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Removing the Shakes

30th March 2014

Stabilizers for Shooting Video

As I was making my way through the 300+ exhibitor booths at this month’s Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo I was reminded how important video has become to this part of the photo industry.

For quality smooth videos, photographers rely on stabilizers to remove the shakes. At the lower end of the spectrum is the iPhone and GoPro. With proper stabilization, these cameras are capable of shooting very decent videos.

Tiffen has two accessories: one for iPhone and another for the GoPro Hero: the Curve and the Smoothee.

Tiffen Smoothee
Tiffen Curve

The “Smoothee” is for an iPhone

The “Curve” is a lightweight stabilizer for the GoPro Hero

The Steadicam Smoothee is a small single handle device with a quick-release mount for the iPhone. It sells for $150. For more information, please visit Steadicam Smoothee

The Steadicam Curve is specifically designed and balanced for the various models of the GoPro Hero. The price is $100 and is available in four colors. For more information, please visit Steadicam Curve

Both the Smoothee and the Curve are lightweight and allow the photographer to easily move alongside the subject while recording smooth videos.

For larger cameras, a solid tripod with a robust fluid head is most often used. But for hand-held applications, photographers will want to turn to a portable video rig.

One such rig is the Comodo Orbit.

The “Orbit” stabilizer from Comodo is designed for much larger cameras.

This is a lightweight, hand-held gimbal rig built for DLSRs

The twin grips make the rig easier to handle especially when shooting for extended periods of time. The grips also double as a floor stand. With its gimbal mount, the camera is free to pivot to its stabilized position. The Orbit sells for $1500. For more information please visit Comodo.

Written by Arnie Lee

From the Photo Booth Supply Co

Event photographers know just how popular photo booths have been for the past few years. And many of these working photographers know that the photo booth has been a reliable revenue generator for them too

As you might imagine at the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo, there were several exhibitors showing their offerings to the thousands of event photographers in attendance.

I stopped to examine several, but the one that caught my attention was the setup at Photo Booth Supply Company.

Their setup is simple and stylish at the same time. With an enclosed camera, studio lighting, subject-facing monitor, dye-sublimation printer and a dearth of wires and cables, this is a turnkey solution for photographers who shoot a variety of events.

The couple to the right is getting ready to snap their likeness in front of the PBS camera.

The touchscreen monitor lets the subject snap the photo when he/she chooses the right pose and moment.

The dye-sublimation printer produces an attractive finished product. So a few seconds later – voila the photo

The basic system includes this equipment:

  • Canon T3i with 18-55MM lens
  • Camera AC adapter
  • Studio strobe with umbrella
  • Touchscreen monitor
  • Computer w/wireless keyboard
  • Photo booth software
  • Custom carrying case
  • Photo booth stand
  • DNP printer
  • 4″x6″ media for 800 prints*
  • Printer enclosure
  • Printer carrying case

* the DNP printer can print 4×6, 2×6, 5×7, 6×8, and 6×9 prints.

Templates for the printer can be customized to include single or multiple images. By adding a green screen, you can superimpose the photos on top of virtually and background scene. If you want to put your subjects in front of the Eiffel Tower or Great Wall of China, go at it.

The photo booth is highly portable and can be set up in just a few minutes. As you can see above, the equipment is attractively packaged making it appropriate for formal events.

The price for the photo booth, high speed printer and heavy duty carrying cases is $8,800. For more information, please visit Photo Booth Supply Co.
Written by Arnie Lee


Joby Wrist Strap

27th March 2014

Another “Handy” Accessory

Earlier this month I stopped by the Joby’s booth at the Wedding & Portrait Photographer’s International Expo. There I picked up one of their DSLR Wrist Straps.

While this is not a particularly sexy accessory, I’ve found it to be quite practical. Instead of a conventional shoulder strap which I have to slide off my shoulder in order to use the camera, the wrist strap lets me hold the camera conveniently and safely. It’s especially useful when I’m shooting from a single location and am not transporting the camera distances. The camera is there in my hand ready to shoot immediately.

The strap attaches to one of the camera strap lugs. The adjustable “loop” slides snugly across your wrist giving you a safe grip.

This inexpensive DSLR Wrist Strap is made of heavy-duty webbed material and costs about $15. For more information please visit Joby’s online website.
Reviewed by Arnie Lee

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