Ted Sim is the wild man (translation: abundantly enthusiastic marketing guy) of Aputure, an up-and-coming company whose enthusiast-priced gear I often like very much (they send me stuff to evaluate now and again). Unique in my experience, they also have an active if small Facebook community page where they solicit feedback from their users. When I stopped by their booth at Photo Plus Expo (PPE) last week, Ted was so excited about their $30 wired A-lav lavalier mic that he jumped at the chance to compare its sound quality to my kit, two sets of RØDElink wireless lavs [B&H|Amazon] running through a TASCAM DR-70D [B&H|Amazon]. How can you say “no” to that? But he was just warming up.
Last time we caught up with Aputure was at NAB in April, and when we connected last week in New York City, it became clear that they’ve made progress on multiple fronts with their high-function, lower-priced audio, lighting and wireless products.
First, Ted was all about their new $30 A-lav mic.
I’ve written before that a $30 wired mic can sound fantastic when plugged into the excellent TASCAM DR70-D audio recorder [B&H|Amazon], so I expected the A-lav would probably work well. You can check it out in the video below. Personally, what I hear is my own lack of skill in setting the levels appropriately — I should have turned up the preamp on channel 3 to compensate for the A-Lav's lower output. See and hear for yourself in the video, though I'll be impressed if by the end (as I began to fiddle more) you can tell which is which beginning at 2:51. Let us know what you think.
Of course, this was just the warm-up. Ted also showcased new light modifiers for their Amaran series of LED panels [B&H|Amazon], and most impressive of all, their ArrayTrans wireless HDMI streaming unit, coming soon.
PhotoPlus Expo 2015: Aputure takes on the big boys in audio, lighting, and wireless transmission
The light modifiers for their Amaran series of LED panels [B&H|Amazon]are a very economical way for filmmakers new to lighting to learn through osmosis and up the production value of their work. I’m looking forward to seeing their final production versions.
Their ARRAY TRANS takes aim squarely at near-zero latency, uncompressed wireless transmission products like those from Teradek and Paralinx, with astute compromises to get the price down to enthusiast and small production house levels of affordability. It was impressive at the booth, so again I’m looking forward to seeing a production unit in the circuit-board and plastic.
As I’ve written before, the Aputure folks are smart, ambitious and genuinely nice. I like them, and wish them continued success.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)