Thread: Micro as a A Cam

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  1. #1 Micro as a A Cam 
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    I’ve had the Micro for over six months. When I first fired it up I was really put off by the buttons. Setting menu options was a total PITA with my large fingers, and trying to adjust things like iris, WB and ISO while shooting was impossible. So I set it aside and didn’t touch it again for months. Now there are finally a variety of options to correct the button issue.

    In my case, I make documentaries, often handheld, so my goal is to have as few wires as possible, and keep those I need short.

    I bought Phil’s V2 controller several months ago (it comes with a nice, flexible, short cable) and an inexpensive SmallRig cage and grip extension. With the controller mounted on the extension I can easily start/stop, change ISO and WB while shooting. Iris was still a problem so I built a simple bracket with spring loaded button extensions that allow me to adjust iris without taking my eye from the EVF, a Z-Finder Pro.

    Since I’m not adept at soldering little wires, I also bought an IndieProTools Sony to LP-E6 adapter and mounted it on rails immediately behind the camera, the cable tucked under the battery plate. I can shoot almost all day with one B-4206 battery.

    At first I was cautious about audio, even with the JuicedLink pre-amp I had for my Pockets, so I recorded double system. Unfortunately my soundman has been in the hospital and I was forced to use the camera for audio . I tested several mics (I have an old Audio-Technica, a 416, a Rode NTG-1 and NTG-3) and discovered, much to my surprise, that the NTG1 (which is usually relegated to a shipping tube in the bottom of my audio bag) actually works best with this configuration. The resultant audio is quite good. I wouldn’t use it for narrative or music, but for docs it’s fine. In fact I’ve used it exclusively to shoot a current 10 minute doc and have had zero problems.

    I tried the Micro’s AGC, but it puts a bad hum on the track, so don’t use it unless as reference audio. And you won’t hear that hum while recording because -

    What? There’s no headphone jack? I realize this was intended as a flyer, but it has so much more potential, and this oversight pretty much relegates the Micro to shooting B-roll for most people. (the pre-amp has a jack, but that doesn’t tell me what’s happening with the connecting cable or the camera).

    BTW: I had been waiting for the new OLPF and shim from Mosaic, so I didn’t install the older one. Yesterday I took a chance and shot some campus footage at a college (where last year with the Pocket I had moire problems with clothing and roof tiles). This year, shooting the identical visuals with the Micro and no OLPF, the moire is nearly nonexistent. That’s great news!
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  2. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    I’ve had the Micro for over six months. When I first fired it up I was really put off by the buttons. Setting menu options was a total PITA with my large fingers, and trying to adjust things like iris, WB and ISO while shooting was impossible. So I set it aside and didn’t touch it again for months. Now there are finally a variety of options to correct the button issue.

    In my case, I make documentaries, often handheld, so my goal is to have as few wires as possible, and keep those I need short.

    I bought Phil’s V2 controller several months ago (it comes with a nice, flexible, short cable) and an inexpensive SmallRig cage and grip extension. With the controller mounted on the extension I can easily start/stop, change ISO and WB while shooting. Iris was still a problem so I built a simple bracket with spring loaded button extensions that allow me to adjust iris without taking my eye from the EVF, a Z-Finder Pro.

    Since I’m not adept at soldering little wires, I also bought an IndieProTools Sony to LP-E6 adapter and mounted it on rails immediately behind the camera, the cable tucked under the battery plate. I can shoot almost all day with one B-4206 battery.

    At first I was cautious about audio, even with the JuicedLink pre-amp I had for my Pockets, so I recorded double system. Unfortunately my soundman has been in the hospital and I was forced to use the camera for audio . I tested several mics (I have an old Audio-Technica, a 416, a Rode NTG-1 and NTG-3) and discovered, much to my surprise, that the NTG1 (which is usually relegated to a shipping tube in the bottom of my audio bag) actually works best with this configuration. The resultant audio is quite good. I wouldn’t use it for narrative or music, but for docs it’s fine. In fact I’ve used it exclusively to shoot a current 10 minute doc and have had zero problems.

    I tried the Micro’s AGC, but it puts a bad hum on the track, so don’t use it unless as reference audio. And you won’t hear that hum while recording because -

    What? There’s no headphone jack? I realize this was intended as a flyer, but it has so much more potential, and this oversight pretty much relegates the Micro to shooting B-roll for most people. (the pre-amp has a jack, but that doesn’t tell me what’s happening with the connecting cable or the camera).

    BTW: I had been waiting for the new OLPF and shim from Mosaic, so I didn’t install the older one. Yesterday I took a chance and shot some campus footage at a college (where last year with the Pocket I had moire problems with clothing and roof tiles). This year, shooting the identical visuals with the Micro and no OLPF, the moire is nearly nonexistent. That’s great news!
    I was thinking about using the Micro in the same way. Although I think I am going with the 7" video assist for audio. It has great pre-amps and also XLR inputs. And a headphone jack! It's great because you won't need to sync audio in post because it's a records video and audio. Video assist and audio recorder in one.
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  3. #3  
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    Unfortunately I'm an old dog who prefers having his eye pressed against a viewfinder... There are a couple of EVFs that have audio out, like the Cineroid... But I already have two Z-Finders and a Gratical, so for now I take a MacBook Pro with me and test audio before I shoot. Once I'm sure there are no unwanted hums, I can monitor levels with the Z-Finder.. Not perfect, but if I'm careful it works.
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  4. #4  
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    My situation was almost the same. I even measure audio input with RightMark Audio Analyzer to check how well is it, and was really surprised with noise level and dynamic range. I only expected problems with mess of wires and slightly shaky hdmi connector, but later developed angle hdmi clamp and expansion box and solved those problems.
    Still can't find some usable self adhesive pads to make camera buttons more finger friendly.



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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Unfortunately I'm an old dog who prefers having his eye pressed against a viewfinder... There are a couple of EVFs that have audio out, like the Cineroid... But I already have two Z-Finders and a Gratical, so for now I take a MacBook Pro with me and test audio before I shoot. Once I'm sure there are no unwanted hums, I can monitor levels with the Z-Finder.. Not perfect, but if I'm careful it works.
    I'm using the smallHD 502 with sidefinder in the same way - you get an audio out from the 502 body and an EVF - its not perfect and a bit out-sized compared to the micro cam itself but it works - as an EVF its totally usuable
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  6. #6  
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    I considered a smallHD when I bought the Gratical X, but heard there were heat issues with using it as an EVF.. Have those been solved?
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  7. #7  
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    I was always led to believe the fan noise on the Micro would be picked up by the camera mounted mic. No issues with the fan noise?
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  8. #8  
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    There are fan noise issues with a mic mounted too close to the camera body. Mounted on top of the cage handle is pretty good, but not in a quiet room. I only use a nose mic for ambience though, so that wouldn't normally be a quiet room. I record important audio with a a mic on a short boom, or a Rycote shock mount handle held by my partner who does the interviews... Remember, this is for documentaries, most of which are shot in situations where intimacy is more important than production value - For narrative, or even "produced" documentaries I'd still go double system.

    That said, the audio I'm getting is on par with the C100 I used to use. That's a big improvement over the Pocket... A slightly bigger Micro without a fan, like the Pocket, with two card slots and a headphone jack would make my day - a Micro-Ursa-Pro?
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    I considered a smallHD when I bought the Gratical X, but heard there were heat issues with using it as an EVF.. Have those been solved?
    not entirely really - but they aren't that bad. its still way better than the old zacuto one a few people have
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  10. #10  
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    I'm sure the gratical is better, though
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