Sunday, May 4, 2014


I have recently upgraded to the 5D Mark III but initially did not have time to explore it properly before having to shoot some portraits.  My first impression was that the images all look a bit pink so I have fiddled around with the 'Picture Style' settings. The Auto default is described as "The colour tone will be adjusted automatically to suit the scene. The colours will look vivid, especially for blue skies, greenery, and sunsets in nature, outdoor, and sunset scenes." (!)

I decided to opt for Neutral: "This Picture Style is for users who prefer to process images with their computer. For natural colours and subdued images."

Interestingly, I found that another photographer was already detailed in the Copyright Information field:  Gerald Mclean, an architectural photographer.

I sent him an email to see if he could shed light on this but have had no response. The camera was bought brand new (in immaculate condition) and in an authentic-looking, sealed box so I was rather perplexed. Given how expensive the purchase was, I decided to contact the shop (London Camera Exchange on the Strand) and they duly tried to trace any record of the serial number belonging to someone else. Nothing came up but they have kindly, and responsibly, offered to exchange the camera for a (real) new one.

And by splendid luck, there is a special offer on extra cashback for the bank holiday weekend so I will have £300 in my back pocket by the end of the process, if all goes to plan.  On this occasion I am glad I bought from a store rather than online as I probably would not have bothered to complain or send back the camera by post.

This purchase was triggered by the idea that I wanted to have the equipment to have a two camera set-up, particularly to make 'interviews' more interesting.  I nearly bought a video camera - possibly the Canon XA20 or LEGRIA G30 - but eventually decided to make the best of the DSLR approach as I already have a range of lenses.

I am still having a great deal of trouble with getting things in focus when I am videoing but I guess I will just have to keep practising to get this right.

In the process of researching the various options, I started coveting various bits of kit...

The Black Magic was the first thing that caught my attention and there is an interesting Raindance link here including some film clips:

The next thing that caught my attention was this:  

It looks fantastic and has a good testimonial from Philip Bloom but I am not sure how much better it would be than something like this or more affordably, this or this?

My Dad built me a brilliant homemade Steadicam and it definitely helps but for it to be really effective, it probably needs to be held quite low which makes it difficult to ensure that the framing is correct. 

I have been looking at other ways to ensure an acceptable handheld recording but not really sure what is the obvious choice. If anyone has any insights, I would love to hear them.

Also, and I am not just saying this because I have a birthday coming up but I feel that I almost certainly need something like this bad boy.  Again if anyone has any thoughts about a good (better) option to improve sound recordings, please let me know.  Am currently just relying on the internal camera mic.

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