Gazer Automated Stabilizer

The one thing about taking shots on the move is that the shots usually come out very shaky, and getting to be smooth is a difficult task. There are lots of great kits out there in the market but they all take practice and skill to get the right weights perfectly to shoot with these stabilizers, I always wondered if there was an automated stabilizer and thankfully someone else was thinking the same idea and brought it to Kickstarter.

There are different models for different uses, for those who want to shoot with a GoPro or Camera phone there is one, and those who want to use a point and shoot there is a different model and there is one for a DSLR and they look very simple to use. I already made a pledge for the SP1 & MD1 for my usual use as thats what I shoot with mostly. Check it out if this interests you as there are is only a few days left to back this project.

Link: Kickstarter

Mastortech Handheld Gimbals

Lots of people these days shoot video with their iPhones & Samsungs, and everyone I know has a GoPro. And everyone has seen those shaky video’s I know I have tried so many times to take a smooth shoot, stand still and turn smoothly but sometimes you can’t help it. Even with a gimbal you have to adjust the weights and really manage yourself when turning or panning or shooting, or self it will look like you were off-roading while taking those shots. Also using a gimbal is not the easiest tool, there is an art form to it and it takes a lot of practice, which I constantly keep trying to do and it doesn’t always work.

Mastortech seems to have the answer with it’s handheld gimbal, with each model specific to certain types of photography tools which in this case are either phones or GoPros, they are also developing other models for more complex Point&Shoot Cameras as well. It is equipped with 2-Axis active motion cancelling using brushless motors and a very smart AI so it will do the thinking for you while your moving. No pricing has been announced but it won’t be cheap, manual gimbals range from $150 to $250 so lets hope it stays within this range as well. I’m looking at the Greyhound-GR1 for the GoPros & Cheetah-CH1 for the Smart Phones.

Link: Gizmobo

Rhino Rig – DSLR & Cinema Cameras

RhinoRig1

I’m not that good with shooting, but I do practice, and I try to practice when I can and having a steady hand is key. Getting a Rig is a complex process, there are a lot some go for a few hundred and some go for thousands, and they all serve a different purpose but you have to know what that is. In my case I know very little and its confusing to pick the right one, then I saw the Kickstarter message from Rhino Rig, I got the sliders from them and they were fantastic so I know these guys like to make amazing products which are still very easy to use and practical but still have lots of options.

RhinoRig2

The Rhino Rig fit exactly what I was looking for and I can get better with more practice. You don’t get better just buying equipment, you have to keep practicing and in my case thats a lot of practice, but this Rig will help me get the shots that I want from DSLR while shooting video. Especially now that Canon is coming out with some amazing AutoFocus DSLRs like the 70D, and the upcoming 7D Mark II, so it will be worth it to practice. I went for the Full kit for $875 with all the options of the Rhino Rig, and for some kits with the same options tend to be a lot more expensive. I’m looking forward to trying it out, the release date is set for Jan 2014, check out the video below to see how it can be used and how it fits.

Link: Kickstarter

Canon EOS 70D – Next Gen DSLR

CanonEOS70D1

Canon always comes up with the perfect combination of hardware to make for the perfect device, and now these days people use DSLR for both video and photography but in this case they have with the new Canon 70D, the killer feature of continuous AutoFocus while recording Vidoe. Its not meant to replace the 7D but its capabilities seem very close to it.

CanonEOS70D2

From all the trials it seems the new 70D AF system works very well, with its new CMOS sensor’s 20.2 Megapixel resolution being divided into 40.1 million-photodiode architecture, so two diodes for each pixel, and their phase detection system working with the diodes resulting in the amazing AF system. I honestly can’t wait to try it out.

CanonEOS70D3

The main attraction of this DSLR is the instant Autofocus that they have built into the 70D. I have the 7D which I adore and it takes amazing photographs and I have used it for video, with amazing results, but the only major issue is that you have to manually focus the camera during shooting which can be very difficult and if you haven’t practiced the results are usually pretty bad. But production companies have been using the 5D & 7D for Commercials, TV Shows, and even some movies which is amazing. The camera will be available in September for $1200 (body alone), $1350 (w/18-55mm kit lens), and $1550 (w/18-135mm kit lens). But in my case I’m going to hold out and wait for the 7D Mark II which I hope is right after the 70D is released.

Link: Gizmodo

Instagram Video?!?

InstagramVideo

Yes or No?

What do you think?

When Flickr tried introducing video a long while back, there was a huge whiplash and people hated, but now this seems to be completely different, people are reacting favorably to the video in instagram. Its taking a different form, people are testing it out and even I found it to be interesting.

Instagram has always managed to keep a level of imagination behind it’s picture, you always wonder how they took the picture, and some of them are amazing. I know sometimes I work at it to get the right picture, and some people uploading their pics from their DSLR camera for these amazing shots. But now the dynamic of instagram will be totally changed. Instagram is going after Vine & Keeker, and it will beat them with a very big stick.

But Instagram has laid some rules down for the videos, you have to hold down the button to record. It turns it into stopmotion photography, thats what a few people are doing, and some people are doing crappy videos, 15 seconds is the limit, and you don’t know how it will turn out since you really have to squeeze in.

Photographs on Instagram have always had a bit of heft or importance to them, you can really see some accounts with amazing photographs. Instagram has always been clutter free and amazing pictures, not noisy like Twitter and other social media, Instagram has been the clean place, but with video introduced its like people are stumbling with the video from a few of the ones I have seen and some are amazing with the use of stop-motion.

Then there is the other thing that is lost, the slow scroll through instagram, the one you do at work, or with the family or while sitting patiently waiting to do another activity and it takes up the right amount of time. Now suddenly videos come on and you have to jump to mute your phone, already happened to me a few times over the weekend. Lets see how Instagram will change with the introduction of video, you can’t load it up from a DSLR like some do for pics, but now lets see how things will change.

Flickr – Refreshed

Flickr2013A

A years late but never too late, Flickr has finally gotten a real make over, now it feels like Flickr loves pictures again. A lot of people have left Flickr, when it was the go to place for pictures in 2006/7/8 it fell back on the support for mobile use and totally disappeared with the rise of Instagram. Yahoo knows how to mess things up, I still hate using my yahoo ID to login, I’m trying to figure out a way to use my Google+ Sign In for that.

The phone App is very smooth, with uploads and edits/filters when uploading from your phone. Viewing pictures is smooth with a nice flow between contacts, people, and searching pictures. Its a vast difference then what it used to be to this current form and I’m really liking it, to the point that I have started using it again. You can easily comment and follow up on your activity on your phone, its great, for photographers this is much better for their pictures, Instagram has larger following but they were ahead of the game. Still if you liked Flickr before and hated that they went stagnant then you will love the much needed update of Flickr.

Link: Flickr

Flickr2013B

My Canon G12 Bit The Dust

This is one of the final hits the G12 has taken and it looks like it was the last one. Canon G12 Series is heavy duty and can take a beating, but the other day I forgot that I left it on my bike jacket and pulled the jacket out of the car. It took a nasty fall onto concrete and I thought it wouldn’t work, but it worked fine but then it kept getting worse, the screen would only work if I pressed hard and took a picture, if I didn’t press on it the picture would be distorted too. I’m honestly very annoyed that I was careless, I have had this camera for so long and it has been best all round point and shoot I have ever had, and even now that I’m getting the G15 I still wanted to keep using the G12, I might be tempted to pick up a used one just because it really is that good of a camera. My G11 went out almost the same way so its frustrating to see these cameras just sitting there and the only place that fixes them is in the US and no where else.

Canon EOS M to G15

I’m a huge Canon fan and I have been using my Canon G12 for a few years now and it was a decent upgrade from the G11. I got the G1X which was supposed to be the top of the line monster from the G-line but it didn’t hold up to my expectations. The Macro distance was honestly disapointing, its fast but not as fast as the G12 feels so I didn’t use it as much. When I heard about the EOS M I was excited, a Camera from Canon that is the size of the point and shoot but with mountable lenses, and with an adapter you can use the Canon Lenses I have and that is what appealed to me.

After reading a few reviews they said that sometimes it took up to a minute for it to focus depending on the lens. That is a disaster, the first great mirrorless Camera from Canon and everything on paper said they got it right but if it can’t focus quickly then it would be pointless.

Now the G15 is here, and it is the perfect camera for my needs, fast focus, excellent macro, bulky and slightly smaller so its the perfect fit. A faster process so it takes better pictures, the perfect camera for my needs. Then there is the price, the G15 is $500 and the Canon EOS M is $850 and another $200 for the lens adapter to use the DSLR Lens on the Mirrorless camera. I was willing to spend $1000 for a point and shoot but it has to perform at that price, but in this instance the G15 wins on both price and performance.

ZDistrict On Instagram

Now Instagram has activated it’s live pages for Instagram accounts, for all this time I think they stuck to mobile phones for a while but since their acquisition by Facebook I thought it was a matter of time before they make a live page. I checked yesterday night and it wasn’t active, but here it is active now. So now you don’t need to have the Instagram App to see the pics, so if you are still stuck on a Blackberry you can see the pics from the Instagram website via their username so it would be “instagram.com/USERNAME” mine is at the link below.

Link: Instagram

Instagram / Twitter / Blogs / Facebook Addiction

Kuwait is probably one of the most active country on Social Media out of the whole Arab Region, we are always online posting the new thing or our experiences or whatever pops into our mind. I think Kuwait is one of the main countries that capitalizes on Social Media in terms of businesses. There are some business that sell only through Facebook, and they communicated through twitter as well, and now its Instagram. Its like watching the Migration pattern of a herd, really everyone is online. You know you can tell when Instagram for Android came along every body just migrated to Instagram, you iPhone people had it a while back but only when the Android version came along that everyone started using it so much.

First it was Facebook then Twitter came along, and now after Instagram is the big hit Twitter feels like an empty Wasteland. But since the 24 hour disappearing act that Instagram pulled it seems people were going through withdrawal, phones were being thrown at walls, they had to communicate like normal people again which scared them, some people were even back on Twitter for a bit, they felt cut off, no pictures to help them know what is going on, that burger that was so good, or what your friend is doing just that minute. But still I can’t blame people its a lot of fun, for a while Twitter felt like a huge hall with only a few people in it, you can hear the echo when you shout, people reply to you these days. I for one do enjoy Twitter and Instagram, still not on Facebook and don’t I will be getting on there, I dislike Zuckerberg too much, don’t know why but I just don’t trust him.

It’s really funny seeing people wait, these days you can see there fingers sliding upwards across their screen and I know 1000% that they are looking at Instagram and liking one picture after another. At the end of the day most of this social media is helping things in Kuwait and other areas as well, people finding things out quicker, information passed along more concisely but don’t lose touch of the normal world, pick up the phone and call, go see someone, it isn’t always about being online, disconnecting every once in a while is good.