Thursday, 5 September 2013

A slight spanner In the works, and some ramblings

A few weeks ago, while I was trying (not very well) to capture the Perseids, my tripod, and thus my camera, fell over backwards onto the grass. Everything seemed to be working and I carried on taking photos, and I tweeted at the time about how the EOS 7D seemed pretty much bombproof - however, when I got it home I discovered how wrong I was...

I think it must have found the only stone in the field when it fell, as there was a gouge in the body just below the AF point select button, and the button itself was jammed inwards. The camera still functions, and I don't actually use the button that much when I'm taking photos, but it's useful for reviewing shots. Rather than live with it, which would have been frustrating and doable, I've elected to have it repaired. It'll take ten days and cost a lot of money, but I'll have a fully functioning camera in time for my trip to Scotland in October (more later).

So in the meantime I'm sat here twiddling my thumbs and staring at the wall while I come up with potential projects. It's actually good to get all the ideas that rattle around my skull written down, even if some of them demand display technology that doesn't exist yet! And I've got a period of investment coming up, with two video options and a timelapse and night photography option to think about.

Option one is to upgrade to an HD Hero 3, I'm very pleased with my Hero 2 but the Black flavour of the Hero 3 really is a bit of a beast. I've been known to do the odd bit of snorkelling so it's improved underwater image quality is very attractive. From an editing point of view, being able to film at 2k resolution is a bonus - a useful editing cheat is to film in a higher resolution than you intend to output, then digitally zoom in to the footage in edit to ensure perfect framing. And finally, I'd be hanging on to the Hero 2 so I'd have three HD capable cameras at my disposal for multicam video.

Option two is more of a whim than the others - I was asked for video camera advice a few weeks ago and my research led me to some pretty sweet Panasonic prosumer camcorders. I have to admit I prefer the look of DSLR footage for video but a proper camcorder is much more useable on the fly and like the HD Hero, getting a camcorder would give me 3 HD video cameras.

Option three is to invest in my photography rig. I'm very keen on timelapses, and from a hobbyist point of view, astrophotography. So my thinking is leaning towards a motorised tracking dolly, and/or an equatorial mount so I can track the stars.

At the moment I'm completely undecided, and I'm still trying to decide which option is balance right for me. I don't want to fall into the trap of my hobby becoming solely my job (a sure way of eradicating the reason for going it alone in the first place) so I need to pick the option that benefits me as much as my business.

Good job I've got ten days of staring at the wall to think things through!