Tired of squinting at your DSRL's LCD screen?  Maybe you need some extra lighting oomph for that indoors shoot?  These two projects aim to make your no-budget existence a bit easier.  The  first is a DIY viewfinder from Knoptop and Learning DSLR Video, and the second is a big 800-watt equivalent CFL video light from IndyMogul (accompanied by a goofy short shot with it):

DSLR viewfinders can run you anywhere between $30 to almost $400.  Why spend so much when all you're doing is magnifying the LCD screen?  Dave Dugdale, of Learning DSLR Video, decided to make his version of Knoptop's DIY viewfinder (you can find Knoptop's original instruction video here, along with step by step instructions here).  Instead of using the magnifying glass the original design used, Dugdale went for a set of loupes:

For Dave's full post go here.

This second project is a bit more involved, and significantly more costly -- but it could be very well worth it for folks looking to get a lot of light for cheap.  There's a lot of back and forth on the use of CFLs in filmmaking, some people swear by them, others hate them.  Luckily, you can pick up a couple of small CFL bulbs and test them out yourself, and if you like how they work you can go for this project from IndyMogul.

Considering it puts out as much light as eight 100-watt bulbs, but only uses 184-watts, you're getting  a lot of light for less energy.  And the light doesn't look half bad -- just check out the goofy short film they made using them:

Have you used CFL lights on your shoots?  Have you tried making your own viewfinder? Share below!

(And for two more DIY projects, go here)

[via Learning DSLR Video and FilmmakingIQ]