Columbine Memorial: 11 Years Later Video Project

April 20, 2010 marked the 11th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. Classes were canceled and media attention of the day was actually pretty low key compared to the seemingly endless coverage over the last 10 years. For the first time there were no official events planned for recognition of the tragedy. The community will never forget but it is starting to move on. For the most part, our coverage in the Columbine Courier would be minimal. I decided to take my Canon EOS 7D down to the memorial and try to put together a small package for the web. The video above is what I came up with. For more technical details and explanations click “more” below.

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NAB Brings the HDSLR Goodies

I really wanted to go to the National Association of Broadcasters Expo this year. Due to financial reasons that didn’t happen. Thanks to I can find out about the accessories that matter to working photojournalists. There are 2 things that I really wanted to see or hear about this year: a support designed for the true photojournalism style of “run and gun” video and something that will help me get better audio straight out of the camera.

NAB didn’t disappoint. RedRock Micro is set to introduce a smaller set of supports that don’t include a follow focus unit or rails. This is pretty much what I have been looking for since I first got my Canon EOS 7D. Check out the video below for more information.

Juicedlink has been in my sights for a long time. Ever since Danfung Dennis mentioned that he was using one for HDSLR video, I have been interested. Now they are set to release the DT454 that not only cancels out the Automatic Gain Control of the 7D it also gives you 2 balanced and 2 unbalanced inputs for mics. 48v phantom power is also provided over the XLR connectors. Great stuff for being able to gather good, clean audio in camera as opposed to using an external recorder. I am going to pre-order one ASAP. Check out the video below for more information.

UPDATED: Redrock Micro microFinder Loupe and Hoodloupe Review

© Matthew Jonas 2010

UPDATED: Shooting video with the Canon EOS 7D is no easy task. Trying to hold the camera steady, keep your subject in focus at f2.8 and remembering to capture usable audio is all part of the game you play every time you press record. There are now a ton of companies out there that are specifically making products that are supposed to help HD DSLR users capture better video and audio.

One of the first companies to do so is Redrock Micro. They make a product called the microFinder Loupe that works in conjunction with the Hoodloupe 3.0. Basically what the microFinder does is securely hold the Hoodloupe in place. Together, they allow you to use the camera’s viewfinder to focus while shooting video. I am going to include a ton of photos with this post due to the fact that when I was researching the microFinder I couldn’t find a good set to get a feel for how this would work on a 7D.

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Reviews of HD DSLR oriented products coming soon

I have been a bit short on content on the blog here recently. Its not because I haven’t had anything to say it is because I have been busy testing out a bunch of HD DSLR oriented products. In the next couple of days (actual work permitting) I will have several new reviews to post. Just to give you a little taste, these products are made by:

  • Redrock Micro
  • Sennheiser
  • Hoodman
  • Manfrotto
  • Canon

So stay tuned. If you are a HD DSLR news shooter, I promise it will be worth your time.

Agence France Presse: wire service video with HD DSLRs

I just stumbled upon this. Its a really nice piece about Hong Kong women and their tattoos. It was shot entirely with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II by AFP photographer Ed Jones. I thought that AFP was a Nikon only wire service? I also know that AFP has its own video service. So this now poses the question: has the technology made the jobs of the video shooters obsolete? or has it effectively doubled the workload of the still shooters? I love the style and quality of the video shot with these cameras but now worry about the jobs of my fellow still shooters. Do media companies really think that they will be able to “crowd source” this quality of content? I guess its adapt or go extinct. Anyway enjoy the video. Watch it in HD here.

In case you haven’t noticed…

In case you haven’t noticed I have been really focused on video from DSLRs. I really feel like this is the bridge that will span the gap between the “old” and “new” media and open new doors for current working visual journalists. For me, the problem has always been about missing the moment while gathering audio or shooting video instead of stills. With the new breed of DSLRs, video, and audio to some extent, is easier than ever to gather and takes less time to switch between the 2 formats. You no longer have to worry about missing the moment because even while shooting video its possible to take a “frame grab” that is easily high enough quality to run 3 columns wide. Audio is still a little cumbersome but with some more specialized equipment it can be accomplished.

I believe that with the large number of accessories for HDSLRs that have come onto the market since their introduction that I am not alone in my excitement. Companies such as Think Tank Photo, Zacuto, Red Rock Micro, CAVision and Hoodman are producing some great add-ons that will only make shooting video with HDSLRs even easier.

Long story short, you will definitely see projects that I will be working on posted here shot with Canon’s newest HDSLRs.