IKEA Hack – A $5.99 Foldable Laptop and Monitor Hood

 

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When shooting in the great outdoors sun hitting your laptop or monitor can become a serious thing and actually keep you from actually seeing the screen. This is why Laptop visors (or monitor hoods) were invented. Think a black box with an opening on one side to allow screen viewing and keyboard access. They are usually not that expensive going from $20 for a basic kit, to $85 for a nice one, to as high as $250 for an Optimus Prime grade hood with a tripod mount and pouches.

But, you can also go the IKEA hack way and have a pretty killer foldable shade for $5.99. Photographer Paul Adshead  (site | Instagram) sent us this awesome tip:

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How To Build A DIY HD Video Monitor

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While can buy wireless HD monitors on the market, but even the cheaper kits are not very cheap. This is why I turned to making my own DIY wireless HD field monitor.

I’m going to use the device both as a standalone, wired unit (via the hdmi-cable) when shooting video so I get all the benefit from the resolution. I’m also going to use the wireless link when I’m doing aerial and flash photography.

The idea was to find an affordable 7″ monitor with a high resolution (1280×800) and with an in-built battery. I also planned to include a video link, that I had purchased earlier, to this project so the monitor box should also have enough space for a receiver. I wanted to use a higher end IPS monitor for better view angles and use in the sun.

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The Case for Field Monitors

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I’m a convert.

Not to any particular religion, but instead to the idea that a field monitor is the most important piece of equipment you can have on a video shoot after the camera, a lens and some kind of support.

This represents a sea change in my worldview. As a still photographer for decades, until recently I thought the bane of my video production existence was audio. But a Zoom H4n, a shotgun, a couple of lavs and a wireless system later, I’ve changed my mind.

And that’s because while I took for granted my ability to obtain tack-sharp focus every time, I’ve learned the hard way once again that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.

Turns out it was easier to focus in the good old days of film, manual lenses, split image rangefinders, and coarse microprisms on ground glass than it is today through on-board electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCDs.

There’s a reason why third party EVF’s and monitors are so popular.

I recently had the opportunity to review a 7.7” diagonal field monitor, and it was a revelation (no religious undercurrent intended).

Why?

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This Wireless Camera Control And LiveView DIY Hack Is Only $30

We are big fans of CamRanger, while other options have been around for a while (both DIY and pro) they came up with a well packed product for camera remote control that has all the features you can possibly think about.

This Wireless Camera Control And LiveView DIY Hack Is Only $30

But if you are looking to spend a bit less money, don’t care about appearances and have the extra time to fiddle around, here is an Android driven alternative for $30. This hack from DSLR Film Noob is using an android tablet and a TP-LINK TL-MR3040 wireless router. It does require a bit of firmware hacking, but nothing that exceeds jailbreaking a phone or updating an Xbox. [Read more…]