The Subtle details
Hello everyone. As a new EX3 owner I am having a blast playing with my new camera!! I have owned it for about 6 months, and have a few questions for anyone that feels like answering.
1. What focal length for wildlife?
Last night I got some great footage of mountain goats using the stock lens, however, it is abundantly clear that a larger lens will be necessary if I want to get serious in my wildlife filming efforts. Anyone out there have any suggestions for a good lens? If a 14x lens isn't sufficient, what would a sensible minimum be?
2. Also last night, I stood on the river bank looking at some incredible mountain scenery. The spring snow on the high steep mountains was full of subtle folds and cornices. However, I wasn't able to capture the detail that I could see with my eye. The shadows that were obvious to me didn't show up at all. My wife said the footage looked "depressing". Although slightly offended, I had to agree. It had a grayish, washed out look.
3. Tripod? probably answered many times in this forum, but I thought I would ask again anyway. I am tired of my junk tripod. Any suggestions for the EX3. I will be doing lot's of hiking/mountain climbing. I was thinking of ordering the Manfrotto 504 HD head with a good set of sticks. Not committed to anything yet though.
4. Books? Any good books or videos anyone can recommend on the art of cinematography? (I already own Doug Jensons DVD)
5. Hiking setups? I have been leaving my camera on my tripod and carrying it as a soldier carries his rifle. I am terrified, however, that it might come loose during a hike, and that of course it will happen just as I happen to be walking over some river boulders. Any suggestions? It just isn't practical for me to carry the huge case everywhere. What do the outdoor pro's do when it comes to packing gear long distances on foot?
I could fill pages with questions, however, I won't try the patience of the forum members any more that I already have. And thanks for helping out a real newbie!!
Last question first. I do a lot of rough location shooting and use a rucksack (backpack) to carry the camera, mics, etc. This pack has wheels also which is good for using it for travel. Airlines don't like big camera bags and mine just about complies with all the crazy rules now commonplace. If you take a tripod to your mountains then carry that with your hands that are now free from the camera.
As to your picture quality you just have to experiment. Look at Doug Jensen's Picture Profiles, vary your exposure (in manual of course) and see what works for a given shot. Presumably you are a still photographer so the principles are identical. Same with your focal lengths but remember the very narrow DOF you'll get with a long tele, together with more camera shake.
As one who went from using PD-170s and loving the radiance of the picture quality in those cameras to the EX3 and EX1, I sometimes bemoan the loss of that radiance. However there is always a lot you can do to the picture in post. I do frequently use "Doug's look" though.
As for tripods I think the Miller carbon fiber tripods are great http://www.millertripods.com/product-type/tripods especially for their lightness and extendability.