With thanks to Aquatech USA and their UK Distributor Fixation UK I have just received the latest version of the already highly regarded Aquatech sound blimp for the Canon 5D Mark III. I have been using the first generation blimp for 12 months now and aside from a few niggles, I have found it to be an exceptional tool – so I was very excited to see how they would improve on an already great product.
Did you notice in the last two comparison images how much better the newer version fits in my hand? It is much more comfortable and far less cumbersome.
There are a number of key changes in the new version and these include:
- Dual shutter controls, one to focus, and one to release the shutter – I’m already finding these buttons easier to use than those of the earlier version
- Taller profile, only slightly, but definitely taller
- Larger diameter lens tubes – this means that your version 1 tubes and lens tube hoods will not work with the version 2 blimp but it’s now easier to slide your finger in to release the lens for quicker changes
- Version 2 is noticeably shallower, front to back making it much more ergonomically comfortable in the hand, easier to get the camera in and out of too.
- New black clip replacing the shiny (reflective) metal clip to seal the blimp. The new one is more adjustable and feels easier to use
- Fewer rear camera controllers – only the playback and control wheel remain
- user-replaceable shutter controls and shutter connection cable
- Back plate is now predominantly matte black – again, less reflective
- Slightly lighter
Overall, I love the improvements. Despite the marginal weightloss, the version two feels (from limited on set use) far easier to use for longer periods. I’m really looking forward to continuing to use this blimp on set over the coming months.
For more of my thoughts and discussion of sound blimps, check out Tech Talk 26 and Tech Talk 15.
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