Tilta Camera Cage – Advanced Kit

Tilta Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K/6K Advanced Kit

One of the first things I bought with my Pocket 4K was this camera cage from Tilta. I will admit, it looked cool and seemed to do everything I wanted from a camera cage. It is completely customizable and I love the fact it has a modular design. One of my favorite things about this cage is the handle; makes it so much easier to hold the camera. Another thing I love is their mounting solution for the SSD.

One caveat is, the cage doesn’t quite fit snuggly on the camera. There are a few areas where there were small gaps between the cage and the camera causing the cage to slide a little. It is not a big concern as the locking mechanism is pretty tight, just wished that the cage was a tighter fit given how expensive this cage is.

Still, I haven’t seen a better and more sexier cage for the Pocket 4k than the one from Tilta.

Packing List

  1. Full Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K
  2. SSD Drive Holder for Samsung T5
  3. Quick Release Top Handle
  4. Rubber Side Handle
  5. 90-Degree USB-C Cable (20cm)
  6. 15mm LWS Baseplate
  7. (2) 15x200mm Rods – Black
  8. Partial Sunhood for BMPCC 4K

95Wh V-Mount Battery & D-Tap Charger Bundle

The main issue with the pocket 4k is power. It lasts only for 22 minutes.

Cinema cameras are meant to be modular, and the Pocket 4K is no exception. People who shoot cinema need a rig that needs to work in different situations. They need a rig that has to be highly customizable. Therefore, all the cinema cameras you see from Sony, Canon, Red, Arri are modular.

The Pocket 4k has an unfortunate problem of looking too much like a standard DSLR camera which makes it a target for its perceived shortcomings. The Pocket 4k’s battery wasn’t meant to power the camera for shoots. It was meant to power the camera while you are swapping batteries.

And that is exactly why if you are getting a Pocket 4K, you need to find an alternative way to power the camera. I went with a V-Mount Battery solution.

I bought the Comer 95Wh V-Mount Battery & D-Tap Charger Bundle. A Single V-Mount battery can power the Pocket 4K for about 8 hours. Problem solved. Well not quite. Now that I have an expensive battery, the next thing I had to get was a way to mount it.

This is the part where everyone is going to have to find a solution that works for them. Out of the box, you cannot mount the V-Mount Battery to the Pocket 4K. I had to accessorize my camera with cage and V-Mount Battery Plates.

Price – $290.39 + 35.21 Import Tax (May 30, 2019)

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario II 12-35MM

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm F2.8

Olympus 12-40 F2.8

An outtake of our digital gore project I shot for my Class 27.
Shot on my Pocket 4k and using the Pansonic Lumix 12-35mm F.2 lens.

Researching on what lens to buy can be daunting. Especially when you have never used a micro four-thirds system before. The main problem is compatibility. Micro four-thirds lenses are cheaper but those same lenses won’t mount anywhere else.

If you own Canon, Nikon, or Sigma lens, there are adaptors and speed boosters out there that will adapt those lenses to your micro four-thirds cameras. But not the other way around, as the small form factor has its optical limitations.

Since this is my first foray into cinema-style filmmaking, I just wanted a simple no-fuss lens to shoot videos. After reading blogs, and watching a bunch of YouTube reviews, I went with the Panasonic LUMIX G X Vario II Professional Lens, 12-35mm. Which is in fact 24-70mm because of the pocket’s crop factor.

It is a pretty good focal range. I did however have two situations recently I wished I had a wider lens like 18mm and a telephoto lens like a 65mm or 85mm.

I have 20 lenses on my shortlist and have been quietly saving my money to get some of these. I am always going back and forth with the lenses I want to get. I do like parfocal zoom lenses the most since they allow you to change focal lengths on the fly. The ones I really want are from Fujinon and a set of those will set you back at least $13000 here in Canada.

Overall, the Panasonic LUMIX 12-35mm is a good all-round starter lens. There is a drawback though. It could be a major one for some of you out there. For me, it’s not a big deal as I don’t like rack focus shots in general. When you are pulling focus on this lens, you cannot get to the same distance if you pull at different speeds. For example, if you go from infinity to 3ft, slowly, and then try to go from infinity to 3ft quickly, you won’t get the same focus distance.

If you have a pocket 4k and just need a lens, you can’t go wrong with this lens, and you might want to check out the Olympus 12-40 F2.8 as an alternative.

Price – $1048.85 ( May 21, 2019 )

Manfrotto Nitrotech N8

One thing that causes anxiety when you first start using a tripod setup is the tripod head. You put your $10,000 camera setup on it, start shooting and then you realize that you have to go get something from your bag. Just as you walk away, your camera because of all its weight and lopsided assembly tips forward. You see it happening in slow motion, and you rush towards it. Sometimes you get there quick enough to catch it before it falls. Other times you hear that dreadful sound of your lens hitting the side of your tripod, causing you to have a mini heart attack.

And that is why I got this, Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Fluid Video Head. It uses nitrogen pistons to counterbalance the weight of your camera. If setup up correctly, your camera will stay in the position you left it.

I trust this feature so much that I often leave my entire camera on this tripod head overnight and over weekends at Lost Boys. And when I come into the studio, the next day or at the start of the week, it is exactly in the position I left it.

Having the ability to use a VCT Plate on the Manfrotto N8 definitely added to the versatility of my setup. My camera setup allows me to go from tripod to shoulder mount to a handheld.

Did I mention it is super smooth and sturdy? Well, it is. One of the most overlooked features on a video head is resistance. The push back you get when you pan and tilt. It doesn’t fight you but provide enough resistance to get a natural-looking camera move. On cheaper video head, this is often mistaken for tightening. The other feature I love is how big the mechanism is for tightening and loosening all the controls. These control knobs are huge and are easy to grab and use.

I own exactly one video head and I don’t see myself needing another one. It does everything it was designed to do it.

Price – $559.99

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

The footage you see above is from our digital gore project. I was on B-Camera when I shot this plate for our students to use in a future digital make-up project. Shot on my pocket 4k. This isn’t the final grade but the temp grade I made for preview purposes.

The heart of any camera rig is well the camera.

I chose the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. It is a mouthful, so from here on out I will call it the pocket 4k.

After spending almost 1 year researching which camera to buy, I decided I would get the Sony FS7. The deciding factor came when I watched the gold standard of camera Reviews. Philip Bloom made what I considered the best damn camera review I had ever seen on YouTube and the footage by the gods, it was beautiful.

And then out of nowhere, the pocket 4k showed up. After looking at what it can do and finally seeing the price, it blew me away. An $1800 camera that can shoot 12 Bit Colour!

To me, the most important thing was having that color depth. As long as you have that data, you can do some amazing things with the footage so long as you expose it to the right. Even if I didn’t, I can sure as hell fix it in post. You know because that is what I do.

Yes, the battery life sucks, no NDs, no image body stabilization, storage media sucks, magenta shift, audio is not great, no articulating screen, no EVF, the list can go on.

But in the coming weeks, I will show you how I solved the issues I had with the pocket 4k without breaking the bank.

Remember the goal here is not to buy the best camera gear (the Sony FS7 cost around $9,500) but instead I was looking for the best bang for your buck kind of gear and when it comes to that, no one is going to beat Blackmagic.

Price – $1836.45 (06 April 2019)
When I bought this camera, it was sold out and back-ordered throughout Canada. In fact, I got my hands on my camera 2 months after I had made my purchase.

Manfrotto 755XB

I bought mine in-store at Broadway Camera

Buy from Manfrotto

Buy from Amazon

In this series of posts, I am going to share with you how I set up my camera rig and the reasons behind my purchases. Let’s start with the Tripod.

12 Bit cinema footage for $12,000, that was my goal. I wanted a new camera rig to shoot more VFX plates for my students and also to help shoot from a different angle whenever Mark shoots plates for students.

After some extensive research, I set a budget of $12,000 for my camera rig. I wasn’t looking for the best in class equipment or gear; I was looking for well-reviewed, universally praised, fairly priced gear that suited my needs.

In this series of posts, I am going to share with you how I set up my camera rig and the reasons behind my purchases.

Let’s start with the Tripod. An essential piece of gear for any photographer and videographer.

Like everyone who starts out in photography, I purchased a cheap tripod because why pay any money at all for what essentially is a glorified stand. That is where I quickly learned my first lesson in photography. If the equipment you are using is frustrating to use, you will be frustrated during your shoot. There were nights I would hike up to take some shots on a hill near my home in Singapore, only to find myself wanting to break the tripod in half and toss it over the hill. It was terrible to use; I constantly had my skin caught in the clamps of the tripod and it was awkward to move out of the way. I realized then, that cheap is almost always not good.

There are camera companies, and there are companies that copy camera companies. As I got older, I decided not to waste my time and money on products made by companies that are out to make a quick buck. I started to trust named brands that professionals use.

That brings us to the Manfrotto 755XB. I didn’t buy this tripod for this camera rig. In fact, I bought this tripod in 2013 when I was learning how to take 360° HDRIs. After 7 years of use and abuse, I am still surprised that all the clamps are as tight as the day I bought this tripod. If ever this tripod breaks, I will buy the same one again! Or buy the newer iteration of this model.

Price $449.95

Here are some of the things I like about this tripod
1. Lightweight (2.38 kg)
2. Made of Aluminium
3. Legs Flip Lock
4. Max Height is 1.65 cm
5. Leg Angles 23°, 45°, 65°, 88°
6. Centre column with a built-in levelling ball and bubble spirit level


About Me