What is a gimbal?

Gimbals are excellent devices for photography and video. They are really useful for vlogging and capturing video when you want to move keeping the video steady avoiding camera shake. The gimbal is really a camera stabiliser and you can get models that have built in cameras or cameras you can attach, including smartphones. In the video below I use one that uses my smartphone.

I also like that it has a joystick so can do nice smooth pans and tilts.

The nice thing is that they are light and portable and can easily fold up so that you can put them in your bag. Bigger gimbals that use mirrorless or DSLR cameras are perhaps too big to fit in your bag but that would depend on how big your bag is.

Aside from smoothing out motion as you move it also has some other features such as tracking to keep what you have selected in view but moving the gimbal to try and keep it in shot. You can also do time-lapse.

The model I have has a stand so you can put it on a surface but I can also attached it to a tripod without the stand.

It is useful for photography too as it can keep the camera steady. It will do panoramas and automatically stitch them together, it does it quicker then the built in panorama feature in my iPhone, probably the same for an Android phone too. There is a fun feature that was recently added to the DJI app and that is Clone Me. It does a panorama taking three shots, you have five second between each shot move and appear up to three times in the same shot.

Clone Me feature using the DJO Mobile 3

Check out the video below to see what the gimbal can do.

Here are some gimbals:

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 (as seen in this video): https://amzn.to/3ywAx5z

DJI OM 4: https://amzn.to/3mKtrYN

DJI RSC 2 Pro Combo (as seen in this video): https://amzn.to/3yuVjCG

Zhiyun Smooth Q3 Combo: https://amzn.to/3mICSYX

Posted in digital photography, Filming from home, filmmaking, iPhone photography, photography, Uncategorized, video, Video production | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Screen Share Across All Your Breakout Rooms in Zoom

If you have been using Zoom chances are you have either used breakout rooms or seen the button at the bottom of the screen. Breakout rooms allow groups to have discussions, work on things like presentations or perhaps you just want them to network.

Recently Zoom have added the ability to share your screen across the breakout rooms. So you can share ideas, leave some bullet points of the tasks or perhaps take part in an activity.

When you share across the breakout rooms it does stop any screen sharing they are doing within their session. Yes, each breakout room can have someone share a screen within the room.

The screen share is done from the main session. They cannot hear or see you in the breakout room, just the screen share.

Here is how it works.

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Zoom: The New and Better Way to Share Video in a Zoom Meeting or Webinar

Zoom have done an update and made it easier and better to play video in a meeting or webinar.

Previously you had to share in the same way you shared anything else in Zoom. You chose the window and then used. The problem with this way is it did not always play smoothly or clearly unless you chose options like optimize for video clip. Participants could also see the mouse moving which could be distracting and also the controls like the play and pause button.

Now all they see is the video and it automatically switches on the option for play sound and optimize video clip, although you can switch them off. It also make it fulll screen but now that is not necessary. You can also use the playback slider to fast forward or rewind without the audience seeing you move the slider.

This is useful for videos you have on your computer. If they are in YouTube or Vimeo you would still play them from the website you are sharing.

Make sure you update Zoom to take advantage of this feature.

To see how it works check out the video I made below.

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WhatsApp: Stop Photos and Video Automatically Saving to Your Camera Roll. Also Group Privacy

Have you ever had that message on WhatsApp with a photo or video and it has ended up in your camera roll? Although I had switched this feature off on my iPhone I had neglected to do the same on my wife’s iPhone. My excuse is that she has only just started using WhatsApp. Well she got a message with lots of photos and she wanted to know how they all ended up in her camera roll. When I showed it her how to do it, and it is so easy, I figured I had better share this with you too.

One other thing that has cropped up is that WhatsApp did an update and it seems that by default you can now be added to anyone’s group. Hey, we don’t want that happening, well I don’t and certainly my friends are up in arms about it.

Anyway I made a short video to show you how to sort both of these out.

Stay safe people.

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How to Switch Between Cameras in Zoom

As you already know Zoom is a great tool for teaching and doing demos and sometimes having a bit of flexibility with choosing a different camera angle can be very handy.

Having a second camera can help get that angle that can help show what you are doing.

And then you are asking how to connect another camera. You can use your smartphone as well as other cameras. Below the video I have links to other videos showing you how to do this.

There are many uses for this including if you are teaching music, cooking, science, yoga, photography and many others where another angle would help. This doesn’t have to be just a close up but you could be more wide angle or just looking at it in a different way.

Depending on the camera and how easy it is to use then you can move it around. I do this with my smartphone. In fact if you look at the link below about using your iPhone as a document camera you will see I have a version that works on wifi which gives it a lot more freedom. That blog is not just about the document camera but being able to use it as a second camera too. Here is the link if you don’t want to scroll down, click here.

Here is a video I made. I use Zoom but this can work with other video calling software. If you want to use multiple cameras and switch quickly then have a look here at the blog I did about this great device called an ATEM Mini, click here.

Connecting a Canon camera using the EOS Webcam Utility

Connecting a GoPro Hero 8 Black or Hero 9 (opens in YouTube)

Connecting an external camera (opens in YouTube)

Using the ATEM Mini to connect multiple cameras

Connecting iPhone as another camera

Using your iPhone a document camera or second camera

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Excel: Using the MAX() and MIN() Functions

Want to find the highest or lowest values in the a range in Excel? Then there are two functions that are easy to use to do that. They are MAX(), for finding the highest, or maximum value, and you guessed it MIN() for finding the lowest or minimum value.

If you are looking to find other high or low values like the second or third highest or lowest, or any other within a range then you are after the LARGE() and SMALL() functions, you can check that out by clicking here.

Here is a video I made to show how MAX() and MIN() both work.

Posted in Excel, excel function, Excel Functions, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Excel: Using the LARGE() and SMALL() Functions

If you have been using Excel you have probably come across the MAX and MIN functions for finding the highest or lowest values in a range. But what if you want to find the second largest or third and so on, or what if you want to find the second smallest and so on. Well for that you have the LARGE and SMALL function.

This can be very useful if you want to find out who came second or third, aside of course finding out who came first. You could use MAX for finding out who came first but you could also using LARGE too.

Here in this video I show you how to use both of these and a quick reminder of how MAX and MIN work.

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Converting Video Files to MP4 Using VLC

If you want to share files, upload them or use on social media, you’ll probably find that all of these recommend MP4 files. There may be other formats but MP4 is quite universal. Some formats like flv (flash video) are on their way out as Adobe has stopped supporting Flash. You might also want to convert others like QuickTime MOV files if you find they won’t play on your Windows computer.

The great thing is there is a free media player that you might already use called VLC to play these files, and if you don’t then you’ll be pleased to know it is free and it can be downloaded for either Windows or Mac from here, https://www.videolan.org

In the videos below I show you how to do this. There is a video each for Windows and Mac, they are slightly different.

Converting Using VLC for Mac

Converting Using VLC for Windows

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Measure Distance Using Google Maps

I wish I had found this feature sooner. On Google Maps you can measure distances by adding points on a map. I needed it as have to do some live streaming and need a really long cable to connect to the router. I now know I need something at least 40 metres long.

However, this is great for planning routes and seeing how long that route is.

The other thing I use it for is measuring distances from building and where people might be so as to comply with drone flying regulations. It is important to keep a distance and this is where this feature on Google Maps can help.

Here in this video I will show you how easy this is to use and also how you can switch from metric to imperial and vice versa.

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Zoom: How to Record Separate Audio Tracks for Each Speaker

If you have to edit the video from a Zoom recording you might have come across issues with sound from one or more of the speakers. It could be because they had forgotten to mute themselves or perhaps there is noise coming from their computer or background noise. If it is not their turn to speak and you can hear their notifications that could also be something you want to get rid of.

Usually all the audio is recorded into one file so it can be near impossible to remove these unwanted sounds.

However, there is an option that allows you to record a separate audio track for each speaker and then later when editing you can easily mute them or lower the volume.

The great thing is the way I have set this up it does this each time. Much easier to get rid of it if I don’t need it.

Below is a video I made to show you how.

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