DIY Video and Photography Projects

14Oct The MegaMast 28 Foot Tall Carbon Fiber Camera Stand


In the last year Quadcopters have really exploded and have become incredibly affordable. I really enjoy taking my quadcopters out any chance I get, but there are too many instances where it’s just not possible to use for an “aerial-style” perspective. Even if they can finally set down some proper rules and regulations to the use of ‘drones’, there will still be many situations where it would be impossible, illegal, or irresponsible to fly.

palo-alto-test1
GoPro on 10 ft Painter Pole – Hiking around Monterey Bay, CA grabbing Aerial Images

Prior to flying a camera, I’ve been experimenting with P.A.P. [example photo above] – Pole Aerial Photography (a.k.a Aerial Mast, Elevated Aerial, or Telescoping Mast Photography), and i’ve recently even shared an article about a sturdy 12 foot Budget Tripod I can use for video. For those of you who love adding “aerial-style” perspectives to your projects, then you really should take a look at this new 28 Foot tall Carbon Fiber MegaMast.

I’m sorry I didn’t grab any still images as an example, but I plan on doing so this week. I have a couple of Real Estate projects that i’ve been dying to add aerial images to (and was unable to fly a noisy copter). When I get some of those images, i’ll update this article, but for the time being you can see just how high this massive beast climbs to.

While the MegaMast can be positioned up to 28 Feet, you don’t have to use it at full height. The MegaMast can still add unique camera angles at 10 feet or even at just 15 feet. The extension on the legs are a clever design to not only add more width to the base, but can also be individually adjusted for uneven ground (like when used on a sloping driveway).

The MegaMast weighs around 16lbs, and collapses to just 69″ inches, so it’s certainly manageable for one person to travel with and setup. For additional stability, the MegaMast will have an option for some type of guy-wire cabling, which is not available at the moment. To find our more about the MegaMast, check out the website at Seaport Digital (click here).

Product Description
* Give your real estate photos a lofty advantage in the competitive housing market.
* Reach above the crowds at events like concerts and graduations.
* The MegaMast will give your camera an “aerial” perspective from 27.5″ (8.4m) in the air without the need to fly expensive drones. The risers are made of sturdy carbon fiber tubes with large latches to make setup quick.
*A rigging system is available separately to keep the stand steady in windy conditions.
Features:
> Made of sturdy, light-weight carbon fiber tubes.
> 27.5′ (8.4m) tall for “aerial-style” perspectives.
> Easy latches make setup quick.
> Supports up to Full-frame DSLRs.

cheesycam pole megamast aerial photographyaerial pole photography megamast
find-price-button MEGAMAST 28′ CAMERA STAND

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13Oct 12 Minutes and $12 Dollars – DIY Metal Stand for 3 Axis Gimbals


If you caught my Instagram feed, I just received a few more gimbals to test out. I’ve been meaning to get another Gimbal Stand, but didn’t want to dish out the big bucks. Here’s a simple DIY frame using a single 10 Foot piece of 1/2″ Electrical Conduit. You can find this at most hardware store for under $4.00 dollars (for all 10ft). You’ll also need to have access to a pipe bender, so hit up your electrician friend, or run down to a hardware rental store. It’s sooo easy anyone CON-DU-IT.

Once you have the basic bends in place, it’s just a matter of sitting them side by side and clamping them together. Now I threw this together very quickly, but after thinking about it a bit more I should have gone with a 1″ metal hose clamp.

If you want to dress it up, you can always cover the conduit with pipe insulation, add end caps, or paint it black. Anyways, now that many of you guys are diving into the world of Gimbals, I thought this little quick project could help you save some money – Enjoy!

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12 Minutes and $12 Dollars. How to #DIY All Metal Custom #Gimbal Stand. Any size you want http://cheesycam.com

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12Oct FREE Set of 6″ 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails with Purchase of 12″


Reminder, the FREE Set of 15mm Carbon Fiber Rails deal at PVGEAR ends tomorrow. Limited time and limited quantity. These are made from real Carbon Fiber (not fake plastic ones) – super lightweight and super strong. [only available for USA residents lower 48] USE PROMO CODE: pvgear6

Not only does it make your rig look more professional with the flat black carbon fiber, but it’s also an excellent way to shave weight from your Rig. I also use Carbon Fiber rails for the top bar of my custom mini gimbals (seen here). Converting a few of my setups from metal 15mm rails to 15mm Carbon Fiber, I was literally able to take off a couple of pounds. You can also see a pair of 20″ Carbon Rails used with my ENG Lens Rig (seen here).

More about the deal over at the website http://pvgear.com

PVGEAR_free6_promo_grande

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10Oct 4K Video with the GoPro HERO4


Taking this setup out with my family today. Let’s see what type of footage I can come back with. My fast sd cards did not come in so I may not be able to shoot with ProTune.

#Kamerar Kampro #RodeMics VideoMic #GoPro #Hero4

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Just checked my mailbox. Yup, that is a brand new #HERO4. @GoPro support has been very responsive and I shipped my other unit back to them. They said they were unable to duplicate the weird problem I had, but will test my unit once they receive it. Outside of that, i’m still excited to shoot with this HERO4, and I should have a video up next week with some samples.

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09Oct New CAME-TV 7800 Version 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer


CAME-TV has a lineup with some of the most affordable gimbal stabilizers available, but the low cost tradeoff is that they may lack some of the conveniences like tool-less adjustments of more expensive systems. Of course since they operate using the same Alexmos / Basecam 32 Bit control boards and Dual IMU sensors, and are tuned using the same software as more expensive gimbals, the CAME-TV still provides incredible camera stabilization.

CAME-TV’s first DIY 7000 Gimbal Kit started with an 8 Bit controller and later was upgraded to a 32 Bit controller with Dual IMU sensors. Following the success of those two models, CAME-TV followed up with a new 7500 (RTR) Ready-To-Run model. If you have the time and patience to learn how to properly balance and tune, the CAME-TV gimbals can offer some amazing dynamic camera movements.

As an example, check out all of the sweeping footage shot in this San Francisco Car Show video {below}. These shots were captured using the CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal by SatoStudios.

And now the most recently improved product release in the ‘7000′ series from CAME-TV is the new 7800 model. The 7800 gimbal is based on the RTR 7500 model but now adds a slim camera Quick Release along with modified side and top handles (finally all black in color). The new 7800 gimbal ships mostly assembled, pre-configured with profiles, and is available now at a (currently discounted) price of $1280 US (click here).

CAME-TV CAME 7800 GimbalCAME-TV Gimbal Stabilizer Quick Release
find-price-button NEW CAME-TV 7800 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

CAME-TV Gimbal Stabilizer 7800 new
find-price-button NEW CAME-TV 7800 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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08Oct BlackMagic Design Firmware – Pocket Cinema Camera Now Formats In Camera


As simple as this small feature is, and one that is just naturally expected in any digital camera, the news of this new BlackMagic Design firmware is a major highlight of my day. The feature i’m talking about of course is the ability to (finally) format an SD card “in camera” on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Here’s a snippet about the new firmware.

bmccp
find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera RAW Video / ProRes

Press Release Snip:
“Following on from the popular release of in camera disk formatting on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K last month, we are very happy to now release this feature for all models of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “Having this new formatting feature in the camera means customers get increased convenience as well as getting the most out of the SSD’s and SD cards so they can record higher data rate but extremely high quality RAW formats easier then ever before!”

Full Press release found here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/press/pressdetails?releaseID=61927

I just wanted to add that BlackMagic Design has not been making actual video cameras for as long as companies like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, etc. In fact it’s only been a few years. Maybe the rollouts of new products haven’t been all smooth sailing, but these continuous firmware improvements and amazing cameras offering more features for a price others can’t match show that they are on the right track. Just wanted to give them a thumbs up for continuing to evolve, support, and improve even their older systems.

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08Oct Available Rode and Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone Deals


Here’s a couple of very popular prosumer microphones in use by DSLR Video shooters, so if you’ve had this on your radar there are a few deals going on right now.


Sennheiser MKE 400 Compact Super-Cardioid Shotgun Condenser Microphone Camera Mountable
semke400
read more button Regular Price $199.95 Sale $169.95 with Free Shipping


Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone
semke600
read more button Regular Price $329.95 Sale $279.95 with Free Shipping


Sennheiser MKH-416 Short Shotgun Interference Tube Mic
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read more button Regular Price $999.95 Sale $879.95 with Free Shipping


Rode VideoMic Pro Compact Shotgun Microphone, 200 Ohms
rdvmp
read more button Regular Price $229.00 Sale Price $189.00 with Free Shipping

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08Oct SD Error microSDXC Card Requirements GoPro HERO4


Now that I have one perfectly working GoPro Hero4, I started looking into the SD Error that I was getting previously. The user manual that comes with your GoPro HERO4 may tell you that a Class 10 microSD Card is required, but that general piece of information is not enough.

My Sandisk Ultra microSDXC cards although rated at Class 10 have a Max. Read Speed: 30MB/s & Min. Write Speed: 10MB/s. In order to work seamlessly i’ll need to step up to the Sandisk Extreme Plus which is also a Class 10, but with a Max Read Speed of : 80MB/s & Max. Write Speed: 50MB/s. Here’s a list of suggested cards so far according to the GoPro Support webpage.

sandisk microsdxc hero4
find-price-button SanDisk Extreme 32GB microSDHC

sandisk microsd card
find-price-button SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC

microsd card class 10 hero4
find-price-button Lexar 32GB SDHC 633x

gopro hero4 microsd card speed
find-price-button Lexar 64GB SDXC 633x

These Samsung Pro microSD cards also appear to be able to handle the speed requirements. Since there’s a delay on shipping the other cards, I’m probably going to give these a try.

samsung pro microsd 64GB goPro hero4 4k videosamsung pro microsd 32GB goPro hero4 4k video.jpg
find-price-button Samsung Pro MicroSD Cards

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07Oct GoPro HERO4 Overheating Battery BacPac Test 3 – Surprise it may be your Camera


Ok, I really hate posting too many things on one subject, but this battery issue may or may not be a serious problem – I personally think it is. In fact, in order to confirm this issue I went ahead and opened up another brand new $500 dollar GoPro HERO4. That’s a lot of money spent on testing (you owe me GoPro) but I think the results were worth it. Unfortunately this final test shows exactly what the problem is, but still leaves me completely clueless at the same time. Watch the video below to see what I mean.

So turns out the battery is not the problem. It’s actually a bit disturbing. I have two brand new GoPro HERO4 cameras, both appear to be in perfect working condition. Yet the bacpac doesn’t like one of them and it does it in a very dangerous way. Someone would never know this until after 3 minutes of powering on the camera. Had this been in the waterproof housing this could have ended up in a very different way.

With millions of these units shipping, I’m hesitant to say I have the only one in the world with this issue. If you plan to pick up a HERO4 camera with an external battery bacpac, you may want to give it a good long test outside of the housing before deciding if it’s perfectly fine. As for now i’m still waiting to hear from GoPro support. If anyone else is experiencing something ‘not quite right’ with the HERO4, leave a comment below.

———Updated Information——————–

I picked up a Temp Gun earlier today and ran a quick scan. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this cheap gun, but after about 8 minutes powered on the general reading of this unique HERO4 was 156° F.

GoPro Temp Reading Hero4

So to put that in perspective, they say that a person will receive a second degree burn in 3 seconds of exposure and a third degree burn in 5 seconds of exposure to water at 140°F. And just for kicks if you’ve ever placed a powered on MacBook Retina over your skin that’s about 102°F-113°F which is very uncomfortable. So again, i’m not vouching for the accuracy of this temp gun, but if it’s close 150°F is not something you want to throw in your pocket.

———Updated Information——————–

[Update] I just got an email from GoPro support and I will be sending in the unit(s) over for them to inspect more in detail. Hopefully we’ll have an answer soon and hopefully it’s just a very isolated incident [with mine]. I’ll try to keep you updated.

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07Oct First Problems with GoPro Hero4 4K Camera – Dangerous Battery?


I’ve only had a few days with the new GoPro Hero4, and although I love the image quality there’s been a few issues i’ve run into. Most of the accessories seem to fit, but ‘The Frame’ from GoPro does not work properly. The top recording button on the HERO4 appears to be more ‘raised’ than on the HERO3+.


Collection of GoPro Cameras – HERO, HERO32, HERO3, HERO3+, HERO4

Another problem is an SD card error which i’m still experimenting with. Possibly it’s the 64GB card, so I’ll try to replace it with a smaller 32GB (instead of 64GB) microSD Card.

GoPro 4K Issues

[UPDATE] Not all Class 10 cards will work. Here’s a list of cards that should work: http://cheesycam.com/sd-error-microsdxc-card-requirements-gopro-hero4/

The biggest and most important problem that I found is with my new Battery BacPac ordered directly from the GoPro.com website and I just received it today. The bacpac seems to get unusually hot, and if you leave it on long enough it continues to get even hotter. I’ve had a few GoPro cameras in my time, so I know this is far from normal. Here’s a video about some of my issues below.

Originally I thought I just ended up with a bad Battery BacPac, but here’s a little bit more testing using the same extended battery on my Hero3+ and the Hero4. Keep in mind, this is the ‘NEW’ battery bacpac which that has been redesigned from the old one and I just received it today. In just a few minutes the Hero4 gets hot enough to distort the plastic, but trust me – leaving it on any longer feels like it will catch fire.

So I don’t know what to make of this just yet, but if this could be a serious issue. I’ve heard stories of 9V batteries thrown into a garbage shorting out and burning down a house, so it’s not something to take lightly. Throwing a bacpac onto your GoPro Hero4 and leaving it unattended to get extremely hot could be very dangerous, so i’m just putting this information out there. I honestly hope mine is only a defective product, but i’m curious if anyone else has the same issue???

HERO4 Battery
GoPro HERO4 w/ new Battery BacPac deforms plastic from overheating

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07Oct New Tascam Wifi Controlled Audio Recorders In Stock


Apparently Adorama may have the only stock available on these new WiFi enabled Tascam Audio Recorders at this time, and they’re also throwing in FREE 3 Day shipping as well. The hype about the new Tascam DR-22WL and DR-44WL audio recorders is that they can be controlled and configured remotely through WiFi, and files can also be transferred directly to your smartphone or computer wirelessly.

Because i’ve been working with my cameras on ultra mini gimbals, i’m not running an audio pack into the camera. I tend to use a Zoom H1 hand held recorder and sync the audio in post. The trick is once the Zoom H1 is tucked away with the subject it’s a bit of work getting the audio to start/stop, change levels, or even double check if it’s recording.

Having a wifi connection to change all settings remotely would be ideal with some of my projects. I know a few people who pocket Zoom H1 recorders with the Groom during a wedding, and this recorder may work well for that workflow as well. Unfortunately you can’t monitor the audio over WiFi in real time during recording, but the concept is still a step up from a Zoom H1. More info below.


DR22WL-largetascam_dr_22wl_wi_fi_enabled_portable_recorder_1079894
read more button Tascam DR-22WL 2-Channels Portable Audio Recorder


DR44WL-largetascam_dr_44wl_wi_fi_enabled_portable_1079895
read more button Tascam DR-44WL 4-Channel Portable Audio Recorder

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05Oct $100 OFF Panasonic 35-100mm F/2.8 and 42.5mm F/1.2 Instant Rebates


Panasonic Nocticron and the Panasonic 35-100mm lenses have a $100 Instant Rebate via Adorama. Here are your links below.

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH / POWER O.I.S Lens for Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount System
panasonic 42.5
visit website button cheesycam blue Reg: $1,597.99 / Special: $1,497.99

Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens for G Series Cameras (in stock, limited quantities)
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visit website button cheesycam blue Reg: $1,497.99 / Special: $1,397.99

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04Oct New GoPro Hero4 4K Camera Accessories


GoPro Hero4 Camera
GoPro Hero4 available in stock
visit website button cheesycam blue GoPro.com – New GoPro Hero4 4K 30FPS Camera

Get ready for tonight (Saturday @midnight) or if you’re on the East Coast then expect Sunday at 3AM as orders for the new GoPro HERO4 4K camera officially open up. While you may be planning to just pick up the HERO4 itself, there’s been a few new accessories every serious GoPro shooter may want to consider to get the most out of this new camera.

For one, there’s now a different style battery for the HERO4 and if it’s anything like previous GoPro cameras, you’ll definitely need some spare batteries. GoPro has made it very clear this battery is specific to the HERO4 so don’t count on your old HERO3/+ batteries helping you out.

gopro hero 4 new battery model version spare batteryGoPro Hero4 battery spare batteries
GoPro Hero4 available in stock
visit website button cheesycam blue GoPro.com – GoPro Hero4 4K Spare Battery

With the extra batteries, you’ll probably want a more convenient way of charging them. GoPro has also released a new Dual Battery Charger which can charge via USB. This charger is specific to the new HERO4 batteries.

GoPro Hero4 dual battery charger usbGoPro Dual Battery Charger Hero4 4k
GoPro Hero4 available in stock
visit website button cheesycam blue GoPro.com – GoPro Hero4 Dual Battery Charger for HERO4 Batteries

Aside from the new battery, there’s an optional external battery pack for the HERO4 (when you don’t want to use the LCD) that will more than double up your run time. Handy when you can’t easily swap batteries. Chances are though because this new one is backwards compatible, your older version may still work, but GoPro claims this new model offers at least 15% longer run time than the previous battery BacPac. Something to consider as this new cameras is 2x more powerful than the HERO3 and 4K video may eat up runtime.

gopro hero4 battery bacpac double batterygopro spare bacpac battery
GoPro Hero4 available in stock
visit website button cheesycam blue GoPro.com – GoPro Hero4 4K Extended Battery BacPac

Also what appears to have received an upgrade is the LCD Touch Screen Bacpac. Again if you have an older version, chances are it may work with the HERO4. I’m not sure what changes have been made exactly from the previous version, but the new model will be available at the same time the HERO4 will be released.

GoPro Hero4 LCD BacPacGoPro Hero4 Hero3 Hero3+ LCD Bacpac
GoPro Hero4 available in stock
visit website button cheesycam blue GoPro.com – GoPro Hero4 LCD BacPac

So if you’re anything like me, i’ll be online tonight trying to get my orders in. For popular items such as this, I tend to buy a little more than I need in case it sells out, and always have the option to return or sell it off if I don’t need it. So who else is planning to purchase the new GoPro HERO4?

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03Oct Alware Senrigan GP 55 3 Axis Brushless Gimbal V2 With Bluetooth


I’m far from being an expert on these things, but I’ve seen my share of small gimbals, and have even built a few myself from scratch. This newly upgraded version of the Senrigan GP-55 3 Axis Gimbal caught my attention because it’s now running the new 32 bit Basecam controller (Alexmos) with Dual IMU Sensors and includes a Bluetooth Module. It also comes with the metal housing kit covering the controller and both IMU sensors. There is certainly quite a bit going on here for the price.

Sure it may be a great little kit to mount with medium sized multicopters, but it could be great for handheld use. If it’s not super clear by now, these Basecam driven gimbals are completely self contained systems. Once you add battery power, they can fully operate without being mounted to some type of multicopter. Basically if you can find a way to clamp a couple of handles over the top of these units, you’ll have yourself a working 32 Bit Dual IMU 3 Axis Handheld camera gimbal stabilizer.

Of course the only problem with this particular gimbal is that the frame will limit you to work with smaller cameras around the size of a Sony NEX5 or possibly a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera with either a Lumix 14mm or 20mm pancake lens. Or possibly with one of those new Panasonic 4K compact cameras i’ve been eyeballing.

You can check out additional photos and info on the Senrigan GP55 Gimbal (found here)

Alware Senrigan 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer DIY stabilizercheesycam 3 axis gimbal stabilizer senrigan alexmos DIY
find-price-button Senrigan Alware GP55 2 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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02Oct Tascam new DR-60D Mark II Audio Recorder


Today Tascam announced an upgraded Mark II version of their popular DR-60D Audio Recorder. Here’s an original video showing the features of the first DR-60D.

Now i’m not quite sure how much of a difference the new MK II DR-60D Audio recorder brings, and it’s probably not enough to justify an upgrade from the old version. But for anyone looking to purchase the popular DR-60D recorder, it’s now available for $199.99 + FREE US Overnight Shipping via Adorama. Yes FREE Overnight means that depending on when you get your order in you should receive it the next business day (click here)

tsdr60mkii
find-price-button Tascam DR-60D MKII Digital Audio Recorder

Adorama Pro Video deal: Save big on new Canon Cinema Camcorder Kits!
Canon EOS C100 Cinema Camcorder Kit with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Zoom Lens – With Dual Pixel CMOS AF Feature Upgrade & Ninja 2 Recorder, 240GB SSD, HDMI Cable
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29Sep HyColour PRO Color Grading Tool for FCPX


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-Box
HyColour Pro Color Grading Tool for FCPX

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