Friday, April 24, 2015

Frugal Cage Teleprompter

As promised in the Frugal Camera Cage II video, I've created a teleprompter option that I've detailed in the above video. Prompters are great for reading copy while looking directly into the camera lens. I've been struggling lately with having to adlib all of my content, but writing it then reading while looking into the camera should makes this process a lot easier less stressful.

Since the main Frugal Cage is already in place, adding the reflective glass and repositioning my external monitor was easy. Next, I fed the monitor from my laptop using the free All I have to do is read while the text scrolls. I still make mistakes, but now I don't have to worry that I'll be up all night trying to hit the same points in every take. It's all right there in front of me.

Dual flash bracket (straight)
Hot/cold shoe camera adapter
Glass from 5"x7" picture frame (any retail store)
Mini ball head

Tablet tripod mount
Smartphone tripod mount
Quick Release Showdown

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Glide Gear DEV-1000 Camera Slider

Camera sliders can be a great alternative to the old filmmaking standby: the dolly. When you don't need a long or complicated dolly shot, but just need gentle tracking across a wide shot, a camera slider is perfect.

The Glide Gear DEV-1000 is an entry level slider that runs just 23" across and will give you just enough length to get those shots and needs only one point of support (like a tripod). It's well-made, good-looking, compact, effective, and affordable. I go into more detail in the video (as well as show off some test footage), but I couldn't find much to complain about with the DEV-1000.

Like a lot of camera gear, a slider is a specialty item that you will probably only use occasionally. If you do need one, and want to class-up your video, this model is a good choice for small-to-medium camera setups.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Frugal Cage Lens Support

I really like adapting vintage lenses to my little Sony NEX 5n, but the longer the focal length gets, the heavier the lens. This is especially true with old glass that is completely surrounded by metal. I have a Minolta Celtic 135mm f/2.8 that I really like, but there's no way I can hang it on my small camera's lens mount when attached to the Frugal Cage.

I needed some kind of lens support, but without a rod-based camera rig (the Frugal Cage is flash bracket based), I wasn't sure what to do. Enter the 7" articulating "magic" arm. This gadgets have 1001 uses, but when attached to the forward bracket of the Frugal Cage, it can also act as a lens support. All you need to do is attach some hoop-side velcro to the provided nut and lock it into place.

Now the end of your heavy lens is supported and if it move forward or back while focusing, the lens barrel will easily slide along the velcro without getting scratched up. This trick also worked on my large Vivitar Series 1 zoom lenses, which means I will finally get to use them for some narrative shoots.


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