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Photography (2) - The Velbon V4 Boom Arm, for Shooting FPGA Development Boards, for Example

Posted by on in Photography and Sketching
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After reading my last blog post some of the professionals amongst you must have had a smug grin on your face thinking this blog category is amateur hour and will make an entertaining read. Well I definitely hope it is entertaining and although I may be an amateur toady I am resolutely determined not to be tomorrow! One day I will have a respectful grin on my face when I read a beginner's photography blog.

My search to stabalise the camera when shooting at a base ISO setting of ISO 100 randomly led me to the Velbon V4 Boom Arm, which had reviews  on Amazon that were along my train of thought, so I went ahead and purchased one. In turn, this has led to even better pictures of FPGA development boards, see below, than those obtained previously.

Although, all is well, there is still quite a lot I need to learn and do, including searching for a ball and socket head. Also, I need to read the Canon EOS M's manual, as I don't really understand the numbers that appear on the LCD display. LOL.


 The Velbon V4 boom arm, pictured above, is according to the manufacture a geared/slide elevator with a 180 degree tilt arm and a 360 degree horizontal pan. It extends from 5cm to 26cm along its center column.The manufacturer also claims it is ideal for macro photography, which is essentially what I need it for. One of the reviewers on Amazon's website was banging on about "needing to attach a head to the mounting thread as the 1/4" thread is to too long to attach your camera directly to the arm" and that he uses a ball head with a quick release plate.

001-012-000-000012.pngWell, I attached my Cannon EOS M directly to the arm and everything seemed okay, but his review did sound professional so I am now looking for a ball head and socket, like the Velbon QHD-33Q Ball and Socket Head, seen in the left-hand picture. Yet more expense! Groan!

Quite interestingly, I had to adjust the tripod such that one of its legs was along the same plane as the boom arm and directly in line with  the camera to prevent the tripod from tipping over.

Admittedly, this is  a bog standard  tripod and maybe a more sturdy one would not suffer from the same problems.

Anyway, using the arm without the ball and socket head and precariously balancing the tripod, camera and arm, to prevent them from toppling over, here are the images I have taken so far.


This image was taken with a Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera and shows the Canon EOS M when attached to the Velbon arm. It all looks very amateurish doesn't it, but as explained in my previous post a satin sheet hung over a light stand seems to be enough to diffuse the light and prevent the glare, on the metallic parts of a FPGA evaluation kit, from ruining a picture.


A close-up of the photograph, shown previously, of the Canon EOS M's LCD display. What do all these numbers mean? It's all very intriguing, isn't it! I'll have to start reading the Canon's manual, which is still unopened and in its original packaging. I suppose this is typical of moving away from snapshot photography to amateur photography.

Half-way through the shoot, of the images seen next,  I realised that I should have set the ISO to the base value of 100, so I had to start all over again.  It would be good if one could take a screenshot of the LCD display, to record the settings, maybe one can and I just don't know how to? Also, in this particular shot maybe I could have framed the Canon EOS M better.


The Mach X03L SMA Breakout Board. Far from  perfect, as the left-hand side seems brighter than the right-hand side, although this seems more to do with the lighting than with the camera.

001-012-000-000017.png The MicroZed Evaluation Kit Front. This one does not seem as bright as the last one, an inconsistency that must be weedy out. I will need to pay more attention to exposure and exposure meters.


The MicroZed Evaluation Kit Back.


Intel Galileo Gen 1 Arduino Board.

 b2ap3_thumbnail_001-012-000-000019.pngTo take the images I placed the camera on a 10 second timer, to prevent introducing shake when I press the shutter button. It would be nice if the camera could be controlled from a laptop.

However, from the comments I have read on the forums it does not seem that this is possible with the Canon EOS M, even using Canon's utility software

 It would be convenient too if I could record the LCD display's settings. This would allow me to take more consistent photographs. I could of course record the settings in a notebook along with the actual picture, but I don't think that I am that organised.

Finally, when I compare some of the pictures it can be noticed that the exposure does not seem to be consistent. Hence, it seems that the next line of attack in becoming an amateur photography is to learn more about exposure.

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Tagged in: Development Boards