Monthly Archives: April 2013


Varavon's new Multi Finder 'Uni' is an upgraded version of the original Varavon Pro Finder LCD ViewFinder. The universal ability is achieved by an adjustment plate that allows multi-axis adjustments to align with most DSLR cameras on the market with a 3.2"-3.5" LCD such as the 5D Mark III, D800, Nikon D4, and more.

Uni MultifinderVaravon LCD View Finder Multifinder Pro Uni
find-price-button Varavon Multifinder Uni Universal LCD ViewFinder

The Varavon Multi Finder Uni attaches securely through a quick release system at the Anti-Twist Baseplate, offers a diopter for less than perfect vision, and unique low angle shooting via an internal mirror. The new Varavon Multi Finder Uni is available now starting at approx. $229 found on eBay (click here)

Varavon Multifinder Uni
find-price-button Varavon Multifinder Uni Universal LCD ViewFinder



Technicolor has recently upgraded the Color Assist application (originally supported for just Adobe Premiere) to now support Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). It's a simple way to play with color grades for different looks, but also gives you advanced controls to tweak every bit of your video color. Here's a look at how the new Technicolor Color Assist plugin interacts with FCPX.

You can check out the Technicolor Color Assist application and download a trial version over at the website

Technicolor Color Assist Grading FCPX Adobe
Free Trial Technicolor Cinestyle Color Assist Application for Adobe FCPX



Now that Manfrotto has released a new and slightly different MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, there's been a few questions about compatibility - especially for those who want to pick up or upgrade to this new video head and have invested in a bunch of QR plates. For a bit more information on the actual video head, check out this earlier article on the MVH500AH (here).

First, Does the Manfrotto quick release plate from the 577 QR Adapter or common 501PL plate fit on the new Manfrotto MVH500AH video fluid head? Secondly, Does the new Manfrotto MVH500AH quick release plate fit on the older 701HDV, 501, 502HD Video Fluid heads? Hopefully the video below answers some of those questions.

So the new MVH500AH seems to accept the 501PL plates or the quick release plates from the 577 adapter (with 501PL) pretty easily, but it will not be compatible with the 504 plates. Also, the MVH500AH quick release plate will not work with the older Manfrotto Video fluid heads such as the 701HDV or the 502HD.

IMG_310567Manfrotto 500 Fluid HeadManfrotto Bridging Technology Fluid Head
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - Amazon

Manfrotto 755 Aluminum TripodManfrotto 755 Carbon Fiber
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - B&HPhotoVideo

The Manfrotto MVH500AH will also be available as the MVH500A which will be a 60mm half bowl fluid head (found here).

MVH500A Fluid Head 60mm Half BallManfrotto Fluid Head MVH500A
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500A 60mm Half Ball Fluid Head



Edelkrone's SliderPlus+ is a slider that adds a long slide in a smaller compact size for travel. The design allows you to achieve a 2ft slide on a 1ft slider. At NAB2013, they were also showcasing an auto targeting pan head that will maintain a subject in frame while the slider is in motion. This unit can also be combined with their future motorized time-lapse controller for more interesting dynamic camera movements.

Up close, the SliderPlus+ has an amazing build quality and offers very smooth fluid movement. It can be used on a single tripod (or stand) if you can provide a wide enough stance to maintain support as the slider travels towards the end. Edelkrone SliderPlus+ sliders on eBay can be (Found Here).

Edelkrone SliderPlus NAB2013 Motorized Motor Pan Head copy
find-price-button Edelkrone SliderPlus Compact Video Slider



Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel.png 3

Aputure has recently released a new and larger LED Video panel. The New AL-528W (uses 528 LED bulbs) uses a digital brightness display to show output by percentage. Rotate the brightness wheel to adjust output from 10% to 99%.

Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel.png-2
find-price-button Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panels

Use the power adapter to power the unit through a wall outlet, or you can use the batteries (Batteries includes Sony F/FM/QM Series) when shooting outside and a Low power warning with red blinking lights when the batteries are low.

Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel.png 1
find-price-button Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panels

Other features:

  • Color rendering LEDs (Ra>85)
  • Stable color temperature/Stable brightness
  • Amaran uses IC constant current program*, with automatic IT circuit control support.
  • Amaran LED bulb brightness is stable and flicker-free.
  • Frameless design gives you a wider lighting effect, with continuous lighting (no black partitions) when combining LED panels together.
  • Lightweight, portable and compact
  • Amaran is 18.5% lighter than other LED video lights.
  • Uses metal spindle to support LED panels. You're free to adjust the angle as you wish.
  • Carrying case included

  • Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel 5Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel 4Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panel
    find-price-button Aputure AL-528W LED Video Light Panels



    Sony NEX shooters rejoiced when Metabones announced a Speed Booster adapter that offered a Full Frame look on the NEX cameras, but also increased the F-Stop of the lens attached. Check out the quick review from about the Metabones Speed Booster.

    So how does this work? In short, it's similar to a Telephoto Extension adapter that multiplies your lenses focal length. The reason why it's able to perform this same technique in 'reverse', is because it is using a lens designed for Full Frame cams, but is directing the image to a much smaller sensor (like the NEX). The Metabones supports electronic functions like Image Stabilization and aperture can be controlled directly from the Sony NEX cameras buttons and dials, but price ranges from $450-$600 dollars (found here).

    Recently another Speed Booster'ish Focal Reduction adapter has been released, but it offers no electronic communication. This one is designed for Nikon manual lenses with manual aperture controls to mount to your Sony NEX cameras (metabones does not currently offer Nikon to NEX). You can use this to achieve a Full Frame look from of your Rokinon (Nikon mount) lenses as well. At less than half the price of the Metabones, this adapter is being listed at $198 via eBay (click here)

    Not MetaBones Focal Reducer Speed BoosterSpeed Booster Focal Reducer
    find-price-button Focal Reducer Speed Booster Nikon to Sony NEX

    When is someone going to make one for the BlackMagic or MicroFour Thirds?



    Until you have it in your hands, it's hard to really grasp the concept of the Motorroid Universal Motorized Kit. Typically it is designed to motorize just about any Video Camera Slider on the market. Now, the more I use it, the more random ideas I have of how to incorporate it into simple dynamic camera movements.


    Here's a couple of DIY projects (video below) using the Varavon Motorroid Kit in ways it was never intended to be used. Don't take the build quality on these DIY projects too seriously, it was something I whipped up in a matter of minutes to show proof of concept of what can be achieved.

    The basic parts comprise of a strong motor and a pulley on the opposite side that can be attached with one bolt (or screw). When used with a cog belt, the system is strong enough to lift a good amount of weight completely vertically. For use with projects that don't need to pull heavy weights like my DIY Motorized Track Dolly or DIY Motorized Jib Crane, simple twine or rope will work just as well. I'm exaggerating with this large Jib, but don't forget about all those Carbon Fiber Mini Video Jibs (found here) which would be fun to motorize for travel projects.

    Aviator Travel Jib Crane Mini
    Read: Mini Travel Jib Article

    Finally when the Time Lapse Control unit becomes available for this Motorroid kit, it will really open up some interesting possibilities for very smooth and consistent motion control projects. Even on my best day, I don't think I can perform a very slow Crane up movement for several minutes straight with one consistent speed.

    Now i'm sure some of you will ask about the track dolly, so if you're looking for a Video Tripod Track Dolly, the only thing I can suggest is GO with the FAT WHEELS -not those thin roller blade type wheels.


    Typcially all the high end professional tripod track dolly systems always use the fat skate wheels NOT the thin rollerblade wheels, and there is a performance difference. Here's a link to a bunch of Video Tripod Track Dollies over on eBay (found here)

    Tripod Track Dolly VideoVideo Tripod Track Dolly
    find-price-button Video Tripod Track Dolly Caster Wheels

    So what's next? Maybe pull a wheeled dolly (Pico Dolly) across the garage floor instead of laying down tracks, or pull a GoPro on a cable cam setup across the park (I may try this one). Hopefully this opens up some ideas for what these new tools can do to add interesting movement to your footage. You can find the Varavon Motorroid Kits following via eBay (click here)

    find-price-button Varavon Motorroid Universal Motorized Upgrade Kit



    The Skyler MInicam is probably my most favorite little travel video stabilizer. It might look small, but for reference, I often fly a small Sony NEX, to a mid-sized GH3, and up to a large Canon 5D Mark III. The original Skyler Minicam stabilizer has typically been out of reach for many as it lists for over $450 dollars (found here on eBay)

    Skyler Minicam
    find-price-button Skyler MiniCam Video Camera Stabilizer

    We've seen other products that share a similar design to the Skyler, but this new 2013 XCam version has an improved bearing gimbal that is said to be smoother and now offers the folding leg design making it easier to pack and travel. The top stage still offers a quick release plate and fine tuning knobs making it easier to find the center of balance. The new <XCam 2013 Mini video Stabilizer is offered at just $238 via eBay (click here)

    XCam Mini StabilizerXcam stabilizer
    find-price-button XCam 2013 FL Mini Hand Held Video Stabilizer



    BMCC Camera Cage with Top HandleePhotoinc ePhoto Inc Video Cage BlackMagic Black Magic Cinema Camera

    A new and more affordable video cage designed for the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera or new BlackMagic Design Production 4K Camera is popping up. The accessory cage comes with a Top Handle that can be used directly on the BMCC or with a cage bracket frame providing dozens of mounting points. A 15mm rod adapter assembly can be mounted when using rail accessories such as a follow focus or Matte Box. This new BMCC video cage kit can be found via eBay (Click Here).

    BlackMagic Cage Top Handle RigBlackMagic Top Handle RigePhotoinc ePhoto Inc Video Cage BlackMagic Black Magic Cinema Camera
    find-price-button BlackMagic Design 4K Cinema Camera Top Handle Cage 15mm Rods

    The new BMCC Accessory Cages with Top Handle and 15mm Rods can also be found via Amazon (click here)

    BMCC Camera Cage with Top HandleePhotoinc ePhoto Inc Video Cage BlackMagic Black Magic Cinema Camera
    find-price-button BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera 4K Video Cage Top Handle 15mm Rods