Category: Blog

Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit

The Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit comes fully loaded with all of the essentials to get awesome stabilization, for your shots. The complete kit comes equipped with the shoulder mount, handle grips, an overhead grip, matte box, follow focus ring, and camera plate. There is also an option to just purchase the shoulder rig without the complete kit, which includes, the shoulder mount, grips, and camera plate. The rig is made up of metal, but is extremely lightweight. It is extremely simple to setup and use right out of the box!

This piece of gear is an essential for the arsenal of any aspiring filmmaker, or videographer. It is also a great option budget wise, if you are looking for something to get you stable shots without an expensive gimbal. If you would like to purchase this product, please visit the links down below.


Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig 


Big City Model 1 Shoulder Rig Kit



Quick and Easy Lighting – The Ring Light

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Do you know little to nothing about lighting, and are looking for a fast and simple way to get the perfect look? If this is you, then a Ring Light may be just what you’ve been looking for. Here are a few reasons why..



There are several different types of Ring Lights. They come in different sizes, but all the same shape. The most practical use for a Ring Light would be to light the face of a subject. Whether its for Film or for Photography, a Ring Light is easily one of the quickest and efficient ways to light a subjects face, without the use of multiple lights. This is due to the fact that a Ring Light is able to produce an incredibly uniform light, creating even shadows, and lights all sides of the subject. Just plug in, and enjoy!

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting


Ring Lights have a great reputation for being able to create a beautiful eye reflecting effect. With other lights, it is often difficult to capture the detail of a subjects eyes. With the Ring Light, you are able to shoot right through the centre of it, which makes it incredibly easy to capture the detail in someones eyes.

Ringlight photo by Clint Adam Smyth, the master of light and lighting



Due to its practicality, simplicity, and versatility, a Ring Light is the favoured lighting choice for most of the internet’s most famous vloggers and content creators. YouTubers who specialize in makeup, and beauty care will often use a Ring Light for its ability to bring out the details in the subjects face.

Ultimate Diva Ringlight Light by Big City Lights based in Toronto, Canada



If you already have a decent lighting setup that you’re content with, adding a Ring Light to the mix will take it to the next level. The Ring Light can also be used as a fill light that can be used to cancel out unwanted shadows, and will provide a softer look.

Fluorescent Ringlight in Canada for Film and Photography. Great for Make-up!



Ring Lights can often be difficult to come across at your ordinary retail shop, but here at Big City Lights, we offer a wide selection of Ring Lights for great prices!! You can check them out HERE, or visit us in STORE and see them for yourself!

Simple Photo Hacks That Every Photographer should know:

You can never be too informed when it comes to photography and finding new ways to working around your a photo.

Here are some simple tricks that although are easy, can go a long way in achieving a happy end product.

  1. First tip is involves tricking the appearance of a night time photograph that was actually taken during the Day. This is usually a question that arises when one has no choice but to shoot in daylight, due to time or other issues. But if one wants to achieve the illusion of night time, how can one go about this?

Something that photographers often underuse or forget is white balance. This is the function of the camera that focuses on correcting the colours so that everything is properly colour corrected on site. So firstly, turn off the ‘auto’ white balance on your camera because if you want to be in control of the colour tone, like in this situation, you wont want an automatic fix. So during the day, lock your white balance to whats known as Tungsten White Balance. This is because Tungsten is the setting in which is set when shooting indoors or at night.

The main purpose is that its balanced to a cool temperature due to the Tungsten light itself being very warm. So if you think of what would happen when you apply this to a daylight setting (a cool light) you will get an even coloured scene. To add to the effect, you can underexpose the scene a little more and use an ND filter to achieve more of a night time appearance.

Now that you know how to trick photos with a the use of colour balance, we will move onto Tip #2.. This being one that is useful to strobist photographers. This is just a simple tip to help accentuate photos in portrait photography. When shooting a portrait you want the subjects face as best lit as possible of course. Although this tip isn’t one to follow when shooting in natural help, it is still useful in studio photography.

2.When doing studio photographer, you have whatever lighting situation you prefer. In portrait photographer, 3-point lighting is most popular. So when having your 3 point lighting set up and your subject – its best to have you subject facing the key light source. The reason you want this is because of few things. 1) Makes the light appear softer 2)Makes the lighting look more flattering 3) Takes away shadow on their face and other aspects of the photo that may appear unflattering and lastly, gives them a more flattering spotlight. When facing the light source they are illuminated to a certain point but not as harsh as an actual spotlight.

Tip Number #3: How to achieve the best depth of field by maxing out you aperture. Most of the time, best photographs have depth of field and this creates a focus in the photograph. One of the best ways to achieve this is to use a big aperture (small f-number) to blur the background or foreground. This helps to call more attention to the subject you are shooting. The second tip for having your subject pop would be to make sure you have a well rounded contrast between shades and colours. If your image lacks contrast, it tends to appear flat and without layer. Even in black and white photography, contrast in colour is still very important. Lastly, is simply making sure that your lights are positioned properly. This can mean deduction of a light (when creating too much shadow) or can mean the opposite, adding in another light or possibly a flash of some sort. This can help to add nice hair light or create a nice rimming affect on the photo.

There are numerous ways of achieving specific desired looks for a photo, so its important to know all your options so that you can always achieve what you originally wanted to create.

Rotating LED PAR-Kit

The Rotating LED PAR-Kit was made to be an easy way for anyone to add interest to there party or event with a simple set up and we did just that. The first items in the kit are 2 Rotating LED PARs . These small lights have an out put of 56W giving punchy colours in low light venues. Also included are a  6′ and a 25′ power cable giving more freedom with the placement of your lights, as it allows you more length to move from your power source. In addition we added a  32′ DMX cable witch will allow you to separate the lights up to 32′ apart but have the lights in synch.  Now all of this may sound complicated or out of your skill set but its NOT!

With this short video we will show you step-by-step to putting together this kit so you can be confident and stress free for your event or party.


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Which Ring Light is Right for You?

Are you thinking of buying a ring light, but you don’t know which one to buy?

Well, at Big City Lights, we have a variety of different ring lights to choose from. So we have made a video explaining the different types of ring lights we have, and their purpose and features. This video talks about 5 different lights, a 12″ Fluorescent, 18″ Fluorescent, 18″ Dimmable Fluorescent, 18″ LED Dimmable, and the 18″ ULTIMATE. Basically, the 12″ ring light is a fluorescent light, that is only recommended for close up shots only (head / shoulders) Next, the 18″ Fluorescent is just like the 12″, but more for a wider shot instead of closeups. Next, the 18″ Dimmable Fluorescent, this light is very similar to the regular 18″, but it also has a dimmer which allows you to turn down the brightness of the light. Next, the 18″ LED Dimmable, this is very similar to the previous 18″ model, but it uses LED technology. This means you don’t have to replace the bulb because it will last you a very long time, as it is also more durable. Finally, the 18″ ULTIMATE Diva, this ring light has the most features out of them all, it comes with a cellphone holder and a mirror. Also, the light has a dimmer and it is bi-colour, which means you can change the colour of the light to a cool white (5600K) to warm white (3200K) or anywhere in between.

To see a more in-depth explanation of each light, and to see them in action, watch the video above.

Current Ring Light Pricing (with stand, all prices in Canadian dollars):

ring light comparison


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Samsung’s New Eye Lens

Have you ever wanted to become a cyborg that shoots lasers from your eyes? Well, that’s never going to happen. Not yet at least, with technology advancing each year, more and more of your Sci-Fi gadgets and gizmo wishes might come true, and now Samsung has a lens that is currently in the works that you can put on top of your eye just like contacts.

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According by SamMobile, the smart lens was inspired by the Google Glass, and is meant to project right into the person’s eyes and seem more invisible. The smart lens can be controlled through blinking and can be picked up by sensors. These images can will also be seen by who ever is wearing the lens and can also be transferred to a smartphone via antenna in the lens. Samsung has just recently been granted the patent, but it hasn’t been fully proven yet if the company will release a consumer product of it. Companies usually file for patents for technology that are prototypes and that may never actually be completed, but we all can dream about very advanced technology actually happening right?

Samsung isn’t the only one with the idea of creating smart contact lens, Google own two patents that are for smart contact lenses that can read a person’s blood sugar level through tears. To do so, it uses flexible electronics that read the chemicals in the tear.

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Patent diagrams for Samsung’s smart contact lenses.

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The GoPro Hero5

As technology becomes much more advanced every year, it helps companies such as Go Pro to create better action cameras.

Introducing, the Go Pro Hero 5, with it’s release on early October 2016. The Go Pro Hero 5 is a much more improved upgrade comparing to it’s older model, the Go Pro Hero 4. With a similar model to the Hero 4, The Hero 5 has much more features to offer.

First, let’s compare the Hero 4 Black to the Hero 5 Black.

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The Hero 5 has it’s own waterproof casing, meaning you don’t need to buy an extra case and it comes with a little more reinforcement. This means, with both cameras naked, the Hero 5 is quite bigger comparing to the Hero 4 without the waterproof case. The waterproof housing can allow the Hero 5 to be submerged unto 33 feet underwater, and can protect the camera against dust and sand. But comparing to the old waterproof case on the Hero 4 (which can go up to 131 feet) it’s relatively better. If you are planning on going below 33 feet with your Hero 5, then you can purchase a “Super Suit Housing” for your Hero 5. This also means that the Hero 5 will weigh a little bit more than the Hero 4 without the waterproof casing:
Hero 5: 4.2 oz (118 grams)

Hero 4 (without case): 3.1 oz (87 grams)

Hero 4 (with case): 5.3 oz (150 grams)

But what makes the Hero 5 a major improvement, is it’s new built in LCD touch screen display. But comparing it to the Hero 4 Silver (which also had an LCD display) the Hero 5 has a much more sharper, brighter and easier display. Also, as it is waterproof without a case, you don’t have that back door panel, which makes it more responsive. This makes it much better when trying to control and adjust your camera’s settings.

The way to control the two cameras are still roughly the same, with three customizable buttons and an LED display in-front (which was improved on the newer model), but now on the Hero 5, you also have a voice activation feature which can be very helpful depending on what you are doing. So if both your hands are occupied, with the voice activation feature of the Hero 5, you can say simple commands such as: “GoPro start recording” or “GoPro take a photo” to control you camera. There is also a waterproof remote that you can purchase to control your camera from a far distance.

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The Hero 5 has also a much more improved video shooting features compared to the Hero 4 Black, even though both can record 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps, the Hero 5 won’t eat up all that memory card space compared to the Hero 4. Also with it’s new video stabilization feature, which can reduce the shakiness of your video. It also comes with more linear FOV, which removes the fish-eyed view of the camera. Both shoot in NTSC or PAL formats and both produce H.264 MP4 videos.

The Hero5 also adds three new options that can be useful:

  • manual exposure where you can set the shutter speed
  • a raw audio track option which creates a higher-quality WAV file
  • an auto mode option that lets you put it in a mode that reduces the effects of wind noise

Both models have an image size of 12MP (4000 x 3000 pixels) and can take similar images, but the Hero 5 can produce much more clearer images and can be seen when viewed at 100%. The Hero 5 comes with HDR, GoPro calls it WDR for Wide Dynamic Range and it aims to capture extra details in shadows and highlights. Another thing is; RAW image format. Shooting in RAW mode have pros and cons. The main reason why, is for the for better image quality. The downside of shooting in the GoPro’s RAW format is that the images need to process and convert to JPG before sharing.

Like the older models, the Hero 5 has the ability to take time lapse of images and video. The first is old way of shooting a sequence of images, downloading those images from the memory card, and bringing them together on your computer using a separate software. Like previous models, the available intervals are 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds. You can also have the camera compile the video to create a time-lapse video. The new model adds a new option, and it’s a lower resolution which is 1080p. The reason for this, is it has been added is to make it easier to share the time-lapse video without dealing with the massive files from 2.7K or 4K video. With the smaller 1080p video it’s much quicker to take the footage from your camera, to your phone then upload straight to social media.

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The Hero 5 can also take external microphones, but  unlike the old model you’ll need the new USB-C mic adapter.

The battery life on the Hero 5 has improved and is using a higher capacity battery at (1220mAh vs. 1160mAh). With the new USB-C  port, the Hero 5 allows fast charging. There is a slight problem though, the new USB-C port isn’t USB 3.0 it still uses a USB 2.0 for data transferring. Which means, you can’t have that fast transferring speed. If you’re using an external microphone, you’ll need a new mic adapter. It also has a micro HDMI (Type D) socket to connect to a TV or display device.

There are a bunch of things that have also been tweaked and improved, which are:

It automatically detects which way is up.

You can turn off the LEDs selectively.

The longest auto-off setting is now 15 minutes rather than 5 minutes.

In the end, the GoPro Hero 5 can do what the previous models can do, but with a lot  more features and higher quality camera. As for now, the Hero 5 is still very limited to new accessories, unlike the Hero 4. Overtime though, that will change because of how advanced technology can become.

If you’re looking to buy a GoPro Hero 5, you can find them at various different websites and stores such as Amazon, Sport Chek, Best Buy etc.  with a price of: $530.00 CAD

– Carlos Jochico, Big City Lights