Tony Carretti shares a find on a very inexpensive EM-320E shotgun condenser microphone for less than $20 dollars and claims he's getting better results than from his other Rode VideoMic on longer cable runs with XLR. [Thanks Tony]. Getting your microphone as close to the subject is key. In most cases any microphone is better than the built in microphone of the camera. It's also self powered so maybe it provides a bit of clean gain over the noisy internal amp of the DSLR.
[Update] Tony also shares another test along with the Zoom H4n as reference.
The EM-320E, comes with a Black windscreen, 20' XLR to 1/4" mic cable, and a 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter. If you don't have any microphone, Tony seems to think it's worth the bang for the buck, and you can find them on eBay (click here).
A honeycomb grid on your flash helps direct and concentrate light, and depending on the design of the honeycomb you can even achieve a very tight spotlight. YouTube member CAMPHOTOPIX shares his DIY grid build that is based on a bunch of cut straws. I'm not sure where this first started from, but it's an old DIY build that even I have tried years ago. It's very effective and you can customize the length of the straws for different effects. I also like his use of neoprene material for a very snug fit.
These grids were very expensive a few years ago, but if you lack the patience, you can now find similar style honeycomb grids for less than $13.00 dollars shipped. You can find them in 1/8" and 1/4" honeycombs on eBay (click here).
Here's a look at a prototype motorized trailer sent to me today and it's attached to a PNC Pico Dolly. Still a prototype, it's supposed be universal and have some mounting options to attach to several different dollies or maybe even sliders? The idea is to have a motorized push cart to have consistent movement all of the motors, batteries, wiring, and switches all self contained into one little unit.
There's a few 1/4x20 threads to mount other accessories on the little push car too. From the image it looks like it's around 4" wide. I have no additional information about availability or pricing at this time. What do you guys think about something like this? For more about the Pico Dolly, you can find that information at the following page: http://www.photographyandcinema.com
Not sure if you'll find much, but the Sandisk Media sale ends today so you might want to give it another look through. When the price is right, i'll choose Sandisk over Transcend media, but for the most I can live off of Transcend retail prices when i'm in need of new cards. The only thing I see of interest for sale today is the Sandisk 128GB SDXC Class 10.
I currently have a Lexar 128GB SDXC card that i've been throwing in all of my point and shoot cameras, as well as all my DSLR cameras. The new Canon 5D Mark III also accepts SDXC media and we've done quite a few shoots with just the 128GB with no issues. I also use this SDXC card as my portable external drive. If for some reason you need a card this large, the Sandisk 128GB SDXC is cheaper than the Lexar 128GB in today's sale. Check it out at B&H (click here).
Here's something pretty interesting that reader Nathan Smith shares for an external HDMI Monitor. The Motorola Lapdock is used to connect to Android phones via HDMI and provides a keyboard, larger screen, two USB ports, and more. The Lapdock also has an internal battery that claims an 8 hour life span. Well the Lapdock never really took off as a product, and now you can find them on clearance or at discounted prices. Nathan was lucky enough to grab one for around $59 dollars. So what does this have to do with DSLR Video and cameras?
There were a few forums that claimed the Lapdock will perform as a normal HDMI screen with the right adapters and some videos have shown it being used with a Playstation. If you're wondering, the Lapdock has a Micro Male HDMI connection, so you'll need a female Micro HDMI to start with. Here Nathan proves that with the right cables, you can even use it to display the HDMI signal from your camera. Can't beat that for $59 bucks.
I also found this interesting because the Lapdock provides two USB ports. The Lapdock with it's internal rechargeable battery can be a remote monitor receiving the HD video feed and power the Asus through dual USB power without extra batteries (theory). I've updated the comments in this article with some information about the adapter and cable you'll probably need. Anyways, it's a neat idea and could be a fun thing to have with the clearance prices, but the only thing i'm still unsure of is the exact model that Nathan is using.[Update] He's using the Atrix 4G Lapdock and you can find the Lapdocks online via Amazon (click here)
There's about a dozen USB remotes sold as a USB Follow Focus System, but this particular one lacks lens focus controls and just throws in some basic functions. This one was designed to mount close to your rig handle so that you can access common settings like ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Zoom Focus, Start / Stop Video Mode, etc.
Don't be confused by some of the listings, it's obvious they don't know what they are talking about and list it to be a follow focus controller (wrong!). This looks like the Okii MC1 controller, except it's about $100 dollars less. I like this particular handle design over those ugly round Canon USB Follow focuses but i'm still not sold on paying so much for this type of remote. You can find additional info about these Canon USB Video Remotes on eBay following the link (click here).
Vimeo member Stephen Diaz has already received the GoPro Dive Housing (Flat Lens) which allows the GoPro to focus properly underwater. Here's an early test video. The GoPro Dive housing is a must have to improve the quality of underwater footage, and fortunately it's the cheapest Flat Lens upgrade available for around $49 dollars. [Thanks Stephen].
Here's a product some of you might find interesting, although I have to admit it's probably not too far off for DIY makers to craft up their own version. The Magnifty is a large Magnifier attached on 15mm rails magnifies the image on your LCD to help you get better focus. Other products like the Cinevate Cyclops or the Jag35 MonitorX offer the same method of magnifying the image into a large view, but attach directly to the camera's LCD.
Cinevate Cyclops and Jag35 MonitorX
The Magnifty uses 15mm rods to slide forward or back to adjust the magnification, and also offers a much larger view. One major benefit to using such analogue techniques is that you know you're getting the proper exposure and color from the camera's LCD than you would with most cheaper electronic Monitors. Of course if you work indoors, you don't have to think twice about it, but for outdoor use you should be cautious of your equipment. Check out the Magnifty at their eBay store following the link (click here).