Friday, August 13, 2010

5Dm2 as a still camera

I have been having the best time just using my 5Dm2 for stills. I've shot Nikons for over 10 years and really like them for their ease of use and general sharpness. I was mostly using medium-fi glass and Nikon's basic SB28 flash.

Enter the 5D. I put it all in one lens - the Canon L series 24-70 2.8. Very sharp. I bought the 430 mid-pro flash - again, very nice. Now even if I'm just doing a quick snapshot at a party the images come out great. The product stuff I've been shooting for my wife looks terrific. Shallow DoF!!! I love the ISO up to 3200 (let alone 6400) and still holding a good image.

Basically it's just a great camera. I thought I would only use it for HD video... Nope. It's becoming one of my new favorite tools =)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

ZOOM H4n Digital Recorder

Recently got to use the new ZOOM H4n on a project to track GOPRO cameras in a car interior setting - Worked great. We first used them with the internal mics place near the interviewee - that worked OK but had a little too much road noise. Plan B, we already had the people miked from the other part of the interview process with Lectrsonic 195 systems so we just added the ZOOMs to our field mixer bags and set those in the back seat during the "on-the-road" interviews and used hand claps to sync them up later. Sounded great.

Things we learned:
  • 4gig - class 4 cards were fine
  • 48/16 WAV files fit right into the edit
  • Batteries would last almost all day - 10 hours
  • New front panel design was much easier to read and operate
  • Mic level in to the XLRs from the mixers worked great*
  • Gain staging mixer to H4n had plenty of wiggle and head room
  • Make sure you don't bump the MIC/1&2 buttons - Silence... OOPs
*In preparation I had done a lot of reading up on the new H4n and most said "no line in". I understand the combo inputs are designed to accommodate HIGH impedance signals from guitars and basses 10k. Well I did some testing after the shoot, -10 line out of my FP33 @ 0vu yielded a nice signal when the record levels on the ZOOM are set relatively low. No sonic coloration that I could hear - Tone and Dialog.

I have the H2 and the H4n. The H2 stays with my FP33 as a piggy back dual system recorder and the H4n stays with the 5Dm2. Nice kit to have...