Monthly Archives: April 2011


Olivia talks to Eric from International Supplies about a few of Varavon's products. One product is the Slidecam Slim slider that is said to hold up to 41lbs (that's pretty hefty), comes with a Video Head, legs, and travel bag. This new all aluminum Slim Slider will weigh about 2.5kg and be available in 1m length. Sounds pretty cool so far. Varavon has a few different model sliders available, and below is a comparison chart.


One Slidecam Slim showed up on eBay for an asking price of $550, which is almost twice the price of the current popular Konova slider. Pricing has always been an obstacle for Varavon products so far, so let's hope that's not going to be the retail. You can find other Varavon products including their popular View Finder products on eBay following the link.

find-price-button Varavon View Finders, DSLR Armor, Camera Sliders

Or as stated in the video, you can find some Varavon products over at B&H
Varavon Slidecam Mini
find-price-button Varavon Slidecam and View Finder Products at B&H



Vimeo member Jesse Blanchard seems to have an obsession with 3D, and is doing a good job capturing it. If you're interested in getting into Stereoscopic imagery, he seems to have a good set of knowledge behind the tech. What i'm more interested in is looking at his 3D beam splitter rig that captures pretty much the same image simultaneously. Very cool stuff indeed. Makes you wonder if that could be a small step to capturing two different video exposures for later converting into some minor HDR (high dynamic range) footage or at least being able to keep the extreme highlights and shadows from clipping. Might be a fun test on two very small point and shoot cameras..



Edelkrone joins eBay to sell of a few of the demo rigs that were being shown at NAB2011 before these items are available online. There seems to be a few of the double shoulder mount rigs available, and also that little traveling 'Pocket Rig'. The Pocket Rig folds to about the size of a DSLR battery grip, and unfolds to a shoulder stock and basic rod support. As usual, they've never been able to please buyers with pricing, (expect high prices) but if you're interested you can find the demo items being auctioned following the link below.

find-price-button Edelkrone eBay Auctions for NAB2011 Demos



The latest Nikon DSLR should be hitting the market in the next few weeks (or sooner). I'm not sure how many of you are Nikon fanatics, but here's a video from YouTube member gconphotolab showing that the new D5100 will still not have Full Manual Exposure Settings. [Thanks Garnet]

Not sure what to say about this, everyone else seems to be on board with the idea of Full Manual controls in a DSLR including Sony, Panasonic, and others. Interested parties for Nikon's latest D5100 can begin pre-orders below.

Nikon D5100
find-price-button Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera

Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera

  • 3.0" Vari-Angle 921K Resolution LCD
  • 16.2 MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • 1080p HD Movies w/Full Time Autofocus
  • In-Camera Special Effects Mode
  • Fast 11-Point Autofocus System
  • In-Camera HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • ISO Sensitivity 100-6400
  • Built-In Speedlight Flash With i-TTL
  • 16 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes
  • Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning


    Just a day ago, I posted about the 800w RedHead kits that were back in stock. The search results also showed a few CFL (Fluorescent) lighting kits too. New questions came about these 5 bulb CFL light heads compared to the 800w halogen RedHeads, but I really couldn't speak on it. I've never had the chance to test these things out ....... - until now.

    5 CFL Bulb Lighting Kit

    Turns out, these are fairly popular for talking head type interviews for their broad diffusion, low heat, and low power. I was pretty worried that they wouldn't hold up to the same light output, but in comparison, they are fairly close. They specs call for 1000w equivalent, i'm not sure about that, but they do hold up pretty well against the 800w bulb. I have to say, I'm pretty surprised. I was also doing my tests at F/4.5 cutting out a good amount of light. For talking head interviews, you can get your aperture wider.

    Keep in mind that CFLs are very very diffused lights, and won't provide the same harsh shadows I sometimes desire on a set like Halogens would. If that's not your style, then these a good choice for basic studio lights. The only Cons you need to be aware of is that they are pretty hard to travel with using 5 large CFL bulbs each, and that they can present flickering if your shutter speed is set at certain speeds. They are dimmable by turning off individual bulbs at a time, so they are also not the most accurate in light control. One thing that is nice, is that they are actually cheaper than both LED lighting and Halogen kits.

    5 CFL Bulb Dimmable DImmer Switches

    The Heads aren't of the highest build quality, mostly plastic except for the Ceramic area on the bulb mounts. The softbox is a pain in the a## to assemble, so I don't suggest these if you require speed on your shoots. The softboxes don't have a speed ring, they are attached directly to the light heads. You'd have to just travel with the complete head and box. The light stands that come with this kit are of good quality, which I can use on some of my heavier setups. The kit also comes with a travel bag, useful only if you want to break down the softboxes.

    5 CFL Bulb Light

    I can't speak on the many other CFL heads on the market, but beware of that dreadful flickering. My tests on these particular ones showed you can probably squeeze in about 1/160th shutter which is not great, but more than enough for in studio video. If you're trying to use these for photography, know your limits. In the end, I was surprised, and these are some pretty nice source of lights. Even with the small interior diffuser and external diffuser panel on the softbox, the light output was fairly decent in comparison to the 800w head. I might do a test with a few of these for our next 'Infinite White background' video. These are available in both 2pc and 3pc kits found below.

    Screen shot 2011-04-28 at 10.24.42 AM
    find-price-button 2pc. 5 CFL Bulb Lighting Kit Softboxes Lightstands Travel Bag

    5 bulb CFL lighting kit boom arm
    find-price-button 3 pc. 5 Bulb CFL Lighting Kit with Softboxes Light Stands



    Left to Right - Cineroid EVF, Zacuto EVF, Redrock Micro EVF

    Cineroid, Redrock, and Zacuto have all announced EVF (electronic view finder) solutions in the last year to change the very poor unbalanced ergonomics of DSLR video cameras. (Well RedRock doesn't really exist -yet..). The pitch is that you spend a good amount of money on a 3" LCD that can be used as a remote monitor, and then they add on a 'Loupe' to magnify the image and give you a clear image even in the bright sun. Sounds great, i'm totally sold on the idea, but wait. Here's a few new EVF ideas to consider that might make you think a bit differently.


    SmallHD DP4 - EVF

    DSLR's already have a 3" LCD, so if you're looking to add a remote monitor, why not go a bit bigger? Perhaps SmallHD's newly annouced 4" EVF remote monitor + LCD Loupe. This makes a bit more sense besides being 'of the cheapest' solutions. 4" LCD gives you a bit more usability as a Remote LCD Monitor, and still a very large clear picture when using the Loupe attachment. Why is everyone else stuck on 3"?

    Ok so the SmallHD looks like a winner in my book. One of the best displays with highly customizable features makes it a good bang for the buck. Now check out what Cinevate's been up to. The Cyclops is already a ViewFinder Loupe for 3" LCD's, but with the right molds, it can be customized to suit any monitor including Sony's new 5" LCD HDMI monitor. BTW if you're wondering, we did test the Sony LCD on our cameras. It works great and decently priced (for a 5").

    find-price-button Sony 5-Inch External LCD Monitor

    Cinevate's Cyclops ViewFinder

    So if a 3" LCD is just too small to make sense as a remote monitor, or even if a 4" is just a bit undersized, hopefully Cinevate will be able to create adapters for their Cyclops element to mount to a variety of popular LCD's. I wouldn't mind having a Cyclops on my SmallHD DP6 5" LCD.



    If you don't already know 'Lolo' is a filipino word for 'GrandFather'. Here's another DIY slider stemmed from the inspirations of Vimeo member LoloTwo's DIY Conduit slider shown on this blog earlier. This version from YouTube member browncowvideo uses chrome hang bars for some smoother sliding action instead of polishing up conduit piping. Might be a bit more expensive, but it sure does look cool. The carrier is also flipped upside down to get a lower center of gravity, and if i'm not mistake I think I see a bit of material in between the conduit couplers, could this be 'felt' fabric? Lookin' pretty sweet...



    Cheap 3pc Lighting Kit on set with Linda Le

    These kits can be found in a bunch of different places, but the ones that come with the soft boxes and carrying case disappeared pretty quickly. They're finally back online and available on both eBay or Amazon. If you're not too familiar with these kits, these are Halogen 800w bulbs each with an inline dimmer to control light output. This 3pc continuous lighting kit comes with three stands, two softboxes, and one set of barndoors and a carrying case. You can catch an old article about these lights and a few samples here:

    find-price-button 3pc 2400w Dimmable Video Lighting Kit Softboxes

    find-price-button 2400 watt 3 lights Continuous Video Light Kit

    Kit + Green Screen
    find-price-button 2400w Green Screen 10 x 12 ft Lighting Kit



    Cheesycam GH2GH2 (1 of 2)

    Just listed out my Canon 85mm F/1.2L in the classifieds There she is seen on the Panasonic GH2 (above). Sad to see her go, I thought of her as a nice collectors piece, but she hasn't seen much use lately. If you're working on MFT (micro four thirds) like Panasonic AF100 or Sony cameras like the new FS100 with a shallow sensor-to-flange ratio you might get the best use out of these old lenses.

    Now this FD 85mm F/1.2L is a bit of an oddity and fetches for a higher price, but for other great inexpensive Manual Focus lenses that can be had for less than $30 dollars, check out the link below. Just make sure you get the right adapter for the right type of lens you're looking at. These days you can practically find an adapter to mount just about any brand lens to any type of camera (or course results will vary).


    find-price-button Canon Manual Focus Lenses