Hollyland Mars 300 HDMI Video Transmitter System

Hollyland is a relatively new company making wireless video transmitter systems. The first question you might ask is, why would I need something like that? When you start working on productions with a budget and several crew members, directors often find it useful to have a wireless monitor. This allows them a bit more freedom to move up and work more intimately with the actors without giving up their view of the camera’s framing. The problem with these wireless systems is that they’re traditionally quite expensive, well over $1000 USD just for an entry level kit.

In this episode, we look at the Hollyland Mars 300 HDMI wireless video transmitter kit which transmits up to 300’ and runs less than $500 USD.

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:

Hollyland Mars 300 HDMI Wireless Transmitter System

Portkeys HS7T HDMI/3G SDI Monitor (Amazon)

Aputure COB 120DII - used as one of the background lights

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 2019 by Cary Judd. Used with permission.

PortKeys HS7T Monitor: 1200 Nit HDMI & SDI 4K On-Camera 7" Monitor

In this episode, we review the PortKeys HS7T on-camera 7” monitor. What makes this monitor unique is that it can produce brightness levels of up to 1200 nits, has HDMI and SDI inputs, can take 4K DCI signals up to 60p via HDMI, and has good power options.

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:

PortKeys HS7T on-camera 7” HDMI/SDI Monitor (Amazon)

Also an HH7 (Amazon) version without the SDI input and support for up to 30p at a lower price.

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

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

Aputure COB 120dII (Amazon) - key light

Aputure Light Dome II (Amazon) - soft box for key light

Aputure COB120t (Amazon)- background light

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Music Copyright 2018 by Cary Judd. 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

Sound for Video Session: Sync, Timecode, Noise, Preamps, Monitors and More!

In this week's question and answer session, we tackle the following topics:

00:04 Audio Sync
02:15 Timecode, Breakaway Cables
05:16 Noise Reduction, External Preamps
08:06 Mixing Monitors
12:19 Sound Blankets vs Moving Blankets vs Quilts
15:17 Sennheiser MKE 600, Shock mounts, Wind Protection, Audio Interfaces
23:22 Monitor Placement
25:42 Compression Ratio, Sound Floor

Gear and links to previous sessions discussed in this session:

Remote Audio Breakaway Cable

Avantone Pro Mix Cube Powered Monitor (set)

KRK Rokit 5 G3 Powered Monitor (one)

Sennheiser MKE600 Shotgun Microphone

Rycote InVision Lyre Shock Mount:

Sennheiser MZS 600 Shock Mount for MKE600:

Rycote Hot Shoe Adapter - Mount your shock mount on your camera's shoe

Rycote Softie Furry Windscreen (good for light wind)

RODE Blimp Wind Cover (good for stronger wind)

Rycote Cyclone (the best wind protector I've used and own)

Electrovoice RE20 Broadcast Microphone - this is what I used to record this session

Producer's Choice Sound Blankets

Timecode demonstration:

Noise Cleanup:

Sound Design, Effects, Foley:

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Some Thoughts on Near-field Monitors/Speakers

In this week's Sound for Video Session I talk more about my search for the right near-field monitors for my post and mixing work. In that quest, I had a chance to listen to several more including those listed below. Still no final decision, but I’ve very tempted by the Focal Solo6 Be. My pocketbook is not quite so sure. :)

Links to gear we discussed or used to record this session:

KRK Rokit 8 G3 Near-field Active Monitors

Focal CMS 65 - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Focal Solo6 Be - Top-end professional near-fields from Focal. Beryllium tweeter

Presonus R65 AMT Near-field Monitors - pretty impressive “budget” option with ribbon tweeters

Adam A7x Near-field Monitors - Adam made the ribbon tweeter a bit more mainstream. Great sounding mid-range monitors

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to drive all of the monitors we tested)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Choosing Reference Monitors for Editing Sound for Video

To edit your sound for video and film projects, you’ll need some speakers to play back that sound. You could just use whatever speakers for headphones or earbuds you happen to have kicking around, but its really difficult to get a consistent sound with these.

So what do you do when you’re ready to take your sound to the next level? You may want to look at reference monitors. These are speakers which are specially designed to play back your recorded sound as accurately as possible. This will help you find and fix any problems with your sound.

In this episode, we have a look at 5 different reference monitors (below) and talk through which of them might suit you best, especially if like me, you’re editing in a small spare bedroom at your home.

If you want to measure your monitors and room, you can use the free Room EQ Wizard. Here's a tutorial on How to use Room EQ Wizard (Courtesy of GIK Acoustics)

Also, special thanks go out to B&H Photo/Video for lending us the monitors for evaluation.

Focal CMS 40 Monitor 4” woofer - this was my pick for sound editing in small rooms. Priced at $425 USD each.

Focal Alpha 80 Monitor 8” woofer - this was the most exciting monitor and would work great in larger rooms. Steer clear for smallish rooms (e.g., 6 meters by 6 meters or less)

KRK Rokit Powered 8 Monitor I’ve had a set of these for 6 years and they’ve served me well. They’re quite good in rooms with bass traps

JBL LSR308 8” woofers. They’re quite good in rooms with bass traps, but do have rear facing ports - best for larger rooms.

Yamaha HS8 Very popular monitors in the music production world. 8” woofers. They’re quite good in rooms with bass traps, but do have rear facing ports - best for larger rooms

Aputure VS-2 FineHD Monitor: See When You Shoot!

The tiny 3 inch screens on most cameras vary in quality but the fact remains that it is hard to compose, focus and expose your video in such a small space. My eyesight is 20/20 but with large sensor cameras, I am often surprised at how often I miss focus when I rely on my viewfinder or 3" screen. I'm also surprised and disappointed at how often I miss distracting elements in my composition simply because I couldn't see it in the EVF or screen.

That's a big part of the value of external monitors like the Aputure VS-2 FineHD. This is a 1920x1200 resolution HDMI monitor that is very reasonably priced and nicely appointed for its $299 price. The kit comes with everything you need to use it right out of the box including a friction arm, 2 HDMI cables, battery, charger, sun hood, and more.

For the last year, I’ve been using a 7 inch HDMI monitor/recorder (Atomos Shogun) which has helped me work more quickly and shoot with more confidence and fewer missed shots.

Aputure was kind enough to send us this unit before they start shipping generally.


Monitoring Audio: Headphones or Near-field Monitors?

KRK Rokit 8" G3 Near Field Monitor If you're looking to improve the sound for your film or video projects, you need a way to listen to your sound so that you know whether it's as good as you'd like. If you're like me, you're not doing your audio post-production work in an acoustically treated studio or control room. More likely you've got a home office or spare bedroom.

And you don't typically want awesome hi-fi speakers for this job because hi-fi speakers are meant to make everything sound as good as possible. They are usually designed to add a little more bass and a little more treble.

What you really need is a brutally honest sound that is as accurate as possible. And that's the job of near-field monitors and reference headphones.

So in cases like mine where you're working in a spare bedroom, do you go with near field monitors or do you go with a good set of headphones? Do you try to acoustically treat your room? Ideally, both.

That's a tough question that I haven't totally answered even for myself. I have a set of the KRK Rokit 8 near field monitors. But they're not exactly perfect, particularly since the room I'm working in is FAR from acoustically perfect. I recently bought a reference measurement mic and used FuzzMeasure to see how long various frequencies hang around in my room. It wasn't pretty at all. Like almost all small household bedrooms, the bass lingers forever. And you might think, "You must get amazing bass sound in that room." But no, it is actually quite the opposite. The bass is mushy and creates all sorts of comb filtering. So I'm not getting an accurate picture of my recordings at all. How frustrating!

So I've got a DIY project in motion to see if I can address that issue by trapping some of that extraneous bass. More on that in the future.

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro

I also have a set of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32 ohm headphones that I bought several years ago. These are closed-back headphones that sound very good, but they have a closed back design. This makes them very good for use when you're recording (so that sound doesn't spill out and back into the mic) but to get the most accurate sound, most reference headphones have an open-back design. Evidently you just can't get reference accurate sound in a closed back design.

AKG K712 Pro

So I'm now on the hunt for a decent pair of reference headphones. I've got my eyes on the AKG K712 Pro reference headphones. Anyone out there have experience with these? There are several other options in the same pricerange. Audio Technica has a new offering but their marketing materials say very little about accuracy. I realize that's very difficult or impossible to capture in specifications.


Deal: X-Rite i1Display Pro Colorimeter - Calibrate Your Computer Monitor

X-Rite i1Display Pro B&H has a special going on the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter which is what I use to calibrate my computer monitor. Now this is not to be confused with a legitimate color managed workflow that colorists use (at many thousands of dollars), but for those of us that are enthusiasts or one-person crews, calibrating your computer monitor will at least get you into the ballpark and ensure you produce reasonably consistent color on your video and photo projects. And now, you can pick this up for less than $200 US. It comes with X-Rite's Profiler software and calibrates your monitor quickly and easily. Here's a recent episode where we showed the process on my Mac. (also works with Windows):