Manfrotto Deluxe HDSLR Remote Review

At NAB this year Manfrotto launched a couple of interesting new products to compliment their SYMPLA rig lineup, the Deluxe HDSLR Remote and the Clamp On HDSLR Remote.  My interest piqued because there are relatively few other options out there that can accomplish the same thing and none from a company with Manfrotto’s experience.  So what are we talking about here ?  We’re talking remote control of your Canon HDSLR when shooting video.  Not just simple record Start/Stop functionality but control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO and even focus.  Sounds pretty cool right ?  I immediately contacted my friends at

Redrock Micro DSLR Baseplate Review

If you are even remotely serious about shooting video with a DSLR then you’ll quickly find that you need to add a few accessories.  For me a follow focus is the first thing I would pick up, as you’ll see in the following photos I use the excellent O’Connor F-Focus DM.  To attach a follow focus unit, and many other cine style accessories to your camera you are going to need a way to add rods.  In the cine world there are three rod standards: 15mm lightweight, 15mm studio and 19mm studio.  If you aren’t familiar with these then O’Connor

Pearstone Articulating Arm Review

This is one of those multifunctional accessories that every photographer should have in their kit box.  I’ve owned several different versions from various manufacturers and this time I have been provided with the 4.2″ Pearstone Articulating Israeli Arm version.  My favorite uses of such an arm are to hold accessories for DSLR movie making such as microphones, audio recorders and LCD screens but the actual potential uses are far too numerous to name. The 4.2″ Pearstone version is just the right size for mounting on the hot shoe of your camera and it comes with a hot shoe adapter that

Manfrotto 055 Mag Photo-Movie Head Review

DSLRs with HD video capabilities have changed the way many of us shoot and many photographers are being asked to return from assignments with videos, or simply making that choice themselves to make their business stand out from the crowd.  The problem is that DSLR video is incredibly susceptible to camera shake because in-body image stabilization has yet to be implemented in these larger cameras.  Combine that with the tendency to create rolling shutter artifacts when panning too fast and you quickly realize that a good video head (fluid head) is necessary to get even a reasonable job done unless

Redrock Micro Running Man HDSLR rig review

The ergonomic difficulties associated with HDSLR movie making is something we take as a given.  We accept it without much complaint because the end results can be well worth the trouble it takes to put together an HDSLR rig that suits your needs.  Cameras like the Canon 5dMKII and 7d were not intended to be used for pure video production purposes so there are a number of problems that need to be tackled if you are going to produce quality work with them.  The first such problem is a way to view the screen, which I have already touched on

Aluminum Letus Hawk review with Quick Release system

For serious video shooting with a DSLR you need to have a separate viewfinder that magnifies the image on your LCD.  Not only do they keep the sun from your screen to aid your framing and composition but they also allow you to accurately focus with the very narrow DOF that comes from shooting with these types of cameras.  There are already many viewfinders out there but the Hawk VF from Letus is one of the newer ones.  Let’s take a look at the new aluminum version and also reveal their brand new quick release system!

Letus launched the Hawk VF a couple of months back with a carbon fiber body and a semi-fixed baseplate attachment.  I say semi-fixed because whilst you could detach the Hawk from your camera, you had to loosen a couple of screws to do so.  It was suggested that a much quicker release mechanism would be a great improvement and the guys at Letus have listened to the requests!  For the last few days I have been playing with the final prototype of the new Quick Release system for the Letus Hawk Viewfinder.  On top of that, I have also given the opportunity to take a look at the new CNC machined aluminum bodied version of the Hawk.

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Z-Finder Jr Review and comparison to Z-Finder Pro

100601_1908_dancarrIf you have taken more than a passing interest into the video capabilities of your DSLR camera then you will probably have thought about getting some sort of viewfinder for the LCD screen. With the DSLR cameras lacking the ergonomics of traditional video camera design, such viewfinders are probably the most useful accessory to aid video shooting. Not only do they permit easier manual focusing with a clear view of the screen, but they also add stability to hand held shooting with an extra point of contact to your body.

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Manfrotto 503 HDV tripod head review

100531_1686_dancarrManfrotto tripod heads are perhaps the most prolific video heads around. They are easily available and offer a solution for every budget and nearly every type of camera. I have touched on the lightweight, DSLR friendly 701HDV before but I recently had the chance to try out it’s bigger brother. The 503 HDV. The 503 skips over the middle sibling, the 501HDV and adds quite a few extra features and improved weight capacity.

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GoPro Hero HD Review

goPro_review1_dancarrI picked up a HD Helmet HERO helmet package back in January and have taken it with me in my camera bag for most of the winter. The Hero camera is available in several different packages depending on what you want to document. I picked the Hero Helmet package as I primarily wanted to have it with me when I was skiing. But you can also buy an HD Motorsports Hero if you want to record some laps at your local track day, an HD Surf Hero if you want to show your off your surf skills from your summer holiday. Or simply get the HD Naked Hero which forgoes any possible mounting options and allows you to pick and choose the mounts that best suit you from the web store. All of the packages contain the same GoPro HD HERO Camera and the fully waterproof housing that you can see in the photo on the left here. On top of that the Helmet package contains multiple methods to attach it to your helmet, and also a head strap that allows you to wear it without a helmet.

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Glidecam HD-2000 review

Since I took delivery of my Canon 5dMKII last year I have had a lot of fun learning about shooting video and investigating the potential that the Canon DSLRs have in shooting HD movies. With so many people embracing the movie making capabilities of these new cameras, I wanted to check out some products that can potentially make your videos stand out from the crowd. A commenter on a previous post about video accessories for the 5dMKII, suggested that I try out some of the products from the US company Glidecam. At the time I had a few other things

Ikan Cheese Stick JR & Articulating Arm

ches-jr_400pxSometimes you stumble across something  you wander how you ever did without; something that has so many uses that it instantly deserves a tiny piece of the valuable real-estate in your rapidly filling camera bag.  These two accessories from LCD manufacturer Ikan are two such items but before all you stills photographers switch off, thinking this is just for video applications, think again…. and read on.

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Video accessories for the Canon 5D Mark II: Part 2 – Video tripod heads

Following on from Part 1 where I took a look at some useful sound accessories for the 5DMKII, this week I’m going to be taking a look at video heads for your tripod. For photographers out there wishing to take advantage of the video capabilities of this camera , there is no getting around the fact that you won’t be able to use your current photographic tripod head. Normally I use a Really Right Stuff BH-40, whilst this does have a separate panning base which might be usable for panning horizontally , it would not allow any vertical panning and