360 Stabilizer - Kraken36 v1.1 Adapter for DJI Osmo Mobile

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kraken36v11_web edge

Finished Kraken36 v1.1 Adapter for Samsung Gear 360 + DJI Osmo Mobile.

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

360 Stabilizer - DJI Osmo Mobile Prototype Adapter for 360

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Here is my finished 360 Stabilizer - DJI Osmo Mobile prototype adapter "Kraken36v1" for the Samsung Gear 360. I've made it from plywood and used screws + nuts as counterweights.

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

360 Stabilizer = DJI Osmo Mobile + Samsung Gear 360

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I’ve succeeded to built my own special adapter for the DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal. It was a lil bit tricky because the Osmo Mobile motors are weak. But I did it and now I can shoot gimbal stabilized footage with the Samsung Gear 360 camera. The test footage was only stabilized with the Osmo Mobile - no post stabilization was used!

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

Quick Lighting + Motion Control Test


Did some quick lighting & motion control tests with my DIY KinoFlo's and edelkrone equipment to see how it performs on product close ups. The PC is just a placeholder therefore I didn't cleaned it and it's of course full of scratches.

Finished hardcase with custom foam inserts


From the AutoCad drawing to the finished product. Everything looks and fits perfectly. This is how my finished knockoff Pelicase with the custom foam inserts for my edelkrone video equipment looks like in reality. Thomas Forster from "www.schaumstoff-inlay.de" did a great job on the cnc cutting. UPDATE: Want a sexy looking foam insert for your edelkrone equipment? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/DGgF/

(Product shots & Design by Daniel Schweinert ©2015 SCHWEINERT.COM)


Custom foam Inserts for my edelkrone equipment


Today I've designed my own custom foam inserts in AutoCad for my cheap knockoff Pelicase. Now my edelkrone equipment is safe and it looks more impressive when carried around. The knockoff hardcase is actually a gun case I've bought for EUR 95,- from ebay. The external dimensions are 1140x420x150mm. Here's the link to the gun case: "Wasserdichter Kunststoff Waffenkoffer"

Thomas from "www.schaumstoff-inlay.de" based in germany is cutting the custom foam inserts on his CNC-Machine for me. If you have problems creating a technical drawing, he can also do the design as well. Ask him for a quote he has very reasonable prices and I can really recommend him!

UPDATE: Want a sexy looking foam insert for your edelkrone equipment? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/DGgF/

Pizza cardboard viewfinder for BMCC / BMPC4K


Yesterday we shot outside in sunny daylight with the BMPC4K and of course I couldn’t see anything on the touchscreen. (And no there was no budget for a SDI viewfinder). Therefore I’ve quickly built a super duper viewfinder from a pizza cardboard. It looks really shitty but it works great! It is collapsible and has also a Swing-Away technology to easily access the touch screen :-)

Heres the link to my PDF tutorial and DXF file if you want to build one too:
PDF BMCC / BMPC4K pizza cardboard viewfinder
CAD DXF file

Sony Cyber-shot F828 IR Magnet Hack in 2 seconds!


I needed this camera today with IR mode on full manual control but it was of course locked by firmware in Auto-Mode when switched to Nightshot. Aaarrrgh!

After thinking about how the internal mechanism could work I've opened it and found out how to easily move the IR-Cut filter from a Sony Cyber-shot F828 and still have full manual control.

A tiny electromagnet inside the camera controls the IR Cut filter when switching to Nightshot mode. I've marked the position of that electromagnet on the housing. Now if you take a small but strong neodymium magnet you can control that electromagnet from outside and switch the IR Cut filter on and off in seconds.

Turn the dial on your F828 to Manual mode and use that neodymium magnet to turn off the IR Cut filter. Voila you now have infrared mode with full manual control!

Btw. this hack works on the Sony Cyber-shot F717 too. Click below to see the full post. Read More...

Built myself some professional DIY KinoFlo's


In the last few days I've built myself a couple of 4ft 4Bank professional DIY KinoFlo's for an upcoming shoot. I improved the original design by integrating the fixture inside an ultralight Flightcase. This makes them very portable an no bags are needed anymore. Here are a couple of snapshots I took with my phone.


Motion Controlled Dolly + CODE


I’ve got a couple of requests to upload the Arduino Code for my Motion Controlled Dolly again. Since I’ve updated my homepage, some of the old Blog links and resources do not work anymore. Therefore I repost the whole thing again:

Here is the final code for my Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) with super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp: You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03 (you’ll also need to download the „Accel-Stepper library“ v1.5 from Mike McCauley) A big thank you goes to the programmer Brian Schmalz from www.schmalzhaus.com

The motor I’ve used is a hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 (I’ve got it from www.reichelt.de for EUR 29,- ) If you use a different motor you might have to ... Read More...

5D Mark III RAW Video CompactFlash to SSD


After searching for days I’ve found a promising adapter (pdf datasheet FB4658 VER:1.1) that could work with a special SSD that has an IDE/ATA port already integrated. This adapter is sold in germany through the company ES&S Solutions GmbH. I’ve asked them already and Im waiting for a response. The SSD is an OWC Legacy Pro SSD 2.5“ IDE/ATA and they claim on their page it’s very fast with Read: 285 MB/s / Write: 275MB/s. It is available in sizes from 60GB - 480GB.

In theory this would be fantastic because the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III maxes out at 167 MB/s and this will be sufficient to capture the RAW video data even at higher resolutions than FullHD. I still don’t know if this whole concept will work and also if the adapter pins support UDMA. These CF to IDE adapters are used in embedded PC systems. So if someone has such an adapter please try it out and let me know. Btw. this IDE/ATA SSD needs of course external power.

Alternative Way capturing 5DM3 RAW Video Maybe


Just exploring new ideas and developing concepts on how to alternatively capture 5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD. This concept is very broad and applies to all cameras on the market because they work more or less in the same way. Faster and bigger CF cards are coming out soon but the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III is still limited to max. 167 MB/s. Until then Im thinking on how to get to the RAW stream inside the camera the easy way (maybe without opening it at all). I still don’t know if the HDMI LSI is directly behind the MPEG CODEC IC.

It might be a long shot but maybe there is a way to redirect the RAW data to the HDMI OUT port on the camera. I can imagine that Canon faced the same problem redirecting the uncompressed 4:2:2 signal to HDMI with their new firmware 1.2.1.

5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD bypass CF


Canon EOS 5D Mark III can record super high quality 14bit RAW video! This is so AMAZING! I can’t believe it. I knew it all the time that Canon, Sony, Panasonic and other companies are playing games on us by crippling their products intentionally to gain more profit.

Now that Magic Lantern team made the impossible possible (Thank you guys! You’re amazing!) getting super high quality RAW Video from a Canon 5D Mark III we need to find a way to store that huge amount of data. It works with 1000x CF cards but there are still dropouts. Trying to store the data directly to an OWC Mercury SSD bypassing the CF card. When faster cards are available this bulky setup will be obsolete anyway. Still not done yet.

--- UPDATE ---
Need more info about the electronics in this camera. Please contact me if you have the Canon 5D Mark III Service Manual

The Perfect Cam Paradoxon Because Of Profit


I need to blow off some steam. Just thinking out loud:
I'm getting tired of the camera manufacturers (and other companies too) releasing a huge amount of new electronics & camera bodies in a very short period of time with intentional weaknesses - just to release slightly improved models next year to make more profit. I mean WTF? It's already getting out of control. Am I the only one that is observing this?

Fire all those managers and let the engineers use the electronics to their fullest potential and deliver QUALITY again, like in the old days! We need no stinky intentionally crippled firmware or new flashy camera models with crappy codecs and subpar resolution. Better give use some upgrades to get the best out of the excellent equipment we've already bought. Canon unintended is doing a step forward with it’s free firmware (uncompressed 422 HDMI out). Though they said at the release of the 5D Mark III that the electronics are not capable of giving out uncompressed 422 over HDMI but MagicLantern kicked their arses so they have to do something. I wish there would be more reverse-engineers turning our electronic products in tools that work like advertised!

To start somewhere:
I wish someone high up the food chain would take the strengths of the Black Magic Cinema Camera like 2.5K 12-bit RAW, ProRes422, DNxHD and add these to the strengths of the ridiculously overpriced Canon C300/C500.

Code For Motion Controlled Dolly

Finally, the code for the Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) is finished. It has now a super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp.
A big thank you goes to Brian Schmalz from www.schmalzhaus.com


You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03
The schematics can be found in my old blog post here

Im using a modern hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. I’ve bought it for 29,- EUR from www.reichelt.de. The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 If you use a completely different motor you might have to change some values in the code. In worst case the motor will stall and you will not get a smooth motion.

DIY Portable Camera Crane


Inspired by Martin Roberts I’ve built my own version of a portable camera crane using a leg from an old tripod (SLIK 88N) that fits in a small leisure bag. The setup is really quick and easy, done in under one minute. It’s stiff enough to support a camera up to 1200 grams. For the center pivot Im using a swivel caster with ball bearing to get smooth motion. You can get them at any home depot. The cost for the parts were around 30 EUR. (I had already two old tripods sitting around in the garage.) The crane has a range of 1.40m (total length=2.10m). With the tripod fully extended I can go as high as 2.80m and in most situations this will be more than enough.


DIY Lens Align Clone

Due to some backfocusing of my camera & lens combination I’ve decided to microadjust my AF lenses and searched for a good and fast solution. After trying different focus charts without success, found in various „DIY AF Microadjustment tutorials“ I’ve realized that it can’t work if your cameras CMOS sensor is not exactly parallel to the focus chart. Doing it by hand is nearly impossible to achieve constant results (at least for me).


I found only two commercial products. The Spyder LensCal and the LensAlign PRO. After reading some bad reviews about the Spyder LensCal and setting it up with it’s included bubble wouldn’t be accurate enough I’ve decided to take a look at the more professional LensAlign PRO that works by using the parallax principle. But for $180 I find it highly overpriced.

They now have also the LensAlign MkII for $80 but because I need it within 24 hours before my shoot I searched on and found a „DIY LensAlign Clone tutorial“. Based on that info I’ve built my own DIY LensAlign out of a white Forex Foam PVC sheet from homedepo that can be stored flat folded like the original one. It’s highly accurate and it will do the job. After some work in Illustrator I’ve printed the ruler and the focus chart on labels and fixed it to the parts. The center hole of the chart is covered by a piece of black tape.

For non-DIY’ers get the cheaper LensAlign MkII for $80 it’s really worth it! Take a look at the videos of the LensAlign Pro to see how the unit works: LensAlignPro_HowTo


Arduino MocoSlider TimeLapse Unit

Just finished my new Motion Control Unit for the circular and linear tracking dolly. I’ve did the holes, buttons and engraving with my little cnc machine. The electronics fit perfectly in the case and everything is tidied up. A big thanks goes to Duncan Frazier for the arduino code. It contains a TimeLapse & Slider mode. The 9 pin SUB-D jack connects to the stepper motor of my dolly and the mini jack goes through an adapter cable to the Canon camera. Now I have to adjust the code for my stepper motor to work properly.


My DIY Fig Rig

Just like to show you my well balaced diy fig rig. Actually I’ve used the same parts and just modified my existing diy shoulder rig (took off the shoulder support and turned the grips 180°).


On the rods I can add my lightweight accessories like a Rode Mic and the Zoom H4 audio recorder. Using a Follow Focus would also be cool but it can’t be operated by the same person who is holding the fig rig.

Maybe a small servomotor (from model airplane) and a potentiometer that can be controlled with the thumb could work.

Skater Dolly + Arduino QUICKTEST

Here is a quick test with the Skater Dolly in action.

diy skater dolly motion control QUICKTEST from Daniel on Vimeo.

Arduino + EasyDriver + Stepper Motor
coding by Brian Schmalz www.schmalzhaus.com

The speed ramping is not included yet and therefore the skater is stopping abruptly and shakes a little bit. But the other functions are working great.

Motor unit for skater dolly

Finally the house moving is complete and I had some time to continue the work on my “Motion Controlled Dolly”. I’ve designed a quick plate that sticks directly on top of the metal screws of the skater dolly. One little (but very strong) neodymium magnet holds the whole plate with stepper motor to the metal screw. On the motor side there is no magnet because this would affect the motor itself. I’ve also intentionally left out the grey plastic wheel on the stepper motor for you to see how the unit looks like when it’s assembled. The whole motor unit can be fixed and removed in 2 seconds from the dolly.


Now it’s time to power up this thing and do some tests.
Unfortunately Brian didn’t had time to finish the code yet, therefore the acceleration and deceleration ramp is not included. Hopefully he will have more time this year.

Arduino + EasyDriver = Motion Controlled Dolly

A couple of weeks ago I’ve decided to motorize my homemade SkaterDolly but I didn’t know how until I came across the Arduino microcontroller. It’s a great little microcontroller which can do when programmed correctly various useful tasks. It has been already used by the OpenMoco community with amazing results for motion control based time-lapse photography. Check it out it’s awesome!

Myself Im absolutely no programming guy at all therefore I asked for help in a couple of forums until I’ve met Brian Schmalz the designer of the EasyDriver stepper motor driver board. He was willing to do the programming for my retro “EasyDriver Handbox” cable remote control. He’s still working on the programming and I hope he finish it soon :-)

In the meantime, here are some pics of my homemade EasyDriver Handbox remote control + schematic.


This remote control allows me to move the SkaterDolly with the camera back and forth adjusting max speed and ramp for smooth camera motion. Also it makes it possible to save 2 positions and move back and forth between these saved positions. Furthermore by selecting a very low speed Im able to do time-lapse photography too with the SkaterDolly or any other dolly with a stepper motor connected to it. My whole project is Open Source and the code will be available for download here in this blog and on Brian’s page.

Simple Schematic:


My homemade skater dolly

My homemade skater dolly (thanks to DP Bill Hawkins for the inspiration)

The body and wheel cages were cnc-milled from thick plywood to allow mounting of heavy 35mm rigs. For the wheel holders and washers I used POM as material. I designed the scale in Illustrator and printed it on glossy paper. Afterwards they were fixed with screws to each acrylic disc...


My homemade rig for my Canon 1D Mark IV

Finally done my new camera rig!

I finished today my homemade camera rig - yeeessss!
Made from standard parts found in a bike shop and at the metal store. I’ve got the shoulder pad and the small rail (for holding a 7” TFT) from a very old video camera.
The design is easy and straight forward. It allows me to add several parts to the hand grips like a RODE Mic and a Zoom H4 audio recorder. At the end of the shoulder mount I will fix a rechargeable battery that acts as a counter balance and that will power the 7” TFT.
This design can of course also be used with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D or 500D that have the movie function integrated. Feel free to use this design. If you have any questions let me know.