Review: TCL NXTWEAR G Glasses

I had high hopes for the TCL NXTWEAR G glasses. So much so that when I saw they had been released, I even thought of buying a pair and went to the “official stockist”, my local Harvey Norman Superstore (yeah right!).

Luckily, the salesperson had never even heard of the product, let alone seen them, and no they were not in stock.

Escaped a bullet there then. Why so I hear you ask?

Assuming you don’t know what the TCL NXTWEAR G glasses are (or work for Harvey Norman) here’s a brief summation.

In short, the TCL NXTWEAR G are a pair of glasses – as against goggles – that connect to a smartphone, tablet or laptop via a built in USB-C cable letting you view, well, whatever is displayed on the phone. This could be material you have stored such as photos or videos, YouTube videos, NETFLIX – whatever your phone, tablet or laptop could normally display on-screen.

Sadly connecting to an HDMI source is a non-starter (at this point anyway).

The party trick is that the TCL NXTWEAR G glasses sport dual 1080op Micro-OLED screens that create the equivalent of a 140” display. And yes, it is very good and the audio emanating from speakers built into the glasses’ arms is also better than the average bear.

And no, they don’t entirely cover your face so you can still some parts of your surroundings.

They even come with different size nose pads and a prescription lens insert you can get your friendly locally optician to prescribe a set of your own lenses into if you are a glasses wearer like me.

So on the surface, all well and good. Yes?

Well, no.

Because at $850 or so, I expected a bit more. Well a lot more really.

As they are now, it’s a bit like buying a Lamborghini but finding it has a 2 stroke motor in it.

I wanted the option of 3D surround vision that made me fizz and feel like I was really there, but really, its just like watching a big 2D screen. Attached to your face.

I watched parts of the new release of Dune from YouTube (a promo), and whilst I sort of enjoyed it, not as much as watching it on my proper big telly and a decent set of 7.1 speakers banging out the audio.

I can see how they would be a thing on an aeroplane trip, or when a passenger on a long car journey.

But sadly, the TCL NXTWEAR G glasses are just not quite there.

There is promise. Lots of it. For example they do contain an accelerometer and gyro system to detect head movement, and the blurb does say they support 4K 3D video… if you can find any that is.

But I hope TCL can deliver on the promise that is evidently there, but as they are at the moment, save your money I am afraid.

Tutorial: Setting up an ATEN CAMLIVE PRO For Live Streaming in Facebook Live

As promised, later than I suggested after a delay that was unavoidable – sorry folks – I finally put all the bits of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO together to create a live stream. (NOT to be confused with the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro – two different products from very different manufacturers).

For those stepping into this sort of project, may I recommend that you make sure you have all the necessaries in place before plugging / installing / streaming as it will make life so much easier in the longer run.

Parts List:

To create a successful and seamless operation, for the best results you’ll need the following at a minimum (from my experience):

The actual ATEN CAMLIVE PRO unit (of course). Plus…

  • .At least one HDMI out capable camera with allows a “clean feed” ie no overlays such as image or shooting specs, on-screen guidelines etc. I used my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, but equally as good would be say a GoPro 9 or 10 using the Media Mod.

  • A good XLR based mic. In my case, I plugged in my trusty Sennheiser MKE600
  • A smartphone for the ATEN App (Android or iOS).
  • A way of sending the video signal created via the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO smarts to the streaming host. I am going to use Facebook Live, so plugged in a USB Type B to USB Type A cable into a USB powered hub connected to my desktop. Equally you could use a laptop or even via a USB C to USB Type B, your smartphone.
  • An HDMI capable monitor. I used my OSEE LCM215-E unit, but I could equally have used the OSEE G7 7” field unit I also possess. Or of course, any decent TV or computer monitor with an HDMI input.
  • At least 3 HDMI cables (you can get more than adequate 1 metre $5 ones from Jaycar that will do the job, but if you are capturing 4K, you might want to opt for Concord 4K cables that you can get with full size, mini or micro HDM plugs on if your HDMI source (camera) uses these.

OK. Now you have it all cabled up and have the app running on your smartphone, you’ll be prompted make sure Bluetooth is running and to connect to the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO. This will then open the interface letting you control the stream.

(Note there is a handy little pull out tray on the front of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO to rest your smartphone in) I also put a little USB light above it so if I need to see the actual real controls, I could, especially if you do your streaming from a darkened room.

Streaming From Windows

Of course, you can stream equally from a Mac or Windows based system, but in my case, I am Windows based. So here are the steps I next went through to set up the streaming from the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO.

The first thing you need to do is go into the Windows Control Panel and find the Device Manager. (A faster way is to simply type Device Manager in the search box next to the Start button).

Under Cameras, you should see an entry for USB Video device and under Sound Video and Game Controllers, an entry for USB Audio Device. This lets you know the system has found the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO.

Next, you need to connect to Facebook Live.

  1. In Facebook, Navigate to the Page, group, profile or event where you want to publish your live stream
  2. Click on the Live button
  3. In the Camera Controls panel, select the camera you wish to use (in this case USB Device (0557_2030)
  4. Choose the microphone (Microphone USB Audio)

And you should be up and running. Here you can see a screen shot via the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro 6K or an electronics project I am working on.

It is now a matter of learning the various controls in the smartphone app to get the best from the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO (and there are plenty of tutorials on -line for that, but in truth, the interface is excellent making the learning curve very shallow letting you create picture-in-picture for multiple cameras, chromakeying (make your office into Hawaii and Photoshop #ScottyfromMarketing in if you like) and perform transitions between cameras for example.

You can even overlay music with the RCA ports on the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO connected to a music source (but of course, be aware of copyright rules).

One tip. If in the Device Manager next to the camera and sound entries for the USB device you get a little yellow triangle with an exclamation mark, and therefore no live image showing, check the USB port. In my case, I had to switch from the hub, even though it was powered, to a port directly on the motherboard, ie in the computer itself. You may also need to do a reboot of the computer.


As long as you take your time on the initial setup, make sure everything is connected properly and working and that the devices are seen by Windows correctly and free of any errors, creating a streaming system on the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is a relatively pain free operation.

How does it compare to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro for the same task?

I admit, I do prefer the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro as it has the flexibility I need with up to four HDMI input devices and the graphics storage area. Being an ex-hardware live controller person, it also suits my workflow better as I am used to pressing buttons.

Another major benefit is I can directly control Blackmagic Design cameras from the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro software.

Having said that, the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is excellent and does exactly what it says on the tin, and if you need a quick and easy, but effective, live streaming system that is relatively portable, only needing 12v power for the actual unit (which an inexpensive inverter will give you), it is a great solution and highly recommended.

See for more details.

The price of the ATEN CAMLIVE PRO is around AUD$649

Quick review: Fujinon 50-135mm T2.9 Cine Lens

Normally when I am sent a review lens, it turns up in its manufacturer’s retail packaging.

But regular readers will know that recently I have had the joy of playing with a Fujinon 50-135mm T2.9, and THIS arrived in a protective waterproof and hermetically sealed Pelikan type case, with the lens nuzzled safely inside in a swaddling of foam rubber.

Not surprising considering it costs over $5K to buy. But I am reliably told for a lens of this quality and pedigree, that is actually a bargain.

Now, I do not pretend to be an expert on high level lenses, well not the technical aspects anyway. But having been around the traps a bit, photographing and videoing in a multitude of different disciplines from motor racing and rallying to fishing, on-set TV programs to documentaries and tutorial videos to travelogues with smatterings of other things thrown in for good measure such as weddings (ugh), deb balls (bigger ugh) and Aussie rules football (which was taxing and fun!)

And I can see quite clearly that in the non-sport areas where a bigger zoom is generally needed, this lens married to a suitable camera would be simply magnificent. And by suitable we are talking the upper level 4/3rds and mirrorless jobbies such as those from Sony, Canon, Red and of course, Blackmagic Design.

By the way as this lens is apparently based on the Fujinon Cabrio line of cine lenses, that is a hell of a pedigree to boast of (and live up to).

I’d like to have tried it on my Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Pro 6K, but while there is an MK adaptor for the RF mount (as well as a 4/3rd adaptor), at this stage I cannot put it on the EF mount my PCC 6K Pro has. Here’s hoping to futures, although I do not know if this is technically feasible.

I had access to a Canon EOS R6 for a short period (with an RF mount) and whilst I didn’t have it long enough to put the Fujinon 50-135mm T2.9 completely through its paces, my base observations were that the 4K imagery was excellent with bugger all distortion I could see, and very, very little chromatic aberration. You’d have to be excessively picky to think otherwise in my opinion.

I admit I did do some checking around of my peers thoughts on this lens, they having more experience than me at this level as I said at the start. I could not find a single skerrick of criticism anywhere; the only thing ever so slightly consistent was the observation that with a long focus throw of 200°, focussing may cause some issues when going from one limit to the other.

Apparently, there is a dedicated lens support unit from Zacuto for the Fujinon 50-135mm T2.9, oddly enough, called the Zacuto Scissor Lens Support and it costs around USD$190 from my research.

If you want the full technical specs of the Fujinon 50-135mm T2.9, then Videop;ro has ‘em all on their website at

Video Review: Deverberate 3

by Dr David Smith

Once again Acon Digital from Oslo have released an audio plug-in that is innovative, beautifully made and which really works. Deverberate 3 uses AI technology to remove unwanted reverberation from a speech audio signal completely automatically. I tried out this little wonder and was amazed at how easily and effectively it performed. Of course the earlier algorithms are included as options which you can tune to suit a wide range of audio signals, but the fully automated speech deverberater is a knockout!

Deverberate 3 costs AUD$110 approx.


What a Beast. Simply Awesome. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro – Part 1

We all aspire to owning something special. Or at least getting an extended hands-on “feel” to what it would be like to own something nice. You know, REALLY nice.

It might be a Lamborghini Gallardo, a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes (whatever they are), a Breitling watch or perhaps a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Whilst I’d love the Gallardo I admit (in burnt orange and black highlights please) or better, a Bugatti Veyron in deep crimson and black interior, keeping it real, I have wanted a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for years.

Everyone even remotely interested in the film and video industry knows – or should know – about Blackmagic Design. From a small start by founder and CEO Grant Petty in Melbourne, to becoming an industry standard, Blackmagic Design (BMD to its friends) has rocked the filmmaking industry with innovation after innovation over the years, not the least giving access packages like DaVinci Resolve and Fusion to the level of us mere humans.

The company also makes a large range of stuff for the broadcast industry slightly outside my ken, including switchers, converters, encoders, distribution and other devices – and I have waxed lyrical over the last year or so over the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro.

Dreams do come true, and the nice folk at BMD recently sent me a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K for a play, and even made sure it was the EF mount version so I could use my own set (albeit small) of Canon EF lenses on it.

Here are my first impressions – and I’ll add to them in later missives as I learn more…

BTW, the history of Blackmagic Design is well documented, and well worth an interesting read. You can find it here and here at Australian Videocamera we interviewed CEO and founder Grant Petty here.

Initial Thoughts

I remember reviewing one of the first of the Pocket Cinema cameras, and if memory serves me, it did fit in a pocket. So will this as long as you have pockets that equally accommodate something like, oh I don’t know, a small moon.

Yes, I am exaggerating a tad, but really, the BMD Pocket camera 6K is not small, being roughly the same dimensions as a Canon EOS 1 (my 5D is about ¾ the size of the PC 6K by way of further comparison). But due to the carbon fibre composite used in the body, the PCC 6K Pro is far lighter thankfully, although with my 70-210 lens on it, I wouldn’t like to be hand holding it for too long in shooting.

One factor involved in the physical size is the rear mounted swing-up-and- out LCD monitor which is a massive 5” unit with 1500 nits lamination and simply brilliant. More on that in a sec as it caused me a little grief when I first took the PC 6K out of the box.

To get the 6K moniker in its name, the PCC 6K Pro utilizes a 6144 x 3456 “super” 35 sensor and incorporates built in 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filters.

A multi-function handgrip is built into the ergonomic design giving easy access to ISO, shutter speed and WB and a thumb wheel allows instant aperture adjustment. Function keys allow one finger access to high frame rate, focus zoom, false colour and other functions, and there are separate buttons for record and still shutter options as well as an extra record button on the front body of the camera for VLOGGING ease of use.

More buttons are on the rear of the body of the PCC 6K Pro to the right of the LCD for such things as image zoom, playback and setup.

There are slots for two SD cards as well as a single C-Fast slot, plus a USB-C port lets you plug in an external SSD drive for longer recordings.

Finally, no less than 4 microphones are possible via a dual built in pair and a 3.5mm and XLR socket for externals plus a headphone port.

To Be Aware!

If you are upgrading to the BMD Pocket Cinema Camera 6K from something like a 4/3rds unit from Panny, Olympus etc (yes there is a version of the BMD PC that takes MFT lenses so you can use the ones you have), from my limited experience, the SD cards you use now may not be fast enough.

All of mine weren’t without dropping the res / shutter speed down to a minimum and using ProRes as the format. BMD RAW which would be preferred just wasn’t an option. In my case I tried a SanDisk Extreme Gold 64GB Class 10 card and nope. No go in BMD RAW. Nor did a Verbatim Class 10 128GB

I then tried a SanDisk Extreme 1TB SSD nor would that work which REALLY surprised me, so there was nothing for it but to toddle down to my local Camera House store here in Bunbury (it’s the only specialist camera shop so no, I am not currying any favour here) to (gulp), see about buying one of the recommended cards. Thankfully they had no stock, as the prices are terrifying!

The list of recommended cards is here.

But we did try a Samsung T5 external SSD and that worked which made it more of a mystery as to why my SanDisk didn’t.

Back at home, I tried a second SanDisk extreme 1TB I had, and that failed too, only recording 5 seconds before giving the dreaded warning.

A quick call to Aussie BMD distribs New Magic seemed to answer the problem – format the SSD first using the camera’s firmware, not a computer, in my case Windows 10.

This showed the first SanDisk SSD had a flaw as after 20 hours it was still trying, whereas the second formatted within 20 seconds and then I was away even using BMD RAW at the highest level.

Out Of The Box

The second – well the first really – thing that flummoxed me was that carefully following the 157 page instruction manual, I was informed that after turning on the PCC 6K Pro (after charging the NP-F570 battery), among other information, you should be able to see on screen the representation of the SD cards showing which are in use and what capacity is left.

Except in my case, there was nothing on the LCD screen.

After a little experimentation and button pressing, it turned out for some unknown reason, the unit I had received, which was brand new, had come out of the factory with the “clean HDMI feed” turned on. Disabling that and all was well.

First Overall Impressions

This is not a camera that you pull out of the box, charge the battery, bolt the lens on and then go happy snapping. No way.

It is like a fine wine, and needs to be studied, learned about, and appreciated before partaking. There is such a depth to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, that it will take time to understand and master all its nuances.

Not that it is a hard camera to learn, not at all, just that there is a hell of a lot to learn! If you want to have a pre-look at the manual (in a number of different languages), you can download the PDF here.

And that is half the fun.

And that process, will lead me on to Part 2 of this piece in due course. Suffice the small amount of footage I have shot in earning the camera is so far, breathtaking.

Postscript: Having just also had a play with the new Fujinon MK lens adaptors allowing you the option of putting RF or MFT lenses on non-Fujifilm camera bodies, using the Fujinon Cine 50-135mm lens that I have here on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K would, I suspect, give awesome results!


A Fujinon lens on a Canon EOS R6? Or Red Komodo? or Blackmagic Pocket 4K? You bet!

Back in the day – say 1977-1980 odd – I cut my photographic teeth with a combination of a Pentax KX, Minolta SRT101 and a Leica M2, shooting motor sport in Western Australia. Primary locations were Wanneroo Park (also known as Barbagello Raceway), and various rallies including Rally of the West, the Australian round of the Australian Rally Championships.

I actually entered that once, in a Holden Torana A9X, a favoured “muscle car” of the time. Not that I had any great success, hence the return to photography, shooting the likes of Wayne Negus, Tim Slako, Graeme Hooley, Ron Lindau and Trevor Hine in his amazing little Lotus that was often a giant killer.

Torana A9X – to my mind one of the prettiest cars ever made… and at the time, the fastest 2 door production car in the world!

(Side note: I sold the A9X in favour of a Chrysler Valiant VH Regal V8 365 ci. Now worth diddly squat. The A9X if I had it, could be sold for getting up to AUD$1 million if in pristine condition. Which it was at the time. Live and learn …)

I mention this as the two SLRs in use – the Pentax and the Minolta – were a luxury back then as we had the option to use interchangeable lenses, which the rangefinder based Leica did not, despite being a superior camera, technically speaking at least.

As I recall, I had a Tamron 200mm with a 2x converter on the Pentax and a Tamron 70 ~200mm on the Minolta.

But it was a long time ago, so maybe I am not 100% correct.

Fast forward to today however, and in my grasp is a brand-new Canon EOS R6 that was supplied by the nice folk at Canon with an F/1.5 macro 35mm lens which I am dying to play with in a number of scenarios.

However, nailed to the RF mount at present is a rather nice – no, effin’ brilliant – Fujinon cine zoom 50 ~135 T2.9 which is a beast.

A Fujinon lens on a Canon RF mount? What?

Yes, dear reader, Fujinon Australia has made available an MK converter for not just RF mounts, but also micro 4/3 mounts, giving owners of these cameras access to the range of Fujinon lenses.

And the crowd roared Hurrah!

(Oh and they also work on the Red Komodo by the way and the 4/3rd mount works with the Blackmagic Design Pocket 4K camera. Double hurray we say!)

Now I have 3 days to test this lens on the Canon EOS R6, so will report back very soon on what I find.

But rest assured, initial findings are its bloody marvellous, as I would expect any Fujinon lens on a body as good as the R6 to be.

And to finish here is a quick video of the benefits of using the MKE E-mount on the Blackmagic Pocket 4K.

Stay tuned.


Review: Hollyland MARS T1000 Communications System

Way back in the dim distant past I used to be a CB radio fan. No, not the freaky type as described in that ghastly country and western song “Convoy” (some time in the 80s), but a general-purpose user who was fascinated by communications technology.

And it never quite left me. There is some sort of magic in talking to someone via 2-way and a mobile phone experience just doesn’t cut it in the same way.

And whilst the smartphone has certainly revolutionised communications, there are many areas where radio reigns supreme.

In the area of filmmaking and events for example, radio comms is a must as information and instructions are needed on a real time basis, often between a large number of personnel including director and crew.

So when comms specialist Hollyland contacted me and asked if I’d like to review their MARS T1000 wireless intercom system I said of course “yes please”!

And a week or so later it arrived in a large box and comprised of a base station unit with a headset and 4 belt pack sender / receivers with headsets.

Base Station

The base station either be powered by a supplied 240v – 12v adaptor or alternatively, using optional F970 batteries.

There is provision to install a couple of these on the top of the base station, and Hollyland say that if fully charged, each battery will supply up to 20 hours of operation. A bonus is that when operating on battery, change over to the second can be achieved without losing power.

There are 4 USB-A ports for charging the belt packs, a USB-C port for firmware updates and an RJ45 Ethernet port. Two RF antennae are supplied and are screwed in on the rear of the unit.

Controls and menu functions are very straight forward and that of course makes the system very easy to use and there is little to master beyond a volume control, up / down buttons that (double duty as left and right buttons), remote mic mute and a menu confirm button.

Belt Packs

The belt packs are equally no-fuss making for easy understanding and operation. Unlike “cheap” walkie talkie type units, these are solidly built with metal casings. The top of the belt pack has a single rotary on / off / volume rotary control, two built in RF antenna and a 3.5mm headset port. The right-hand side has a single talk / mute button, USB-C port for external charging and a Tally port.

(Tally ports are used to communicate to an operator of say a camera or playback device that they are live on air).

For tripod or other externalmounting, the base of the belt pack has a standard ¼” thread.

Fully charged belt packs are good for 8 hours use.


There is not too much to report here. The headset is a typical over the ear unit with an expandable headband and a mic on the end of an arm that has about a 300 degree of rotation. A 1 metre cable with a 3.5mm plug is connected for plugging into the belt pack.

There are no controls on the headset itself with things like volume controlled from the belt pack.

In Use

The system was very easy to set up and basically does what it says on the tin. From a comfort point of view, the headsets can be worn for an extended period with no pressure points to give a headache. The ear shell fully covers the ear, which in a hot environment I am guessing there may be a sweat issue.

The MARS T1000 is a full duplex system meaning that conversations can be two way simultaneously. In our test, this worked flawlessly and is a major advantage over off-the-shelf walkie talkies. The ability for the user of the base station to mute a unit that has been left “open” inadvertently is a bonus.

The MARS T1000 uses the 1.9GHz wireless frequency and we found it good for 150 metres in line of sight with no issues. The manufacturers claim 300 metres, but that would have to be under absolutely perfect conditions which are rarely if ever found on set!

What I didn’t pick and found via a bit of accidental research is that this is – perhaps coincidentally – the same maximum distance as an SDI cable.

If you need more than the five headsets that come with the system (by the way you also get spare antennas, headset shells and carry bags included in the price), you can daisy chain a second base station via the Ethernet port. That is the maximum though, you cannot keep adding base stations after the second.


For use on a small set, in a church AV setting, local theatre group etc, this a relatively inexpensive way of keeping everyone in touch.

The MARS T100 is a rugged, solid system that as I mentioned previously, does exactly what it says on the tin and does it very well.

If you haven’t considered such an investment before, I’d suggest it would be a worthwhile investigation. Sure you can buy 5 walkie-talkie units such as those by GME at Jaycar etc, and they will do an admirable job but with major restrictions compared to the flexibility of the MARS T1000.


Videoguys in Melbourne have the Hollyland MARS T1000 system listed for AUD$3149 and Videopro put on a price tag of AUD$3030 according to their website.





Review: CAMLIVE Pro Dual HDMI to USB C UVC Video Capture (UC3022)

I have spoken many times of using the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro for both live streaming and acting as a video mixing station for pre-recorded program creation. But if this is overkill for you, then for live streaming at least, there is another solution that whilst maybe not as elegant, is certainly more than adequate for most.

Coming from ATEN (I wonder if this name is just a coincidence), the CAMLIVE Pro is mixing unit that incorporates with a smartphone, laptop and streaming software such as YouTube Live, OBS, MS Teams, Zoom, Twitch and so on.

Similar to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, the CAMLIVE Pro supports 2 channel video mixing and switching from 4K HDMI sources and input from line level audio devices via both XLR (Cannon) and stereo RCA ports.

A smartphone, laptop or PC is connected using USB in order for the CAMLIVE Pro to communicate with the external world using 1080P or 720P footage.

The Android / iOS app control theoretically at least means you can control your cameras and direct the stream from anywhere.

Built in is chromakey availability letting you swap in and out different backgrounds at will, and you can preview the broadcast via HDMI connectivity.

The unit itself is a pretty unremarkable in appearance. Effectively it is a 150mm square back box with LED indicators on the front signifying the status of the HDMI and audio inputs as well as the Bluetooth link input status. A pull-out handle is there in order to place your smartphone, but this then obscures the indicators, however these are then instead mirrored in the app on the phone.

The rear of the CAMLIVE Pro contains the 2 HDMI camera in ports plus the HDMI out monitor port, a USB Type B connection for laptop / PC connectivity, a 12v power source port, single XLR port and the twin RCA connectors.

There is also a switch to allow display of protected HDCP content and a Kensington lock point.

If you wish to rack the CAMLIVE Pro, included in the box is an adaptor and hardware to let you mount to a Terranex Mini Rack Shelf, or alternatively, a tripod using a standard 1/4” thread which is a nice touch.

Connecting the relevant hardware is a no-brainer; I used a pair of GoPros purloined off my existing Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro setup, and it was only a matter of minutes before I had HDMI connectivity. For audio I used both my Sennheiser MKE600 (using XLR) and my MKE400 to the RCA port (where I need to get a 3.5mm to twin RCA splitter from Jaycar.)

For HDMI monitoring, again my own setup was used with the OSEE monitor brought into the action.

The USB port can be connected to either a laptop or your smartphone by the way and cables are supplied for both USB-A and USB-C.

In part 2, I’ll go through setting up the software and creating a stream to Facebook Live.



Review: Fujifilm X-E4 Compact

I know that using a proper camera these days is not the done thing.  Why have a proper camera when you have a smartphone in your pocket? Why carry two devices?

And I find this sad.

Yes, I’ll agree that a smartphone is fine and dandy when you just want to snap off some quick party shots, or the dish you ordered at a restaurant or when your mates do something really stupid.

But I am seriously baffled when people tell me they need the latest and greatest smartphone because the camera is “so good”, and then simply stick it on auto everything. Why spend all that money to just do that?

So, if you are serious about your photography / video, then you should just get a cheap smartphone you can basically say “hello” and “goodbye” into, perhaps ask it for the quickest way to the nearest decent French restaurant and whether you have enough money to buy that meal.

That’s all you need.

And then go and get a decent camera with decent lens options and controls so you can take truly great pictures.

Which brings me neatly to the Fujifilm X-E4.

I have had one on loan here for a while now, and whilst there are a couple of niggles I don’t like about it, mostly I would heartily recommend it to someone stepping up from a smartphone to a camera suitable for photography and also able to shoot 4K video as a sideline.

Now at this point it is tempting to venture into the area of technical capabilities and waffle on about pixel counts, bit rates, F-logs and other esoterica, that in reality, I don’t believe the market for this camera – potentially – is that interested in. If you are, then look here.

As I say, the market for this camera, at the price point it is set ($1400 approx for the body and a basic 27mm lens) is the enthusiast who wants to learn more about the hobby without needing to go into the complicated (and expensive) world of dSLRs.

And so they will get something that being from Fujifilm, has a great pedigree, inherits many of the characteristics of its more expensive brethren and has a large range of X mount lenses to choose from down the track as and when necessary.

Of course you get all the controls any decent camera needs to take decent images – as long as you understand how to use those controls of course, and what their purpose is and how to take advantage of them under different circumstances.

And for this, the X-E4 is brilliant. The menu system is intuitive making it simple to follow, and more importantly lets you easily try out different options to see what they will do and how they will affect an image. This encourages experimentation, and hence learning.

There are even a few party tricks such as Fujifilm’s nifty and bloody clever film simulations; you get 18 of those.

And the touch screen is one of the best I have used anywhere. It is extremely responsive and more than passable in sunlight.

So what didn’t I like? I have never been a fan of the standard shape of so-called compact cameras, having always preferred a built-in grip “hump” for the right hand to curl around. The body texture also appears to be a little slippery for my liking – refer to my previous point about grip – and this can lead to slightly wonky shooting. Sadly as there is no in-body stabilization this may be an issue for some.

The autofocus is not as responsive as I’d like either.

Hang on there though. Considering my opening statements about turning on auto everything, does that not make me slightly hypocritical? Well, yes it does I admit.

I cut my teeth originally on fully manual cameras with no auto focus, no stabilisation and no other whizzbang electronic functions and this forced me to understand how a camera works. We had no “bokeh on” function, or automatic “keep focus on that dog running away” capability.

But under some circumstances, yes, they are nice to have, especially when you have tried every know way to get the right shot the manual way and nothing has worked.

And so if they are there, I like them to work properly.

But in the overall scheme of the X-E4, these are minor points. In short, I’ll say this: if you are thinking of graduating from an all-singing, all-dancing smartphone for photos and video, then the Fujifilm X-E4 is a damn fine place to start looking. At the price point, I don’t think you’ll find better.


Streaming, Vlogging and Podcasts. My Setup (Part 1): A Tutorial

I mentioned in my last newsletter that Australian Videocamera was going to fold a lot more info on streaming into the mix, and so I thought a good starting point would be an overview of what is needed to start streaming and use the setup I am building as a sort of template with which you could work and base your system around.


I stress at the start, my future vlogging and podcasting is going to be in a very wide sphere of interests, and over the years I have accumulated tools that suit specific circumstances.

By way of example, whilst of course I will be doing vlogging and podcasting on the basics and generalities of video, what I like to be able to do is refer to specific examples by using my own interests to explain things and convey ideas.

Those that have been long term readers of Australian Videocamera – and this month marks our 14th year by the way – will know these interests range from motor sport to fishing, astronomy to music and thrown into the mix is drone flying, electronics, model railways, 3D modelling and printing and of course video editing and writing.

So whilst, yes, I do have a rather large and diverse armoury of equipment, of course, you can start vlogging and streaming with a smartphone. Just as you can take brilliant imagery with a Box Brownie camera if you have the right techniques and the subject matter is compelling.

My Hardware

I am Windows 10 based and the core of my setup – including for video and audio editing – is an off the shelf Dell XPS 8920 tower with an i7 processor and 32GB of RAM. My video card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070.

I run 3 displays – 2 x 24” monitors off the video card as an extended desktop, and the 3rd is an OSEE LCM215E that is used as a monitor via a Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. More on the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro later as it is crucial to my overall setup.

You’ll notice from the panorama that as well as a colour coded keyboard (designed for Vegas Pro video editing) there are a few more editing pads at my disposal.

To the left is a Loupedeck CT and just above that a Contour ShuttlePro which I have been using for about 20 years now!

In front of my two main monitors are the aforementioned Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro (with the red glowing buttons) and to its left, a Blackmagic Web Presenter – more on that later too.

To my right is a Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve Speed Editor.

Vocal audio is captured by a Sennheiser MKE 600 mic on an Elgato Multi Mount system that also carries a Microsoft Surface which does duty as a teleprompter. Audio monitoring is via a pair of Sennheiser HD300 closed headphones, and I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD458BT wireless headphones and a set of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds for private music listening both of which are excellent.

Audio playback is through a Logitech Z323 system which I have been using for quite a few years now.

For cameras, the main unit is a GoPro Hero 9 Black with a Media Mod giving me HDMI monitoring capability, a built in mic (which I don’t use in this setup) and a built in light (also not used).

The light on this camera used to pressed into service, but in the last few days it has been usurped by an Elgato Ring Light. By way of interest, the light on the Media Mod is the same as the one on the brilliant little GoPro Zeus Mini which I can heartily recommend to anyone who does any sort of video shooting.

A secondary camera that hangs off the Osee monitor and points straight down to the Da Vinci Speed Editor is a GoPro Hero 7 Black, and depending on my needs, I have access to a number of Panasonic camcorders (a 4K HC- X1 and the brilliant HC-PV100).

For any still shots I need, my trusty Canon 5D is called upon, more often than not with a DJI Ronin RS2 Pro gimbal, and in the wings as needed are a DJI Pocket 2 and OSMO Action Cam. The rare times I use my smartphone for video and stills lets me use the Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal too.

Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro

Having described all these toys, the real heart of my system is the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. Everything connects to and interacts through this electronic wonder.

So what is it?

I have written numerous tutorials and reviews of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro over the last couple of years and these are listed at the end if you wish to take the time to read them. But in short, the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro is an HDMI based vision mixing panel with 4 inputs plus a pair of 3.5mm audio input ports, an HDMI output port for monitoring, a USB-C port to attach an external hard drive for saving broadcasts to, internal memory slots for up to 20 graphics such as titles, lower 3rds, logos and so on, built in transition effects and the ability to directly “talk” to streaming systems such as Facebook Live, Twitch,  Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Skype, Zoom, , Periscope, Livestream, Wirecast and more.

There are various models of the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini available. Mine, the Pro, sells for around $720 and at the price is a bargain. Not too many years ago to get its capability would have cost many thousands trust me.

As mentioned, in addition to the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro, I also have the Blackmagic Web Presenter. Unlike the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro which can perform other tasks as well as streaming, the Presenter is dedicated to streaming and costs around $750.

For many, the Presenter will be a better option than the full on Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro by the way.


So there are the hardware components of what I will be using to create various types of streams, vlogs and podcasts depending on subject matter.

In the next article, I’ll explain just how all of this is cabled together to make it work the way I want it to and the software I employ.

Further reading (if interested):

·         Quick Tutorial: Upstream/ Downstream Keying with BMD ATEM Mini Pro

·         Tutorial: Setting Preview and switching in Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro

·         Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. NOT just for Vloggers…

·         Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro as an audio mixer? Sure can!

·         Mini Tutorial: Using Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro–––– Mini Pro with Media Pool for Lower 3rds etc.

·         Live Streaming an online “TV” show. How hard can it be? Enter Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro.

·         Tutorial: Creating Lower 3rds for use in BMD ATEM Mini Pro Live Streaming

·         Quick Tutorial: Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro and Facebook Live using XSplit Broadcaster