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It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: gimbal

Three Ways to Massively Improve the Quality of Your Family Video Shots

I’ve got three big tips that will help jump-start your action videos of your family members...

Let’s face it. Few of us would mind if Steven Spielberg showed up with his camera crew to immortalize our next family event. All of that talent poured into the visual capture would undoubtedly generate amazing imagery. (I don’t care how disruptive a large film crew would be!)

Unfortunately, I know that scenario is also a fantasy. But instead of dreaming about how you might improve your home videos, I’ve got three ways to upgrade your video talents to the next level…

Steady Does It

Shaky jumps and bumps created by an unsteady hand are sure signs of amateur video. The good news is technology is making it easier for you these days to create steadier shots, especially when covering action.

Digital stabilization is now common in consumer camera tech, but a real game changer is consumer-grade ‘gimbals.’ These are 3-axis stabilized handheld devices.

You can mount your smartphones to these stabilizers to create silky-smooth cinematic videos.

DJI makes the Osmo Mobile 3.
$119.00 on Amazon Prime

Or you can go with the DJI Osmo Pocket, which is a tiny, all-in-one camera/gimbal that can create amazingly smooth action from the palm of your hand.
$349 on Amazon Prime

I use the Osmo Pocket, and it maximizes many video opportunities to keep up with my active nine-year-old son.

Slow It Down

I know I’ve recently taken a deep dive into the value of shooting in slow motion, but I think the point bears repeating.

When not overused, slow motion video can really add emotional impact to your video storytelling. It can also help you extend a significant visual moment which goes by too quickly. 

All you need to do is shoot at a higher frame-rate. Today’s smartphones are entirely capable to handle this trick with a tap of a setting. 

If you’re not already a slow-motion believer, just give it a try. You’ll see what I mean.

Let There Be Light!

Sure, you can buy expensive gear to help shoot in low light, and the results can be strikingly beautiful. But why confront this difficult challenge if you don’t have to? 

Instead, simply look for every opportunity to record in good light. Either take advantage of the outdoors or a well-lit room. Simply avoid those infamous backlight problems that come from bright windows or the sun in the background. 

And always remember to keep the brightest light in front of your subject!

Show and Tell

Here’s an example of these three tips in action… I used my DJI Osmo Pocket to ‘smoothly’ document my son’s participation in a community fun run on a bright, cold weekend morning.

I recorded these clips at 60 frames per second and then slowed the motion down a bit while editing them in Final Cut Pro X on my iMac. I added in a little rhythm from Apple’s GarageBand and threw in some white flashes to finish off the sequence.

Put It All Together

Steady, slow and the use of lots of light will help you take a significant step forward as the family videographer. 

(I believe my post’s title says, “massive.” I’ll stand by that.)

If you incorporate these strategies when capturing action, you can create clips that will turn lots of heads.

All right, maybe just a few… but I expect the ones that matter to you!

My Top Gift Recommendation in Home Tech

If you’re shopping for your special tech geek but don’t know where to start, I think I might have found the gift you want…

Stop shopping right now! Move your index finger away from your keyboard. Put that credit card away (for the moment). I am excited to report that I have identified the perfect tech gift for that aspiring filmmaker or prosumer in your life.

Are you ready…?

It’s the Osmo Pocket Gimbal.

Steadicam in Your Pocket
Made by DJI, it’s an unbelievably ultra-compact 3-axis stabilized handheld camera. Think of a Steadicam in the palm of your hand… a mini-gimbal with a build-in camera.

“What’s a gimbal,” you ask?

It’s a stabilization system that literally eliminates all of the shake and bounce in your hand when you’re shooting video. And if you’re wondering, mechanical stabilization is always better than electronic stabilization.

By eliminating all of the shake as you move through your shots, you will instantly create professional-looking scenes that will bring your home videography to a whole new level.

The Osmo Pocket has just been released, and it goes for $349.00.
Yep, Amazon Prime has it.

You can operate this Osmo via its tiny touchscreen, or you can attach it to your smartphone to create a larger viewfinder and to access advanced functionality.

No, the Osmo Pocket is not exactly inexpensive, but for a 4K video camera that will get you buttery-smooth cinematic shots at 60 FPS and also easily fits into your pocket… $349 feels like a pretty reasonable price.

Optional Extras
The Osmo Pocket has an onboard microphone, but you will also be able to buy an optional 3.5mm adapter if you want to plug in a separate mic.

There are also other a la carte choices like ND filters, a wireless module, extension rod and waterproof case.

The Wow Factor
Sure, there are other gimbals out there. DJI makes several other Osmos.
But the Osmo Pocket is so small and unobtrusive, it opens up many more use scenarios. That can be a real game changer…

Remember how remarkable drones used to seem before they became a dime a dozen? Yep… This is like that. But the Osmo Pocket won’t crash (unless you drop it).

The Osmo Pocket also snaps photos, but that’s not really the primary use for this little device.

Feeling Like a Kid Again
I used to marvel at Steadicam technology. It was something only big-budget productions could afford. Then, more affordable gimbals hit the independent filmmaker/corporate video market, and I rejoiced at having regular access to these wonderful tools in my work.

Now, the democratization of this tech is complete. Everyone at home can own a pocket gimbal!
(It’s kind of remarkable…)

Sure, it’s not cheap, but over time, the price points will inevitably drop.

I mentioned the Osmo Pocket to several colleagues who are into camera tech, and they all experienced a Pavlovian response.

Heck, I think I’m drooling as I type this!

I say If you’re a prosumer interested in video and filmmaking gear, this is absolutely the coolest new device out there.
(Hands down)

Happy Holidays!
I remember asking some friends last month about the must-have gift of the season. They couldn’t think of one. How boring that would have been.

This is clearly a head turner.

Thank you, Osmo Pocket for putting some twinkle back into holiday shopping lists for tech geeks!

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