Tag Archive: gear


So you have a DSLR and want to buy a new lens. Of course there are gobs of lenses out there. And a gob of manufactures that make gobs of lenses. Basically, a lot of choices.

The folks at Crisislab have experimented with the workhorse lens of the photographer (24-70mm f/2.8) and compared four brands side-by-side.

These lenses are not cheap, but they could really improve your shots. And if you are looking to upgrade your DSLR, a new lens is usually at the top of the list.

These guys do a great job of comparing the lenses not only for still photography, but also for video. Which is important because so many people are using DSLR to shoot HD video.

Spoiler: They don’t even pick the Canon or the Nikon. They choose the Tamron! The deciding factor was the Optical Stabilization on the Tamron. Spoiler 2: They destroy lenses with baseball bats!

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Many venues are preparing for the Christmas season. A lot of hard work goes into producing the various plays, concerts, and cantatas that are presented this time of year. Because of all this work, it it nice to have a video of the presentation. You and I, as the volunteer tech person, are generally placed in charge of this task. So why not make this year’s video a little cooler.

Instead of using one camera to record the show, get a hold of several cameras. Borrowing cameras from friends or people in your congregation is a great way to go. Another option is to purchase a couple mini HD cameras. They are fairly inexpensive, and take full HD video.

Now, during the production, it is unlikely that you will get to run around the stage getting close ups of your instrumentalist or the view from the choir loft. However, with the mini HD cameras, you can discreetly place them around the stage to get cool shots of the piano player’s hands or close up of the timpani or a the view looking into the crowd from behind the actors.

But how will you get the cameras to stay in place? With the clip lamp camera mount, of course!

In this video, The Frugal Filmmaker shows us how to make a cheap clip-on camera mount. It looks useful for clamping small cameras in areas where a cameraman would be distracting.
 

Have fun making an awesome multi-camera Christmas concert video!

I have a Canon HV30. It’s a nice little handheld camera. It takes HD video and is pretty easy to work with. If you have ever used a handheld video camera, you know the “awww man” moment when you watch the video and it is all shaky, especially if you, as the cameraman, were moving around.

These guys built a DIY shoulder mount for their DSLR camera. It seemed to work great for them, and the price was right.

So I built one to use with my video camera. It worked really well. I used it at a 5K event. It was very comfortable for standing still shots, and helped to steady the camera when I moved. The best use came as I rode on the back of a 4-wheeler, facing backwards and filming the 1st place runner. That was fun.

At my church, we use a wireless mic system for our pastor and music guy. We use 8-10 batteries every week. I have wondered about using rechargeable batteries for a while. It just seems so much easier to grab a couple of new batteries from a package rather than dealing with the hassle of the rechargeable type.

I found an article where the author talks about standard alkaline vs rechargeable batteries in his church. They use 40 batteries every week! That would be a big, seemingly confusing system for rechargeable batteries.

I think our church might be able to pull it off though.