Monthly Archives: February 2010

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The above video was shot at night while we were hanging out in Emeryville, Ca waiting to pick someone up from the train station. Two things I want to point out in this video. First off i'm using the BodyPod that I created not too long ago. The camera used in the video is the 5D Mark II + Battery grip + Canon 85mm F/1.2. If anyone knows this setup it's a beast and quite heavy. The DIY BodyPod camera stabilizer (for it's small discreet size) really met it's purpose, and i'm excited to start making a carbon fiber version that's even lighter and smaller. Next, I wanted to point out that in this video I'm shooting at 85mm at F/1.2 and if you know that aperture + distance it's super hard to keep something in focus. What helped me out with the whole F/1.2 at 85mm was using the LCDVF loupe. If you don't have one 'Get One'! You'll have better focus as these loupes are designed to Magnify the image on the LCD. Giving you better view of what pixels are in focus. The best LCD ViewFinder loupe going today is the Zacuto Z-Finder (below), but if you can't afford that, you can get the LCDVF from

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Wow, this is a great deal and just had to share with the visitors. We all run out of Video space with these high end DLSR's so getting a decent sized card at a decent price is hard to come by. Here's a great deal on a SanDisk Extreme that writes at 60MB/s. Not only will it be awesome fast for your camera to do Video mode, but these speeds help when you're downloading to your computer so you can get back to what you love doing most.


The Above video shows some information about how I modified a cheap Targus Monopod into a very lightweight portable DIY Camera Stabilizer for my 5D Mark II and 7D to shoot video. I used this Targus Monopod which is cheap but works well.This obviously will work for any DSLR and if you want to modify the head into one that flips into Portrait mode, i'm sure it would be a great traveling BodyPod for Photographers too. Remember, this DIY is to 'enhance' practicality of Monopod use while still maintaining full functionality. This is not a 'flying' stabilzer.

Here's the Problem:::
Monopods are great and much lighter to travel with than a Tripod. For some reason though, it sucked having to carry one around because I could never get it to fit into a backpack. I searched and searched and searched for a Monopod that could fold up very short, was lightweight, but could still support my camera when extended. The biggest reason Monopods aren't very compact is because 'When Extended, it should at least be Eye-Level". How compact can you get a Monopod and still get it to be Eye-Level??

My Solution:::
So after a bit of thought and a problem I ran into while shooting video in a Vegas Night Club, I came up with the idea of Cutting a Monopod in half and using a Sling as the support foundation. I used this Targus Monopod which is cheap but works well.Straps have long been a great way of support in Shooting Photos, Videos, or even in Rifles. By removing the foot of the Monopod and adding an Eye Screw from Home Depot it was very simple to mount a quick release luggage strap. I could have stopped there, this was pretty nice already, but since I didn't need a Monopod to extend from the Ground to Eye-Level, why not cut it shorter. All I needed was from the hip to Eye-Level. Modifying the Monopod I had was very simple. I slid the foam grip down and found 3 tiny screws. I removed the screws and the head came right off. I measured the length I wanted and cut the Monopod (basically in half). Reattached the Head on and that was pretty much it!!

I went from a 22" folded Monopod to about 10" inches. Now this item travels in Stealth no matter where I go and for the first time ever, I finally have a Monopod that fits inside a backpack. Can't beat that for 15 bucks......
Here's the exact Monopod I used in this video.

I had a quick release plate from a broken Tripod, but If you happen to find a cheap Monopod that does not come with a quick release plate, you can always buy one that attaches directly to standard Monopods such as the ones below.

Sample footage was uploaded at:


I was in Hawaii with the Canon 5D Mark II + 24-70mm F/2.8 and Circular Polarizer last year when I shot this. I was about to trash this video, but then remembers a few friends who had questions "Is a Polarizer worth it?, What do they do?" So here it is peeps and others who might be interested in the Before and After use of Polarizers on Lenses. The video shows the difference in how much contrast and saturation you can obtain. This is not the same as an ND filter that simply blocks light. These circular polarizers are designed to block light from a certain direction, so you turn them in front of the lens depending on the situation. Yes you can use these in combination with ND filters. These are also recommended with normal video camcorders and point and shoot cameras that can accept filters. These are not just for DSLR video and photo cameras. You just have to remember to get the right size for your lens.

find-price-button Circular Polarizers for Photography and Video Camera Lenses

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So Canon has announced the Rebel T2i and it's causing quite a stir. Especially for those that invested in the Canon 7D recently strictly as a Video camera. Rumors are the T2i is supposed to resemble the Canon 7D video features including framerates, resolution, and ISO settings. Some are labeling it the 'Mini 7D'.

The T2i to be released at $799.00

If that's the case, why go Canon 7D? Well if you're a Hybrid photographer/videographer then I say go Canon 7D. The 7D still holds faster framerates (photos), a more durable body & better weather proofing. There's probably a few more items that still make it the better photo/video camera, but if you're looking into just Video don't second guess that T2i.

The 7D sells for approx. $1699.00


There are two things i'm playing with in this video. The first is the LCDVF from which is a View Finder adapter that magnifies your lcd so that you can clearly see what's in focus or not. (Similar to Z-Finder by Zacuto, but cheaper). It came with two mounts which work great for my 5D Mark II & 7D.

The Second is a cheap $30.00 dollar Shoulder Support from Amazon.
If you prefer eBay over Amazon, grab the item here!!

Well the LCDVF works awesome but I was a bit unsteady shooting handheld and focusing at the same time. I needed a bit more supprt, but something not too professional looking so that I can take around in public places. I saw this video and decided to grab one.

I decided to order one for $24.00 dollars. Well I guess I can't complain. It supports the weight of the camera so that I can concentrate on focusing. For someone who's just starting out, $24.00 dollars is not a bad deal... Here's a link.

Here's the product.
You can find the shoulder support from eBay by clicking this link, or the image below.

click image

This item below is the Hoodman loupe. They also sell bands to mount it to a DSLR to help you see the LCD and focus better. This is cheaper than the LCDVF or the ZFINDER (from Zacuto).

Other Items of Interest


Probably the best rail for a DIY slider, I believe this would be the same as a Glidetrack, is the Linear Guide rail from Igus. Normally used for Robotics, these precision machined aluminum rails use Dry bearings to slide. No greasy bearings. A.K.A. ZaZa slider, you can find more information here

After reading a few threads and checking out the ZaZa slider group over at, I decided to build my own. This post is really late because I had already ordered this item about half a year ago, but finally decided to finish it with a Fluid Head. It pretty much just sat waiting for this last piece. It's a work in progress, i'll probably change from one Tripod to 2 (1 each side) for more stability. I'll use Quick Release plates on each end to break it down faster. Oh well, here's my first run.

[Update] After the popularity of this DIY Project, the company IGUS now sells the complete kit and some predrilled. Here's the link to grab possibly the cheapest high quality DSLR Video Camera slider: Igus DIY Slider Kits

find-price-button Igus DIY Slider Kits