August 31, 2016

Take Control of Servo Glass with Movcam

Movcam MCS-1
Movcam adds control of ENG-style lenses with internal motor control to the company's cine-style remote focus system.

Electronic News Gathering (ENG) and still photo glass has long had motors built into the lens so you could control focus/iris/zoom (FIZ) remotely, generally from a controller mounted on the handle of the tripod head for ENG, or with the auto-controls in stills. Cinema lenses traditionally haven't had motors internally, so remote follow focus systems have generally used an external motor to control the lens and don't often integrate with the internal motor. However, as ENG and still lenses get nicer and nicer, and as DPs bring along their Canon EF lens packages to bigger jobs, motorized lenses often end up on a cinema-style camera with a cinema-style crew using ENG's cinema follow focus—which is funny, since there is a perfectly good servo system inside the lens. You could also use the ENG remote control, but it is usually designed for the needs of a studio camera operator and doesn't offer all the features (or layout) that cinema ACs are used to.

Into this collision of worlds comes Movcam, maker of stabilizers and and follow focus systems, with the newest update to its MCS-1 remote focus system, which adds control of internally motorized glass. 

The controller has worked with some ENG lenses for a while, but it now works with any motorized Canon, Angeniuex, or Fujinon lens. Additionally, it's a free firmware update for any existing owner, so no extra hardware is required.

This software update also brings RED menu control to the remote handheld unit and its touch screen monitor, which is a pretty great upgrade for Weapon and Raven. Many 1st ACs are increasingly further and further from the camera body on complex shoots, pulling focus from video village on occasion; the ability to monitor and change menu settings remotely should be very useful.

Tech specs

  • Servor motor control
  • Canon EF mount, B4 mount compatible
  • Remote RED menu control
  • FIZ control

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