DIY Video and Photography Projects

16Jul Name the new Konova Auto Panning Slider


Konova has recently released a new slider that automatically pans keeping your subject in frame. The name of the new product is still yet to be determined – by YOU. If your suggestion is chosen you could win $1400 worth of Konova stuff. Here’s a short clip on how the slider works.

Apparently suggesting a name is only part of the process, you’ll still need to gather ‘likes’ on your comment to win. The new product is designed to work as an add-on with existing Konova Sliders and will set you back approx. $400 dollars (without slider). Pre-orders will save you -$50 OFF right now at the product page (found here).

Konova-auto-panning-head
Konova Auto Panning System on Konova K Slider

So if you’re looking to win or just have fun join in on all the crazy / silly name dropping and find out more information over at the Konova Facebook post following the link (click here)

Konova Name Slider Auto Panning
Name the new Konova Auto Panning Slider

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16Jul 50% OFF BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera + FREE Batteries


Big news, right now you can save 50% OFF the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera (Body). I never thought to see a price drop this low and this soon for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – especially following a recent firmware update. Either the new GH4 camera has affected sales on the BMPCC or could this mean there’s something new around the corner..

Here’s a recent press release that adds even MORE functionality to this amazing little camera. More file formats allowing for longer recording times on the same cards!

[Update] Blackmagic Design Announces New Apple ProRes™ formats for all Blackmagic Design Cameras
Fremont, CA – July 17, 2014 – Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of Camera 1.8.2 software which adds three new Apple ProRes™ file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. Camera 1.8.2 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic Design camera customers have always been able to record in both CinemaDNG RAW or compressed ProRes 422 HQ formats, however now this new software update adds three additional Apple ProRes™ file formats, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy. This means customers using Blackmagic Design cameras will be able to get significantly smaller video file sizes allowing much longer recording durations on the same media card, all while preserving full frame 10-bit 4:2:2 quality.

Because this update is available to our camera customers free of charge, they simply need to download it, and install the update from their Mac or Windows machine using a simple USB cable connection to the camera. Once the update is complete, customers will see these new formats available in the camera menus.

Because this update reduces the data rate of recording, it means customers can now choose lower cost SSD or SD cards while still recording high quality video in SD, HD and Ultra HD resolutions. Using ProRes 422 Proxy it is possible to record 230 minutes of 1080HD video on a single 64GB SD drive. Selecting the type of ProRes format for recording can be set via the on screen menus and all ProRes types can be played back instantly.

The Apple ProRes 422 formats are designed specifically for multi-stream non linear editing, minimal generation loss and fast export, making them very popular video file formats for post production and broadcast. All ProRes files recorded with Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K can be opened directly in DaVinci Resolve 11 and Apple Final Cut Pro X™ for immediate color correction, editing and finishing.

“We are extremely excited to release this next update for our camera customers ,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “With the addition of the 3 new ProRes formats, cinematographers can now record for longer on low cost SSD’s and SD cards without sacrificing image quality, as they are still recording in full 10 bit 4:2:2 quality. Because our cameras feature a software centric design, we are very excited to be able to update our cameras with more and more features over time and make the cameras better and better! And there is more to come!”

In any case, this is a great deal and a camera I still use quite often. Here’s the link to a few different places all knocked down 50% OFF.

blackmagic bmpcc camera50 off BlackMagic
find-price-button Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera + FREE Batteries


find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – via Amazon


find-price-button BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera – via B&H

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15Jul Unboxing CAME 7500 Ready To Run 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer


Now that CAME-TV is offering up several different gimbal options, the popular question right now is whether to go with the 7000 or the 7500 model. The CAME-TV 7500 model is listed as a ‘Ready to Run 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer’. Price is just $200 dollars more than the DIY 7000 Kit.

CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal Satostudios
@Satostudios BTS with CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

Though it’s delivered mostly assembled, many parts are left loose for you to adjust and balance your camera. Once you have your camera balanced, it’s a good idea to run through and make sure that every bolt is tightened up. This is VERY CLOSE to the 7000 32 Bit DIY model with a few exceptions. The big difference with the 7500 (as opposed to 7000) is that you don’t need to build it yourself.

The CAME 7500 will also come preloaded with a few different profiles that are loaded by clicking on the center of the joystick. [NOTE: The video I share above was an earlier model, so your profiles may be different]. Aside from paying extra for a preconfigured system, they claim the CAME-TV 7500 model is using more powerful motors and also provide a case mounted to the back to protect the control board with an ON/OFF rocker switch. Considering there are not many ‘32 bit’ complete gimbals coming in at this price this is a great addition for those who don’t want to build it themselves.

CAME 7500 3 Axis RTR Gimbalcame 7500 ready to run 3 axis stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV 7500 32 Bit Ready to Run Gimbal Stabilizer

Now just because the system comes assembled or ‘Ready to Run’, it will still benefit you greatly to have an understanding of the different parts, pieces, and software configurations in case you need to troubleshoot or fine tune for your different applications. I would suggest that you continue checking in with my sub-website at http://gimbal.cheesycam.com.

For more information about the CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal, check out the website (click here)

ready to run gimbal 3 axis dslr canon gh4CAME 7500 Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button CAME-TV 7500 3 Axis Gimbal RTR

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08Jul DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer


In case you felt there weren’t enough options for motorized gimbal stabilizers, the latest DJI Ronin should begin shipping in just a few weeks. Introduced earlier this year at NAB2014, the new Ronin can support anything from a small micro four thirds camera up to a 16lb payload and comes with Auto Tuning software when which they say may not even require you to pre-balance the camera (of course it will always be better to).

If you’re working with a small setup, i’m not sure if the price and the size of the Ronin will be appealing, but for cinematographers who need access to a gimbal capable of flying a heavy Camera system there were not many Gimbal systems that could compete at the same level as the expensive MOVI.

Typically the MOVI stabilizer systems are rented, but now for under $4500 $2999 dollars I think many of those professionals would rather own the tool. The new DJI Ronin is available now for Pre-order and begins shipping in August 2014 (found here).

DJI-Ronin Gimbal
find-price-button DJI Ronin 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

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08Jul FotoDiox Excell+1 Nikon or Canon FD ‘Boosted’ Adapter


With either the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema or Micro Four Thirds cameras, you can always benefit from faster aperture lenses and wider field of views. Here’s the latest lens adapter release from FotoDiox. The new Fotodiox Excell +1 adapter is similar to other Focal Reducer (Boosted) adapters that will give you a wider field of view and a faster aperture with Nikon or Canon FD Lenses. Right now it’s only available for Micro Four Thirds mount which include the new GH4 or BlackMagic Pocket Cinema camera.

According to the Fotodiox deal, if you order between now and July 22nd to get your own Excell + 1 Lens Adapter and FREE Light Cannon Creative Adapter (available only while supplies last). Find out more information following the link (click here).

Fotodiox Nikon to MFT M43 GH4 BMPCC Lens AdapterFotodiox Turbo Lens booster Speed Focal reducer Excell 1
find-price-button FotoDiox Excell +1 Micro Four Thirds Lens Adapter Nikon / Canon FD

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08Jul Zoom H5 Portable Audio Recorder In Stock


If you’ve always wanted to ugprade from the Zoom H4n your next choice was the $400 dollar Zoom H6. Well finally the latest and more affordable H5 portable audio recorder from Zoom is finally in stock today via B&H. Similar to the more expensive Zoom H6, the new H5 carries the same quality preamps and compatible with the Zoom line of Modular Micrphones.

Product Details
The H5 Handy Recorder from Zoom is a portable handheld recorder that features an interchangeable microphone system. The recorder ships with an XY microphone capsule and is compatible with the existing line of H6 modules including the optional shotgun mic and XLR/TRS input modules.

The H5 will ship with an XY stereo microphone module that features a built-in shockmount system and a 140dB maximum SPL. The recorder is also equipped with two inputs for external sources, allowing you to record simultaneously with the included stereo XY mic for a total of four input channels. Each input is controllable by its own analog gain knob.

zoom h5 h6 mid side miczoom shotgun microphonezoom xlr mic input
Optional Modular Mic Input System – Midside Mic, Shotgun, Dual XLR Input

The recorder also has an LCD screen and a side-mounted toggle control for navigating through the menu options. It gives you fast access to transport functions, offering physical control buttons right underneath the screen, and conveniently stores its recorded audio to external SD cards.

Built to many of the same specs as the H6 including:
•Same S/N ratio and maximum gain as H6
•Headphone output for monitoring
•Stereo line output for connecting to your camera
•Supports +4dB input

Zoom H5 Portable Audio RecorderZoom H5 Portable Recorder
find-price-button Zoom H5 Portable Audio Recorder Modular Mic System

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01Jul Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer – New Folding Design


Varavon’s ‘Ready to Run’ Birdycam 3 Axis Gimbal stabilizer was slated to start shipping today (July 1st), but has recently announced a small delay. The new estimated shipping date is set around July 4th. Now before anyone starts throwing a tantrum, I think they have good reason. The newly added folding handle feature should make it worth the wait. Here’s a few photos below.

Varavon Birdy Cam 3 Axis Stabilizer 32 bit alexmos
Varavon BirdyCam Gimbal Stabilizer

The new folding handles should make the 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer easier to travel with. One of the problems with other gimbal systems is the odd dimensions which make it harder to travel with and to find a decent case.

Varavon also mentioned a battery change to a single battery instead of two separate smaller batteries. Hopefully we’ll see these units ship in just a few days, more info found at the product page (click here).

varavon birdycam pre-orderpreorder birdycam varavon 3 axis gimbal stabilizer
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer – PreOrder

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01Jul Softbox and Bracket for F&V R-300 LED Ring Lights


The portable and small R-300 LED ring lights from F&V carry about about the same power as a large 1×1 LED panel in a much more travel friendly form factor. Though it can be used on camera as a ring light, it’s just as effective when used in a 3 piece lighting kit set on stands.

R300_Banner
find-price-button F&V R-300 LED Video Ring Light

If you need a softer more diffused light from the R-300, there is a new Portable Softbox kit available.

r-300 led light softboximg_0394
find-price-button Soft Box and Bracket for R-300 LED Ring Light

Product description:
The R-300 Soft Box will allow you to modify your light, creating a larger, soft, single source light. This becomes the perfect solution for interviews, portraits, and product photography. Your imagination is the limit to this tool’s application. The soft box also comes packaged with a velcro honey comb which allows you to focus the light’s beam and reduce spill.

softbox grid r300 light
find-price-button Soft Box and Bracket for R-300 LED Ring Light

The R-300 Soft Box is made from a thick, high-quality nylon. Four large flaps in the back make it easy to install the soft box rods and R-300 w/ Bracket. A designated notch in one of the flaps makes accessing your R-300’s dimmer knob easy.

The R-300 mounts to a matte-black, aluminum bracket system which functions as the soft box’s speed ring. On this bracket are four receptacles that hold the soft box rods. The bracket has a 5/8” stud that allows you to mount the soft box system using a c-stand or universal holder. The center of this 5/8” stud is hollow which allows you to mount a translucent or reflective umbrella to the unit.

For more information about the Softbox and Bracket kit for the R-300 LED Ring light visit the F&V website (click here).

led lighting r300 umbrella Soft Box and bracket r-300 led light
find-price-button Soft Box and Bracket for R-300 LED Ring Light

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01Jul Fhugen Honu v2.0 Cage for Sony A7s (A7/A7r)


What are the most popular small cameras today? I think it’s the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7s. So here’s a bit of good news if you end up with one of these, or maybe even both. The popular Fhugen Honu Cage for the GH3/GH4 camera has recently been ‘modified’ to work with both the GH4 and new Sony A7s (along with A7/A7r) camera bodies.

honu gh4 sony a7 panasonic v2

In order to make it compatible for both camera bodies, a slight change has been made in the battery cutout which allows easy access to both the GH4 and Sony A7s battery tray. The once dedicated camera mount has been ’slotted’ so that the camera screw can be adjusted forward or back to accommodate the small Sony A7s.
fhugen honu gh4 sony a7s a7r a7
Keep in mind that with the larger battery cutout and the slotted camera mount, the cage is more likely to be compatible with other small camera bodies on the market. The new Fhugen Honu V2.0 cage is available following the link (click here).

honu_v2_specs
find-price-button Fhugen Honu Cage v2 for Panasonic GH3/ GH4 & Sony A7s/ A7 / A7r

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24Jun Rokinon 10mm F/2.8 Prime Lens for Micro Four Thirds


Here’s a very quick look at the new Rokinon 10mm F/2.8 Prime Lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. This lens mounts directly to MFT cameras such as the GH3/GH4/ or BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

I was looking for a lens that could offer a wider field of view over my 12-35mm F/2.8, but after receiving the lens I was a bit disappointed. The size of the lens and lack of front filter threads made it harder to work with than my existing lenses.

Rokinon 10mm Lens
find-price-button Rokinon 10mm F/2.8 MFT Prime Lens

Considering it lacks image stabilization and is priced at over $520 dollars, if you’re looking for a good Rokinon MFT Prime Lens for video I think the better choice would be with the Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 for $399.

Rokinon 12mm F2
find-price-button Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 MFT Prime Lens

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20Jun DIY Build Videos – CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer


Today i’ve released several videos showing the assembly of the CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer. The videos start from basic assembly to basic PID tuning (very basic), and a few personal tweaks. It’s a work in progress but for those who have just decided to pick up a CAME 7000 DIY gimbal kit, it should be a good start.

I’ve also broken up the videos into several parts, so that it’s easier to skip certain sections if you’re already half way through your build. As more questions come in, hopefully I will be able to add more and more useful content and refine each of the build instructions.

build gimbal  build came 700 3 axis gimbal  install gimbal joystick  default

In order to keep all of the questions, comments, answers, and other information centralized, i’ve set up a separate page for the videos and articles at http://gimbal.cheesycam.com.

gimbal cheesycam came 7000 build 3 axis DIY brushless
DIY Build Info 3 Axis Gimbal – visit Gimbal.Cheesycam.com

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18Jun Lighting Passport iOS iPhone iPod LED Spectrometer Light Meter


An interview with Luc from Allied Scientific Pro about the Lighting Passport Smartphone LED Spectrometer. This light meter connects to your iPhone / iPod Touch via bluetooth and can capture, save, and share results better than any other LED spectrometer on the market today.

More information about the LED light meter can be found at the Allied Scientific Pro website (click here).

iphone light meter video cri meter ipod touch
Lighting Passport iPhone / iPod Touch Smartphone LED Light Meter

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18Jun TIP: Ultra Wide Angle Lens for Panasonic GH4 Camera Defish Fisheye


One of the concerns with shooting on micro four thirds is with it’s cropped view. In addition, shooting at 4K on the GH4 camera will further crop your view. If you follow the blog, you would have seen me testing some de-fishing techniques using a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens. Though not perfect, i’ve been able to use this for some smaller projects with acceptable results. Check out the video below for examples.


[Tip: When using this technique with a person, keep a distance and place them in center frame whenever possible. Side distortion is not always flattering..]

Though not a perfect solution, this sub $300 dollar lens defished is still capable of capturing a wider field of view than the $1K 7-14mm F/4 Lumix. Of course with the defish technique your project will look it’s best at a final output of 1080p. Here are a few screengrabs showing how much view is lost during the defish process.

fisheye
Original Fisheye View – GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish
4K Defished to 1080p – GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

fisheye-master
Original Fisheye View – GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

defish-master
4K Defished to 1080p – GH4 7.5mm MFT Fisheye

The small form factor and light weight also make it easy to carry and perfect for small stabilizers. So if you’re shooting with a GH4 and have to work with interior or tight spaces, defishing from a 4K file is an interesting option to be aware of. Definitely a lens GH4 shooters should have in their bag, and available for just under $300 (click here).

Rokinon Fisheye MFT Micro four thirds fish eye lens cheesycam GH4 defish lens
find-price-button Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens for MFT Cameras

Panasonic GH4 order stock inventory
find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 MFT 4K Camera

FCPX has it’s own fisheye plugin, but may not work very well for some corrections. You can also check out the FCPEffects Plugin to remove the Fisheye Look (found here).

Fisheye-Removal-Plugin_mediumfisheye plugin video
find-price-button FCPX Fisheye Removal Plugin

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16Jun BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Cage Top Handle 15mm Rails


BlackMagic Design FancierStudio Fancier Studio cage pocket cinema

Though we are seeing dozens of BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera cages already available, if you’re looking for a complete kit with Form-Fitting Cage, Top Handle, Cold Shoe Mounts, and a set of 15mm Rails, it’s hard to beat the price of this new FancierStudio BMPCC Cage. Just under $120 and Free Shipping (for Prime members) via Amazon (click here).

blackmagic pocket cinema cagefancierstudio cage
find-price-button FancierStudio BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Cage

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12Jun New Radian Pro Mini TX Backbone for Wireless HD Video Transmitter


If you’re looking for a lightweight setup to send your HD feed wirelessly, Camera Motion Research has released a new Mini Back Bone for their Radian Pro Wireless HD Video Transmitter. The backbone itself is more compact in design, is now made from Delrin instead of metal, and also includes a lighter more compact battery. Aside from being used with the Radian transmitter, these backbones can be used with Paralinx, IDX-Cw-1, and Nyrius Aries Pro transmitters.

Product Description:
The mini TX Backbone requested by customers wanting the smallest and lightest transmitter package with self-contained power is now available. The mini TX Backbone is made from machined delrin , and our chrome plated spring steel battery clip. It has two ¼-20 mounting holes. The MINI TX Backbone uses a smaller lithium battery that powers the transmitter for over 3 hours. The battery has an on/off switch , and a very accurate digital display of remaining % power, that indicates both during powering, and during charging. The MINI TX BackBone kit ships with one battery, USB power cable, anodized aluminum thumb stud and hot shoe mount for an introductory price of $99. Additional batteries are $25 (visit website here).

Radian Pro Mini TX Backbone
find-price-button CMR Radian Pro Mini TX Backbone

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12Jun Joy Ride – 32 bit 3 Axis Gimbal with Electric Skateboard


I thought i’d test out how well I have things balanced out with the GH4 and Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens. A few notes – the Rokinon lens is a manual lens with no image stabilization and although parts of this video have been sped up, there is absolutely no image stabilization applied. I’m also holding the gimbal only by it’s Top handle. As I reach speeds up to 20mph there is plenty of wind resistance. Considering these factors – I think it faired well.

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