I now have in my arsenal of production equipment an amazing Cinevate Atlas 10 slider. This thing is built like a tank and smooth like butter when sliding anything I throw at it with my DSLR plus attachments. Even vertical mode is a sweet addition when wanting a different type of shot during production. I found this awesome slider on the one and only craigslist. You never know what you will get on craigslist from random sellers but this time it was awesome. I bought it off of a fellow Vimeo user (that I have been following for over a year) and wedding cinematographer Luke Goodman. Check out www.lukegoodman.com if you are in need of an awesome wedding cinematographer. He made the whole craigslist process easy for me to purchase this slightly used but in great condition slider from him. He said it was a little too heavy for all the running around during weddings that he does but instead would be going with something lighter for himself. As for me this was perfect because I have always wanted a Cinevate slider ever since they showcased their first Atlas slider a few years ago. I have a few photos here with my camera and slider in vertical mode. I had to lock down the tripod head pretty tight to keep it there but it wont budge once tightened and upright like in the photos. Pretty sweet for my future production shoots. Adds just a little more to some sequence shots.
I just have to brag a little about my wife Ranya Adkinson’s design capabilities. She has made an awesome heavensent films website and also designed a really cool logo too. After designing the logo she then meticulously created the business cards which look amazing! There are pics from both sides of the card. I then asked for the photoshop file with all of the layers so I could animate her design. I think the logo really pops on black but also looks great over white when needed as seen in the animation below. The very simple animation was done in Motion 4 which I then brought into final cut and added to some recent videos as a watermark and ending animation.
I recently went to Matt Mingus’s T-ball game and wanted to try out my Glidecam HD4000 but with my iPhone4 mounted on the lower sled. This of course made it difficult to get it balanced but I wanted to try out some different editing ideas cutting from iphone footage and my T2i with 14mm lens. Here are some pics of the setup when I was done figuring it all out. But ultimately in the end after running around with it I decided it wasn’t going to work perfectly until I got a fisheye lens for the iPhone. Funny enough they do make them and you can find them on ebay for a pretty decent price.
I recently saw an article on www.cheesycam.com that showed a viewfinder for dslr’s that was cheaper than the regular brands out there by a few hundred dollars. But I guess the question is Does this viewfinder compare in quality? First of all I don’t have the expensive brand viewfinders and this was my first purchase. After receiving the viewfinder in the mail only a few days after buying it on ebay I was in complete amazement. The build quality is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s made from really thick plastic, has very clear optics for the diopter (-4 to +4), and comes with a bracket with double sided tape. I am using it on a T2i so the bracket covers a small amount on each side of the LiveView area on the camera which doesn’t noticeably cover any of the display metering info. I chose to also purchase a glass viewfinder eyepiece cover from ebay. This was also on cheesycam’s website awhile back. I got this in conjunction with the viewfinder so that I could permanently attach the “bracket” that came with the Seagull viewfinder to the glass protector/eyepiece. this way I would easily remove the entire thing if needed. Once I received the glass protector I decided to remove the glass in order to not lose any stops of light when viewing the LiveView through the viewfinder. This was kind of accidental since I broke the glass after sticking the adhesive side of the bracket slightly off center. It worked to my advantage. Both of these products work great together or separately depending on what you would want to do with the viewfinder. I can easily say the Seagull 3″ dslr viewfinder is crafter really well and by saving hundreds of dollars for those low budget/no budget filmmakers this works great!
Glass viewfinder protector: Glass LCD protector
Here is the ebay item by Seagull : Seagull Viewfinder
Here is the VF Prime on Amazon: VF viewfinder
If any Seagull purchasers need another bracket go here: VF bracket
Of course I have not purchased this bracket myself but it looks identical to the seagull brand found on ebay so purchase at your own risk. For $10 it’s not a bad deal to try if you need another bracket. I personally like the blue logo from Seagull rather than the VF brand orange color but that’s a personal opinion. Either way the product will be the same and you can’t go wrong.
found a nice Fd to EOS adapter withal glass element to help achieve infinite focus on my T2i. All of my FD lenses now work perfectly on the new Canon T2i. My favorite lens is still the 55mm 1.2 FL Canon lens which I randomly found in an antique store for $30 with 2 other lenses. Of course the 55mm isn’t a true 55mm on the crop sensor of the T2i buy it still creates an amazing image for video.
Now for my latest addition to my production equipment. It’s a Rokinon 14mm lens for Canon digital EOS cameras. I found it on amazon.com thanks to Emm at cheesycam.com. He talked about lenses to use while flying on a steadicam or glidecam like I have. I have also researched the prices of both the Rokinon 14mm and the Bower 14mm lens. They are identical lenses but the Rokinon is about $50 cheaper. The quality is really great and it’s all manual controls when used on the T2i which I prefer. I am already used to manual lenses because of the FD lenses I have been using over the past 2 years. I will have some video soon but for now here are some images.
So I think I finally figured out how to balance the glidecam and T2i a little better. First I added weights to the top of the T2i because it seems to be really light with the kit lens I am using right now. I added 2 glidecam weights to the hotshoe adapter and added 2 more weights on each side of the glidecam bottom sled. So total weights on the glidecam sled comes to 4. Two on each side. I guess I am really trying to figure out how to get the glidecam completely balanced. My first try was with the T2i (with giottos QR) on top of the glidecam and only 2 weights on the bottom sled so 1 on each end. This seemed fine but the heavier I make the glidecam the smoother my footage seems. The only drawback is my arm being kinda weak holding this whole thing. I can easily do a minute run before taking a break by grabbing the glidecam with my left hand to help prevent my right arm from falling off. Actually, I think it’s more like 30 to 45 seconds but I will round up to 1 minute of flying to make myself feel better. If there is anyone else flying an HD 4000 with a light dslr, specifically the Canon T2i, please let me know how you have this setup but only if you have it perfectly balanced. I don’t even know if that is possible with my setup. It seems to be statically balanced because I can go from the ground up with no problem with it tipping. I can also go side to side, forward, and backward without too much tipping on top or bottom now. But the issue is really the dynamic balance I believe. When I go to spin the center column while holding it I notice a slight tipping action when watching the gimbal and camera. So maybe I don’t have the center of gravity figured out yet. Seems impossible even with the Giottos QR which has 2 bubble levels to help with balancing the T2i so it looks straight ahead. Here are some pics and there is a new video of my daughter showing off the glidecam flying but with less weight on it in those scenes from what I remember.
Here is the latest heavensent films video.
Ok, so most of my ideas come from www.cheesycam.com but that’s what it’s there for right? So here is my latest stabilizing idea created for my T2i and shooting video. First I have my monopod with a Giottos ballhead and quickrelease plate. This allows me to go from one thing to the next quickly without unscrewing the camera from each item like my slider to the monopod to the cage to the skater dolly ect ect. I have the same quickrelease plate on all of these items so I can do this quickly while shooting events or anything else that needs to be shot quickly. Now for the top handle on the T2i I used some extra part which I received after purchasing either the Z96 LED light or friction arm off ebay. At least that’s what I can remember from the last few things I purchased based on again cheesycam.com(found it here). The handle is off of an old tripod head and sticks called Velbon Videomate 500. As of right now the handle kinda moves around because it doesn’t tighten all that well but I can figure that out later. The side handle is from an old SLR camera for mounting a light I believe and giving some stability to the photographer. I also added the neck strap to give some extra safety and stability while using the monopod as suggested by cheesycam.com. The cool thing is that with the top handle and the side handle attached I can still fit it inside my diy cage (from JustBasl). Of course it kinda looks silly with 2 top handles and an extra side handle inside the cage but at least I don’t have to take everything off in order to fit it inside the cage. Here are some pics (low quality iphone pics).
Ok, so Cinevate is always coming up with some cool stuff for the big cameras and dslr’s out there but now they have come up with a really cool smooth running stabilizer for your iPhone 4 shooting HD or any small point-n-shoot. Check out this video for a demonstration of how smooth it is while walking around a crowded convention center.
I found what this product looks like but some of the features might be changing slightly. The price is also mentioned in the video which definitely seems reasonable for what this product can do.
Cinevate is a really cool and innovative company making really high quality tools for filmmakers. They recently posted a BTS (behind the scenes) video showcasing some of their equipment being used on a Nos drink commercial by Steve Chase who risked his life at the end of this video. Simply amazing work by the whole crew. Also check out cinevate.com and their “DSLR Core Package” which is seen in this video (without the top handle). One can only dream…..
I am now trying out a monopod I purchased while traveling in Italy called Cullmann 741. I purchased a ballhead made by Giottos that came with a quick release plate which I have been putting onto all of my diy projects. This helps me go from one thing to the other fast while filming. So far the monopod and ballhead have made my shots more steady and given me the ability to walk around while filming. I will be checking the footage out with me walking around to see if it’s more steady than just with holding the T2i in my hands. Here are some photos.