DIY Video and Photography Projects

Sony Full Frame FE Mount Lenses and Adapters for A7/A7R/A7S/A7II Cameras
March 5, 2015


If you’re working with a Sony A7s (or similar) camera body perhaps you’ve already tried adapting Canon or other lenses which typically offer slow autofocus and at times clunky communication. Here’s a short sample I did using the Sony A7s with a Samyang lens and a few Canon lenses shot in S-Log at 4K on the Atomos Shogun. Although it’s possible to use Canon Lenses with a Metabones adapter, it’s been buggy and of course slower autofocus than using a native Sony lens.

If you want better image stabilization, faster autofocus, and full support of lens communication, then maybe it’s just better to stick with native Sony Lenses. I’m pretty set on going this route myself. Here’s a list of new Full Frame FE Mount Lenses that I think would make for a perfect addition to your A7s. There’s also two adapters that can be used as a Wide Angle or Fisheye Conversion on the 28mm Lens.

Sony FE 24-240mm

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5-6.3 to 22-40
  • One ED and Five Aspherical Elements
  • Linear Motor AF System
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Internal Focus; Physical MF & Zoom Rings
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7″
  • Dust and Moisture Resistant
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Circular 7-Blade Aperture
  • find-price-button Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

    Sony FE 90 mm F2.8

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • 1:1 Magnification Ratio; Internal Focus
  • Aspherical, ED and Super ED Elements
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF Motor
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Focus Hold Button & Range Limiter Switch
  • Sliding Focus Ring for AF/MF Selection
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11″
  • find-price-button Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens

    Sony 35mm F1.4

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to 16
  • One AA & Three Aspherical Elements
  • Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave AF System
  • Physical Aperture Ring Can Be De-Clicked
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 12″
  • Dust and Moisture Resistant
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Circular 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • find-price-button Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

    Sony FE 28mm F2 Lens

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to 22
  • Aspherical, AA, and ED Elements
  • Linear Actuator Autofocus System
  • Internal Focus; Physical MF Ring
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.5″
  • Dust and Moisture Resistant
  • Filter Diameter: 49mm
  • Circular 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Optional Ultra-Wide & Fisheye Converters
  • find-price-button Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

    Sony 21mm Ultra Wide Angle Lens

  • Converts 28mm Lens into 21mm Ultra-Wide
  • Transmits EXIF Data to Camera
  • Built-In Petal-Type Lens Hood

    find-price-button Sony 21mm Ultra-Wide Conversion Lens for FE 28mm f/2 Lens

    Sony 16mm Fisheye

  • Converts 28mm Lens to 16mm Fisheye
  • 180° Angle of View
  • Transmits EXIF Data to Camera
  • Built-In Petal-Type Lens Hood
  • find-price-button Sony 16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens for FE 28mm f/2 Lens

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    REMOVU R1 Live View Remote for GoPro HERO3 / HERO3+ / HERO4
    February 25, 2015


    removu-gopro-live-view

    And just as I was talking about my GoPro HERO4 on a gimbal, the REMOVU R1 Live View Monitor is on sale (ends in a few hours). This little Live View Remote can power your GoPro ON/OFF and stream video similar to the App.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t appear you can change GoPro settings from the REMOVU (framerates, resolution) and the REMOVU live view doesn’t stream any faster than the GoPro App to your SmartPhone. But with it’s compact size it beats trying to mount your smartphone, and it’s also Water and Impact Resistant (not waterproof) which your Smartphone most likely is not.

    So if you’ve ever looked at your GoPro LCD BacPac and wondered how you could strap it to your wrist instead (I know I have), this is the accessory for you. Now just $74.99 and Sale ENDS TODAY (click here).

    Removu R1 GoPro Live View Monitor
    find-price-button REMOVU R1 Live View Remote for GoPro HERO3 / HERO3+ / HERO4

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    Z1 Rider Mini 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro Cameras Review and Sample Footage
    February 24, 2015


    best gopro gimbal z1 rider gimbal

    Today we’re taking a look the Z1 Rider 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro HERO3/HERO4 cameras. This has to be one of the most versatile little gimbals available for the GoPro due to the fact that the power and boards are separated from the gimbal itself and can be mounted using any standard GoPro Mount.

    z1 rider gopro gimbal stabilizer

    I chose this particular gimbal over everything else for a few reasons.

  • 1. The 3 Axis Gimbal is separate from the handle, batteries, and control board allowing the lightweight unit to mount to any standard GoPro mount (helmet, bike, chest harness, suction cup, etc). Other GoPro gimbals are attached directly to a handle, which doesn’t allow it to be used as easily as the GoPro camera itself.
  • 2. The motors are strong. Strong enough to withstand high winds when driving down the road and mounted to a motorcycle helmet. Strong enough to attach GoPro accessories like the Battery Bacpac, and HDMI Cable for an external monitor, or even a USB cable to power the GoPro from an external battery.
  • 3. It’s also cheaper than some of the other gimbals available (personally I feel it should be more expensive).
  • Two sets of screws (long and short ones) are provided in case you want to use the GoPro HERO3/HERO4 Naked, or if you want to attach a battery bacpac. The Z1 Rider Gimbal can easily compensate for all of the extra weight. Attaching a USB or HDMI cable to the GoPro will easily throw the balance off of any gimbal, but once the Z1 Rider is powered on, it easily manages to keep the horizon of the GoPro very level.

    3 axis z1 rider gimbal

    The Z1 Rider can be adjusted so that you have a full range of tilt motion from low shots to high shots. Different modes can be chosen for Pan + Tilt Follow, Pan Follow Only (no tilt), or No Pan + No Tilt (locked off).

    gopro z1 rider gimbal

    Two buttons on the joystick control Tilt in one mode, or Roll in another mode. Unfortunately it does not have enough buttons to manage tilt and roll at the same time. Not a big deal since most people don’t want their horizons off axis anyways.

    z1 rider large motors for gopro
    Motors on Z1 Rider about the size of the GoPro

    Obviously the benefits of the other GoPro Gimbals are the simplicity of having just a basic handle. I’ve managed to add a small L Bracket to my handle to simulate the same form factor should I want to travel extra small (albeit i’m left with a cord).

    The L Bracket + a GoPro Tripod Mount allows me to mount the Gimbal and still have room for a Smart Phone Mount to use the GoPro App for preview.

    DIY GoPro Z1 Rider Gimbal with L Bracket
    DIY L Bracket to Remote for Mounting Gimbal and Smart Phone Clip

    I do notice that my hands are much more steady with two handles, so by clamping the Z1 Rider to a 15mm PVGear Carbon Rod, i’m able to add a second handle and still have a very compact form.

    DIY two handle rig Z1 Rider Gimbal

    Remember that the main reason I wanted this particular gimbal is it’s mounting versatility. So combined with a MogoPod Monopod I can get further extension for height and quickly switch to very (very very) low shots seamlessly. With my longer Carbon Fiber Boom pole. I can even simulate a Russian Arm while tracking a subject from a moving vehicle.

    Z1 Gimbal Mounted to MogoPod Monopod Boom Pole

    So while the GoPro HERO4 is a powerful compact camera with 4K recording and HDMI output, you can get even more out of it by using a good stabilizer. If you’re considering a GoPro 3 Axis Gimbal, the Z1 Rider 3 Axis Gimbal is one that I highly suggest for all of it’s versatility and strong performance. Find it through the link below.

    z1 rider gopro hero gimbal stabilizerz1 rider gimbal for gopro cameras
    find-price-button Z1 Rider Mini 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro Cameras

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    Panasonic New Macro 30mm F/2.8 and 42.5mm F/1.7 Lenses
    February 23, 2015


    Panasonic has announced a couple of new lenses and I’m pretty darn sure I’ll end up with them both. The new Panasonic Lumix G 30mm Macro F/2.8 and and new Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F/1.7 not only have a nice wide aperture, but both with O.I.S (image stabilization) which makes shooting with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera and GH4 a whole lot easier when working handheld. In true Adorama fashion, pre-orders on these lenses now will qualify for FREE EXPEDITED SHIPPING too.

    pansonic 30mm lenspanasonic new release 30mm macro
    Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm / F2.8 ASPH. / Mega O.I.S. Lens
    find-price-button $399.99 with Free Expedited Shipping

    pansonic 30mm lens
    find-price-buttonPanasonic Lumix G 42.5mm / F1.7 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Lens – $397 via B&H Photo

    panasonic lumix 42.5mm Lens OISpanasonic 42mm lens ois
    Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm / F1.7 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Lens
    find-price-button $399.99 with Free Expedited Shipping

    panasonic lumix 42.5mm Lens OIS
    find-price-buttonPanasonic Lumix G 42.5mm / F1.7 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Lens – $397 via B&H Photo

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    Movo Magic Ball Multi Adapter w/6 Rods for Mounting Accessories
    February 18, 2015


    Movo Magic Ball Mounting Accessories

    Here’s an unusual little product designed to mount several different accessories. The Movo Magic Ball Multi Adapter features sixteen 3/8″ female threads, comes with 6 rods each with multiple 1/4″ & 3/8″ female threads, and comes with a set of 1/4-20 to 3/8 Male|Male threaded adapters.

    magic friction arm ball

    Should be a good way to mount a bunch of stuff over a light stand, tripods, or rigs. Excellent accessory to pair up with variable friction arms. It’s a bit unconventional but I think the parts alone are worth more than it’s retail price of just $19.99 + FREE Shipping. Find it (HERE).

    movo-magic-ballmovo magic ball mount
    find-price-button Movo Magic Ball Multi Adapter w/ 1/4-20 + 3/8″ Threads + 6 Rods for Accessories

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    AspenMics HQ-SE Locking TRS Replacement Backup Lav Mic for Sennheiser G2 G3 Wireless Systems
    February 18, 2015


    Well it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally available. AspenMics listed an HQ-SE Locking TRS Lav microphone on their website sometime last summer, but it was never available for purchase. The hold up apparently was wireless interference issues which required better insulation (since it’s primary use is on a wireless system).

    Grabbing another inexpensive aftermarket lav mic (JK mics), I did a quick interference test holding it close to the power supply of a few electronics. Sure enough the cheaper JK microphone was extremely prone to interference.

    The JK microphone had a physically smaller capsule compared to the AspenMics HQ-SE (not sure if there’s any sound difference due to the size).
    aspenmics vs jk lav microphones
    Aspen HQ-SE vs JK Lav Mic

    The cheaper JK mic also had a thinner cable at 1.6mm possibly less shielding from interference. The AspenMics HQ-SE cabling was measured around 2.04mm barely a difference, but I guess it’s enough to prevent wireless interference issues.
    jk lav mic cable aspen mics lav cable hq-se
    JK Sennheiser Lav vs AspenMics HQ-SE Lav

    Obviously the best thing you can do for your Evolution Wireless Kits is to purchase the OEM Sennheiser ME-2 LAV microphone. But at normal retail $139 Dollars, that’s gets pretty expensive each time you have to replace one or carry a spare for backup.
    Sennheiser Wireless LAV Mic
    find-price-button Sennheiser ME-2 Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

    The AspenMics HQ-SE to my ears can sound just as good especially if you want to spend a little time EQ’ing it in post and currently lists for under $45 dollars (that’s like 3 for the price of 1 sennheiser). Even cheaper if you go for the 2 pack or 3 pack bundles!

    AspenMics HQ-SE Sennheiser Compatible Lav Mic
    find-price-button AspenMics HQ-SE Replacement Backup Lav Microphone for Sennheiser G2 G3 Wireless Systems

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    Convert Old Sony NPF L Series or LP-E6 Chargers to External Battery Power for Sony A7s etc
    February 17, 2015


    If you want to recycle one of your old camera batteries (i.e. Sony / Canon), here’s a way to take old cheap generic battery chargers as a good mounting plate. If you were to search for ‘LP-E6 Battery Plate’, you’d find some options may be bulky and much more expensive over one of these chargers. You can use this method to use Canon LP-E6 batteries to power your Sony A7s, or even Sony NPF L-Series batteries to power your Sony A7s.

    diy external battery sony a7s camera

    The cleaner way to do this would be to just wire the dummy battery directly to the battery plate, but I still wanted the option to use my AC Wall adapter and so I added a Male plug to my battery plate. Remember although this video shows my Canon LP-E6, you can certainly use a much larger high capacity Sony L-Series NPF-970 Battery instead for super extended run times.

    You can find these battery chargers sometimes on auction for just 0.99 Cents via eBay (Found Here).
    LP-E6 battery charger plate
    find-price-button Canon LP-E6 Battery Chargers

    Sony A7s diy external battery

    And if you plan to use Sony NPFx Style Batteries, you can find those Sony NPF Battery plates on eBay too (click here).

    Sony NPF battery plate
    find-price-button Sony L Series NPF Style Battery Chargers

    Oh and you’ll need the Sony Dummy Battery which comes as part of the Sony AC-PW20 AC/DC Adapter Kit. Here’s a few links below:

    Sony AC-PW20 Adapter
    find-price-button Sony AC-PW20 AC-DC Adapter Charger – via eBay

    Sony AC-PW20 Adapter
    find-price-button Sony AC-PW20 Adapter – via Amazon

    Ok and so if you’re a bit weary about figuring out the Negative and Positive wires on a Barrel connector (male plug), these little adapters are PERFECT. Just run your wires directly into the properly labeled areas and tighten down the screw. No soldering required for this 5.5mm OD | 2.1mm ID Barrel Connector (find them here).

    5.5 2.5 male adapter dc a7s
    find-price-button 5.5mm OD | 2.1mm ID Barrel Connector

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    Adorama Deal on a Valuable Flashpoint StreakLight Bundle Over $100 in Savings
    February 17, 2015


    As recommended by the photography experts: http://www.adorama.com/alc/0015049/article/one-light-silhouette-take-and-make-great-photography-with-gavin-hoey

    Bundle includes:
    Flashpoint StreakLight 360 or 180 with Blast Power Pack
    A free Flashpoint Commander Transceiver Set for StreakLight (Reg $69.95)
    A free Flashpoint StreakLight Umbrella Refelctor Kit, normally (Reg $39.95)

    Adorama StreakLight Flash Portable Bundle

    Flashpoint StreakLight 360 Ws Flash with Blast Power Pack
    Free Expedited Shipping. Expires 2/28/15.
    find-price-button $399.95 (Reg $519.95)

    Flashpoint StreakLight 180 Ws Flash with Blast Power Pack
    Free Expedited Shipping. Expires 2/28/15.
    find-price-button $349.95 (Reg $449.95)

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    CAMETV 8000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer Supports Large and Heavier Camera Systems
    February 10, 2015


    The physical dimensions of the smaller CAMETV 7800 Gimbals mean you can’t fit a Canon C100 or Blackmagic 4K camera, so the CAME-TV 8000 frame was designed from the ground up to support physically larger and heavier cameras.

    CAME-TV Heavy Camera Larger Frame 8000 Gimbal

    The new CAMETV 8000 also incorporates 100% tool-less adjustments to quickly get your camera balanced perfectly. A QR plate system lets you do quick adjustments as well as quickly mounting and dismounting your camera from the system.

    came-tv 8000 quick release balance gimbal

    Here’s a little video showing the CAME-TV 8000 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer.

    The CAMETV 8000 Gimbal comes with a molded carrying case that adds enough protection for casual transportation, but I would not suggest using it for airline check-ins or if you plan to stack equipment onto it.

    The balance stand works very well with independent feet that can be adjusted to level the stand. Though you need tools to disassemble the stand if you plan to put it back in the travel case. The battery for the CAMETV 8000 is a standard 3S Lipo 11V (similar to the 7800 gimbal), but because it needs to hide in the top handle, you must make sure you are using one with the same (or smaller) dimensions if you plan to buy spares.

    cametv 8000 gimbal battery

    In terms of build quality, the motors are powerful, and the Gimbal Controller is the latest 32 Bit Basecam (Alexmos). There is almost no exposed wiring for a clean look and balancing is extremely quick. I think the threaded handles could have been designed differently, but shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re doing some pretty wild movements.

    Even though it is intended for larger cameras, you can still tune the system to work with smaller and lighter cameras as well. I still have to find the time to take the system out when the weather is better, but should you have any questions about the CAMETV8000, leave your comments below.

    If you haven’t already seen their company demo videos, there is some additional information, photos, and more videos at the CAME-TV.com website (click here).

    came-tv 8000 gimbal stabilizercametv 8000 gimbal
    find-price-button CAMETV 8000 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer BlackMagic 4K RED EPIC

    For USA customers that are looking for a local retailer, B&H from New York will now be carrying the CAMETV Gimbals (found here).

    cametv 8000 gimbalcametv gimbals
    find-price-button CAMETV 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer – via B&H

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    DEAL: Tilta ES-T07 Blackmagic Cinema Camera Rig
    February 10, 2015


    Currently available B&H’s Deal Zone, this Tilta ES-T07 Blackmagic Cinema Camera Rig for the BlackMagic Cinema and BlackMagic Production 4K Cameras is on promotion for just $499 with FREE Expedited Shipping (ends soon).

    Tilta BlackMagic Cage Handles Remote

    Designed specifically for the BlackMagic Cinema & Production 4K Cameras, the Tilta ES-T07 Kit comes with 15mm Rails, Top Handle, Wooden Side Handles w/ record button, and 5″ and 10″ Dovetail Baseplates. The Precision-Machined Anodized Aluminum cage has a Vented Base with Quick Release System and offers multiple 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 Accessory Threads with ARRI Rosettes.

    The $499 Deal Zone for this Kit ends today (Feb 10th, 2015).

    Tilta BMC Cage
    Tilta BMP4K Cage
    Blackmagic Tilta Cage Deal
    find-price-button Tilta ES-T07 Blackmagic Cinema Camera Rig

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    Sigma announces the new 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
    February 10, 2015


    Sigma 24mm Wide Angle ART Lens 1.4

    The Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art wide angle lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs, and when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, it effectively becomes a 38mm. The lens is ideal for capturing a variety of photography subjects, including cityscapes, mountain ranges, astrophotography and weddings and is great for videography work as well.

    The 24mm excels at indoor photography in low illumination thanks to the combination of exceptional focal plane sharpness, and gorgeous bokeh rendered by nine rounded aperture blades. The lens achieves a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches.

    The 24mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field. The optimized power layout includes aspherical elements that are positioned in the rear of the lens for improved wide open performance. This helps to ensure minimal distortion through the correction of axial chromatic aberration and sagittal coma flare. The new lens element design also delivers excellent peripheral brightness.

    Sigma ART 24mm Lens
    find-price-button SIGMA 24mm F/1.4 DG HSM for CANON, Nikon, Sigma

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    DIY Portable Folding Adjustable Gimbal Stand using 15mm Rods and 15mm Clamps
    February 5, 2015


    So recently I shared an image of a few 15mm Rails and Clamps and asked people to give it their best guess of why I was sharing the image. I was going wait a day to update everyone, but the game didn’t last very long.

    15mm Rods 15mm Clamps Aluminum

    Well Marc did guess correctly that the pieces were going to be used for a Gimbal Stand. Congrats! I’ll be contacting that person via email to send a $25 Dollar Amazon E-Gift Card, thanks everyone for participating.

    Sometimes something so simple can be eluding, but the idea works flawlessly. Here’s what the stand looks like once it’s been assembled.

    cheesycam DIY 15mm Gimbal Stand Rails Rod Clamps

    Of course here’s a little video of how it all comes together.

    And here’s a list of parts that many of you may already have, but if not these are some of the cheaper parts I could find to get you started building your own 15mm Gimbal Stand.

    You’ll need (4) 15mm 90 Degree Clamps at the corners of the stand.
    90 degree 15mm clamp
    find-price-button 15mm 90 Degree Clamps

    You’ll need (1) 15mm Dogbone (side-by-side) Rail Clamp to hold the two pieces together.
    15mm dogbone clamp
    find-price-button 15mm Dogbone (side-by-side) Clamp

    You’ll need (4) 12″ 15mm Rods for the top and the bottom bars. These are some of the cheaper Aluminum ones I can find.
    12 inch 15mm rails rods gimbal stand DIY
    find-price-button 12 Inch 15mm Rods

    You’ll need (2) 18″ 15mm Rods for the Vertical (upright) Rods to give enough height for small gimbals. Go longer if you have a CAMETV sized Gimbal.
    18 inch 15mm rods rails aluminum
    find-price-button 18 Inch 15mm Rods

    If you want super lightweight with a nice finish, then I suggest choosing matte black Carbon Fiber Rods. Not quite as cheap as Aluminum, but if that’s your thing, make sure to check out some very affordable 15mm Rails over at PVGear.com.

    pvgear 15mm rods carbon fiber

    OTHER IDEAS? Possibly for a non-slip surface is to add some Heat Shrink tubing over the rods and possibly rubber O-Rings at the tips of the base rods to prevent sliding around.

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    Sennheiser G3 Bundles FREE Audio Recorder Deals
    February 5, 2015


    Over the last few weeks a few people I know were thinking about finally picking up a set of Sennheiser G3 wireless kits. While certainly not the best deal i’ve seen for the G3 Wireless systems, these new offers from Adorama are certainly deals to consider if you’re about ready to make a purchase.

    Adorama has a list of G3 systems bundled with various Audio Recorders like the new Tascam DR44WL Wireless Audio Recorder or the popular Zoom H4n along with Media Cards, and other accessories. Basically it’s like free gear with your purchase which can add up to over $300 Dollars in free gear. Don’t need the recorder? Sell it! That makes your G3 kit even cheaper.

    These are exclusive and for a limited time only, there are about 12 different bundles which you can find (here).

    SEEW100EG3ABZOH4NC
    find-price-button Sennheiser G3 Wireless Lav Microphone Kits with FREE Audio Recorders, etc.

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    GoPro HERO4 Now Support 240fps Firmware Update
    February 4, 2015


    The GoPro HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver now supports a number of high framerate options including a whopping 240fps at 720p with the latest firmware update.

    HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver
    Time lapse video mode – Capture Time Lapse videos automatically—no post-production needed. Showcase a sunrise, road trip or family gathering as a short, sharable video.

    30/6 burst photo – Introducing a new way to never miss a moment. Capture 30 photos in 6 seconds—perfect for longer duration fast-action activities like surfing and snowboarding.

    Auto rotate – Automatically adjusts capture orientation to right-side up when the camera is mounted upside down.

    Add HiLight Tags during playback – Now you can mark key moments both while recording video and playing back content on the built-in touch display to quickly find highlights for easy editing and sharing. [HERO4 Black requires LCD Touch BacPac to utilize this feature]
    HERO4 Black

    720p240 fps video – Record ultra high frame rate video at a staggering 240 frames per second for liquid smooth slow-motion playback
    2.7K60 fps video – Capture cinematic, high-resolution 2.7K footage at an impressive 60 frames per second

    Update your HERO4 today via the GoPro App on your mobile device or go to http://www.gopro.com/update/HERO4

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    DJI Ronin DIY Gimbal Support BackPack $90 Dollars or Less
    February 4, 2015


    A short while ago I shared a DIY concept of mounting fiberglass rods into a backpack for supporting heavy stabilizers or gimbals like the DJI Ronin. Although mine was just a working concept, Vimeo member Coriolis-Visuals went all in on his build putting together a very clean and functional support system for about $90 bucks (or less) in parts [minus backpack].

    In order to pull something like this off, you’ll need a backpack with a waist support and preferably a chest strap (as seen in the video). This prevents the backpack from pulling away as you flex the fiberglass rods. It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to break the fiberglass rods, but in this build a Braided Hose sits over the rods adding a layer or safety. The use of quick adjustable lashing straps was a great idea to position the gimbal up high or low. Great job on this build and thanks for sharing Jim!

    Obviously you can modify any of the build suggestions, but if you want to take a look at my original video showing how I made my prototype version visit the original article http://cheesycam.com/diy-gimbal-stabilizer-support-backpack/

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    Bluetooth Module and Winbook 7″ Tablet for Configuring SBGC Alexmos Gimbal Controllers
    February 3, 2015


    I want to say more than 80% of HandHeld Gimbals on the market right now run off of the Alexmos SBGC Controllers. This includes the CAMETV 7500/7800/8000, Tiyaga, and Varavon Birdycam2 stabilizers. If you don’t already have it, adding a Bluetooth Module to your SBGC Controller is super convenient when you want to change PID, RC, or Follow Mode settings. The Android software can also remotely control Pan, Tilt, and Roll if you want to work with Dual Operators or if you have your gimbal mounted to the end of a long Crane / Jib.

    Of course the software is limited and at times you may want to upgrade or downgrade firmware, Export your Profiles, or Load other Profiles that are saved on your computer. To do this you’ll need the full desktop version of the software. Instead of lugging a laptop around, this 7″ Winbook for around $80 dollars (found here) runs the full Windows Operating system so that you can install Java and the SBGC software. The tablet is small, lightweight, and slim and can be extremely handy out in the field. For the price, it’s something that can easily fit into my gimbal case that I won’t be without.

    7 inch winbook full usb sbgc software
    find-price-button 7″ Winbook Windows Operating System with Full USB Port

    To get the SBGC Software working on your new Windows Tablet with Full USB, download the SBGC software (here), which will prompt you to Install Java, and finally install the Windows USB Driver (here).

    IMPORTANT NOTES ON BT MODULE

    Touching back on the Bluetooth Module that some of you may want to add-on to your gimbal systems. It’s very easy to install as there are only 4 connections that go to the side of the SBGC controller. Once it’s installed you simply pair your smart device and launch the software. There is of course TWO THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW about adding a bluetooth module.

    First thing, to be compatible the BT Module should be set to the Baud Rate: 115200. Now if you have a BT Module, you can change it by connecting it through a serial interface adapter to your windows computer and reconfiguring it. I won’t go into details because you’ll just end up spending more money on an adapter and wasting time. You’re better off buying one that is already configured properly. Here’s one i’m using and it works flawlessly for just $13 dollars (found here).

    DYS Bluetooth Module Alexmos SBGC
    find-price-button Bluetooth Module For Alexmos SBGC Controllers

    The Second thing that may be just slightly confusing (if you don’t read the manual) is the the RX input on the board connects to the TX of the BT Module, and the TX on board connects to RX on BT Module. Some BT Modules don’t have the pins in the same place, so you end up having to cross your wires. If you don’t connect this properly you’ll get a ’serial corrupted’ error message. Other than that, pretty straight forward and should only take a few minutes to throw on.

    Connect Bluetooth Module Alexmos SBGC Gimbal Tiyaga CameTV Varavon
    Wiring up Bluetooth Module to Alexmos SBGC Gimbal Controller

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