If you've been following the long wait for the Atomos Ninja HDMI recorder, then you'll know it should start shipping this week (hopefully). It's a sexy little unit that acts like a low res monitor, but is really a portable recorder to capture uncompressed Video goodness. Many times this is done by connecting a Video camera to a computer of some sort and a capture card. Above is a nice little example from Vimeo member UrbanFox.TV or what the Ninja is all about. It's already been delayed for several days and i'm waiting to see some examples.
DSLR shooters probably aren't going nuts for something like this because it's pretty rare to get clean HDMI out for recording. Sure the 7D outputs in 1080, but there's something not quite all there.. Other non DSLR camera shooters who use higher end Canon's, the fancy Sony's, and Panasonic are literally drooling for a portable solution to capture uncompressed HD output signals. Sony camera like the EX1 will need SDI input on a recorder, so soon another version 'the Samurai' will meet those requirements. [Note: Though your camera may output uncompressed signals, the Ninja saves the incoming signal to Apple ProRes]. Rumor mill is that only 250 units will touch US ground on this first shipment and who knows when the next batch arrives. If you weren't on the pre-order list and didn't get confirmation to receive one soon, it looks like someone is making one available via eBay.
I love me some RedRock Micro gear, but unfortunately i'm just one of those poor souls who can't afford even their entry level stuff. As seen in the image below, this is just one bundle in the line up of RedRock Micro's Nano rigs called the Running Man. Pretty solid piece of gear that doesn't look quite overkill. Light weight, sturdy, sets up fast, and packs down small. Nice little stabilizer for the frequent traveler. You can find the Running Man rig here: Redrock Micro nano - RunningMan
Having a few spare parts around the studio, just decided to mount the Calumet Mini Tripod / Handle to a Manfrotto 361 Shoulder Brace for Monopods. The bearing on the shoulder support spins freely, but by adding a handle under the camera, you can keep it steady. It's also handy having the handle break out into a Tripod to rest the gear down (gotcha on that one RedRock..JK).
Would be an interesting travel brace for a smaller camera like the GH1, GH2, Sony NEX, or A55. I don't know..all for fun...
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.
Above is the only example I know of showcasing a Hollywood Lite Camera Stabilizer. When I first mentioned the stabilizer on this blog, the auction sold lighting fast from this article: https://cheesycam.com/hollywood-lite-video-camera-stabilizer/. This is a discontinued type of stabilizer that is designed to support cameras up to 4 lbs. I can't imagine it was very useful in the old days of heavy cameras, but with all the new lightweight Canon T2i's, Sony Alphas, and Panasonic GH2's coming around, it's seems to be relevant once again. Now i'm not saying it will fly a 7D, but for those GoPro Video makers, or iPhone Video junkies this might be an inexpensive solution. Cody left a comment and wanted to share that another thought to be extinct Hollywood Lite stabilizer shows up online again. On auction now and up for another day.
Once it was officially announced, this became one tough camera to find in stores or even online. Sony's new A55 has only been available for a short time but has already won several honors and awards including 'CES Innovations', DPReview's 'Gold Award', & Popular Photography's 'Camera of the Year'. When it comes down to price, quality, and quantity (of features) Sony's new Alpha A55 is laying out a tough act to follow. Coming in a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Canon 60D, this camera also offers a Flip Out LCD, Real time Video Auto Focus, and a 16MP sensor. All this tech doesn't sit in just the A55 though, you can save even more if you opt to go for the slightly stripped down SLT-A33. With all the hooplah around this camera lately, I decided to pick one up and see what it's all about.
Sony's new Alpha A55 is an interchangeable lens camera, but not like INC's from the four-thirds lineup or the Sony NEX cameras. This small camera actually has a mirror. Surprising they would come out with a mirror in a camera this small and you might consider it a DSLR. If you know Sony, they just love to make up their own stuff and considers this more of an SLT for 'Single Lens Translucent'. The Translucent term is all about using a special see through type Pellicle mirror. In short, this camera can shoot and auto focus super fast at the same time. While in video mode the camera has the fastest 'real time auto focus' system and does it all with the mirror still in it's down position. Sounds like a small deal, but this old tech brought back from the grave (Canon's old tech) is a huge leap in hybrid cameras that shoot photos and video. The battery is charging now, but from the short tests i've done it's fast....very fast. More fun reviews on Sony to follow soon.
For those questioning it's current capabilities, there's already news about a new firmware release that will enhance it's current features. Just like implementing 3D photography into it's NEX 5 cameras after it's initial release.