The $350 docu-filmmaking kit: Depreciation is Wonderful

Last week, I went out with some friends for yet another night on the town.  I brought along my Sony NEX-5n with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 pancake lens and made the short “Tuesday”. I recently discovered that this combo can be bought

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Wider, Brighter, Cheaper? Metabones Speed Booster + Nikon Manual Lenses

Last night I hit the town to test out the Metabones Speed Booster on my Sony NEX-5n with some old Nikon manual lenses.  For the uninitiated, the Speed Booster is the “Holy Grail” adapter that allows any NEX camera to accept full-frame Canon

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Skip the ND (Neutral Density) Filter and add your motion blur back in post

Neutral Denstiy Filters are a pain to use. From storing them, to attaching and removing them from the camera, to adjusting them to changing lighting conditions, they add significant hassle to video production.  For the un-initated: we use ND’s to cut down

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Walk Like a Steadicam (Part 2)

It’ s long been my geeky dream to be able to get those fluid Steadicam-style tracking shots without any external gear.  Last year I posted a couple tests using warp stabilizer to smooth out the bumps, to mixed results. I’ve been practicing

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Your Sony RX100 can go aerial for about $700 with the DJI Phantom

Quadcopters, those mini-helicopters that fly cameras with amazing fluidity, have been around for a while.  But their cost and complicated operation has kept them out of the reach of non-helicopter experts until recently . Enter the DJI Phantom: a low-cost, backpack-sized, pre-built

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The holy grail: turn your NEX camera into full-frame for $600 (and use almost any lens)

  A revolution is about to hit the mirrorless camera world.  NEX is now full-frame.  Your NEX-5n videos will now have the same shallow depth-of-field, wide angles, and amazing low-light performance of a Canon 5d MKIII.  How? A new spin on some

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“Roadside” – Impromptu GH2 Short Film

I’m currently on a reality shoot in Texas and had my Panasonic GH2 along for interviews.  During a drive from San Antonio to Austin, I got an itch to go jogging and pulled off at a random exit.  I noticed the wind

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Handheld Filmmaking with Dual Cameras, Part One: Production Gear

I’ve been doing a lot of “dual-cam” documentary shooting over the last several months. By dual-cam, I mean filming two angles at once by operating two handheld cameras.  The main advantage of this is being able to record both characters in a

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Sony’s sexiest camera ever? Full-frame sensor, 1080p and almost pocket-sized

The full-frame big brother of my favorite pocket photo/video camera, the Sony RX100, is arriving around December 14th. The RX1 will feature the same massive sensor used in Sony’s top-of-the-line SLT-A99, but it will weigh one pound and be small enough to fit in

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How to properly apply for a Reality TV show, from a disgruntled casting director

I’ve been working in documentary and reality TV for several years now, doing everything from casting to shooting to editing.  My least favorite part by far is casting, and right now I’m in the middle of a big project and becoming a

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