The idea to create an external power pack was to wire up a dummy battery into the camera and connect a 7.4v rechargeable RC battery. That voltage would be the same as the original camera battery (for canon), so ideally this should work. I mentioned the idea after seeing Swintronix and posted an article here: https://cheesycam.com/a-diy-canon-dslr-power-pack/
Well Levi V. takes on the external DSLR power pack project with success. After receiving a generic battery pack that used different batteries than his T2i, he decided to hack it up to accept external power from a common RC battery. I've heard that this voltage can also be used on the Lilliput monitor, and on the Z96 LED video lights. As long as you calculate the amps in your power source, there's no reason you couldn't power them all with splitters. You can find out more information about Levi created his from the video above. If you're not into cracking batteries, you can start with the generic AC adapter for Canon cameras and just use the dummy battery terminal for your lead wire. That would make the process much simpler to attach your RC battery. [Thanks Levi]
I've seen a few cheap DSLR related items spin off into some success. Here's another new stabilizer on the market that I think is going to have a good future. It's coming in at $99 bucks available on Amazon and $99 on eBay with Free Shipping. Although the price is going to help make it popular, it helps to be designed fairly similar to another rig that goes for more than $250 dollars. Designed with aluminum and stainless steel, it can adjust your camera forward/back, left/right for an offset, up/down, and also can be modified for left or right shoulder shooting. A good 1" thick foam shoulder pad with metal shoulder support, i'm thinking it would be a great platform for drilling in accessory mounts. The handle can also be removed for going uber-simple.
The description claims a 'hands free' solution, but i'm curious if it really has that ability. If it does, then it's going to give the cheap plastic $24.00 dollar shoulder support a good run for the money. I should have my hands on one soon to be used with my new Sony A55. Looks like it will be an excellent light weight camera stabilizer for other cameras like the Panasonic GH1/GH2, Canon T2i, or Nikon D3100, but it does claim to be able to support up to 20lbs of weight.
Thanks to Eric S. for sharing his DIY view finder mount. For real running and gunning, it's quite a pain in the a$$ having an LCD Viewfinder fall off so easily. Some inexpensive DSLR LCD ViewFinders use a metal sticky frame that allows the magnets of the view finder to stay in place. The most common problem with these are when the adhesive of the metal frame comes off with too much time in the sun. Once that metal frame is off, you'll be stuck without a way to mount your view finder for the rest of the shoot.
On this site people have shared ways to use a high quality Glass LCD Protector and permanently fixing the LCD ViewFinder. Epoxy is a good choice. Curious if there's one that would be a close fit to a Canon 60D... It's an excellent idea on providing a super solid hold while still allowing for a fast way on and a fast way off the camera. For those who aren't familiar with making a DIY LCD Viewfinder Quick Release, this is a look at the final build using information from this article. https://cheesycam.com/new-glass-lcd-protector-canon-nikon/
Martin Roberts is at it again with his interestingly suspenseful DIY videos. A short while back, he showed us a build video with his light portable DIY Crane, and this time he's back working on a lightweight camera slider. The entire video doesn't just show a budget DIY in the works, but is also shot using some budget techqniques. A bike LED lamp for lighting, a DIY crane for some shots, Canon T2i, the uber cheap Canon 50mm F/1.8 lens, Macro step up filters, and even the Sony NEX-5 was used.
Ok, just to say I tried, here's a video trying to explain what I do to balance a stabilizer like the Glidecam or Flycam. This is one video I never wanted to do, because there are so many good ones already on the web. If you can find the videos on how to balance a Glidecam, that's pretty much the same thing for the Flycam. There is one thing those other videos don't talk about, and you'll hear me stress this several several times in the video. This most worthy tip comes in after 5:20 when I talk about moving the sled slightly upwards to reduce that awful rocking motion while you walk. The biggest problem with people trying to balance stabilizers is that they believe they need to really load up on the bottom weight to get the camera to stand upright. That's not true at all. You'll notice I begin to dial things in when my stabilizer is slightly at an angle. Once the stabilizer is at an angle, DO NOT ADD MORE WEIGHTS! Start adjusting the top stage to center the camera. If you can't seem to balance the camera by moving it on the stage, remember that the bottom weights can also be shifted back and forth to get the camera to stick upright.
Ok, now that the camera is upright and you think you have it ready to fly, check to see if it starts swaying. If the stabilizer is swaying side to side (like a boat in the ocean), then move the sled just millimeters upwards. Try try again and do it by just millimeters at a time. For the Steadicam Merlin - you will need to adjust the 'arch'. If you own one, you'll know what i'm talking about. The Arch is similar to the Glidecam Sled. Lower it and you'll be making it more bottom heavy. Close the Arch and you'll make it 'less bottom heavy'. For the Steadicam Merlin and Steadicam JR, you can also 'unthread' the Gimbal Handle. This is a design that Steadicam uses to change the center balance ever so slightly by unscrewing the handle. Balancing stabilizers takes patience and practice. Of course a few prayers and a three wolf moon shirt might help you get there faster.
The Flycam Nano video I posted recently with the Canon 60D + Sigma 20mm seems to have been a big hit. eBay seemed to have sold quite a few of them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they would be out of stock soon. It's happened a few times before. After posting my video with the Nano there were tons of questions about the Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm lens combo and if it would fly. The Tokina 11-16mm is an awesome lens for you who aren't familiar with it and it can maintain an aperture of F/2.8 throughout it's range - good for low light stuff. It's one of the top favorites for cropped cameras and wide angle flying stabilizers. (Note: Available for Nikon and Sony also, but won't work on Full Frame cams)
I've worked with many different stabilizers and had no doubt that it could fly this weight with ease, but for many of you 'seeing is believing'. Actually I wished I tried this combination earlier as it seems to fly much better than the 60D + Sigma 20mm. The reason why it would fly better is because of the weight. One of the top stabilizer tips I always give out is that you should really load up your stabilizer. Sometimes I'll add weights to the top of the camera and then compensate with more weights at the bottom, just so that I can make it overall heavier. The bearing handles on these stabilizers are very strong, and my experience with stabilizers are that they just fly so much smoother when the bearings are loaded up (especially on windy days). So here it is, and I've included in the video my secret recipe of weights and position for this combination, and also the secret power hidden in the Three Wolf and a Moon shirt (gag gift).
If you're not familiar with the shirt, the history is that someone posted a funny 'review' and then thousands of others followed with their own 'gag review'. It became so viral, you'll now see this available on XBOX controllers, iPhone skins, Laptop cases, and has even been featured in Television Shows like 'The Office'. This is also another great inexpensive 'Gag Gift' to consider this holiday season for your co-workers and close friends. You have to check out some of the Customer Reviews on Amazon.com and also the uploaded 'Customer Images' found here: The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee Hilarious!!
I'm sure you're all planning on gathering up a ton of photos and videos this holiday season, and BorrowLenses.com is looking to hook you up. Not just Photography stuff, BorrowLenses.com has a HUGE amount of video gear, including microphones, field monitors, stabilizers, lighting and more. With the right rental selection you can grab yourself a 7-day Rental for the Price of 3 Days. That's right, you can get UP TO 4 days free if you do the following:
1. Order a 3-day rental that begins Monday, November 22nd.
2. Type the phrase "Turkeytime" into the coupon box before checkout.
3. Return the gear to us the following Monday, the 29th. That's 7 days for the price of 3!
4. Read the fine print below for more details.
A few more bit of information to know: This discount applies only to 3-day orders that would normally end on November 25th through November 27th. The coupon code "Turkeytime" must be used. Cannot be used with other coupons or offers. You will only receive 4 days free if your 3-day rental begins November 22nd. There you go fellas, check out the selection and see what you might be able to take advantage of this Holiday from BorrowLenses.com.
Looking to get into DSLR videography, or stepping into DSLR photography for the first time? The Canon T2i is no slacker, but the recent release of the Canon 60D for a few dollars more did steal some of that thunder. Well right now the Canon T2i has dropped even lower putting some spotlight back on this little work horse. You'll have to go through the steps of adding it into your Shopping Cart before seeing the final price, but if you're looking for a first time DSLR, or another backup DSLR the Canon T2i at this sale price should meet your needs. Student film makers and photographers might need to hit up the folks for an early gift. Sale price following the link: Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Image stabilization or 'IS' is what Canon calls it, Vibration Compensation or 'VC' is a Tamron term, and Anti Shake 'OS' a.k.a Optical Stabilization is Sigma's phrase. Yeah that last one didn't match up very well, but it's an all important feature for today's run and gun hand held DSLR video renegades. It's also going to provide you with sharper images in low light situations when you can't use flash. When photographing with an Image Stabilized lens, you can also keep some of that ISO noise down. Sure a fast F/2.8 or better will help get that light through, but Image Stabilization is equally as important. Which lens is right for you? In today's economy, that question often comes down to 'What price is right for you'. So what's the options for Wide lenses between 16-55mm with a fast F/2.8? Here's the top three for Canon DSLR's (not full frame).
First is of course Canon's 17-55mm with IS. Some say it's super sharp, and built with such quality it should be labeled with other 'L' class lenses, but Canon doesn't seem to stamp L on any of their EF-S mount. Of course, it's also priced close to other L lenses so it's above what some young shooters want to invest.
Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS Zoom
I'm going to throw off the order of things and skip down straight to most inexpensive. If you're looking for the cheapest price, Tamron has been doing well with today's market and offers a 17-50mm F/2.8 with VC (Vibration Control) that has worked very effectively for me on my 18-270mm. Some may argue it's not better than Canon, but I find that the VC with Tamron is super quiet compared to the IS on some Canon lenses (especially the 24-105mm).
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II VC
Here's the middle ground in the top three list of fast wide lenses offering Image Stabilization. Although i'm talking about Canon options, keep in mind that both the Tamron and Sigma are available in other makes such as Nikon and Sony. The Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 is still incredibly cheaper than the Canon 17-55mm and just slightly more than the Tamron 17-50mm. This is one of Sigma's recent lenses offering a 17-50mm F/2.8 with OS. Sigma's been getting great reviews as of late, and their designs keep getting better. Normally Sigma's are way over priced compared to the Tamron brand, but in this range of lens it's not a huge difference. Personally I think Sigma has an edge in quality of glass and build so if you could afford to, this Sigma is a great option for a fast wide with optical stabilization.
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Zoom Lens