Press Release: A New Chapter in the ikan Elements Story has been written

•December 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

ikan is proud to introduce the newest additions to our line of Elements Fly Kit configurations! Rely on hours of support provided by the Shoulder Mount Basic or peruse a fixed approach with the Shoulder Mount Deluxe. Shoot stereoscopic 3D video anywhere with the Stereoscope Deluxe. Take dead aim at your shot with the versatile Shoulder Stock. Achieve hands-on focal control with the convenient Fingerling. Each of ikan’s new Elements Fly Kits provide our users with countless configuration options.

The “Fixed” Is In

ikan is proud to announce the most anticipated addition to its Elements line of DSLR fly kit configurations…the Elements Shoulder Mount Deluxe. This unit latches securely to the users shoulder utilizing two adjustable clamp pads for locked-in stability while the included foam grips provide uncompromised control. Two durable, 15mm rods are the base for a reliable shooting foundation provided by a 15mm rail mount and cheese plate offering 62mm spacing, ¼ 20, 3/8 and 4mm receiver slots for DSLR compatibility. The Shoulder Mount Deluxe offers a variety of rear loaded receiver slots for multiple mounting options including ¼ 20, 3/8, 4mm and 100mm VESA. With an array of accessory mounting combinations, i.e. DSLR device, monitor, battery plate, tripod mount and an ikan HDMI-HD-SDI converter box, the ikan Elements Shoulder Mount Deluxe will immediately become a video professional’s most resourceful tool providing hours of comfortable shooting.

The Freedom to Shoot Stereoscopic 3D Video…Anywhere.

The ikan Elements Stereoscope Deluxe is the perfect shooting platform for your next stereoscopic 3D video production. This tool allows you to mount two small to mid-sized cameras on an adjustable configuration utilizing 15mm rods and dual platforms to align the two image capture devices at precise distances to successfully shoot stereo 3D images. With the simple addition of 2 foam grips to a Stereoscope basic kit, you have successfully upgraded your rig with the ability to shoot stereoscopic 3D video anywhere you choose. Separate from your tripod with confidence and experience the limitless possibilities of ikan’s Elements Stereoscope Deluxe! With the rapid expansion of 3D-ready cameras, such as Canon’s XF100 and XF105 cameras, and post-production software ready to handle the workflow, such as Adobe Creative Suite 5, the Elements Stereoscope can become your go-to choice for shooting affordable, post-process ready stereoscope 3D. Most 3D Camera platforms do just that… provide a base for shooting 3D video.

But the Elements Stereoscope Deluxe is so much more. Because of the completely modular nature of the Elements line, your Stereoscope rig is also a 15mm rod-based camera support system. The 15mm rods, cheese plates, rod mounts and the tripod mount can all be utilized to create the base for your camera. And with just a few extra pieces, you can create nearly any other Elements configuration.

Take Dead Aim

Finally, you can have the extention rig you’ve been looking for with with the same quality and reliability you have come to expect from the Elements line with the ikan Shoulder Stock. This simple, light weight configuration provides the ability to move quickly and effeciently to any position while utilizing the shooters body for added stability. The provided rail mount and cheese plate ensures that your DSLR device will be soundly secured while the included adjustable foam grip offers persice control.

You’ve Got the Touch

Now you can be hands on while going hands off with ikan’s new Elements Fly Series configuration…the ikan Finger Ling. With one touch of a finger you can manipulate any light weight lens for more personal control of your DSLR rig. This easy to use, versatile tool will quickly become a valuable addition to your HD shooting arsenal. No matter if you are on location or in the studio, the ikan Elements Finger Ling offers a simple shooting solution for any situation.

Designed with you in mind, the Elements line is everything you love about camera support, only lighter, smaller and simplified. With the Elements, you aren’t bound to someone else’s vision. You can customize your camera rig exactly the way you want it. At ikan, we understand one size does not fit all in regards to camera rigs or operators. We created the Elements line to be customizable in an infinite number of ways so you get the features you need at the price you want.

New Elements Configurations:

  • Stereoscope Deluxe
  • Shoulder Stock
  • Fingerling
  • Shoulder Mount Basic
  • Shoulder Mount Deluxe

For Additional Information, please contact:

Brian Upchurch

713-272-8822 x105

brian@ikancorp.com

Images of Rigs:

(For images, pricing and more information, please visit our Product page)

Have a great day!

-Ryan

Kan @ Inter Bee, 2010

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

All You Need Is SKILL, Baby!

•November 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What ISN’T the iPhone being used for these days? (Phone calls?) It’s quite a well-rounded device, with a little something for everyone. And the “little something” for videographers and filmmakers seems to be rapidly morphing into a BIG something. But how far will that take amateur filmmakers?

We’ve all heard about recent iPhone updates and upgrades and up-everything, from iMovie 11 to stabilization gear specifically for the iPhone’s video features. (Did you know that Steadicam makes a unit specifically for your iPhone? It’s called “The Smoothee.” Crazy, right?!)

The iPhone isn’t only used for videos, but also for photography shoots, commercials and music videos. So, with iMovie giving the iPhone increasing abilities to film,  edit (albeit, incredibly basic editing) and score films, can this mean professionals have more competition from any iPhone owner?

There’s always that fear of “just anyone” jumping in and making a good film with any old gear and an iPhone with iMovie… but don’t be fooled. Professionals are doing it, too! The argument, and logically so, is that no matter what you’re using to film, if you know what you’re doing you can make it look good.

(A few examples of this are on a channel of Vimeo called, “Movies made on the iPhone4″ at http://vimeo.com/channels/117369 )

But I think the real question here is: How far can iPhone films go without enough talent to back it up? There are constant modifications, so where will they take us? There have been upgrades to improve the rolling shutter, (check out Philip Bloom’s review at http://philipbloom.net/2010/10/31/imovie11/ ), the level of control, editing abilities, etc. Do these advancements put everyday iPhone users on a professional filmmaker level? (NO!)

While these tools are impressive and undeniably accessible to all the “just anyones” in the world, and while anybody can make an iFilm, I believe it all comes down to one thing… SKILL. As mentioned in a blog post on fstopper.com, “talent trumps gear.” Every time.

What I’m trying to say is that iPhones CAN indeed make great looking videos, but only if you’ve got the skill to back it up. Do you?

 

- Kerianne

ID500 Kit and You: A Competitive Edge

•November 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Recently, our friends over at They Creative submitted two rather humorous and tightly made videos for entry in the “Crash the Superbowl Contest” sponsored by Pepsi Max. You can find both videos on their vimeo channel, or check out each individually:

I decided to get with Chris Muniz, Creative Director of They Creative, for a better understanding of their use of the kits in their shorts. This is what he had to say:

“I have attached a few [photos]  from our 2 location shots and can’t say enough about the ID500 light kit.  Not one complaint as they were versatile in every situation we shot in and not to mention light weight and easy set-up and shoot.  The handle was a great addition as some of the shots required hand held lighting and the fact that they were cool touch LED made it that much easier, and safer.

On the post production end, the color from these lights provided accurate color balance and saved me time in editing.  I have yet to try Litepanels, but it’s safe to say I don’t think I need to, after using these affordable, light-weight, and easy to use lighting system.

Great products as you guys are definitely make a quality product without breaking the bank.”

Photos:


For more information about They Creative, their vimeo channel or how to contact them:

Thanks to Chris Muniz for his wonderful input. I really hope you guys make it and win: you’ve got a fighting chance!

–ryan

HDSLR Killer? Meet the AG-AF100

•November 10, 2010 • 2 Comments

Yeah, I said it. That word: “killer.” Is it so bad?

Only if you believe that the AF100 will literally destroy the niche-now-explosive market carved out by HDSLR cameras, like Canon’s 5D mkII and 7D, the newer 60D, Nikon’s D7000, Panasonic’s GH1–you get the idea.

So what? Why is everyone still abuzz? Well, while most of us are purely talk (for now), some privileged few have gotten their hands on them and are having the time of their lives (Philip Bloom has a great post with three days on this beast of a camcorder HERE)–and for good reason.

With a micro four-thirds sensor and compact form factor, this camcorder addresses all of the hot topics that have come up because of DSLR design and purpose, such as:

  • XLR audio inputs,
  • HD-SDI sockets,
  • tons of lens options,
  • minimal rolling shutter,
  • video autofocus (that might be worth a damn)
  • aliasing, moire;

the AF100 has all of these. Panasonic really seems to have been listening to the DSLR community this time. From what I hear, the only thing it isn’t good at is what it WASN’T designed for:

Still Photography.

Other concerns have been with the depth of field of the camera (even with lenses, yes); it is not capable of the depth of field of, say your 5D, but better than most. If you’re a generalist (and even if you aren’t), you definitely want to check out this camera.

By mid-December, we’ll have a more in-depth look of the AG-AF100 once I get my grubby hands on it as soon as it’s available. Bookmark us, subscribe via RSS, or check back to make sure you don’t miss it!

Remember: for all of your camera mounting and lighting needs, ikan has a solution for you!

(Photos courtesy of their respective owners)

Regards,

-ryan

ikan’s Tip of the Week – 002

•November 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

Hey guys, welcome back to another edition of ikan’s series “Tip of the Week.”

This week we’ll cover an up-and-coming mount for your RECOIL (or preferred shoulder mount) that will give you rig wiiings rails and a quickmount to better serve your needs.  Most of the time, with what adapters and rigs and shoulder mounts available on the market, we really just need a few solid functions:

  1. Quick mounting for tripod use
  2. A camera mount
  3. Rails for accessorizing (a follow focus, grips, batteries, etc)

Which boils down to…what? A multi-functional essentials rig for use in varied applications, such as tripod and shoulder mount use, which then can be modified and re-designed on the fly.

NOTE: some of you may have already seen a leaked version on various forum boards, but I’d like to officially post it HERE.

For this rig flavor, you will need:

  • Ikan RECOIL (or preferred shoulder rig of your choice)
  • ELE-TM Tripod mount
  • ELE-15r12 (2 x 12” 15mm industry standard rails)
  • 2 x ELE-15RM Rail mounts
  • 1 x ELE-PT
  • F3 Follow Focus
  • 1 x ELE-15RDA Rod adapter
  • 1 x ELE-GB-F Grip Bar

All other products listed, without links, can be found here at the ikancorp Elements page

More Photos:

Interview: Production Company Owner Chris Clifton speaks about ikan’s ID500 lighting kit

•November 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

For our featured article this week, we’ll be focusing on some of our equipment, the ID500 kit, in the field. For a better handle on real-world applications, I sat down and interviewed a colleague in the industry, Chris Clifton.

IKAN: For our audience, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Chris Clifton: “I have been in Houston for 27 years as an independent production company and equipment rental house. My first package was an Ikegami HL 79EAL and BVU-110, the top of the line at the time.  Back then, Lowel DP light kits were popular (and they pulled so much power we could barely get through a shoot without throwing a breaker wherever we were).  Fast forward through 3 more Ikegami’s, a Sony Betacam, DVCAM, and later two EX XDCAM’s…by this point, the Lowel’s had long since been replaced with an Arri Kit and a Digimole 200/400 HMI kit.

“The LED light kits on the market caught my interest last year but I didn’t jump in, mostly because of the price point of the Lite Panel 1×1.  I’ve visited Ikan numerous times for monitors and support and noticed the LED lights in the showroom.  So, when I sent my Digimoles in for repair, I started considering what I would need for a backup plan (for the pending shoots) and about that time I got the 48 hour sale notice from Carlos. It led me to the IKAN website where I looked closer at the ID500 kit.  I rented it for a 2 day shoot and the guys on the job were drooling over them–they could not believe the list price was only $1699 for three 450w lights.  We were working in a small house with low ceilings, without much power available…the lights were so easy to get up and out of the shot, they put off no heat, and pulled very little juice.  It was a great experience, so much easier than putting up a light with a chimera.  The remote controls are a cool feature.  I bought them the next day.”

IK:    What projects are you involved with (that you can speak about)?

CC:    “I do a lot of work for different producers or in-house producers at the medical center now.  I provide equipment and crews and post- production services.  I also do projects for churches and non- profits.  The rest of the time I provide gear and services for other production companies and producers all over town or to those coming through Houston from NY, LA, Chicago, etc.  I’m a small fish in a big pond, but I’ve been around a long time and people know how to find me if they need something–I can find it if I don’t have it.”

IK:    You recently invested in some of our ID500 lighting kits. What made ikan your top choice?

CC: “It was a no-brainer for me to buy the ID500 kit after one day of testing them on a shoot.  In fact, I am considering a second kit so I don’t even have to use the Arri’s or Digimoles again.  I get so much more control out of the ID500’s, they’re so easy to arm over as a backlight and dim.  Three point lighting is a breeze.  I rarely light with tungsten since I got the HMI’s in 2003 or so; it seems digital cameras just love daylight so much more, so the ID500 is the perfect setup for me.  And the price point is incredibly low for what you get.  I was on a shoot this week with a competitor’s LED and I just felt so much better about the durability built into the IKAN product.  It’s beefy, yet maneuverable and lightweight.”

IK:    How are you using them now, and how do you foresee their use in the future?”

CC:    “I am having an amazingly busy quarter and the ID500’s are making my shoots so much quicker and easier to set up. They’re a pleasure to have on the job and my crews really appreciate them.  I used them for the first time on a still photo shoot last weekend—it’s just really nice to have them on the set. So low profile, so powerful.  It’s the ideal light for any ENG or EFP application.  And I can rig them out for portable power when I want to do that.  I cannot wait to see how my new camera, the Panasonic AF100 (being shipped in December), will perform under these lights.”

Images provided by Chris Clifton:

Bottom line: ikan’s the place to come when youre looking for modular, versatile, and reliable lighting solutions. Comment, email, tweet us, or just head over to our website @ http://www.ikancorp.com for more great ideas and products that wont burn your wallet to ashes are  practical to buy without burdening your brain or wallet. [PS: It's about that time again to start shopping for Christmas gifts if you haven't already ;) ]

Cheers.

-ryan

 
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