Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Gear For Still And HD-Video Capture
Essential equipment for getting the best still and motion imagery and sound in the field
Motion capture doesn't have to mean a storyboarded narrative movie. For nature photographers, being able to shoot vignettes—short motion snapshots—can be incredibly rewarding. These are moments of animal behavior or motion in a landscape that just don't lend themselves to a frozen still photograph. The process of shooting HD video can seem daunting and a little intimidating at first, but the more you try it, the easier the process becomes. And you don't have to learn complex software like Adobe Premiere or Apple Final Cut Pro to experiment with motion capture. Clips can be dropped into just about any slideshow program where they simply become like another slide.
In this article, we're outlining equipment that doesn't take up a lot of space so it can travel and even hike with you. These are the little things that make a big difference.
Shoulder Mounts And Steadying Devices
Keeping the camera steady is critical for motion capture. Stabilization rigs give you tools that will keep your camera steady and are also quite useful for still capture for times when a tripod or a monopod aren't workable. In other words, these devices are multitaskers, just like your HD video-capable DSLR is a multitasker.
Other manufacturers to consider are Camtrol, Chrosziel, Cinevate, Flashpoint, iDC Photo Video, ikan Corporation, Manfrotto, Sachtler and Zacuto.
Steadying your camera rig so you can move with it can be accomplished with a steady-cam-type of device (Note, Steadicam is a manufacturer. We use the term "steady-cam" as a generic moniker for devices that are designed to keep the camera stable while in motion.) Some popular makers of "steady-cams" are Steadicam, Glidecam, Sachtler and Varizoom. Each of these companies makes a range of products for anything from an ultralight mirrorless setup to a pro-level DSLR with a large telephoto lens. As a general rule, keep your focal lengths shorter when moving the camera on a steadying device. Longer telephotos will show any shakiness much more than shorter lenses.
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