"There I was, not knowing quite what to expect," says Michael. "I'd never shot a video of any kind, hadn't owned a camcorder and never given serious consideration to publishing a video on this blog. That was about to change." Velodramatic: a Cycling Photography website featuring racers, riders and roads, has recently added DSLR Video to their portfolio & services. Finally, joining the craze of DSLR filmmaking, Michael Robertson recently wrote an article, "The Thrill of Getting In Over Your Head Shooting Video."
In the article he discusses the hybrid revolution and convergence from stills to video using the Canon 5DMKII. See below for Behind The Scenes images of Michael out in the field using Zacuto's Z-finder V2 and DSLR Gunstock Shooter: The Marksmen.
"With an improvised harness I could shoot with the Zacuto Marksman and field monitor at waist level." ~M.R.
From Michael's Article + Review at Velodramatic.com: I needed a well-thought out platform for the camera. Enter Zacuto. Among the cottage industry of companies building or adapting rigs for the 5D MKII, Zacuto stood out. I'd been frequenting their web site for weeks, watching informative videos on the DSLR video space and enjoying features like the 'Critics' where Zacuto founder/director Steve Weiss and U.K. filmmaker Philip Bloom critique web-based video content. Their line-up of DSLR Shooters, light-weight, rail-based systems for stabilizing the camera and most importantly, their Z-Finder focusing/viewing loupe appeared to be the best options to get the job done." ~ Photos by Velodramatic.
Building the Rig: Zacuto's Mini Base Plate, Studio Mount, Mini Mount + Z-mount. [ Photo by Velodramatic ]
Michael's take on Zacuto's DSLR Gunstock Shooter: The Marksmen: With everything balanced, all levers on the Zacuto were firmly tightened. Having worked hard to achieve the best possible fit I'm happy to report the Marksman was rock solid, nothing moved during the entire 6 days of shooting as the rig was lifted in and out of the photo van countless times, and unavoidably bumped about in the process. The counterweight provided good balance for the camera before and after, but I found that with the camera cantilevered out to the left of the shoulder mount, the handle in my left hand had to resist the significant turning weight of the rig. I got better results when I moved the gunstock to wedge into the left side of my chest (working with, rather than against the turning action), I put the long handle comfortably in my right hand, freeing my left hand to focus the camera without any load bearing responsibility. To learn more about Zacuto's complete DSLR line of accessories, click here www.store.zacuto.com.
[ photos above by Velodramatic.com ]
Michael's take on the Z-Finder from Velodramatic.com: Both the Z-Finder and monitor were essential to have any chance at finding focus with the 5D MKII, particularly with my increasingly presbyopic vision. Diopter adjustment is standard on Canon Viewfinders of course, but there's no native compensation on the LCD. The Z-Finder has a diopter range from -1.5 to 0.4 which compensated nicely for my deficient eyesight plus it magnifies the LCD by a factor of three. Finally its large eyecup keeps light from intruding while you focus. A mating 'frame' attaches to the camera with a strong peel-and-stick adhesive.
"Specialized Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure" ~ by Velodramatic
"It's not your typical velodramatic fare, but I hope other still photographers contemplating their own video initiation have a go," says Michael, "and finally, my thanks to Steve at Zacuto for letting me test drive the Marksman DSLR rig and Z-Finder; they made a world of difference to the shoot." ~ Michael
Velodramatic's first DSLR Video “The Ride to Vegas" covers the "Ride for the Cure" for the Susan G. Komen foundation." The video was shot using the Canon 5DMKII, Zacuto's Z-finder V2 and the DSLR Gunstock Shooter: The Marksmen. The video was shot over six days on the Specialized Ride to Vegas with Canon's 5D MKII, Zacuto Marksman DSLR rig, and the Z-finder. Dave Christenson shot a significant amount of footage and gets the film editing credit. A group of 35 dealers, employees, athletes and friends rode the 650 miles from Morgan Hill, California to Las Vegas, Nevada in support of the foundation. Watch the amazing video here: www.velodramatic.com . [ Photos by Velodramatic ].
[ Michael Roberston, Velodramatic ]
To learn more about Michael Robertson + Velodramatic and to view his amazing portfolio of cycling photography, and now video, please visit their website www.velodramatic.com. Here you will be able to read his full article "The Thrill of Getting In Over Your Head Shooting Video," see behind the scenes images and read his complete review of Zacuto's DSLR Accessories.