DIY Doorway Dolly Presentation

Back in the days when blogs were just starting out, there were probably two DIY centric blogs for the creative industry. Your truly ran a small site called DIYP for stills-DIY and cheesycam ran a similarly oriented video site.

If was great to see that they are back at their origins today sharing a Doorway Dolly build. The idea behind a doorway dolly is that an operator can push and pull the dolly while a tripod or a photographer is standing on it. The nice thing about it is that you can operate it without tracks and still get tracking shots. The down side is that you need a super smooth floor (like a PVC floor) to get good shots. [Read more...]

How to Prepare Gear for Massive Video Shoots Abroad

One of the biggest challenges with any creative production is gear management. At the start of my time as a creative, I don’t know how many times I have arrived at a location and realized a crucial part of my kit was missing. However, like most things, you only learn from your mistakes and what I have learned is that it is extremely important to create checklists and prep gear BEFORE heading out to shoot. Although it does take more time to do this, it will save you time and heartache from going out to get a shot and realizing you don’t have everything you need.

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Now I must admit, my least favorite part about filmmaking is the gear prepping. It’s a fine balance between taking too much and taking not enough and this battle is unique for every job. This is especially critical when traveling. With this post, what I hope to do is talk about how to prep your kit when traveling abroad. I will use a recent project to Cuba as the case study.
*Note: I am by no means an expert but here is what I have learned up until this point. [Read more...]

How To Convert Photography Lenses into Cine Lenses

If you’ve been making the conversion from shooting stills to shooting DSLR video you probably have an array of lenses from the stills days.

If you are solely doing video, there may be a lot of sense to convert your stills lenses to cine lenses. Caleb Pike has a great tutorial on converting your DSLR lenses to easily accommodate a video workflow.

Caleb starts with a set of 3 Olympus OM lenses: 35-70 F4, 75-150 F4 and 50mm F1.8 at total of about $200 and  lists a few major differences between the way DSLR lenses are built and the way cine lenses are built, he also explains how to adjust the lens for cine use. [Read more...]

Build a 3D Printed, Ultralight, 3-axis Modular Time-Lapse Motion Control System

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If you are looking into a well built Time lapse motion controller, you may have noticed how expensive these things are. An eMotimo TB3 for example (review | buy) will set you back about a grand and a Syrp Genie is not far behind (unboxing | buy). And none will provide full 3 axis motion control. So of course a possible solution would be to build a time lapse motion controller yourself. It is not an easy task, and gladly, Doug Urquhart over at Instructables is giving a pretty comprehensive tutorial.

Doug used his build to create such stunning works as the eye of the beholder below [Read more...]

Google Declares War On Vertical Video

If you use an Android device (or just read photo and tech blog) there was no way to avoid hearing about Google’s blitz into the Camera app realm with their new Google Camera. The camera has many new features (like adaptive lens blur, Photo spheres and others).

Interestedly, it looks like Google also declared a war on vertical video (also known as VSS or vertical video syndrome).

When you switch into video more the camera app will provide a ‘gentle’ reminder in the form of a ‘please rotate’ icon. This icon should alert you  on the fact that you are not shooting horizontally as any educated photographer should be shooting. [Read more...]

Invisible Waves: NPR Science Video Shows Exactly What Sound Looks Like

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Back in the mid-1800s, August Toepler gave us a way to be able to look at sound. Not synthetically visualize it- but actually be able to look at it. His invention was called Schilieron Flow Visualization; by implementing the complex technique into your camerawork, you’ll actually be able to see waves. Whether it’s the waves made from the snap of your fingers, or the waves from the hiss of an opened Pepsi bottle- you can see the noise they make. And NPR released a video that shows you how its done.

[Read more...]

Andra Is a Follow Focus Gamechanger – Claims To Have Solved The Creative Auto Focus Challenge

Video and autofocus don’s usually go hand in hand. After all, focus is a creative decision and the camera, sophisticated as it may be, can’t know where you want to focus in a scene.

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What you usually do is pre-mark focus points and change between them using a programmable follow focus or a focus puller (think a person dedicated for shifting focus).

Andra seemed to have solved both issues in an ingenious way. It provides state-of-the-art iPad controlled follow focus, which is nice, but not new. What’s new is the way they pull autofocus and focus shifting. Rather than pre-focus key elements of the shot and mark them, the Andra system allows using a small sensor to continuously monitor a an object in space.  [Read more...]

Ultrakam Brings 2K Video To iPhone 5S

If you’ve been upset with you the video that you iPhone produces, you may be pleasantly surprised with this new iPhone app: Ultrakam.

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The App claims to provide full, uncompressed video from the iPhone 5 coming at 2K resolution (roughly twice the res of full HD – 1936X1446). iPhone 5S can push this res a bit further to 2240×1672. Both using the H.264 iFrame codec. [Read more...]

Nikon Hacker Up The bitrate For Nikon Cameras up to 1080 @64mbps

It is a fairly known fact that Canon videographers can magically “upgrade” their cameras using the Magic Lantern custom firmware. This firmware gives the camera some nice control features, but I suspect that this firmware is usually installed for the better video it provides (raw video, dual ISO, better dynamic range and so on).

Sadly, Nikon users do not have that option. Until now.

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The folks at Nikon Hacker recently released a beta load with an upgrade to the camera bit rate output. Depending on the Nikon Body, you can get up to 64mbps (D7000) as opposed to the 24mbps that the camera ships with from Japan. [Read more...]