When I was a kid, it always used to bug me when someone was supposed to be talking on a locked-off “video phone” in a movie, and yet the phone would pan with them to keep them in the shot!
Well, like a lot of other things from sci-fi movies of the past, motorized face-tracking webcams
are now a reality – albeit, they’re still not very common. As it turns out, however, more and more video calls are being made not from desktop computers, but from smartphones. So, that being the case, how do you go about getting one of those
to pan with you? Well, you could buy something like the Swivl.
One thing you can say about smartphones: their limitations have opened the door for all sorts of new inventions. Among those limitations are the facts that many phones lack a tripod mount, and require a model-specific cover/kickstand if you wish to prop them up. That's where Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi and Bojan Smiljanic's invention, called Capta, comes in. It's a universal stand, tripod mount and cable management system, that works with any make or model of smartphone, or other mobile device.
If you’re a videographer, and want to elevate your work from just looking competent to looking slick
, one of the best things you can do is put your camera on a dolly. No, I’m not talking about a Ken or Barbie, but a wheeled camera mount that allows you to do smooth, fluid tracking shots. While the Spielbergs of the world use actual purpose-built camera dollies, lower-budget film-makers often make do with wheelchairs, skateboards, or wheeled spreaders that mount on the bottom of industrial-sized tripods. Given the popularity of JOBY’s compact and flexible GorillaPod
tripods, however, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that someone has developed a wheel system for them – it’s called CineSkates.
Since the advent of compact digital cameras, tiny tripods (or minipods, or whatever you want to call them) have become a pretty common sight. They’re often even included as part of a digital camera package, along with the ubiquitous lens-cleaning cloth. Given that they appear to be a popular tool, Gerber has done the obvious, and built one into its new Steady multitool.
Shooting movies and television shows using digital SLR (DSLR) cameras that also record high definition video is becoming much more widespread - in fact, the Season 6 finale of House
was shot using Canon's EOS 5D Mark II camera, and Philip Bloom is said to have shot a number of scenes for the upcoming Lucasfilm World War II film Red Tails
using the very same model. If you're looking to make your own DSLR epic, then you'll want to keep things steady while chasing someone down the stairs or running after your star through a busy city street. The Mount Kestrel Duopod concept from designer Ben Millett is a solid-looking shoulder-mounted steadicam rig that can also double as a floor-standing, two-legged camera platform.
DSLR cameras have brought high-def video capture into the hands of vast numbers of people like myself – people who have now had a glimpse at the possibility of making pro-standard video but who don't have the cash for all the pricey accessories that you need to move to the next level. So a bunch of businesses are taking creative approaches to bring down the cost of moviemaking – and here's a neat example. RigWheels are a simple and compact way to build yourself a cheap camera dolly to liven up your footage with sliding shots – the visual effect is similar to what we got with a slightly more expensive Glidetrack
-type slider rig on our recent Zero Electric Supermoto review video
The Glif offers a simple and easy mount for your iPhone, to be used to connect to a tripod or as a propping mount for various functions. It is small and portable enough to fit snugly in your pocket or handbag, and comes with a 1/4"-20 thread that fits most standard tripods or camera mounts.
Joby has continued a steady stream of product releases by tweaking the Gorillapod mobile tripod series for iPhone 4
. The Gorillamobile for iPhone 4 features the flexible legs found on all Gorillapod
tripods and a stand-alone bumper case to protect your device when in your pocket or packed away.
Joby’s Gorillatorch line has been removing the torches from DIYer’s mouths and underarms for a while now with its original 65-lumens Gorillatorch
, which was joined earlier this year by the more powerful 100-lumens Gorillatorch Flare
. For the latest addition to the line Joby has again upped the light intensity with the new Gorillatorch Blade. The Blade features the instantly recognizable flexible legs that are found on all Gorillapod
tripods, along with a long-lasting CREE XLamp XP-C LED producing up to 130 lumens of light output, which can be adjusted from spot to flood.
Until such things as the Gorillapod
appeared, one of the most annoying aspects of steady photography was lugging a tripod around. Now Manfrotto has unveiled a new pocket-sized tripod solution for both compact and digital SLR cameras that neatly folds away beneath the body of the camera so that both tripod and camera can fit in the pouch or bag.