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The amazing hotshoe tripod socket gadget

The amazing hotshoe tripod socket gadget

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Is that an HD pocket cam in your hotshoe?

By Jack Howard

September 21, 2009

Sometimes a secondary use for a camera gadget is so brilliant, and so obvious that until you see it, you can't believe you've never thought of it. Originally, these hotshoe to quarter-twenty tripod sockets were used primarily for attaching accessories such as non-dedicated strobes to a hotshoe, but it's just as easy to mount a pocket digicam to your SLR for tons of simultaneous capture options.

 

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For years–as the scuffs and dings attest–I've had one of these shoe-to-tripod adapters in my gadgets bag for the purpose of mounting a Quantum Q Flash to either my SLR's shoe, or to a shoe connection on a strobe bracket. And for years, that's the only purpose it had ever served. I saw this gadget fulfilling this role, and that's all I saw.

 

With this Canon/Casio hybrid, I can shoot 10 frames per second stills with the Canon EOS 1D Mark III, and simultaneous HD or High-Speed video on the Casio Exilim EX-FS10.

 

Then one day not too long ago, I saw a link to a shot on Sportsshooter where instead of a strobe, the shoe mounted tripod socket was holding a compact digital camera, and I was struck by the sheer simplicity and brilliance of this new trick for an old gadget.

 

 

This simple hotshoe gadget, combined with the feature set of today's SLRs and compact cameras offers up some very cool possibilities for mixed still and video projects. Of course, possible combinations depend on each piece's feature set. Here's just a few possibilities creative photographers may be able to capture simultaneously with a shoe-mounted HD-video compact digicam.

  • Simultaneous wide-angle and telephoto HD capture of the same scene, with an HD-capable DSLR such as the Pentax K-7, Nikon D90, or Canon EOS Rebel T1i.
  • HD audio and video capture with the shoe-mount compact to intersperse with high-quality still bursts from an SLR for peak sports action slideshows.
  • "Stabilization on" and "Stabilization off" video stress tests.
  • Concurrent capture of straight-lens HD video on the compact camera, with Lensbaby video on the DSLR.
  • (By spinning the compact's lens at the capturing photographer) Simultaneous video capture of both photographer and subject for surprise moments such as birthday parties or marriage proposals.
  • Simultaneous HD video capture or full resolution stills with the DSLR and super high-speed capture with a camera like the Casio Exilim EX-FS10.
  • "Decisive Moment" illustrations for workshops, online tutorials, and such.
  • I'm sure our readers can come up with even more cool possibilities (and be sure to let us know if you do!)

 

I've personally just begun experimenting and exploring the possibilities of this new simultaneous capture method, and I'm very excited about the prospects of seeing where creative shooters can use simultaneous capture for their projects. Send us links to any projects you shoot using this method!

In my experiments, parallax isn't a huge issue at distances past about six to eight feet for wide angle, and about 15-20 feet for telephoto alignment with this basic shoe mount tripod screw, but if you're thinking of using this simultaneous capture method for close-focusing situations like macro work, or talking head-type interviews, for example, you'll want to spend a few more bucks for the shoe-mounted ballhead model to correct for parallax issues.

Let us know what you think of the potential for this technique! Have any other great gadget-related tips or tricks? Let us know!

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