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New Follow Focus Prototype for Panasonic S1H and other Mirrorless by MOVCAM

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    New Follow Focus Prototype for Panasonic S1H and other Mirrorless by MOVCAM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo68XXpZbxE&t=9s

    This is an early prototype for a new type of wireless follow focus specially designed for mirrorless cinematography from MOVCAM.
    If you are a mirrorless shooter, this may be exactly what you have been looking for - the key to unlock the full potential of mirrorless cameras.

    I published an article on DPReview.com to propose this idea back in 2019.
    (Link to article: https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/320...n-manual-focus)
    The article points out that the biggest barrier for mirrorless cameras to be used in professional settings is the lack of a good follow focus solution. We need a compact follow focus that is good enough for real-world working professionals.
    This prototype represents the incredible work MOVCAM has done to turn this idea into reality.

    Now we have a fully working prototype, we would like to hear your thoughts. How do you see this product may fit into your shooting style? What kind of features would you like to see in the final product? How much are you willing to pay for a setup like this?


    Here are some feature highlights (and of course everything is subject to change):
    • Direct control of INTERNAL AF motor of native mirrorless lenses via USB-C (currently supports L-mount lenses)
    • Distance-accurate focus pulling with native lenses. No external motor is required.
    • Can display accurate distance scale on the hand-unit’s LCD screen with native lenses. (Imperial or metric)
    • Faster response and lack of mechanical vibration during quick focus racks in comparison to conventional cinema lenses + external motors.
    • Can add one external lens motor to: a) pull focus on manual/cinema lenses; b) control zoom on native lenses.
    • Other camera settings supported via USB-C: 1) shutter speed, 2) ISO, 3) white balance, 4) start/stop
    • Hand unit accepts a Sony F550 battery
    • Camera-mounted receiver is hot-shoe compatible. Accepts Sony L-series battery (eg. F550) or wide-voltage AC input.
    • Currently supports Panasonic S1H, with more camera models to come.

    We would love to hear your thoughts!

    Jack


    prototype01.jpg
    prototype02.jpg

    prototype03.jpg

    prototype04.jpg



    #2
    Fascinating!

    I haven’t worked with Panasonic mirrorless cameras before. But this level of precise manual control with electronic lenses, with the capacity to flick instantly back to autofocus operation when needed - strikes me as the future of these smaller cameras.

    Do you have plans to develop this for Sony mirrorless cameras as well? I’d buy one in a heartbeat (for use with the FX3 on a gimbal).

    As someone who predominantly works in conventional production (with a camera team and focus puller), it’s the lack of precise manual control when using mirrorless cameras, that is their greatest limitation - autofocus is only useful when it works, and it doesn’t work for all things.

    At the same, the incredible developments in AF technology in the last 18 months, have greatly expanded the possibilities of these little cameras - but it’s the ability to move seamlessly (and painlessly) from precise manual control to autofocus is the missing link.

    That will make a dolly push-in painless (using AF), while making precise manual control through complicated blocking, possible with the same camera and lens.
    Last edited by Grug; 02-14-2022, 01:05 PM.
    DREAMSMITHS | SHOWREEL | INSTAGRAM
    www.dreamsmiths.com.au

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      #3
      Agree with Grug. My use would be similar - but a bit different. If I could use all my Sony still lenses on something like the A1 or my A7sIII in both AF and then with MF without having to attach motor & lens rings, etc. - that would certainly be something I'd check out - if price wasn't astronomical...

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        #4
        I currently have most of the same controls when using several Panny cameras with a Moza Air 2 gimbal via USB. Aperture,shutter, ISO, WB, and record trigger all from the rear d-pad and ramped focus control on any native lens on the side wheel. It works amazing and the variable speed of the focus wheel actually make the focus by wire lenses more useable than before. It also powers my monitor! Definitely missing the distance markings which could really come in handy in certain situations. And wireless control is a very useful feature. Would be nice if it didn't need the external battery on the camera unit and was under $500.

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          #5
          Awesome. With Panasonic native glass allowing you to select linear focus in degrees, this seems like it could interface well. The GH6 supports this and Panasonic updated a ton of old m43 lens with this feature as well.

          My request would be to make this compatible with GH6 camera and lenses as well. I’d like to see various grip and button options for a variety of uses - gimbal mounting or handheld rig mounting, ability to use with a rocker switch, etc.

          id also like the grip compatible with standard electronic wireless follow focus for manual lenses. If I want to switch to a manual lens I would not want to have to Unrig all my control grips for a different unit.

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            #6
            Regarding the radio in use--is it FCC compliant and clean spectrum i.e. doesn't "dirty up" adjacent channels? I tested another well-known company's early attempts at a FIZ some years ago and it interfered with other legacy gear that "plays nice" on the spectrum. Also what kind of usable range are you seeing?
            Charles Papert
            charlespapert.com

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