DIY Video and Photography Projects

DJI Inspire1 4K Video Sample with new X5 Camera Gimbal
November 16, 2015

Here’s a nice short piece from YouTube member InStar Films showing off the 4K Video quality of the new X5 MFT Camera mounted on the DJI Inspire1 Quadcopter. Stick around until the end of the video to watch some BTS footage.

For people wondering if they should purchase a Phantom 3 or Inspire 1, here’s a few key differences. Obviously the Inspire1 has three different options for better cameras. But aside from X3 and the new higher quality Zenmuse X5 and Zenmuse X5R (4K RAW capable) cameras, the Inspire1 allows for dual operators. One operator can focus on flying and the other can focus on controlling camera movement – keeping a subject in frame.

Being able to raise the landing gears, the Inspire1 also offers unobstructed 360 degree panning of the camera without having to rotate the entire quadcopter. Because you have to rotate the entire orientation of the Phantom quadcopter, this takes more skill to simultaneously fly and keep a subject in camera frame.

The Inspire1 is a heavier system with stronger motors and larger props. The mass, size, and power allows the Inspire1 to endure heavier winds and obtain faster speeds. The new DJI Inspire1 with X5 4K Interchangeable Lens Micro Four Thirds Cameras are available now, and ships immediately.

dji inspire 1 pro x5 zenmuse camera
VIEW-ITEM DJI Inspire1 Pro with Zenmuse X5 4K Video Camera Gimbal

For those who already own the DJI Inspire1 with X3, in order to upgrade, you’ll need the landing gear risers, the Zenmuse X5 camera, and the Vibration Absorbing (mounting) Board. You can find the X5 Camera and Mounting Plate available here (link).

dji zenmuse x5 camera upgrade mounting board
VIEW-ITEM DJI Zenmuse X5 4K Video Camera Gimbal

Now it seems like the Inspire1 Quadcopter with X5 camera is a hefty investment, but consider that the X5 can be used off of the Quadcopter and placed onto the new DJI OSMO Gimbal Handle. Overall, you may be saving instead of purchasing a small 4K Interchangeable Lens camera and a Handheld Gimbal system.

VIEW-ITEM DJI OSMO Handle for X3, Zenmuse X5, and Zenmuse X5R Cameras

Check Other Availability
Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama


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RocknRoller RMH1 Multi-Cart Mini-Handtruck
November 10, 2015

Maybe i’m getting older, maybe I’m just working with more gear, or maybe i’m just getting smarter. Regardless, I never like to travel without some aid in transporting equipment. When i’m not flying my go to Gear cart is the Krane AMG Series Gear Carts. But unfortunately when it’s time to fly, I need something extra small to check in at the gate.

rocknroller rmh1 portable hand truck

So that’s when i’ll bring along my RocknRoller RMH1 Portable Hand Truck (I own two of these). I can use it to bring luggage to the gate, and throw it in the bag for check-in. Later through the day I can use it to transport all the gear cases. It’s approximately 10lbs, but can lift up to 200lbs. It doesn’t fold completely flat, but unlike many other folding hand trucks, this one has a very long 18″ nose (bottom tray) which is beneficial when handling large cases.

The wheels may look small, but are designed with a no-flat rubber material for a pneumatic like ride and low rolling resistance. There’s also built in stair climbers when you need to pull the cart up a flight of stairs. Perfect? No, but with the long 18″ nose, compact size, and run flat tires and priced at $69 dollars, it’s pretty darn good and hard to beat. Find the RMH1 Portable Mini Hand Truck on Amazon (Click Here).

RocknRoller RMH1 Multi-Cart Mini-HandtruckRocknRoller RMH1 Multi-Cart Mini-Handtruck rock n roller
VIEW-ITEM RocknRoller RMH1 Multi-Cart Mini-Handtruck

You may also check pricing for this product with:
Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama | DVEStore | EBAY


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CAME-TV 100m Wireless HD Video Transmitter Receiver HDMI Kit
November 10, 2015

At some point in time you may find yourself on a project that will require you to send a feed to a remote monitor for others to view. Perhaps you have a client that needs to provide input about your camera settings, lens choice, framing, or movement. Or maybe you have an assistant to help with a wireless follow focus. And when your camera can’t be tethered with a cable, eventually you may find a need for a kit to transmit video wirelessly. So here’s a look at the CAME-TV 100m Wireless HD Video Kit.

There are systems designed for the home that you can use for a DIY solution, but often this means shorter range and lots of latency. Home kits are usually bulkier, will require you to be innovative about your battery solutions, and you’ll need to find a way to mount it to your camera and monitor. Another reason you have to be careful about DIY kits is compatibility with frame rates. The Panasonic GH3 outputs a weird interlaced signal, the Canon 5DM3 and Sony cameras when set to 24p actually output 23.98. The GH4 on the other hand can output 24p, 23.98, and then you have cameras that can output 59.94p. There are a good number of Monitors that can’t display these frame rates, and wireless HD Video kits are the same.

If these are reasons that would deter you from DIY home kits, the CAME-TV 100m Wireless Video Kit is clean and simple, easy to operate, minimal parts, and works great for transmitting up to 300 feet+ (depending on conditions). I have tested 1080/24p Cinema mode from the GH4 as well as NTSC 23.98, and 59.94 with no issues.

The more professional solutions are not cheap by any means, but they are designed differently than home solutions. You can find more information about the 100m Wireless HD Video kit on their website:

VIEW-ITEM CAME-TV 100m Wireless HD Video Transmitter Receiver HDMI Kit

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Hybrid Gimbal – Merging CAME-TV Mini2 with CAME-TV SINGLE
November 5, 2015

Some people want the CAME-Mini2 but also want the Encoder technology from the CAME-SINGLE. Some people want the CAME-SINGLE because it has Encoders, but want a better set of handles. Well, I might get in trouble for posting this, but I believe a few people may have already figured this out if not super curious if this merging the two was even possible.

Basically, if you were to take the ‘Dual Handles’ from the CAMETV CAME-Mini2 Gimbal and replace the ‘One Handle’ on the CAME-TV CAME-SINGLE Gimbal, the combination works for the ‘Smallest two handed gimbal WITH Encoders’ I know about.

Now you can’t use it upside down, nor will you have a proper stand to place the gimbal when not in use, and finding a good place for an external monitor might be weird. So it’s a bit of an oddball design, but what you do get is a more ergonomic set of handles to carry and steer your gimbal while reaping all the benefits of Encoder technology. The parts can be disassembled for travel so it’s still a fairly compact system.

***** Reminder: This assembly is not officially supported by CAME-TV, and performing this assembly may result in damage or void of warranty..

Information about the MINI2 and SINGLE Gimbals can be found at the website at

VIEW-ITEM CAME-TV MINI2 and SINGLE Gimbal Stabilizers

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BlackMagic 4K Micro Studio Camera in Stock
November 5, 2015

At NAB, BlackMagic Design announced two new ‘Micro’ Cameras. One is the 4K Micro Studio Camera and the other the Micro Cinema Camera. While they may look similar in this new Micro form factor, the 4K Micro Studio Camera is the only one capable of 4K video output (there is no internal recording media). The Micro Cinema Camera might be compared closer to the existing BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera as it is capable of RAW recording but only up to 1080p (no 4K).

blackmagic design micro studio camera

The BlackMagic Design 4K Micro Studio Camera is mainly used in live switching and broadcast where it can be placed (due to it’s tiny size) just about anywhere and send a live feed back, but you can attach an external recorder (like Blackmagic Video Assist) to record the 1080p output from the HDMI. (4K can only be recorded via SDI out).

blackmagic design 4k micro studio camera
BlackMagic Design Recording Video Assist 4K micro studio camera

Without getting into too many details about either (if you have questions, leave comments), the 4K Micro Studio Camera is now shipping but currently out of stock at your typical big retailers. I just got news from that they have already shipped existing pre-orders and have a few left in stock ready to ship right now. So if this is a camera you’ve been researching for the last 8 months, now’s the time to grab one (click here).

VIEW-ITEM BlackMagic Design 4K Micro Studio Camera In Stock DVEStore

You may also check pricing for this product with:
Amazon | B&H Photo | Adorama | DVEStore | EBAY


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FotoDiox ND Throttle Variable ND Filter Lens Adapter for Sony A7sII A7RII GH4
November 4, 2015

While I see many people switching over to the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7 series cameras (like the A7sII/A7RII), there’s one product that I wanted to remind people about – the FotoDiox ND Throttle. When shooting with Sony cameras, especially in SLOG, the minimum ISO could be anywhere from 1600-3200. SLOG is such a great option to have, but means you really have to deal with ND Filters to keep a wide aperture and proper shutter speed.

The easiest and most simple solution that I know of is the FotoDiox ND Throttle. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is a variable ND Filter built right into a lens adapter, and allows you to dial in your exposure without changing your ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Of course this only works if you are adapting a Full Frame lens to the Sony or Panasonic, and not using a native lens.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a Canon EF autofocus lens, a manual Rokinon Lens, or even high end Cinema Prime Lenses like the
XEEN, Canon CN-E, Zeiss CP.2, etc. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is one simple adapter that I highly suggest all Sony A7 series or GH4 shooters look into and find the time to try it out. Even if you’re not using it all the time, I think you’ll find it’s worth keeping in the gear bag.

fotodiox nd throttle adapter sony a7s a7rii nex fe mountpanasonic gh4 nd throttle lens adapter canon ef variable nd filter
VIEW-ITEM FotoDiox ND Throttle Variable ND Filter + Lens Adapter

So while I think Canon L lenses offer great image quality, you can get a (4) piece Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Set for about the price of one Canon L Lens. The DS line from Rokinon are designed to be color matched, same exposure ranges, common focus and iris gear positions, a de-clicked aperture, etc. For me personally I feel they are better for video than standard Autofocus Photo Lenses (image quality aside). If you’re looking into a set of Rokinon Cine lenses, I highly suggest starting with the ‘Cine DS’ line for the reasons stated above.

The image quality is great, and I think you’ll really appreciate the longer focus (pull) throw, and de-clicked aperture which lets you set F-stops in smaller increments than you can with auto focus lenses. The built in gear ring is great for follow focuses, and the standard positions make it easier to swap lenses without moving your FF around each time.

Rokinon Cine DS Lens Canon EF
VIEW-ITEM Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle for Canon EF Mount

Now if you really want to step it up a bit, the Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime lenses have a standard physical size, lens diameter, better optics, less breathing, etc. To date they are probably the most affordable Cinema Prime Lenses that cover a full frame sensor. They have a 114mm Diameter which is exactly the same as a Canon CN-E Prime, or Zeiss CP.2. You can find great deals on XEEN Lens Sets via eBay (click here).

Rokinon XEEN 3 Lens Bundle Set
VIEW-ITEM Rokinon XEEN Lens Bundle

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Cheap Manfrotto 501PL Replacement Quick Release Plates $9 Free Ship
November 3, 2015

I’ve built a few rigs over the last few months, and I got tired of swapping my 501PL plates around. Frustrated, today I decided to grab a few more spares so I don’t need to rotate them (and I always seem to lose them). Here’s a listing for generic 501PL plates for just $9 dollars + FREE SHIPPING in case you guys need some.

manfrotto 501 PL replacement platecheesycam cheap manfrotto generic 501pl replacement quick release plate
VIEW-ITEM Manfrotto 501PL Compatible Quick Release Plates

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DJI X5 Camera Gimbal In Stock
November 2, 2015

So many people have already received the new DJI Osmo, and it has been getting really positive results. A breeze to use out of the box, but with GoPro HERO4 4K cameras mounted to a gimbal, it’s too close to be considered a real game changer. But if you were to attach the new DJI X5 4K Mirrorless M43 camera on the OSMO handle, that combination is easily considered a game changer in small handheld stabilizers.

If you’re an existing DJI Inspire1 owner, the X5 4K Camera gimbal is a the next obvious upgrade for better aerial footage without having to buy an entirely new Quadcopter. And when paired with the OSMO handle, you should have a killer set of tools to capture smooth professional quality 4K Video footage. The X5 camera is in stock now via B&H (here).

dji x5 camera in stock
VIEW-ITEM DJI X5 4K Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless M43 Camera

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