Five years ago, the idea of producing a video like the one below with your mobile phone was a pipe dream. The technology simply wasn’t there yet. Roll the clock forward though and look at just how far we have come. How far we have come in just the last couple of years. The video below was produced by Ben Canales a pro shooter who owns Uncage the Soul Productions. Yes the guy knows what he is doing with a camera, but even though he has serious skills shooting video, don’t fool yourself and say that is why this video looks this good. This video looks good because the hardware and software in smart phones has gotten that good. Canales film a fun three minute run through the Siera Nevada mountains as he learns all the new features of the phone and software. For more info you can read all about it on Vimeo here.
I have been a fan of Edelkrone gear for some time now. They are producing innovative, well made camera gear at an affordable price, that meets a variety of my shooting needs. This morning I received an email from the Edelkrone team introducing a new module for their SliderPlus video sliders, and I have to admit this is a piece of gear I really want.
The new Craft Module for the SliderPlus is designed to help you figure out the math for time-lapse, stop-motion, and macro-motion videography, all of which require lengthy and often complex calculations to get right. The module simply asks the shooter a few simple questions and then calculates the complex math needed to execute the camera move smoothly over time.
The videographer chooses between photo or video time-lapse modes, then inputs the start-point, end-point, duration, frame and the final movie duration. The Craft Module will calculate and program the movement and let you know the maximum allowed shutter speed needed to get your shot. If you choose to you can also set up without setting the end- or start-points, to calculate automated static time-lapses in seconds. The device also features a timer function to schedule a time-lapse for later.
The real sweet spot for the Craft Module, is the way it can be combined with the Edelkrone Target Module to create responsive object tracking so that the camera stays focused on a single point as the unit moves. This allows you to create a smooth pivot around an object as the camera tracks over time. Something that is extremely difficult to do by hand and achieve smooth fluid results.
I said before that the Edelkrone gear is high quality at an affordable price, and it is. That doesn’t mean it’s cheap though. Good gear will set you back and this is no different. The slider, and both control modules will run you a little over $2000.00 when it is all said and done. Frankly I think that is a bargain when you consider what you are getting for your money, and what you will be able to achieve with this kit once you start shooting with it.
I’m always looking for new gear to help improve my photo/video shooting. I have been pricing new DSLR rails and rigs for a while now, but the other day my friend Tim pointed me to Edelkrone and their Pocket Rig.
This rig looks great. It’s small, light and rugged. You can add accessories to it to extend the overall use, and the design is really well thought out. When folded this is the size of a battery grip for camera like the 5D Mk II. When extended it gives you full shoulder support. One thing I like is the fact that you can use this to stabilize your shots, and still be very discreet because of it’s compact profile. Not only that, but the price is right as well. At $399.00 its not bad. If you can wait to take delivery until December, you can get it for $238.00 which is even better.
I check out the Vimeo Video School stuff all the time. There is always something relevant and useful in this educational series. The video above is one of the latest installments and focuses on how to use your car as a low budget dolly and platform to get some really good cinema effects for little to no money. One thing I am going to add to the video is, get a copy of After Effects CS6 and use the Warp Stabilizer to get rid of any camera shake you might pick up.
Most of the shots in the film above looked like they done on fairly flat level smooth streets. The Warp Stabilizer will save your shaky cam butt. Over half of the hand held shots in this film were stabilized with this tool from Adobe.
When tilt shift video is done right it looks amazing. Here is a short time lapse video from Keith Loutit entitled “The Lion City”. The film was shot in Singapore, and does an amazing job of capturing the architecture, and bustling transportation the city is known for. The video was shot on Nikon and Canon HDSLRs with a moderate sized crew. If you get a chance, take the time to watch his other tilt shift films. Keith Loutit has the technique down, and the final results are worth watching.
Earlier today, my friend Tim sent me a link to a new Kickstarter project from the guys at Midas Mount. If you are a film/video guy you probably are familiar with the company, if not they make camera gear for DSLR film making.
Their latest venture is a device called SnapFocus. What this is does is really pretty slick. It allows filmmakers to pull focus and steady the camera on the move, making it easier to achieve Hollywood production value on a shoestring budget.
By the looks of the video, this is a must have accessory for anyone making films on a tight budget. It achieves the same quality that would cost you upwards of four to five times as much if you bought similar parts and pieces from another rail system manufacturer.
I love this new Erector Set style camera rig that I found on Kickstarter. Versatile, modular components that can be built to hold any camera gear you work with. This is such a simple idea, and executed so well. If you are a pro photographer, or film maker this is right up your alley. I for one am going to make a donation to the Filmtoys crew, and hope like hell that they meet their goal and get this thing into production.
Filmtoys is a modular camera support system with multiple add-on accessories that allow your rig to scale as needed. Manufactured from machined and anodized aluminum, this rig looks rugged enough to take location shooting, and stylish enough to keep you looking like a pro.
Filmtoys is looking to raise 25 grand in seed money, and I hope they get it. The Introduction video could use some help from the “Freaker” guys on Kickstarter, when it comes to emotion and passion about the product. None the les watch the video to get a full understanding of how this rig works and scales to meet your needs.