5d Mark II


Here's a little review on another new and affordable Stabilizer Vest System for lightweight camera setups to medium sized cameras. This is the Came / Laing X-15 Vest+Arm matched up with the Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer.

The Laing products have been around for quite some time, and I hear about RED Camera operators using the larger Laing stabilizers as an affordable option for flying heavy camera systems. The kit I have here is pretty heavy duty, each part feels very solid, and the entire bundle comes with a nice padded carrying bag.

Laing-Came-Carry-Bag Laing-Vest-Arm-Kit-X-15-P04

The Laing P-04 Stabilizer handle matches up perfectly with the small post on the X-15 ISO Arm. If you're thinking about trying to match this up with a Glidecam, just be aware that the standard rotating post is pretty short. The bottom weights can shift forward/back on the sled, the bottom post is adjustable, and the Gimbal can be positioned vertically along the post. It's pretty much got every adjustable feature available.

Laing-Stabilizer-Vest Laing-Gimbal-Adjustment-Balance

The top stage has a quick release cheese plate and features all the fine tuning knobs you'll need to balance your camera. Just be aware that the top stage may require a bit of cork to keep your camera from shifting it's position.

Lower-Sled-Laing-P04 Laing-P04-Top-Stage

The Laing Stabilizer Vest can be adjusted to fit taller or smaller frames, and the Arm is mounted to a quick release socket block. Velcro straps adjust the vest very nicely and buckles are used to climb in and out of the vest.

Laing-Socket-Block Adjsting-Laing-X-15-P-04-BlackMagic

The X-15 ISO Arm can easily be dialed to support an even lighter setup than my Canon 5D Mark II + Sigma 20mm lens, but can also be dialed up to support heavier camera setups than the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. Hopefully that gives you a general idea of the weight range it supports to see if it will work with your current equipment.

Laing-Canon-5D-BMCC-BlackMagic-Stabilizer Vest BMCC-Cage-BlackMagic Design Laing X-15 Stabilizer Vest Kit Review Video Sample

I can say for DSLR Video Shooters or even BlackMagic Cinema Camera shooters this vest is good. Actually for the price you could consider it to be very very good. Is it as good as the real Steadicam brand? Well, with my lightweight DSLR camera setup I felt the arm wasn't totally as smooth as my Steadicam Merlin ISO Arm, but results were much better once I mounted a heavier camera system like the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. On it's own, the Laing P-04 Stabilizer works excellent, but it seems adding a bit more weight to the X-15 Arm and Vest will yield better performance from the arm.

For more information about the Laing X-15 Vest Arm and P-04 Hand Held Video Stabilizer System, you can find more details on the following eBay product pages (click here).

Came-Laing-X-15 VestLaing X-15 Arm VestVest-Stabilizer-Laing-X15-P-04
find-price-button Laing X-15 Vest w/ Laing P-04 Hand Held Stabilizer

Laing P-04 Stabilizers available now on eBay


There's been a huge amount of new cameras announced all due to Photokina 2012 this month, but that doesn't mean the Canon 5D Mark II is an outdated camera. Prices are dropping on this Full Frame camera, and that could mean Canon is trying to stay in the game, or that they could be announcing another new Full Frame camera soon.

We'll just have to wait and see, but for guys who could use a backup or another camera to their already 5DM2 workflow, check out the discount pricing now over at B&H (Click Here).

Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame
find-price-button New Canon 5D Mark II (Body) Price Drop


Fiio Headphone Preamp DSLR Amp Pre-amp

For those that don't want to sync audio in post you may attempt to plug a microphone (like a Rode VideoMic, LAV mic, or Wireless Mic Receiver) directly to the camera's 3.5mm mic input, and then adjust levels from within the camera (unless you're stuck with AGC). One problem is that the camera's internal preamp is known to be fairly noisy if you have to boost the signal. The solution for better audio is to use an external preamp before feeding the signal back in to the camera and turn the camera's internal levels down to almost zero. The new Canon 5D Mark III now has a headphone monitoring port, but does it still suffer from internal preamp noise?

So here's an interesting question that comes in that might get your wheels spinning. Can you use something like the Fiio E11 portable Headphone Amp to boost and adjust your microphone levels? Unlike the other Fiio headphone amp options, the E11 has a 10 hour rechargeable battery and volume (gain) control. It's not going to offer phantom power to a microphone, but if you're already using a self powered mic, then there's no need for phantom power. The E11 has standard 3.5mm input and output connections.

We've seen a workflow where some people feed the headphone output of a Zoom recorder (for dual audio and because the preamp is better in the Zoom) back into the camera with a Sescom cable. Considering that option it sounds like a Fiio E11 could work out as an inexpensive external preamp for DSLR video (assuming the output signal is better than the DSLR). Anyone attempt something like this before? The E11 has some interesting specs, and you can take a look at the Product Description (click here).

Fiio Headphone AmpFiio Headphone Amp Boost Gain Levels
find-price-button Fiio E11 Portable HeadPhone Preamp - via Amazon

You can also find these Fiio E11 Headphone Amps via eBay (click here)

Fiio E11 Battery Amp
find-price-button Fiio E11 Portable Rechargeable HeadPhone Amp - via eBay


find-price-button Pre Order Canon 5D Mark III

This might not be such a big deal for some people, but it's always been a huge inconvenience with all current Canon DSLR cameras. The latest 1Dx camera from Canon showed that Video mode could be started from the same shutter button used to take photos. What does this mean? Well, this means that your most basic and most inexpensive wireless (not just infrared) shutter trigger systems will be able to start video mode.


The question I had was will the 5D Mark III have the same, and Mitch from Planet5D.com was able to get the information from Canon stating 'Yes, the basic shutter will start video mode'. There's also a constantly updated Blog article about all the main questions coming in about the 5D Mark III found here: https://blog.planet5d.com/2012/03/questions-answered-for-the-canon-eos-5d-mark-iii-hdmi-video/. [Thanks Mitch]

I'm not saying that's a reason to upgrade from a Canon 5D Mark II, but that was one very annoying feature Canon seems to have finally fixed. Guess what? That also means if you purchased a set of Yongnuo RF-602 or RF-603 triggers for your Speedlite flashes, those also can be used to start and stop video with your new Canon camera.

find-price-button Yongnuo RF-603 Wireless Flash Triggers

Some of you might already own a set, but ideally these very cheap Wireless trigger systems should now be able to start and stop video mode on all your 1Dx, Canon 5D Mark III, and hopefully all future Canon DSLRs.

find-price-button Wireless Shutter Remote Trigger For Canon Cameras


Well, the new Canon 5D Mark III is just different enough they needed to offer another battery grip. This wasn't the case for the Canon T2i and Canon T3i as they share the same Battery Grip. It's not required to have one, but I do like using it especially for Photography in portrait mode. The new BG-E11 battery grip for the 5DM3 still uses the same LP-E6 batteries, but the new unit will run you about $350 bucks. Thanks again Canon..

find-price-button Canon 5D Mark III Battery Grip BG-E11


We all knew after the announcement of the 5D Mark III there would be a price drop on the Mark II bodies. Your new prices are $2199 (body only) and $2999 Body + 24-105mm F/4L.

find-price-button Lower prices on Canon 5D Mark II


Canon 5D Mark II

Thanks to Adam for writing this in. The Canon 5D Mark II is currently on sale over at BestBuy. I just checked pricing over at Amazon, B&H, and a few other popular websites. Indeed it is a few hundred dollars cheaper. Not as cheap as a refurb unit (if you could ever catch it in stock), but it's been a little while since we've seen these 5D Mark IIs on sale.

Available in stores if you can find it (with tax) or grab it online (maybe no tax?) following the link (click here).
Click here for the Best Buy Homepage


It wasn't long before the nice discount on the 5D Mark II body expired from BestBuy.com, but maybe there's new hope. There's a special announcement for a Midnight Sale - Online Only.Starting midnight tonight until 8am tomorrow they'll be launching some additional special deals. Besides the slew of other electronics and gadgets, there's DSLR's on the list. Hmm..Canon T3i, Canon 7D, Canon 60D? Who knows what's in store, but you have to be up past midnight or online before 8 a.m. to see what's in store. Follow the banner for more details.

visit-button Midnight Sale, Online Only, Starts Midnight Through 8 a.m. EST on Thursday (5/19)


Swing out LCD's are great for odd shooting positions, but posed some problems for DSLR LCD View Finders. The Canon 60D and T3i fall into this category. The solution is to use a frame that mounts under the camera body, but the pricing has been out of reach. Or has it?
Screen shot 2011-05-15 at 1.02.10 AMScreen shot 2011-05-15 at 1.01.58 AM

Has anyone caught these new LCD Viewfinders for both 3" and 3:2 DSLR LCD Screens? Claims to be compatible with the 60D and T3i cameras, as well as the older 5D/7D cameras.

Screen shot 2011-05-15 at 12.43.55 AM

I'm not seeing very much adjustments on the frame, so i'm wondering how they could get it to line up against so many different camera bodies? Sure the LCDs are a basic size, but the position on the body isn't always the same. There's definitely two different versions from the photos i've seen. One is a square 3" and the other a more rectangular 3.2". These VF's have the obvious large eyecup but no diopter. No luck for you battery grip users, straight body mount only. Uses magnets to hold onto the frame - which the frame is mounted under the camera body with a Tripod mount still available. Fetches for mid $30's US.

DSLR LCD View Finder 60D
find-price-button LCD View Finder Canon 60D, T3i, 5D Mark II, 7D, Nikon