The Hybridographer - Stills / Video gear - Part 3 - Some conclusions



Of all the video footage I've been shooting lately and I've been shooting a lot, the above example, from my A7 and 28-70mm zoom, is the best so far in terms of an overall finished product. The GX7 produces better looking video and my Fuji X-T1 is by far the easiest and simplest to use, but what I've put together with my Sony A7 (and A7r) ticks most boxes for me currently. 


The Fuji has some colour 'issues' and surprisingly the dynamic range doesn't seem that great for video.

The GX7 has some problems for me when I'm moving the camera about.

And really I don't want to try anything else. There are the RX10 and RX100 options from Sony. But I don't really like what those cameras produce in terms of stills. There is the Nikon 1 V3, but I certainly didn't particularly like what my V1 produced for video (surprisingly) and again, much as I like the 1" sensor in all sorts of ways it's just not good enough for me in terms of stills quality. I really loved using the V1 I had and the lenses, but could never really convince myself that the stills quality was giving me the best opportunity to sell pictures. There are of course the GH4 and the A7s, but I'd be paying a premium for 4K, which I can't really see fitting in with what I want at this present time, though that may change in the future if it really takes off. 

So all in all, it seems that my Sony A7 and A7r are giving me most of what I need from a 'hybrid' camera. It's a bit of a pain switching from stills to video and back again, but the A7 performs surprisingly well in full auto mode, so that may not be that much of an issue. 

I will of course be doing more work on all of this and I'm sure the more I use these cameras regularly for video in particular, the more I'll be able to optimise my results from all these cameras.

What this has brought home to me is how this aspect of photography is still dealt with very badly. At one end there is the Phillip Bloom / EOSHD end, which is very much from a pro video and movie maker perspective and at the other a pretty perfunctory look from most review sites. Most treat video as an afterthought and it seems that they reluctantly shoot off a couple of clips, make some instant judgement and leave it at that. Which leaves those of us that see video as very much a part of what we'll doing from now on, but who aren't going to be needing broadcast quality or all the 'bells and whistles' of movie grade videography pretty much in no mans land. Now I'm far from an expert with regard to the moving image and in many ways it's still unchartered waters for me, but I am prepared to devote some time to it and try to improve my skills and my knowledge. My articles on video and how it integrates into what I do are very much written from the perspective of someone who is still learning what is possible (and perhaps more importantly what isn't possible) and I'm fully prepared to concede that I may make mistakes.

However, working on the basis that I'm learning from those mistakes, I'm slowly getting better results and learning what gear produces the most successful outcomes for me. For the most part I work alone on this, with occasional help from my nephew. What I'm looking to achieve is a step on from when we were shooting wedding and event videos with several cameras locked in position on tripods and lots of post-production editing. I'm trying to get to a stage where I can achieve most of what I want in camera and 'on site'. Now whether I'm ever going to fulfill 100% of those ambitions, I can't say and I do realise my requirements may be somewhat different from what others want. But I haven't given up on the notion of producing video footage from a photographers perspective and using those strengths and that experience. Hopefully this 'voyage of discovery' is useful for others and I'd certainly be happy to enter into any kind of dialogue with others who are attempting to come to terms with video as I am.

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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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N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.


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