Fujifilm just dropped onto the broadcast market two new portable lenses as part of the UA Series of 4K broadcast lenses: the FUJINON UA18x7.6 and FUJINON UA23x7.6. Both of these broadcast lenses feature a compact and light-weight design with an economical price point. The use of unique optical technology delivers outstanding image resolving power and rich tonal gradation.
The new UA18x7.6 is a lens designed for a range of applications, including news-gathering, sports, house of worship, and entertainment production. The F1.8 lens features a 7.6-137mm focal length plus a 2x extender, and is only 3 ½ lbs. The UA23x7.6 is an economical F1.8 UHD telephoto zoom for studio and field production. It has a 23x zoom range of 7.6-175mm plus a 2x extender and weighs just 4.2 lbs. Both new UA series lenses have High Transmittance Electron Beam Coatings (HT-EBC), as well as the same HDR and 2/3-inch 4K performance as the rest of the UA series.
Fujifilm will begin delivery of the UA18x7.6 in September 2019 and the UA23x7.6 will ship in October 2019. The addition of these two new lenses expands Fujifilm’s 2/3-inch UHD broadcast lens lineup to a total of 13 models in support of quality 4K video production.
Predicting the arrival of the age of 4K video, Fujifilm launched the world’s first 4K broadcast lens in 2015. The company has since expanded its lens lineup to include compact, lightweight portable lenses and box types offering high-magnification zoom, thereby contributing to the expansion of the 4K broadcasting market.
Now spreading rapidly worldwide, the use of 4K video is accelerating the introduction of 4K video equipment. The arrival of compact and lightweight “4K camcorders” has allowed videographers to take advantage of their portability, increasing the need for compact and lightweight UHD lenses more than ever before.
The two models contain Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) and fluorite lens elements to control various types of aberrations to achieve amazing sharpness. The company’s unique multi-layer coatings (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) help achieve rich tonal gradation to produce 4K video of astonishing quality. These 4K lenses will improve the performance of an HD broadcast camera. That means users can make effective use of their existing broadcast equipment in achieving results of greater image quality, and at the same time be prepared for the future of 4K.
Fujifilm will showcase these new products at the Beijing International Radio, TV & Film Exhibition (BIRTV2019), held in Beijing, China from August 21 to August 24.
FUJINON lenses by Fujifilm are known for high-quality eloquent images and have been used in various production sites including movies, TV commercials, and live sports broadcasts around the world. Fujifilm will continue to tap into its optical, high-precision forming and assembling technologies that have been nurtured over many years in the cutting-edge field of video expression, to further expand and enhance its 4K lens lineup, thereby addressing the diversifying needs at the forefront of video production.
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division provides consumer and commercial photographic products and services, including: photographic paper; digital printing equipment, along with service and support; personalized photo products; film; and one-time-use cameras; and also markets motion picture archival film and on-set color management solutions to the motion picture, broadcast and production industries. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the graphic printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides optical lenses for the broadcast, cinematography, closed circuit television, videography and industrial markets, and also markets binoculars. The Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division delivers new products derived from Fujifilm technologies. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. sells and markets a range of Fujifilm products and services in Canada. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com/northamerica, go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to www.facebook.com/FujifilmNorthAmerica to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.
The ≈US$30 V-MODA BoomPro microphone sounds great in its niche and is most similar to another head microphone I have reviewed before, the competing ModMic 5. What they have in common is that they both are designed to attach to your current favorite over-the-ear headphones, which are not included with either microphone. What distinguishes these two mics is the way they attach to your “cans”, which —in the case of the V-MODA— restricts the potential headphone candidates drastically. While the ModMic 5 attaches to practically any over-the-ear headphone using a self-adhesive magnet system, the V-MODA BoomPro ingeniously snaps onto any of the few over-the-ear headphones which have a removable 3.5 mm TRS cable. This greatly simplifies the overall cabling system while making a non-invasive attachment. Let’s explore how the connectivity works, power requirement and listen to a test recording, three ways.
The headphones shown above are not included with the BoomPro.
Standard cabling and connection options
As I explained in the introductory paragraph, the ≈US$30 V-Moda BoomPro (Amazon link — B&H link) completely replaces the factory-supplied cable that came with your favorite over-the-ear headphones, as long as it’s removable. The BoomPro’s own cable is now in charge of everything, including the headphones and the microphone, which is neater than the competing ModMic 5 solution, despite the included accessories to minimize the cable bulk. That’s why the BoomPro’s cable terminates in a TRRS. With that TRRS plug, it will work directly with those smartphones and tablets that still include an analog connection, as well as many laptops. (See my 2015 article TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic.)
The BoomPro also includes an adapter to separate the combined TRRS plug into discreet TRS for the stereo headphones and mono microphone, which is delivered as a two-channel signal for compatibility with most stereo inputs.
I attached the BoomPro to my current favorite over-the-ear, brandable headphones, the US$69 CB-1 from Status Audio (Amazon link) which I reviewed in January 2018, and I really love the combination.
If you need a much lower-cost headphone with removable 3.5 mm to use the BoomPro, consider the “renewed” Corsair HS50 (shown above) for about US$25 (Amazon link). This headphone actually includes a removable microphone, where the microphone is rated poorly, and the headphone is highly rated. If I recall correctly, I actually discovered the Corsair HS50 from a happy user of the BoomPro. The idea is to purchase the Corsair HS50, remove the poor microphone and install the much higher quality BoomPro in its place. I have never tested the Corsair HS50 so far.
The BoomPro mic is an electret condenser and requires bias voltage (aka “plugin power”) which is 3-5 volts and is supplied by most non-balanced mic inputs nowadays.
It’s also supplied by the RØDE SC6-L interface for Apple devices with digital Lightning inputs (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), which I have covered in many articles. If you want to connect the BoomPro to one of the mic inputs on the SC6-L, you’ll actually need the adapter to separate microphone and headphone signals (included with the BoomPro), plug the headphone TRS into the middle (headphone) connection on the SC6-L. Then you’ll need another adapter to go from the TRS microphone side of the first adapter to TRRS again, since that the only type of plug accepted by the SC6-L’s microphone inputs.
How to use the BoomPro with an XLR balanced input which only supplies phantom power
If you want to connect the BoomPro (with its included adapter from TRRS to individual TRS for microphone and headphone) to an XLR balanced input, you’ll need an active converter like the RØDE VXLR+ with belt clip (shown above, Amazon — B&H, reviewed here) or the Antlion Audio XLR Power Converter (shown below, Amazon — B&H, reviewed here).
Both of these convert high-voltage 48 volts to low voltage 3-5 volts and adapt the impedance. The RØDE VXLR+ is flat, while the Antlion Audio XLR Power Converter cuts low frequencies.
Polar pickup pattern
Like most lavalier microphones, the BoomPro has an omnidirectional pickup pattern. However, its extreme proximity to the sound source (very close to the mouth of the person speaking), the acoustic signal-to-noise ratio is high. Nonetheless, even a head-mounted omnidirectional head-mounted microphone will still pickup more of the room sound than a cardioid head mounted microphone.
I made the test recording by connecting the BoomPro microphone into a single channel of the RØDE SC6-L interface connected to an iPhone SE, using the adapters indicated earlier in this article. I removed the blank track produced by the RØDE Recorder app using Hindenburg Journalist Pro, my favorite multitrack audio editor for conventional computers. (I have covered Hindenburg Journalist Pro in several articles.)
Below you will hear three versions of the same recording: one unprocessed (other than normalization), one with noise reduction and one with noise reduction and compression. All three are uncompressed WAV mono. Please listen with wifi or unmetered data.
Above, unprocessed (other than normalization).
Above, with noise reduction and normalization.
Above with noise reduction and mild compression.
As long as you have (or are willing to acquire) a suitable headphone with removable 3.5 mm cable, the ≈US$30 V-Moda BoomPro (Amazon link — B&H link) sounds great (in its category and for its price) and is very flexible in terms of connection options, as detailed in the article. Although I would not recommend using the V-MODA as a main microphone in a studio, I would indeed consider it in the following audio-only or audio-with-video applications:
For a field interviewer to record her/his voice on an independent track, while s/he monitors the sound using the attached isolating headphones. The interviewee would be recorded with a separate, directional microphone (cardioid or more) on her/his independent track. The only time I would combine the two signals would be for a live broadcast.
To supply to remote guests together with one of the compatible headphones mentioned earlier, especially when it is too much to expect the remote guest to set up a microphone, clip, stand and isolating headphones and to stay “on mic” (with proper mic placement) during a broadcast, and/or when there is not a budget for the sum of a mic, stand and isolating headphones for remote guests.
Many images of the V-MODA BoomPro in this article are courtesy of V-MODA.
Save US$20 on Google Fi, my favorite mobile telephony and data service
You can use Google Fi for your live broadcasts, using the extra coverage in the US, since it combines three networks in one service: T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Click here to save US$20 on Google Fi, which now works on iPhone and Android. With Google Fi (covered previously in several articles), there is no extra charge for data-only SIM cards on the same account, for up to 10 devices. You only pay for the total data, and data is free after 6 GB per month. So you could be using one Google FI SIM card on your primary phone, another in a tablet or secondary phone (or third, of fourth…).
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units, although not V-MODA so far. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcastingCapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.
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