For a while, in fact, as long as I’ve been able to, I’ve messed around with video.
Nothing particularly exciting, just the odd bit here, the odd bit there, but I’ve always been limited by my cameras.
My first video capable digital camera was shocking. I mean, truly terrible. One could only film outdoors with it and the results of those adventures are best left hidden in the archives of time, my second camera, a Olympus FE100 compact – shot 340×240 video and with that I was able to create things.
Over the years, I gained and lost various cameras, until right now, I have D200 SLR which shoots stills, and a Sanyo CA100 which is a waterproof handheld pistolgrip video camera. My Nikon D200 has treated me well, but doesn’t take video and the Sanyo is great for action sports, but lacks the resolution and image quality of a “proper camera”.
So today, it’s all changed.
One of the things about both my last hiking projects that frustrated me, was that my footage was usually incredibly wobbly. Frequently I found myself dropping the footage to half speed simply so that I could get a usable and natural looking shot out of it. Digital stabilisation is too distracting.
Now I have a Glidecam XR 2000, with some practice should let me get some smooth and elegant shots. We’ll see how it goes. I’m conscious that the Sanyo was a lot less more subtle and the Glidecam rig makes me very conspicuous and is potentially quite intimidating for whomever I’m filming. I certainly should start thinking about the boringness that is release forms, seriously.
Obviously, the Canon 5D mk II is also an exceptionally good stills DSLR, and moving from a Nikon D200, I’ll notice that it performs better in low light due to the full frame and is about double the resolution.
I’ve only had once lens for my Nikon, a 55-200 f4-f5.6 telephoto and I’ve learnt it inside out. One might assume the lens wasn’t suited to landscape photography, but with help from Hugin, I have not found that to be a problem. I’ve grown quite used to the amount of zoom I can get on things and I really like it.
For the Canon, I’ve gone for the 24-105 f4 kit lens. It’s not ideal for video, and it’s not the same as what I’m used to, but it fills a nice gap and should be more than adequate whilst I get to know how everything works.
It’s not long until I go on holiday to Sweden, so I’ll be taking the new toys with me and learning how to make them work well, whilst hopefully not learning how well they “bounce” or “drain”.
This is professional level kit, things just got serious!