What are you Shooting with Mr. Spielberg?

My Camera Bag Puked

When I was ten years old I remember that my grandfather had a video camera and in order to shoot video you had to carry around a VCR on a shoulder strap. He carried that thing all over Disney World following me around and taking video. I got to use it from time to time also and became the family videographer. As the technology grew the size of the cameras went from hugely obtrusive to minuscule. These days I shoot video on a couple of devices.

If I’m going out specifically to shoot video I take my Kodak PlayTouch camera. It shoots in 1080p HD. I can also connect an external microphone to this device and get better sound. In addition to that I use magnetic lenses so that I can shoot macro, wide angle, telephoto and even fish eye to vary the look and feel of my video. I also use an LED light from time to time when I am in low light situations like out at night or in a restaurant or bar. Sometimes I just want a little extra light.

If I’m just out on a normal day I have my iPhone with me and that is pretty much all I need to capture candid moments on video. In fact, I’m getting to the point that I use my iPhone for my everyday camera and video camera. It is the device that I always have on me. It shoots great photos and great video. I can do a ton of editing right on the phone and then send to any social network or family that I’d like to share with. I also have the ability to use those same magnetic lenses that I use on my Kodak PlayTouch with the iPhone.

There are some additional gadgets that I like to use to improve my videos and they can be used with both the iPhone and the Kodak PlayTouch. One of those gadgets is a tripod. With a tripod you can get steady shots as well as smooth panning. Plus when using a tripod your arm isn’t going to get tired or cramp up from trying to hold a chocolate bar at eye level for any length or time.

You might be asking yourself how do I attach an iPhone to a Tripod? It is pretty simple with the XShot iPhone 4s phone case. I’ve been using this quite a bit with my XShot camera extender. The case allows you to connect a tripod via quick release in either portrait or landscape orientation. It is a great gadget to have.

Putting it all together.

I bought one more piece of equipment that allows me to attach my camera, off camera mic, lenses and light bar to my tripod but with quick easy off and on action. I bought an Opteka X-Grip stabilizing handle. I connect everything to the X-Grip including the quick release connector of the tripod and I can easily pop off my camera for handheld shots and pop it back on for steady stationary or panning shots. Plus it looks like a serious rig when I load everything onto it.

Drew's Video Rig

Man, I wish that 10 year old me had this.


Are you into adventure? If you are, then you might want to check out things like the GoPro (I’ve never tried it but it looks really cool and takes great photos). Personally I was shooting in weather and water before I ever heard about the GoPro, but what I did have was the Kodak PlaySport. This waterproof camera was perfect for shooting videos on the water. I did a series of videos called The Wired Kayaker and used this camera. Later I was able to get an Xshot Kayak Mount (2 Actually) so that I could shoot videos and still on the water. Here is my rig for that.

Roger Williams Paddle 2010