Monthly Archives: July 2011


Vimeo member Brad Justinen shares a DIY motorized roller dolly and use a Meade motorized Telescope head for some smooth pan/tilt action. You'll see how all this comes together in the video, and more information on the parts used at the video description. Many of these parts can be found cheaper used via eBay found below.

Traxxas Remote
find-price-button Traxxas Transmitter and Receiver For Servo Control

Meade Milapse
find-price-button Meade Telescope Milapse Motion Pan Tilt

find-price-button Parallax Continuous Rotation Servo


Fotga has released an impressive budget follow focus, and if you're the type who's against 'cross branding', now they are starting to leak out a Standard set of rails to match. The basic rail set is needed to mount the FF, and should normally come with a camera mounting plate and a tripod plate (under the rail set). It's industry standard 15mm with 60mm apart, with metal knobs (not plastic) and also come with a lens support clamp (adds Long lens support when using an FF).


For a bit more Fotga has another set that includes a (proprietary) Quick release system. Looks like they are working towards a full shoulder rig, which doesn't seem to be available just yet. Not extremely competitive with pricing, but compared to what we were seeing just a year ago it's a welcome option.

find-price-button Fotga Standard Rail Set Optional Quick Release


Now that Apple has announced upgrades to it's MacBook Air lineup, the previous models have dropped in price significantly. I'm personally using the (older) top of the line model 11.6" version, because it's easy to travel with and mainly for just emails and internet browsing. I tried an iPad, but the limited browser and lack of keyboard made it impossible as a mobile blogger. Having USB ports allows me to download and backup from my Compact cameras.

Do you need the latest model? Even with upgraded horsepower, I don't see myself using these systems for photo or video editing, it's just too small. My version is now discounted about $350 dollars from when I purchased it (not too long ago). So if you're looking for a solid travel system with the longest battery life, and instant on, these older MacBook Air systems are the bees knees..

MacBook Air
find-price-button MacBook Air Laptops


Small LCD monitors are the rage these days. Ruige's 5" TL-S500HD monitor has a few features that aid specifically Canon DSLRs. Most Canon cameras will change resolution when going into record mode, and you also lose your zoom focus ability. The Ruige does not drop resolution when going into record mode (you get to use the full screen), and you can zoom in (with optional Ruige Zoom trigger) while you're recording. Helpful to get accurate focus while the camera is rolling. Also available is a unique HDMI lock to prevent the cable from slipping off - a common problem. Since HDMI can carry audio, you are able to monitor audio through the Ruige headphone port. Also comes with focus peaking (another aid to help focus).

Ruige 5"
find-price-button Ruige 5" TL-S500HD HDMI LCD Monitor

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I'm not much of a printer guy, but here's a couple of instant rebate deals that can knock a few Benjamins off a Canon DSLR body purchase which includes stuff like T2i, T3i, 60D, etc. You'll find the qualifying and mail in rebate information following the links.

PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Printer — Total Savings $500

Pro9000 Printer

Purchase the PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Printerfor $449.95 and get an Instant Rebate of $100. Add to that a $200 American Express Reward® Card. We’re not finished yet! Purchase a qualifying Canon DSLR and get an additional $200 on the American Express Reward® Card! (click here).

PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II Inkjet Printer — Total Savings $600

Screen shot 2011-07-29 at 10.46.10 AM

Purchase the PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II Inkjet Printer for $719.95 and get an Instant Rebate of $100. Add to that a $300 American Express Reward® Card. If you purchase a qualifying Canon DSLR, you’ll get an additional $200 on the American Express Reward® Card. (Click Here).


There's some big fans of PVC who read this blog, and the common choice of coloring is through a rattle and shake spray can. We all know it doesn't hold up very well over time. Many plain white extension cords are also covered with PVC, and Make: has created this short video tutorial on how to color dye PVC based on the article found here:

Now, go out and get colorful with your rigs, or maybe just go with the cliche all black..

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This ends up being a huge time saver for me as I was going to run through some of the Zacuto EVF menu options. Here's a nice run through the menu on how to scale just about any video input type with the Zacuto EVF. I'll try to run through the SmallHD DP4 menu, which also has great scaling options, but for stored custom fuctions, and camera profiles the DP4 is not as elaborate as this Zacuto EVF menu. Different packages for the Z-EVF start around $640 (click here).

find-price-button Zacuto EVF Electronic ViewFinders

find-price-button Zacuto Z-EVF View Finder


Product Highlights
* 12.1Mp Live MOS Sensor
* 3.0" Touch LCD
* Venus Engine FHD
* Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
* 100-6400 ISO
* iA & iA+
* Creative Modes
* Built-In Pop-Up Flash
* 1920 x 1080/60i HD Video Recording
* Optical Image Stabilization

More GF3 cameras hit the shelves and are available now over at B&H (click here).

Panasonic GF3
find-price-button Panasonic DMC-GF3 Digital Camera


There's probably at least 10 different ND Filters around the studio, most of them being a type of 'Variable ND' or 'Fader Filter'. They are just so handy at getting the right exposure. Some of these filters use glass that will cast a purplish color, some more than others. Besides being able to confirm through reviewing your videos, here's another way we found. It's hard to see much difference by just holding it up to the light, and for some reason using the reflective surface from a Macbook works pretty well. As you can see two of the four don't have any color cast even when we played around and dialed them to different ND stops. The other two always have this color cast even when dialing them up or down.

Keep in mind that this does not solely apply to 'Variable' filters, but a color cast can appear in static ND filters too. For static ND filters, it would be very obvious and won't require you to flip them around. So I know you're wondering, which two had the color cast? Polaroid ND Filters and Nicna (sometimes called Rainbow Imaging). The Polaroid was actually the one with the most Purple color cast. Which ones did not have a dramatic color cast? Fader ND and Nature did not cast. Of course we all know you can't go wrong with the LightCraft Fader ND Filters, but for a slightly cheaper price I'm quite fond of the Nature brand Variable ND filters which you can find below.

find-price-button Nature Fader ND Variable Filter