DIY Video and Photography Projects

Sony’s latest A6300 APS-C Camera with 4K Internal Recording
February 3, 2016

I could remember just a short time ago it was a struggle to find an affordable interchangeable lens camera with 4K internal recording. Even the original Sony A7s didn’t offer this, and the Sony A7RII had issues with overheating when recording in 4K. The Sony A7sII is an excellent camera but the price tag of $3,0000 is not quite budget friendly. For quality internal 4K recording on an ILC there are cameras such as the Panasonic GH4 or G7, but it’s also a smaller sensor camera which some people aren’t fans of.

Sony’s recent announcement of the A6300 with 4K internal recording at just $1,000 dollars is very exciting news. 4K Video Internal recording (100Mbps) with an APS-C sized sensor (throw a speedbooster on this one!), offering up with SLOG2/SLOG3 with 14 stops of Dynamic Range, and 120fps HD (100Mbps) high frame rate are just a few notable features. It is certainly offering a lot of what the more expensive A7sII has, with some features far better like the new Auto Focus system.

Now there are some features that are limited such as no headphone out port, and 30 minute video clip lengths. It’s not clear if the videos longer than 30 minutes will continue, or if it will just stop. But by using and external recorder, you could probably get around that. Regardless of some of the small cons, for the price there’s a lot to like in the new Sony A6300 that could pull a good market share away from current some Panasonic GH4 shooters. This is a camera I think will work very well next to my A7sII and i’m planning on getting one, unless of course Panasonic announces a killer GH5 soon and then i’ll have to rethink…

sony a6300 4k mirrorlessSony A6300 4K Camera
Learn-More-sm Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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MANFROTTO 504HD Fluid Head & MVT535AQ Aluminum Video Tripod Kit One Day Deal
February 2, 2016

Another Amazing Deal available now for One Day Only (Limited Time and Limited QTY). Normally this kit runs about $700 US, but for one day the ‪‎Manfrotto‬ ‪504HD‬ Video Fluid Head + MVT535AQ Three Stage Aluminium Tripod is going for Just $299 (Found Here).

Manfrotto 504HD Video Fluid HeadMVT535AQ Manfrotto Tripod

The Manfrotto 504HD Video Head is a beast capable of carrying up to 16.5 lbs. Unlike the less expensive Manfrotto heads, this one has a 4-Step Counterbalance system and Variable Friction adjustments (most cheap heads are either Unlocked or Locked no variable drag adjustments).

The bowl mount is nice as you can level this Fluid Head quickly without fussing on individual legs. This is certainly a decent deal for anyone looking to pick up a good fluid head (with tripod) right now.

manfrotto 504HD Tripod Head
VIEW-ITEM MANFROTTO 504HD Fluid Head & MVT535AQ Aluminum Video Tripod Kit

[ The Manfrotto 504HD Head alone sells for $449+ (Seen Here) and the Manfrotto MVT535AQ Tripod sells well over $240+ (Seen Here).]

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MAXOAK 36000mAh 133Wh Power Bank MacBook Pro iPhone iPad
February 2, 2016

maxoak external macbook battery magsafe cables air pro retina
Learn More MAXOAK 36000mAh 133Wh Power Bank with MagSafe

This MAXOAK 36,000mAH High Capacity battery is a beast. This one specifically comes with two different MagSafe power cables to give you extra run time on your MacBook Air or even my (late 2014) MacBook Pro Retina.

The MAXOAK 133Wh Power Bank 16.8V (3.5A) and 14.8V (3.5A) output along with two USB ports (2.1A) for charging other devices like your tablets, phones, etc. I could always use some extra battery life when traveling, editing, or when capturing footage on location so this will work out well. (Keep in mind though, that most airlines may limit the size of batteries you are able to fly with at 98Wh. This is rated at 133Wh.)

There’s a ton of high capacity batteries out there, but at least this one comes with the MagSafe cables. Which is strange because I thought the MagSafe cables are Patented and didn’t think anyone was able to make them. Maybe that’s not a problem anymore, or maybe they just didn’t catch this one yet. Check out the many reviews on Amazon

MaxOak 36000 battery
MAXOAK PowerBank Charge Laptop and Two USB Devices Simultaneously

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Canon 1DX Mark II 4K 60p HD 120fps
February 1, 2016

I think we can all admit Canon has been slacking in the DSLR Video market, but the new specs on the Canon 1DX Mark II might just help them get back in the game.

Besides upgrading the amazing stills photography features, the new Canon 1DX Mark II will offer Full Frame 4K Video up to 60fps (800 Mbps) and 1080HD at 120fps (360 Mbps). Of course the baked in Canon color science is one that many favor over Sony’s cameras too. Here’s an introductory video put together by B&H and Adorama.

For the high data rate video, the 1DX Mark II uses CFAST Media, but you can also record externally via the HDMI out. While there are certainly many other video camera options for the price of the 1Dx Mark II, none that I know of has paired this level of professional Photography and Video features together in a small body. So this camera should appeal heavily to hybrid shooters.

canon 1d mark II 4k 60p video
Learn-More-sm Canon 1Dx Mark II DSLR 4k Video 60p – via B&H

canon 1d mark II 4k 60p video
Learn-More-sm Canon 1Dx Mark II DSLR 4k Video 60p – via Adorama

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Aputure Array Trans 60GHZ Wireless HD Video Transmitter Receiver
February 1, 2016

Here’s a video interview at the Aputure booth during the NAB 2014 show introducing the NEW 60GHZ Aputure Array Trans Wireless Video System. The product release was delayed and only recently has it become available.

Fast forward almost 10 months from the interview, the Array Trans kit is now available (found here) but we’ve learned a few things about what this kit is able to do and what it can’t do. Transmitting over 60GHZ with 16 antennas in both the TX and RX, the unit is fast and clean, BUT it requires a direct line of sight without any obstacles (does not transmit 360 degrees Omnidirectional). The range is also limited to under 80 meters.

So it appears that the Array Trans is going to be targeted for specialized setups in which the camera remains static. Such examples they share is a camera mounted behind a basketball hoop sending a feed back to a live switcher, or in a concert setting where the multi-camera setups remain static. Of course if you have to pan and tilt your camera, just make sure you have the TX mounted off the camera (i.e. on a stand) so that you don’t change it’s direction. So long as the TX and RX have a direct line of sight without any obstruction, the uncompressed 10 bit 4:2:2 feed should be extremely fast and good enough to record or broadcast from.

The Array Trans does transmit both video and audio if you have to record sound. And while there are some limitations, the price is more affordable than similar systems that can transmit at this quality and range. Available now on both eBay and Amazon (links below).

aputure array trans kit
find-price-button Aputure Array Trans 60GHZ Wireless Video Audio over HDMI – Amazon

aputure array trans wireless video hdmi hd
find-price-button Aputure Array Trans 60GHZ Wireless Video Audio over HDMI – via eBay

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Better Audio with DJI OSMO Rode VideoMicro Hypercardioid Microphone
January 26, 2016

The DJI OSMO is a nice 4K Video Camera + Gimbal system, but has the worst audio ever. In fact it’s pretty much non-existent. But with a microphone attached to the 3.5mm input you can get much better results. I’ve played around with a few setups, but probably one of the best microphones to use with this tiny setup would be RODE’s new VideoMicro On-Camera Hypercardioid Microphone.

rode videomicro microphone
find-price-button Rode VideoMicro On-Camera Hypercardioid Microphone

In order to mount this with the OSMO they recommend the Straight Arm accessory along with the Universal Mount. This setup will let you use the SmartPhone Mount simultaneously (as seen below). Interestingly enough as pure convenience you can now purchase the Rode VideoMicro on the DJI Website for just $59 dollars.

find-price-button DJI OSMO Universal Mount & Straight Arm Extension

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AXRTEC AXR-A-1040BV Bi-Color LED Light Panel V-Mount Battery Plate & DMX Deal
January 26, 2016

AXRTEC is one of the latest line of LED lighting offered by Dracast, and right now the new 1040BV Bi-Color Panel is available at a nice 45% OFF SALE through B&H for the next 24 hours. The product video below gives you a little more information about the new AXRTEC AXR-A-1040BV LED Panels.

At just 13 x 8 inches and just 2″ thick, the AXRTEC AXR-A-1040BV panel is small but packs a lot of desired features. V-Mount plate for hours of run time (no small sony NPF batteries), DMX controls, Bi-Color temp adjustable, Yoke mount, and wireless controls.

Deal started at 9pm (1/26/17) and the 45% OFF SALE runs for the next 24 hours (or while supplies last). You can find the new Dracast AXRTEC LED Light Panels on sale (here).

axrtec dracast led light panel
Read More Button AXRTEC 1040BV Bi-Color LED Light by Dracast

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Fostex AR501 XLR Phantom Power Mic Preamplifier BIG Savings Just $79
January 26, 2016

fostex ar501 mic preamp xlr 48vfostex AR501 Mic Preamp DSLR Audio XLR Phantom

I know a lot of people have switched to smaller camera bodies like the Sony A7 series or Panasonic GH4. But what those cameras lack is a simple XLR audio input with Phantom Power to support high quality mics. If you’re looking to add this feature to your camera without a big price tag or bulky accessory the Fostex AR501 Mic Preamplifier is currently on sale – cheapest price you’ll find anywhere. Normally listed for over $349 dollars, you can now get it for Just $79 (very limited supply and only for a limited time at this price).

It’s not quite as full featured as other preamps (no headphone out, etc) but at this price it should do the job quite well adding the much needed XLR and 48V Phantom Power to your tiny camera setup. That’s seriously even cheaper than trying to use a Zoom H1 as a preamp (which I know many people do). My stance is buy it now at this steal of a price. Try it, return it if you’re not happy, or sell it for a possible profit.

fostex ar501 preamp
Learn-More-sm Fostex AR501 XLR Phantom Power Mic Preamplifier


Camera Mountable
48V Phantom Power
XLR Input & Output
Attenuable 3.5mm Output
Selectable Input Gain Level
Selectable High-Pass Filter
Aluminum Chassis
Powered by 1x AA Battery

[UPDATE] Looks like many of use missed this deal, and not so much of a deal, but discounted to $150 over at Amazon (found here).


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