DIY Video and Photography Projects

24Mar Canon 24-105mm F/4L with IS Just $689

Canon DSLR shooters should be familiar with the L Series Canon 24-105mm F/4L with Image Stabilization. It’s one of the best all around general lenses to take when you have to move fast, zoom in/out, maintain a solid aperture, and have image stabilization. Typically the lens sells for more than $1K, but this eBay seller is selling at just $682 US.

Typically when you see these prices it’s still a brand new lens, USA version, but came from a Bundle (minus camera body), and they’ve used up some type of rebate. So what you’ll end up with is a nice new lens, but not in the original retail package. Still a great deal if you want to go this route. Check it out on the product page (here)

Canon 24-105mm Deal
find-price-buttonCanon 24-105mm F/4L IS Lens

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21Mar Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler Overview and Test Drive

Although we may have a few different types of portable jib / cranes at our disposal (some more portable than others), there’s no doubt that the most robust of the bunch is one from Kessler. Here’s a product overview video and demo footage shot with the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler.

The Pocket Jib Traveler is 27 inches in length when collapsed and is completely self contained. No tools required for assembly, and does not need to be taken apart for travel. A panning base means it will work directly onto a tripod without requiring an additional fluid head. The Pocket Jib Traveler is rated to handle rigs up to 10lbs.

Kessler Pocket Traveler Jib

A long sliding rear bar is used for fine tuning counterweight, and the length (ratio) means you’ll require less counterweight to balance your camera. We only required a 5 pound weight to balance out this 5D Mark III with 24-105mm Lens. In our video we’re using a Carbon Fiber Tripod, so our total travel package is easy to travel with. Window cuts along the frame of the jib keep the overall system light-weight without sacrificing the structural integrity. To mount up larger / longer camera bodies that, you can use the (optional) Camera Platform Extender.

Kessler Travel Jib Pocket Crane

More info about Kessler’s Pocket Jib Traveler can be found at the website (here).

find-price-button Kessler Crane Pocket Traveler Jib

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21Mar Fotodiox Vizelex ND Throttle Follow Up Video

Although we still don’t have any scientific tests on the sharpness coming from the new Fotodiox Vizelex Throttle Variable ND Filter ‘Lens Adapter’, this follow up video answers a few great questions.

Here’s another thing they didn’t cover which has been a main reason I would consider using the adapter. A fisheye lens on a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera is not so ‘fish-eye’, and it’s one of my go to lenses for wide angle shots. Unfortunately, some ultra wide angle or fisheye lenses (in which the front optic protrudes past the housing) are unable to accept front filters. With the variable ND sitting behind the lens, you can control your image in bright outdoor conditions. I know Rokinon has announced a few great wide angle lenses for Mirrorless cameras, but this situation may be a reason why adapting the larger EF or Nikon mounts would be better.

Canon 8-15mm Fisheye Nikon 14-28mm Rokinon Canon 8mm
Example Wide / Fisheye lenses without Front Filter Threads

Hopefully the Micro Four Thirds version comes out soon for the GH4 as I hear it will have a different crop factor than a typical GH3, so i’ll really be digging into these ultra wide angle lenses. You can find the (click here)
find-price-button Fotodiox Vizelex Throttle Variable ND Filter Lens Adapter

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21Mar Rokinon Samyang Announce New Manual Lenses

Rokinon today has announced a few new manual focus wide-angle and fish-eye lenses. These new uber wide lenses are perfect for many of the mirror-less cameras that we struggle to find affordable wide angle lenses (i.e BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, and the new GH4 will have a slightly different crop factor as well).

The 8mm Fish-eye II lens is the second generation of this popular lens for mirror less cameras. The lens’s mirrorless mounts include Canon EF-M mount, Fujifilm X mount, Samsung NX mount, and Sony E mount

Rokinon 8mm Fisheye II Lens
find-price-button Rokinon / Samyang 8mm Fish-eye II lens

The 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS wide-angle lens is presented for mirrorless and DSLR (APS-C) mounts. The lens is available in Canon EF, Pentax K, Sony A, Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Sony E, and Micro Four Thirds mounts.

Rokinon Samyang 10mm 2.8
find-price-button Rokinon / Samyang 10mm F/2.8

Next up for mirror-less cameras we have the new 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS lens. Unlike the above two lenses, the 12mm accepts front filters and provides a 67mm diameter thread. The new Rokinon lens is available in Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Sony E and Micro Four Thirds mounts.

Rokinon 12mm New LensRokinon 12mm F2
find-price-button Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS lens

Finally the new 8mm T3.1 Cine UMC Fish-Eye II lens for Video use has a clickless aperture ring for smooth transitions between stops and geared aperture / focus rings to enable the use of a follow focus. This new Cine Lens is available for mirrorless Canon EF-M, Fujfilm X, Samsung NX, and Sony E mounts.

Rokinon 8mm Cine Lens
find-price-button Rokinon / Samyang 8mm T3.1 Cine UMC Fish-Eye II

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20Mar DIY Custom 1080p HDMI LCD Monitor Mount in Pelican Case

Here’s on of my random ideas that just keep expanding. For one of my projects, I needed a large full 1080p monitor for my BlackMagic ATEM Switch in order to view 8 camera feeds at the same time. Since each feed is in it’s own little window, I was also looking for something fairly big (at least 20″), not too expensive, and can be powered through batteries.

For this project I ended up putting an AOC 23″ 1080p IPS LCD monitor with HDMI input inside a Pelican case which runs off of 12V, and means I can use it through battery power. Originally I just planned to put it up against the hood, but this meant not being able to get to the back of the monitor to hook up my HDMI cables and power plug.

Cheesycam AOC 23 inch HDMI LCD Monitor Display Pelican Case
find-price-button AOC 23″ IPS LCD Screen HDMI 12V DC

Now that i’ve added a monitor arm, I can easily get to the back of the screen and tilt it to different angles.

Monitor Arm
find-price-button Small Articulating Monitor Arm

When this project is complete, it will have straps to secure the monitor into the hood, and will further be supported by extra foam when the case is closed up. I chose a large Pelican 1650 Rolling Hard Case since i’ll need the extra room to store extra equipment with this setup including hundreds of feet of SDI cables.

cheesycam pelican 1650 rolling hard case monitor lcd
find-price-button Pelican 1650 Rolling Hard Case with Foam

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19Mar Zacuto + Panasonic GH4 Product Overview Video

On the fence about the new Panasonic GH4? This Zacuto product overview video could change your mind. The intro starts out slow, but later gets deep (really deep) into the Panasonic GH4’s ground breaking features – including that of the DMW-YAGH Interface Unit.

No need to sell me on the GH4, I’m already actively shooting with several Panasonic GH3 cameras. I’ve even tried implementing it into my Live Switch Broadcast project. It’s a great all around camera, but nothing compared to what the new GH4 will be offering.

Panasonic GH4 pre-Order

I’ll often reserve the cliche term ‘game changer’, but I really think it suits this camera perfectly. They’ve added so many more features not just for Photography, or consumer video, but for broadcast, cinema, and not to mention the push for 4K. Once this camera starts shipping, you’d better expect for a very long waiting list, so maybe it’s time to rethink about putting your name down on that pre-order list (found here).

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 with DMW-YAGH Pro Audio Video Interface Unit

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I was starting to think there may just be more of the same at NAB2014 this year, but here’s an interesting new product from SHAPE. Here they are providing us with an early look at one of their latest products – A 2-Axis active stabilized shoulder rig. Video below and details from their Vimeo page.

Introducing the 1st official product from the SHADOW SERIES; the SHAPE GIMBAL ISEE II.

here are some specs:
2 axis gimbal, tilt up and tilt down. you can control the Gimbal ISEE II with the push button of the SHAPE TELESCOPIC DOUBLE QUICK HANDLE ARRI ROSETTE, also from the SHADOW SERIES.

For less than 6000$, you get the ultimate SHAPE SHOULDER MOUNT and the whole new GIMBAL ISEE II system.

Official release date of the product : NAB 2014

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18Mar DEAL: Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L II

I’m not saying you need this lens, but right now there just happens to be a very good (very very good) deal on the latest generation Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L II. If you’ve been eyeballing this lens, this may be the lowest it’s been since it’s announcement.

Here’s the breakdown. The MSRP on this lens sits at $2300 dollars (too much for me), but right now if you drop it in your cart the price falls to $1999. Subtract another $200 with the current MIR (mail-in-rebate), and the FINAL PRICE JUST $1799 via B&H (found here)

Canon 24-70 2.8 II Lens
find-price-button Canon (Latest Gen) 24-70 F/2.8L II Lens

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17Mar Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack

Between a camera backpack or roller bag, my first choice would be a Roller. It’s an easy way to carry equipment without stressing out your back and shoulders. The problem is that these rollers are difficult to work with when navigating through very crowded events (like CES), so a backpack ends up being the better choice.

There are many events to attend this year, and so for those reasons we decided to look for Hybrid Camera Bags (see a list of bags considered here) that offer the best of both worlds, and that’s how we ended up with the Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack.

At just under $380 dollars, it’s one of the more expensive bags on our list, but we needing something durable. When traveling for several days, dealing with something as simple as a broken zipper could be all the difference. From reviewing several other products, the Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack was the best one we felt was built to last, provided the convenience of a roller, while offering the best comfort as a backpack.

There is plenty of room for a few camera bodies, several lenses, audio equipment, misc accessories, and a full sized Macbook Pro Laptop. The Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack is still sized to carry on a plane so you don’t have to check your gear when you fly.

Tamrac camera Roller BackpackTamrac 5797 SpeedRoller ReviewSpeedroller Backpack Case Travel Camera Bag
find-price-button Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack – via B&H

Tamrac camera Roller BackpackTamrac 5797 SpeedRoller ReviewSpeedroller Backpack Case Travel Camera Bag
find-price-button Tamrac 5797 Evolution Speed Roller Backpack – via Amazon

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17Mar DIY : Gopro Hero 3 Black with External Canon LP-E6 Canon Battery

Youtube member Sitha Puth shares his DIY built to power a GoPro Hero3 from a Canon LP-E6 battery. Instead of powering the unit from the USB port, he’s decided to craft up a power source from a Canon LP-E6 battery plate, step down converter, and GoPro dummy battery AC DC Adapter.

The build comes just in time with the new Protune 2.0 FIrmware Update packed with features that makes the GoPro Hero3+ (black edition) feel like an entirely new camera. Here’s the build video.

Eventually Sitha will mount this to an inexpensive GoPro Hero Cage (he currently has on order). His build leaves access to all ports along the side of the Hero3 / Hero3+ camera so that you have full access to the Microphone input for better audio capture, or HDMI port for video output.

[Update Videos with Instructions on Build]

Here are the products in use.

AC DC Battery Adapter Kit GoPro Hero Hero3 Plus Dummy Battery
find-price-button GoPro AC DC Battery Adapter

DC Step Down Converter Voltage Step Down GoProStep Down 3.7 5V 7.4V DC Adapter Converter
find-price-button Gopro DC Step Converter

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14Mar Protune 2.0 Firmware Update for GoPro Hero 3+ More Manual Settings

When the GoPro Hero3+ was first released, many current Hero3 users did not find enough to go for the upgrade. Now if you are a serious GoPro camera user, this new firmware upgrade (only available for the Hero3+) adds more manual control over your final image and should change your mind. Here’s a video showing some of the new features.

Picking out a few stand out features we now have more control over White balance including CAMRAW under Protune. The GoPro is still auto exposing, but you have options to ‘limit’ the ISO so that the Hero3+ does not boost gain (increase noise). While the GoPro Hero3+ attempts to auto expose the image, you have EV compensation to purposely under / over expose. Finally you have control over in camera sharpening. To make changing settings easier, make sure to download the official GoPro App.

The new GoPro Hero3+ Cameras Are Shipping Now.

If you think the original Hero3 will be getting the same firmware upgrade, don’t hold your breathe – it might not happen. So for serious cinematographers who use the GoPro, there’s no doubt all of these new features for maximum image control distance the Hero3+ from the original Hero3 enough to easily justify an upgrade. If you haven’t already upgraded the firmware, check out the support page from the GoPro website (click here).

find-price-button GoPro Hero3+ Camera

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13Mar Using Camera Mode on MustHD LCD Monitor Prevent Recording Delay

A few DSLR Video cameras output a 1080i signal from the HDMI port for previewing, but the moment you hit record, the HDMI out drops down to 480 SD. Maybe the camera doesn’t have enough processing power, or maybe there’s some type of conspiracy going on. Either way, most LCD monitors will blank out for a second as it needs to detect the new video feed. A few monitors over the years have added certain features to prevent this, and you just need to find the right mode. In this video i’ll show you how it’s done on the MustHD M-501 HDMI LCD Monitor.

So if you are shopping for a monitor, and you happen to have a camera (mostly Canon) that drops the HDMI resolution when you hit record, make sure the monitor has a feature like this to prevent those types of drop outs. Hopefully this has been helpful.

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13Mar Kamerar QV-1 M LCD View Finder for Mirrorless Systems

For mirrorless shooters the built in EVF works wonders for photography. Still many will prefer to work with the rear LCD display and an LCD View Finder Loupe for video work. The problems is trying to find one that fits since typical mirrorless bodies are so compact. The new Kamerar QV-1 ‘M’ is a spin off the current QV-1 View Finder but with a new baseplate designed to take up the extra distance. Here’s a closer look in this video below.

This new baseplate is not just compatible with small cameras like the GH3, but should be seamless for the upcoming Pansonic GH4. Heck, it might even work with that new Nikon 1 V3 just announced. Here’s a few images below on how the Kamerar QV-1 M LCD View Finder also mounts perfectly to another very popular camera – the Sony A7 / A7r.

Kamerar QV-1 M on Sony A7
Kamerar QV1M LCD View Finder Sony A7 Mirrorless Gh4Sony A7r A7 LCD View Finder Loupe Kamerar QV-1 M

With the extra space compensated for, other small compact cameras will have an easier time getting this LCD View Finder to mount up. [Sorry still won't work for the BMPCC Camera] The QV-1 Quick Release Base (QB-15) allows a simple way to add 15mm rails to a compact camera system. More info following the jump (click here).

find-price-button Kamerar QV-1 M LCD ViewFinder for Compact Cameras

QV1 15mm rail kitQV1 Quick release base plate
find-price-button Optional 15mm Rail Kit for QV-1 M

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13Mar Nikon 1 V3 Mirrorless Digital Camera and Two NIKKOR Zooms

Nikon has announced an updated model in their mirrorless lineup. Still highly targeted towards photographers looking for a serious interchangeable lens compact, they have added a few improvements in HD Video.

find-price-button Nikon 1 V3 Mirrorless Digital Camera

There is quite a bit going on with the new announcement of the Nikon V1 V3 compact Mirrorless Digital Camera, that i’ll let the video below explain the details and highlights.

The video moves quick, but if i’m understanding this correctly a few highlights are that the new Nikon 1 V3 captures HD Video at 60fps, and 120fps in 720 for slow motion. While recording video, you can still capture full resolution images without interrupting your video recording. The camera uses a type of in-camera stabilization during video recording when using non Nikon lenses.

For stills auto focus speeds are improved, and you can get 20fps burst with Auto Focus and up to 60fps without AF. two new lenses announced are the NIKKOR VA-10-30 (27-81mm equivalent) and NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens (with a massive 189mm–810mm equivalent). Definitely not a camera targeted for specifically for filmmaking or cinema, but sounds like a great travel companion especially if you’re perhaps into sports or wildlife.

Nikon 1 V3 Digital Camera
NIKKOR 10-30mm
NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6

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12Mar FotoDiox Vizelex ND Throttle – Variable ND Lens Mount Adapter

If you’re shooting video outdoors on a bright day with a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, chances are you’re working with ND filters. ND Filters are essential to keep your shutter speeds down, while keeping your lens aperture wide open. One of the most annoying things of course is working with different lenses that each require different filter sizes and step up rings.

If you understand the frustration, then you’ll be interested in checking out the new Fotodiox Vizelex ND Throttle Lens Mount Adapter. Instead of placing a variable ND filter on the front of the lens, the variable ND filter is actually built into the lens adapter (located behind the lens).

The first version of the Fotodiox Vizelex ND Throttle available is only for Canon EOS to Sony E Mount. Example compatible cameras listed are the Sony NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-C3, NEX-5N, NEX-7, NEX-F3, NEX-5R, NEX-6, Sony NEX-VG10, NEX-VG20, NEX-VG30, NEX-VG900, NEX-FS100, NEX-FS700, NEX-EA50.

I don’t see why a variable ND filter lens mount can’t be made with M4/3 adapters, so hopefully that will follow up soon. Check out the product page for additional photos and specs for the new Fotodiox Vizelex ND Throttle (click here).

Canon eos-nex-pro-vzlx-thrtl-01 ND throttleCanon EOS EF to Sony NEX ND Variable lens Mount Vizelexeos-nex-pro-vzlx-thrtl-02 Cheesycam Fotodiox Lens Mount
find-price-button FotoDiox Vizelex Variable ND Throttle Canon EOS EF to Sony NEX E Mount Lens Adapter

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12Mar Affordable, High Quality HDSLR Rig Handles – HDSLRNOW

Here’s a short product overview shared with us by HDSLRnow for a set of highly adjustable rig handles. The handles can accept both 15mm and 19mm rails.

For more of these quick tips, follow HDSLRnow via Twitter. As far as the product goes, in the video I noticed the rails use a blue accent, but in the actual listing it shows all parts are accented in Red. Priced just under $200 dollars and found via ebay (here).

camtree-hunt-handle 2$_3
find-price-button 15mm / 19mm Adjustable Rig Handles

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