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Elite Team Member Tim Holterman: The DP6 and the Oracle “SmartLapse” System

  • January 21, 2011
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Elite Team Member Tim Holterman: The DP6 and the Oracle “SmartLapse” System

As we blaze the cinematic trail we are always on the lookout for the best gear possible. Recently the guys over at SmallHD sent us the brand new DP6 Monitor. We haven’t had time to put it through any grinding tests but so far it looks pretty useful. For its lightweight size (5.6″), it’s a powerhouse. Offering 1280 x 800 resolution, HDMI in, Component in, SDI in/out, USB in (makes those software/firmware updates easy), mounting points on all sides and several power options. Ours shipped with the Canon 5D battery mount which accepts two 5D batteries and keeps the monitor lightweight. This is far better than mounting a heavy Anton Bauer battery to the back of the monitor but since they also offer a D-Tap cable, you can easily plug this into some other power source such as an external AB system. The battery mount is easily removed and swapped out so having a large variety of battery options is just a matter of a new mount. The monitor offers plenty of user definable presets to set up quick and easy to get to modes such as focus assist, color bars, 1:1 pixel mapping, Image flip, etc. There is actually so much inside the menus that we are going to have to spend some more time before we really know what combinations work best for us. In the brief time that we had a camera attached to the monitor the picture looked pretty good. We still need to see about calibrating it to the 5D viewfinder and HP Dreamcolor monitor so we know how much we can rely on what we are seeing to judge exposure and color. As we spend more time with the monitor, especially on set, we will have a better idea of what the DP6 really offers, but so far so good.

Photograph Courtesy of Small HD - www.smallhd.com
Photograph Courtesy of Small HD – www.smallhd.com

Also, I’ve finally had time to un-box the Kessler Crane Oracle “SmartLapse” system. The idea is to attach it to our CineSlider so we can do some wysiwyg programmed moves and start adding more motion timelapse material to our arsenal. Hurlbut Visuals is all about cinematic quality and the more tools we have at our disposal, the more opportunity we have to go out and shoot something awesome. I’m a big fan of timelapse and love the fact that shooting timelapse with the Canon 5D gives us 4K RAW files. I remember watching “The Assassination of Jesse James” recently which has some subtle timelapse transitions, they add so much mood and pass time brilliantly. This is the inspiration I’ll be taking with me as we do tests over the coming months. If you haven’t seen that movie, please find the time to rent it on BlueRay – it’s some of Roger Deakins best work.

Below is the Kessler Crane Smartlapse 101 video by Swiss Filmmakers.


As the HD-DSLR market explodes it seems like there are new products launched almost every day. We love innovation and these are exciting times, now we just have to filter out the products that don’t work and focus on the ones that rock. We will be sure to share our thoughts along the way so everyone can ride the wave with us. Stay Tuned.

Tim Holterman
Researcher, Hurlbut Visuals Elite Team

  • Canon
  • Cinematography
  • Education
  • Kessler
  • SmallHD

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