Tag Archives: Cheesycam

21 Comments

For those familiar with the 18" CFL Ring Light (especially those of you who have used it in production), you'll get a kick out this recent product. This new ePhoto R-640 LED Light takes the familiar form factor of the 18" CFL but replaces it with 640 High CRI LED Bulbs.

While I'm a big fan of the 18" CFL (compact fluorescent) version, it always needed to be plugged in to an AC wall outlet (no DC battery option). Also the fragile CFL bulb made it queestionable to travel with and use on location. This new R-640 LED Ring Light solves those issues by offering up long lasting durable LED bulbs and a 14V-15V DC input for optional battery power.

R640 LED Ring Light Test2 R640 LED Ring Light Test1 R640 LED Ring Light Test3
LED tests courtesy of Allied Scientific Pro Lighting Passport

The R-640 claims to use high quality LED bulbs, and our tests with the AlliedScientific Lighting Passport LED Light Meter showed excellent results. Tested at a distance of 3 Feet the R640 delivered a CRI rating of 95 / over 1670 LUX [155 FC] / and a color temp of 5400K. Not just a unique form factor that will allow for creative use, but also a great light at a great price, and for more information visit the product page (click here).

cn-r640-ringlight-for-dslr-filmmaking-1ePhoto r640 cn640 led video lightephoto led video ring light
find-price-button ePhoto R-640 18" LED Video Continous Ring LIght

If it's out of stock, here's a second link available on eBay (click here)

ePhoto R640 LED Video Lightcn-r640-ringlight-for-dslr-filmmaking-1ePhoto r640 cn640 led video light
find-price-button ePhoto R640 LED Video Ring Light

21 Comments

Last weekend, SatoStudios let me tag along out to a small car meet. They wanted to test out the CAME 7000 3 Axis gimbal Stabilizer I had built a few months ago. As a first time operator of this gimbal, here's a bit of the BTS footage Mike was able to pull off with his 5D Mark III + Canon 16-35mm.

Throughout the day the gimbal had it's share of issues, but when it was time to work it performed very well. If you notice from the video, it was fairly windy that day and the unit was not prone to swaying. Talking to Mike after the show, he's definitely sold on what gimbals can offer, but there are many quirks you have to be comfortable with.

DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Instruction Setup Program Software Cheesycam
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

If you're working with one camera + lens combo, you're good. If you have to do lens changes throughout the day, it takes time to rebalance. It's also not something you can just disassemble and throw in a backpack. When you're not actively shooting with it, you have to be mindful about carrying it around. It's also helpful to have an extra pair of hands (assistant) or a place to dock the Gimbal, as you physically can't hold the stabilizer while performing maintenance.

I'm definitely going to install an ON/OFF switch, as having to disconnect the battery throughout the day quickly became annoying. I'm also going to find the slimmest QR adapter available as changing camera batteries took time as we had to remount and rebalance.

So as a quick summary, gimbals are great and anyone who uses it for the first time will immediately be impressed. I will continue to use gimbals, and hopefully upgrade to more expensive gimbal systems as they become available. It's a different tool that can do what other tools can't, but you should not consider this a replacement for every other stabilizer, jib, or dolly system on the market. If you're thinking about building one, here's my first impressions article: http://cheesycam.com/came-7000-3-axis-gimbal-first-impression-and-demo-video/

There's more footage from the gimbal that is yet to be released from the show, but you can also follow via instagram @satostudios

satoinstagramsatostudios instagram
instagram logoFollow @SatoStudios via Instagram

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If you want to make Time Lapse with your GoPro Hero3 or SmartPhones a little more interesting you can add motion. Simple motion can add an entirely new dimension instead of your basic static shot, and this can be done without complicated rigs. With my iPhone i'm using iMotionHD & with my Android phone i'm using an app called DroidLapse. Here's a quick clip (below) I did while out in Monterey, CA using my Samsung Galaxy S4.

The easiest motion is panning, and although there are ways to build DIY contraptions with Egg Timers, today you can find a variety of off-the-shelf versions for under $30 dollars.

Time Lapse Egg Timer GoPro BlackMagic Pocket CinemaEgg Timer GoPro Panning Motiontime lapse panning egg time gh4 camera
find-price-button Rotating Panning For Time Lapse

This product is essentially a redesigned Egg Timer as you can still hear ticking and even rings a bell at the end of it's travel. It does offer a female 1/4 thread under the base for a small tripod, and a male 1/4"-20 stud to mount your camera. It is designed for small compact cameras and smart phones, and will rotate 360 degrees in 60 minutes.

You can find this product via eBay (click here).

GoPro Hero3+ Camera Time Lapse
find-price-button Rotating Panning For Time Lapse


[Example Flow Mow via YouTube]

If you want something that pans slower, the Flow-Mow product states it takes 120 minutes (2 Hours) to rotate a full 360 degrees and even shows that it's capable of supporting a small mirror less camera (found here).

Flow Mow Time LapseFlow Mow Mirrorless Camera
find-price-button Flow-Mow 360 Degree 2 Hour Panning Timelapse Base

18 Comments

FYi, a few weeks back I did an overview of the CAME 6000 2 Axis Active Stabilized Gimbal. My initial impressions were that the unit worked very well with my Panasonic GH3, but was awkward with only a single top handle. I immediately 'modded' my own side handles to the unit.

came 6000 upgraded side handles
find-price-button UPGRADED CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

I guess they thought it was a good enough idea to now offer an upgraded version of this Gimbal with two new side handles. Great to see this company is fairly quick to respond to customer feedback. Unfortunately it does add a bit more to the original price, but unless you already had a set of handles, you'd probably end up spending the extra costs anyhow.

came gimbal rear battery door
find-price-button UPGRADED CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

BTW, the rear door of the battery tray can also be removed if you want to add a larger RC battery. You can see the new version added to their website page (here)

Came 6000 DSLR Video GimbalRTR Gimbal Ready to run
find-price-button UPGRADED CAME 6000 Upgraded Version 2 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

57 Comments

The new CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer does very well to keep a camera's horizon level. It's dead quiet, and easy to balance small DSLR sized cameras. The brushless motors are covered, the wiring is run internally to the Carbon tubes, battery is covered, and control board is covered. Aesthetically this system looks simple, and is simple to use. For the price, it's certainly not the cheapest when you look at DIY kits, but for some people the RTR (ready to run) convenience is a plus. The biggest downfall is the lack of side handles.

Brushless Motor Gimbal CAME 6000 CheeyscamCame 6000 2 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal DSLR Video
find-price-button CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

Only a few hours after receiving the unit from CAME-TV.com, I was already modifying a set of side handles. Eventually my plan is to create a solid metal 90 degree clamp to add a 15mm rail (as seen below).
CAME 6000 15mm Clamp Side Handle Adapter CheesycamCheesycam DIY handles Gimbal Stabilizer
15mm Rail Adapter Concept - cheesycam.com

Until then, i'm using a simple 3/8" conduit clamp attached to a single 15mm rail clamp with a 1/4-20 thread (seen here). A small bolt runs through with a series of lock washers to prevent it from coming loose. Using a 15mm rail opens up new options for adding other industry standard accessories. Additionally i'm hiding the top 1/4" bolt by mounting a mini ball head for a monitor. Not too shabby for the time being..

Cheesycam Axis Gimbal DIY Stabilizer

After configuring the side handles, we took the CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal out for a walk with a Panasonic GH3 mounted. [ Note: The video below contains some very boring 5 minute walking material. ]. It's easy for companies to pick out only the best footage of their products in use, so in this video we decided to show UNCUT FOOTAGE and the BTS from this sample.

If you manage to make it through the boring part, you'll see transitions from normal shots, to low angle (doggy cam) footage, and even doing some (rookie) hand offs to another operator as the Gimbal becomes too heavy to manage after a few minutes. Simple moves, but almost impossible to perform with your average stabilizer a.k.a steadicam type device.

Although our technique, skill, and experience with gimbals is far from perfect, this modified CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal for the most part did it's job to keep the horizon level. Keep in mind in this example we're continuously walking all in one take - something that may not be too common in your production. Typically we're just looking for an effective way to stabilize hand held video when working off of a tripod, and I think this tool does very well in that sense. In worst case scenarios, there's also the option of adding post image stabilization which will I think will be more effective when shooting 4K video > 1080p (i.e. cropping, leveling horizons, etc.)

I'm a fan of working with smaller tools whenever possible, so I also like how compact this system is. It folds down with a low profile, and we have even managed to fit it into one our cheap hard cases (found here), with room to spare if I wanted to throw in the HDMI monitor, and more.

gimbal hard caseaxis gimbal stabilizer casecheap case cheesycam

Here's an old video for reference on how I go about balancing these gimbals (click here). I do believe that if CAME-TV wants to sell more of this particular stabilizer, they should really look into adding side handles, but until then it's not too difficult to DIY your own. You can find the CAME 6000 2 Axis Gimbal over at their website http://CAME-TV.com or also found via eBay (click here).

2 Axis Stabilizer Gimbal Brushess MotorBattery Gimbal Stabilizer ControllerCAME Gimbal Stabilizer
find-price-button CAME 6000 2-Axis Active Gimbal Stabilizer

6 Comments

A few weeks ago, I had a comment-chat if a BMCC can fly on a CAME 5000 gimbal. So four of us guys spent over half an hour trying to stuff the BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera into this CAME 5000 Gimbal, but clearly it was not meant to work. The BMCC is just too wide from the center mount, and to compensate we tried adding a quick release plate sideways. After failing, we decided to give it a run with an unbalanced setup. Here are the results.

Surprisingly the horizon stayed just about perfectly level the entire time, but you can see how it struggled with the panning stabilization. Of course if I really wanted to, I can add post stabilization to the footage and it may not be so noticeable. Had I disabled the pan stabilization, I think this would have been a perfectly acceptable run. On lighter camera setups like the GH3, the results have been very good, but I can't suggest the CAME 5000 3 Axis Gimbal with anything more than an average DSLR.

17 Comments

It seem like every time I post a video stabilizer review, I often receive the same question - 'How can you adjust focus?'. Typically i'll just answer this question by replying with a text comment, but i'm sure it's still not very clear. Hopefully this article can help visualize a few ways focus can be achieved when a camera is balanced on a stabilizer, thrown on a video crane, or other device where adjusting the lens would be cumbersome or impossible.

One option to adjust focus (without physically touching the lens) can be by use of an electronic follow focus system. In the video below, Vimeo member Nicholas D shares how he's setup his camera on a SteddiePod Stabilizer with a Cinematics USB follow focus [Thanks Nick]. The USB systems will be limited, as they will only work with certain cameras (mostly Canon) and only with compatible auto focus lenses - not manual lenses.

Barber Tech SteddiePod
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Barber Tech SteddiePod
Cinematics USB Follow Focus
find-price-button
Cinematics USB Follow Focus

An alternative could be to use dedicated Wired or Wireless electronic follow focus systems attached to the outside lens gear. The benefits to these systems is that they can be used with pretty much any lens that supports manual focus. The throw can be remapped for shorter or longer focus movements at the dial, and higher end systems allow to you store focus points. The full wireless systems are helpful when you need another person to manage focus so that the camera operator can move about freely.

If you plan to work with a Wireless Follow Focus, Camera Motion Research has announced the new Radian Pro kits that will send a Wireless HD Video stream via HDMI to a remote monitor. There are ways to achieve this through a DIY solution, but the Radian Pro claims to use a more commercial version transmitter / receiver that can transmit through a broader range of channels for longer distance, low latency, and clearer image. The Radian Pro is available in both a Unicast or MultiCast version (multiple video streams).

For myself, I may not use a WFF for every project, but I do use Wireless Video when operating on longer cranes/jibs or even just to share a feed for others to view (so they aren't hanging over your shoulder). Add a remote Pan/Tilt head to this combination, and you'll be able to man a camera from a distance away while focusing and zooming. Great when you have to leave a camera somewhere you can't be seen like on stage, or perhaps even at a church during a wedding, or in the middle of a racetrack.

Sorry for the lack of great examples, but hopefully this article is somewhat helpful and gives you ideas of what you can do with such tools. Remember that these are not limited to just these types of Stabilizers (a.k.a Steadicam). These are the same tools that can be used on those amazing Brushless Motor Camera Gimbal Stabilizers everyone has been recently obsessed about.

radian1rp10
find-price-button Camera Motion Research Radian Pro Wireless HD Video Kit via HDMI

15 Comments

Cheesycam GoPro Hero3+ Camera

Announced first thing this morning, and already my new GoPro Hero3+ Camera is in hand. Immediately I can see the buttons are designed differently than the previous Hero3 along with the housing. The lens cover has also been changed. I'll dig a bit more and post a few updates soon...

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The new GoPro Hero3+ Cameras Are Shipping Now.

45 Comments

I just recently received two BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Cameras earlier today. So I decided to unbox one and start shooting around, but noticed some very odd lines in the screen. When I played it back on my screen the lines were very apparent. They are so prominent even focus peaking picks up on the vertical lines. Here's a video explaining the issue.

I'm not new to this camera, in fact I shot for an entire week with a previous BMPCC. I looked through every setting, but because of the weird colors it is reproducing I can't imagine it being related to a simple setting in the menu. My fear is this camera has a bad sensor and just needs to be sent back and replaced. Or maybe i'm just a complete idiot and i'm just missing something.

I really want to love this camera, and was so excited that two of my orders arrived, but the hoops I have to jump through keep adding up. What do you guys think about this issue?

Here's a sample video from the camera and if you look closely you can see the vertical lines. You can also download the original video from Vimeo to playback in full ProRes on your system by (clicking here).