Monthly Archives: November 2011

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About a year ago I started testing out the Asus WiCast HD Streaming device to see if it can be used with DSLRs. When we visited NAB2011 in April this year (old video above), we found quite a few people using the Asus as a budget means to stream HD Video remotely. We had the chance to check out Jag35's booth and Wireless follow focus system. Hands down the most affordable follow focus system on the market.

Check out the video at 1:42 where Jehu pulls out a Steadicam Merlin with a GH2 streaming HD video to another monitor through an Asus Wicast. The Wireless FF can be controlled remotely while the operator moves around. Very much the set up i'm working on with a larger Steadicam rig. There's one major problem so far, and it's because Jag35 no longer has their Wireless Follow Focus kit available. They have been working on Version 2, which in my eyes means 'better'. Jag35 just sent me this twitter message today, so hopefully i'll get a chance to show the new V2 prototype at work on my WFF Steadicam project.

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I'm pretty excited to test this whole thing out. For more updates like this make sure you're following me on Twitter, and also following Jag35. If you don't require a Wireless Follow Focus, Jag35 also has a handle style remote (which can be mounted to a rig handle) to control the motorized FF. Check out the products at their website http://Jag35.com

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Jag35 Handle Remote and Follow Focus

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Thanks to Aaron for sharing this unique link. A regular search over at B&H website for the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS II lens will return with a $300 dollar discount. By using this secret little link (click here), you'll find a listing which saves you an extra $100 dollars off on top of the $300 dollar discount. Great deal on this popular lens, instant discount (no mail-in rebates), and you don't need to bundle with a Camera purchase. This is an exclusive deal with B&H and only lasts for a few days. [Thanks Aaron]

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find-price-button Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS II Lens Instant Discount

For other current promotions going on with Canon products, check out the rebates page (click here).

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Another very clever DIY project from Vimeo member Lolo Two. Based on commom (and super cheap) EMT a.k.a Conduit tubing, this DIY micro jib breaks down into 3 small section. The conduit piping is held together with common Conduit couplers. I've seen quite a few DIY cranes and personally I think this is one of the most clever uses of off the shelf parts. Just about anyone 'Con-Du-It'. Of course Lolo Two is skilled in crafting the necessary brackets to keep the crane flying on a tripod. He says he'll update us on his build soon, but you can find his relative video page here. [Thanks Lolo Two]

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DIY Micro Jib / Crane - Sectioned with Conduit Couplers

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Frank writes in and shares a new find [Thanks Frank]. Probably best known for their budget follow focus a.k.a. 'RJ Follow Focus', here's a new Matte Box in their product lineup. Not long ago they offered a cheaper plastic version, which I didn't think too highly of. Seems like they were listening and is now offering a more professional version with dual rotating 4x4 filter trays in a swing away design.

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That's quite a bit of features for something in this price range, which is about $100 dollars cheaper than the TrusMT (reviewed here). Of course, no reviews on this item just yet about build quality, and what's up with the blue accents again? You can find the RJ Pro MatteBox available now (click here).

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find-price-button RJ Pro Matte Box Dual Rotating Filter Swing Away

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find-price-button Polaroid Motorized Pan Tilt

Here's an interesting product that was linked to from Venga. The idea was to use it on the Pico Flex Dolly. What you see above is an inexpensive motorized Pan / Tilt head with wireless remote. Previous popular inexpensive motorized pan heads were from Bescor, but this is a new version from Polaroid which says it's designed to support a full SLR camera up to 7lbs. That's quite a bit. It looks like it's using infrared for it's wireless remote, but says it comes with a 20ft sensor cord + another 20ft extension cord, so no worries about line of sight. Can be powered with (5) AA batteries or DC in. Could be a fun addition to some DIY projects out there. Anyone try this out yet? I'm thinking GoPro HD camera, or maybe my Sony HX9V mounted outside a car with controlled pan / tilt...

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Specifications

  • Panning Angle - 120 Degrees
  • Pan Speed - 6 Degrees Per Second
  • Tilt Angle - 30 Degrees
  • Tilt Speed - 4 Degrees Per Second
  • Maximum Load - 7 lbs
  • Power Sources - Remote= 1 CR2032, Head= 5 AA or DC Converter
  • Remote Transmitter Distance - 30'
  • Remote Sensor Cable - 20ft
  • Remote Sensor Extension Cable - 20ft
  • While the Bescor Motorized heads ran over $130-200 dollars, these Polaroid Motorized heads are listing for about $94 dollars on eBay (check prices here).

    Over on Amazon, the same Polaroid motorized Pan / Tilt head for SLR cameras runs just over $64 dollars and ships free for Prime members.

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    find-price-button Polaroid Automatic Motorized Pan Head With Wireless Remote Control For SLR Cameras & Camcorders

    [Update] Thanks to Steven for writing in. There may be an even cheaper price, but only a few in stock (Click Here)
    for Polaroid Wireless Motorized Pan Tilt Head

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    Wondlan's sporting a new Carbon Fiber Video camera Stabilizer and Vimeo member LJ Lee has a nice little review. I like the fact that it can be extended long enough to be used as a short monopod, something the Glidecam stabilizers won't do. It also has a ready quick release system to get the camera off. The top stage has all the adjustments for front / back / left / right to find the center of balance, but the lower sled doesn't look wide enough to prevent the common twisting motion.

    Most Steadicam type stabilizer have a long bottom sled which increases the area for the turning axis (something like that). If you have all of the weight too close to the center of the post, it can easily drift, twitch, or jerk while walking. The handle looks a little small also, something that might be a comfort concern for those with large hands. There isn't a whole lot of sample footage in the video, but for the small movements it seems to work pretty well. Of course there's a lot of practice and skill involved to pull off good footage too. [Thanks LJ] The Wondlan Carbon Stabilizer is already available following the link (click here).

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    find-price-button Wondlan Carbon DSLR Video Camera Steadicam Stabilizer

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    So there were a few great GoPro HD deals in the past few days. If you managed to grab yourself one, another must have accessory is the GoPro LCD BacPac. This adds so much more functionality than the little front screen. Here's something interesting, the GoPro LCD BacPac is also sold on outdoor clothing retailer Eddie Bauer. Since Ol' Eddie B. is having a Cyber Monday today with 40% off, this even applies to the LCD BacPac. [Thanks Stephen & Peter Heald] You can find the Eddie Bauer GoPro LCD BacPac deal following the link, and make sure to use coupon code: CYBER40

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    find-price-button GoPro LCD BacPac Deal Eddie Bauer

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    I had the chance to play with a prototype of this monitor, but still have not had the chance to see the final version. I hear it's been upgraded quite a bit on build quality and software menu. I remember a few people commented on this blog that they picked one up at PDN New York last month. Where's the reviews? Hopefully i'll still be able to check out the final version at some point.

    Swivi LCD Monitor
    find-price-button Swivi 5.6" External HDMI LCD w/ Focus Peaking - via eBay

    The 'Swivi' (Swi-vee) is a 5.6" LCD HDMI monitor that attaches like a battery grip to any camera with a tripod mount (not just Canon). The Swivi display connects with an HDMI cable, offers and HDMI pass through, and is powered through a Canon LP-E6. An optional sunshade can be purchased and there is focus peaking available in the monitor. The first units are now available on eBay (click here)

    And also available on Amazon (click below)
    Screen shot 2011-11-27 at 11.02.45 PMScreen shot 2011-11-27 at 11.03.05 PM
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    Swivi External Swivel LCD Monitor 5.6" Peaking Focus FREE sunhood included - via Amazon