Let a Photoshop Action to do the work for you. Browse the amazing selection of Sketch Photoshop Actions on GraphicRiver to transform your photos in a few short clicks.

In this quick video below, learn how to use this Dirty Sketch Action for a cool traditional art effect.

How to Create a Dirty Sketch Effect in Photoshop

Open your photo into Photoshop. Here I'll be using this Model Portrait from Pixabay.

Model Portrait From Pixabay
Model Portrait

Then go to Window > Actions and load your new action from the drop-down menu within the Actions palette. When you're finished, select the action you would like to use before pressing Play. I'll be using the "out of tune" action from the list.

Load the Dirty Sketch Photoshop Action

The first stage of the final result looks a bit muddy. To adjust it, lower the Fill of the background copies to 6, 8, and 22%.

Adjust the Layer Fill

You can keep the Layer Blend Mode for the Gradient Map at Normal, or change it to Overlay to color the photo. Alternatively, you can deep the original effect by using Adjustment Layers like Brightness & Contrast.

Gradient Map Set to Overlay

Here is the final result below with both Normal and Overlay Blend Modes.

Dirty Sketch Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Want to see this in action? Check out the video above to see this lesson at work!

A Bit More Detail

Learn more tips and tricks to improve your photo retouching skills from our experts. Check out the following tutorials below:

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd like to see explained in 60 seconds!

All credit is given to author Envato Tuts+ Photo & VideoMelody Nieves

This deal on B&H offers the Blackmagic Design URSA 4K PL (AKA the big one) for just $500… well, at least in theory, as there is one little detail. You also just need to shell out a few thousand bucks for the brand new Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro.

Blackmagic Ursa 4K

Criticised by many due to its large size and weight, the original Blackmagic URSA 4K was quickly dethroned by its little sibling – the Mini – a couple of years ago.

Now that the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro has stolen the show, it may leave many wondering why anyone would want the big ol’ original URSA in the first place. Well, a $500 price tag could be reason enough for many, with this deal offered by B&H. (Thanks to our reader Martijn Schroevers for the heads-up on this incredible deal!)

For essentially the price of an entry-level DSLR, you are still getting a host of great features, such as 4K Super35 sensor, 12 claimed stops of Dynamic Range, ProRes and Raw recording, XLRs, SDIs and screens… oh, so many screens.

Of course, this comes with the not-so-insignificant caveat that it is only available alongside the fresh-out-of-the-oven Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro. I don’t think we would be too far off the mark if we guessed this “cinema camera kit for 2-camera coverage” from B&H is an attempt to quickly flip their current stock of big URSAs ahead of the official release date of the Mini Pro.

I think it’s safe to say that Blackmagic Design is going to be selling a lot of Mini Pros, so if you’re thinking of jumping on that bandwagon, you may want to consider paying a few more hundred dollars and going for this deal. Even if you don’t need it, the second hand value alone may be worth the extra effort.

The B&H image for their 2-camera kit. Uhm… Image not to scale.

Thinking of becoming the proud owner of a brand-old big URSA alongside an URSA Mini Pro? Let us know in the comments!

Special Thanks to Martijn Schroevers for pointing this deal out to us.

The post DEAL ALERT: Blackmagic URSA 4K for just $500 when you buy the URSA Mini Pro appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

Atomos has just unveiled their latest addition to their line-up of field recorders. The new Atomos Ninja Inferno features HDR ProRes recording of 10-bit 4:2:2 video in 4K60p and 120p in HD, and is being released to match the availability of its ideal companion, the Panasonic GH5.


Atomos Ninja Inferno

This newest member in their line of HDMI field monitors and recorders, the Atomos Ninja Inferno features a 7” 1920×1200 10-bit HDR touch screen LCD with 1500nits of brightness, making it perfect for viewing it under direct day light without the need of a sun hood.

The body is constructed from ABS Polycarbonate, featuring built-in armour protection for added ruggedness. It also has a double NP battery bay as seen in other Atomos recorders, allowing for hot swapping without losing power. The unit also includes a travel case, a caddy for a Solid States Drive and an AC adapter.

In terms of recording capabilities, the Atomos Ninja Inferno offers recordings in the edit-friendly Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR codecs in up to 4K60p (120p in HD) 4:2:2 10-bit. This would make it an ideal option to match the potential of the Panasonic GH5, whose release is matched by this new Atomos product. 

Atomos also provides tools and aids in the form of Luma waveform, vector scope, and 1:1 and 2:1 (4K) focus zoom assist. The Atomos Ninja Inferno also features LUT support, and lays claim to being ”the world’s first HDMI monitor-recorder to accept 4K DCI signals”.

Additionally, the new Ninja Inferno offers an XLR input and 48V phantom power for added audio flexibility, as well as a headphone jack to monitor audio. This would also make it an ideal candidate to solve the audio monitoring shortcomings of the Sony a6300/Sony a6500.

The Atomos Ninja Inferno is already available for pre-order from the links below, with an expected shipping date of March 31st.

Will you be pairing your new Panasonic GH5 with the Atomos Ninja Inferno? Let us know in the comments below!

The post New Atomos Ninja Inferno Just Announced appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

Aputure has released several versions of their DEC Lens Adapters, but in case you're not familiar with what they are and how they work, i've put together this Product Overview video. This video specifically focuses on the brand new DEC Vari-ND Model (available in MFT and E-Mount), but is very similar to the other models - especially the LensRegain version which is a Focal Reducer (a.k.a Speed Booster) Lens adapter.


Who's it For?
The way the product DEC Lens Adapters are designed, I think primarily it should really appeal to camera operators that need the ability to adjust focus with a wireless remote. Obviously it's not at the level of a professional Wireless Follow Focus system, but it at least offers decent focus controls at a minimal cost in an incredibly compact form. Even cheap wireless follow focus systems can still run well over $1200 dollars and require additional rods to mount, and additional power to run the focus motors.

The wireless remote and clamp can be attached as a handle to your gimbal, on a Steadicam, end of a Jib, or even to just the Pan Handle of your Tripod. Additional features such as iris adjustment on your Canon EF (or compatible) lenses can be handy when you are transitioning a camera movement from indoors to outdoors, or to just change your DOF. But now with the new Vari-ND version (electronic variable ND Filter) you have another dimension in which you can control your exposure and all through a wireless remote.

About the Vari-ND Filter
Traditional Variable ND Filters placed on the front lenses use two rotating pieces of glass that cancel out light as you rotate. While this is simple and effective, there are some drawbacks to how much variation you can have, how much color shift happens, and most importantly how much softness occurs because of how the two additional pieces of glass affect the incoming light (image).

The ND Filter inside of the DEC Vari-ND Lens Adapter is NOT using two pieces of polarizing glass. and is instead using a single sheet of glass (with liquid crystals) and uses electricity to adjust and vary the amount of ND. This is similar to the technology found in the new Sony FS5 camera. Aputure also claims that there are no color shifts happening during the process of varying the amount of ND applied.

At the minimum ND8 you're looking at about 3 Stops of ND Applied. The darkest ND applied on the Vari-ND is about 11 stops. ND8 (3 Stops) is pretty dark and something you won't be using indoors. Outdoors, you'll find the the Vari-ND useful especially when shooting at F/2.8 or wider. You'll notice in my video test there are steps between what i'm actually calling out (stops between ND8 and ND16, etc). Aputure claims they may be able to add a firmware update that allows smooth ND transitions instead of the stepping it has now (similar to how the Sony FS5 operates).

Summary
The line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters are certainly very unique and offers features in a form factor and price that can't be found in any other tool. You can visit their website for additional information about the complete line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters (found here).

aputure dec vari-nd lens adapter lensregain
check latest pricing Aputure DEC - Lens Adapter + Vari-ND + Lens Regain

All credit is given to author CheesyCamCheesycam

Aputure has released several versions of their DEC Lens Adapters, but in case you're not familiar with what they are and how they work, i've put together this Product Overview video. This video specifically focuses on the brand new DEC Vari-ND Model (available in MFT and E-Mount), but is very similar to the other models - especially the LensRegain version which is a Focal Reducer (a.k.a Speed Booster) Lens adapter.


Who's it For?
The way the product DEC Lens Adapters are designed, I think primarily it should really appeal to camera operators that need the ability to adjust focus with a wireless remote. Obviously it's not at the level of a professional Wireless Follow Focus system, but it at least offers decent focus controls at a minimal cost in an incredibly compact form. Even cheap wireless follow focus systems can still run well over $1200 dollars and require additional rods to mount, and additional power to run the focus motors.

The wireless remote and clamp can be attached as a handle to your gimbal, on a Steadicam, end of a Jib, or even to just the Pan Handle of your Tripod. Additional features such as iris adjustment on your Canon EF (or compatible) lenses can be handy when you are transitioning a camera movement from indoors to outdoors, or to just change your DOF. But now with the new Vari-ND version (electronic variable ND Filter) you have another dimension in which you can control your exposure and all through a wireless remote.

About the Vari-ND Filter
Traditional Variable ND Filters placed on the front lenses use two rotating pieces of glass that cancel out light as you rotate. While this is simple and effective, there are some drawbacks to how much variation you can have, how much color shift happens, and most importantly how much softness occurs because of how the two additional pieces of glass affect the incoming light (image).

The ND Filter inside of the DEC Vari-ND Lens Adapter is NOT using two pieces of polarizing glass. and is instead using a single sheet of glass (with liquid crystals) and uses electricity to adjust and vary the amount of ND. This is similar to the technology found in the new Sony FS5 camera. Aputure also claims that there are no color shifts happening during the process of varying the amount of ND applied.

At the minimum ND8 you're looking at about 3 Stops of ND Applied. The darkest ND applied on the Vari-ND is about 11 stops. ND8 (3 Stops) is pretty dark and something you won't be using indoors. Outdoors, you'll find the the Vari-ND useful especially when shooting at F/2.8 or wider. You'll notice in my video test there are steps between what i'm actually calling out (stops between ND8 and ND16, etc). Aputure claims they may be able to add a firmware update that allows smooth ND transitions instead of the stepping it has now (similar to how the Sony FS5 operates).

Summary
The line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters are certainly very unique and offers features in a form factor and price that can't be found in any other tool. You can visit their website for additional information about the complete line of Aputure DEC Lens Adapters (found here).

aputure dec vari-nd lens adapter lensregain
check latest pricing Aputure DEC - Lens Adapter + Vari-ND + Lens Regain

All credit is given to author CheesyCamCheesycam