How To Build A Beautiful Camera Stabilizer

A few day ago we featured the EZ-Steady as a smart camera stabilizer. If you follow the blog, you know that there are plenty of DIY versions for similar stabilizers, none of which are as beautiful though, as the DIY Camera Stabilizer from Pixel Artwork.

The instructions come in Japanese, but Sergey Brin was kind enough to translate, see the first page here and the second one here.

There is also a video if you find Google transaction to lack some <cough, cough> clarity.

Thanks for the tip, Lance. [Read more...]

The EZ-Steady Is One Smooth Camera Stabilizer

It is no secret that I am a big fan of photography makers and tinkers. I am one myself with a few (smallish) inventions of my own. It is also no secret that Kickstarter is a great place for photo-tinkers. This is why I love sharing photography related projects on Kickstarter.

My latest favorite is the EZ-Steady. A small but clever DSRL Video Stabilizer.

The EZ-Steady has both a clever mounting stage for smart camera mounting, and an easy to level set of balances.

It also enables camera pointing with one hand (or actually one finger).

The project is already about 400% funded in less than a week, and a pledge of $225 will get you one too.

[Read more...]

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly Sliding

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly SlidingIf you are doing any video production, one of the first tools you’ll probably end up building/buying is a slider/dolly combo.

A slider gives you the ability to smoothly move the camera sideways during a shot and it adds a great deal of value to any video production.

If you are building a slider getting a one of the cheap sliders the “Industry standard” super cool (yet no so cheap) kessler pocket dolly, this tip will make your life easier.

You can use a drill as a dolly motor which will give it a constant and smooth movement. [Read more...]

Using Postit Notes For Rack Focusing

Using Postit Notes For Rack FocusingIf you shoot any dSLR video, you probably already know that some scenes reacquire shifting focus between several planes. This is a great way to tell a story.

For example, think about a shot where you see a person eating at the front of the frame, then, the focus changes and you see a sign that says “Dont feed the monkeys” or “No people allowed behind this line” or any other thing that adds to the story.

Here is the thing, though, it is not trivial to shift the focus between those two planes without a focus rack or a follow focus. Those usually come with a marking wheel where you can mark each plane of focus and easily return to it while shooting. That’s the up side, there are about 600 downsides if you are not shooting video regularly.

Michael The Mentor came up with a poorman’s solution to focus racking using arrow post its. [Read more...]

Make a PVC Table Dolly for Under $20 [video]

Make a PVC Table Dolly for Under $20 A while back we posted a tutorial on how to make a PVC video dolly. This dolly works great for in house on floors or tables or any other smooth surface.

The guys at Fugal Film Maker (kinda like DIYP, only for video) made a video version of constructing a very similar dolly, so if you had any questions about what goes in where or how to use the skateboard wheels your questions will be answered.

The video is a bit old, but still worth a watch if you just started videography and looking for inexpensive hacks. [Read more...]

Build An Amazing Super Versatile DIY Time Lapse Dolly

I was literally screaming with joy when Derek Mellott (you know Derek, he likes Barbeque and time lapse movies) showed me his latest Time Lapse Slider Dolly. Then, I literally fell from my chair when he suggested to share the build with DIYP readers.

Now, every once in a while we have a “dare” tutorial, one that will kill an entire month of weekends (and then some). Those are not for the faint of heart, but the results and satisfaction from completing one of those projects in unbelievable. (see the battlefield pinhole camera for example). It is the same with this project – it is not an easy task, it takes woodmenship, electronics know-how, and plenty of time, but the results are stunning.

(But hey, you know what, even if you just pick up one of the ideas in this post, it would rock. For example, building the collapsible rails idea to be used with the cheapo motor slider puller)

The movie comes first – this should get you motivated – then the instructions. Embrace yourselves.


[Read more...]

Automating Your Slider for About 20 Bucks

Automating Your Slider for About 20 BucksA while back we featured a nifty way to slide your camera while taking time lapse movies. At the core of that system there was a BBQ rotisserie motor. It is a very common item, but hell to carry on location.

If you own a slider rail or a dolly (or if you hacked one yourself, or if you own a skateboard), you can take the concept of sliding with you on location.

Norwegian photographer Joakim Fjeldli takes the concept of motorizing a slider, an Igus DryLin in his case, and adds portability. [Read more...]

Build a DIY Mini-Rail Slider

Build a DIY Mini-Rail DollySeems like vidoe is getting bigger and bigger. I am considering to add a video category instead of having it hide under the Camera Hacks section.

After the impressive table top dolly design, Martin Taylor shows how to build a Slider Dolly.

As more and more people get into video the number one accessory they seem to want after a shoulder rig is a slider. A slider allows short trucking camera movements. Commercial sliders run the gamut in price (from several hundred to several thousand) and design. A slider usually has a captive body that you mount a tripod head to. The body runs on a track on mechanical bearings or some low friction material. The tracks seem to run anywhere from 2 to 5 feet and can mount on a tripod themselves or some have feet that allow you to lay the slider on the ground for a low profile shot, or rest it on a convenient table or counter top. [Read more...]