Many filmmakers and videographers are looking for an affordable and portable camera dolly system to add smooth tracking shots to their productions. The Rail Runner camera dolly system is a versatile, and portable camera dolly system that delivers the benefits of a skate dolly combined with the smoothness and versatility of a rail dolly. With its exclusive “rail hugger” wheel system, the dolly can be used on any flat surface for orbiting, low angle, and tabletop product shots; or the dolly can be mounted on rails or ride on wood planks for ultra-smooth long tracking shots. Continue reading →
This is a test of a DIY jib arm design for small, light cameras like the GoPro Hero. the boom is a 12′ paint extension pole. I need to work on the trapeze so that it has less friction, but overall I can see this as a useful tool. I want to try my Samsung HZ10W next, as the GoPro is not the best video quality and the fisheye lens is so wide that you cannot avoid lens flares. Shot at 720 60p conformed to 24Fps. ungraded, edited as Prores in FCP, compressed with the Elgato Turbo H264HD.
The trouble with sourcing critical Jaybilizer parts from B&H and Adorama is that they are both closed for Passover. I’m out of stock with some parts of the Jaybilizer 3000 and Adorama wont start shipping again until Wednesday April 7. Hopefully with UPS two day I’ll have parts on Friday or Saturday. This is an unfortunate downside of just in time production. I had to post a notice that I am temporarly out Jaybilizer 3000sand am down to one Jaybilizer HDSLR in stock.
I finally launched Jaybilizer.com as its own site. It is where I can sell my affordable cameras stabilizers and other camera support gear. To launch the site I’m introducing the Jaybilizer HDSLR Merlin type camera stabilizer specifically designed for the use with the Canon 5DMk2 DSLR. You can also get to Jaybilizer.com By clicking on the productscts tab on this site.
The Jaybilizer HDSLR is a Stedicam Merlin-like camera stabilizer that is optimized for shooting with the new generation of digital SLR cameras that shoot high definition video.
These cameras produce stunning quality with a film-like narrow depth of field and ultra low light capabilities. The downside is that these cameras are unwieldy for shooting video. The Jaybilizer HDSLR solves this problem and allows photographers and cinematographers to do Steadicam-like “flying” shots. The Jaybilizer is constructed of high quality steel and 6061 aluminum, with a heavy duty steel ball gimbal. The 8″ counterweight bar also acts as a tripod for easily setting down and storing the Jaybilizer. The Jaybilizer HDSLR is an affordable alternative to other expensive stabilizers, at $199 it cost only a quarter as much as the Steadicam Merlin.
The trouble with most camera stabilizers is that it is difficult and time consuming to properly balance a camera. The Jabilizer HDSLR makes this process much easier with both side to side and forward and backward infinitely adjustable sliding balance plates. The Jaybilizer is optimized for camera and lens combinations that weigh between 1.5 and 4 lbs. For lighter camcorders there is also the Jaybilizer 3000 which works with camera rigs up to 3 lbs.
Some of the DSLR cameras that the Jaybilizer HDSLR works with include:
Jaybilizer HDSLR with Lumix GH1
The Canon 5DMK2
The Canon 7D
The Nikon D90
The Nkon D5000
The Lumix GH1
The Olympus E-P1
The Pentax K7
Jaybilizer HDSLR Key Features
* Steel ball gimbal
* heavy duty steel and machined 6061 aluminum construction
* Foam comfort grip
* Can be configured to shoot inverted
* Fully adjustable camera plate
* Easy one screw infinite side balance adjustment
* Works with a wide variety of camcorders and DSLRs
* Quick release camera plate
* Supports camera rigs up to 4 lbs
* Black Textured Satin Finish
* 25 counterweight washers
* 8″ counterweight bar allows you to store the Jabilizer HDSLR upright and improves balance.
Mea Cupla is a short film exercise for my sound design class at Front Range Community College. The dialog and action were totally improvised and the video was shot in a half hour (still enough to irritate some other teachers :-)) We were testing recording second system sound using a Marantz PMD661 digital recorder and a EV RE-15 microphone on a boom. I was also testing shooting with the Panasonic GH1 camera at 720p at 60fps, the project was edited in Final Cut Pro 6 with a 29.97fps timeline. I used 50% speed with no frame blending for the slow motion shots. And finally I want to demonstrated some running tracking shots with the Jaybilizer3000 DIY camera stabilizer. The entire video was shot with a Panasonic GH1 camera using available light at ISO 1600 on my Jaybilizer3000 DIY camera stabilizer
A Jay Shaffer Film
MGD-163 Sound Design Class:
This is a 60 sec. PSA for the college I teach at. It promotes the use of hand sanitizer to prevent flu infection.
It was shot in one class period using an Canon HV30 camcorder. I also used a Jag35 DOF adapter for several shots and shot all but two shots using the Jaybilizer3000 camera stabilizer.
Post was in FCP I only used the three-way color corrector and vignetted shots to match the DOF footage.
A film by Jay Shaffer
Asst. director: Gavin Townsend
Uninfected Student: Tim Brazzell
I finally shot and edited this video that goes over some of the shooting techniques for the Jaybilizer 3000 , my homemade “Steadicam Merlin-type” camera stabilizer. The techniques include orbiting shots, tracking shots, low angle tracking shots, flying Shots and crane shots. I shot most of the video with a Canon HV30 on the Jaybilizer 3000 with some additional hand-held footage shot by Rob Martin with a Sony EX1.
Credits: Credits: Thanks to Rob Martin for the excellent EX1 handheld shots
Special Thanks to StickerGiant for the cool Jaybilizer 3000 stickers stickergiant.com/
Special thanks to Jeru at Jag35 for the Jag35 DOF Adapter jag35.com/
Find out More about the Jaybilizer 3000 jayshaffervideo.com/products/
Okay okay, I know $1500 is a lot of scratch, but hear me out as to why you should use this camera to shoot your next no-budget indie film. Sure, being a DSLR Hybrid, it’s not as versatile and as easy to use as a camcorder especially for “Run and Gun” shooting (see the HF S1000 below), but for film style shooting this thing is the cat’s pajamas.
First off there is no need to get a DOF lens adaptor to give you shots that narrow depth of field and nice bokeh in the background. This camera’s Leica G Vario HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 lens kit lens is a really nice 10x zoom, but the real story is because of the micro 4/3 lens mount and it’s narrow flange depth you can adapt just about any 35mm, 35mm cine, 16mm cine or 2/3 inch video lens to the thing.
A couple other positives is that it uses SDHC cards to record AVCHD video. that you can drop strait into your editing workflow or use VoltaicHD 24p software to import full HD 24p. Also unlike the Nikon D90 and the Canon Rebel T1i this camera allows you full manual control over exposure and it even has a external stereo mic input.
I know some of you are waiting on a Scarlet. and yes, the Scarlet does have variable frame rates and XLR inputs,and yes it may be worth it to wait in line and spend twice as much money on a Red 2/3″ Scarlet, but remember that the GH1’s sensor is bigger than even the Red One’s. Oh, and it actually comes in red.
Canon VIXIA HFS100 HD Flash Memory Camcorder ~$900 street price
For a couple of years now the low budget camcorder of choice was the Canon HV series ( the HV-20 HV-30 and the HV-40) so why the S100? It has all the features of the HV-40 and It shoots full 1920X 1080P at 24Mbs on SDHC cards and is under a thousand bucks on the street. ’nuff said.
The Manfrotto/Bogen 701HDV,547BK Video Tripod System Kit $300 from B&H
If your camera rig is less than 8.8 pounds then this is the tripod and fluid head you need. The 701 is buttery smooth for light camcorders and DSLRs and these two stage aluminum legs are super-solid for the price. If your rig is haevier then throw down an extra $60 for the Manfrotto 501 head that is comfortable up to 13 lbs.
Audio Technica ATR-55 Condenser Shotgun Microphone $50 street price
Sure you could spend over $500 on a Sennheiser ME-88 shotgun mic (if you had a budget) but for improving basic camcorder mics you can’t beat this package. You get a nice sounding shotgun condenser mic with a mini and 1/4″ connector and a hotshoe mount plus a boom or stand mount for the price of a smooze lunch.
the Cavision Rs1580D-SPE Shoulder mount rail system $200 from B&H
Nothing sexes up your camera rig like a rail system,and when you need to take the camera handheld having a dual-handle shoulder mount system will save your film as well as your back. The Cavision set-up wins by a hair over the $269 indiRAILSpro XVsm from Indiefocus.com because of it’s adjustable shoulder pad and extra $70 in your pocket.
JAG35pro DOF Adapter $300
If you have a small sensor camcorder, that wide depth of field is a dead giveaway that you shooting no budget video.. You want teenie-weenie depth of field to give you those luscious soft focus backgrounds for that big budget film look.
There are tons of DOF adators and plans for DOF adaptors out there, but Jehu Garcia cut through all the BS and went and produced the best bragain 35mm DOF adaptor out there. You can spend 4 times as much on a Letus, but you won’t be getting any better video for your money. You can get the JAG35 Pro Frig-rig and a frig-rig rail system for under $600 and forget item #5.
DFocus follow focus $100
David Aldrich broke the price barrier on follow focus systems. If you are using 35mm lenses on a JAG35 or manual focus lenses on a DSLR rig, the DFocus system will give you repeatable control over those trick narrow focus shots.
Budget Matte Box $189
Most of the time matte boxes on camcorder rigs are just set dressing. Screw-on filters and a black cardboard french flag are all you really need. But if you do ever need to use 4X4 Filters or actually pull an in-camera matte and look sexy doing it, you need a matte box I think spending over $350 for a matte box without filters is ridiculous, that’s why I recommend this $189 beauty from ImageWest.tv.
Low budget fluorescent Soft lights $399
Again, the nod goes to ImageWest for a set of large cool softlights. These babies give you that wrap-around light that make starlets look sultry and (ahem older ) actors look, well, like well-lit actors. Being flourescent they are a bazillion times cooler and energy efficient than halogens. And they will last at least until LED lights become affordable for us mortals.
Okay everybody knows Stedicam Merlins are WAAAY overpriced and I probably should have used this slot to hype my homebuilt “Jaybilizer 3000” but even I can’t match the features and price of the Modo Steady 585. This thing is a do-everthing Sham-wow with Ferrari styling. I’m surprised everybody doesn’t have one of these. It’s a shoulder brace, mini-tripod, and a Merlin type stabilizer that folds up like a swiss army knife and is so cute it will have hotties signing model releases in nothing flat.
Let’s just keep this a secret and I’ll give you a price-break on the Jaybilizer 3000 (which will handle a heavier camera than the Modo, BTW)