My shoot with Don Pham of DP Slider fame


Every now and then I get a break from the beauty and fashion photography that I do as a hobby and I get to do a product shoot. This time it was for my buddy Don Pham. Don has an invention that is a must have for video shooters. It's called the DP Slider. The DP Slider is a glide track for your video camera or DSLR to allow you to record sweeping shots that as smooth as butter. While Don wasn't the first one out of the gate to invent one of these, his is by far the smoothest in operation and most flexible from all the ones I've seen.

Don is an engineer by trade and he spent a great deal of time perfecting his DP Slider. One thing that makes Don different from most engineers that are tasked to create a product is that Don is also a videographer. This means that he knows what the product needs and what it doesn't.

Also Don didn't rest on his laurels with the first one out of the gate. He has come up with new models (the Prime & Mantis) and refined his original concept to make it even better.

Check out the Video that Don shot during our photo shoot:


Prime & Mantis promo for EDU from Don Pham on Vimeo.


Now see a video shot using the DP Slider:


DP Slider from Don Pham on Vimeo.


Get more information, see more pictures and more videos about Don's invention here.

In case you were wondering, yes this entire shoot was lit with Westcott Spiderlite TD6's.

BlackMagic Intensity Pro: Capturing an iPad 2 Demo via HDMI Out

One of the main features of the iPad 2 that I use the most over the iPad 1 is the ability to mirror my desktop out to a projector when doing demos. I've been using this feature extensively on my latest Adobe CS5 Evolution Tour. You can use either the original Apple VGA Adapter or the NEW Apple Digital AV (HDMI) Adapter. While this works GREAT for live presentations I also wanted to take advantage of it when recording tutorial videos or App reviews. The problem was finding a solution that allowed me to take either the VGA out or HDMI out of the iPad 2 back into my computer.


BlackMagic Intensity Pro to the rescue

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Meet George from LCD4Video

As a gadget guy I love finding gadgets that are useful but sometimes fly below the radar because they are not by the big named manufacturers. A lot of times there's a gadget out there that fills a need and unless you happen to be in the right place at the right time you may never know about it. Although I had ordered an LED video light from in the past, I had no idea that 1) they were located right in my backyard and 2) they have so many other cool little accessories for video and and still photography. 


They sell the usual gear such as cameras, lenses, tripods, cases and lighting equipment, but they also manufacture specialty items under their own brand. I had the chance to visit their location last week to attend a seminar put on by my good friend Mark Astman representing Manfrotto, Lastolite and Elinchrom. I didn't realize the connection between the seminar and the venue until I arrived. During one of the breaks I popped into the show room and before you know it I was buying hundreds of dollars in gear. 🙂

I wanted a small HD monitor that would fit in my hotshow on my Nikon D7000 for doing DSLR video. I also wanted another battery operated LED light for doing video podcasts. These guys had everything I wanted and even the things I never knew existed. George runs a great business and sticks behind what he sells. 

I highly recommend that you check out their site and the vast collection of products they offer! It's also always good to support the local dealers when possible.

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9 for Mac/Windows

Adobe just took the wraps of the NEW Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9. Aside from the usual great new features this is the first release of Premiere Elements on the Mac! Woohoo! Here are the highlights:

Photoshop Elements 9

Premiere Elements 9

  • Now for both Mac and Windows
  • Animation Style Presets (like cartoon)
  • Share videos easily on Facebook
  • Optimized HD Editing!
  • Native HD support from DSLR video, Flip cameras and more tapeless formats
  • Easily fix Audio Problems
  • See the new features in action here.


Order Photoshop Elements 9 here

Order Premiere Elements 9 here

Save money and order the Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9 BUNDLE here.

New Nikon D7000. Now we’re talking!

Yesterday Nikon answered my wishes for a replacement to my Nikon D5000 (and D300 before that) travel camera. My wish was for a small rugged body that offers DSLR video at 1080p, stereo mic input and continuous autofocus while shooting video ain't bad either. I looked at the D3100 was tempted, but once my buddy Jeff Revell pointed out that it lacked bracketed shooting (which makes HDR much much easer), and that was pretty much a deal breaker. It also lacks a mic input. However, the D7000 has everything I want. It's actually more of a replacement to the D90 than the D5000. Although the D5000 was newer, the D90 had a more rugged water resistant body. The D7000 brings Nikons latest technologies to bear.


It offers:

  • a 16.2MP DX-format CMOS chip
  • HD Video up to 1080p 24fps (20 minute clip limit – up from 5 minutes)
  • Full-time Auto Focus while shooting video <- if this works well it will be HUGE!
  • a respectable 6fps continuous shooting mode
  • ISO range from 100 to 6400 (expandable to 25, 600 in HI2 mode)
  • Twin SD (SDHC, SDXC) card slots – great for copying, shooting video to one stills to the other or RAW to one and JPGs to the other.
  • Optional MD11 external battery grip 
  • Built-in HDMI out and stereo mic in
  • GPS support (external module required as before)
  • Full specs here.


Yep, this is the one I've been waiting for since last year. 

The Nikon D7000 lists for $1,195 and you can place your pre-order here.


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Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Wireless Mic for Video Review


I have been doing still photography and motion video/graphics for years now. Although I feel pretty comfortable making hardware selections when it comes to DSLRs and HD Cameras, I know very little about Audio equipment. I know the importance of good audio. As a matter of fact (rule) you can't have good video without good audio. People are forgiving when it comes to marginal video quality, but if the audio quality is bad people will stop watching. Since it was time for me to invest in a decent wireless mic system for doing video work, I turned to my buddy Bruce Mandel of Mandel Video for some recommendations. After I got the links that he sent me I quickly learned that you can spend a little or a lot for audio equipment just like you can for camera gear. I already had a low end $100 system that I wasn't really happy with. I also knew that I didn't want to spend a ton of money either. So I guess I was looking for something in the middle of the range. After looking at my options, I decided to go with Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Wireless System. I knew that basically I was buying the older model since the Evolution G3 was out. However, since the G2 was going for about $300 less, I went for it.


Getting Started with the Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 Series

When the box arrived, I was able to get it setup without ever touching the instruction manual. Again, I'm not an audio expert, but it was pretty easy to figure out the setup for the transmitter and receiver. I put the supplied camera mount on the receiver, put the batteries in both units and attached the supplied lavalier mic. After turning on both units I could see the level indicator moving on the receiver indicating that it was picking up sound from the mic. Cool! Next I plugged the mic into my Sony VX2000 DV camera and recorded a short clip. I walked around and spoke at different levels to see what the sound quality would be like. I was pleasantly surprised by the pickup that it had from the mic being located relatively center of my chest. 

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