The logistics of setting up a shoot can be painful at times, it’s never easy and is the less creative part to making video. It’s no easy task to make sure all players involved are on point, content is created and all-needed equipment is fully functional and working properly. Laying cables for monitoring is a thing of the past with the Radian Pro wireless HD transmitter system. Set up a monitor for the camera operator, one for the DP and one for the director, and you’ll create a tripping hazard. Shoot in multiple locations, and forget it, you’ll be laying cable all day! But with this system from Camera Motion Research; setting up multiple monitor stations, moving to multiple locations and fitting in the smallest set is simple.
Tools for Testing
For this review, the Radian Pro wireless HD transmitter system will be used with a Canon EOS 7D DSLR and Must HD field monitor. In the field, the camera was mounted on a Glidecam 6-foot jib with a Glidecam VistaHead II pan tilt head, and for our dolly shots, on top of a Hollywood MICRODOLLY with 12 feet of track.
Out of the Box
Right out of the package, the system was an ease to set up. Very intuitive cabling, making it a 10-minute job the first time, and minutes to set up after that. The camera goes to the transmitter with a HDMI cable, and the same goes for the receiver. They are both powered with batteries, hooked up with USB cables.
You can use the small battery packs for power or you can plug the receiver directly into the wall. They can transmit to multiple monitor stations. The flexibility of the system is great. The transmitter and receiver are easily mounted to your camera via the hot shoe or to a monitor with their monitor yoke. The yoke is rugged and made of steel. There is a clip to simply attach the battery packs and go. This needs a USB cable to go between the batteries and transmitter/receiver.
Pro? I’ll show you pro!
Many products get “pro” added in their name to draw more money for their manufacturers. In this case though, it holds to the standards a pro would need. The transmitting frequencies are fully cleared with the Federal Communications Commission and scan to use the best channel, so you’re sure not to have any unwanted interference. It offers a less than 2ms latency and transmits HDMI as usual. Its video resolution transition is up to 1920×1080 60p, uncompressed. It can operate in temperatures from 32-122 F.
Setting up multiple monitor stations, moving to multiple locations and fitting in the smallest set is simple.
The build quality of the Radian PRO is top notch. It’s rugged, small and works like a champ. The transmitter goes to 300 feet line of sight, and for this review, was tested indoor and outdoor. Although there wasn’t a need to be 300 feet away, it did work wonderfully. It was used within a building with thick walls and showed no issue. There wasn’t any noise outside, where interference can rear its ugly head.
A lot of shoots consist of shooting for a client—such as making commercials for business owners—so keeping them happy is always the first goal, which is easy with the Radian PRO. Using this system saves the time of reviewing the shots with clients, because they can observe from afar and it will allow you to continue to shoot without distraction. The same can be said about working with producers; if they have a particular goal for each shot, they will surely see how to help. It’s also helpful to have another set of eyes helping point out better exposure options or points of focus.
The Radian Pro didn’t add too much weight when it was mounted on a camera with the jib, and it kept wiring to a minimum. The nice thing about using this system on the 7D is that the exposure information transmits just as well. It makes choices on exposure, focal point and composition, the same as using the viewfinder on the camera. The color is great, and offers no loss of signal. As long as we were plugged in, it was transmitting, offering a clear HD signal.
When you’re purchasing a wireless HD transmitter system, there are a few options out there. Camera Motion Research isn’t the cheapest, but offers great value. Small, lightweight and a transmitting distance of 300 feet can’t be undone by its larger price tag. However, it’s still not expensive either, as other systems can be more than four times the price. Transmitting HDMI instead of HD-SDI keeps the price lower, but not as low as some systems. The cheaper systems don’t have the range of the Radian, and they don’t offer FCC cleared channels for greatest distance and clarity.
After a good spin around the block, this small, simple and robust system rates high in my book. A great solution for most every need. It can be expanded to multiple transmitters and receivers. It can be truly wireless with its on-mount batteries.
What’s my grade professor?
Nobody’s perfect, the Radian Pro system does have a drawback: many little cables to lose. For that reason, this pro gives a resounding B+. Whether you are on location, on set or need to keep the tripping hazards to a minimum, the Radian Pro wireless HD transmitter system is a good deal and a nice addition to a shooter’s toolbox. Go get your hands on this system, touch it and experience it. Don’t trip man, it’s wireless!
Camera Motion Research
$849 (as provided)
Transmission: MIMO, OFDM
Encryption: AES 128-bit
Dimensions: RX: 3.9” x 2.2” x .9” (9.9cm x 5.6cm x 2.3cm) TX: 3.7” x 1.2” x .6” (9.4cm x 3.1cm x 1.5cm)
Weight: RX: 2.7oz. (76.5g) TX: 1.3oz. (36.9g)
- Rugged build quality
- Great for indoor or outdoor use
- Simple set up and breakdown
- Lots of parts to misplace
Chris Monlux is the Creative Services Manager at the local CBS, NBC and CW Station. Production with a purpose–Making Television Ads that Work.