Monthly Archives: October 2010


[Update] Item is gone....already sold.

One single unit shows up on eBay auctions. This little (possibly discontinued) video stabilizing Gizmo is called the Hollywood Lite VS1. My guess is the Stabilizer was out too early before tiny DSLR's started changing the video market. It functions similar to other common stabilizers with a center Gimbal handle, top stage, and lower counter weight sled. YouTube member Chung123video does a good job demonstrating the balance techniques, but no real footage to look at. From the movements though, I can tell you it's going to be pretty smooth.

How much weight does it hold? Not sure, doesn't look like much but claims it can support cameras up to 4lbs. If that's true, it should hold up better than a Hague and support cameras around the size of the Panasonic GH1 or GH2 with ease. The Hollywood Lite unit itself weighs only 2.5lbs perfect for packing up and traveling. It should definitely suffice for point and shoot video shooters and iPhone video junkies. If you can find it elsewhere, it's a pretty penny. This single on eBay is looking to accept some offers or has a Buy It Now price (I don't think it's worth the Buy It Now price). Link to Hollywood Lite Stabilizer: Hollywood Lite VS1 Video Camera Stabilizer

Click Image for Hollywood Lite VS1 Auction


Hoodman H-WS1 WristShot Camera Support System

This bowling brace looking camera support is called the Hoodman WristShot, and it's used to transfer the weight to the forearm while still allowing you to control the camera. It looks crazy, but If you think about it, it makes a tad bit of sense. For DSLR shooters, one arm is usually holding the camera weight while the other is maintaining focus. In that situation, it would be difficult to try and keep the camera stabilized. It may even aid in keeping the Horizon level on the camera and reduce vibrations from wrist movements. For those renegades who shoot solely hand held, and can't stand the restrictions of large stabilizers, this might be a helpful solution. Cost wise? I'll let you decide, following the link here: Hoodman H-WS1 WristShot Camera Support System

Or via Amazon


Here's two videos showing some innovation around DIY Follow Focus projects. This first one (above), sent to me by Phuong H., is a DIY follow focus designed for the Sony NEX-VG10 Interchangeable Lens Handycam Camcorder. This is probably the first DIY project ever on one of them fancy shiny new camcorders. There's not much information on how you can DIY yourself, but this video might turn on a few light bulbs in your head.

The second video (below), shared by Robert J. takes the simple hose clamp DIY follow focus idea and drums up a new way of adding dry erase focus marks, so that you can wipe them down and start all over.


I bet you guys didn't know I had a Varavon Profinder Low Angle DSLR View Finder for the Canon 5D Mark II. I've actually had this on the shelf for several months, and haven't had the chance to use it. I got it shortly after posting this article here:

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It's a larger LCD View finder because of it's niche ability to get low angle shots via a sliding cover and a series of mirrors. Something I don't really use very much, so I decided not to mount it after all this time. After receiving the Gini Rig, I wanted an LCD View Finder that wasn't held on with magnetic frames. I wanted it to stay put when I told it to, but yet still be able to remove it when I wanted. The larger form factor of this design actually works out in my favor and is quite nice when using it on a shoulder rig. The base plate on this LCD View Finder is fat, and made completely out of machined aluminum. I can mount a QR Adapter to the Varavon view finder base and quickly connect the camera to the shoulder rig. It also has an LCD View Finder quick release knob on the base plate if I wanted to take the view finder off of the camera. This thing will probably have a permanent life on my new Gini Rig that i'll be building around the Canon 5D Mark II.

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The Letus Hawk VF also has a fat base plate and a quick release system for anyone looking to get a solid mounting LCD View Finder that doesn't use the magnetic sticky frames. The Letus Hawk VF can serve the same purpose for all my needs, but currently it's the only LCD View Finder that's working on the Canon 60D. Let's get back on track about the Varavon DSLR Low Angle LCD View Finder. It's something that I already had here and is now working nicely into the new Gini Rig configuration i'm building out. Varavon's ProFinder is not at all a copy of any other DSLR view finder design on the market. It's their own innovation and every piece of it is well made, showing that as a company they could have a bright future.

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Two things to point out about the Varavon View Finder product. First the mounting is very solid, but can't be adjusted. It fits perfectly for the camera you purchase it for, and that's it. There is a different base plate to attach to the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, and Canon T2i so it's not very versatile. Another thing to point out is the "Low Angle" feature. This feature definitely plays a role in the entire form factor design making it larger and possibly adding to the cost of manufacturing. Whether there's a market for this particular unique 'Low Angle' View Finder, that remains to be seen.

Should Varavon continue in the DSLR accessories market, they should at least have another View Finder without the low angle feature, and something more adjustable to different DSLR bodies. This would open up a whole new audience to a single product. They are definitely a company to watch for if they decide to continue in the DSLR market, as their current ProFinder shows attention to detail and well manufactured with quality materials. Unless you've fallen in love with the Low Angle feature of this LCD View Finder, there are other options on the market. You can find some of the Varavon products following this link: Varavon LCD Viewfinder for Canon EOS 5DMK2 with Loupe

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find-price-button Varavon Viewfinders, Cages, Sliders

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Cheesycam Reader Josef wanted to share this even if anyone might have missed it. I know I did! Thanks Josef


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Attendance is FREE with pre-registration! Here's the link with more information:


Who doesn't get a kick out of a video streaming Wifi controlled flying toy? A friend of mine recently picked one of these Parrot AR. Drones up and I had the chance to fly it around. It's really tons of fun! Kids can easily learn to fly these things. The Parrot AR Drone is a remote controlled Quadricopter that streams real time video to it's controller so you can see where you're flying. The Wifi controller can be an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (the iPad is really cool with it's large screen). It's easy to sync up once you've downloaded the Free remote application from the Apps Store. First turn on the AR Drone, and then turn on the Wifi on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Connect to the AR Drone (it will appear as a WiFi hotspot). Once you've connected, go and launch the application and it will connect. Very simple and fast.


The AR Drone Quadricopter is super stable and will automatically level itself out and stays in one place if the unit loses connection to the remote, or if you remove your hands from the controller. If you lose connection, just walk closer and then you'll be back in control. If the unit is too high and loses connection, it will return itself to a manageable height so you can walk over and get back in control. I believe it can scan the floor somehow to see what's below so it doesn't just fly off into space.

Flying outdoors with Training Foam Cage

Since the unit can level out and maintain a stable position, you can easily rotate turns in 360 degrees. The video stream is super fast, and as real time as can be. The video streams in amazing quality and very clear even in low light. The item comes with two different bodies. One is a foam cage that protects the units from rookie pilots. I'm sorry to admit, I crashed my friends unit into walls and it took a dive from 20 ft. several times. The drop was no problem with the foam cage, it's designed to protect the unit for training. If you should need some replacement parts, practically every piece of the Drone is for sale and looks to be easily replaceable too. This thing really takes a beating for sure. Once you're pretty good, you can swap out the foam cage for a more streamlined aerodynamic body. I think a few flights is all it takes to get the hang of it.

Simple Body without Training Foam Cage

There are other applications in the Apple Apps Store in which you can control the unit and record the video stream that will be saved to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can choose to use the accelerometer to maneuver the Drone by leaning left or right, forward and back. Since it's a quadricopter it can move in any direction without having to turn around, but you'd want to turn the unit mainly for the video camera to point in the direction you're flying. Check out the video above which gives you an idea on how to fly it with a remote. These AR Drones can be found here: Parrot AR Drone Wifi Remote Controlled Quadricopter


Last Thursday, some friends stopped by the studio to do a simple music video with artist Michelle Martinez. Just dropped a plain white paper backdrop and setup the cheap 800w lights around a stool and a microphone. A slider, and several cameras on tripods were used to get the many many angles. Might be too many, LOL. There may be some further color correction and edits to the video in the coming weeks, but for now here's a quick look at a simple and fun project these guys worked on in the studio. More of Michelle Martinez can be found over at her YouTube Channel.


If you've been looking for DSLR rigs, i'm sure you've heard about the Korean DSLR Rig manufacturer Gini. The photo gallery (above) has two pages, so click the #2 to see more images. If you haven't heard of the DSLR Rig manufacturer from Korea, you can find all the available products here: Korean DSLR Rig, Rods, Clamps, Handles, Stabilizers

find-price-button Gini DSLR Rigs

I'm about to write an article about a piece of DSLR gear that will sound like it belongs in a Playboy magazine. All the information out there on the web say the Korean DSLR rig manufacturer is just as good as the other guys sporting a Red and Black theme. I'm here to tell you that's all true. Sure the prices aren't dirt cheap, but the quality is outstanding, and keep reading to find out why i'm writing this. I'm sitting here with a huge package of clamps, rods, mounts, handles, and other odd shaped pieces of machined aluminum. Every single piece is carefully detailed, with high quality anodized coloring, and an outstanding flat brushed like finish. If you've ever dealt with manufacturing parts, you'd probably see this more as a fine work of art, than just pieces of equipment. The handles are as large as my hands with a smooth contoured finish that makes it easy and comfortable to grasp. There's nothing cheap on this rig, right down to the tiny bolts.

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find-price-button Gini DSLR Rigs

Sure, these rigs are nothing new and the seller has been out there for years. So why am I talking about this, and why am I currently infatuated with this new rig? I got it for a steal, and I mean literally a steal. I do eBay all the time, but this is the first time i've won an auction for something I thought I wouldn't receive. DSLR Rig sales on eBay have slowed down alot. The market is definitely saturated and everyone is finding new ways to build up custom rigs. Fortunately the seller Gini continues to market solely through eBay with a combination of 'Buy it Now', 'Best Offer', and 'Auction' type listings. There's a slew of different rigs being sold at different prices. I started by throwing in extremely cheap 'Best Offers' at a few different rigs. I was obviously denied, and fairly quickly I might add. Next I moved on to the actual Auctions listings where you throw in a bid, and surprisingly there's no reserve. I went straight for the big $1500 dollar package that offered so many different pieces. There's no denying a bid like the 'Best Offer' listings. Once the bid is in, it's in. The only way to get out of the sale is to be outbid. A few hours later, holy crap, I won the auction.

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find-price-button Gini DSLR Rigs

No communication came in about my payment being received, or any shipping information. Since it's an over seas sale, I decided to give him some time. 10 days after I won the auction, here I am talking about it. There's plenty of options for DSLR rigs, but not many of them offer 'Best Offer' and bid type 'Auctions'. If you've already got a budget set aside for a rig you're saving up for, you might want to throw in a few bids or leave some Best Offers with Gini. You never know what you can end up with, and for what price. I'm not going to talk about what I received my package for, but if you're an avid eBayer, it's an easy look up through the 'Completed Listings' advanced search option. You can easily see what rigs have sold, for what prices, and what offers were accepted. There's no doubt that I got lucky on this auction, but i'm glad Gini stood behind the auction and honored the sale. The item shipped fast, and also included a package labeled 'Gift' with a bunch of extra rods. (shown in the photos).

If you're looking to take a chance, and get lucky, click on any of the images in this article, or check out the new listings for these luxurious DSLR rigs: Click here for Pricing on Korean DSLR Rig, Rods, Clamps, Handles, Stabilizers

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find-price-button Gini DSLR Rigs


Many of you have probably already seen this video. It was posted up over a year ago as Part 1 of 2. I know i've had my eyes on it for quite a while waiting for the follow up, but Part #2 of this project doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. This one is based on the Gimbal Handle that is used on the Glidecam series stabilizers. There seems to be a million ways to make a Steadicam Merlin gimbal handle, but little ways to make a decent Glidecam type gimbal handle. In this interesting video, there's some really nice techniques in mounting several bearings into some cheap PVC making it into a full 3 axis gimbal. It's been a year already, and there's some really good ideas in here to just let this sit back without being tackled by someone. Since video #2 hasn't been released to follow up on this, i'm curious if anyone has attempted this DIY project, and how far did you get?

If you're not familiar with what a Glidecam Stabilizer is capable of, check out my HD1000 video demonstration here:

click image for pricing on Glidecam HD1000 Stabilizer System