DIY Video and Photography Projects

20% OFF Any Item with FotoDiox – Cyber Monday Deal
December 1, 2014


Here’s another #CyberMonday Deal via FotoDiox. Available today until Midnight (CST) you get 20% OFF any item at the Fotodiox store. That’s a pretty generous offer but you’ll need the promo code “DONTTELLMYBOSS20″ to redeem.

Fotodiox makes almost every type of lens adapter, but you’ll also find lots of LED lighting kits, Photography gear, HDMI Monitors, and more. Browse around and compare, this CYBER Monday Deal ends midnight tonight (click here).

FotoDiox Cyber Monday Banner
20% OFF All Items on FotoDiox.com #CyberMondayDeals

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Cyber Monday LED2000 Bi-Color Special – Dracast
December 1, 2014


For Cyber Monday: Save 65% on LED2000 Bi-Color Classic Series lights. This special ends once our stock is gone, and quantities are very limited. You can order here on the website or call our office at (408) 229-9222.

The LED2000 is a high-output, energy efficient, portable LED fixture. With power consumption of just 130W powering 2048 LEDs, both studios and location filmmakers are turning to this versatile solution as a means of achieving high light output and quality, while using a fraction of the energy of todays traditional lighting options.

The LED2000 is a professional grade, studio ready light fixture rated consistently at 95 CRI, giving your production perfect lighting, each and every time. To watch a video demonstration, on the LED2000 Bi-Color LED Light visit the website (click here).

Dracast LED2000 Bi-Color Light
Read More Button Dracast LED2000 Bi-Color LED Video Light Panel

#CyberMondayDeals

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DJI Inspire1 4K Quadcopter Won’t Ship As Expected
November 28, 2014


I just received news that the new and much anticipated amazing DJI Inspire1 4K Video Quadcopter will be delayed on it’s release. Apparently there are a few things that need to get worked out. At this time there’s no ETA on new shipping dates. My only hope (like many of their previous product releases including Ronin) is that they drop the price before it actually ships…

DJI Inspire 1 Drone Delayed
DJI Inpsire1 4K Video 3-Axis Gimbal FPV Quadcopter

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Varavon Black Friday Deals Another Price Cut on Birdycam2 3-Axis Gimbal
November 28, 2014


Varavon threw up a nice little Instagram photo the other day showing off a few items that will qualify for their [ONE DAY ONLY] Black Friday Sale.

On the list is another price drop on the $2379 Birdycam2 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer bringing it to just $1699. A couple of PRO Armor Cages for the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7s drop down to just $200 dollars also. The ‘PRO’ version includes the top handle, and adjustable ENG GRIP with leather hand strap.

The deals look great, but they are only available for ONE DAY and in very limited quantities. The Birdycam for $1699 (4 units only), T7412 for $99 (20 units only), GH4 Cage Pro for $200 (5 units only), A7s Cage Pro for $200 (5 units only)

To find out more about these products, check out the website.

Varavon Black Friday Deals
read more button Varavon Black Friday Deals Birdycam2 Gimbal Armor Pro Cage

#BlackFridayDeals

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Rokinon 12mm Wide Angle Prime Lens DEAL
November 28, 2014


This is a small compact 12mm wide angle lens. Perfect for your Sony of MFT (BMPCC / GH4) Cameras! Also available in Canon-M, Fuji, Samsung NX, etc. Lighting Deal is live and almost out of stock. Typically about $370+ for this lens, now down to $309.


12mm rokinon
find-price-button Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens

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Save -$500 OFF Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera DVEStore
November 28, 2014


After my recent build out with my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras (seen here), i’m inspired to use them a whole lot more. Still great cameras that deliver stunning quality and color, and now -$500 OFF! Should I get a third? [Make sure to use Use promo code: POCK500]

Blackmagic_Design_Pocket_Cinema_Camera__45127.1405341318.220.220
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera $500 OFF! Use promo code: POCK500
Bringing back the $500 OFF Promo! *While supplies last!

Other Black Friday offers from DVEStore.com can be found below.

diva-ring-light-brand-banner
20% OFF Diva Ring Lights! *Instant savings*

Free Studio Booming Kit with Rode Videomic and Rode Videomic Pro! *Instant Savings*

rode videomic boom kit
Rode VideoMic Studio Booming Kit
rode videomic pro booming kit
Rode Videomic Pro Studio Booming Kit

#BlackFridayDeals

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CAME-TV 8000 Heavy Duty Gimbal Finally Available Ready to Ship
November 28, 2014


After months and months of waiting, the CAME-TV 8000 heavy duty gimbal is finally available for order, in stock, and shipping. For anyone who shoots with a Canon C100 sized camera or larger, your choice for a gimbal under $2K had been limited. The 8000 is now available for just $1980.

While the new CAME-TV 8000 was designed specifically to handle RED, Canon EOS Cinema C100/C300/C500, or BlackMagic Production Cinema Cameras it can still be tuned to work with smaller DSLR systems. Here’s a recent video showing it’s stability with a Canon 7D DSLR.

Unlike the 7xxx CAME-TV gimbals which share similar parts found on other kits, the 8000 has been exclusively designed completely from the ground up. New product photos have replaced the prototype version on the website. The new images show a completely encased system with no exposed wiring, battery, or motors.

A huge step for CAME-TV gimbals is now the addition of fine tuning tool-less adjustments for quick and accurate balancing. A 15mm rod clamp on the system allows for mounting accessories to your rail set (such as a follow focus). The CAME-TV 8000 unit ships with a Gimbal Stand + Hard Case as well.

Available now for $1980 and additional information can be found at the 8000 3-Axis Gimbal Product page at CAME-TV.com

came-tv 3 axis gimbalCAMETV 8000 gimbal
find-price-button CAME-TV 8000 Heavy Duty 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Deal: Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens All Camera Mounts
November 27, 2014


Normally around $295, this Amazon Black Friday Deal just went live for this Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens now just $234. Available to mount on MFT (microFourThirds), Sony E, Sony A, Canon, and Nikon.

rokinon 85mm cine lensrokinon cine lens
find-price-button Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens MFT / Sony / Canon / Nikon

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Black Friday Deals Top B&H Picks
November 27, 2014


There’s certainly going to be a lot of noise about Black Friday Deals this time of year, some deals not quite as good as others. Here’s my personal favorites coming out of B&H so far.

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find-price-button DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer -$500 OFF

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find-price-button SLR Magic 25mm F/0.95 Cine Lens MFT Mount

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find-price-button Zeiss Touit 2 Lens Bundle 32mm F/1.8 & 12 F/2.8 Sony E Mount

eml_holiday14_112614v1p3_13_1
find-price-button Tamrac 3380 Aero Backpack DSLR + Laptop

#BlackFridayDeals

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50%-60% OFF Samsung PRO or LEXAR SDXC microSDXC Media Deals
November 27, 2014


Originally I had all types of media issues in my GoPro HERO4 until I upgraded to these Samsung PRO media cards. They are definitely fast, and i’ve been using the Samsung 64GB microSDXC in my HERO4 for a few weeks in every framerate and resolution – no issues.

These fast cards are also offered in full size SDHC and SDXC with Up to 90MB/s read speed, 80MB/s write speed. Currently a Black Friday Deal cuts these PRO cards down about 50% OFF via Amazon which ENDS TODAY (find details here).

samsung pro micro sdxcsamsung pro media cards
find-price-button Samsung PRO SDXC and micro SDXC 64GB / 32GB / 16GB

If you’re into the Lexar Brand Name, there is up to 60% OFF normal retail price on various CF, SDXC, and Flash Media found over at B&H (click here).

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find-price-button Lexar Compact Flash, SDXC, microSDXC, Flash Media

#BlackFridayDeals

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Thanksgiving Holiday Sale AspenMics Lavalier Microphones
November 26, 2014


Recently out of stock, the ApsenMics.com lavaliers are back and available now for a discounted price (or while supplies last). I’ve been using these lavalier microphones for months, either with my Zoom H1 or even iPhone. If you’d like to hear audio samples from this mic, there’s an excellent review over at their web blog (here).

The Lavalier microphones are available in both Stereo and Mono versions, along with a TRRS Adapter Kit that allows you to use the Stereo LAV with your iPhone or Android as portable audio recorders. With a 14 day return policy if you’re not satisfied, and a full 5 Year product warranty you can’t go wrong. If you want to capture better audio and don’t own a Lav mic, now is a great time to stock up (find it here).

AspenMics Lavalier Sale
Read More Button AspenMics.com HQ-S / HQ-M / HQ-SPK Lavalier Microphones

#BlackFridayDeals

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NEW Sony Alpha a7II with 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
November 26, 2014


Sony has finally made available their latest Alpha a7II camera with 5-Axis INSIDE (in-camera) Stabilization. This basically means that you don’t need to rely heavily on purchasing lenses with image stabilization, since the camera can now perform stabilization through the sensor.

While it shares a similar form to the Sony A7s, unfortunately it may not have the same amazing low light abilities, and this camera does not offer the option of 4K capture via the HDMI output. The new Sony a7II is available for pre-order now for $1698.

Aony A7IISony A7II
find-price-button Sony Alpha a7II with 5-Axis SteadyShot – via B&H

find-price-button Sony Alpha a7II with 5-Axis SteadyShot – via Adorama
find-price-button Sony A7 Mark II Mirrorless camera kit w 28-70mm – via Adorama

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Panasonic GH4 4K Camera $-200 OFF
November 24, 2014


If you’ve been considering the Panasonic GH4 camera, today most retailers have discounted -$200 OFF. This camera has a battery that can run for hours and hours, 4K video direct to SD Cards, and a variable frame rate of up to 96fps at 1080p. The HDMI can output 10bit in both 1080p and 4K if the internal 8 bit recording is not good enough for you. With a swiveling LCD monitor you can easily achieve different angles without laying on the ground, and the high quality EVF is great to work with outdoors. The Micro Four Thirds mount allows you to adapt an endless variety of lenses. This camera offers the best bang for the buck and now it’s $200 dollars cheaper.

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find-price-button Panasonic GH4 4K Video Camera – via B&H

panasonic_dmc_gh4kbody_lumix_dmc_gh4_mirrorless_micro_1028453
find-price-button Panasonic GH4 4K Video Camera – via B&H – via Amazon

Most likely it’s a generic battery and sd card, but Adorama offers the same discounted price, but bundled with a spare battery + 32GB SD Card.
ipcdmcgh4pa
find-price-button Panasonic GH4 + Spare Battery + SD Card – via Adorama

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Save -$185 OFF Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder just $64.95
November 24, 2014


Zoom is best known for it’s portable audio recorders such as the H4n and H6, but over the years they have also managed to make portable video cameras as well. The Q2HD is a 1080p HD Video camera used mostly by musicians who want an easy way to capture high quality audio and share clips on youtube. For the next 10 hours B&H has offered up an instant savings of -$185 OFF leaving the Q2HD at just $64.95. Might be a good stocking stuffer for your musical friends and family. Ends today (find it here).

Zoom Q2HD Video Recorder
find-price-button Zoom Q2HD Portable Audio Video Recorder

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Dual Operator Setup Idea for BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras
November 22, 2014


I still love the look coming out of the BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras, but I’ll admit that i’m pretty lazy to take the cameras out as much as I could. The batteries have incredibly short run times, the large camera files eat through SDXC cards, the tiny low resolution screen makes it hard to set focus and practically disappears under bright lights.

For me to solve this, I use an external battery, Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder, and a better EVF screen. This adds up to a lot of parts that I still need to find a way to mount as ergonomically as possible. Throwing a few pieces together, here’s what I ended up with.

Blackmagic pocket cinema camera small rig tilta cage spectrahd evf

Even though the system was relatively small, it was still somewhat awkward. After shooting for a full day, I realized the style of shooting on one particular project did not require the camera operator to move around within a few feet. So I decided a better way would be to split up the equipment, which makes the camera setup smaller, and now offers the benefit of a remote Director’s monitor. Here’s a video look on my new setup.

blackmagic pocket cinema camera rig

For the camera i’m using a Tilta BMPCC Cage with a Top Handle, mounted on PVGear.com 8″ 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails with some short handles.

pvgear 30 percent off sale
find-price-button PVGear.com 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails


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find-price-button Tilta BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC Cage

For better focus and viewing, we’re using the new F&V SpectraHD EVF Monitor mounted to an adjustable EVF Mounting Bracket.

fvlight spectra loupe evf 4 inch monitorspectrahd 4 evf monitor fvlightspectra HD 4 spectrahd
find-price-button SpectraHD 4 Monitor EVF

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find-price-button SmallRig EVF Holder

The shoulder pad is the flexible PNCGear.com Hybrid Pad which can be folded up to use against the chest, or folded down to use over the shoulder.

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find-price-button PNCGear Hybrid folding Shoulder Chest Pad 15mm Clamp

I’m using the HDMI output from the F&V SpectraHD EVF with a 6 foot HDMI cable over to the Atomos Ninja2 Recorder. This now serves both as a directors monitor and an external recorder which is both cheaper and larger than any SD Cards I can afford.

With the Atomos mounted in a CMR Monitor Yoke, I have room to add a 14V Sony BPU battery to power up the BMPCC for hours and hours.

Sony BMCC BP-U30 BP-U60 battery adapter wall charger BlackMagic CInema CameraBlackMagic Cinema Camera 14V Battery Sony BP-U60 adapter
find-price-button Sony BP-U60 BP-U30 Battery Plate 14V for BlackMagic Cinema Camera

Sony BP-U30 batteries BlackMagic Cinema CameramVp2MjLn2FYklJnCLkpFYVg
find-price-button Sony BP-U30 / BPU60 Batteries

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find-price-button Atomos Ninja2 HDMI Recorder

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find-price-button Camera Motion Research Monitor Yoke

I find this setup to be perfect for the type of shooting I do with this camera, but still easy enough to disconnect if I want to run the BMPCC on it’s internal battery and record to internal SDXC cards.

You can see in this BTS photo sometimes space is too limited for a tripod, and it’s also nice to move the camera around instead of having it completely static. The photo shows the old rig, but I feel my reconfigured setup will now be easier for this type of workflow and shooting style.

bts-dego-satostudios

Here’s a few first day tests using the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with @satostudios. The samples may not make sense, but I was sampling different MFT lenses, Canon FD Lenses, and ND Filters for sharpness. Also testing out different ProRes LT vs HQ settings to see how much exposure and color difference there was when I threw a slight color grade on it. There is also a Film Grain Scan thrown over the graded footage so it will purposely appear ‘grainy’. I decided that we just have to suck up all the large data and shoot ProRes HQ all the way for the rest of the project.

So while a dual operator setup may not be ideal for live events where you are constantly on the move, this setup can be beneficial when you have time to plan your shots with a crew. It keeps the camera rig small so that it can easily go from handheld, to slider, to tripod, etc. It allows you to work in very confined spaces and fairly ergonomic to switch between low angles or off the shoulder. It may also be easier to pack up your gear into two separate cases without having to break anything down.

Hopefully this may inspire some of you guys to rethink your rigs as well. Remember that this is not limited to the BMPCC. The GH4 can output 4K 10bit from HDMI, Sony A7s requires an external HDMI Recorder for 4K, and even cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III can benefit using recorders that capture to ProRes HQ. Instead of throwing everything on one rig which can quickly get heavy, oversized, and awkward to work with, it may be easier to split up your HDMI recorders, power solutions, second display, and even Audio Recorders off camera.

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Varavon Slidecam EX Premium Video Slider with Counterweight Flywheel Pulley System
November 18, 2014


Just received a review unit of the new Varavon Slidecam EX Premium Video Slider that uses a weighted belt driven flywheel pulley to eliminate hard starts, hard stops, and offers consistent motion throughout your slide. Even if you have unsteady hands, it’s pretty hard not to get smooth shots.

A video posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

To be fair, Varavon is not the first to implement such an idea. Other sliders on the market like the Shark Slider or Cinevate’s latest ‘Hedron’ slider are using the same principle. The way Cinevate talks about the function of using a spinning weight with the slider has been described as ‘inertial dampening’.

The spinning weight requires a gradual start and slowly builds up speed, and as you near the end of your movement, the spinning weight has to gradually come to a halt. The spinning weight will also ensure the motion across the slide is fairly consistent. Varavon has taken one it’s higher end ‘EX’ model video sliders and has incorporated this feature. The results are very smooth and I should have something to show towards the end of this week.

varavon slidecam ex premium slider
find-price-button Varavon Slidecam EX Premium

[Tip] Here’s a cheap way to get smooth fluid pans while keeping a subject centered. Adjust angles between two sliders on each side to change the amount of panning.

A quick reminder that Varavon’s website pricing changes this Friday. Right now you can save hundreds of dollars off many items listed on their new website. The Birdycam2 3 Axis gimbal is currently discounted -$375 OFF regular price and many of the Armor video cages for the GH4, Sony A7s, BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera are discounted, as well as external battery power solutions to keep your cameras running all day. So before the weekend, make sure to check out the website at Varavon.com for a list of all the current deals.

varavon armor sony a7s varavon birdycam2 gimbal stabilizer varavon wirecam

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