EVF and External Monitoring
For the EVF, I opt for the Bomb EVF OLED, which comes with a 5″ arm and 18″ cable. The catch is that the Epic-X has only one BNC port for either an EVF or the LCD. Since for this production the DP demands an EVF for every shot, it gets first priority.
So where do I plug in the LCD? My choice of the Meizler module also included this contingency. What if I’m not using a module? In that case I’ll need to monitor the progressive SMPTE 292M HD-SDI feed off the camera.
The Epic-X outputs a clean feed in PROGRAM mode. Can I use the recorder as an external monitor? The Pix 240i is a 5″ monitor with a resolution of 800 x 480, which gives me a horizontal resolution of 185 ppi approximately. From my chapter on External Monitoring, you can see that this monitor won’t do for critical focus pulling (which is really important when you’re shooting 5K at T1.8!).
For this reason, I settle on the brilliant TVLogic VFM-056WP 5.6″:
One ‘downside’ is it only outputs 300 nits, which I think is on the lower side for outdoor focus pulling. So I get the sun hood as well. On the flip side, it has a good focus assist feature, so overall I’m not too concerned. I’m getting retina-like 262 ppi. Doesn’t get much better than this.
The choice of power adapter I’ll hold off until I get to deciding the battery system for this rig.
Obviously, this production is Level three, according to my chapter on Audio.
The two things I need to be concerned about are timecode and sync. If done right, I want audio with my proxies for easy editing.
My sound designer uses the Sound Devices 744T Recorder:
Making the Connections
So far, I’m glad how straightforward putting the pieces together has been. The order in which this guide is written is designed to keep things simple. As you can see, I follow my own advice. Most of the time, anyway.
The next step is to take a piece of paper and outline the connections, just to make sure you’ve planned everything well. This is how mine turned out:
The uncompressed audio is recorded on separate CF cards by the Sound guy. He doesn’t like anybody touching them. Fair enough. I won’t let him touch the Red Epic.
For cables, other than the ones I’ve already suggested in the chapter on Making the Connections, I’ll need a LEMO-4 to BNC SYNC cable, like the Remote Audio CATCBNCL4M. Everything else is pretty much standard.
Now that we know we have a system that works, it’s time to calculate the power requirement. I quickly forget my hope of including the Meizler module in this project. What I’ve come up with instead rocks.
Remember I said in the chapter on Power Supplies I always try to get 4 hours worth of juice in one go if I can? I’m not sure I will in this case, but let’s see how much we can get.
The battery system I’m choosing for this rig is Anton/Bauer, and the gold plate mount is the QR-EPIC. It has two Power tap (D-tap) connectors, one for the Pix and the other for the external monitor. The EVF gets power from the EVF/LCD connection.
To connect the Pix, I’ll need the XL-AB D-tap to Hirose 4-pin connector. To connect the monitor, I’ll need the VFM-CBL-DTAP-L D-tap to mini-XLR connector. I also throw in a BB-056AA 6xAA battery unit with the monitor just in case I need to take it off the rig. All devices come with an AC to DC adapter, but since I will be in areas with unreliable power, possibly with fluctuating voltage, I also carry a few surge protectors as I’ve shown before. I’ll need them for the chargers anyway.
I don’t need to remind you that I keep spares of every connector – one failure can ruin everything.
This is as simple as any setup can be. I have the option of the Dionic 160 or the Hytron 140 as my main battery. I choose the Hytron 140 because it charges faster than the Dionic.
140 Wh will get me one hour and twenty minutes at full power. If I’m lucky, it’ll last me 2 hours. I’ll need about 7 of these on a 12-hour shoot, because there’s no way I can assume I’ll find a charging point during the day.
I plan to carry two Dual 2722 chargers. Why not the Quad charger? What if it fails?
Each battery will charge in about 2.5 hours, and I can charge 8 batteries overnight. I plan to carry 10, not more. That’s a lot of weight in batteries alone. The extra batteries, other than being backup, might also be needed if I plug in any more devices that I haven’t planned for already. On some days, I might not wake up in the middle of the night to change the batteries. One thing that will have to be charged without fail is my alarm clock.
Finally, I’ll be carrying 4 Redvolt 37 Wh batteries for those still photography moments.
Note: A Redmote will be connected to the back of the Epic brain directly. Once charged, it can run for 8 hours. It can be charged while being connected to the brain or via a USB port.
Don’t forget there are many accessories that are not mentioned here because they are not significant enough to influence the layout of the rig.
Look how far we’ve come in such short time. I estimate if you follow the order this guide recommends, you should not have to spend more than a day rigging a camera system this complicated.
We have the core elements of the rig, and now it is time to put Humpty Dumpty together.