Gear

How To Create Waterproof Kino Flos For Underwater Video
TheUnderwaterRealm.com is a blog that is following the production of an independent film that will take place completely underwater. Each week the guys and gals are releasing a BTSV which shows exactly what they have been working on. If you are interested in movie production, I highly suggest checking out their website. In the video below the team is forced to build an underwater Kino Flo lighting system. This video is 1 of 29 so there is a lot more quality content to be seen.

Put Your DSLR On Wheels With CineSkates
If you've been shooting stills or video for any length of time, chances are you've often thought about making a product that could make your life a bit easier. Cinetics designer Justin Jensen's own idea was to make a simple dolly system for DSLR cameras that was also portable. He designed and launched his CineSkates on Kickstarter and the response has been huge. So far Justin has raised more than 6x his initial goal of $20,000 so it looks like this production version will soon be in photographers' bags world wide. The system basically adds skateboard wheels to the versatile Joby Gorilla Pods and creates a system that gives your video footage high production movement. You can also the CineSkates for timelapse photography. Check out the video below to see exactly how the system works.

The First Look At The Newly Announced Sony Alpha 77
As you may have heard, Sony just announced their new 24mp Alpha 77 DSLR and it is really pushing the limits of technology. I've been a Nikon shooter my whole life and I don't plan to switch any time soon but I still enjoy seeing all of the brands compete. It's also a well known fact that Sony supplies Nikon with their sensors so this chip may show up in the D400 that we are all hoping will be announced the in the next few months. FYI, you will have to read subtitles to make it through this video.

TimeFest 2011: Behind The Scenes With The Top Timelapse Shooters
Tom Guilmette is now a pretty regular name on Fstoppers because his BTSVs in the field of video are some of the best we have seen. In the video below Tom travels out west with Eric Kessler to film BTS footage of some of the top timelapse shooters of our time. My personal favorite is Tom Lowe and we haven't heard much from him in the last year because he is still working on his timelapse feature film. Check out the video below to learn from the best.

New HTML Photography Websites Worth Checking Out
If you have followed Fstoppers for any amount of time, you know we are big advocates of photographers having great looking websites. Most photographers love the look of a flash site but more and more companies are starting to offer both flash and HTML versions of their sites. Creative Motion Design has been hard at work creating flashy looking websites that are coded in HTML so your potential clients can check out your work while browsing on their mobile devices and tablet computers. This week CMD released their first fully customizable HTML websites Rosie and Ethan with more designs coming out throughout the rest of 2011. I love the look of Ethan, and the prices on these sites are reasonable especially since CMD's customer service is leagues above many other website design companies. As soon as Lee and I have some free time, we are planning on converting our sites so they load up easier for potential clients.

How To Light An Interview On A Budget
If you are planning a behind the scenes video for our 2011 photo contest, you probably also need to setup an interesting interview segment to explain the details of your photoshoot. Most photographers spend a lot of money on their flash equipment but often don't have much in the way of constant lights. The guys over at SLRlounge have come up with a great BTS video on how you can create an interesting interview set on a budget. In this video, Pye Jirsa used basic work lights mixed with natural ambient light. In our contest video we either shot completely natural light or mixed in some of these inexpensive LED lights to make it a little more interesting. Taking a little bit of time to make your interview footage look good always goes a long way and is often just as fun designing as the actual photoshoot itself.

How To Choose The Correct Softbox For Each Picture
last week Jay P Morgan showed us exactly what softboxes do to light sources. Each softbox shape can be used to create a unique look and in the video below Jay shows us how he chooses the correct size to light a specific shot. Keep in mind that if you don't have enough money to buy multiple sofboxes, you can change the relative size of a single box by moving it closer or further away from your subject.

Zacuto Camera Shootout:  Which Cameras Perform The Best At Video
Have you ever wondered how DSLR cameras match up when compared to film and high end HD video cameras? Last year, Zacuto brought together some of the biggest names in the movie industry to see how well the first round of video capable DSLRs compared to the industry's standard film and HD video cameras in The Great Camera Shoot Out of 2010. This year they have started another series which compares some of the top cameras including 35mm Kodak 5213/5219, Arri Alexa, Red One M-X, Phantom Flex, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, Canon 1D Mark IV, and Nikon D7000 (where is the D3s?), and a bunch of other professional video cameras. The Great Camera Shootout is a must watch if you are a gearhead or simply enjoy seeing how well the current crop of DSLR cameras are at video. It's pretty amazing to see the consumer Nikon D7000 holds its own against such a competitive group; I can only imagine what the next crop of Nikon cameras is going to do! Check out the trailer below and hit the full post for the first episode that outlines exactly what sort of tests Zacuto is going to run.

How Different Sized Softboxes Work Best For Your Portraits
Understanding how different sized softboxes work usually requires a bunch of tests or just good ole trial and error. Luckily photographer Jay P Morgan has done all the dirty work for you and shows how different sized Photoflex softboxes create unique spreads and quality of light. I find smaller softboxes are great for location portraits because of their compact size and soft yet edgy light. However you may prefer something larger depending on the specific look you are trying to achieve. If you enjoy Jay's videos, check out some of his older posts we have featured on Fstoppers.

Super Telephoto Video With RED's New Canon Lens Mount
There is no doubt that the RED's Epic video camera produces some of the most crisp and surreal footage you are likely to see at a reasonably "budget" price point. Up until now, the only lenses you could use with the Epic had to have the PL lens mount found on cine lenses. Recently, photographer turned videographer Vincent Laforet was able to demo the new Canon lens adapter which allows the RED cameras to use most of the EOS mountable lenses. In the video below, Vincent shows what the RED/Canon combo can do out in the field. One particularly interesting combo is the Canon 600mm f/4 L lens mounted with the 2x Canon Teleconverter. Some estimates give this combo a 35mm equivalent of 3400mm with the crop factor but I think it's actually a bit less than that (the RED should have around a 1.2x crop factor depending on the file output). Either way, the footage is pretty amazing and super exciting if you dream of using RED gear down the road with your existing Canon lenses. Any idea how he shot the video in low light? Looks like the lens would be at least at f8 which is almost unusable in anything but bright light.

One Degree from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

How The Most Expensive Camera Body Cap Is Created
A while back we featured a story on a new camera body cap that was designed to protect your DSLR while traveling through the most extreme of circumstances. The LockCircle created a lot of controversy from our readers over both the price and also the size of the cap itself. Well we now have a reason why this body cap is so expensive and know exactly how it works with this amazingly well crafted behind the scenes video. You may scoff at the overall idea of this product but you will no doubt be impressed with the manufacturing process. I usually leave lenses on my cameras even when traveling but I can see the advantage of something like this for extreme condition photographers who shoot in sandy, snowy, or dusty environments where a loose body cap could cause serious problems during a photo session.

A Technical Explanation On How Film And Digital Films Differ
One of our trusted Fstoppers readers sent us this video, and I found it really interesting. Digital cinema specialist Rob Hummel recently gave a lecture at Cine Gear Expo 2011. In his lecture he described exactly what is going on when both film and digital mediums capture light to form an image. The graphics in his presentation help explain why old fashion film can still produce more aesthetically pleasing images than digital. He also describes a little known secret about how gamma rays present at high altitudes can actually destroy camera sensor's pixels. I've personally flown with a bunch of cameras dozens of times with no pixel problems but maybe my cameras are able to mask the destroyed pixels through software? Either way, the exciting news I took from this video is that digital sensors still have a lot of potential gains that can make our images even better in years to come.

Get $50 Off Any Canon DSLR And Get A $450 Printer Free?
Whenever a great deal comes along, we try to help out and share them when we hear about them. Today only there is a great deal on Canon DSLRs bundled with the Canon Pixma Pro 9000 MKII printer. Basically if you buy any Canon DSLR camera with the Canon Pro 9000 printer (currently on sale for $350), you get a $400 AMEX Card which means the printer becomes free and the camera is $50 off. Not bad if you are in the market for a camera or just need the free printer. Lee and I both use this printer for the few photo prints we make and it's amazing what it can do with some good paper. I've heard there are not many of these in stock so once they go they are gone. Simply head over to the Printer Page to see both the instant rebate and the mail-in rebate form. Just make sure you have a camera and the printer all on one transaction. Easy as pie :)

Check Out This Affordable Ring Light For Video Or Stills
In the past a ring light/flash was a piece of gear that few photographers could actually afford. Today there are a few cheaper options including the Diva Ring Light that can be found on eBay. In the video below Olivia Tech does a quick review of the $200 unit. Now you may still be thinking that is a little steep but when you look at similar products, the price isn't too bad.

Japanese Band Androp Uses 250 Canon Cameras and Flashes For Their Stage Show
So your band is about to go on tour and the obvious question is "what are we going to use for our backdrop?" Most bands would normally use a projector, an LED panel, or just some plain old stage lights. What the Japan based band Androp decided to do was much more interesting. Using 250 Canon cameras equipped with external flashes, the band wired everything together and programmed them with Arduino open source software to display different patterns of light and text. You really have to watch the full video to even grasp how cool this turned out. Check out the behind the scenes video below and jump to the full post for the final video.