Monthly Archives: September 2010


Vimeo member Fred Norquist used a bit of Angled Aluminum and old skateboard trucks to get this DIY dolly result. Looks like a pretty low budget DIY for those who want to add some movement to your camera shots and not spend a ton of cash. Although pretty effective, just by looking at it, there's a lot of variables with how the rails are positioned that can cause some irregular movements. So if you attempt this, make sure you got things lined up well. The old measure 10 times and drill once routine (I have to measure more than twice). Simple and effective for a DIY project i'm sure most people can tackle.

[Thanks Fred]


Here's a video showing off Ikan's Gearless follow focus. These types of systems should work well if you're not pulling long focus, and also if you're using some quality lenses with an easy focus ring. The nice feature about this Follow Focus is the ability to mount it using a 1/4 thread. The Power Arm that they are showing looks like it has a bit of flex to it, but i'm sure there's plenty other ways to mount it solid. Not too shabby, and pricing i'll let you be the judge.


Here's the F3 available over at B&H: Ikan F3 Friction Follow Focus



We've seen some competition on DSLR support rigs from Hong Kong and Korea. Now it looks like another Chinese company has been listening to the sales of DSLR's. Just received a tweet today from @jphansen about this new line of DSLR Support rigs soon to be coming out of China. The rigs looks very well designed, and should be since they are close to another popular brand with the blue accents. Everything else on the different rigs have gone with solid black. Not much word on the build quality, but these are the same guys who slap their name on the 717AH Fluid head which seems like a decent build. I'm expecting these to be cheap cheap cheap.


They've seem to come up with an entire lineup of many different accessories including Gearless follow focus, Matte Box, Shoulder Supports, DSLR Cages, Handles, and of courses Rods, Clamps, and mounts. Prices, not sure of just yet, but i'm hoping it's something much more affordable than what's currently available. If anyone catches these for sale on the web, holla at your boy! I'd be interested in seeing more of this.
Here's the link: If you like this article, Tweet it.



The fact that the Canon 60D uses the same batteries as the 5D Mark II & Canon 7D was both a blessing and a curse. For those who already had these batteries, it's nice not having a different set of batteries and charger to add to your gear list. A single OEM LP-E6 will run you well over $70 dollars. For those who are looking to buy extra ones, prices on aftermarket LP-E6 batteries seem to have inflated. There was one brand on Amazon that dropped their decoded (chipped batteries that communicate with camera to show battery life) batteries down to $18.00 dollars, but now brought them back up to $60 bucks!. Yeah they know that there's a new market out for these batteries after the Canon 60D release.

If you don't care about the battery meter, there's plenty of Aftermarket LP-E6 batteries that run around (2)pcs. for $15 dollars. Very very cheap, but they will need their own charger. It's not suggested these be charged on the OEM charger. I think I have 6 of those myself which still run to this day, and are probably a year old or more.

There's two brands on Amazon for 'decoded' batteries still showing around $22 dollars, and a few Aftermarket LP-E6 Decoded Batteries on eBay for around $15.00 each.

I was still waiting for more reviews on these items to see if they will actually work well and hold up as good batteries, and if the battery meter really works. A friend of mine has a wedding lined up on 10/10/10 - of course the most popular wedding day this year, and so he's invested into the Maxtek Replacement Li-ion Battery For Canon. He's had it a short while and seems to work exactly like OEM, and charges on the OEM charger (can't do this with un-chipped batteries). I've asked him to give us a demo video of the batteries in use, but he says they work exactly the same. This battery is compatible with the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Canon 60D.

Decoded Batteries Starting at $15.00
2x Un-chipped LP-E6 starting at $15.00

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A few boxes came in this morning, but not the one i've been really waiting on. According to the tracking, the one package i'm excited about should be here later this afternoon (show you later). These boxes aren't of much interest. One is the XLR cable for my AT875 Short Shotgun Microphone for the JuicedLink DT454, the other package is 4 Mini Flexible Tripods for my Studio, the third is the Kodak Pulse Digital Picture frame. Wow, that was fast...


Shortly after RedRock Micro announced their EVF - Electronic View Finder for DSLR's, Zacuto now has a complete web page and video showcasing their product. Actually they've gone as far as a complete domain name @ It's still up in the air if RedRock Micro has an actual working version, but from the images that were submitted, it doesn't look like a finished product. Actually in this Video (above), Zacuto is also just showing a 3D model, so take this as just another announcement and not an actual product (yet).

Marketing is always ahead of technology and some people are speculating that the announcements were aimed just to be the first. Hopefully the products are released soon, as we've seen some bad turnouts on early announcements for products that never seem to make it to market or experience long delays. Personally it's all exciting, but I don't know if consumers really care who's first to announce what, it's more about first actual availability and pricing. I'd even take my chances on a no-name brand EVF if the resolution was adequate.

Redrock Micro is stated to come in around $600 dollars, and the Zacuto EVF just under $800. If i'm correct, you'll still need a Z-Finder to use with the EVF bumping that price up a few hundred more. This is something many DSLR shooters have been looking for and I feel they'll be set to grab whatever becomes available early on. Under those brand names, they'll both be well made products, but since Zacuto's will be several hundred more (including Z-Finder Loupe), time to market is what's really going to set the pace on EVF sales.

Another option would be going with the smaller 5" LCD monitors such as the Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI. Unlike the EVF's announced, the Marshall Monitor has additional features for setting proper exposure. I guess if you really wanted magnification for the LCD, you could just make a DIY loupe using a Macro Close Up FIlter and a box.

IKan also has a 5" LCD HDMI Monitor for DSLR's too.

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The new Nikon Coolpix P7000 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 7.1x Wide Zoom-Nikkor ED Lens and 3-Inch LCD is available now, which is going head to head with Canon's new G12. There's an article I posted after the announcements here:

I can't find a whole lot of retailers selling the Canon Powershot G12 right now, but there's a few available on eBay here: Canon Powershot G12 10 Megapixel Dig Camera w/ HD Video. Both the Nikon P7000 and Canon G12 feature 720 HD video at 24fps, Image Stabilization, TTL Flash controls, and RAW photo capture. Yes they have hot shoes, and with the right triggers you can fire a flash remotely. Both cameras have manual control features close to shooting with a true DSLR, less the interchangeable lenses. I can't find much information on the Nikon P7000 about HDR, but the Canon G12 has built in HDR processing taking three different exposures and combining it into a single high dynamic range image. The Sony NEX also has this HDR feature which works pretty well too.

click for pricing - Canon Powershot G12
click for pricing - Nikon Coolpix P7000

In the previous article, the Nikon P7000 had a few better specs over the Canon, so it would be interesting to see what sales are like. Not a true representation, but Flickr has an interesting report on cameras that have uploaded images into their system. The funniest thing is that the most popular camera showing is the iPhone 3G. LOL.

Click to find Most Popular Cameras on Flickr


Vimeo member Stanislav submitted this tip on holding a tripod for extra stability. I know this isn't the most advanced thing on this blog, but you'll be surprised how many people will find this useful. Let's not forget our budget film making roots. I've used this method myself a couple of times when in a pinch and any stabilizer is better than nothing. His video says Shoulder Rig, but it's more of a 'Shoulder Support'. Using the same 717AH fluid head, he's taking advantage of the lengthy pan handle as if it were a DSLR shooter. You might think this would be crazy heavy, but looks like he's purchased a set of the FT6826T Carbon Fiber Tripod legs, keeping things light.
[Thanks Stanislav]

eBay Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs - click for pricing

717AH Video Fluid Head - click for pricing