Summer is around the corner, so is anyone considering taking their Canon 5D Mark III for a swim? It's probably one of the best small cameras out there when dealing with low light (it can get a bit dark underwater), but I don't think i'll ever take that plunge (pun intended). I'll stick to my Ikelite Sony HX9V underwater housing. Still, If you're daring enough, Ikelite already has an underwater housing available for the 5DM3 for about $1600 bucks.
The common problem with basic Tripod plates (quick release plates) is that you only have one main screw that attaches to the camera. So obviously with a little force, the camera seems to twist around, and sometimes come loose from the QR plate. This is especially more annoying when using a follow focus system and the lens moves away from the gear. If you look carefully under your camera, you'll find a tiny 'alignment' hole that most QR plates don't utilize.
3 screws to fasten the plate and 2 thread to fasten a quick release plate
The Canon 5D Mark II Anti Twist Plate takes advantage of the alignment hole on the camera to make sure it doesn't shift, and then there are two threaded holes that you would use to mount your QR plate. Yes, you would use both threads in your slotted plate which will prevent the plate from shifting also. If you have the need for a firm stance, check out these anti-twist plates via eBay (click here).
If you're looking to do some remote focus pulling, the wireless systems can be a bit 'finicky'. A Wired electronic remote follow focus system works with a long cable so the camera operator can move about, and the puller can control focus with a remote video screen. This particular one (above) uses a basic '3.5mm stereo' cable for the remote tether. Looking back at some of the older videos, this new electronic follow focus has been a work in progress for at least several months. The final version finally has shown up on eBay with what looks like a similar beefy servo as in the Jag35 kit and starts at only $199 (seen here).
The video above has the Servo mounted on the stiff Zoom ring (not focus ring) to showcase it's strength. There are two different versions available. One with a A/B programmable focus points, and one is just a basic electronic follow focus. The speed of the movement can be adjusted on the remote as well. There's a few other videos showing the effectiveness of programmed A/B stops, and a closer look at the Remote (keep in mind that's the older version ff) on the eBay page (click here).
This is probably going over everyone's head, but I just saw this on the eBay deals page. A rechargeable USB battery pack that has ports for both 1A and 2.1A outputs. I don't know how consistent the output is, but it peaked my interest because my Asus WiCast (streaming HD video) requires 5V 2A minimum to run, or it's just not going to power up. Right now I have everything working nicely with the Tekkeon battery packs, but they are a bit large to mount with camera.
I tried a number of other USB battery packs for the 5V output, but they just didn't put out the 2A that I need. Maybe this one is different? The Asus probably needs the most amount of power, but if you're using something like the Brite-View HDMI wireless systems, that should that requires less. Anyways, I guess I might be the only one excited for something like this, so just ignore this post, but if you're shopping for a portable battery pack for anything else USB powered, it might be something to look into with the price drop (click here).
Caleb over at DSLRVideoShooter.com posts up a short review on a dual LP-E6 battery charger (actually it can charge other batteries too with optional plates). Besides being able to visually tell you the status of your batteries, there's also a USB out to power or charge your USB devices. While a standard Canon LP-E6 charger will already run you about $55 dollars, this dual charger with some nice fancy features will only run you about $80 bucks.
There's practically an adapter to mount any lens to any camera these days, and here YouTube member videotestground talks about the Pentax M42 Super Takumar 50mm F/1.4 [Thanks Vedran]. These M42 lenses are older manual lenses for Pentax film cameras that can be mounted to your Canon DSLR through a cheap adapter. A Canon 50mm F/1.4 will run you close to $400 dollars, so you could save quite a bit adapting older manual film lenses. He also goes into showing a small step up filter adapter, and examples with a static ND filter to shoot at the wide aperture in the bright day.
Each Sony NPF style camcorder battery runs at 7.4V. By running them in series, it works at 14.8V which is the minimum power required for the 600 and 900 LED light panels at full brightness. I took two basic Sony NPF battery chargers, gutted them, and then wired them in Series to provide 14.8V DC.
Remove two screws under the rear sticker and then pry apart case
To wire up the cases for Series, basically you take the Negative wire from one and the Positive wire from the other and connect them to the barrel plug. The other two wires (negative and positive) from each charger would be connected together.
Sorry for poor diagram
Next I added a bit of extended wire and used my Barrel Plug (shown here) to connect directly to the LED light. The Barrel Connector is super easy to work with (no soldering), and is clearly marked with + and - for positive / negative placement. It's a very simple and cheap DIY to provide portable power for these large LED panels. If you want use heavier batteries, just make the wiring longer and mount to your light stand.
[Disclaimer] Attempt this DIY at your own risk. Using your batteries in other ways than intended may cause premature failure of your batteries, or damage.
There's only a handful of companies that offer DSLR Video Rigs with a Support Rod that helps carry the front heavy load of a Video Rig. Instead of having to add heavier counterweights to the rear of the rig, the rod and belt combination transfers the weight to the hips. You can see how the Waist Support Rod is used in the beginning of the video (below) on the DVTec Rig.
It's not something you want to walk around with, but it will help to stabilizer slow moving or static shots. Internally the rod is spring loaded to reduce harsh bumps, and the top of the rod has a spring to allow a bit of tilt and roll. Varizoom, DVTec, and even Shape offer these waist support kits, but at a premium price. If this is something you've been looking into, there's a company selling a similar kit on eBay now to help you save your back, but it will still run you about $68 bucks (click here).
If you pop into the menu of the Canon 5D Mark III (or 1DX when available), you can change the shutter button to Start and Stop video recording. This feature wasn't available for previous Canon DSLRs (unless you have Magic Lantern). To start and stop video on previous Canon cameras, you were required to use an infrared remote, or more expensive USB remotes.
Now that this feature is available in the new Canon cameras, you can use a very basic corded shutter remote to initiate video recording. If you're looking for a small and inexpensive trigger to place next to the handle of your rig or along the pan bar of your fluid head, something like these basic shutter remotes will do. They are much smaller than my bulky time lapse remotes (seen below), so I thought i'd grab one of the smaller basic remotes just to place next to the handle of my DSLR rig.