Spring afternoon - Stately home - Sony A7 - 28-70mm zoom - Part 2 - video

The above footage was shot with a Sony A7, 28-70mm zoom lens. 100% hand held using lens IS. Picture setting was neutral. Full manual control over exposure and focusing. Edited in iMovie using that programmes added stabilisation feature.

I can't claim to enjoy shooting video anywhere near as much as stills. In fact it's something that I actually consider to be work. Shooting stills has never seemed like that to me and every time that I'm out on a shooting trip I just consider myself very fortunate to be earning a living doing something I enjoy so much. Video is a different matter however.

The above is typical of what I shoot. A picturesque tourist location on a sunny day and hand held. Now I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world, but in the UK tripods are not particularly welcome in many locations and in the case of this one not even allowed. So I've had to learn how to get stable footage without one. Which is why whenever I look at a cameras video capabilities, the most important thing is how the lens (or body) stabilisation works. I obviously also can't set anything up. I have to react to the situation around me and take account of the fact that there are other people around and one person with a video camera clamped to his eye is just another tourist as far as everybody else is concerned. So I've developed a kind of camcorder type street videography to cope with that.

The A7 / 28-70mm combination is however very useful in meeting my demands. The lens IS, in combination with iMovies stabilisation gives pretty steady footage. And there is no doubt that I push it somewhat. The majority of what I shoot would under ideal circumstances be shot with the camera on a tripod. But as I said that often isn't possible. 

Below is an example shot last year with a Panasonic GH3 and 14-140mm lens.

I have to say I prefer the GH3 footage to that I've shot so far with the A7. And even though it has it's deficiencies I like the look of what I shoot on my Fuji X-T1. However the A7 gets the job done. The A7s would be nice, but then it's overkill for me. The video at the top of the page took hours to upload to YouTube on my non fibre optic internet connection and I dread to think how long a similar video shot in 4K would take, if my computer could even edit it. Plus as you will be aware I shoot eveything in good light so that cameras high ISO performance would be wasted on me. 

Like all photographers I've had to adapt to shooting video and like many professional photographers I've had to adapt to it becoming part of my income stream. After stopping shooting weddings and events a few years ago I've mostly been doing it for my own amusement, with the occasional commissioned job that for various privacy reasons I have been unable to post, but with my upcoming new business venture it's something that I will be doing a lot more. And you may have noticed a lot more attention paid to it recently with lots of testing going on. 

I have to admit video is something I doubt I'll ever have a natural affinity with. Movie buff that I am, I've never had the desire to get involved with the process of making them in any shape or form. For example with the video at the top of the page I walked around the grounds of the stately home shooting the footage I wanted and decided to not shoot stills as I had the camera set up for video and it involved changing the settings too much. So I then did the whole walk again with the camera dismantled from video mode and I remember thinking to myself 'Now for some fun!' 

Finally, if it's of interest, this is a pretty typical location for me and since the video is edited in the sequence in which I shot it, you'll get an idea of what I do to earn my living on most days. And while I realise this is in the 'It's a rotten job but somebody's got to do it' catergory, I think it's important to point out that my job isn't one long holiday or collection of day trips and that sometimes I have to work for a living. However I will happily concede that as 'work' goes it's hardly coal mining, policing the streets or working in a factory and I still consider that I have the best job in the world. And if I have to move outside my comfort zone now and then, I'm hardly in a position to complain.

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Please note that opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. What is written here is at no time intended as a recommendation or otherwise of photographic gear or practice. This is a personal blog written 'in the moment' and is primarily intended as an entertainment. I would also point out that this is not a review site and not intended to be so and the Google+ groups where you can post comments are not forums. I am the sole moderator and I will remove any post (and poster) if I think fit. 

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