My blog

My journey into video.

Photography has fascinated me since I was young and capturing a great image has become something that in later life has motivated me to invest a considerable amount of time and money. It has only been quite recently that the moving image has also begun to attract my interest, I did try a VHS-C camcorder many years ago but I never had much success! Fast forward to more modern times and I invested in a GoPro to mount on top of my DSLR.
GoPro’s are an amazing bit of kit and the quality of the footage is legendary BUT the wide angle lens is not always ideal. If you go to my YouTube channel you will see I have had mixed results, with big, slow aircraft such as Hercules or A400 Atlas its not too bad but a fast moving jet such as an F16 becomes a dot in the sky!
Higher end DSLR’s shoot very good video but for me something always feels lacking, like video is a secondary feature and they always feel a bit “awkward” somehow. Plus for obvious reasons no DSLR will shoot stills and video simultaneously!
For me the next big step was the purchase of my Canon M50, this very capable but diminutive mirrorless camera was love at first sight for me! I am a total fan of these cameras and still struggle to believe just how much they can deliver! I recently took mine to a meeting at Shelsley Walsh hill climb and while there shot some video with it. Despite shooting hand held the camera’s inbuilt image stabilisation made the results very pleasing indeed. Back home I used Apple’s iMovie app to edit and stitch the clips into one long movie Click here before uploading to YouTube.
On my latest outing I chose to try my iPhone’s video function and see how that came out. I was very pleased again with the results, as before I stitched the clips using iMovie and produced a video I called “my” highlights of the day Click here My only disappointment was that I had allowed the phone to stray off the level such that the horizon is not level in the final result all the time. This is frustrating and a bit of a “school boy error!” So must try harder next time!
Having decided that without stopping or decreasing my still photography I would like to shoot more video I have taken the plunge and bought a DJI Ronin RSC 2 powered gimbal. I am not going to do an unboxing or set up video, its already been done many times on You Tube. What I will do is put into words how I’m getting on with it and “lessons learnt.”
My first impressions are that it is very well constructed and a very capable piece of kit. It feels well made to the touch and shows quality of manufacture. On opening the box you will find an instruction manual to get you started, my first big mistake was not realising there is also an online PDF manual with MUCH more information on how to set it up and what its capabilities are. On the matter of PDF manuals there is also a PDF for the RavenEye image transmission device. My advice is download the set up manual at least, print it A4 and put it in a folder! To start with you WILL need it! My next big mistake was to buy the cheaper version without the RavenEye, there is nothing wrong or sub standard about the cheaper version BUT without the RavenEye you cannot see what the camera is recording unless you are holding the gimbal upright right in front of you so you can see the back of the camera. Add the cost of the RavenEye transmitter and you start approaching the cost of buying the pro combo which has everything in it!
At this point I must mention a company called SmallRigClick here, they manufacture a myriad of parts and assemblies to enhance the DJI gimbals and your camera in general. I have ordered and received so far two brackets to help use the gimbal in briefcase mode and a frame for my iPhone so I can use it as a monitor via the DJI app. Again, the fit and quality/feel of the SmallRig accessories is exceptional and it all fits together beautifully.
Another item to consider with great care is a case to keep the gimbal in. It is easy to forget this is a quality and breakable item that can be damaged quite easily so a sturdy means of carrying and storage is in my opinion vital. I opted for a Lykus Titan RC100 hard case for mine, £90 on Amazon and comes with a sculpted foam inner to support the gimbal and all its accessories. So far I am impressed with the case, it is not exceptionally heavy even with the gimbal in it but it feels strong and safe.
At the time of writing this I have not progressed past the getting used to it phase so as yet no video’s to publish. I am hoping to change that soon though so hopefully another post won’t be to far away. In the mean time please check out my YouTube channel if you haven’t alreadyClick here and if you like what you see a few thumbs up’s and maybe a subscribe would be much appreciated!

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