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Nautilus Tripod Wheels Just Launched!

The Nautilus Tripod Wheels™ are a Track Dolly and Camera Slider system that provides the ability to achieve beautiful cinematic motion in one affordable package. We make them right here in the USA.

Go check them out now, or read on…

Tripod Wheels Nautilus - Camera Slider, Track Dolly, Camera Dolly

This has been one of the most pleasurable product developments that we have ever undertaken. We originally set out to develop a camera slider that could travel 10 feet. We had no idea that after several scrapped prototypes, we would end up with such a simple design that exceeded our goal in so many ways. We have been using the tripod wheels in-house for a few months now and LOVE all the filming options they open up for us.

Tripod Wheels - Camera-Slider - Track-Dolly -- Workshop Table

The development approach with all our products removes complexity resulting in a clear path for each product to “show itself”. It is quite surprising how much ideas change when all the existing design obstacles are removed. We hope you all enjoy what we have come up with as much as we do. This product truly has changed how we shoot video.

My sincere thanks goes out to our micro team for bringing this innovative product design to market. It was truly a group effort with important contributions from everyone involved.

With Gratitude,
A Spence
DSLR Solutions

What is in the Camera Bag for HDSLR Video?

What is in the Camera Bag for HDSLR Video?What is inside your camera bag for a video shoot? Here is a peek inside my camera bag before I head out to do some lens testing (Takumar vs. Canon) on a cold day. I am traveling on foot and thought you may find it interesting what I chose to include in my bag for this outing.

What is in your bag when you are headed out to do video? Share your recommended gear in the comments area below.

For anyone who is interested, items in the video are linked below:

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Canon 5D Mark II 5th year Anniversary: State of the HDSLR Nation

Canon 5D Mark IIThe 5th anniversary of the Canon 5D Mark II it is a great time to take a step back and assess where we have been and where we might still travel down the HDSLR road. Is the HDSLR market dead or dying? I say emphatically no, but it is changing and progressing into more of an HD (including 2k & 4k) market. To quote from Star Wars, “I Think It Is Time We Demonstrated The Full Power Of This Station.

Technology has jumped ahead of where many of the camera manufacturers feel comfortable treading. Thus, they hold back major improvements in favor of smaller ones, falsely thinking that they only need to keep up with their competitors. Let’s not forget that the Nikon D90 rocked the market and was the first DSLR to offer HD video. Soon after, Canon, to stay competitive, introduced the Canon 5D Mark II. The HD video capability was obviously pretty mature in-house or Canon would not have been able to so quickly bring the industry-changing 5D Mark II to market. Large camera manufacturers appear to offer only whatever updates are necessary to sell the next batch of new model cameras, and that is truly a shame for the entire industry.

Magic Lantern Menu 1The developers at Magic Lantern have proven time and time again that even cameras like the Canon 50D, which is over five years old, are capable of shooting RAW video using their innovative free tool. The capabilities of my Canon 60D are spectacular using the Magic Lantern add-on and if the same capabilities were offered in a stock camera, I would likely purchase it.

The new RAW video feature that the Magic Lantern team has enabled on the Canon 5D Mark III is truly amazing! I predict that the first company to produce a top notch algorithm to help reduce the RAW video file size in-camera without losing color and dynamic range quality will rule the market for a couple of years. You see, RAW video files require lots of computer power and storage space to cope with them and thus will be limited, at least for now, to those who have the time and processor power to incorporate RAW into their workflow. The developers at Magic Lantern have truly moved the bar and they are dragging the major camera manufacturers kicking and screaming into the next generation of video capture. Perhaps the upcoming H.265 codec will make the 2k and 4k file sizes manageable for everyone, but RAW video files are likely still going to be huge.

Canon 70D Flip-out LCDFor my style of shooting, the flip-out LCD is really appreciated and something that helps me introduce alternate creative shooting angles into my footage, not to mention the beauty of being able to reverse the screen for protection when the camera is not in use. So, here is the question: Why is there no full-frame sensor camera on the market that offers a large flip-out high-resolution LCD screen? I was really hoping the Canon 5D Mark III would have this feature, but again Canon went with the status quo. There is no doubt that the Canon 5D Mark III is a great camera and a large jump ahead, but it could have been a quantum leap rather than a just another standard upgrade. The new Canon 70D is a great example of focus innovation mixed with the same video quality of the previous generation 60D. I am sure there are some minimal improvements, ISO etc., but again the upgrade is underwhelming and my guess is that sales of the 70D camera will be as well.

Black Magic Pocket Camera

Will the HDSLR market still exist in 5 years? Unless Canon and the other big name manufacturers start putting the features into their cameras that the independent filmmakers are clamoring for, the HDSLR market share will dwindle and they will lose dollars to the other more nimble and innovative companies like Black Magic. I personally think we are moving toward the mirrorless cameras, as the smaller form is something that we can all appreciate. Give me a full-frame sensor, mirrorless camera, large enough to hold comfortably, that will shoot a modified version of RAW video and fit my existing Canon glass with good audio capabilities along with a high resolution EVF plus a large high resolution flip-out LCD screen and I will be a pretty happy camper.

If you found this blog interesting, please be sure to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

P.S. This was my contribution to the Planet5D eBook which includes over 30 contributions from various people from all over the world. You can get your copy of the full version on Planet5D.

DSLR Solutions Camera Rig Announced

Our latest product, the DSLR Solutions Camera Rig was launched today.

We have put months of hard work into crafting a simple camera support that would give the user lots of creative options without the complexity and weight of a standard shoulder rig. Our camera rig is extremely comfortable to hold, easy to use and provides really stable video results.

DSLR Camera Rig - Basic and Pro Versions

We are quite excited to finally launch this new product and let you all see what we have been working on so diligently. We hope you like what we have come up with.

Check out the DSLR Solutions Camera Rig

Be sure to follow us on twitter.

Canon 50mm f/1.8 Follow Focus – Nifty Fifty Follow Focus – Version 2.0

Canon 50mm F/1.8 LensOne of the first lenses a DSLR video shooter usually purchases is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. The main reason is price as the 50mm f/1.8 lens is around $200 less than its closest relative the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. However, do not let the low price fool you, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens (aka “Nifty Fifty”) is a solid performer, has great optics and provides excellent results for video. The main problem with the lens is the small focus ring. Not only is the focus ring very small, it is also tapers toward the front making it nearly impossible to attach any follow focus. Notice I said nearly impossible.

Awhile back we developed a follow focus solution for Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, and while it works pretty well, I was never quite satisfied with the way marking focus points worked out. With that in mind, we went back to the drawing board and came up with a new Main Focus Arrow that is specifically designed to clip over the stainless steel handle and step up to the focus marker strap on the 50mm f/1.8 lens.

Here is a video detailing how Version 2.0 of the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Follow Focus works.

For our friends viewing this post via Feedburner, click here to view the video.

Order Your Follow Focus Here!

Focus Handles, Lens Handles and Zoom Handles: Not just for DSLRs

Many video shooters still do not realize the benefits of having a handle to help with focusing and zooming while recording video. Our premier product, the DSLR Follow Focus was initially developed to give DSLR video professionals an inexpensive on-the-go follow focus and rack focus option. However, over the past year, users are discovering just how nice it is to have a focus handle or zoom handle in their camera bag and are reaching for the DSLR Follow Focus time and again.

Focus Handles, Lens Handles, Zoom Handles: Four sizes

Well, the secret is out! We now offer the DSLR Focus Handle separately from the other accessories and video professionals from all over the world are using our handles on many different cameras and lenses to assist with focusing and zooming. Whether it is on a Sony PMW-EX3, Sony PMW-F3, Canon C-300 or Canon 5d Mark III using lenses such as Fujinon zoom, Zeiss Super Speeds, Canon L lenses, or Nikon Nikkor lenses, the DSLR Focus Handle is a fantastic option for a multitude of professionals.

Order Your Focus Handle Today!


Photo credit: Kelly McClure, Creative Monkey Photo

Many electronic news gathering (ENG) organizations find the DSLR Follow Focus especially useful for field work when traveling light is an absolute necessity. In addition, documentary filmmakers have told us how much they appreciate our product, noting that the best follow focus is one you have with you.



Photo credits: Joseph Friedman, Director of Photography

Starting at just $30 the DSLR Focus Handle is available now in four different sizes with custom sizes available by request. Check out the list of lenses the DSLR Focus Handle fits or measure your lens to determine what size you need.

Order Your Focus Handle Today!

Drop us an email
if you are using the DSLR Focus Handle and would like to send us a picture of it in action. We always enjoy hearing from our customers!

DSLR Follow Focus Handle for Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens

We have just developed a special DSLR Follow Focus Handle for the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake lens. The new handle is available now, although initial quantity will be limited.

You can check out a short video demonstration below.

For those viewing this post via Feedburner, you may need to visit our website or YouTube to view the demonstration video.

Magic Lantern: The Ultimate Canon DSLR Camera Tool

I often have the pleasure of speaking with customers directly and I am always surprised at how many Canon DSLR video shooters do not know about, or simply do not use Magic Lantern’s free Canon firmware enhancement for their DSLR video work. All I can figure is that people see the “Use this software at your own risk.” statement on the download page and decide that it is not for them. Let me just say that I will not shoot video on my DSLR without Magic Lantern. It is on every SD card I own and has turned my Canon 60d into a truly amazing tool.

The Magic Lantern Canon firmware enhancement provides so many of those missing features I had become accustomed to on more professional cameras such as my older Panasonic DVX-100. It even does some things the DVX-100 only dreamed of doing. Magic Lantern is not only for video work, but has loads of great features for any avid photographer.

Here are a list of features to help give you an idea of the power of Magic Lantern (my favorites noted in bold):

  • Audio: disable AGC, audio meters, manual audio controls, selectable input source (internal, internal+external, external stereo, balanced), audio monitoring via A/V cable.
  • Exposure helpers: zebras, false color, histogram, waveform, spotmeter, vectorscope.
  • Focus tools: focus peaking, zoom while recording, trap focus, rack focus, follow focus, focus stacking.
  • Movie helpers: Bitrate control, movie logging (Exif-like metadata), auto-restart after buffer overflow or 4 GB limit, HDR video, advanced FPS control.
  • LiveView adjustments: contrast, saturation, display gain for using LiveView in darkness.
  • Cropmark images: user-editable overlays to assist framing and composition.
  • Fine control for ISO, Shutter, Kelvin white balance and other image settings.
  • Bracketing: advanced exposure bracketing, focus stacking.
  • Remote release with LCD face sensor and audio trigger, without extra hardware.
  • Timelapse: intervalometer (for photos and movies), bulb ramping (manual and automatic), recording at very low FPS (down to 0.2 FPS), silent pictures without shutter actuation.
  • Astro- and night photography: bulb timer for very long exposures (up to 8h).
  • Info displays: focus and DOF info, CMOS temperature, shutter count, clock.
  • For strobists: flash exposure compensation, range up to -10 to +3 EV (depends on the camera).
  • Power saving: Turn off display or reduce backlight in LiveView during idle times.
  • Handy features: Quick zoom in PLAY mode, key shortcuts for commonly-used features, customizable menus.

If any of the above features sound interesting, head over to the Magic Lantern website and get more information on this amazing free upgrade to your Canon DSLR camera. Version 2.3 release note can be found here.

Version 2.3 works on camera/firmware
: 5Dmk2/2.1.2, 50D/1.0.9, 60D/1.1.1, 500D/1.1.1, 550D/1.0.9, 600D/1.0.2 — Installation instructions

Lastly, if you use Magic Lantern and like it, please consider dropping Alex and the team a few dollars for all their excellent work.

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I hope you found this information helpful.

-Aric Spence
DSLR Solutions