CES 2016, The iPadPro w/Tripod Mount & All My Tech Favs!

Unboxing the iShot Pro 12.9" Tripod Mount for the iPad Pro

Unboxing the iShot Pro 12.9″ Tripod Mount for the iPad Pro

Here’s the bottom line on the iShot G7 Mount For 12.9″ iPad Pro for those of you who don’t have time to read:
It works, but it needs some improvement, as it is a bit wobbly. However, how can you complain if it DOES work and it only costs $45, and at last glance there was nothing else out there. You can find it on Amazon

For those of you, who have nothing better to do than to read my ramblings, here’s the full story.

Ok, if you know me, you know I’m a gadget geek just like you! When the new iPad Pro came out, I was in the Sherman Oaks Apple Store looking at the new iMac and had no intention of buying anything else (for obvious reasons – this stuff gets expensive, right?)

But, there it was, sitting quietly in the entrance to the room. Too much tech for most of the holiday visitors, but calling to me like a siren on storm-bashed rocks. It was magnetic. I was pulled over and within seconds heard myself saying, “I’ll take that too.” OMG. Now what?

Happy to say, I fell in love at first encounter. Unboxed it and immediately knew – this was my fate. I was addicted. I could use this to watch my favorite movies on Netflix! (Did I really just say that on a tech blog?) Yep. But, seriously, and more importantly, I wanted to give it a try for my field production and mobile journalism. No, it will never replace professional cameras and lenses for most of my work, but there would surely be uses for it that we might not have thought of.

A few days later, I was at the Digital Cinema Society enjoying the event hosted by James Mathers. I was interviewing some of the execs and creatives and decided to wander the room with my camera op (William LaChasse and host Suzanne LaChasse – yes, she’s second generation Hollywood). We had set up an interview room in the theater upstairs, lit beautifully so the Black Magic 4K could shine. But what about downstairs on the main floor where the vendors were showing their wares and people were milling around.

The iShot and iPad Pro mounted on the tripod

The iShot and iPad Pro mounted on the tripod

Out came the iPad Pro, tethered to a Shure SM58 (which, by the way, turns 50 this year!) via an IK Multimedia iRig PRO Audio/MIDI Interface. Here’s one of the videos starring Film Vault’s very own Suzanne with Blackmagic’s Fred Beahm.

A month later I found myself at CES and used the same setup for all my coverage. Frankly, I looked at some of the other crews trudging through an event with 160,000 other humans all crowded into the narrow spaces between booths carrying heavy “broadcast” cameras with sound carts trailing … not a pretty site.

The iShot and iPad Pro mounted on the tripod

The iShot and iPad Pro mounted on the tripod

Rubber wrapped grips on the iShot

Rubber wrapped grips on the iShot

There I was happily strolling on the hunt for great tech with my “rig.”
There are a few GoPro imitators, some at the show and some on Kickstarter – I’ve already invested in one incarnation of those but my feeling is why rock the boat if it is already being navigated by a great pilot.

However, there was ONE small rig that caught my eye over in the drone section..it is called OSMO. For just over $600 you have a stabilized small 4K camera with a hand grip that can take automatic 360 degree panoramas, do time-lapse, and allow you to take long exposures because it has a built in gyro – and you can clip your smartphone to it and use the phone as a monitor – very cool

the DJI Osmo

the DJI Osmo

Fun note:::::The G-Tech Ev line is now protected by bumpers similar to the LaCie Ruggeds’ that we have been using – I want to get up close and personal with those for my field shoots!

Two audio solutions from Sennheiser blew me away.
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One is the Ambeo 3D virtual reality ambisonic microphone with four capsules that allows us to capture an entire field of sound with one microphone- it works with 360 degree cameras and delivers some amazing results – why have VR if you don’t have great VR sound to go with it?
Click HERE for the video.

The Second was the tiny Clip Mic Digital (from Apogee and Sennheiser) that is connected to your device via lighting cable and has a free app to go with it that allows you to monitor your levels, rumble, hiss and has a built-in pre amp that avoids drop-outs in the signal. I used it to record the interview about it and was really impressed. My problem with most small digital lavs is they aren’t able to give us enough volume, and of course, they don’t have a lightning connector!

Everywhere you looked there were Occulus rift glasses, Google cardboard compatible products, but there was a very interesting high-end VR glass from Zeiss VR 1 that lets us experience and control your virtual reality using your smartphone – great for gaming and it also controls your drone (compatible with several models of the DJI Phantom

Zeiss also has a new optical system for data glasses (it is 4 minutes into this clip) that look like regular glasses and allow you to view your augmented reality and app projections in front of your eye rather than being projected into the eye.

Drones seemed to be everywhere, as well as robots, so I voted for robots because they are more fun.

Meccano was there in force (they are huge, I grew up with them) but there was another company called Makeblock that sells DIY kits for kids ranging from $75 on up – it’s compatible with Lego parts and uses a free graphic program that helps to teach kids how to make robots
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For gaming – my favorite pick has to be Virtuix’s Omni – truly the next generation with a full physical experience of the environment. Jump into the individual ring, on to the treadmill, grab your weapon of choice and get a workout while you crush the bad guys!

For the fashion/tech side of me, I have to say great things about the gorgeous leather tech bags at Lepow and the stylish chargers that I’ve become addicted to? Umm…kids, my birthday is coming up! (hint)

My very favorite gadget was the Brew Genie that let’s you start brewing your coffee from you bed using your iPhone or iPad. Can you say, princess?

You can go to FilmVault.biz for a link to more videos on my new YouTube Channel. I promise I’ll update the site more often – you can also go to TheCataniaGroup.com for information on the films I’m working on.