Digital Capture Kit 2021

Socially distanced remote image review

I posted a couple of shots of this rig in my Instagram stories the other week and was inundated with questions. I thought I would put a couple of posts together explaining the tech behind the setup.

If you are one of my wonderful clients reading this, wondering what this means for you? Well, simply, it means a safe and socially distanced review of the images in real-time wherever you are, whether you are on set or in the office or at home – there are multiple options in this setup to make sure you are kept in the loop and part of the creative process. If you are interested in how this works, well please keep reading!

For those who didn’t see the stories (follow me on Instagram here), this is part of my tethering setup with on-set remote viewing. This kit comes in two versions, the pictured version is the ‘location’ kit, with remote viewing on an iPad Pro. The second version is the ‘studio’ version which has wireless Eizo monitors in addition to the iPad Pro.

The main base of the kit is the Inovativ Digiplate Pro with the Pro Sunshade, this sits on a Manfrotto tripod. Everything can be clamped onto the underside of the plate and this creates a solid working platform.

Power to the kit is handled by Tethertools D-Tap to USB-C adapter and FXLion Nano Mini V-lock batteries on a quick swap mini V-Lock plate. Tethering cables, as always is the fantastic Tethertools cables, I actually use the long USB-A to USB-C cables and then short ‘pigtail’ cables at the camera end (this method creates zero pressure if someone steps on the cable, it just disconnects) I’ve been using these cables for years and love them.

The remote iPad pro for social distancing is run via various sharing methods but mainly sidecar. It is on a metal mount which has an Arca Swiss mount to attach to the Peak Design Carbon Travel Tripod which I absolutely love for a couple of reasons, the head is super compact, it’s light, tiny and most importantly fits inside the Peli 1535 AIR Case that the whole kit sits inside. I didn’t go with the case made for the plate as I wanted to include a Kason Cases lid organiser, the plate sits at the bottom of the case on legs and this protects all the hard drives mounted underneath (if needed)

This part of the walkthrough is the nitty-gritty, the cables, power and cable routing, you know, the really sexy stuff! At the business end (tethered to camera) as always are the fantastic Tethertools cables, I actually use the long USB-A to USB-C cables and then short ‘pigtail’ cables at the camera end (this method creates zero pressure if someone steps on the cable, it just pulls out with no pressure and it disconnects) I’ve been using these cables for years and love them.

The mini V-lock battery from FX Lion clips into a plate with a d-tap out on the side which is permanently wired into the Tethertools D-TAP to USB-C 90w adapter, this means I can charge the Apple Macbook Pro at full charge rate (87w as it’s the 15″ model)

Out of the D-Tap to USB C adapter is a Startech Thunderbolt 3 cable that is fixed in place by using the LSdigi 3/8″ cable tidies. Having cables permanently mounted means a quicker setup/de-rig time.

There are a few extra bits of kit mounted under the plate. A couple of drop-down hangers from Inovativ & LSdigi to hang carabiners for cables/straps and a Bose Bluetooth speaker mounted to keep us all entertained.

This kit is light, mobile and neat. The power element uses industry-standard mounts so when I fly I can hire in as many batteries as I need for the job and it all packs down into the single case + the larger tripod. It keeps clients safe and happy, giving me somewhere to work and for them to review.

I’ll keep building to it and try to do yearly blog pieces about it.