Tag Archives: HD-DSLR


4 Oct

(photo by Sascha Plagge)

UPDATE: The DSLR Light-Jib is available now: www.abc-products.de

After i posted my Cinec Best Of i got a “few” questions regarding to the ABC DSLR LIGHT JIB. As it seems like a nice tool even for our work back here i did contact ABC due the fact there is almost no info out there yet. (as it was shown the first time ever at cinec 2010 anyway). So here are some facts i got to share with you.

– its made of carbon tubes so it should be lightweight (around 3,9 kilos / 8,6 lb)

– total max length of the jib arm is 1,52m (5 feet) that should be enough for some nice moves / shots

– max payload is 4.5kg /9,9 lb (so you could even use XH-A1 or HVX 200 kinda cams)

– the jib should be easy and quick to mount

– the jib head can set at “infinite” positions and locked
(will keep the angle during movement)
it can also set to tilt “automatically” during a move. (angle can be set)

–  the jib has a horizontal and vertical brake as well as a bubble level

– very handy is a monitor bracket that can be mounted (a plug-in system) on the head (left or right) or the jib arm.
(we alway struggle on other system to get a LCD mounted)

–  the jib can be mounted on every 75 and 100mm tripods  (and very handy as well as 1/4″ or 3/8″ Cam-Stands via adapter)

– for “transportation” the jib can be “reduced” to a small packing size

– pricing is arround 1.190 EUR (without tripod or stand though)

– should be available December 2010

Overall it’s a nice little jib for nice moves. I hope to get one in my hands to test it in real working conditions as soon as it comes out. My experience at the Cinec show with the jib was great. I was able to get the mounted 5DmkII in some nice angles / settings and managed to make some real nice smooth moves. It’s very user-friendly, easy and “light” to operate. the head has adjustable angles and  tilting. Yery nice  is the monitor arm. I’m really looking forward to use it again sometime.

More info at the ABC Website shortly. (as i was told 😉 )


more Cinec stuff:

550D recording time

19 Jul

i got a question on twitter “how long in live view are you getting per battery” … at first i really had no idea  for sure…

but i did a lil test and here is my answer  (click to read more)

german HD-DSLR workshop

7 Jun


If you are new to the whole DSLR filmmaking or even if you have just began to think about using one of these nice “lil” tools to make your “idea in motion” become reality AND you are from Germany or german speaking in some kind,  you should check this workshop by Sebastian Wiegärtner. He recently shot BTS & some other stuff side by side with Philip Bloom and Nino Leitner on a LUCAS FILM SET, all was done with DSLR’s

Philip Bloom, Sebastian Wiegärtner, Nino Leitner and producer Rick McCallum.

… He did also more  & all sorts of things with these cams … you should check his blog for more information about his HD-DSLR Workshop & background about him.

Maybe – after that – you’ll join the “German speaking DSLR gang” …


first real 550D shooting

21 Mar

Well i “just” got back from a one week shooting for a new corporate film project. My new “toy” just came in the right (last) minute to test this thing in a real shooting / work scenario.

We went to all different kind of locations and situations: daylight, lowlight, indoor, outdoor … you name it … only thing we didn’t shoot this time was any kind of interview or something …

Just big or small machines and people around them, landscapes, buildings … stuff like that.

Fist of all i have to admit i did not have any kind of DSLR rig, so that was a “big” problem in some situations … but a sachtler Video 20, a Manfrotto monopod and even a “magic arm” did it in the meantime … but “handheld-kinda”stuff was almost impossible to shoot without getting a rather shaky picture …

Anyway… the 550D was not our main cam, we used the XH-A1 most of the time.

550D just became our “atmospheric” DOF-film-like tool … for our beauty-shots, so to say.

I used the canon 50mm 1.8 most of the time, cuz all the photo zoom lenses had quit a problem with the “adjustable” aperture turing “zooming”. i did get some kind of short flicker. i don’t know if that kind of problem comes with all HD-DSLR’s or just with the 550D ?!.

right now i’m rushing through all the footage we shot on XH-A1 and 550D … after that i can say more about the usefulness for this project …

I will post some “examples” soon … even if i know i wont get full permission to post all the footage we shot.

here is our “gear-list” and some BTS snap-shots … to be continued

One word about the SD cards and Batteries …

Well, Batteries are empty quite fast … two of them are a must have … better of with 3 … if you can charge them at  / over night (if not, better get more) … charging take a few hours but that is ok.

About the SD cards: You cant’ have enough of them. If you are shooting a lot for B-Cam  2 or 3x 16 GB is ok … even class 4 is working good in normal situations… can’t say anything about 32GB SDHC-Cards … didn’t get one yet …

About my Data-Backup routine: Every night i took my SD-Cards and transferred the data to my external 250GB Hard-drive (on a MacBook) i made new folders for every day (named with the date) even sub folders called card one, two and so on  … i did a quick check on the footage, compared number of files in the  folder and folder-sizes and formated the SD-Card within the Cam. Thats it pretty much.


Right now i’m in post (FCP) with this … first things first … i transcoded all footage with MPEG Streamclip to 1920×1080 ProResLT (HDV and h.264 footage).  Everything will end up in a HDTV1080i timeline … (yes interlaced – better for slowmo and stuff) … i will generate a “progressive” version in the end so the 550D footage will not “generate” any trouble (i hope) … right now i just can say: 550D footage looks really awesome … i will have to face some “smoothcam” work and even some “overexposed” trouble … but my goal is to make a beautiful film (literally) so a blown out sallow depth of field will help with that anyway

… stay tuned for more background info during my render times 😉 …



Canon XH-A1 (2x battery)

550D (2x battery, 2x 16 GB SDHC class 6 and 4, 1x 8GB SDHC, 1 ND 4 filter,

lenses: Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon EF-S 18-55mm 3.5 – 5.6 (kit lens), canon zoom EF 28-90mm 4-5.6

Sachtler Video 20 tripod

manfrotto Monopod

steady bag

6m jib (astro crane)

Zoom H4

Rode NTG1 & NTG3 (boom & stuff)

2x Arri 1.2 k HMI

3x 650W tungsten Kobold set

and more suff (Manfrotto 035 Super-Clamp & Magic Arm … things like that)

MacBook Intel Dual 1,83 GHz

ScanDisk ImageMate Multi-Card USB – SD-Card reader

XH-A1, 550D and some “lousy” coffee it the field

550D on a Manfrotto Magic Arm fixed with a Manfrotto 035 Super-Clamp on a simple microphone tripod

i did it … i bought a Canon 550D (T2i)

25 Feb


yes it’s true i got caught up in the whole 550D / HD-DSLR thing!

in the end i have to say Nino Leitner’s (i’v met him over twitter) in-depth blog post did it for me … as well as his nice test-shot-clip on vimeo.
of curse there are some more great clip online (on vimeo – some links below)

even though i’m in germany, so i have to wait about 14 days till my new Canon 550D will be delivered… i’m excited as hell yet already, though
basically i bought a rather “basic” set, in the first place just to get started with HD-DSLR stuff:

– Canon 550D

– Canon Kit Lens EF-S 18-55mm

– Canon 50 mm 1.8 II (thx for recommendation to Brian DeFrees and his vimeo clip)

– Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Filter ( ND2 to ND400) 52mm
(thx to Mario Feil for recommendation)
nice review by Markus Haken

– 1x 8 GB  SDHC Class 6

– USB Card-Reader

– 2x 16GB SDHC Class 6

– a DSLR bag

– Manfrotto Monopod
(recommendation by  Mario Feil “… quite useful & fast”)

– extra battery for Canon 550D (LP-E8)


– Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0 prime lens

– Revue Special 35mm f2.8 M42 prime lens

– Revue 28-200mm f/4,0 M42 zoom lens

see a full gear list

you might have a look on this, it’s about another battery option
way more affordable clone battery’s for 550D and T2i:

Canon T2i / 550D battery showdown – original vs. fake

550D/T2i knock-off battery test with surprises


T2i / 550D knock-off battery grip review
Part 4: Essential DSLR accessories

Epic DSLR Viewfinder Review
Part 5: Essential DSLR accessories



spider brace shoulder support ( great, useful and cheap )
(hint & recommendation by  Tej Babra & his 7D)

Manfrotto Video Tripod with Fluid Head (503)

indiSLIDERmini (indifocus.com) or Glidetrack

more extra batteries for Canon 550D (LP-E8)


Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM

Sigma 24-70 mm EX DG 2.8 or Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 SP XR Di II VC
or Sigma 70-200 f2.8

damn! … so many options …







Part 3: A MYSTERY resolved: DEPTH OF FIELD and ND filters


that’s it for now … i will use a regular sachter  tripod as we use it for XH-A1

so what next … well i have to wait and have a try as soon as this cam is in my hands … hopefully soon, as i have a lot of regular shootings and projects coming up in the next couple of weeks / moths, which all planed to shoot on XH-A1, HVX200 or better … so this 550D will be more a B-Cam and “landscape-cam” … it will come to use in situations/ shots where the 50mm /1.8 lens is needed / useful / nice.

and all my free-time will be used for some kind of fun-shooting as well (of course)

so we will see… how this thing can fit in, back here 🙂 … oh and btw this 550D just used up my iPad/toy budget for this year… but that is ok 😉

some useful links:


Whats in you Bag (great lens recommendations)


550D FAQ:

Canon T2i Compared to Canon 7D: First Thoughts + First Look

First thoughts on Rebel T2i/ 550D
+ Unscientific T2i tests shots includes timelapse.

Video ISO Comparison:  Canon EOS Rebel T2i vs. Canon EOS 7D

…thoughts on the T2i


some 550D / T2i vimeo clips (selection):

7D vs. T2i Comparison Video

My HDSLR setup

550D T2i Camera Test

Canon t2i 550d footage

I LOVE this Camera. Canon t2i / 550D

Canon 550D “Firefighters” T2i Test

Short silly movie Train (Shot by T2i)


The Bridge – An Encounter

UPDATE 02/28/10:

Pacifica Blue

Canon T2i / 550D Test Footage

T2i Slow-Mo Test

UPDATE 03/01/10:

550D/Rebel t2i clip: Sundance Square at Night (this is a nice one)

February in Pasadena, Canon T2i/550D

Lullwater Park

… and more to come … tomorrow i guess