Sunday, June 27, 2010

Making Your Canon 7D Fly - Aerial Video

This video clearly shows the advantages of a lightweight video DSLR camera. You can make it fly and take nice aerial videos or aerial photos. In the past you'd have to pay for pilots with helicopters or planes to get this type of angle and perspective. That could be rather painful for low budget indie filmmakers.

Try doing this on the Red One?

If you want to build your own, parts and instructions are available on microkopter. There's also an online store in the USA selling them for about $1900++. You can access Quadrocopter here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Canon 7D astrophotography moon video and Canon 550D + kit lens

In the past few days, I got Canon's EF 300mm f/4L IS lens in the mail as well as the Canon 550D (T2i) camera with the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens. I used them all in this video to achieve the following:

  1. First to commemorate the valiant service of my grandfather, Damiano Estorco, who was buried a week before Memorial Day in Jimalalud, Negros, Philippines. He was a World War II hero who served in MacArthur's United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). He fought the Japanese and was captured along with 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers at the Battle of Bataan, but he made history by escaping. What kept him strong was his love for his home, the island of Negros. This island is highlighted in this video using the 550D.
  2. Secondly, to record moon shots with the Canon 7D using the 300mm f/4L IS lens plus two stacked TCs, 1.4x and 2x extenders. I shot this very low at a few feet above sea level. You can get more information on how to do this on this blog post. There's some pictures on how I stacked it.
  3. The sunset shots were done with Canon 7D and the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens in Bacolod, Negros, Philippines.
  4. The remaining shots were done with Canon 550D with the kit lens, Canon EF-S 18-55 mm IS. They were shot throughout the island. Glidetrack was used.


After these shots, I was impressed with a few things...

One, the 300mm f/4L IS + two stacked teleconverters makes awesome astrophotography video. It's "sharp enough" and can actually record the natural movement of the moon as we have seen on this video.

Secondly, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens is no push over as some would expect. It can produce acceptable resolution and it's a cheapo $80 lens on eBay!

Third, Negros Island is a beautiful. Thanks grandpa for always making me feel home every time I come visit.

Last but not least, I haven't really tried a 7D vs. 550D video comparison in a lab setting yet. Partly because charts are soooo boring. In the field, 550D is holding its own. There's a few features I miss like the 8fps when doing photography, and also the microadjustments for lens calibration, believe it or not, I actually like doing that! And last but not least, the 7D can survive in much harsher conditions than the 550D because of its weather sealing, but in most video shooting conditions, the 550D is the best bang for the buck, hands down.

Here are quick links to the gimbal gear setup that fits on any tripod. If you are on our Facebook fan page, these links won't appear, you want to access directly.