Powering a Canon 5D Mark III with a Vagabond mini!!

3 10 2012

Over the last year, I’ve worked on a few projects as a DP for my friend Chris. Over that year I have acquired a lot of knowledge in video production, which I had never done before.

One thing that I realized is that power comsuption is very high in video mode for all HDSLR ( obviously). That means that you have to change batteries about three times on a normal shoot day. That also means that you have one more thing to worry about on a already over busy day. There are a few solutions out there to take care of that problem, but they often involve a lot of money:

You can buy a battery grip for your camera.
There are very nice but very pricey solutions from Anton Bauer.

You can buy an ACK E6 adapter from Canon and a Vagabond mini from Paul C buff and you have a very nice and acfordable battery solution for your HDSLR (around 350$ CAD).
It can be a little bulky, but you now have the opportunity to plug another device in the mini (let’s say a monitor) since you have two sockets.

With only the 5D plugged in, I’ve never depleted the battery more than a 1/3 of it’s power for a total of 4.5 hours of footage (on and off). Pretty impressive!!

And if you’re a photographer, it will double as an awesome battery solution for your strobes, or a great source of power for timelapse photography.


Another quick behind the scenes of a simple studio product shot

15 01 2012

Hey all,

Here’s another really quick post about the setup I used to make a few editorial product shots for iStockphoto. At the beginning, this was just a lightning test, so the shots are not that creatives, but I tried to add a little something for the last one. First, Here’s the studio setup.

I used 4 strobes. the key light is a Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 with a umbrella. The kicker is a AlienBees B800 with a small square Lastolite Easy box. The fill is a Einstein E640 in a 64 inch silver PLM with front diffuser fabric, overhead. Finally, the background is illuminated with a Canon Speedlight 430EXII with a blue gel. I used a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS. The flashes were triggered with Pocket Wizards Mini TT1, Flex TT5, Zone controller AC3, Power MC2 or simply by optical slave for the AB800.

And here’s the shots:

For the last one, I decided to try the shortest flash duration of the Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 which is supposed to be around 1/6800 at t 0.5. I replaced the AB800 by the Einstein as the kicker and set the Profoto to -4 and Max (fastest flash duration setting). I removed the overhead fill. I’m pretty satisfied with the results. At 100%, the flash tail is still visible, but it is very usable if the subject isn’t moving too fast. For this shot, I used old gliding wax scrapes to «simulate» snow.

So here it is, your comments and questions are always welcome.