Sony Action Camera

Sony Action Camera

I am a still photographer, it’s what I love and where I feel my strongest voice is.  What is undeniable though is the power of moving pictures and it’s something I’ve thought often and if that would augment, or detract, from my creation of still images.

You may ask, why would it detract?  For me, the simple answer is that shooting video requires different gear and a different mindset than shooting stills, so if I am trying to do both at the same time, the video side may take away some creative energy from the still side.  Regardless, i’ve started the process to learn how to shoot good video and process (grade) it when I get home.  The learning curve is steep, which is somewhat enjoyable because I’m a constant learner and love learning new tools.  I’ll talk more about my video exploits in coming posts, but for now I wanted to talk about a new piece of gear I recently picked up.

My Fuji X-T2 shoots wonderful 4k video and I have recently used it as a platform for capturing serious video.  I’ve had an older generation Go Pro camera for a couple of years that I’ve played around with, nothing too serious, just capturing family vacations and whatnot.  As the video bug bit a little harder, I decided I wanted a new action camera to act in a supporting role to the X-T2, or as a primary camera when I didn’t have my big rig.  I did my research and talked to people who had more experience than I and I made a decision to move away from Go Pro and buy the latest offering from Sony, the FDR-X3000 action camera.  (I know not a sexy name)  What swayed me over to this camera is it’s amazing image quality, optical stabilization (not electronic stabilization), water depth rating and overall usability compared to other cameras on the market. Like most cameras, it shoots 4k video and has a plethora of options to capture video.  Wide to narrow field of view, intervalometer, built in wi-fi to connect to an optional remote or to your smartphone via an app, and much much more.

I’m excited to start using this camera and shooting some footage.  I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to be doing with the video right now, but if it’s good I’m sure I will find something useful for it.  I do enjoy putting together slide shows and documentaries of my travels and photo trips so I’m sure this camera will contribute to those.

The camera itself has a Zeiss lens and is relatively compact.  It’s a different shape than a Go Pro and it’s a shape that I think fits better in the hand (maybe less so on a headband though)

Cam n Case

It comes with a waterproof case that is rated to a depth of 10M.  The case is awesome and sturdy, the only drawback is that the built in microphone is muffled and the audio doesn’t through too strongly.  That’s OK because I usually overlay a music track to my video.  Of course you can use the camera without the waterproof case.

All of the menu functions are fully accessible via the external buttons. On the top is the power and record button and also has a Lock button which prevents the buttons from being depressed and recording the inside of your pack.

I’m preparing for a trip to Alaska in July to photograph bears, other wildlife as well as landscape/nature shots.  I plan on taking this with me to capture different scenes from the trip, as well as movies of the wildlife I’m shooting with my still camera.  One of the ways I’ve thought of to accomplish this is to fix the camera to my tripod while I’m shooting using the new clamp I found (below)

Clamp Ballhead

It clamps nicely to the tripod leg and the camera can rotate 360 degrees.  The clamp is made of metal with rubber lined jaws and it is very secure when clamped on.  There is another tightening thumb screw on the arm which holds the camera firmly in place. It’s small and sort of lightweight and will fit easily in my pack. I’ll have to be conscious of this while I’m shooting though so I don’t shake the tripod too much (a little bit is ok with the awesome OIS)

Another idea I’m trying out is a mount with a clamp and flexible arm.  The arm is about 13″ long and is very sturdy and supportive of the lightweight camera.  I’m not sure I will bring this to Alaska, but I’m sure I will find something to do with it 🙂   Maybe just clamped to a desk to shoot youtube videos?

Bendy Clamp

As I shoot video with this camera, I’ll post some up here for you to take a look at.  If you want to read more about the camera, check it out HERE

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