Control Any Camera with the PortKeys Universal Handle

December 24th, 2019 Jump to Comment Section 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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