3D Rig – Discussion and Assembly (feat. Blackmagic Micro Studio 4K Cameras)

2D Version

3D Version

What??

I had the idea that my videos would be better in 3D. Well, maybe not better. More involved to produce, anyhow. And since I make videos mostly for the love of the process than because I like being on camera (I hate it), more complexity equals more fun! Well, maybe fun is the wrong word. But, you know… something.

There are other reasons, too. I cover all that in the video. :)

I also get into the reasons for choosing Blackmagic Micro Studio Cameras (small, light, 4K, genlock) and why I’m using both a Video Assist 4K and an Atomos Shogun. Which isn’t due to a very good reason at all.

Importantly, the 3D version of this video is purely experimental. This is the first 3D video I’ve ever made (aside from some test shots), so please have pity on me if it gives you a head ache or makes you vomit in a combination of rage and illness. I’m just getting started, so besides the pity I’m open to any and all suggestions to improve things going forward!

$10 Credit Card Sized Cellphone (Matrix Relarded)

Here’s a tiny cellphone from Aiek (your top brand for cheap-ass mini phones, maybe). I got it for $10, and surprisingly it works pretty well!

I forgot to mention in the video, but it’s GSM and definitely compatible with AT&T’s network. (I tested it using H2O Wireless, but they’re just a virtutal provider on AT&T’s system.)

You can pick one up from Banggood, but unfortunately the price has jumped up twice since I bought it, and now it’s at an unfortunate $18.47 (October 8, 2016). I’m sure it’s sold elsewhere, so hopefully you can grab it for ten bucks from another source.

The free delivery option was surprisingly fast to me here in NY at just over a week.

This definitely won’t be replacing your iPhone 7 or Google Pixel, but as a backup/emergency phone to keep in a handbag or backpack it’s pretty cool.

Also, Matrix Something Something Relarded.

Etekcity “Outdoor” Collapsible “Camping” LED Lanterns of Doom

Here are some collapsible LED “camping” lanterns from Etekcity. The reason I put “camping” in quotes is because there is no sign of waterproofing on these things.

I suppose if you’re camping in the desert they’d be fine.

Wait, no they wouldn’t be. Because one out of the four didn’t work, and the soldering was abysmal. If you want to see details, I do a tear down in the video.

Coming Soon: Blackmagic Video Assist 4K vs. Atomos Shogun Comparison Review

I’m currently comparing the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K and the Atomos Shogun, and will be doing a review shortly. If you have any questions, comments, or things you’d like to see me cover please let me know in the comments (here or on YouTube).

I know that the VA4K is a current product, and the Shogun is a discontinued previous version. So why compare them? Well, because I’m focused on people like me: Low-budget shooters that want good equipment for their money. The VA4K is priced comparably to a used (but excellent quality) Shogun. So for a particular budget, those seem to be the most compelling options for a 4K recorder.

One of the Problems with Smart Thermostats – ecobee3 Extra

Check out the video for a more in-depth description of the problem, but the short of it is that most smart thermostats (and a lot of smarthome devices) rely on someone else’s servers in order for them to be accessed remotely. And because of this, “remotely” doesn’t just mean when you’re out of the house, but inside the house as well. If the “smart” device company ever goes out of business or decides to stop supporting whatever you own, then you effectively will no longer have an internet-enabled thing.

This isn’t true for all devices. Some do not require servers-that-are-elsewhere (or “the cloud” as it’s known) so that they can operate. But a surprising amount do, and that’s something to consider when buying an appliance, thermostat, Echo, or full home automation system. Will the company running those servers still be around in 5 years? In 10 or 20 years? And even if they’re in business, will they support it? With something like the Amazon Echo, that’s not much of a concern. But with a $250 thermostat from a “new” company it could be a factor.

ecobee3 Smart Thermostat Install & Review

My old style programmable thermostat died last weekend, and so I rushed over to Home Depot to get a replacement. I wanted a smart thermostat mainly for its wifi connectivity, but also wanted to try out the truly “smart” aspect of it: Optimizing heating and cooling cycles to suit my needs.

They did an excellent job with the user interface, making setup really easy. And their app, though slow to connect at times, is overall well-designed and easy to use. So far I like the ecobee3, but my main concern is with reliability/longevity, and that of course remains to be seen.