This has to be one of the best bargains in DLSR/Camcorder accessories on the market today. LED panel lights have been around for years, but they sold for hundreds of dollars. In the past couple of years, lower cost versions started to show up. My personal favorite is the Neewer CN-160 LED Video Light. It produces a great deal of light, and includes diffusion and color correction filters. One of the best features is that it can be powered by the same batteries used by camcorders from Sony and Panasonic, as well as standard AA batteries. For users of these camcorders, it’s a huge benefit to be able to share the same batteries. Even if you use a DSLR, or some other type of camera, low cost versions of these batteries and chargers are widely available.
A short film from Salomon Ligthelm. Well worth a watch. Check him out at www.themusicbed.com
Sometimes things fall into place just so. Or something reasonably close. This camera was Canon’s entry into the “mirrorless” arena. That term annoys me in a way, but that’s a whole other can o’ worms. Unfortunately for the little EOS-M, the firmware the camera was released with in 2012 was lacking in a couple of areas. Most important for the still shooters, auto focus was just plain slow. A firmware revision was released last summer. Autofocus was more than twice as fast. More in line with the competition. Sadly, sales were not what they could have been. Canon cut the price in half in recent months, making this camera a bargain in more ways than one.
For you video fans, this camera has the same sensor as a T4i/5i, jammed into a very small package. Oh, and one small thing, it can record video for 30 minutes at a time. Yes, you read that correctly. Nearly three times recording time of a T3i.
Sure it does not have the fully manual video mode of its DSLR cousins. It is however compact, and inexpensive, and produces essentially the same video quality as its larger kin. Three lenses are available in the EF-M format, but there is an available adapter to use your EF and EF-S compatible glass. Sure, it will look silly, but it’s results that count. In video mode, with the included 22mm prime, the EOS-M clearly outperforms my T3i with its Tamron 17-55 2.8 lens. I’m really curious to see what the EOS-M does with the Tamron in place. The difference was pretty startling, and I don’t know how much to attribute to the quality of the little prime lens.
Yes, this also features continuous autofocus on compatible lenses, including the tiny 22mm prime. Unfortunately, it loves to hunt, and this is a problem in video mode. It’s a mistake to expect what you would from a camcorder for a camera like this, not to mention many a DSLR. You still can go one shot auto, or full manual focus. Exposure is automatic, but can be locked.
Canon was up against some tough competition at the original price for the EOS-M. At the reduced price, at least as long as the remaining stock holds out, it’s a good value for the still shooter. It’s an amazing deal for a videographer on a budget. And an inexpensive match for footage from a T3i, T4i, T5i, and related Canons.
I’ve not had a chance to put my hands on this one, but looks pretty attractive for the price. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a less expensive rig that includes follow focus and a matte box. Looks pretty good in the photos. Read more about the Fotodiox WonderRig Elite.
I was looking for some workaround to buying an expensive external video monitor for my Canon DSLR. In searching around, I ran across DSLR Controller for Android. After installing it on a Nexus 7, I was more than impressed. You can control most of the important functions of the camera from the tablet. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focus mode, and more. You can do a “touch to focus” which works surprisingly well. And there is even a stepped focus mode, which is a pretty good alternative to a follow focus. It’s a great asset for still shooters too, as you can shoot from the tablet, and review the images on a larger screen. A big plus for folks like myself with eyesight that is not what it once was.
In short, this can’t completely replace a dedicated 7″ monitor. For starters, the framerate is limited, and there is a small lag. While color balance on a Nexus 7 is good, it’s not a reference monitor. Finally, the cable connection requires a connector known as an “OTG adapter”, which adds another possible failure point. Not all Android devices are supported, but you can download a free app to test to see if your Android device is supported or not. You can also find a list of tested phones and tablets on the developer’s website.
The bottom line is, for less than $10 for the app, and yes I did buy it, this is a heck of a value. Add the cost of a lower end tablet, and you are still at a fraction of a dedicated 7″ monitor. While this may not be a full replacement, for many out there, it may be all you need.