A Cool Remote Trigger for your Nikon

XEquals, a new Canadian company has just launched blueSLR, a combination of bluetooth module and companion app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that enables Nikon DSLRs to be wirelessly triggered from the app. Not only that, it also geotags your photos, writing its GPS location to the EXIF data of your images.

The small module will attach to the following Nikons : D3100, D5000, D90, D7000, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D3x, D200, D300, D300S, and D700. It has a claimed range of up to 300 feet and since it is bluetooth, it does not have to be line of sight. Cost of the module is $149. The app is a free download from iTunes.

It’s currently only compatible with Nikon DSLRs, although they’re working on releasing a Canon version as well.

Getting Rid of Dead Pixels on your Canon DSLR

Dead pixels. Those tiny, usually red dots appearing in the same place on all your images can be frustrating. Considering there are tens of millions of pixels that make up your image, it’s not surprising that a few of them can be broken. Happens even to brand new fresh out of the box cameras.

What to do? If your camera is under warranty, and you can stand being without it for a few weeks then by all means send it back for repair. However, if you’re out of your warranty window or you just don’t want to part with your new camera, here’s a trick to try with your Canon DSLR.

  • Make sure you have a fully charged battery
  • Detach lens but be sure to put the camera bodycap on
  • Go into your menus and find Sensor cleaning
  • Select Clean manually
  • Let it run for 60 seconds, then power the camera off

It’s that easy! You should find that you have gotten rid of the dead pixel. If not, you’ll need to send your camera to Canon for remapping.

Step by Step : Shooting Video with the DSLR

Keeping it Smooth

One of a series of posts aimed to help still photographers produce better videos with their DSLRs.

The biggest mistake still photographers make when shooting video for the first time is not keeping the camera steady. Nothing shouts amateur like a shaky video and if you don’t use some type of camera support, you’ll be very disappointed in the results and maybe even give your viewers motion sickness. Since you are no longer capturing a slice of time in a photograph, camera shake becomes very noticeable. And to make matters worse, the form factor of the DSLR is much more suited for stills than video. Some kind of camera support is necessary.


A standard photo tripod can help, but try to move the camera in a smooth pan, and you’ll see it’s limitations in your footage. You need very sturdy legs and what is called a fluid head.

Fluid heads are just what the name implies, a tripod head with a thick fluid in it to dampen any movement, to create a smooth resistance. Because of this, they are more expensive than most standard photo tripod heads. Fluid heads can run from anywhere around $100. up to thousands of dollars. Consider the good ones an investment because they will give you years and years of great service.

Shoulder Rigs

When shooting off the tripod, to be more mobile, it really helps to have some type of camera support to keep your video footage looking smooth. In-camera/lens image stabilization can only do so much. Many thrifty do-it-yourselfers have created interesting rigs out of pvc pipe, wood and even old bicycle parts. But many innovative companies have sprung up to support the growing needs of video DSLR shooters so there is plenty to choose from. These rigs can cost you anywhere from $30. on up to believe it or not, a Vocas costing $2100. for a simple shoulder rig.

When buying a shoulder rig, if you can, bring all of your gear to make sure it all fits and feels comfortable. Most rigs are based on dual 15mm rods that allow customization of the ergonomics and a base for all of the attachments you need (follow focus, external recorder, monitor, matte box, etc). Buy one that fits your budget of course but also your shooting style. Keep it as simple as possible as you need to carry it all on your shoulder. It will also help to have a quick release on your shoulder rig matching your tripod fluid head for quick on and off the sticks.

Canon Offers Locking Mode Dial Upgrade for the EOS 5D Mark II and 7D

Canon has just announced a service upgrade for the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D that replaces the camera’s mode dial with a redesigned locking version, similar in design to the EOS 60D. The new dial has a center button that locks the dial setting to prevent it from accidentally moving to another function.

The service will be offered starting on December 6th and will cost around $100.

The non-locking mode dial will continue to be installed at the factory for both the 5D Mark II and 7D. The locking version will be available only as a service modification, says Chuck Westfall, Technical Advisor at Canon USA.

The locking dial will be similar to the one on the 60D