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Control Any Camera with the PortKeys Universal Handle

December 24th, 2019 icon / message-square 15
Control Any Camera with the PortKeys Universal Handle

PortKeys, the Chinese company specialized in on-camera and field monitors, has just announced a new camera accessory: the PortKeys Universal Handle. This handle allows you to control your camera and adjust settings. It is compatible with all major brands/cameras on the market, including Z-Cam, Blackmagic Design, RED, Canon, Sony, and so on. Let’s take a closer look at the PortKeys Universal Handle!

PortKeysHandle_Featured

Image credit: PortKeys

PortKeys Universal Handle – Construction

The team at PortKeys is moving fast, and two weeks after the announcement of their latest P6 monitor, they just released a new product. However, this time they are not back with a display, but with a camera handle. This handle is a new kind of product for PortKeys, but it features the same leitmotiv as their monitors: affordable, innovative, and high-quality.

PortKeysHandle_01

Image credit: PortKeys

The PortKeys Universal Handle is made out of milled aluminum frame wrapped with red oak around the handle. The design looks ergonomic and comfortable, and I love the sleek design and look of it. Also, it comes with a faux-leather strap for a better grip.

On the exterior side, there are various buttons/controls to control your camera or adjust your settings. These controls include one customizable three-band switch, one focus wheel, one rec switch, and one nine-way joystick.

PortKeysHandle_04

Image credit: PortKeys

Inside the handle, you’ll find a 0.9-inch OLED display, a built-in LANC splitter (compatible with their BM5 monitor), a remote port, and a motor port to attach to your camera/accessories. The handle is powered via two 18650 batteries located at the bottom, and the display shows you the battery level.

PortKeysHandle_02

The PortKeys Universal Handle with the Z-Cam E2. Image credit: PortKeys

PortKeys Universal Handle – Features

Most of the magic from the PortKeys Universal Handle happens on the inside. Indeed, it features a built-in Bluetooth and WiFi control module. In short, it means that the handle can connect wirelessly to your camera to control it. Below is a list of the settings and functions you can control via the Universal Handle.

PortKeysHandle_03

Image credit: PortKeys

As you can see, you need a cable to connect the handle to some cameras. Otherwise, if you are a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4k/6K user, you can wirelessly control/adjust:

  • Trigger and stop your recording.
  • Change your aperture, ISO, shutter, white balance settings.
  • If your lens is compatible, you can zoom and focus via the handle.
  • Adjust other parameters such as your project frame rate, codec, quality, off-speed frame-rate, and recording.

Future firmware updates should increase the handle’s capabilities. I like the versatility of such products.

Pricing and Availability

The PortKeys Universal Handle is in a pre-order stage at the moment for $299.00 until February 22. After that period, the price will be $399.00, and orders will begin to ship in March 2020. You can pre-order it on PortKeys’ website.

What do you think about the PortKeys Universal Handle? Do you think it could be a useful addition to your camera rig? Let us know in the comments below!

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