How to use SDMInst to install CHDK

Let’s assume that you have already used ACID to find your camera’s firmware and then download the appropriate CHDK build. Now we are going to use SDMInst to format your sd card and then move the CHDK build onto it.

If you are running Mountain Lion (10.8) then go here in order to figure out how to start up the app. Other versions can simply double click it.

First, select your memory card from the “Select card drive:” dialog. You will know which one it is by its size in comparison to the others, and the name in the “SDM Volume:” field. You may not even have any choices. I happened to have a lot of mounted disk images that showed up as options. Next click on the browse button, or drag the directory containing your CHDK build into the “Copy all files from” box.

Finally click on “Prepare Card” and watch it do its magic. Eject the card, lock it, and then put it in your camera to test!

Macro photography focus stacking rig

The other day I saw this link from dsvilko and thought it was a really good idea. He uses the sled from a cd or dvd player to accurately position a subject for macrophotography. If you have never tried it before, then shooting something macro usually means that there is very light coming in to the camera and it makes manually focusing something (by twisting the lens) almost impossible.

Initially I wanted to directly duplicate dsvilko’s rig, but the sled I have doesn’t have the belts traveling in the same direction as his, so there was no easy way for me to replace the dc motor with a stepping motor. I decided to just roll with the punches and stick with what I had. By limiting the amount of time the motor was on I could build a reasonable facsimile of a repeatable step. I am currently moving the sled in 20 millisecond periods.

I directly soldered wires to the existing motor’s terminals. I zip tied them to the sled and then started work on the arduino side of things. I am using a l298 h bridge motor driver to control the motor. It takes 3 wires from the arduino. Two wires control the direction of the motor, and the third turns it on.

more after the jump

good gear to go with your shiny new canon 7d


I can only hope that there will be a lot of other happy people unwrapping new cameras this christmas. I bought my 7d about a month ago, and the best/worst thing is that now I realize buying it is just the beginning. I want to buy sooo much gear to use with it, and it is tough to find well recommended, modestly priced gear. Here is the short list of what I have or want to buy, to wet your creative whistle.


bogen tripod with fluid head.
If you buy nothing else on this list, get a tripod and a fluid head. The 5d/7d do not have ANY image stabilization capabilities, so if you plan on using any lens longer than a 50 you will need to use a tripod. The fluid head is also critical because many other types of heads are built for still photos. They are easily adjustable, but not in smooth movements. A fluid head is designed for video, and is the only real way to get a smooth pan.

Hit the MORE for more!
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Cheapest follow focus ever for canon 7d / 5d mark II

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Ever since I have fallen in love with the Canon 7d dslr, I have been fantasizing about making a legit follow focus for a dslr. It allows you to have more control over the focusing, and a smoother camera because your rotation is in a different axis as the lens. (You may hear more of my traditional FF plans in a few) In the meantime I saw a vimeo clip that had this little gem of an idea in it. For quick focus pulls a lever like this can’t be beat, and it’s dirt cheap as well!
rack focus for canon dslr

Here are all of the parts from the old home depot. Simple stuff. It totaled around $6, and it’s enough to make 2 and have parts left over.

worm screw

The first step is to cut out a few teeth in order to make room for the bolt.

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How to use Ac power to replace the Nikon D40 battery

I still haven’t gotten the grip I mentioned a few posts ago. I don’t know if I will. I have figured out a clumsy hack to get the job done and I might just run it this way, or perhaps clean it up a tiny bit.

This is the battery with little aluminum strips taped to it. The battery compartment is too tight for regular wires, so foil was the only way to do it.

aluminum foil wiring for battery pack d40

aluminum foil wiring for battery pack d40

This pic shows the “wires” coming out of the battery grip. I have alligator clips on a 7.3V 200Ma cell phone charger. I connect it to the foil and off we go!

battery grip showing aluminum "wiring"

The reason why I have the battery in there is because without it, there isn’t enough juice to fully actuate the shutter. I think that some kind/type of capacitor would also do this, but I’m afraid I don’t what kind would work.

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Macro Tube!

I juts got a macro tube in the mail. It’s basically a dumb (ie you need to be on full manual mode-no metering or AF) piece of aluminum that moves the lens further away from the camera body. Doing so it decreases the minimum focal point.
Basically it means you can get really tight up on stuff and shoot close ups. Here are a few test shots

The macro tube has 3 different sized rings that thread into one another. That way you can roughly control the distance between the lens and the camera. The three shots are taken with the three rings on. Here’s a photo (ripped from deal extreme)

 


extension tube for macro photography
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time lapses – getting to know your intervalometer

I’ve been inspired to shoot more pictures lately. Like everything else in my life I tend to go for quantity over quality, so I shot a LOT of pictures. I acquired a battery/intervalometer for my Nikon D40 a while back and didn’t even notice the intervalometer settings until recently.

 

I’ve shot quite a few tests with it and I’ll post them below. The first was clouds through my kitchen window.

 


The second was more clouds from the roof at my work.

 

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