Micro Dolly – IndiSlider Mini

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2010 by evanbutson

So got a nice little surprise the other day. Just before Xmas on a whim after reading about it on dvxuser.com I decided to order a IndiSlider Mini from IndiSYSTEM’s.  To be honest I didn’t specifically have a job in mind for this, and really just bought it because of the old argument ‘it’s too cheap NOT to buy it’. For $99 US I figured worst case scenario I figured it would be useful to position the camera on a tripod head quickly, even if I didn’t use it for actual tracking shots.

I had seen the Phillip Bloom was using the competing product from Glidetrack, it is significantly more expensive and to my eyes, seems to be overly complex for what it has to do.

There are two options with the IndiSlider, the basic package which is just the track and sliding attachment or the Pro kit that adds two feet so you can table mount the track if you dont want to mount it on a tripod  as well as a ball tripod head. strangely enough I had just picked up a lightweight tripod with the exact same head, and so went for the base unit, figuring I could make my own legs for table top use.

And that was it, I ordered it and promptly forgot about it, until Mr FedEx man arrived at my door with a box containing the IndiSlider.

Off to the local hardware store for some aluminium tubing and a few rubber feet and with a few rounds on the hacksaw and drill press I had put together two feet that would attach to the mounting screws already tapped for the feet that you get with the Pro Kit.

I also picked up a small tube of graphite powder as I figured even the the action seemed pretty smooth, a small dusting of graphite powder couldnt hurt, and might just make it even smoother.

So what to shoot, well I figured that my cat has a habit of sleeping on our dining table for days at a time, so I set the track up on the table and left it there, figuring he would eventually take up his position right in front of the camera and I’d be good. However, what was that thing about not working with children or animals, it was like the cat had an agent and didnt want any shots leaking to the press, he found each and every corner of the table that wasnt in frame to sleep.

I was eventually able to convince him to sit still long enough for one shot, which he preceded to walk out of half way through. So I eventually gave up, shot some tracks of a vase (they don’t move nearly as much, nor do they have that ‘why do you continue to try my patience’ look that cats have). I then decided to annoy the only other living things in the house, namely my wife and our dog. She’s an author and is well known for her writing style which consists of our Pug ‘Tubs’ sleeping underneath her as she taps away. Luckily, whilst she also has the ‘why do you continue to try my patience’ look, she is less inclined to move. And so I was able to get a few tracking shots, and a few track and pan shots at the same time.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So the verdict, its about an 8 out of 10. I was able to get some very smooth shots, although occasionally it would stick a little in the middle. That being said, back and forth a few times and your bound to get a usable take. I probably will get a Glidetrack at some stage, if only to satisfy my curiosity as to how much better it is at 4 times the price give or take. In the meantime, this will definitely become part of my kit.

Adobe E Seminar This Friday – Tapeless Workflow with CS4

Posted in Uncategorized on January 16, 2010 by evanbutson

Hi all,

So my first Adobe Connect Session for the year is on this Friday at 12:00. We will be covering tapeless workflows with CS4, we will look at working with P2 Footage, AVCHD, XDCAM, RED and DSLR files from Nikon. As always, these sessions are free, just need to register in advance here http://adobeeseminars.com.au/sessions/view/video

Look forward to seeing you there

A few of my favorite things

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , , on December 17, 2009 by evanbutson

A friend recently asked for suggestions of a few stocking stuffers she could give her partner who is getting into photography, thought this might make a good post so here goes.

1. Lens Pen: I was introduced to these by a DOP a few years ago, one end has a normal brush that most people have in the camera bags, the other end has a small disc that has a small microfiber like substance used to remove annoying little smudges on lenses etc. I have found that these little devices are pretty much the only thing you really need for cleaning if you have to cut down your kit. I still carry a blower and a microfiber cloth as well, but I have these seeded throughout all my camera bags.

2. UV Filters:  Lenses are expensive, scratches and marks are common, every lens you own should have a protective UV filter, they are comparatively cheap and protect your lens from day to day damage, and they are very easy to replace if you do scratch them.

3. Flash Diffuser: Onboard flashes are next to useless for anything other than happy snaps, however if you must use one, you can knock out a bit of the harshness with an onboard Flash Diffuser, do a search on eBay and you can get them for $10.

4. Remote Shutter Release: One of those things you dont need often, but when you do, you really do!. Most professional DSLR,s will take a connection that allows you to remote trigger the shutter release, as well as focus, and some will also allow other functions as well. Make sure you get one that supports all the features of your camera. The one I have works long distance and also supports Bulb (a great feature is if you set to bulb and hold the release for more than 10 seconds you can let go of the button, and the shutter will stay open till you press it again to close the shutter. Very useful for time-lapse shots.

5. Lens Cloth: Available from the PhotoProShop website, this little cloth snaps onto your camera strap and fives you a nice little cloth that you can use at a moments notice to quickly clean a lens, I also use it to lay over my camera body if I have a lens off it to stop dust getting in as I change lenses. Only problem is you Canon owners might throw up a little in your mouths if you have to have a cloth that has the word Nikon on it.

Native Editing of Nikon D300s files on a Mac

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , , on December 11, 2009 by evanbutson

This link was kindly provided by Alex. Havnt had a chance to give it a go yet, but looks like it will trick a Mac into playing the D300s AVI files on a Mac in Premiere for editing.


Adobe E Seminar – Using RED with CS4

Posted in Connect Recordings with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by evanbutson

So here’s the link to the Connect Session – Using RED Digital Cinemas Systems with CS4. Just for fun I ran this entire session on my MacBook Pro just to show you how little grunt you really need to edit 4K RED Files.

Super High Speed Video

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , on November 25, 2009 by evanbutson

Here is an interesting article on using the Casio still cameras that can shoot upto and over 1000fps. This article explains how to shoot sort of Matrix inspired freeze frame motion shots on a camera that can cost as little as $500


Adobe E – Seminar

Posted in Upcoming Connects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2009 by evanbutson

So have my final eSeminar for the year this Friday. We will be covering working with footage from the RED Digital Cinema System.

Learn how you can hire a RED camera for less than most pro video cameras a day, and shoot up to 4K feature film quality and then edit that footage natively in Premiere Pro CS4, grade in After Effects and then produce a BluRay DVD of the project, all native, all realtime. Its pretty cool stuff actually.

As always the sessions are free, just need to register here, we will be live as 12:00 Melburne time this Friday.