I got the chance to test out the Live Air wireless follow focus kit from PD Movie, and with such a small form factor, didn’t have any especially high expectations. But, I was wrong- this has got to be THE go-to kit for the entry level user.
A few reasons why:
- Built in batteries (removable). Other comparable kits either need external power, which is not conducive to a compact, lightweight rig, or have batteries that are not removable so the follow focus quickly becomes a brick if you run out of juice. With the Live Air kit, you get 2 motor batteries and 1 controller battery- and these should last you a full day shooting- but they also recharge very fast (30 minutes in the case of the controller!) This really ups the usability factor and should not be overlooked.
- Smooth, repetitive focus pulls. The movement feels very natural, it seems to be accurate and repeatable without getting thrown off by slow or fast movements and is just excessively simple.
- A full featured kit. You get all you need in the kit including a 15mm rod and single rod clamp that can screw onto your rig or slide into a shoe mount. It’s not only ready to go, but it’s ready for any sized rig.
- Quality. from the hardware to the software, this kit definitely feels well made.
- Mobile App. You can connect this with an app that is surprisingly full featured. While it’s not the most intuitive app I’ve used, it has a range of features like setting marks, automated and customizable paths, and even noting specific distance markers on the app’s interface for your lens.
So what’s not to like? Well- the controller wheel is a bit small; seemingly made to fit onto handheld camera rigs, it lacks the feel of a larger wheel and space to manually make marks on the ring. PD Movie does have other kits with more typical designs if you need though. Also, as I mentioned the app is not the most intuitive I’ve seen, and certain things like a long hold of the “button” being required before starting automated paths can sometimes make timing your focus pulls a little tricky.
But, long story short- it’s a great kit and definitely what I’d recommend as my top choice in the price range.
To see more, check out the video below:
Pick one up or see more here: https://geni.us/pdmov