5 Gadgets for Videographers & Photography Nuts

5 Gadgets for Videographers & Photography Nuts

HoverSpy Video Cam R/C Copter

Hover SpyThink of this gadget less of a spy tool and more of an amateurish alternative to using a crane for high aerial shots.

HoverSpy is a 12” remote control miniature helicopter capable of shooting video from 150 feet in the air. It’s controlled via radio frequency and equipped with a built-in gyro and accelerometer to provide an accurate RC flying experience. The wireless cam records video in 640×480 resolution in .AVI format, storing video on a 1GB Micro SD card (40 minutes of video) included in the box. The battery life is a bit of a drawback, it provides 7 minutes of fly-time which translates to about 10 minutes of charging time. The body sports an aluminum solid-build, landing gear, struts and dual rotating blades.

It’s likely not going to produce smooth sweeping shots you’d get using a professional jib although it might be perfect for indie film makers within the horror genre. The birds-eye-view footage looks as though it would be ideal in some sort of aerial creepy chase-scene.

GorillaPod Video

Gorilla PodGorillaPods are accessories to stabilize cameras in various environments, regardless as to whether you’re shooting footage using an iPhone or a Canon EOS 5 D Mark ll.

These tripods are supported by the standard three legs but with an added twist, the GorillaPod design offers bendy legs that can be wrapped around or hung from objects. This specific model is $29.95 (US) and supports smooth 360° pan and 135° tilt with an omni-directional aluminum video head, in short, it will move in all directions. It also, in this model, has a quick release plate and was designed to work with mini and pocket camcorders.

There are tons of real-world examples where these would be useful, the first that comes to mind is “guerilla” style podcasting. Let’s say you’re doing a podcast about hiking, using the flexible legs, it can be hung from trees or positioned to work where the standard tripod might flip over. It should also save the viewer from the inevitable shake that results from the Rick Mercer/Dennis Leary style of walking and talking into the cam.

Inflatable Photo Studio: The Hooligan

Inflatable Photo StudioNo room in the home for a studio? A product by IPS-Studio gives photographers an indoor studio, saving thousands on rental property.

The Inflatable Photo Studio is a large inflatable room that uses an industrial fan to essentially blow up the room to full size. The material is solid-black UV coated polyurethane, both the colour of the material and the tight space create an ideal situation for controlling lighting. I’d personally want to splurge for an upgrade that came with a chroma-green interior for green screening. Weather is another factor, anyone who’s suffered through trying to produce a podcast outdoors knows, mother nature can be a cruel mistress — this totally eliminates poor sunlight and rain.

The Hooligan is $500 and is the economy version in their line of inflatables, it nicely deflates and folds down into a compact situation; 40  x 20  x 20 , weighing in at about 50 pounds.  And you’re seriously going to want to get yourself a permit if you plan on putting this thing on city property.

Camera Connection Kit

Camera Connection KitThe iPad is a beautiful device to showcase photography. The display has an uncanny way of adding an unwarranted amount of polish to any photo — a popular choice of gadget for many photo junkies.

The iPad does however require some accessories to quickly import photos, accessories like Apple’s Camera Connection Kit. This kit is $29 (US) and includes two adapters; SD to iPad port and USB to iPad port. To browse images on an SD card, the accessory is plugged into the iPad’s 30-pin connector and the SD card fits in the opposite side. It imports both pictures & videos (depending on the format) and it attaches to both digital cameras and iPhones (3GS,4) through a USB cable. Standard images formats, jpeg and raw are all supported.

F-Stop Watch

f-stop watch

At first glance you might not catch what makes this watch special, a joke only photography geeks will likely get — it tells time with aperture (F-Stop).

Photography gurus can skip the following statement. To give you a better idea of what makes this design so neat, the term F-Stop means the focal length, really the focus length divided by the diameter of the lens– just know it’s very apt for photo junkies.

It also comes in a collectable tin that includes Quartz batteries and it retails for $35.97 (US). There’s not a whole lot else to explain here, it’s a watch – a watch with the ability to bring joy to any photography enthusiast who wears it.

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