Review

Aputure COB300DII: Refined, Powerful, Versatile Video Light

Aputure updated their COB 300D LED single point light in some substantial ways with the COB 300D II. This new light puts out even more than the first generation COB 300D, adds a new more refined control box, removes the separate AC adapter, and adds an extremely convenient light stand quick release system. The color quality is very good for a daylight balanced LED light and the Bowens mount makes this light especially versatile. With various modifiers you can make hard or soft light with Aputure’s Light Dome, Light Dome Mini, Fresnel 2X, Barn Doors, Lantern, and soon to arrive Spotlight. Let’s take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Gear used and mentioned in this episode:

Aputure COB 300D II with V-Mount Battery Plates - B&H

Aputure COB 300D II with V-Mount Battery Plates - Amazon

Aputure COB 300D II with Anton Bauer Gold Mount Battery Plates - B&H

Aputure COB 120D II - Amazon

Aputure Light Dome II - Amazon

Aputure Light Dome II - B&H

Aputure Light Dome Mini II - Amazon

Aputure Light Dome Mini II - B&H:

Aputure Lantern - B&H

Aputure Barn Doors - B&H

Aputure Fresnel 2X - B&H

Aputure Fresnel 2X - Amazon

Aputure Spotlight - B&H

Sound Devices Scorpio - B&H

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone - B&H

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - B&H

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - Amazon

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Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com, B&H Photo, or other affiliate links.

Mikme Pocket - Wireless Lavalier Microphone, Recorder, USB Mic

Mikme launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new Bluetooth wireless lavalier microphone/recorder/USB mic they call the Mikme Pocket. We got our hands on a prototype of the Pocket and run through the features in this episode, complete with unprocessed audio samples.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Mikme Pocket (Kickstarter campaign, should start shipping in December 2019)

Falconeyes 120TDX - (Amazon) 4’ x 4’ LED roll-flex panel light used as a key light and for the table-top product shots

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 60 - Used for the background light

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - (Amazon) used on the Pocket 4K for the product shots

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - used to shoot the product shots

Nikon Z6 & 24-70 f/4 Lens- (Amazon) used to shoot the talking head shots

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Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

RODE WIRELESS GO Review: Simple Wireless Microphone System

RODE’s new WIRELESS GO is a wireless microphone system designed to be simple and quick to use but also has the ability to add external lavalier microphones for cases where you want an even more discreet look. This system is well suited for vloggers, YouTubers, and for cases where you want to do quick pick-up interviews without a lot of fuss getting set up. Let’s take a closer look and listen to see how it performs.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Adobe Audition and DaVinci Resolve/Fairlight, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

RODE WIRELESS GO - Super simple to use wireless microphone system

RODELink Filmmaker Kit - More versatile wireless microphone system with longer range and more options for add-on transmitters. Can also control the input and output levels on the transmitter and receiver.

Lupo Superpanel Dual Color 60 - key light for all of the shots in this video

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 60 - RGBW light used to light the background

Panasonic GH5 (Amazon)

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens (Amazon)

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - used to shoot the talking head and most of the product shots

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

Aputure AL-MW LED Light & Fresnel 2x

In this episode, we take a look at two new lighting products from Aputure: The AL-MW and the Fresnel 2x. The AL-MW is a tiny LED video light with a daylight color balance and is waterproof to 10 meters or 30 feet. Its in-built battery will power the light for 85 minutes at high power. The color quality is very good with a CRI of almost 98 and the light puts out enough light to use even as a key light.

The Fresnel 2x is a new add-on focusing lens for lights with a Bowens mount like the Aputure COB series of lights along with lights from several other manufacturers. The lens focuses the light beam between 12 and 40 degrees so you can add a good bit of drama, texture, and dimension to your lighting design.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio in Fairlight and Audition, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

Aputure AL-MW (Amazon) tiny, waterproof LED Light

Aputure Fresnel 2x (Amazon) - Lens to focus your light into carefully defined beams.

Aputure COB 120DII LED Light - this is my main workhorse light for 90% of my video work.

Aputure COB 300D LED Light - a BIG light for BIG jobs

Aputure Barn Doors - You can use this on its own, or with the Fresnel 2x to cut the light for even more dramatic lighting designs. I use this a LOT for lighting backgrounds.

Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Wireless Lavalier Set - used this to record all of the audio for this episode. Review coming soon.

1/4-20 to Light Stand Adapter - the adapter I use to attach the AL-MW to a light stand

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record most of this episode

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens - Used on the Pocket 4K camera

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

RODECaster Pro Review

In this episode, we take an in-depth look at the new RODECaster Pro recorder, mixer, and audio interface designed specifically for podcasting and recording panel discussions. I have to confess that I was originally not that enthused about the RODECaster Pro, but now that I’ve use it a for a couple of weeks, WOW! I’m surprised by the quality of sound that it produces and find the effects more effective than I expected. It is much easier to use than most mixers for those that aren’t audio engineers making this a great choice for those less interested in spending lots of time learning how to get better sound for their podcasts. And even for audio nerds like me...well, I'm buying this which was originally just on loan for the review!

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses including processing dialogue audio, recording sound, how to use the Zoom F8 and F8n, and how to get the most from the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders.

Links to gear used in this video:

RODECaster Pro

Sony MDR-7506 - My go-to headphones for when I’m recording

Audio Technica AT2005 Dynamic Microphone - I recorded this episode with this microphone. Amazing mic for its price!

Electrovoice RE20 - Classic broadcast dynamic microphone. Dani was recorded with this in our demo

Shure SM7b - another classic broadcast dynamic microphone. Almost everyone sounds awesome with this microphone

Electrovoice RE50L - A common reporter’s microphone. Emma was recorded with this in our demo

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - I used this to record most of this episode

Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 OIS Lens - Used on the Pocket 4K camera

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

MAONO AU-XLR20 Lavalier: Inexpensive XLR Lavalier Microphone

Are there any decent, low-self-noise, XLR based lavalier microphones you recommend? This question has come up quite often over the last several years. So in this episode, we have a look at and listen to the MAONO AU-XLR20, a very affordable XLR lavalier microphone which can be powered by the microphone input, or provide its own power.

You can access a sample wav file directly from the MAONO AU-XLR20 and Zoom F8n here.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at our school including one that focuses on processing dialogue audio!

Links to some of the gear used in this episode:

MAONO AU-XLR20 Lavalier Microphone

Zoom H4n Pro Audio Recorder

Zoom F8n - The audio for this episode was recorded with the F8n

Lupo Superpanel Full Color 30 RGBW LED Light - used for that crazy purple background. Review coming soon!

Panasonic GH5s Camera - my favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - this is the the lens I use more than any other on the GH5s

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd, used with permission

Deity S-Mic 2 Shotgun Microphone: Initial Impressions

At NAB 2018, Deity Microphones announced their S-Mic 2, an affordable shotgun microphone targeted at independent filmmakers with some important improvements over the original Aputure Deity Shotgun Microphone. Deity refined the voicing on the S-Mic 2 for a fuller, more balanced sound. They also coated the circuit board to reduce the microphone’s self noise. Let’s take a closer look and a listen, and even compare it to the RODE NTG-4+, a similarly priced shotgun microphone, as well as a pro-level shotgun mic, the DPA 4017b.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Deity S-Mic 2 Shotgun Microphone - Coming Soon, ships July 2018

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Aputure COB 120d - This is the light I used as a key in the talking head clips

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - Used to soften the key light

Panasonic GH5 - My favorite small camera for video

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - Elegance in Entropy - Copyright 2017 by The Vacationist, used with permission

5.7" Flippable HDMI Monitor: AndyCine A6 Review

When shooting video, I find it much easier to compose great shots, hit focus, and correctly expose when I have a monitor a little larger than most cameras with some tools to help. The AndyCine 5.7” monitor is a budget monitor with a unique cold/hotshoe mount which allows you to flip it to the front of the camera when shooting selfie/vlog style. What’s more, is that it can also power several Panasonic and Sony mirrorless cameras with an add-on dummy battery so you can use larger capacity Sony NP-F style batteries for longer battery life.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

AndyCine A6 5.7” Flippable HDMI Monitor

Amazon US Amazon UK  Amazon DE Amazon FR  Amazon IT Amazon ES  Amazon CA

AndyCine Dummy Battery for Panasonic GH Series Cameras

AndyCine Dummy Battery for Sony a6xxx Series Cameras

AndyCine Dummy Battery for Sony a7III, a7RIII, and A9 Series Cameras

AndyCine Dummy Battery for Canon DSLR 5D, 6D, 7D, and 80D Series Cameras

Sony NP-F Style Batteries to power the A6 and your camera

NP-F Battery Charger

Sennheiser MKH8050 Boom Microphone - this is the microphone I used

Aputure COB 120t - This is the light I used as a key in the talking head clips

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - Used to soften the key light

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - Used for the “rim/hair” light

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for some of the product shots

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Zoom F8n Audio Recorder: Initial Impressions

At the National Association of Broadcasters meeting earlier this year, Zoom announced their update to the F8 audio field recorder - the F8n. The focus of this update was to address many of the things that users complained about on the original - hybrid limiters that were ok, but not perfect, line inputs only on 1/4”, mediocre headphone amp, and consumer line level output among others. I had a chance to work with the F8n for a few hours. Let’s see how they did addressing these items. From my point of view, it looks like the F8n is a very nice step up from the original F8.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Zoom F8n Audio Field Recorder

Zoom F4 Audio Field Recorder (similar but with 4 microphone inputs, monochrome screen, no app control)

Zoom F-Control surface with linear faders - my favorite way to mix when working from a table or cart.

Juicebox V-Mount Cine Battery - good way to power the F8n, F4, F8 all day long

D-tap to 4 pin Hirose Cable - to feed power from cine battery to F8n, F8, F4

Remote Audio BDS V4 Battery Distribution System

Remote Audio Hi-Q Battery (98 watt-hours) - this is a battery that is better suited for use in a sound bag, smaller than most cine batteries but still lots of capacity

Sennheiser MKH8050 Boom Microphone - this is the microphone I used

Schoeps CMC641 - this is the microphone my daughter used

Aputure COB 120t - This is the light I used as a key in the talking head clips

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - Used to soften the key light

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - Used for the “rim/hair” light

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head clips and some of the product shots

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots, the crispier shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Zoom H1n Review for Filmmakers - Impressive Sound Effects Recorder

After nearly a decade, Zoom has released an update to their very popular H1 stereo audio recorder. The “H” in H1n stands for handy, and I agree, that’s a very apt name for this little field recorder. In this episode, we review it from a filmmaking perspective. I find it to be a great device for recording stereo sound effects and as a general purpose learning tool for those new to recording sound.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at https://school.learnlightandsound.com

This episode shot with the following gear:

Zoom H1n Handy Stereo Recorder - One of my favorite tools for when I need to quickly and easily record stereo sound effects

Zoom H1n Accessory Pack - this includes the foam wind cover I find critical for recording outdoors with your H1n

Zoom Hairy Wind Cover - also critical when recording outdoors

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - Used for the talking head clips

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount) - This lens stays on the Ursa Mini Pro 99% of the time. Versatile and not overly sharp, which is what I wanted.

Panasonic GH5 - Used for the product shots on the white background. Small, versatile camera.

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission