Monthly Archives: December 2012


The latest buzz (no pun intended) for Flying GoPro cameras is the new DJI Phantom Quadcopter designed specifically to mount the GoPro Hero cameras. Unlike the more complicated copter systems out there, the DJI Phantom comes in a fully assembled complete kit (found here) where you just need to mount your GoPro (or other light cameras) and you are literally ready to start flying.

find-price-button DJI Phantom GoPro Quadcopter Kit GPS + NAZA-M - Ready to Fly

Even though it looks like a toy, it's a pretty advanced little copter. Check out a few highlights about the new DJI Phantom GoPro QuadCopter:

Phantom has an integrated flight dynamics system, the Naza-M + GPS multi-rotor autopilot system, as well as the dedicated remote controller and receiver. The proven stability of the Naza-M autopilot system allows you to easily achieve great flight performance.

With the built-in Naza-M autopilot system plus a GPS module, the Phantom has GPS Attitude and Attitude Control Mode. Pilots can switch between the two modes to achieve a particular flight experience.

Phantom also has the Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) function of the Naza-M autopilot system.

Phantom also has the failsafe function of the Naza-M autopilot system. This means when the communication between the Main Controller and the transmitter is disconnected, the outputs of all command sticks from controller will go to the center position. If the GPS signal is good enough, the system will automatically trigger Return To Home and landing safely.

DJI Phantom GoPro Hero3 Flight

The DJI Phantom Quadcopter was announced several weeks ago, but only on a Pre-Order status. They are now showing In Stock status ready to ship. You can find additional photos, videos, and specifications following the link via eBay (click here).

GoPro DJI Phantom Quadcopter DJI QuadCopter
find-price-button DJI Phantom GoPro Quadcopter Kit GPS + NAZA-M - eBay

The DJI Phantom Quadcopter Ready-to-Fly kits are also available via Amazon (click here)

DJI Phantom QuadCopter GoPro Hero Flight
find-price-button DJI Phantom QuadCopter for GoPro Video Cameras - Amazon

Don't forget that the latest GoPro Hero3 (white, silver, and black editions) are smaller, lighter, offers more features, and higher video quality than previous GoPro cameras. Should be a killer match up with the DJI Phantom. You can get more information about GoPro's latest Hero3 from the official Official GoPro® Store.

GoPro Hero3 Black EditionBuy GoPro HERO Camera at
find-price-button GoPro Hero3 Black, Silver, and White Editions

DJI Phantom Quadcopters Currently on eBay


Above is a Demo Reel from, a company that offers motorized motion control sliders primarily used for Time-Lapse Photography. The latest product added to their line is the Stage One slider (found here). Unlike most sliders that have to be purchased as a set length, the Stage One slider can be broken down to 21" sections that will allow you to fit the equipment into standard Airline Carry-on sized luggage when traveling.

Dynamic Perception shipped over the Stage One Motorized Slider kit with an MX2 Controller, and without checking the online documentation, I was able to dive in, assemble, and figure out the basic functions. If you follow their extensive online support documentation and instructional videos, I feel anyone should be able to tackle this piece of equipment.

It is designed to be used with stands and offers a 5/8" light stand mount, 3/8" mount, or 1/4" tripod mounts. The Stage One does not come with legs or feet, so you'll need to keep it elevated slightly to operate. I'm hoping they will offer some type of adjustable legs, similar to what the Konova or Varavon sliders offer. It's very well crafted and designed to to readily accept optional accessories for more advanced use. The basic (non-motorized) kit comes with (4) 21" rails that can be assembled into a 42" slider (additional rails can be purchased to extend the slider further).

find-price-button Dynamic Perception Stage One Time-Lapse Slider

I have plans to take this kit out to CES Las Vegas in January, so hopefully I can have some interesting footage to share soon after the trip. Even if you're not ready to tackle Time-Lapse just yet, I suggest taking a look at some of the informational video tutorials covering How to shoot HDR Timelapse, setting up Shoot-move-Shoot (InterLeave), Time-lapse video post processing, Time Remapping, and more. There's also amazing Time-Lapse Video examples submitted by customers to help inspire your next time-lapse project over at


Some videos show unboxing, but here i'm planning to 'Re-Box' Canon's first mirrorless camera, the EOS-M. I'm sure there will be some comments about how I didn't really spend enough time to learn the camera, but I honestly don't see the point. Maybe if this were considered an entry level camera, i'd think twice but Canon wants to charge $800 dollars for this camera. At that price, I expect it to be at the same level as other mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus OM-D, DMC-GH3, or Sony Alpha NEX.

I feel like the mirrorless market is something many professionals are taking seriously, and after so many years of refinement from Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony, I can't understand what Canon was trying to do here. Sure there's an adapter to use the massive lineup of HUGE professional EF lenses onto the EOS-M, but why? That not only defeats the purpose of the small form factor, there is also nothing very special about the quality coming out of this camera.

In my opinion, there is just not enough to love on the Canon EOS-M mirrorless to justify the price and not enough accessories or lenses available (at this time). You're better off grabbing a Canon T3i for about $460 dollars than to spend $800 on something that lacks so much compared to what we're seeing from other companies. That's my rant, what's your opinion on this camera?


One of the big purchases you'll need to make for the new Black Magic Cinema camera is a solid state drive. I opted for the 120GB Sandisk SSD to start out, but quickly realized I need more to support the RAW video mode. The Sandisk 480GB is a great option and currently lists for $345 Amazon (seen here). It's a drive that I think most people will end up buying if they are shooting with the BMCC.

This Sandisk 480GB is one of the SSD Drives recommended in the Black Magic Cinema Camera Manual, so if you're thinking about the BMCC, this drive is currently on sale for $300 dollars for the next 8 hours. Check it out via eBay (click here).

Sandisk 480GB SSD
find-price-button Sandisk 480GB SSD Solid State Drive for Black Magic Cinema


Here are a few great still photo examples with the 18" Diva Ring Light in use from YouTube member Lorenzo Pickett. From what I understand the only lights used were two (DIY) 4ft. CFL banks on each side and the 18" Diva Ring Light placed center. Towards the end of the video he shows some great examples captured by this simple lighting setup. [Thanks Lorenzo]

The catch lights in the 18" Diva Ring Light are effective because of the large diameter and distance to the subject. This can be used for Video as well. Smaller ring lights will only be seen as a small dot. Here's another great video example of this Diva Ring Light in use shared through the comments from Eliu Cornielle.

Here's another very interesting BTS video showing how the Diva Ring light was used by Badmash Factory Productions [thanks seem]

The new version of the 18" Diva Ring lights are now dimmable as the earlier models had only a simple ON/OFF switch. The new Diva Ring Light kit comes with a 5,600K Lamp (daylight), 3,200K Lamp (tungsten balance), AC Power Cord, and a Padded Carry Case. You can find more image samples, information, and kit prices for the 18" Diva Ring Lightvia eBay (Click Here).

Diva Ring LightDiva Light CFLRing Light Photography Catch Light
find-price-button 18" Diva Ring Light CFL Kit Photography Video

eBay Products - Diva Ring Lights


As popular as the Canon 5D Mark III has been, there are only a handful of LCD ViewFinders made specifically for the camera. If you're an owner, this might be something you've looked into. So here's a look at Varavon's latest MultiFinder UNI / LCD View Finder. There are older versions of the Multifinder that are very specific to each camera, but the new UNI (i'm guessing for universal) has adjustments on the base and on the View Finder itself which allow it to work with a wider range of camera bodies. Below is an unboxing video that i've done and how it fits on the Canon 5D Mark III camera body.

The unique feature on the Varavon Multifinder products is it's ability to achieve low angle shots by use of specially aligned mirrors. The optics can be removed if you only need to use it as a simple sunshade, and the quick release system makes it easy to remove the entire view finder. The MultiFinder UNI runs for $295 is currently on sale for the holidays at $236 at their website (click here)

find-price-button Varavon MultiFinder UNI LCD ViewFinder


Ok, so i'm late to the party for posting this up, but I was busy during the holidays with the family. Anyways, in case you missed it, here's a demo from Edelkrone's unique SliderPlus+. It's a 1ft slider (to fit your travel bags), that travels 2ft. Doesn't sound like very much sliding movement, but as with any tool, you just have to be creative about what you're using it for. There are still questions about how smooth the slider really is when operated by hand, but with a motorized adapter on the way, this slider can be very consistent with movements.

Edelkrone Slider Plus Retractable 2ft Slider


Here's a clever way to take advantage of the GB-R 15mm Rail kit that is typically used for the P&C GearBox. Carl Pendle modified this by adding a small quick release adapter to mount to his camera directly. It's an inexpensive way to add rails for supporting 15mm accessories with a minimal footprint. [Thanks Carl]

find-price-button P&C GB-R 15mm Dual Rail Kit


The older Rokinon 85mm F/1.4 lenses are still a great value and produce great quality, but here's an unboxing of the latest Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens in the new Black w/ Red Accent design which not only looks better, but offers a bit more quirky features for budget video shooters. (BTW I made a mistake, and I don't need the M43 adapter for the version of the Black Magic Cinema Camera currently, just the Nikon to EF shim).

At just $350 dollars (found here), I feel it's not very much to ask for a solid 85mm video lens with a wide aperture, smooth manual focus, de-clicked aperture, and built in lens gears. Keep in mind that on cameras like the GH3 the focal distance will be hard to manage with hand held shooting. There is no image stabilization on this lens. For tripod mounted shots, it will produce that beautiful portrait style look and provide smooth focusing between subjects. The Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens is available now via B&H or Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony E & A mounts (click here).

find-price-button Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens