A few people contacted me about buying my second Canon EOS 60D, I guess they were hard to come by. Looks like a few of the Canon 60D Kits with 18-135mm IS lens are now available, and a few Canon 60D bodies as well. I'll be tracking these links to see how fast they sell out, but I expect them to go by end of day today. Here's the links:
Caught this little digital picture frame over at Best Buy and had the chance to play with it a bit. It's the perfect little digital Touch screen picture frame (and cheap), that i've been trying to put into my father's house. Since everyone is shooting digital, and I don't know anyone who still prints photos, he's been quite out of the loop in seeing pictures of the grand kids. There's been picture frames like this before, but normally you had to 'register' for a monthly service fee. I asked several times just to be clear, and there's no monthly service for this Digital Frame.
This little frame sets up on a Wifi network (which I already have setup for him), and comes with it's own email address. Anyone can send photos to the frame through the email address including images sent from your cell phone. There's also a way to connect Facebook accounts so that images are shown on the frame immediately. Obviously you can also configure it to connect to Kodak Gallery (wasn't that Ofoto?). It comes with only 512MB of internal memory, but plenty of options for SDHC and Compact flash cards.
Since i'll be away from the frame, there's even a web console I can log in to administer the Kodak Pulse Digital Picture Frame. In fact you can manage multiple picture frames from a single account. If you happen to be away from the picture frame - say vacation, you can always stay updated with all the latest photos through the same web console. There's currently a 7" version, but a new 10" version will be released next month. Check out your local retailers, but I grabbed mine for a few bucks cheaper via Amazon: Buy Kodak Pulse 7-Inch Digital Frame
Slowly the new Canon SX30 IS camera with 35x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilization is hitting the streets. I've been waiting to upgrade my Canon SX210 IS after seeing the incredible Zoom capabilities with Image Stabilization from the video in this article: http://cheesycam.com/canon-sx30-is-review/ Still not available in many websites, but smaller camera retailers that are using eBay are advertising inventory. They are putting a small markup over the suggested retail price, but at least some auctions will throw in a 4GB SDHC card. If you gotta have one now, check it out: Canon SX30 IS Digital Camera with 35x Zoom
How are we to be productive without Caffeine? Big ups to AC for dropping one of his vending machines down to my studio. If you're wondering how this blog stays updated, you figured out my secret addiction. That machine will be cleared out in a week just on my own. This machine looks awesome and is a kick ass night light too. Mini Bar, Refrigerator, and Microwave for Monster tacos coming soon....LOL. [Thanks AC]
Ok, believe it or not, I get hate mail about some of my comments on this blog. (you know who you are, and I don't know why you bother to continue reading this blog?). Mainly because this blog seems Canon biased. Ok I admit I am biased, but i've been really trying to give Nikon a chance with the new cameras they have being released. In fact, just read my blog post over a month ago: http://cheesycam.com/nikon-d3100-1080hd-autofocusing-in-video-new-lenses/
The Nikon D3100 was supposed to go toe to toe with Canon T2i shooters, but just check out the video review above. No Manual Video Controls?? Aside from that biggest deal breaker, the 1080 resolution leaves you with 'ONLY' 24fps and not the normal 29.97. There is no option for 60 frames per second, anywhere. Umm..i'll leave it at that to minimize the amount of Nikon hate mail coming in, but for those of you who question this blog, take a look at the latest Nikon release into consumer HD Video. But hey if you're only into photography, Nikon does make some pretty sweet lenses.
[Update] Just a reminder, here's two of my favorite Nikon videos posted on this blog that i've raved about.
Thanks to Pierre on Vimeo for sharing this bit of information. I believe the company is called L'AIGLE which if my French isn't too rusty means "The Eagle". Ok i'm lying, it's translated on their website and I double checked on Google Translate. LOL. This particular DSLR stabilizer is called the 'Titan'. The Titan goes from hand held stabilizer into a folded camera shoulder support. Looks pretty cool, and the website offers a bunch of different upgrades and options, with even more confusing price packages. I'm thinking it's going to run a pretty penny since they even threw in some very expensive words like Carbon Fiber, Titanium, Tungsten Carbide, and Aluminum.
From the video it looks like it's pretty quick to setup with a bunch of fine tuning options. Most of these methods to balance are very similar to the Steadicam Merlin stabilizer, including changing the size of the arc. Changing the arc on these types of stabilizers shifts the weight further from the Gimbal making it more bottom heavy without adding additional weights. Being able to adjust this minutely is key to getting perfect balance.
Instead of going for the vest, they've got a beefy waist belt that could be used for some interesting POV shots, JK!. If the belt works, it would be more comfortable to hide under a jacket, hmm..where did I see this before?
All in all it looks like a quality made stabilizer with lots of thought and design. I'm still going to say that it doesn't have the range and flexibility as the Glidecam HD stabilizers i'm using. For a few reasons, you can't rotate 360 degrees, run while tilting the stabilizer, and if you dare - flip it upside down! I flipped mine taking advantage of the Canon 60D articulating LCD screen. Very handy for Steadicam Stuff. If you think that all sounds like too much to ask, check out some of my ''amateur techniques'' (i'm no professional) with the Glidecam HD 4000 Product and Steadicam Merlin Vest.
[Thanks again Matt for letting me use the BTS footage]
During our shoot, swapping lenses from several different cameras, things got lost in the shuffle. Hoods, DSLR Body Caps, lens Caps, Rear Caps, gear was just everywhere. Gotta always carry some spares if you want to protect that sweet glass and prevent dust in the DSLR.
As bright as it's been these past few days, hoods really help prevent washed out images by shading the lens glass as well as protect the front of the lens from minor bumps. If you have lenses that didn't come with hoods, check out these three stage rubber hoods that can snap back for wide lenses or spring forward for zoom lenses. Sweetest part is that they don't take up much bag space like the hard plastic hoods. They will fit any lens as long as you get the right filter size, starting at less than $3.50 cents.
DSLR body caps and rear lens caps (above) can be had for as little as $0.99 cents + Free Shipping. Yeah talk about a steal and you can never have enough of these.
Front lens caps are the worst. With too many people and too many cameras, front lens caps for me are notoriously walking off from a shoot. I pack my gear fairly tight into as little bags as possible and missing a lens cap sucks big time. Here's a link to some inexpensive front Snap lens caps complete with Nikon or Canon Logos for as little as $2.00 dollars + Free Shipping.
And if you're not rocking lens pouches or lens bags check out this article here: http://cheesycam.com/lens-protection-neoprene-foam-padded-bags/
These came in just a day late. Luckily I had a few SDHC cards in my Canon SX210 IS and Zoom H4n to fall back on. I was hoping these would arrive for the Music video shoot on the Canon 60D's, but we managed. So I haven't really tested these out yet, but i'll be shooting more fun stuff later this week to see the performance.
It was a scorching hot day yesterday, but the bright sun helped bring in some light into this old unused factory. There was no electricity so the band rented a 5000 watt generator for the shoot. We had full run of the entire abandoned lot which was awesome. This place was huge with several buildings over 8 stories high and had so much texture of steel, brick, and concrete. Sitting right off the water, the place was just so large, we didn't get to see everything. The entire area is private, fenced off, with 24 hour security so we were able to just leave stuff everywhere. I'd love to get back there and shoot again if I could. Would be a perfect setting for a horror film, that's for sure.
We started indoors with some really slow camera movements on the DIY track. It could have used another saw horse down the center for some additional stability, but worked fine for just slow movements. Going faster, it wanted to flex. We also did a bit of Crane shooting and later threw in some really close up hand held beauty shots of the band.
We moved up to the roof in the late afternoon, and to really show off the height we were at, slung a Canon 60D on a crane over the side of the building. A bit scary, but it should be a really cool looking swing from over the side of the building back onto the roof. Hopefully that went pretty smooth, but from what we can see on the LCD it came out great.
Next we went down to the outside grounds for a walking Steadicam Shot. The band followed the camera slowly while singing to the music. With the Canon 60D articulating LCD, I was able to walk forward and let the band frame themselves by looking into the LCD. They were able to monitor themselves and stay in frame, while I concentrated on not falling over or tripping on anything.
I'll get the video footage once the editor hands them back, and show some of the shots we did. The Steadicam looked really great with the Canon 10-22mm Lens I rented and had all this space to run around in. Flying through a wide open room with large glass windows and concrete pillars everywhere had a very cool flying effect. I have to admit that with the changes in light, using the white balance on the 60D was much more effective than trying to set it on the T2i (which was being used for some BTS video). The 3 Canon 60D's worked really well and meshes closer to the workings of the 7D than a T2i. Definitely a great camera to work with. Now that i'm done with this project, I may sell one of them, but tempted to keep them both!
[Thanks to Matt for grabbing these BTS photos while we were running around in the heat]