Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly Recap Link List 8-30-10

Double L-bracket stabilizer

Microscope camera adapter

Green Gear 3: Ranger 350 battery

Online resources for web series beginners

Are TV viewers really content, or just averse to change?

Make a spooky forest for your video indoors

What a filmmaker learned from Farmville and other social games

Getting started with DSLR video

Zoom H1 review

Thoughts on titles

How to take great photos of your projects (has stop motion application)

DIY steadycam: "The Wiggle Stick"

The Canon 60D may be the holy frugal grail

The Frugal Filmmaker: Multi-Purpose Mic for $27

Gaming Netflix: How to get Netflix to buy more DVDs from you

On camera microphones for DSLR video

Cheap $35 China Shotgun Microphone

Snapshot from the Canon 200SX IS (point & shoot that does 720p)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Multi-Purpose Mic for $27

In this episode I correct some problems folks have faced with past projects and answer some viewer mail. I mostly talk about Radio Shack's 33-3013 clip-on (lav) mic and the various things you can do with it. It should also be noted that the brand-new Zoom H1 Handy Recorder ($99) makes an appearance. I really like that gizmo and will be doing a full review very soon.

For those interested, pay attention to the unboxing of the microphone. It's all foley work.

Push play!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Canon 60D may be the Holy Frugal Grail

CheesyCam just posted some info about the upcoming Canon 60D, a video-shooting DSLR that has added some very nice features that the T2i lacked. I had some serious reservations about the T2i, mostly do to no manual audio control and a fixed LCD. I'm a one many video army most of the time and need a camera that addresses all scenarios. The 60D may fit the bill.

Manual audio control is now there as well as an articulating monitor. Nice. That coupled with the interchangeability of lenses may give me that super camera that I've always wanted. I'm still pretty fond of the surprising and inexpensive Sanyo CG-10 ($120) and my workhorse Canon HFS100/200 ($750), but have to admit that at $1100 (body only), the Canon 60D is pretty exciting.

I don't think the sensor overheating issue is solved yet, but it will be when these sensors end up in heatsinked video camera bodies. That, along with XLR inputs, will give me (and everyone else) a camera that does it all. Hopefully it won't cost too much.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are you Frugal enough to Use a Pink Camera?

Some of you may recall me mentioning Sanyo’s CG10 as a great frugal cam. It lets you shoot in 720p HD to an SD card and allows you to lock focus and exposure. Throw in macro focusing and a web cam mode (perfect for shooting stop motion with MonkeyJam) and you’ve got a versatile little powerhouse! That kind of control is unheard of in a camera this small and inexpensive.

Just for the record, these cameras aren’t perfect. The image they produce is nowhere near my Canon HFS100 (or the current HFS200), which retails for $600 more. They also lack mic inputs and headphone jacks, so audio recording is limited to the on-camera mic with AGC. They have also been criticized for having no Optical Image Stabilizer which lends to a potentially jittery image. Did I mention they don’t come with AC adapters?

These problems are easy to address. You’ll have to record double-system audio (sound separate from picture and snyc in post) which is what everyone using DSLRs is doing right now. To make handheld shooting workable, build a stabilizer rig for $5. They work great with this kind of camera. As for power, your battery will last for 80 minutes--use it wisely.

I bought three of the black versions for a good price--$124 each. Now the pink ones are selling for $5 less than that (use the saved money to build a rig!). The question is, are you willing to be caught using a “girlie” colored video camera all for the sake of being frugal?

Why not?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

JG DeRuvo's FF Camera Rig

Here's another version of the stabilizer rig from episode 11. This one retains the basic design and adds the cross joint at the base from the tricked-out version. I haven't revealed it's true purpose yet, but I guess JG has faith in me it will be put to good use.

We want your pictures! Send your shots of a gadget created with Frugal Filmmaker directions or inspiration and we'll post it. Don't forget to tell everyone how you did it and give us insight on what works and what didn't.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bob's FF Camera Stabilizer Rig

Hi, attached are two pix of my (almost) finished rig, one unladen, one with all the kit on board. Canon HV30, two Rode mics, one mono and one stereo, PAG light C6 as well as a Canon light in reserve,. Boss 4 channel stereo mixer, radio mic receiver for lavalier or ambience mic. I must admit I haven't checked the weight but it's not excessive. This is my first PVC project but I used a hacksaw not one of those cutters used in the vids - one of those is top of my shopping list before I start the second project which will be the light stands.

Incidentally, I have Optex and Velbon tripods and a Manfrotto monopod which I also use as a stablizer so the rig will be used sparingly. My main interest for filming are sporting events and it will be useful for low-level shots as well. I am filming a band at a funday in a nearby town on Saturday and I hope the rig will be used at some time then.

Finally, I want to thank you for the inspiring videos and tips on the FFM site and wish you further success.

Wales, UK

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekly Recap Link List 8-9-10

7" HD monitor with HDMI input - $200

DIY camera hard case (with custom cut foam!)

A content strategy for audience engagement

Conversation starters for those indie film parties

DIY spider trax dolly on DIY rails

Live action Star Wars TV show canned (or Why didn't George use his audience?)

Wayne Graves' FF Camera Rig

Here's Wayne's version of the PVC stabilizer rig. It looks very true to form, with the exception of some extra PVC poking out from the bottom two T-joints. My guess is Wayne raised the whole rig a bit due to the "extra thread" issue some have had due to the length of the 1/4" bolt that holds the camera to the rig. Adding a nut between the bolt head and the rig (on the bottom) shortens the bolt that goes into the camera, but also prevents the rig from resting properly on the three "feet". Matthew Sorrels added a third T-joint foot, Wayne seems to have just raised the front two.

Nice work, Wayne!


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