DIY Video and Photography Projects

17Sep Cheap Padded Backpack for DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Carrying Case


chea[pdji phantom backpack
find-price-button Cheap Padded Backpack for DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Carrying Case

I posted a snapshot of my latest backpack (top) used to carry around the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter earlier today and since there were a few comments, I decided to post up this video for a closer look. I also show some areas I needed to cut out for my props.

My original bundle came with a Go Professional hard case (highly recommended found here) for traveling, but the hard case was too bulky for just average day to day casual use. The hardcase only has one handle and sometimes you need both hands free (like hiking up a hill). So this backpack allows me to carry all my gear and some extra for around $40 bucks. There’s a variety of pricing out there, but they all seem to be the same bag (click here).

cheap backpack dji phantom 2 quadcopter vision plus
find-price-button Cheap Padded Backpack for DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Carrying Case

DJI Phantom Kit hard case travel bag extra battery sd card
find-price-button DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Plus Quadcopter + Hard Case + Extra Battery + microSD

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16Sep 20% off ALL Red Giant Software Ends Tomorrow


I’m personally not a huge user of Red Giant software, but I know some people are. Especially software like Magic Bullet, Plural Eyes (sync audio in post), or Grinder (encoding). So if you’re ready to give some of these a look, you can get 20% off ALL Red Giant software today and tomorrow! Ends 11pm EST on 09/17/2014.

Here’s your Coupon code: REDSALE20R

RDGSHOPLURUDRDGMBTLUDRDGREDRETRGD
find-price-button 20% OFF Red Giant Software

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15Sep Control New Tascam DR-22WL DR-44WL Audio Recorders over Wi-Fi


Tascam has unleashed the power to control these two new Digital Portable Audio Recorders over Wi-Fi with your PC or Mac computer or through your iOS or Android Smart Phone. These audio recorders create their own WiFi network, so there’s no need for a router or an existing wireless network. Your device connects directly to the unit.

tascam wifi app remote control audio recorder

Using the new Tascam DR control app, you’ll have the power to start and stop recording or playback, verifying that the meters and time counter are moving. The app also allows you to adjust the input gain, change the stereo mix, enable low rolloff filter or limiter, and virtually any other control on the recorder.

Now if you want to listen to the audio over Wi-Fi, you’ll only be able to monitor the audio during ‘playback’ of a file – not during the actual recording. Obviously you’ll want to monitor the audio whenever possible, but the ability to control wirelessly is pretty awesome if you have to place your recorder in an odd location, or if you’re just not part of the action.

DR22WL-largetascam_dr_22wl_wi_fi_enabled_portable_recorder_1079894
find-price-button Tascam DR-22WL Portable Audio Recorder with Wi-Fi

Product Highlights
Stereo XY Microphone
Wi-Fi-Enabled Control and File Transfers
8-Position Scene Dial Recording Presets
24-bit/96kHz Recording
Transport Control App
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DR44WL-largetascam_dr_44wl_wi_fi_enabled_portable_1079895
find-price-button Tascam DR-44WL Portable Audio Recorder with Wi-Fi

Product Highlights
Stereo XY Microphone
2x XLR Inputs
Wi-Fi Enabled Control and File Transfers
4-Track Multitrack Mode
24-bit/96kHz Recording
Built-In Reverb
Hot Shoe Mount
Hand Grip, Windscreen, micro-USB Cable
SD Card, Soft Case, AC Adapter
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15Sep Atomos Shogun 4K Recorder/Monitor + PowerStation Solution


Here’s a YouTube video from victorbart shot at the Atomos IBC event booth showing off the Sony A7s with Shogun 4K recorder. While the Shogun itself has already been in the news, Atomos is also showing a Powerstation Solution that can power both the Shogun and a camera body. That’s definitely going to be required with the small battery size of the Sony A7s. This looks like a clean solution that hopefully will be available for other camera bodies as well.

Atomo Shogun 4k Recorder
find-price-button Atomos Shogun 4K HDMI/12G-SDI Recorder and 7″ Monitor

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15Sep Panasonic Announces GM5 and LX100 4K Camera


Panasonic has made an exciting announcement for two new cameras.

panasonic_lumix_dmc_lx100_digital_camera_1082158
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix LX100 4K Camera w f/1.7-2.8 Lens

Product Highlights
16.8MP 4/3″ Multi-Aspect MOS Sensor
Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 Lens
24-75mm (35mm Equivalent)
2,764k-Dot EVF
3.0″ 921k-Dot Rear LCD Screen
4K Ultra HD Video at 30/24 fps in MP4
Full HD Video at 60fps in MP4 or AVCHD
Manual Control Rings and Dials
Built-in Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
External Flash Included
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panasonic_dmc_gm5k_lumix_dmc_gm5_mirrorless_micro_1082161
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix GM5 Mirrorless Camera

Product Highlights
16MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
Venus Engine Image Processor
Micro Four Thirds System
1,166k-Dot Viewfinder
Full HD 1080p Video at 60 fps
Contrast AF & Focus Peaking
External Flash Hotshoe
Built-in Wi-Fi Connectivity
Highly Compact Magnesium Alloy Body
LUMIX G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
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15Sep Canon Announces new EOS 7D Mark II


Canon EOS 7D Mark II Dual Pixel CMOS Focus
find-price-button Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Description
The EOS 7D Mark II features a refined APS-C sized 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor with Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors for gorgeous imagery. It shoots up to 10 frames per second at ISOs ranging from 100–16000 (expandable to H1: 25600, H2: 51200), has a 65-point* all cross-type AF system and features Canon’s amazing Dual Pixel CMOS AF for brilliant Live-View AF. It has dual card slots for both CF and SD cards, USB 3.0 connectivity and even has built-in GPS** for easy location tagging, automatically.

Achieve Impressive AF During Video Capture.
Canon’s innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables you to shoot video like a camcorder with smooth, fast, and accurate autofocus and lets you enjoy instant and precise autofocus even when shooting stills.

The EOS 7D Mark II features Canon’s revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a milestone in AF speed and accuracy that unlocks the potential of Live View shooting. This advanced technology has truly changed what is possible with a DSLR camera.

Canon 7D Mark II Dual Pixel Auto Focus CMOS Sensor

Dual Pixel CMOS AF involves a sophisticated rethinking of the CMOS sensor. Traditionally, image sensors have one photodiode per pixel for recording, but the CMOS sensor on the EOS 7D Mark II has two photodiodes per pixel, 40 million in total, enabling each pixel on the sensor to both perform phase-difference detection autofocus and capture light. With phase-difference detection AF, autofocus is achieved quickly and easily on the camera. This unique AF system enables autofocus on approximately 80% of the image plane, vertically and horizontally, and helps ensure virtually no loss in image quality.

Just to recap, the new Canon 7D Mark II has a 20.2 Megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS AF enabling you to shoot video like a camcorder with smooth, fast, and accurate autofocus and for low noise at High ISO. A 65-point* all cross-type high-performance AF system. High speed continuous shooting up to 10.0 fps allows you to capture fast action. The Viewfinder II provides approximately 100% field of view, and now a built-in intervalometer for time lapse.

I get the feeling Canon isn’t pushing towards video shooters as much as they are pushing it as a fast stills camera for sports photographers. But for video shooters who want to stick with Canon, one upgrade over other Canon DSLRs is the ability to now shoot 1080/60fps (sorry no 4K talk). The dual pixel auto focus in video mode should make it very easy to track subjects and maintain sharp focus, and hopefully this new sensor and dual Digic 6 processors will offer amazing low light capabilities. For more information about the new Canon 7D Mark II check it out via Adorama (click here).

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
find-price-button Canon EOS 7D Mark II

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14Sep Olympus Announces 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro MFT Lens


Product Description:
With a premium metal construction and a variety of specialized lens elements the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens from Olympus will provide Micro Four Thirds users with a compact, yet durable and sharp telephoto zoom lens. It has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 80-300mm for covering a wide range of telephoto lengths and has a fast constant f/2.8 aperture that matches other professional grade lenses. Additionally, it utilizes a Dual Voice Coil Motor, or VCM, autofocus system that features two separate lens groups that are each controlled by their own linear drive motor. This results in incredibly fast performance that is nearly friction-free and very quiet.

Inside the dust, free, and splash-proof lens body are a variety of specialized elements that feature the ZERO lens coating, including one aspherical, one high refractive index, and five extra-low dispersion elements for improved imaging performance. There is also a floating mechanism that allows users to focus as close as 27.6″ for a maximum magnification of 0.42x. Additionally, the outside of the lens body features a manual focus clutch for rapidly switching from auto to manual focus as well as an L-Fn button that can be programmed to change a specific setting. Included with the lens are a lens hood and a case.

Anyone miss the part about Image Stabilization? Looks like this lens is best suited for cameras like the EM-1 where stabilization is provided in-body. For more information check out the product page via B&H (click here).

Olympus 40-150mm 2.8 Lens
find-price-button Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

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14Sep Samsung NX1 4K Video Mirrorless Camera


The native 4K Samsung NX1 Mirrorless Digital Camera features a 28.2MP BSI APS-C CMOS sensor that not only produces high-resolution images, but also 4K video at 24 fps, UHD at 30 fps, and full 1080p HD video at up to 60 fps. High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) is applied so that even 4K and UHD video files remain easy to edit and share. A sharp, 3.0″ HD 1036k-dot touchscreen monitor and 205 phase-detection AF points benefit both cinematographers and still photographers, and in instances where it is preferable to use the camera’s viewfinder instead, a sharp, built-in XGA OLED electronic viewfinder is also built-in.

Samsung NX1Samsung NX1 4K Camerafind-price-button Samsung NX1 4K Video Mirrorless Camera

Built for fast shooting conditions, the NX1 provides a 15 fps burst with autofocus plus a 1/8000th second maximum shutter speed. For use in low-light, the ISO range can be expanded from 100 to 51,200. A full complement of shooting modes are available, including Aperture Priority, Auto, Manual, Program, and Shutter Priority, plus “smart” modes such as Action Freeze, Beauty Face, Fireworks, Landscape, Multi-Exposure, Night, Panorama, Rich Tone (HDR), Sunset, and Waterfall. Images can be saved as RAW files or JPEGs of various file sizes that correspond to user-selectable image ratios of 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1 and according to the user’s desired color editing space of Adobe RGB or sRGB.

Saving and outputting large video and image files are accommodated by the camera’s ability to utilize UHS-I or UHS-II SD-type memory cards, and a USB 3.0 port. Additionally, a micro HDMI connector allows video to be recoded directly to an external recording device with a 4:2:2 (8-bit) output signal. The NX1 also takes advantage of wireless technology as well. Built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capability allows individual images to be wirelessly transferred from the camera to a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi capability coupled with Bluetooth 3.0 technology allows for fast and cordless transfer of files while providing constant and accurate GPS data when the NX1 is paired with smartphone.

Samsung NX1 4k Camera MirrorlessNX1 vs GH4 4K Camera
find-price-button Samsung NX1 4K Video Mirrorless Camera

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12Sep Varavon Birdycam2 3 Axis Gimbal FREE Battery Promotion


Here’s a little video (below) on how to use the Varavon Birdycam2 Gimbal Stabilizer in a compact low-mode form factor. The DJI Ronin has a setting in which you would turn the handle sideways in which they call this ‘Briefcase Mode’. If we are to compare size and weight to the DJI Ronin, I guess for the Varavon it would be more like ’small handbag’ mode? I’ll leave it up to you guys to come up with a better name..

While I still think the DJI Ronin is worth every bit for anyone working with a camera larger than a C100, the Varavon Birdycam2 should not be left out of the equation. This is definitely a gimbal that should be considered for anyone with smaller cameras looking to travel with the most portable, lightweight, and compact gear. The entire unit is literally small enough to fit inside a normal backpack (including it’s own stand). In the video i’m using a Tokina 11-16mm on the GH4 which is still far from the max capacity the Birdycam2 can handle. In fact I had to bring my PID settings down to around 23 for this setup.

In any case, if you are still considering the Varavon Birdycam2 Gimbal they are currently offering a FREE Extra Battery Promotion ($200 dollar value / limit one per customer). You’ll need to upload some type of video across a few social networks to qualify, and this deal ends in just a few weeks. For more information you can check them out at their website (click here).

Varvon Birdycam Gimbal Deal Free Battery

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12Sep Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens


sony 28-135 full frame e mount

Sony has announced it’s latest Full-Frame FE Mount Lens, and with this range of 28-135mm this could be a great all around lens for video use. Although it’s widest aperture is F/4 I don’t think Sony A7s owners will have any issues with losing a few stops of light, if you can get over the price of $2499.

Sony FE PZ 28-135mm Lens
Designed for the demands of 4K and HD movie-making and high-resolution still photography, this weather-sealed full-frame E-mount lens features variable-speed zoom, powered by a Super Sonic wave Motor, along with quiet linear motor-driven autofocus and iris adjustment. Lens breathing during focusing and axial displacement while zooming has been reduced and there are independent control rings for zoom, focus, and iris, engineered to provide the right amount of torque for responsive operation. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization controls blur, while aspherical and ED lens elements, along with a Nano AR coating, provide sharp imaging devoid of flare and ghosting.

read more button Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens via B&H

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11Sep Bower 16mm T/2.2 Cine Lens Deal


Not a huge discount, but a savings nonetheless. The Bower branded 16mm Cine Lens is currently discounted and available for several mounts including Sony E, Canon EF-M, Canon EF-S, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, and also Sony A mounts. If you’ve been eyeballing this lens it’s currently being offered with an instant savings of $80 bucks (click here).

bower 16mm
16mm rokinon samyang bower
find-price-button Bower 16mm T/2.2 Cine Lens Discount

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11Sep Sandisk Announces Largest 512GB SDXC Card


Sandisk has a few new ExtremePro cards available in 128GB and 256GB. Just in case you felt 256GB sd cards weren’t large enough or maybe you were just too lazy to swap it out with another, Sandisk is also making available a new Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC Card.

These new cards look familiar, but are different than previous Extreme Pro cards by raising the bar with a UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) rating. These new cards are listed via Adorama (click here).

Sandisk Extreme Pro 512GB 256GB 128GB SDXC
find-price-button Sandisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC 95MB/s

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09Sep Digislider Time Lapse Premium Kit – Product Giveaway


If you’ve caught a bit about the DigiSlider Time Lapse Kit here on the blog, well here’s your opportunity to register for a chance to get one FREE (open to international too). DigiSlider is offering up one of their Premium Kits which includes a Digislider, Shoot-Move-Shoot Controller (for stop-move-stop (non-continuous motion), Slow Motor, and a AA battery Case to power everything. All you need is a tripod head and a camera and you are ready to go.

HDR Time Lapse

Vertical TimeLapse

Remember that this is not your average motorized video slider limited to only continuous movement, but a slider with the capability of doing Shoot-Move-Shoot function for advanced Time Lapse photography.

To watch the video and get a bit more information, check out the DigiSlider Premium Time Lapse Kit Product Giveaway page (click here).

Digislider Giveaway Motorized Slider
Register Digislider Time Lapse Premium Kit – Product Giveaway

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08Sep New Zoom iQ6 Stereo Mic Adapter for iPhone


The new iQ6 Stereo X/Y Microphone from Zoom turns your iOS device with Lightning connector into a field recorder for capturing the sounds of concerts, interviews, meetings, lectures and more, at up to 16-bit/48kHz resolution. The microphone uses the same two, high-quality, unidirectional condenser mics found in the popular H4n recorder, allowing your recordings to cover a wide area, while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity and definition.

While it blocks the iPhone 3.5mm port, you can still monitor with a set of headphones by plugging into the headphone input on side of the iQ6. Available now and more information about the Zoom iQ6 Stereo X/Y Microphone can be found at B&H (click here).

Zoom iQ6 Audio Adapter Microphone iPhoneZoom iPhone Mic Adapter iQ6 Stereo XY
find-price-button Zoom iQ6 Zoom iQ6 Stereo X/Y Microphone for iOS Devices with Lightning Connector

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06Sep Canon FD Lens + GH4 + FotoDiox ND Throttle Adapter Samples


So today I decided to shoot a few samples with the new FotoDiox ND Throttle Lens Adapter. The version I have mounts a Canon FD Lens to a Micro Four Thirds camera, and in these samples i’m using my Panasonic GH4. If you’re familiar with ‘Variable ND Filters’ here’s a few things to keep in mind while watching the video below (make sure you choose 1080 HD settings).

#1: Not once did I ever see the dreaded ‘X’ cross hatch while performing any of these tests. Even when going to it’s extremes. I don’t care how expensive your ND filter is, with certain lenses you’ll eventually see this phenomenon when placing a Variable ND Filter to the front.

#2: Image quality did not appear to degrade as much as other ND filters when I tested my 200mm F/4 lens (which on GH4 is over 400mm). Even expensive ‘Variable ND Filters’ have trouble maintaining sharpness when placed in the front of lenses past 200mm.

#3: Stare closely at neutral areas like the ‘whites’ and ‘black’ areas. This filter in my eyes did not show a strong Magenta cast as most ‘cheap’ Variable ND Filters would. If anything maybe there’s a bit of green, but nothing I would complain about for such a cheap lens adapter.

Now whether or not you have beef with the FotoDiox company is none of my business, but there’s no denying that this adapter does what it claims and I think it does an excellent job for the price. There are certainly benefits to adding a Variable ND filter ‘behind a lens’ as opposed to the ‘front of a lens’ and it shows in these examples. Referencing the video above not once did you ever see weird ‘cross hatching’ as the nd filter rotated between it’s extremes. It also maintained a fair amount of sharpness when used with a 200mm F4 lens which again on a GH4 is equivalent to 400mm+ on a full frame.

Below you’ll find ‘Frame Grabs’ from the video, but you can click on any image below for a larger view.

Frame Grab Samples from Video with GH4 / White Balance Locked to Daylight Setting
FotoDiox ND Throttle FD Lenses

FotoDiox ND Throttle Birdhouse

FotoDiox ND Throttle Leaf

FotoDiox ND Throttle Clips

FotoDiox ND Throttle Flower

Obviously there are a few pixel-peepers who will nitpick these examples, so here’s a bit of advice. If you’re the type to complain about trying to get the best quality out of your lenses, then you should not be looking at Variable ND Filters. Instead you should invest in ‘Static ND Filters’. A static ND Filter will always provide the best image quality over the most expensive Variable ND filters money can buy.

In summary FotoDiox is offering up a very nice solution for the convenience of using Variable ND Filters combined with a variety of Lens Adapter Mounts all for under $100 dollars. At this time, I can’t speak about the quality of using these adapters for Canon EF, Minolta, or Nikon lenses, but i’m personally very very very satisfied with the results I can achieve with my sub $50 dollar Canon FD Lenses.

One of the ‘CONS’ of course with this type of setup is that it will not allow you to use a ‘Focal Reducer’ or ‘Speed Booster’ which might be a hard trade off for some people. So hopefully these short examples are enough reference for concerns such as a questionable loss of sharpness, color shift and or color cast. Once again take a look at the examples, and leave your comments below about whether you think the product delivers to your expectations.

FotoDiox ND Throttle Adapter
find-price-button FotoDiox ND Throttle Variable ND Lens Adapters

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06Sep HDSLRnow Quick Tip: 9 Inch Manfrotto Dovetail and Shoulder Pad 15mm Rail Block


Here’s another overview of inexpensive and unique equipment by HDSLRnow. The extra long Manfrotto compatible quick release plate will allow you to better position your camera for balance, and the inexpensive Shoulder Pad with 15mm Rail Block is a great option for shoulder rigs.

Thanks again to HDSLRnow for a well executed introduction to these products, and make sure to follow via twitter @HDSLRnow. For more information about the products in this article, jump over to the website (click here).

SmallRig-quick-dovetail-1460-Manfrotto SmallRig-shoulder-pad-1485-15mm-railblock
find-price-button Manfrotto 9″ Inch Dovetail Plate & Shoulder Pad 15mm Rail Block
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