You may remember last year, my friend CDA-TEK had developed a wireless focus control module and LIDAR autofocus unit for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras. This product has now been fully realised and is available to purchase on IndieGoGo.
A major addition is that it now works with any camera, and any lens, thanks to Tilta Nucleus motor drive capability.
Polite note to editors: If you mention this news, please credit the source clearly at top of page as CDA-TEK and EOSHD.com with link to the IndieGoGo and this page, in bold font.
The product has come a long-way since then.
The Pocket Bluetooth Controller (PBC) for instance has since shipped. CDA-TEK’s PBC performed remote control functions via Bluetooth to change camera settings and focus on the fly. You could plug-in controllers and accessories to this module. The original plan was for the LIDAR autofocus module to connect to the PBC but now it is a completely self-contained unit.
AFX – One Day To Go
Focus, drink, re-focus 😀 pic.twitter.com/0tEOUzpd2t
— CDA-TEK (@cda_tek) October 25, 2020
Simply by adding the module on top of the camera, it gives the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K full autofocus, with smooth focus racks and fast-as-light object detection. It even works in the dark as LIDAR works by firing infrared beams at the scene to measure the distance of the subject.
The AFX is powered by an internal rechargeable battery and is very affordable. It’s completely wireless via Bluetooth and requires no cabling into the camera, just a stable mounting point in the hotshoe or on your rig.
On the Pocket 4K and 6K, the autofocus motors of the Micro Four Thirds or EF lens are used to drive focus using LIDAR – either semi-manually, fully automatically or fully manually.
There is an interface for the Tilta Nucleus M and N motors to provide auto and manual focus functionality to any lens.
AFX is independent of the camera so you can use it with the Tilta Nucleus motor & geared manual focus lens on a Panasonic GH5 or anything else.
At the heart of the AFX is a LIDAR sensor that constantly measures the distance to the nearest object, which the AFX then processes to move the focus position of the lens to the correct calibrated position. Using this method, the lens moves immediately and consistently to the focus position, so unlike other image based auto focus systems, not only is there no focus hunting but its performance is not impacted in low light.
Included with the AFX is a compact wireless remote which allows you to control its different operational modes and functions as well as manually control focus.
This compact controller can also be used to change an array of settings on your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera such as aperture, ISO and white balance.
The AFX screen provides full monitoring of the current status of these parameters as well as an alternative measured distance indicator screen.
The AFX provides two auto focus modes; AFS and AFC.
In AFS mode, the lens is refocused on the nearest central object when the trigger on the controller is pressed and remains at that position until the trigger is pressed again or you manually refocus.
In AFC mode, the lens is continuously re-focused on the nearest central object enabling you to track a person walking towards the camera for example.
Using the controller you can instantly switch between AFS, AFC and manual focus modes and to provide smoother focus changes, you are also able to select four automatic transition times between focus points in the two auto modes.
The AFX also has an additional transition mode called Natural that automatically adjusts the focus transition time dependent upon the distance between the current and new focus position.
To provide you with even more focus assistance functionality, the AFX has a mode called QuadLock.
Using QuadLock, you can quickly store four focus positions using either the LIDAR sensor or manually and then switch between them instantly or with the currently set transition time applied.
An additional switched option in QuadLock allows you to manually move focus between the stored positions whilst automatically preventing overshoot when the target position is achieved.
On IndieGoGo – The AFX costs just 275 euros and ships with the required cable and adapter to plug it into the Tilta focus motor. For existing PBC owners the AFX costs 199 euros. The Tilta Nucleus follow focus motor is of course sold separately, but is also very affordable!
All of the same modes and features work with this and any manual focus lens, regardless of camera system used, as it does on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras. For more information please visit www.cdatek.com and follow @cda_tek on Twitter
You can also ask the creator CDA-TEK (BTM_PIX) questions on the EOSHD forum at the link below!