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Filmmaking

Illuminated lampshades take to the air (with a little help from a drone inside each one), ...

Fans of the Disney classic Fantasia will no doubt remember the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of that film, in which a hapless Mickey Mouse accidentally brings an army of mops to life. Well, Cirque du Soleil has teamed up with ETH Zurich and spinoff group Verity Studios to create a somewhat similar video entitled Sparked – instead of mops, however, it features a fleet of lampshade-clad quadcopters.  Read More

The Iris+ quadcopter can follow a paired GPS-equipped Android device

Last year, 3D Robotics announced its Iris quadcopter drone. Like other similar products, it can either be flown manually using radio remote control, or it can use its onboard GPS to autonomously fly between a series of preprogrammed waypoints. Today, however, the company announced its successor, the Iris +. Its big feature is the Follow Me function, which allows it to automatically fly along above a moving ground-based GPS-enabled Android device. This means that when equipped with a GoPro actioncam, it can get tracking footage of you as you cycle, ski or surf.  Read More

The Qudos Action light, mounted alongside a GoPro Hero 3 White edition camera

We've seen a plethora of accessories for the GoPro Hero actioncam cropping up over the past few years, including everything from stabilizers to drones to helmet-mounted poles. Surprisingly, though, except for scuba-specific models, there's been almost nothing in the way of lights. Australian bike gadget manufacturer Knog recently set out to fill that void, by releasing its Qudos Action light earlier this month. I recently had a chance to get my hands on the thing, and liked what it had to offer.  Read More

The Elephant Steady utilizes the iPhone's gyroscope and processor as its brains

One of the neat things about smartphones is the fact that when gadgets are designed to be used with them, those devices can make use of the phone's sensors and other electronics instead of incorporating their own. This, of course, means that those devices can thus be smaller and cheaper than would otherwise be possible. The Elephant Steady is a new motorized iPhone camera-stabilizing rig, that takes this approach.  Read More

The DJI Ronin uses the company's ZenMuse system, first designed for aerial videography

DJI Innovations is a company that's best-known for its consumer and professional-grade multicopters, including the popular Phantom line of quadcopters. One of its products, the ZenMuse, is a motorized gimbal designed to keep cameras steady and level when mounted beneath such aircraft. Now, that same tech is available for hand-held video cameras, in the form of the Ronin stabilizing rig.  Read More

Tiffen's Steadicam Curve gets put to the test

While there may now be a slew of compact camcorder stabilizing rigs on the market, it was Tiffen that offered the first such product three years ago, in the form of its Steadicam Smoothee. Late last year, the company began shipping its Steadicam Curve – a device that's similar to the Smoothee, but optimized for use with GoPro Hero actioncams. I recently had the chance to try the Curve out for myself, to see how good it really is at smoothin' out the shakes.  Read More

The Luuv works with a number of smartphones and small camcorders, including the GoPro Hero...

With the number of video stabilizing rigs for GoPros and smartphones hitting the market lately, if one wants to stand out, it's gotta be different. Well, the Luuv is just that. Besides having a unique form factor, it can be flipped over and used upside-down.  Read More

Uneasy Lies the Mind was shot on an iPhone 5, using cinema-quality lenses

While the folks at Apple would undoubtedly love it if filmmakers everywhere ditched their high-end video cameras for iPhones, the fact is that the phone's tiny lens, sensor and other features are no match for those on something like the RED Scarlet X. It was those limiting factors, however, that made the phone an ideal choice for the recently-completed indie psychological thriller, Uneasy Lies the Mind. It's being promoted as "The first narrative feature film to be shot entirely on the iPhone."  Read More

The original Padcaster (pictured) could soon be getting a baby brother

In one of Apple's latest TV commercials, you might have noticed a shot of someone using a very accessorized iPad to shoot video of a waterfall. Well, that iPad is able to accommodate all that gear thanks to its Padcaster rig. Now, a smaller version of the device, known as the Padcaster Mini, has been designed for use with the iPad mini.  Read More

The Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera, sporting its snazzy retro pistol grip

There was a time, not all that long ago, when most independent film-makers shot their projects on relatively-inexpensive 16mm film – it wasn't as pricey as 35mm, but was definitely a step up from Super 8. The cameras shooting that film were quite often made by the venerable Swiss manufacturer, Bolex. Today, in the age of digital video, film-makers wanting to take a step up from consumer-grade camcorders are looking at some pretty expensive gear. LA-based entrepreneurs Joe Rubinstein and Elle Schneider are trying to change that, with the introduction of their Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera.  Read More

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