DIY Video and Photography Projects

Sony RX10 Mark II SLOG2 120 FPS ISO 2000 MINI2 Gimbal
July 28, 2015


Ok, so here’s a little video clip I shot out in the backyard just to test SLOG2 on the new Sony RX10 MKII camera. Now before you beat this camera up about some of the noise found in the video, I left the ‘Built in ND Filter’ on and set the camera at ISO 2000. I didn’t think this would be a problem, but there is quite a bit of noise over ISO 1600.

The better thing to do would be to turn the ‘ND Filter’ OFF and then keep the SLOG2 Base ISO at 800. On the A7s this wouldn’t have been an issue. But yeah I screwed up, and at least I know to keep the ISO below 1600. Anyhow this was just a quick test to see if I can work with the color.

Camera moves were done with the RX10 MKII mounted to a CAME-TV MINI2 Gimbal. Yeah the CAME-MINI2 gimbal works great with the RX10, but I had to remove the front frame. I used the 120 fps setting edited to a 24p Timeline, and colored it with FCPX. It’s still a learning process but with practice hopefully the results just get better.

What more to say about this camera? The RX10 MarkII throws in an amazing lens with a constant F/2.8 aperture, even an option to ‘de-click the aperture’ like expensive Cinema Lenses. Manual Focus, Focus Peaking, Zebra, Histogram, Built in ND Filter, 1080p up to 120fps (WITH AUDIO), Microphone input, Manual Audio, Headphone Output, 4K Internal Recording, WiFi, and SLOG2! That’s not even scratching the surface of features. The Sony DSC-RX10 II in my opinion really puts Canon’s latest XC10 to shame.

sony rx10 mark II
find-price-button Sony RX10 Mark 2 28-200mm F/2.8 Zoom 4K Video HFR Slow Motion

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Sony RX10 Mark II High Frame Rate 60fps 120fps 240fps 480fps 960fps
July 28, 2015


I just got the new Sony RX10 Mark II in yesterday and obviously the amazing thing about this camera is it’s High Frame Rate feature. Here’s a quick capture testing some of these HFR settings. I still have to learn how to use it, because once you go into HFR Mode, the camera goes into Stand By and will not let you re-focus or change anything. You have to setup your shot, then go into Stand By mode, and then finally record when you’re ready. Depending on the HFR mode, you can only record for a quick second or two.

Of course at 60fps or 120fps 1080p, you can shoot all day. The HFR mode is for 240fps, 480fps, and 960fps. Also you have to play with different shutter speeds at different frame rates to get sharper images with less motion blur. So forgive the footage if it’s out of focus, or has too much motion blur. The different frame rates will also cause different crop views. You’ll notice the 960fps setting is more ‘cropped’ than the the other frame rates.

The HFR mode requires a special SDXC Card to record, and after going through a few different types in my stash, the Sandisk Extreme Plus UHS-1/U3 was one that worked very well (found here). Even my high end Sandisk cards 95MB/s used for RAW on the BMPCC didn’t work on the RX10MKII. I kept getting an error message because it wasn’t U3 compatible

Sandisk Extreme Plus UHS-1:U3
find-price-button Sandisk Extreme Plus UHS-1/U3 SDXC Media

Be careful, don’t get the wrong one. The label on my SDXC Card specifically says 80MB/s and U3. It’s odd because I can’t find the same card on B&H, but definitely the Sandisk Extreme Plus U3 on Amazon is exactly like mine.

I’ll be doing a little more in depth about the camera, but if you have any questions about this camera, leave your comments. For those of you on the fence, I think you’ll definitely be impressed by all the many features and overall quality of the camera. In stock and available at B&H (here).

sony rx10 mark II
find-price-button Sony RX10 Mark 2 28-200mm F/2.8 Zoom 4K Video HFR Slow Motion

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Volta Quad V-Mount Charger and Volta Smart V-Mount Batteries
July 23, 2015


With so many video accessories adopting the use of V-mount batteries, eventually it’s an investment we may have to consider. Especially if you have a solid set of LED Light Panels, as batteries will allow you to use the set in any location without worrying about plugging into a wall, or tripping on extension cords. With so many different V-Mount options available, the Volta Smart V-Mount Battery combined with the Volta Quad V-Mount Charger offers a few features you may not find on cheaper V-Mount kits.

Starting with the Volta Quad V-Mount Battery Charger, it’s certainly an investment, but keep in mind that it’s capable of charging 4 batteries simultaneously. While you may be able to find other dual chargers for less money, these may not charge your batteries simultaneously. For the dual chargers that ‘can charge simultaneously’ for close to $350 dollars, you’ll find that the Volta Quad Charger actually offers great value starting at just under $450 dollars (found here).

volta quad v-mount li-ion battery smart charger
Volta Quad V-Mount Charger and Volta Smart V-Mount Battery

Getting back to the Volta Smart V-Mount battery, I can tell you that not all V-Mount batteries are created equal. I have a small collection of off-brand V-Mount batteries that doesn’t work in many of my more powerful LED Lights, while the Volta Smart Li-ion had no issues powering them up. So if you believe you’ll one day need the extra power, that’s one big reason you’ll need a quality battery. The Volta Smart V-Mount Battery is also conveniently rated at 99Wh designed to meet guidelines for air travel in the USA.

fvlighting volta v-mount smart battery cheesycam review

The LCD display on the Volta Smart V-Mount battery is incredibly handy to have. You see the number of Cycles, current Battery Percentage, and a proper indication of how much time you have left on each battery. Once you have this type of information, you’ll definitely miss it when working with batteries that lack this feature. The LCD screen also displays a different set of information when it’s charging, such as Time Remaining and Current Percentage.

So (like myself) it’s certainly possible to save money on inexpensive V-mount batteries, there are many features the Volta Smart Batteries offer that make it more compelling to make your investment in a better Battery and Battery Charging System. The Volta Smart V-Mount Li-ion Battery and Volta Quad V-Mount Charger can be found at http://fvlighting.com.

Volta V-Mount Battery SystemVolta Smart V-Mount Battery LCD Display cheesycam review
find-price-button Volta Quad V-Mount Charger & Volta Smart V-Mount Batteries

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Lilliput MoPro7 GoPro HERO3 HERO4 7″ HDMI X Sports Monitor
July 22, 2015


This new Lilliput MoPro7 X Sports HDMI Monitor has an internal rechargeable battery keeping the entire unit extra sleek. It can also be powered (or recharged) using the provided DC wall adapter. The MoPro7 comes with multiple backings so that you can use it as a normal HDMI monitor for framing, or swap the backing to enclose your GoPro HERO3 or HERO4 Camera.

With your GoPro HERO camera mounted, the internal MoPro7 battery will keep your GoPro charged up while feeding a live view to the large 7″ screen. Although you can use the MoPro7 as a basic HDMI monitor, this certainly does not have the high end features such as peaking, false color, or waveforms. It’s simply a neat addition that will help you expands the use of your GoPro HERO cameras making it easier to view exactly what the GoPro, while keeping the camera running longer. For mounting options, the MoPro7 X-Sports Monitor does have a 1/4″ thread underneath.

lilliput mopro7 x sports monitor cheesycam reviewLilliput MoPro 7 GoPro Monitor HDMI cheesycam review
find-price-button Lilliput MoPro7 X Sports HDMI Monitor for GoPro HERO3 / HERO4 Cameras

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Trade in your Radian Pro and Upgrade to Multicast Offer
July 22, 2015


If you’re not familiar with the Radian Pro, it’s a small kit that can stream HD Video wirelessly from the HDMI of your camera over to remote monitor. These are very handy tools when you can’t be by the camera (i.e. mounted to a video crane) and you need to frame your shot. You can see how we recently used our Radian Pro kit with a Varavon Wirecam Cable Cam setup a few weeks ago (here).

The Radian Pro (unicast) will allow you to stream a feed back to one monitor, but with the Multicast version, you can stream that same feed to several monitors. Right now Camera Motion Research is offering up a trade in deal if you’re looking to upgrade.

According to the offer – “Owners of Radian Pro unicast TX/RX sets (or Paralinx Arrow® unicast TX/RX sets) can trade in their unicast set and upgrade to a Radian MC multicast TX/RX set with 2 or more receivers at a very affordable cost.” For more information about this trade in offer, check out the details at http://CameraMotionResearch.com.

radian1
Camera Motion Research Radian Pro Wireless Video Transmitter Receiver

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Sony DSC-RX10 II 4K Video Camera Now In Stock
July 22, 2015


With slow motion up to 960fps, 4K Internal Recording, SLOG2 Gamma, and a fast Carl Zeiss 24-200mm f/2.8 Lens built in image stabilized zoom lens, the Sony RX10 Mark II sounds like a beast of a camera.

I’m interested in testing out the SLOG2 on this camera to see if it will hold up as a solid B Camera alongside an A7s. The camera is currently in stock and available at B&H (here).

sony rx10 mark II
find-price-button Sony RX10 Mark 2 4K Video 28-200mm F/2.8 Zoom

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CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal Settings – Keeping your Camera’s Horizon Level and Manage Calibration
July 21, 2015


Many times people complain about the horizon being offset, or possibly the camera’s horizon may drift over time. This could easily be caused by the ‘mode’ or ‘profile’ the gimbal is currently working in, and not necessarily a problem with the gimbal itself. Understanding the profiles, how and when to use them is important if you want to achieve best results. Many of you may be surprised at how much the profiles can affect the results your getting with your gimbals.

This video covers the different profiles on the new tool-less CAME-MINI2 Gimbal, and how these different profiles can influence camera’s position during operation. It also covers how to modify the service modes so that you can manage the gimbal and calibrate it without a computer connected. It also covers troubleshooting your Joystick RC Trim if you believe your camera position ‘drifts’ over time. Keep in mind, that these settings are not unique to this gimbal, but for any gimbal operating with the same SBGC software.

So the next time you’re running around operating your gimbal, and things may not appear level or squared up, think about what mode you’re working in. Your gimbal may just be following directions, and not necessarily out of calibration. Profile 2 seems to be a good fit for tracking subjects and setting your Joystick to control ‘only tilt’ will help you manage your gimbal while keeping the horizon level. You can easily change the ’speed’ of your joystick so that the camera movements will still appear smooth.

Also, take advantage of your Service Modes by using the Profile 4, Profile 5, and Long Press options. When you’re out in the field make it a habit to square up your frame, level your camera, and calibrate your sensors (set a new home position). Unfortunately this video was probably very boring, but hopefully informative in some ways. If you have any questions, leave your comments below.

To find out more, visit the product page for the CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 Gimbal (HERE).

came-tv came-mini2 gimbal came mini gimbal cametv mini gimbal mini2 gimbal
find-price-button CAME-TV CAME-MINI2 (v2 Tool-Less) 3-Axis Mini Gimbal Stabilizer

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Aputure New Powerful and Slim Light Storm Series LED Video Lighting
July 20, 2015


Earlier this year at NAB 2015, Aputure introduced a new series of LED Video lights called ‘Light Storm‘. The Light Storm LED Panels have a dense array of High CRI LED bulbs. By eliminating all of the controls to a separate box, the Light Storm LED Panel itself is designed as a giant heat sink to dissipate heat.

The other benefits of this design are that the main panel remains slim and lightweight so that you don’t have to use heavy stands. The separate controller box of the Light Storm LED lights holds a battery mount (v-mount or gold) and with this weight hung low on the stand, you can eliminate the use of sand bags. The controller box also houses the DMX controls, Wireless controls, and power (dimming) options. The system can also be powered via AC wall adapter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 4.00.22 PM
Aputure LS1 Light Storm LED Video Lights

There is a Full Panel ‘LS1′ and Half Panel ‘1/2w’ in the Light Storm series with each available in Single Color (Daylight) or Color Temp Adjustable (Bi-Color). The LS1 is said to output equivalent to a 1K light, while the 1/2w (half panel) is equivalent to a standard 500w light.

APuture LS1 light storm video led lighting
light storm led video lights aputure

The full size Aputure Light Storm Panel LS1 provides the strongest output packing 1536 LED bulbs, but has a narrower pattern compared to the 1/2w. The 1/2w can throw a very wide beam and is built using SMD (surface mount) LED bulbs.

led video light storm 1 2 w half watt
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 4.03.35 PM

The Aputure Light Storm LED Panels were first introduced back in April, but they are finally available to purchase right now. You can find the new Aputure Light Storm LED Panels starting at under $500 and up (available here).

Aputure LS1s video light storm Aputure LS1c Video Light storm Aputure Light Storm 1:2w
find-price-button Aputure Light Storm LED Video Lights LS1s LS1c and 1/2w Panels

Available on eBay for International Buyers:
aputure light storm 12w
find-price-button Aputure Light Storm LED Video Lights – via eBay

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