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GoPro GoWild

I recently used a GoPro for some shots for a video I needed to make for a final project. What I did this time around was use the suction mount to hang the camera from inside of my windshield. By doing this I was able to get a shot of basically the entire interior of my car. So the shots I got looked pretty good but they all start with that fisheye kind of distorting  because of the GoPro’s wide angle lens.  I know I can throw the footage into the GoPro editing program to remove this but I have actually never needed or even felt like using it until now.  Read the rest of this entry

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Cameras for All

Always thinking about cinematography it is amazing how far the industry has some. 2-Perf Mind got me thinking about how easily accessible camera are compared to year ago when movies were made solely on filmstock. Nowadays many people can get just a fairly cheap DSLR camera and take outstanding pictures or videos. You don’t need to be a professional to be able to be a creative. The cost of equipment is still on the expensive side when comparing it to various other hobbies but you put in what you are willing to pay and what you want to capture. I believe this could be what separates pros from semipro and amateurs. When I looks at my future of working on films or perhaps even having my own studio I know I am store for a long line of expenses. Cameras, lights, editing software, sets, props, rigs, computers, monitors, mics, and so on. The list could go on. So while the camera itself can be easily accessible there is a lot that comes into play when thinking about cinematography. Its an exciting but expensive industry. For the time being I am fine with my DSLR, a few lenses, and some minor other accessories. Always looking forward to upgrade though.

Be Smart, Don’t Smoke

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Smoking is a terrible habit. First off it is expensive and secondly think about the damages it can do to your body. Everything is okay in moderation and smoking is the same. If you need some nicotine then maybe it is okay to have a smoke here and there. However there are plenty of healthier alternatives. Be smart and stay healthy.

 

Cigars for Class

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There is always that classy feeling of being able to pull out a nice cigar and light it up. You always imagine the hot shots at businesses opening a box of cubans and spreading them around. Cigars bring people together for some great quality time and intriguing conversation. If you enjoy the occasion cigar with pals, then you are a friend of mine. Stay classy.

 

Camcorder vs. DSLR

Throughout my interest in videography, I always ask myself whether I should invest in an expensive, high quality, professional camera. However I don’t believe I am in that stage of my life where I need to drop upwards of five grand on something when I could get about the same result from other cameras. Currently I own a sony HD handycam and a gopro. I have been seriously debating whether or not I want or even need a DSLR camera. I have compiled a pros and cons list of each.  Keep in mind I am discussing the more amateur style camcorders not the semi pro or pro camcorders.

Pros Camcorder

  1. Price – Many camcorders like my sony HD handycam don’t run more than about five-hundred dollars for a decent one. As long as it has a decent lens it can capture some pretty good shots. I wouldn’t suggest investing in a camcorder that doesn’t record HD for the sole purpose that images come out far clearer. Unless you just want a camera to capture some home movies. An HD camcorder is a good option for consumers on a tight budget.
  2. User Friendly – The consumer camcorders on the market today are generally small and easy to get used to. It won’t take awhile for someone to pick one up and learn all the settings on the device.
  3. Phones! – This has to be one of my favorites. Could a phone be considered a camcorder? Anyways it is amazing how far cameras in cell phones have come since just a few years ago. Nowadays anybody can just whip out their smartphone and be recording on at least 720P. This is a convenience for any film maker.

Cons Camcorders

  1. Lighting – Although it is possible to obtain a great image from HD camcorders, it requires some work. A lot of consumer camcorders don’t accommodate for poor lighting. By this I mean excess light will create a washed out image that can be hard to fix while not enough light can cause the image to come out grainy. This is something to keep in mind.
  2. Stills – There is an option to take still images on camcorders but they are nowhere as clear as an image a DSLR would give. This is because the lens on a camcorder is more designed for video.

Pros DSLR

  1. Lenses – There are a vast variety of lenses for a DSLR. I’d rather put this as a pro than a con because lenses really do come in handy when shooting different shots. Its easy to create the dynamic shots you are looking for. However each lens has its purpose and requires practice. Plenty of experimenting is always a good thing to try with each lens.
  2. Modes/filters – There are various setting on DSLR you can use depending on the kind of image you want. They are mostly for taking picture but filters can also be added to create warmer or cooler images. This is especially helpful when lighting is an issue.
  3. Sensors – The reason that DSLRs can produce such high quality images is because their sensor is usually larger than those of camcorders. This goes along with lenses because the bigger the sensor the more light is able to be let in and to be capture.

Cons DSLR

  1. Price – DSLRs generally run from upwards of five-hundred dollars. This isn’t even including the necessary lenses, flashes, and microphones you would have to add to create something the way you wanted.
  2. Accessories – Like I just mentioned accessories can be expensive. And sometimes they are even necessary. So if you are willing to throw down the extra cash to get some top-notch lights, mics, and lenses then you could easily give any shot you take a cinematic view.
  3. Convenience –  DSLRs are slightly inconvenient because they weigh more than a camcorder. This normally isn’t a big deal for most people however. It can also be inconvenient because of all the accessories mentioned above.

So those are some of my person opinions and know how of each device. Here is a quick video explaining some difference and is more on the Pro DSLR side of the argument.

After watching the video it makes a compelling argument as to why I should invest in a DSLR over some camcorder. So many options and ways I could use it. Those images don’t lie. It could definitely be worth the money for project I’m looking to work on in the future.

Steadi as she Goes, Rigs for less

For a long time now I have been thinking about DIY (Do it yourself) project, specifically camera rigs. Is it really worth just taking the time to build one or should I just dish out the cash for the cheapest thing I can find? As of right now I’ve been looking into rigs I can use for a steadicam that will give me plenty of mobility. Granted I don’t have much experience with using a steadicam rig so I figure I should get some practice in with something cheap I can find.

Here’s a video from indy mogul demonstrating how Zach King from thefinalcutking is able to create a steadicam for just about $15!

King uses some basic materials to build with from pipes, to free weights, to just a simple piece of for a mount. It doesnt get much simpler than this people. I think if I were to create something I would at least want a more efficient way of mounting my camera. I’ve found it amazing the kind of rigs that people can make just by going down to the hardware store. However I am still skeptical whether I should go out and build my own or just invest in a more expensive rig that I know will last and probably be more reliable. But you really can’t beat the price of $15 dollars right?

Being someone on a tight budget I’m always looking to save some money. These DIY projects are perfect for any student, amateur film maker, or anyone that is trying to have that professional look at a lower cost. I plan to be looking into more DIY yourself projects that I may pursue. Because I am always looking for that professional look when it comes to making videos.

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