Archive for August, 2013

To the Dark Side… I ‘ve gone Canon 5D Mark III

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by William Hooks

After much consideration, I’ve taken the leap to the Canon HD-DSLR system and sold my Nikon system except for the Coolpix S9100. Admitting that I miss the built-in intervalometer of the D600 and especially its ability to create in-camera timelapses…..

Key features of the Canon 5D Mark III (5D3) over the Nikon D600 —FOR ME
1- Tethered shooting with Lightroom 4 (no need to upgrade to version 5)-but caveat emptor…
2- Power aperture in LiveView
3- LV histogram
4- CF and SD cards; I prefer the durability and ease of writing on CF cards in general, and the ease of just inserting an SD card into my notebook’s built-in slot is there when desired
5- Native ISO of 12800 for video
6- Selected better specs for stills incl bracketing, 6FPS, AF points, advanced multiple exposure
7- Time code, including drop-frame and other features (record and playback); at the least this will be used for shot logging, and potentially for post (multicam sync)
8- Ability to manually adjust sound settings, ISO, and exposure while recording video-silently!
9- Accepts the same Hoodman Custom Finder Baseplate
10- Video can be actuated remotely with a $30 RC-6 IR wireless unit and tethered for video and stills via a free
EOS Utility software download (Nikon-it’s free)
11- Extensive video clip info available after recording
12- In-camera slow motion review
13- EF lenses compatible with a wide variety of dedicated, advanced cinema systems such as BlackMagic, EOS C
Cinema camcorder series, and RED. I anticipate at some point venturing into the C 100/ C 300 universe.
14- This camera is a current industry standard for HD-DSLR filmmaking. As such, there is free and paid firmare and software available which is uniquely designed for Canon/5D3 such as the free Technicolor and Marvel Picture Styles.
There are also a number of hardware items made by Manfrotto and other companies which are specific to Canon firmware, such as the Sympla Remote Controller.

Taken in totality, I found these and other considerations to be compelling. Among the other things I though about was the issue of normalizing or standardizing the cameras throughout my crew- and everyone else is already using 5D2, 6D, and 7D. Doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t use Nikons in the future, I ‘m a huge fan of their lenses and flash for example. Very likely I’ll be using a Nikon D5200 for backpacking and timelapses. But for now, I’m starting off very happy indeed with the 5D3.

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More stills from the ArtBus shoot- including the Nikon D4 on a hi-hat

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by William Hooks

I used my 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor on the D4. The Hi-hat was wonderful for use in close and in small spaces. I had to take special care to warn of its presense because it’s so small, and had a $5000 camera on it.

The Marshall 5″ HDMI monitor works very well with this setup, allowing easy exposure checking, focus, and viewing; it also provides the option of flip-image (useful for the jib setup).

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Thanks to Jay, Ben and my crew for a great day shooting the Kickstarter video for ArtBus

Posted in Photography, Video on August 25, 2013 by William Hooks

Garden Grove, CA:

It was HOT.. I drank 5 Mountain Dews

It was HOT.. I drank 5 Mountain Dews

Interviews about the hopes of southern Californians re the ACA (Obamacare)

Posted in Photojournalism, Video on August 19, 2013 by William Hooks

I was one of the speakers at the press conference outside the office of US Rep. Chu- Climate Change

Posted in Photojournalism, Video on August 16, 2013 by William Hooks

I spoke about the connections between climate change and some aspects of human disease.

Orange County, CA- The ArtBus Kickstarter video is to be shot 24-25 August 2013

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Travel, Video on August 13, 2013 by William Hooks

Today I finished the preliminary shot list for the 2 day shoot, and the other details are being finalized. We’re going to advertise this project, which will hopefully extend high-quality works of art to be enjoyed by underpriviledged children. The bus would travel to many locations and host a variety of other functions:

– Traveling Art Museum
– Mobile Art Classroom
– Corporate/Private Events
– School Activities
– General Use for Public Art Appreciation
– Independent Curated Art Exhibitions

I’m very proud to be the DP for this project, and wish it all success.To Jaydee Dizon, who asked me to participate: thanks.

Mounting the Induro Hi-Hat and apple box on a slider

Posted in Photojournalism, Reviews, Video on August 9, 2013 by William Hooks

Another convenient feature of this Hi-hat/apple box combination is the ability to rapidly and securely obtain up to about 5-7 seconds of smooth truck/slider motion with my 8 ft slider, simply by dropping the combo onto the slider’s dolly.

I can secure the hat in 3 different positions to the drilled 1/4″ holes in the large apple box as shown, whether collapsed or extending the legs.

Here is the 8' slider beneath the #2 lg apple box, bolted to the Hi-hat and camera

Here is the 8′ slider beneath the #2 lg apple box, bolted to the Hi-hat and camera

Sandbags are used to further stabilize the slider when appropriate

Sandbags are used to further stabilize the slider when appropriate

The #2 small apple box is used as a counterweight or to provide quick angled shots by placing beneath other boxes

The #2 small apple box is used as a counterweight or to provide quick angled shots by placing beneath other boxes

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The bolt holes are clearly marked in order to speed setup of the rig in the field

The bolt holes are clearly marked in order to speed setup of the rig in the field

This makes it unnecessary to detach and re-attach the Hi-Hat, and it’s and easy to take off the camera via the quick -release baseplate camera to put it on a cinema rig, for example. This means that there are many more options for developing and executing shot lists.