Category: Tech for leaders
Published: Sunday, 15 May 2011 12:04
Shooting great video requires a handful of tools. Following a description of what is in my camera bag, here is a listing of the tools that I use to shoot video.
This is actually one of my most favorite tripods (full disclosure: I have maybe four or five at present). This monopod is easy to pack away on a trip (it has accompanied me to three continents so far). I use it to stabilize shots, but also use it as a mini-crane by shooting live video and then elevating the camera.
One thing that I attempt to do is stay within the Manfrotto family. Using the quick release plates allows me to change from head to tripod, to monopod quickly.
Igus DryLin W slider:
This is my favorite, favorite, favorite piece of equipment for shooting video. Really. It is actually a Do It Yourself (DIY) project, but it has saved me a bunch of bucks over store bought items. With a little drilling, tap and die, a couple of bolts, and cheap feet, then I have a 2 foot unit that can either be used as a stand-alone unit, or attached to a tripod. On top of a tripod you can shoot any angle: inclined, or horizontal takes.
This is basically a mini-dolly, which allows for slow movement of the camera on a stable platform. Although I have never owned another unit, I find this one durable and portable. Those are two of my greatest requirements.
There are a few websites that show the same unit being outfitted with a motorized sled, which is helpful for time-lapse shots. That is outside my needs at present.
I have also put a Manfrotto fluid video head on top of the igus slider. That is bolted into place via a 3/8" course-threaded bolt - the standard of video heads.
A standard boom mikestand is used to attach the Zoom H4N and position near the talent when recording. That gives me a close audio signal and does not necessarily require a wired mike. The Zoom H4N has a 1/4" threaded screw hole for direct attachment to the mike stand.
I recently picked up an ultra-cheap timer. Attached to the camera, I can schedule the series of shots I desire, thereby producing time lapse shots. I don't get to shoot many of those - the time required is generally not available to my schedule.
Category: Tech for leaders
Published: Friday, 13 May 2011 12:47
A church-planter is a strange creature and the job description is somewhat crazy. The number of jobs that you have to perform well is so widely varied. Becoming a better communicator is right at the top of the list.
In today's western society pounded by both sight and sound, gaining and holding interest is almost an art form. Church-planter, you must either acquire the skillset or find someone with the ability to make your content visually exciting.
Here are some of the tools that I personally use presently. This edition will only cover the photo/video hardware.
The camera of choice is a Canon 7D. Love it. Seriously. I cannot heap enough praise on this camera. You will be able to acquire great photos, but even better, you will shoot HD video. A CF chip will be ready available at cheap prices, so grab a couple so that you can keep shooting.
Downside to the unit is the audio. Although it does record - and does a pretty good job for the webblog stuff - it is not up-to-par for serious videography. That is where I use the Zoom H4N. This digital stereo recorder allows you to plug in microphones - even 48+ phantom mikes. It will give you the versatility to use.
When recording with the two together, I push record on both units, then clap my hands before any take. That audio spike is then used to sync to the clap in the video - basically what Hollywood uses with the clapboard.
The advantage that this camera has over the betacams that we use at church is portability and great depth of field (DOF). Using a variety of lenses - mostly primes, not zoom lenses - gives good DOF. Primes are a little easier to find with a wide F-Stop - meaning that you can get good shots even at low lighting levels.
My favorite lens in the bag is a Sigma 24mm. It opens to an incredible f 1.8, so I never have to use powerful lighting to capture images. I will acquire additional lenses; ones that are modern and constructed well for the newer DSLR generations. I had a number of lenses from a Minolta 35mm camera set and were not being used, so they accompany me for now. Downside to them is no autofocus and all settings are manual. That is not everyman's taste. It works for now.
Here is the overview of what is in the bag:
- Canon 7d
- Lenses: Sigma 24mm, Minolta 50mm (with adapter), Minolta 135mm, Tamron 24-80mm (sent with the camera, not my favorite).
- Audio: Zoom H4N
- Mike: Beyerdynamic MCE10
- Memory: Transcend CF 16gb - a couple of these
- Batteries - a couple of rechargable Canon batteries. I will always change these out during a shoot. Also, I carry extra batteries for the Zoom recorder.
- Extra: One tennis sock. I have never invested in a windscreen for the recorder - I gotta do that someday. The sock is my alternative right now.
With the first grandchild on the way (due in August 2011), I am glad that I already have my camera and video needs filled.