Monthly Archives: August 2011


Since the inception of the SpiderTrax dolly, there have been quite a few iterations from a number of different companies. Those units on the market were either still pretty large, or built with poor quality. This time around, I wanted to focus on flexibility and portability. I tried to achieve the highest quality possible, in the smallest footprint, and still make it the most affordable for the community. So today i'm showing you guys the Pico Flex Table dolly. It's still based on the 4 wheel two axle design which I showed a few years ago on the SpiderTrax. The reason for this is because it is much more time consuming to properly align any three wheel design (in case you were considering one). There's no need to look into any other table dolly system as this one still performs as good, and traveling with it is even easier. You'll also be quite happy with the initial price.

Although you can spin your dolly around like a madman, when used slowly they can create some interesting footage. Here's a two year old video I shot when experimenting with my first dolly. Just slight rotation moving slowly on a table.

PicoPico (1 of 19) PicoPico (4 of 19)

It's as small as you can go, while still being able to mount a regular sized Fluid head and support a normal sized Canon DSLR. The main purpose of this product is to just have fun and get creative shots. There are three threaded mounting points to attach friction arms which allow for the lowest possible angle in a camera, as well as adding a number of accessories. Of course if you want to sling a DSLR upside down (as shown in the video), you can counterbalance the weight with another accessory (notice the LED light in the video used with the upside down DSLR).

Pico Dolly w/ Zacuto EVF as Monitor. Also 240 LED Video Light.

pico-dolly-loadedPicoPico (11 of 19)

The Pico is complete fun for iPhones, GoPro cameras, Small Point and shoot HD Video cameras (like my HX9V), and Micro Four Thirds. Perfect for that new Sony NEX-5n, NEX-7, or even Olympus EP-3. You can purchase the Pico alone, which is a great price. There's a bundle with a friction arm which brings the price up slightly. The Pico Flex Skater Table Dolly and Accessories are available now. (click here for Pico Flex Skater Dolly)

PicoPico (15 of 19)
find-price-button Order Pico Flex Table Dolly -


Just a quick over view of what to expect on this dslr matte box. This particular one is fairly well made with just a few quirks, but it's definitely a hundred times better than the cheap plastic one floating around. If you're really into the aesthetics of your rig, I suggest going for this. The FilmCity MatteBox is mostly metal including the flags, top sunshade, 15mm clamp, and donut ring. The hood itself is the only thing made from hard plastic.

The flags on the Mattebox will not fold up for storage, but it breaks down quickly to be packed away. The top flag will tend to get loose with constant positioning and would require the allen key to re-tighten. The side flags can easily be tightened by hand through the thumb screw. The single filter slides in an out with ease, and can be locked down quickly. It does not rotate so it's not something to be used with a CPL. The mattebox does not have a swing away design, so to make things simple, keep it at the end of your rail set. Yes it does require rails to mount. If you've got the money, I suggest going for the more expensive versions with a swing away design and the ability to rotate filters. One that some consider is by TrusMT found here: Trusmt DSLR MatteBox Carbon Fiber or Aluminum.

Considering the prices of current matteboxes, overall the FilmCity is one of the cheapest with decent quality build (again much better than the uber cheap plastic one). Can be found on eBay (click here).

find-price-button Inexpensive Single Filter MatteBox with Full Flags


Some people may have received this notification via email regarding certain Transcend Class 10 SDHC media cards. I guess somewhere down the line, Transcend made a few changes. All of the cards I've purchased don't fall into this category. I cannot verify this on my own personal media, but it could be something you want to check out for yourself.

We have recently learned that Transcend Information is voluntarily recalling the Transcend 16 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC10E.
Items impacted by this recall were sold between July 28 and August 15, 2011. Due to a manufacture process issue, the item subjected to this recall might cause read/write blocking if the file size is over 4GB and the information on the card may not transfer.
The SDHC cards impacted have a serial number between 446136 0001 to 446136 9999 and 446121 0001 to 446121 9999. In order to identify the serial number of your card, please refer to the number in green on the right side of the back of the card.
If your product is affected, you should contact the manufacturer, Transcend Information, for a replacement. If you would like to apply for an online return request, please follow the instruction at the following link to complete the replacement process:
If you need additional info about this recall or further assistance, please contact Transcend Information’s customer service via email at or by phone at (714) 921-2000.
If you purchased this item as a gift for someone, please notify the recipient immediately and provide them with the information in the above bulletin concerning these issues.


No this isn't a post about the Joby on wheels that could run you several hundred dollars. This video from Peter Wiren is a very simple method creating less friction to the Joby GorillaPod ends and sliding it on some basic rails. The rails are made from brackets normally used for hanging closet shelves, held together with basic joining plates, all found at any local hardware store. [Thanks Peter]

You'll need that sturdy large SLR flexible tripod base from Joby found below.
find-price-button Joby GorillaPod SLR Flexible Tripod


360VM Camera Slider

Anything over a 3ft. slider becomes cumbersome for a small crew, and longer sliders start requiring additional stands to set up. I prefer working with sliders around 3' max. Take a look at this 28" 360VM slider with belt and crank pulley. Yup, similar to that of the V1 Kessler Pocket Dolly which used to sell for upwards of $600+ dollars. A similar CamTree/ProAim version with crank pulley still runs well over $400+. Your most basic IGUS DIY rail at this width could run you about $200+ without the crank setup. That's what makes the price on this 360VM slider pretty competitive with the current offerings. There's absolutely no reason to go with anything much larger, especially for those migrating to smaller camera setups like the new Sony NEX-5n, NEX-7, Olympus EP-3, etc.

Here's a video below that shows the actual 360VM slider in use, and is seen in the video.

Putting a Crank and Pulley on one of IGUS' widest rails was mostly known through Kessler's Pocket Dolly V1.
Some of those videos found here:
Another Example here:

The installed pulley makes it even sweeter for those looking to set up a motorized motion controlled video dolly. A simple motor and reversible PWM speed controller, and you're good to go. The 28" Crank slider can be found on the website here:, but there may also be a longer version found here:

360VM crank slider
find-price-button 360VM Video Camera Slider with Belt Crank Pulley

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I guess it's just fitting to do a follow up post regarding the other Sony Cameras soon to be released. The NEX-7 and NEX-5n will especially be of interest to existing mirrorless interchangeable lens camera shooters. And unlike the first introduction of NEX cameras, these should both provide you with FULL MANUAL VIDEO controls. Lots of new updates, features, and with cheaper pricing should give Sony a good market share this year.

Many of these cameras I expect to sell out on release date since they are already available for Pre-Order. Don't believe me? In fact, the Sony NEX-7, NEX-5n, and A77 are already listed on Amazon's Top Selling DSLRs and they haven't even been released yet! Check it out here: Best Selling DSLRs Amazon (click here)

Sony NEX-7
find-price-button Pre-Order Sony NEX-7 with 18-55mm Lens

Sony NEX-5n
find-price-button Pre-Order Sony NEX-5N With 18-55mm Lens (Black)


We finally get to see a video review of the ALZO Transformer DSLR Rig Accessory Cage. If you've collected quite a bit of external accessories, a cage is a simple way to keep things together while moving your about. Vimeo member Brian Russell shows how it's in use with a JuicedLink DT454 and an external Monitor. The handles of a cage aid in stabilization when going hand held, and not seen in the video could be the optional top handle from Alzo if you need to shoot low. The Alzo cages are available on Amazon (click here).

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 9.57.55 PMScreen shot 2011-07-22 at 9.58.10 PM
find-price-button Alzo DSLR Accessory Cage

Optional top bracket can be found below:
Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 10.11.52 PM
find-price-button ALZO Top Cage Bracket Handle


Some people like to add battery grips for extra power, some like to add it for extra hand placement, some just want the aesthetics of a larger cam. Panasonic cameras haven't been big on external battery grips as much as Canon cameras, but tor those that opted in on the GH1 cameras, there's a battery grip available. Actually, to be correct it states compatibility with G1 G2 GH1 G10 cameras. Hopefully this will be a trend for the newer models. Anyone already rockin' these? You can find the grips available on eBay (click here).

Screen shot 2011-08-26 at 7.50.09 AM
find-price-button Battery Pack Grip Panasonic G1 G2 GH1 G10


If you're a bit late on this article, the new Yongnuo 565EX flash can be triggered by a Canon remote. So questions came up whether the Yongnuo YN-565EX Flash will work with the Radio Popper PX wireless triggers. Indeed it does and i've run some tests. There's no reason it shouldn't because the Radio Popper PX system takes the Canon infrared, does some magic, and then sends the very basic infrared back into the flash. The problem you'll run into is the standard RP shoe mount is not aligned. Never fear as a bit of Velcro will do just fine lining up the infrared ports.

Some of you might be wondering why you would need the Radio Popper system? Well let's start out by saying if you don't shoot in High Speed Sync, then you probably don't need it. You could do just fine with the RF603 triggers and switching the flash to manual mode. Instead of relying on Canon's infrared signals (which requires line of sight and gets pretty spotty outdoors), you could get more consistent results with a true wireless system. The only other benefit to using the Radio Poppers is if you want to control flash compensation straight from the camera (instead of walking up to the flash), or if you are managing power ratios and groups of flashes. If you're a bit new, my suggestion is to just go with the RF603 setup and learn how to work the flash manually. You'll actually gain a good understanding of flash.