Friday, April 29, 2011

Carbon Fiber shoulder rig for $169?

I just ran across this on Ebay. A DSLR shoulder rig, carbon fiber rods, for $169. It's from the same company I got my LCDVF "knock-off" from - Carry Speed. As far as the viewfinder, it's gotten the job done for me. It's a savings of hundreds instead of buying a Zacuto or one of the fancier viewfinders brands.  I had to modify it a bit since the adhesive on the metal plates didn't stick too good.  But that's another story for another post.

This rig looks really tempting, but I'm trying to save money right now. Plus it always seems like there's new gear you want but don't need.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pacquiao vs Mosley: Fight Camp 360 shot on DSLRs

I just watched episode 2 of Pacquiao vs Mosley 360 (by Showtime) and noticed a couple or DSLRs and RodeMics here and there. There was an obvious scene too where the background was so blurred you knew it was a DSLR, it then cuts to the opposite shot where it's confirmed - camera right on a monopod. I'm not sure if it was entirely shot on DSLRs since there were so many other cameras too. I personally still like HBO's 24/7 storytelling and narration better. But Fight Camp 360 gets me hyped up for this fight nonetheless.

First American Idol, now Manny Pacquiao rocking Dr. Dre's Beats Studio Headphones.
I'll have to put that on my Father's Day wish list.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

T2i audio monitoring and Timelapse with Magic Lantern

I'm sure you know by now that the Canon T2i doesn't have a great internal mic and you can't monitor the audio you record either.  It also has an AGC (audio gain control) that you can't disable, so you can hear some hiss noise during quiet moments when you record.  A solution was either a line in tone fed to the audio and fixed in post.  Or try Magic Lantern.
A few weeks back I decided try the Magic Lantern hack.  It was scary at first, because you're hacking into your camera's internal programs with the risk of making your $899 (now $699) camera into a paperweight.  Well, it was actually easy to install and the more I think of it, you really can't brick your camera because the hack is programmed into your SD card.  Install Magic Lantern on 1 card and if you want to revert, just disable/delete (there's a proper way to) the Magic Lantern files.  Or, insert a SD card without the program and the camera is back to normal.

Updated builds keep coming out, and I have to mention the March 31 build would not work for me when trying to monitor audio through my Rode Videomic.  I found posts from Dave Dugdale and Sven Rose that helped, and after testing out all the builds from March 10-31, I concluded the 29th was the last one with full monitoring capability (at least for me).

There are many ways to set up your camera to monitor audio, some expensive some cheap.  What I'm using is the mini-USB to composite cable that came with the camera, a female RCA to 3.5mm cable, female to female 3.5mm, and some cheap headphones.  I've seen other posts that mention using a mini amplifier for your headphone, but I'm fine with my setup.

Aside from audio monitoring, here are the other NEW capabilities I'm loving with the Magic Lantern hack:
  • AGC disable
  • Timelapse without needing an external intervalometer
  • Timelapse without the shutter going on and off, saving actuations
  • Auto restart after 15 minute record limit (there's a 1 second gap between recordings)
  • Zebras for exposure
  • Auto focus during video recording (works but kinda slow)
  • Change the bitrate settings
...there's a lot more options but I just haven't had time to play with them all.

The best thing about it is that it's FREE.  I suggest you check it out and read all the documentation and watch the videos BEFORE you try to install it.

Here's a timelapse test using the built-in feature in Magic Lantern. No need for an intervalometer now. Also, these pictures were shot with the mirror up, thus saving actuations on your camera.