We’re Upgrading!!

Well followers, it’s that time of year when you’re old camera gear is starting to look a bit too long in the tooth – you’re competitors are making vlogs about their fancy new 2020 cameras and they are looking forward to impressing their clients with the best dressed kit!!

We now live in a world where camera gear is obsolete within the year and we are under pressure to keep up with the pack. In the last two years I’ve seen myself go through both Panasonic and Olympus kit, each time thinking “this is the ONE!!!” but soon after, a new improved piece of ‘must have’ tech comes out and you feel a little disheartened after just investing large sums of money on what you thought would be ‘in vogue’ for at least another 5 years.

So – I’ve been looking around the net to decide on which brand to invest in next, as there’s just so many. I decided that this time I want to go “BIG BIG BIG” as opposed to my previous ‘small is best.’

I’ve tried most brands of camera except the Fujifilm range – however as this year most of my projects are more moving image oriented – I feel the Fuji range is more ergonomically suited to still image capture rather than video. Fuji cameras have that retro photography camera design and feel.

So I’ve narrowed it down to 3 brands – the Sony A7III – the Canon C70 and the Panasonic S1.

They all have their advantages. The Canon C70 has all the audio ports built in so no need to add a cage to strap on your mic. The Sony A7III (described as a computer with attached lens) has the fancy and useful flippy out screen (loved by all vloggers,) and the Panasonic has a fantastic full frame sensor with its defocus to focus system utilising the Leica SL mount lens mount.

The Canon is the most expensive of the Top 3 Video cameras however, if you’re serious about movie making and you want to come across as a Professional on set, then you want to be seen using the Canon C70 which will induce instant respect and awe from all clients and bystanders alike.

BIG is indeed BEAUTIFUL as they say and I can’t but help accept defeat on this arguement. As I write this I can only stare at pics of these magnificent big beasties while salivating, trying to decide which one to go for!!

Christmas is coming!! And perhaps there may be some bargains to have in the seasonal sales towards the end of 2020. I can’t wait!!

Only thing is, in 2021 my newly obtained prize camera will be obsolete once again…….c’est la vie – damned if you do and damned if you dont!!

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Celebrating the New Video Unit with Panasonic !

Today I am celebrating the arrival of the new video unit to once again, start up video production in the Loch Leven area!  Last year after selling all my Canon video camera kit which used the miniDV digital tape format, I wasn’t sure where to go from there.  I spent over a year pondering this, wandering the video desert in search of enlightenment.

I still had my Canon 7D DSLR and although this camera is very capable of shooting video – it is still very much oriented to shooting still photos first, and video second.  For a start, there was no input jack for headphones to monitor sound while recording video.

Alas, the 7D was now considered to be an ‘older’ camera and I felt it was time to upgrade and keep up with the new technology of 4K cameras.  I decided that I really like being a ‘Hybrid Shooter’ I like using a camera that can take great stills and shoot great video too.

After spending many long nights going into the early mornings, I reviewed youtube video after video, trying to decipher which type of camera to buy and then what brand.

At first I was going to go for a traditional camcorder, but then viewed some videos entitled ‘the death of the Camcorder!!’  I wanted to invest in a camera that had a future, and I wanted to keep up with that future, never allowing myself to ever fall behind again.

I put my 7D on the tripod and started doing some trial vlogging videos and realised that I really liked the look of the 7D as a camera.  After visiting Calumet store in Edinburgh, the saleswoman advised me to upgrade to the Panasonic range of hybrid cameras.  While in the store I looked at a number of brands including Sony, Panasonic, and Canon.  I decided I wanted another Canon – the new 5D mark iv.  My mind was made up, although I knew the mark iv would cost a lot of money.  Perhaps I would wait another year until it came down in price.  Perhaps I would just keep the 7D.

That night I watched even more youtube reviews on the Panasonic range and realised that the saleswoman was right – Panasonic’s range was indeed more Video oriented than the competitor’s.  Suddenly I realised that the Panasonic was the camera for me after all!  I was so excited.

I am now the proud owner of a new Panasonic 4K camera and can’t wait to try it out.  It’s certainly lighter than the Canon 7D and has all the video functions a film maker could want.

Interestingly, I first used Panasonic’s video cameras back in the 90’s when SVHS was the analogue format used by wedding and corporate videographers.  So it gave me a warm feeling to make the switch from Canon to Panasonic for a change.

I look forward to testing out the new camera and producing some fantastic videos for clients in the future.

Underwater Cameras

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed my first dive for many months at St Catherines Loch near the west coast of Scotland.  After my diving club buddies and I descended down to 15 meters we could see an abundance of marine wild life including a purple Scorpion Fish, Crabs and even Lobsters.  As a trainee diver, taking underwater photographs is not encouraged, and I should have resisted taking out my Intova compact underwater camera.  The dive leader signalled to me not to take any photos so I tried to put my camera back into my trouser leg pocket, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to fasten the pocket shut, so I put the camera strap around my wrist.

Unfortunately when my auto dump was refusing to release air as we glided into the shallow part of a reef, I started shooting up to the surface.  Unknown to me my camera had unhinged itself from my arm and was lost for good.  In the commotion, my diving buddies had seen my camera shoot up to the surface but it was nowhere to be seen afterwards.

I searched all along the coast line to see if my camera had been washed ashore but it had gone.  So my advice to other trainee divers is – not only should you not take photos on a training dive, but leave your camera at home until you get qualified and more experience.  With more experience comes greater awareness under the water and you are less likely to lose gear which may be expensive to replace.

I have learned my lesson and won’t take another camera into the water unless I’m on a dive specifically for photography – after I’ve finished my training of course.