Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Here's an interesting find from reader impoze. [Thanks impoze] It's an Aputure 160 LED video light + Sony NPF-970 battery on sale right now for under $19 bucks. The LED light alone is usually over $30 dollars. As pointed out, it's almost cheaper than buying a Sony battery alone. Of course, there's no charger, but you can find many generic chargers for under $6 bucks.

Sony-NPF-charger
find-price-buttonSony NPF Battery Charger

You can find the combo deal for this Aputure 160 LED light + Sony NPF-970 battery on sale right now + free Economy Shipping on eBay following the link (click here).

aputure-LED-with-Sony-Battery
find-price-button Aputure Amaran 160 LED Video Light + Sony Sony NP-F970

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Screen protectors not only help to prevent scratches on your camera's LCD, but some also prevent glare when viewing outdoors. It's also something I suggest using before mounting any sticky frame LCD Viewfinders on your camera. The Lexerd brand with TrueVue™ is ultra thin, scratch proof, touch screen capable, has great reviews and is available for most any camera including Nikon, Canon, and even the new Sony NEX-7.

lexerd-anti-glare-lcd-screen
find-price-button Lexerd Anti Glare LCD covers

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Gini DSLR Cage GH1 GH2 cameras

Anyone check out the Gini DSLR Cages for Panasonic GH1 and GH2 cameras? Snug fit, looks nice, but crazy expensive. [Thanks Habez] Gini's DSLR Video cages were recently criticized about the lack of 1/4x20 threaded ports which is most common for adding accessories, and ends up using a different thread pitch. People have had to drill and tap the holes themselves in order to be usable. From the deign, this one doesn't appear to be any different. Maybe i'm wrong about the thread size. Comes with two handles, two monitor arms, and cage. (click here for Gini DSLR cages for GH1 and GH2 cameras).

GH1-CageGH2-Cage
find-price-button Gini DSLR Cage for GH1 GH2 Cameras

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YouTube member JennGrover shares a look at the Konova Motorized Slider upgrade kit. [Thanks Jenn] Konova is said to be releasing at least two different motors (speed variations), and different remotes. Others have shared more information about Konova's motorized upgrade kit in the comments of the earlier article here: http://cheesycam.com/konova-motorized-upgrade-kit-now-available/

Konova Upgrade Kit
find-price-button Konova Motorized Upgrade Kit for Konova Sliders

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The great thing about building your own rig is being able to design it specifically for your own needs. Of course most of how we assemble things together are based on what products are available to us. When we're introduced to new products, it opens up so much more possibilities. Industry standard 15mm rails are great for building form and support for your cameras, but here's a new concept that also add more function.

SwissRods-mounting

The P&C Swiss Rod has a few inches of 15mm rod on each end, and in the middle are alternating threaded and non-threaded holes. The pass through is designed so that items like a hot shoe can be positioned correctly before tightening. The male/female ends of the Swiss Rod are industry standard and can be used to extend (attach) to other manufacturer rods like Gini, Letus, and I believe even Zacuto, and more. The wide squarish design of the rod also helps nano clamps from slipping.

PhotographyandCinema-Swiss-Rod

Even if you're not trying to replace rails on your build, by just adding a single P&C Swiss Rod, you open up totally new mounting options. The 1/4" studs can always be stepped up to 3/8" if needed. Taking advantage of the basic threaded ports, we've also found creative ways to mount the Swiss Rods on light stands or on the hot shoe of the camera to hold many accessories. With several items attached to one rod, the entire rod becomes a quick release system mounted to a simple 15mm clamp. The rods will be available from PhotographyandCinema.com

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mounting-dslr-rig

Seen above is a really basic DSLR rig. Two rods, follow focus, front handle, rear shoulder pad, and top handle. Most rigs you find on the market will have just basic rails and clamps so you can build different shapes depending on your needs. Looking at a standard rig from any manufacturer like Zacuto, Cinevate, Express35, Gini, etc. etc., they don't really offer much as far as mounting an LED light, Portable Audio Recorder, LCD monitor, or Microphone.

I have a video that i'll be posting up soon about a new product that I think some people will find quite interesting, but before posting up, I wanted to see how you guys are mounting additional accessories to your rigs. So, are you adding more clamps? More rods? A cage bracket? Let me know..

[Update] If you happened upon this article, i've announced the new product here: http://cheesycam.com/new-gear-pc-15mm-dslr-rig-swiss-rods/

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New F-V-Video slider

Another new roller bearing video camera slider takes place on the market. This one is coming from F&V, which is the same company to release the popular Z96 LED Video light. Full roller bearings, folding legs, rubberized feet, and comes with travel bag.

F&V Camera SliderVideo Camera Roller bearing slider

Looks like a solid build, but with Konova's recent Crank Pulley and Motorized Upgrade kits, there's still more expansion to go with a Konova slider. Unless F&V is thinking about adding something different to their sliders, it's going to be a tough market to jump into. (Click here to find F&V Camera Sliders)

F&V New Video Camera Slider
find-price-button F&V Video Camera Roller Bearing Slider

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Folding Tripod Track Dolliesproaim folding track dolly flex track

DSLR Video Sliders are great, but you're limited to a short run and narrow rails. When you need something that can track for longer movements, then you're getting into track dolly territory. Track dollies are especially handy if you're working on uneven ground (cement, light gravel, short grass). Lay down a 1" PVC pipe or sturdy (yet cheap) Conduit tubing, throw your tripod on a portable folding track dolly and you can get some very effective push / pulls.

The image (above) is from the more expensive Proaim folding track dolly (seen here). For something cheaper, here are two companies (below) that take inexpensive existing folding tripod dollies and modify the casters into track wheels. Both dollies below have swiveling wheel assemblies that can be used on straight or flex (curved) tracks.

The same company making the SteadyDragon stabilizers offers a modded folding tripod dolly with three wheels on each end. The wheels are aligned to roll on the track without derailing.

Track-DollyArmadillo-Track-Folding-Dolly
find-price-button Folding Tripod Track Dolly

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Opteka CXS-2 Stabilizer

Opteka has made available a new version of their dual handled CXS stabilizer - the CXS-2 Shoulder Support. The handles swing apart for spacing, but under the stage seems to have support for 15mm rods (to mount accessories like an FF). The shoulder pad fits more like a target shooter, but is upgradeable to support their optional counterweight and belt support system.

It runs under $130 dollars, but what do you guys think? Worth it, or is there something else in that price range you are using today that's a better fit? (click here to find Opteka CXS-2 Shoulder Stabilizer on eBay)

Opteka CXS-2 StabilizerOpteka Stabilizer 15mm
find-price-button Opteka CXS-2 Double Handle Stabilizer 15mm Support

Another interesting little tidbit released is their VB-30 Aluminum triple mount shoe adapter. The VB-30 fits on a standard shoe and makes available three additional shoes for small accessories, led lights, microphones, etc.

Opteka VB-30 triple shoe adapter cube
find-price-button Opteka VB-30 Triple Shoe Adapter Cold Shoe Mount