Monthly Archives: September 2014


FCPX has been a great editing tool but one of the things that always bothered me was the lack of simplified exposure, color, and sharpening tools. You have to jump through so many tabs as opposed to just scrolling down with everything in one place. Today I decided to test out a very very inexpensive plugin called HyColour Pro and I have to say it's an extremely helpful plugin I think everyone should consider. Once installed you simply drop it to your video clip, and the tools show up in the Video inspector.

It's extremely intuitive and feels much like Adobe Lightroom with basic sliders that control individual components to quickly correct or grade your footage. This plugin can save you an enormous amount of time in those areas. I think the one feature I favor the most is the comparison overlay which allows you to do side by side or split screen comparisons to your original footage.

Unfortunately you'll run into problems with projects larger than 1080p, but hopefully they'll be working on an update. If you're just starting to use FCPX, and are still focused mainly on 1080p content, then you should definitely check out HyColour Pro (click here).

HyColour Pro Color Grading Tool for FCPX



The web is buzzing about a possible new GoPro Hero4 camera capable of 4K video at 30fps. There is also mention of the new Hero4 to offer more manual exposure controls and a built in LCD monitor (no bacpack attachments). If this info is true, it will be another camera i'm guaranteed to pick up.

Not just for drone use, but i've really been keeping an eye out for the most compact 4K video camera combined with an extra wide field of view. Using a wide FOV is perfect for capturing small interior spaces, and the 4K resolution allows you to de-fish while maintaining more than 1080p quality for final output. If the manual exposure works well and the sensor is decent in at least dim lighting, this would be great for some of you guys doing Real Estate tours.

[Update September 29th] Here's the first video from GoPro showing off the new Hero4 4K Camera.

With such a small camera, the only thing you'll need is a mini 3 Axis GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer (like these).

4K gopro hero 4 3 axis gimbal hand held gopro hero4 4k mini 3 axis gimbal stabilizer gopro hero4 hero 4k video gimbal stabilizer steadicam steadycam
find-price-button GoPro Handheld Mini 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizers

The new GoPro Hero4 4K Camera is already listed on the website showing an October 5th release date. You can check it out at the GoPro Website.
blackback silverback

[source info via PetaPixel]

compare pricing Amazon / B&H Photo


The Nyrius Aries Pro is just one of many consumer grade kits available to stream wireless hd video via HDMI. I have a few articles posted on this blog going back a few years ago, but with the recent popularity of Gimbal Stabilizers, these streaming video tools can really aid your production. Here's a great demo from Rod Guajardo [thanks Rod] on how they use the Nyrius Aries Pro kits.

Though many of the wireless kits on the market may look similar, the internal components differ slightly offering faster processors and more channels for less interference, less video lag, and greater range. Still if you're just planning to monitor from a camera without having to be tied down by wires, the Nyrius Aries Pro is an excellent kit (found here).

stream hdmi wireless hd video monitorwireless hdmi hd video streamingnyrius pro wireless hdmi wireless hd
find-price-button Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless HD Video Kit

[Update] It should be noted that these kits have no mounting options so you'll have to be creative. They also require power over USB which are very common these days, but only certain batteries with a high mAH rating should be used. You can see a list of compatible USB batteries and also some creative mounts used by the CMR Radian kits (found here).

radian wireless pro kits stream hd video hdmi
read more button Camera Motion Research [CMR] Radian Wireless Bundles


Here's another LED lighting product coming out of the Fotodiox company. The FlapJack panels use an array of LED lights that sit only at the surrounding edges and point inwards. The result is an extremely soft and diffused light source without hot spots or multi-shadow issues that can be placed very (very very) close to your subject. Here's a little demo video below.

I've actually reviewed a set of similar lights from Rosco several years ago, and my experience was that they were a very effective diffused light source, but weren't extremely powerful and had a slight color cast. Of course LED lighting has changed dramatically over the last few years offering more output and higher quality color reproduction. Combine that with cameras that actually require less lighting, and these lights may be a great item in the bag since they don't require any light modifiers or diffusion.

Hopefully i'll get a set to test out at some point and also run it through my handy iPhone Bluetooth Light Meter for some test results. More information about the new FlapJack LED lights can be found at the FotoDiox website (click here).

Fotodiox FlapJack Light LED ultra thin flat panel
find-price-button FotoDiox Ultra Thin FlapJack LED Video Light Panels


If you're been following some of my social network profiles, i've been showing off my new Blackmagic Production 4K Camera. The problem I immediately ran into though was none of my Solid State drives (which worked fine for the BMCC 2.5K version) failed to work properly when shooting RAW. When shooting ProRes you'll be fine, but when shooting RAW this camera really requires a higher quality Solid State Drive.

So I'm super excited about this ONE DAY Sale on the Sandisk Extreme 'Pro' Series (keyword PRO) Solid State Drives. I have one 480GB Pro version tested with my BlackMagic Production 4K camera and all seems to be working well. I planned to grab another one so this sale comes just in time, in fact the price is so nice I may just have to pick up a few extras.

blackmagic 4k raw global shutter
120GB SSD = only 5 Minutes of 4K Raw in BMP4K Camera

Even if you're unsure if you need one or not, you may want to order one just to take advantage of the sale, and then return it if you don't need it. It may not be necessary, but you guys looking to get an Atomos Shogun external 4K recorder could use a good SSD too. I highly recommend that you take a look and consider how you can take advantage of these 'Pro' series SSD drives (1 day sale found here).

sandisk pro ssd sale
find-price-button Sandisk Extreme 'Pro' Series SSD Drives

compare pricing Adorama / Amazon / eBay / B&H Photo

Even if you don't shoot with a BMPC4K, this is a HUGE savings on these drives. Upgrade your laptop or use them as external editing drives with an inexpensive Thunderbolt adapter.

Screen Shot 2012-07-14 at 8.16.44 AMSeagate Thunderbolt Desktop Dock GoFlexSeagate GoFlex Sata Dock Thunderbolt
find-price-button Seagate GoFlex 3 TB Drive w/ Thunderbolt Desk Dock


The bluetooth module for controlling and configuring Basecam Control boards has been available for a while, but something not highly discussed is that the Varavon Birdycam Stabilizer actually ships with a BT module. This was not heavily advertised since the Android Apps (at the time) may not have been stable due to the latest firmware that was installed on the Birdycam2. Today I decided to test things out, and I have to say it's working quite well.

Anyone who has worked with the computer version of the SBGC app will feel at home on the Android App version. The wireless joystick app is perfect for dual operator mode (or when operating the gimbal mounted to a Crane/Jib) without having to invest in expensive RC Transmitters. Keep in mind that this is not limited to just the Varavon Birdycam.

varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

The bluetooth module can be purchased separately and installed with any gimbal Alexmos boards such as the ones in the inexpensive CAME-TV 7000 3 Axis Gimbal.

DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

All you'll need is the Bluetooth module which can be found for around $16 US dollars (found here).

Alexmos Bluetooth CAM-TV 32 Bit wiring diagram how to
find-price-button Bluetooth Module for Alexmos Basecam Controllers

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Anytime you want the smoothest and most consistent camera movement, it's best to go with an automated system. We've seen plenty of MoCo systems in the last few years, and here's another new tool from Kessler - The Second Shooter™.

Product Overview
Second Shooter™ is a revolutionary motion control system that boasts a sleek and compact design, feature-rich operation and an incredibly intuitive user interface. Featuring 100% repeatable motion control for live-mode, looping, time-lapse and stop-motion applications.

Unlike stepper motor based moco systems on the market today, Second Shooter™ receives feedback communication from digital-encoded motors in determining motor positions to ensure precise control. Second Shooter™ provides users with ultra-smooth and quiet motion control, making it an outstanding companion on any job.

Second Shooter™ is motion control for the masses. An affordable and comprehensive solution that will meet the needs of large production houses and one-man-bands alike. With the ability to set up and operate quickly, it can be deployed in run-and-gun environments just as easy as it can be used in dramatic astro-timelapses.

Kessler Crane Second Shooter
Read More Button Kessler Second Shooter


chea[pdji phantom backpack
find-price-button Cheap Padded Backpack for DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Carrying Case

I posted a snapshot of my latest backpack (top) used to carry around the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter earlier today and since there were a few comments, I decided to post up this video for a closer look. I also show some areas I needed to cut out for my props.

My original bundle came with a Go Professional hard case (highly recommended found here) for traveling, but the hard case was too bulky for just average day to day casual use. The hardcase only has one handle and sometimes you need both hands free (like hiking up a hill). So this backpack allows me to carry all my gear and some extra for around $40 bucks. There's a variety of pricing out there, but they all seem to be the same bag (click here).

cheap backpack dji phantom 2 quadcopter vision plus
find-price-button Cheap Padded Backpack for DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Carrying Case

DJI Phantom Kit hard case travel bag extra battery sd card
find-price-button DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Plus Quadcopter + Hard Case + Extra Battery + microSD