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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SIGMA 50-500MM F/4.5-6.3 - AN IN-DEPTH REVIEW by Mike Johnson



DSLRs have become a go-to tool for outdoor videography because of their great capabilities and affordable price. Personally, I have been hesitant of using a DSLR as a primary hunt camera due to the lack of a good long reach lens. Short of spending thousands on a fixed 600mm lens, a 70-200mm is about the best one can expect. 200mm is a decent focal length for archery range shots.  
A TOUGH DECISION– An upcoming project to the mountains of Azerbaijan had me wavering on the choice of a full frame sensor camera. A 5D/FS700R combo had all the features I wanted in a camera, but fell short of the focal required to pick up those once in a lifetime shots I did not want to miss. I spent some time researching other lens options with just a few requirements - 1) It had to be versatile. No fixed telephoto lenses. 2) The lens needed to fit and communication with both the 5D and FS700R. 3) Finally, it had to be quality. No aberrations, sharp focus, etc. 
After comparing a number of options, I settled in on Sigma’s 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 with the Canon EF mount. Not only did this lens have 2.5x the reach of a 70-200mm, it was also nearly 30% wider! Still, I had a few concerns. First was the speed of the lens. The f/6.3 lenses I have shot with before were very slow. Not good for those first and last light situations. Second was whether or not this lens (being an “off-brand”) would communicate with the FS700R through a Metabones adapter. A close third concern was the quality of the image. I’ve shot with Sigmas before and always thought they were great lenses, but the longer the telephoto reach, the more to go wrong. At just over $1,500, I wasn’t certain this lens would be quality enough, but took the gamble anyway.
Read the full article HERE

Products Mentioned:
Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Price: $1,509
• For Digital SLRs w/ Canon & Sony Mount
• Full Frame or APS Size Sensor Cameras
• Standard to Super Telephoto Zoom
• OS (Optical Stabilizer) Minimizes Blur
• Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM)
• Compatible w/Sigma APO Teleconverters

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS LENS





Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Adapter
Price: $399
• Adapts Canon EF Lens To Sony NEX Camera
• Retains Electronic Communication
• Auto Aperture and Auto Focus Supported
• EXIF Data and Image Stabilization
• Powered by Camera Body
• Open Aperture Button for Manual Focus
• Detachable Tripod Foo
• Green and Advanced Function Modes
• Compatible with Fully Manual Lenses
• Compatible with NEX Full Frame Cameras


Sony NEX-FS700RH w/ 18-200 Powered Lens
Price: $8,299
• 4K Exmor Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
• Capture 1920 x 1080/60p AVCHD Video
• 4K/2K 12-Bit RAW to AXS-R5 Recorder
• 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens
• Up to 960 fps Super Slow Motion
• CineGamma Curves Including S-Log2
• ISO 320 to 64,000
• 3.5" LCD Screen with VF Attachment
• Dual XLR, HDMI & 3G/HD-SDI Connectivity
• SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo Slots

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS CAMERA

Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Body only)
Price: $3,399.00
 • 22.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
• 3.2" Clear View High Resolution LCD
• DIGIC 5+ Image Processor
• 61-Point High Density AF
• Full HD 1080/30p and 720/60p Formats
• Built-In HDR and Multiple Exposure Modes
• Extended ISO Range (50-102400)
• Up to 6.0 FPS Continuous Mode
• Dual CF and SD Memory Card Slots
 • Durable Magnesium-Alloy Construction

CLICK HERE FORE MORE INFO ON THIS DSLR

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sample shots from a FS700 with a Sigma 50-500 lens run through a metabones



FS700 Sample Footage from Journey Entertainment on Vimeo.

This is just a quick sample of footage shot with the Sony FS700R, Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 Canon mount, and Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX standard adapter. Shot in S-LOG-2, each clip shows the raw footage first, then the color graded version. The first two clips were shot at 6400 ISO and 6.3. Clips 3 and 4 illustrate the dynamic range of the FS700R in S-LOG-2. Clip 5 (slate call) was shot at 120fps and includes a lens flare to see how the Sigma handles direct light. Clips 6 and 7 (bees) were shot at 120 fps. Clips 8 and 9 (decoys) were to test highly dynamic and harsh mid-day lighting. Clip 10 (deer) shows the reach of the lens. This deer was at 250 yards.

I've shot with the FS700 before, but not in S-LOG-2. It requires a color grade, but in my opinion its well worth the extra time due to the resulting increase in dynamic range.

This was my first time shooting with the Sigma 50-500, and I'll say its quickly becoming my favorite lens. Even at a f/6.3, the lens is quite fast. At 500mm, this lens reaches out like a fixed lens video camera, but with all the capabilities and flexibility of an interchangeable system. 3 things impress me most about this lens: 1) high level of light transmission, 2) image sharpness, and 3) the ability to focus as close as 20". #FS700R #Sony #metabones #Sigma

Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
Price: $1,509
• For Digital SLRs w/ Canon & Sony Mount
• Full Frame or APS Size Sensor Cameras
• Standard to Super Telephoto Zoom
• OS (Optical Stabilizer) Minimizes Blur
• Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM)
• Compatible w/Sigma APO Teleconverters

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS LENS





Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Adapter
Price: $399
• Adapts Canon EF Lens To Sony NEX Camera
• Retains Electronic Communication
• Auto Aperture and Auto Focus Supported
• EXIF Data and Image Stabilization
• Powered by Camera Body
• Open Aperture Button for Manual Focus
• Detachable Tripod Foo
• Green and Advanced Function Modes
• Compatible with Fully Manual Lenses
• Compatible with NEX Full Frame Cameras


Sony NEX-FS700RH w/ 18-200 Powered Lens
Price: $8,299
• 4K Exmor Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
• Capture 1920 x 1080/60p AVCHD Video
• 4K/2K 12-Bit RAW to AXS-R5 Recorder
• 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens
• Up to 960 fps Super Slow Motion
• CineGamma Curves Including S-Log2
• ISO 320 to 64,000
• 3.5" LCD Screen with VF Attachment
• Dual XLR, HDMI & 3G/HD-SDI Connectivity
• SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo Slots

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Benefits of 4K


Why you should go #4k

Think of 4K as quadrants of 1080p. Four 1080p images make one 4K image. What does this mean to you? That basically means that the camera is able to pickup and store 4 times the amount of detail.

You don't have to have a 4K television or display* to benefit from the sensor picking up more of that information. You will see the benefit in more realistic shadows and highlights, more dynamic range, and even better 1080.
*You do need a computer operating system and editing software that handles 4K

1) Solo Hunters- It is hard for solo hunters to get close up shots of the animal that they are pursuing because you want to keep your angle wide when you prepare to take the shot to guarantee that the animal is in the frame. Here comes the 4K to the rescue! If you shoot in 4k at a 5x optical zoom you can take that 4K image into your editing software as a 1080 and now it is like you shot it at 20x. The image will turn out much sharper than if you were to shoot it with a camera with a native 1080.

2) Framing– Following the reason above, the videographer can shoot wide shots and then can have the editor decide the framing. This works great for interviews. You can shoot a wide shot and then in post frame it up how you want, potentially creating differently framed shots from one take and not multiple takes or multiple cameras.



3) Slow Motion - If you shoot slow mo shots in 4k you are capturing 4 times as much detail and information than if it was shot in 1080. In other words – every last detail captured in super, super, super slow-motion.



The 4K cameras that we offer:

GoPro HD HERO 3+ Black Edition
Price: $399.99
Product Highlights:
• 20% smaller and lighter housing (waterproof to 131’/40m)
• SuperView video mode captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective
• Auto Low Light mode intelligently adjusts frame rate for stunning low light performance
• 33% improved image sharpness and reduced distortion
• Faster built-in Wi-Fi for enhanced connectivity to the Wi-Fi Remote (included) and GoPro App
• 30% longer battery life
• Wireless camera software updates via the GoPro App
• Upgraded audio performance

Click here for more info on the GoPro HD HERO 3+ Black Edition




Sony FDR-AX100 
Price: $1,999.99
Product Highlights:
• 4K Ultra HD Video at 30 fps
• 1" Exmor R CMOS Sensor
• 20MP Still Images
• XAVC S, AVCHD, and MP4 Recording Options
• Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* Lens
• 12x Optical Zoom & 24x Clear Image Zoom
• BIONZ X Processor / High Speed 120 fps
• Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
• 0.39" OLED EVF / 3.5" XtraFine LCD
• Wi-Fi / NFC Connectivity

Click here for more info on the Sony FDR-AX100










Sony FDR-AX1
Price: $4,499.99
Product Highlights:
• Record 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps
• 1/2.3" Exmor R 8.3MP CMOS Image Sensor
• Sony G Lens with 20x Optical Zoom
• Built-In Microphone & Dual Pro XLR Jacks
• Dual XQD Card Slots for 4K Recording
• XAVC-S Format for 150 Mbps 4K Recording
• LUX Rating (low light): 3 LUX at 50p (1/25 shutter speed)
• Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions
• Independent Zoom, Focus & Iris Rings
• Seven Assignable Buttons & HDMI Output
• Supports TRILUMINOS Color Technology

Click here for more info on the Sony FDR-AX1








Sony NEX-FS700RH
Price: $8,299.00 
Product Highlights:
• 4K Exmor Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
• Capture 1920 x 1080/60p AVCHD Video
• 4K/2K 12-Bit RAW to AXS-R5 Recorder
• 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS E-mount Lens
• Up to 960 fps Super Slow Motion
• CineGamma Curves Including S-Log2
• ISO 320 to 64,000
• 3.5" LCD Screen with VF Attachment
• Dual XLR, HDMI & 3G/HD-SDI Connectivity
• SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo Slots

Click here for more info on the Sony NEX-FS700RH





Sony NEXFS700UK test shots at 960fps from Campbell Cameras on Vimeo.


***ALL PHOTOS ARE SIMULATED IMAGES ***

Monday, March 24, 2014

Film Your Hunt- by Josh Keiter



"It wasn’t long ago that I started developing an interest in filming my hunts and started laying down footage from my own adventures. I guess you could say that outdoor television and hunting DVDs sold me on the fact that…’I can buy a camera and do that myself’! It all started, for me, with just a simple video camera mounted on my bow. I had a blast recording squirrels, birds, deer and other forest dwellers in their natural habitat and undisturbed state. It wasn’t professional, high quality footage with great audio, but it was mine. These were my adventures on film and I could do anything with them or show them toSmall HD camera on Bow mount anyone I wanted. Taking that footage back home and watching it on my computer or TV was and still is a blast. I didn’t have to harvest something that day to be excited about reviewing the footage. Just being able to enjoy the outdoors and then play it back to enjoy it again is something I love to do and something I enjoy sharing with my kids. I began playing around with the footage and editing it with some simple software to show my friends and family and I even got up enough nerve to upload some of those videos to YouTube. It was just another fun and interesting way to share my adventures. Simply learning and experimenting with filming my hunts landed me the opportunity to meet our producer, Mike Price, and eventually join the team here at SVO. My arsenal of camera gear for filming my own hunts has grown from one small HD camera mounted on my bow to a ‘prosumer’ style camera running off of a camera arm or tripod and a couple of second presence POV (point of view) cameras. I told my wife that I was buying these cameras not only for hunting, but for family events and to help ‘saver the memories as our children grew’. (Pretty slick huh?) Now most of our ‘family’ cameras are wrapped in camo and have multiple adapters for tree arms, fluid heads, tripods and other filming platforms. Heck, some of my older tripods have even been painted or taped to help me stay concealed while using them in the field. LOL....
Read more here: http://svoutdoors.com/index.php/keiter-s-blog 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mount a GoPro to a shotgun




There are multiple ways to mount your GoPro to a shotgun. The short video clip above shows the GoPro HD HERO 3+ Silver mount to the shotgun using the Shotgun Left or Right Mount.

Here are the possible ways to mount it:
1.  Shotgun Left or Right Mount with Keeper for GoPro
Price: $29.95
• Works on all GoPro HERO, HERO2, HERO3 
• Works with most shotguns 
• Does not work with- Benneli Vinci, Browning Maxus, Beretta A400, Remington 887, Winchester SX3, Mossberg 535 or 500, Winchester SXP, Charles Daly Pump, Double Barrell or Over Under






Price: $37.95
• Fits 1" Scopes
• For use with GoPro HD HERO, HERO2, & HERO 3









Price: $37.95 
This GoPro™ (HERO/2/3/3++) mount has been designed specifically for the Winchester SX3, Remington 887, and Beretta A400 but will work on all other guns that utilize a forearm cap mounted gun sling mount






Price: $37.95
• Under the Forearm Mount 
• 1/4"-20 Screw Post
*** To use with a GoPro the GoPro Tripod Adapter is required***

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

No battery for the Sony HXR-NX3



For some odd reason (most likely to keep the price down), Sony does not include a battery with the purchase of the Sony HXR-NX3. You will have to purchase a battery for the camera to work. I would recommend the Sony NP-F970 Battery

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why I chose to film with a DSLR


by: Josh with Broken Pine Outdoors

You hear this question getting asked every day. Should I or shouldn’t I disregard the league norm and film my hunts completely with a DSLR? It’s a valid question. For so many years people have flocked to video cameras because of their ease of use, their professional audio and their ability to function well in the heat of the moment. This is not to mention the fact that most video cameras don’t require you to change out lenses, manually control every feature and physically put on ND filters. They are simply the easiest way to film and to capture your hunts on camera.

I myself started filming with video cameras. I began with a simple Sony Handycam and moved my way up to an AX2000. This camera was awesome and did absolutely everything I needed it to as far as smooth and reliable zoom, dual audio support and manual control over many functions. This camera launched me into my professional career and has been featured with me in many magazines, websites and more.

The problem with it though wasn’t really the camcorder itself, but more or less the fact that it was a camcorder. I found myself more often than not reaching for my crop sensored DSLR rather than my dedicated video camera. It wasn’t that the AX2000 was bad, but rather that the Sony a77 was that good.

I will admit that I am partial to the look from the image of a DSLR. Many other outdoor film crews are using them to get all of their B-Roll shots. I think Tom Petry from Campbell Cameras said last night on his online seminar that most shows are filming almost 80% or more of their entire productions with DSLRs. I would have to agree with him. It’s not uncommon to see everything but the kill filmed with a DSLR over a dedicated video camera. I found myself being one of those guys. The reason is because of their massive sensors. These sensors allow you to achieve an amazing depth of field that helps to give the cinematic look that so many of us love to watch. We are also attracted to DSLRs because of how creative you can be with them. You can get almost any lens for almost any situation that can help you film the most insane and beautiful shots. It also helps that you can use wide aperture lenses to gather a ton of light when filming in low light situations or even when filming around the camp at night.


As I began to book more film jobs and started to move up in the industry, I had decided it was time to upgrade from my AX2000 to a video camera that could give me a look more similar to what I could get with an SLR. The issue I ran into? They don’t make them. You can find cameras, tweak their picture profiles and do some massive editing in post to try and create the look of an SLR, but good luck getting it to be the same. SLRs are in their own class and to get that look with a video camera your best bet is to step into an interchangeable lens camcorder, like the Sony FS line. These, however, can be expensive after you add in the cost of lenses.

After months of searching for the perfect video camera, I finally realized that 95% of the time I went with a DSLR over my video camera, so why don’t I just find a way to film 100% with it? I mean, if we all love that look so much that we film most of our shows with these cameras, then why not film all of it with them? Why not try to capture the kill with that same cinematic look? The reason is because it is so hard to set up a DSLR just right and so many things become a factor when going that route. Focusing becomes extremely difficult. Finding out how to run dual audio becomes expensive. Having to mess with every little setting gets annoying when you have a monster buck headed your way. But if you can pull it off, you suddenly have some of the best footage you’ve ever taken in your life. That’s why I chose to make the switch.
So if you’re like me and you want to go the DLSR route, then here is some advice on how to make it work:

One of the best things about going with an SLR is their price. You can get a Sony a77 with an unbeatable kit lens from Campbell Cameras right now for $1,399.99. This is substantially cheaper than a lot of your professional dedicated video cameras. To get dual audio, Beachtek makes an adapter that screws into the bottom of your camera and can be phantom powered as well. I run the SLR Pro series, but you can get their SLR Pure Adapter for $299.00 and with it you will have audio meters to help monitor your sound.
With this money saved when buying a DSLR over a video camera, you can purchase some good lenses to cover different focal lengths. I personally run the Sony line of G lenses, but you don’t have to spend that much to get a good image. Look for lenses that have a constant aperture, preferably a 2.8 or better for use in low light. One of the best lenses to use for filming bow hunts would be a 70-200mm f/2.8. This allows you to zoom in or out with a constant aperture and is the perfect range for filming deer in or just out of bow range. For rifle hunts or anything with a much further distance, I would suggest a 70-400mm lens. These typically have an aperture of 4.5-5.6. On crop sensor cameras, like the a77, the max distance would actually be closer to 600mm. This is nearly equivalent to the 20x zoom found on the AX2000.
Other great lenses include primes for filming. The “nifty fifty” is a 50mm 1.4 lens that is often referred to as the go-to lens for independent filmmakers. These allow you to gather a ton of light, get great bokeh (blurred out backgrounds) and preform some super creative shots. These are also fantastic for filming interviews and can be found for $350 or less. Do you like the look of a time-lapse at night (starscape) showing off the stars? This can be obtained using super wide angle lenses (14-24mm) with apertures of 2.8 or less and a  intervalometer from Campbell Cameras. 


Other than lenses, a great way to enhance your production value with DSLRs is to drop the contrast, the sharpness and the saturation in your picture profile to get a “flat” look that you can manipulate more in the editing room. You can also get jibs, sliders, glide cams, rigs and more to help you produce other cinematic shots with your DSLR cameras. If you want to have two cameras going, try getting one crop sensor SLR and one full frame, like the a99. This allows you to have multiple cameras in the tree or blind so you can swap lenses with both and have both a primary and secondary angle.


This is just a summary of why I chose to switch to a DSLR and what types of equipment you can get to make them work for you. If you decide to take on this tough but rewarding road, I would highly recommend the Campbell Cameras Advanced Production School to help you better learn how to control your DSLR camera. Bear in mind that if you are new to filming and/or aren’t wanting to spend days/weeks/months on YouTube trying to learn the ins and outs, then filming with an SLR may not be for you. But if you have experience filming with video cameras, are looking for a way to enhance the look of your films and don’t mind an extreme challenge, then give DSLR cameras a shot.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sony HXR-NX3 vs Sony HDR-AX2000 (updated)


Sony HDR-AX2000 vs The new Sony HXR-NX3 – Updated

Here are the main upgrades you will see with the NX3:
• Built in light
• Relay recording (AND) Dual recording option
• 40X Clear Image Zoom, (from the looks of this it is way different than digital zoom, clarity is almost un noticeable between 20x and 40x.
• Wifi capability allowing you to use your iPAD/tablet or smart phone as a remote AND viewfinder, saving money on external monitors
• Assignable recording buttons. (You can program the handle to record to one card and the grip to record to another card if you want) Kinda cool, you could separate B-roll shots and primary hunt footage making post production job easier.
• The LCD screen is 30% larger on the NX3
• NX3 has the same color profile as the HXR-NX5U
• The wifi is super simple to set up. Customers can download the free app called (Play Memories Mobile) for Android and IPhone/Ipad and the rest is cake. Turn on the wifi in the menu of the camera, connect to it with your phone, (Password comes up in screen of camera) then launch the app. It allows you to view, zoom, and record.

*** SONY DOES NOT INCLUDE A BATTERY IN THE BOX WITH THE NX3***


Sony HXR-NX3 vs the Sony HDR-AX2000 from Campbell Cameras on Vimeo.

Here is a comparison chart of the specifications:

Specifications

Sony HDR-AX2000 Sony HXR-NX3
Image Sensor Three 1/3" ClearVid 3MOS with Exmor Technology Three 1/2.8" Type EXMOR CMOS Sensor
Zoom 20x Optical Zoom
30x Digital Zoom
20x Optical Zoom
40x "Clear Image Zoom"
Filter Size 72mm 72mm
Built-in ND Filters Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64 Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
Aperture F1.6-3.4 F1.6-11
Focal Length
(35mm Equivalent - 16:9)
29.5 - 590mm 28.8- 576mm
Focal Length
(35mm Equivalent - 4:3)
36.1 - 722mm 35.2 - 705mm
Audio Recording Format HD:
• Dobly Digital
SD:
• Dolby Digital
HD:
• Linear PCM
• Dolby Digital
SD:
• Linear PCM
• MP4
• AAC
Video Recording Format HD:
• MPEG-4
• AVC/H.264 AVCHD
SD:
• MPEG-2 PS
HD:
• MPEG-4
• AVC/H2.64
• AVCHD
SD:
• DV
• MP4
• MPEG-4
Recording Frame Rate FX (24Mbps):
• 1920 x 1080/60i
• 1920 x 1080/30p
• 1920 x 1080/24p

FH (17Mbps):
• 1920 x 1080/60i
• 1920 x 1070/30p
• 1920 x 1080/24p

HQ (9Mbps):
• 1440 x 1080/60i
• 480 x720/60i

LP (5Mbps):
• 1440 x 1080/60i
FX (24Mbps):
• 1920 x 1080/60i
• 1920 x 1080/24p
• 1920 x 1080/30p
• 1280 x 7020/60p

FH (17Mbps):
• 1920 x 1080/60i
• 1920 x 1080/24p
• 1920 x 1080/30p
• 1280 x 720/60p

HQ (9Mbps):
• 1440 x 1080/60p
• 1280 x720/60p

LP (5Mbps):
• 720 x 576/60i

MP4
• 1280 x 720/ 24p
Shutter Speed 60i/60p: 1/60-1/2000
30p: 1/30 - 1/2000
24p: 1/48-1/2400
1/3 - 1/10,000
LUX Rating (Low-Light) 1.5 LUX @ 1/30sec, Auto IRIS, Auto Gain 1.0 LUX @ 1/25sec, Auto IRIS, Auto Gain
Gain -6, -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21db -6, -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30dB
White Balance Mode • Auto (intelligent, High, Middle, Low)
• Outdoor
• Indoor
• One-push (A/B)

• Auto
• Preset (Outdoor)
• One-push (A/B)
Slow & Quick Motion Function None 1080p: Frame rate selectable 1,2, 3, 6, 12, 25, 50fps
Inputs/ Outputs (1) Component Mini-D Jack (Output)
(1) Composit/S-Video/Audio: Multi AV Jack (output)
(1) HDMI (output)
(1) USB 2.0 (output)
(1) USB 2.0 (input)
(2) Audio L/R Input: XLR 3-pin Female
(1) Headphone: Stereo Mini Jack
(1) Remote: LANC
(1) Headphone Jack
(2) XLR-type 3-pin (input)
(1) Headphone Jack (output)
(1) DC Jack (input)
(1) USB 2.0 (output)
(1) USB 2.0 (input)
(1) Remote LANC
(1) Type A HDMI (output)