DIY Video and Photography Projects

Lowest Price Ever – DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal w Hardcase + Gimbal Stand + Remote
March 23, 2015


We’ve seen $500 dollar rebates on the DJI Ronin Gimbal (normally $3K), but the recent sale price at just $2249 + FREE Expedited Shipping is the lowest price i’ve ever seen it. That’s a huge -$750 savings off normal retail price right now.

I’m not a fan of this gimbal for anyone working with smaller cameras, but for those who have bigger camera setups or attempting to stabilize your cameras in aggressive situations this current price is a steal. SALE ENDS TODAY via B&H (click here).

[Update] Sale has ended. It’s now back to a -$500 off price.

DJI Ronin Gimbal 3 Axis StabilizerDJi Ronin Product Highlights
find-price-button DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer w/ Hardcase Remote and Stand

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New Upgraded CAME-TV 7800 Model Overview
March 22, 2015


A short while ago CAME-TV sent over an upgraded version of their 7800 Gimbal. Now that the gimbal has officially been released on their website, here’s a closer look at some of the improvements and optional accessories that now come with the Ready-To-Run 7800 Gimbal Kit.

The 7800 has seen many iterations, and even my last video with a 7800 does not even include half of the changes they’ve made available now. The 7800 model now comes with a Travel Case and a Gimbal Stand. These may be small items, but essential pieces that you no longer need to buy (or make). You can get started balancing your gimbal and flying as soon as you receive the item.

My obvious favorite is new Black Rubberized Hand Grips. Not only does this feel better but it really steps up the aesthetic of the product making it appear much more professional. The top handle has the same design that is easy to remove with a single socket cap screw, and each side handle is clamped on, and can simply be twisted to release the clamp.

handles gimbal rubberrubber handles gimbal 1 inch clamp tool less
New Rubberized Handles

The biggest addition that many should be excited about, is a tool-less adjustment knob that allows you to easily balance the YAW and another tool-less knob to easily balance the Roll. Combined with the sliding quick release plate in the camera frame, swapping lenses should now take seconds instead of minutes.

tool less adjustment roll bar gimbal
yaw toolless adjustment gimbal 7800
New Tool-less YAW and ROLL Adjustments

So while the system is not 100% tool-less, the areas that do require tools to balance may not be used often once you have the proper alignment for your camera body. Common adjustments when swapping to a longer or short lens will be easier and faster at the Roll, Yaw, and Pitch thanks to the new too-less adjustment knobs. CAME-TV now offers Six (6) Different Gimbal Kits and you can find more information about those products at the website (click here).

CAME-TV 7800 Gimbalcametv came-tv 7800 3 axis gimbal stabilizer
find-price-button New Upgraded CAME-TV 7800 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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Best Video Monopod Sirui vs Benro vs Manfrotto
March 19, 2015


When you have to shoot video and move fast, the last thing you’re thinking about is a Tripod. If you have to move fast with some type of stability, maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of a good Video Monopod. In this video i’m showing you why I personally think the latest version of Sirui Video Monopods are at the top of my list, and how it offers more than other Top Brands.

Sirui video monopod 129 sale[Update] The Sirui P-204S Aluminum Video Monopod Shown In Video is Just $129 + FREE SHIPPING (HERE)

[NOTE:] Because we have readers from around the world, we often provide various links to products. For USA buyers purchasing a SIRUI Product from an Authorized USA Retailer qualifies the product for a 6 YEAR WARRANTY. USA buyers purchasing overseas products will not qualify for the 6 Year USA Warranty.

The moment you pick up a Sirui Video Monopod you’ll notice the build quality. Every moving part is precision made and the feature set is well thought out. The monopod can be detached from the feet for more compact travel, yet you can still use the Monopod without the feet, and you can use the Feet without the Monopod (as a small Tripod | Hi Hat).

A locking base prevents the Sirui Video Monopod from swiveling and panning, and a variable drag adjustment at the base allows fine tuning to the operator. Panning can be achieved from the fluid column, or you can lock down the panning feature. Check out the variety of Sirui Video Monopods.

Sirui best video monopod reviewsirui video monopod stable feetsirui video monopod
find-price-button Sirui Aluminum and Carbon Fiber Photo|Video Monopods

Other Products Mentioned in this Article

Benro Video Monopods
find-price-button
Benro Video Monopods
Manfrotto Video Monopod
find-price-button
Manfrotto Video Monopods

Sirui Monopods Also Available At:
sirui photo video monopod bhphoto
find-price-button Sirui Photo|Video Monopods via B&H USA

Sirui Photo Video Monopod Amazon
find-price-button Sirui Photo|Video Monopods via Amazon USA

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Aputure DEC Remote Wireless Follow Focus Canon EF Lens Adapter – First Examples
March 17, 2015


So yesterday I spent a little time testing the Aputure DEC Remote Wireless Follow Focus Canon EF Lens Adapter. Keep in mind that all of the units that other reviewers have (including mine) are just prototypes. So everything that you see could change when they go to final production.

As mentioned in my earlier article, the prototypes available today can attach a Canon EF (autofocus) Lens to a Sony E-Mount or Micro Four Thirds (MFT) Camera and allow you to change aperture values and remotely change focus via a wireless remote. Here’s a little video showing the Sony E-Mount DEC Adapter in use.

Since the Aputure DEC Lens Adapter relies on the internal motors of the lens being used, each lens may provide a slightly different experience. Some lenses may offer a smoother transition, while others may have a more prominent stepping motion moving from one focus point to the next. During slower focus movements some lenses will have a louder ’stepping’ type noise, while other lenses may be a bit more silent. This is all based on the lens, and at this time not a lot of testing has been done.

In the ‘current user manual’ it lists several Canon EF L Series lenses, but I decided to try a few different ones such as the Sigma, the Canon 40mm STM, and a 50mm F/1.8. All of the lenses worked flawlessly to adjust iris and I could control focus. I was a bit worried the system would be buggy using random lenses, but so far it’s taken everything i’ve thrown at it.

canon stm 40mm lens follow focus aputure dec
Canon 40mm STM Lens Aputure DEC
Canon 40mm STM Pancake Aputure DEC Wireless Follow Focus Lens Adapter

So while this is still a prototype, so far I think the Aputure DEC is an awesome product for anyone who needs to adjust focus on an adapted Canon EF Lens in situations where you can’t normally reach the focus ring. For example when mounted on a Jib/Crane, Steadicam, or even a Gimbal.

Typically on any of my stabilizers i’m settled in with a very wide lens with the aperture stopped down and everything in focus. With the Aputure DEC I would be able to use a Gimbal with a Shallow DOF and focus from an object in the foreground to possibly a distant subject in the background. The focus changes can be quick, or they can be slow.

Will this replace all Follow Focus systems? Obviously not as it only works with Canon EF (autofocus) Lenses, and not manual focus Cine Lenses. The DEC (prototype) also uses a stepping motion which dependent upon the lens may or may not be smooth. There are still a few things that I think still need to be refined and changed on the DEC prototypes, which i’ll be sharing with the Aputure company. One suggestion is having a more traditional wireless follow focus remote as the current one could be tricky tracking a subject back and forth if they move quickly.

Sony A7s Shogun 4K Aputure DEC Wireless Follow Focus
Sony a7s Aputure DEC Sigma 18-35mm Atomos Shogun

Once a product like this becomes available on the market, I really think this will really impact how many consider changing focus remotely on Canon EF lenses today. It certainly opens up ‘options’ in the industry that were never available before. Maybe not so much Hollywood, but consider the large market of event, wedding, news, or other video shooters that don’t need the precision of a high end WFF system and are shooting with Sony E-Mount and MFT cameras. Compared to other Wireless Follow Focus systems, the Aputure DEC is incredibly simple to use while offering the smallest and lightest possible footprint.

Aputure DEC Lens Adapter Canon EF Wireless Follow Focus Cheesycam
NAB2014 Aputure Announced DEC Lens Adapter Remote Follow Focus

I’m going to continue testing these DEC adapters and hopefully more focusing examples. The next one i’ll set up is the MFT Mount which can Start/Stop video on cameras with a LANC connection. If you have any questions so far, leave them in the comments.

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Aputure DEC Lens Adapter + Wireless Follow Focus for Canon EF to Sony E-Mount and MFT
March 12, 2015


Last year NAB 2014 Aputure showed off an entirely new and innovative Wireless Remote Follow Focus system. It looks like a basic lens adapter to add a Canon EF (autofocus lens) to a Micro Four Thirds or Sony E-Mount camera, but this lens adapter has enough communication with the EF Lens that it can drive it’s focus motors, change aperture, and also send back the focal distance to the wireless remote.


NAB 2014 Video

The Aputure DEC Remote can also Start / Stop video on certain cameras, and A/B focus points can be set to rack from one focus point to another. If you’re familiar with traditional Wireless Follow Focus systems it typically requires a set of 15mm Rods, a Focus Motor, Lens Gears, Battery Pack, and Wireless Receiver. The Aputure DEC eliminates all of that extra gear into just a simple lens adapter which makes it perfect for small camera systems on small stabilizers (steadicams) and Gimbal Stabilizers.

It’s been a year since it’s been introduced, and what I thought was a lost idea is actually becoming reality. The product is still not available to purchase, but right now I have in possession a couple of prototypes to test out. I’m super excited about this, comments?

A photo posted by Emm (@mrcheesycam) on

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XUME Magnetic Quick Release Filter Adapters
March 12, 2015


I recently passed by WPPI Las Vegas and David from XUMEAdpters.com was there exhibiting the XUME Filter Adapters. These adapters have been around for a few years, but I thought we’d revisit the product now that cameras like the Sony A7s are hugely dependent on ND Filters when working outdoors with S-Log with it’s minimum ISO of 3200.

I’m a big fan of Variable ND Filters on my cameras when outdoors, but I really hate unscrewing them when moving to shaded areas or indoors. The XUME Adapter kits allow you fast installation and removal of your filters. In order for the system to work you’ll need a lens adapter (ideally placed on every lens) + a Filter Holder (ideally on every filter you plan to use). This can add up to be quite an expense if you want to convert everything you own, but personally I only find myself working with a handful of lenses outdoors and mainly 1 or 2 filters. With that in mind the XUME Pro Kit should cover most of your needs and would be a huge time saver.

As noted in the video, once the XUME Lens Adapter is placed onto your lens, your typical lens cap won’t work directly. You’ll need to utilize one of the XUME Filter Holders for the cap, or opt in for one of their new custom XUME Lens Caps.

Obviously many of use different lenses that may have varying filter sizes. My Sigma uses a 72mm, my Canon uses a 77mm, and my Lumix 58mm. Of course a simple fix to this is to purchase step-up filter rings so that all of your lenses share a common Filter Size. I typically step all of my lenses up to 77mm (as seen here), but this does mean you have to buy several 77mm Lens Caps – very cheap via eBay. The complete line of XUME Adapters and Kits are available via B&H (click here).

XUME FILTER ADAPTERSxume lens cap
find-price-button XUME Magnetic Quick Release Filter Adapters

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Sony A7s Powered By Canon 5D Mark II LP-E6 DIY Modded Battery Grip
March 11, 2015


Any owner of the Sony A7s will immediately tell you that battery life sucks big time. Some guys may opt in for the $300 Dollar Sony VGC1EM Battery Grip (found here), which allows you to run (2) Sony batteries at the same time.

OEM sony battery grip a7s a7 a7r
find-price-button OEM Sony VGC1EM Battery Grip for A7/A7r/A7s

$300 Dollars is a bit expensive, and there are Generic VGC1EM Battery Grips for $65 Dollars (found here), but because of the poor life of each Sony OEM battery, even two most likely still wont be enough for a solid day of production.

generic VGC1EM Sony A7 A7s Battery Grip
find-price-button Generic VGC1EM Battery Grip Sony A7/A7r/A7s

Recently I posted up a short little article about how to make your own Sony A7s external power source using cheap battery trays (here). Since both the Canon LP-E6 batteries and the Sony NPF style batteries run similar voltage, you can use either one to power up your Sony A7s for cheap and not to mention several times longer than the A7s battery.

An external power source has been very handy, but this means always having to mount the external battery with the camera at all times. You can see how SatoStudios has been mounting one to either a cage or shoulder rig (below).

After testing out the Canon LP-E6 batteries (which I have more than a few dozen of), I thought about modifying a generic Canon Battery Grip I had laying around.

SONY A7S BATTERY GRIP canon lp-e6 diy mod hack

This would mount under the camera, clean up any loose wiring, and still be able to tripod mount my Sony A7s. So I basically gutted the generic Canon Battery grip, rewired the battery terminals inside directly to a Sony Dummy Battery adapter.

Sony AC-PW20 Dummy Battery for Sony A7s Camera DIY Battery
find-price-button Sony AC Power Dummy Battery

Now because the grip isn’t smart enough to switch over once a battery is depleted, and it may not be wise to run these batteries in Parallel, I decided to add a simple toggle switch. The good thing is that the Sony A7s seems to read the battery levels fine, and the toggle switch allows me to use either Battery A(1) or Battery B(2).

Sony A7s dummy battery grip

Although she doesn’t look pretty, I didn’t have to spend any extra money outside of a $13 dollar Sony Dummy Battery (found here), and EACH Canon LP-E6 battery runs several times longer than the Sony A7s. I haven’t put any run times tests together but theoretically it might do 4-5 hours.

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 3

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 5

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 7

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E6 cheesycam

Sony A7s DIY Battery Grip 5D mark II LP-E64

While it may not be a worthwhile project just anyone should tackle, it’s a neat way to recycle my old gear. Not to mention improve shooting times on the Sony A7s by several times over while keeping cords and mounting to a minimum. It’s a nice way to balance out the small body when using larger lenses too.

I don’t suggest just anyone tackle this project unless you have a bit of electrical know-how. Of course it’s fairly easy if you understand basic electrical wiring. I have another spare grip from a Canon T2i, and now attempting to build a battery grip for my BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I believe I can fit a 3s Li-on RC Battery into the slide out tray.

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Aputure 672 LED Light Panel Product Overview
March 6, 2015


The Aputure 672 LED Light Panel has been out for a little while, but since it’s been a consistent piece of equipment on recent shoots, we thought we’d highlight some it’s features to those who may not be already familiar.

The most recent 672 LED Light builds on the popular (previous model) 528 model. As you can tell the numbers mean that they were able to take the same form factor and add an additional 144 LED Bulbs. Not only are there more lights densely packed in providing a brighter output, but the bulbs have been swapped out to High CRI versions offering more accurate colors. The 672 is even offered as a Bi-Color LED Panel allowing you to adjust color temperature to match your ambient lighting.

aputure led 672 outdoors
Aputure 672 LED Light used for Outdoor Fill

aputure wireless remote led video light

Another major improvement over the previous 528 model is the additional wireless remote that allows you to control different LED panels without ever getting off your seat. In fact ‘groups’ of LED panels can be assembled and each group controlled separately through a single remote (included). This feature alone is a huge time saver when you need to sit behind the camera and adjust each light output for perfect exposure.

[2.4G FSK wireless remote control within 100 meters | Control multiple LED lights in 4 groups or 3 channels]
aputure 672 led video light

aputure led light 672 vs 528

The Aputure 672 LED Panel shares some of the same features such as Digital Rear Display offering up an easy way to monitor battery life from a distance. The panels can be powered over AC through the provided wall plug, while simultaneously charging the Sony NPF style batteries connected to the panel (panel is a battery charger). Not shown in the video, but the Aputure 672 also comes with two large Sony (generic) Batteries offering up even more value as a ready to run system.

Aputure LED 672 Video Light Panel

In summary the Aputure 672 LED Panels are compact, lightweight, affordable, offer high CRI, work with inexpensive Sony NPF style batteries, and built in wireless remote operation. Certainly an LED Panel that offers best bang for the buck and you won’t be disappointed. Available now (click here).

aputure 672
find-price-button Aputure 672 LED Video Light Panel High CRI 95

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CAME-TV 7800 3-Axis Gimbal Overhauled Now All Tool-Less Balancing
March 5, 2015


Well look at what has arrived today on my desk. The latest updated (again) version of the CAME-TV 7800 Gimbal.

CAME-TV 7800 overhaul updated handles tool less adjustments

These changes are so new that at the time of this writing, the images for the CAME-TV 7800 Gimbal have not yet been updated on their website. If you plan on ordering one, I would double check with them about these new parts being available, since it’s not yet posted on their website.

The system I have here has received a much needed aesthetic and functional overhaul. Finally they have professional looking side handles (not fond of the old yellow foam ones). These side handles require no tools to remove, and they have also updated to a matching new Top Handle. The biggest change of course is the addition of tool-less adjustments for the rear Roll Bar and YAW Motor and a slightly modified QR baseplate.

tool less adjsutment yaw bar  tool less adjustment roll bar

Previously they had only tool-less adjustments on the Pitch, and making adjustments to the Roll and YAW was a tedious task – but not any longer. The system now comes with a semi-hard travel case with a Gimbal Stand. The 7800 has certainly stood the test of time to be one of the most affordable entry level gimbal systems, and it seems like it’s just getting better.

So the new changes look great, and in theory should make life a lot easier, but i’ll still need to put it through the paces and test this thing out over the weekend. If you’re interested in finding out more, the CAME-TV 7800 3-Axis Gimbal can be found on their website (CLICK HERE).

came-tv gimbal  came-tv gimbal 7800 kit case stand
find-price-button CAME-TV 7800 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer with Case + Stand

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Sound Shark Audio Mini Parabolic Dish for Lavalier Microphones
March 5, 2015


Strolling through WPPI 2015 in Las Vegas this week, I happened upon a fellow named Paul who was demonstrating an unusual little product called the Sound Shark. The Sound Shark is a mini Parabolic Dish that works with a small Lavalier microphone and designed to improve audio capture from a distance as well as reject unwanted sounds from the rear and sides.

ParabolicWPPI
Paul with Sound Shark Audio WPP1 2015

According to their website, the Sound Shark is based on the same technology that television networks have used to pick up the on-field sounds of professional sports for many years. Klover Products (parent company), made the parabolic microphones used at the 2014 Super Bowl and the 2014 World Series. So I guess they have some credit to back up claims of what this new product is supposed to be able to do.

Sound Shark Audio Klover Products
image courtesy of SoundSharkAudio.com

You’ll probably notice Parabolic microphones used heavily in sports. There’s typically that guy on the side of a Boxing Ring or on the Side Lines of a Football Game. One claim they have is that the Sound Shark can reject sounds and pick up distant sounds better than a shotgun microphone.

While the examples seen through the photos show it mounted to a camera, it can also be paired up directly with an audio recorder or even mounted on a Boom Pole. It certainly seems like an interesting product that could aid capturing better audio for run-gun shooters covering events or sports, and hopefully there will be a point to where I can test it myself. For now there are only a few videos about the Sound Shark over at their website (Click Here).

SndShSELECTS-9690363-web Sound-Shark-On-Video-Camera-Web
find-price-button Sound Shark Audio Mini Parabolic Microphone

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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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