LED lights are often the perfect solution for videographers.
Most are highly portable and they’re known for low power
consumption. They often run off batteries alone with an AC
adapter option for longer shoots. LEDs are dimmable and
bi-color models offer white balance flexibility with dial-in
temperatures, so it’s easy to move from outdoor daylight to
the warmer light of a wedding reception venue. Smaller LED
panels can be mounted right to the camera, while others are
better suited for off-camera support systems like light stands.
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Add-ons that complement your core
Whether you’re considering adding video to your client services or are well on your way to becoming fully immersed in the medium, adding the right accessories to
your video kit will help deliver a better end result and streamline your workflow. We
tackled the right cameras and lenses for your first foray into filmmaking in our March
issue—here’s a follow-up of what else you need to consider.
Part of future-proofing is ensuring
that you have the speed and capacity
needed to keep pace with technology as
camera manufacturers and filmmakers
move from full HD to 4K and beyond.
Memory card requirements
for video will vary by the kind of
compression you’re using, the
resolution of your file and the bit
rate—or amount of data—your camera
generates during filming. To make
things confusing, digital cameras
and video cameras usually list their
data rates in megabits per second
(Mbps) while memory cards list their
data rates in megabytes per second
(MBps). Since there are eight bits
in a byte, you’ll need to divide a
camera’s bit rate by eight to see if
your memory card can keep pace.
SD cards are broken out in speed
classes. U3 is the fastest speed class
with a minimum sustained write
speed of 30MBps (240Mbps)—a U3
card can be faster than
30MBps (and many are) but not slower.
A U3 card will be fast enough to tackle
most 4K video needs from mirrorless
cameras like Panasonic’s GH4, which has
a max bit rate of 200Mbps and Sony’s
a7S II, which records 4K at 100Mbps.
The next fastest SD card speed class,
U1, clocks in at a minimum sustained
speed of 10MBps (80Mbps) and is fast
enough to tackle full HD video from the
likes of Olympus’ E-M5 Mark II.
Don’t be confused by another SD
speed rating—UHS I and UHS II. Those
are measures of burst speed for still
photos and aren’t an appropriate
measure of card speed for video,
where sustained performance, not
bursts, matters most.
SD cards will be getting a new set
of speed classes soon to help support
even higher data rates. The fastest of
the new Video Speed Class (as they’re
being called) is V90, which will offer
a minimum speed of 90MBps. The
next highest, V60, will clock in with a
minimum sustained speed of 60MBps.
Both of these
will be ideal
for high bit
rate 4K and
a cinema camera like
Canon’s XC10 or the URSA Mini from
Blackmagic Design, you’ll move into
another class of memory: CFast 2.0.
CFast is significantly faster than SD,
but memory card makers are a lot less
upfront about sustained write speeds.
That said, we seen CFast 2.0 cards
with sustained speeds up to 260MBps.
Another new memory format, XQD
(which was developed as the next-generation CompactFlash card) is
also speedy. Lexar’s 64GB 2933x XQD
2.0 card, for example, has maximum
read/write speeds of 440/400 MBps.
Nikon’s new D5 is sold with either
XQD or SD card slots.