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07-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Tom Woj's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stafford, UK
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Used my K-r for video yesterday

Hey all,

Used my K-r for some video yesterday, and I can now better understand why video was perhaps not a feature Pentax developed further for it.

I used to think, "Why can't they just update the firmware to let us adjust ISO/shutter speed for video use?" However I can see that if they had done that, people would be much more inclined to use it for more video, but there's so much back-end stuff that I imagine gets in the way. Overheating is one thing, no batterygrip for extra battery life for another, and if it could shoot 1080p the amount of throughput needed to send that much data to the SD would be so much more than it could handle. Also the file sizes the K-r comes out with for 720p are too big - not sure what type of compression Canon uses, but it seems far better.

Having used video even for a day of on/off shooting, I have much more appreciation for what goes into making a DSLR usable/great for video.

Having said all that, the footage seemed pretty decent, and it was great fun. For anyone who's interested, the shoot for was for a wedding video - nothing too major, the couple had seen our non-wedding work before and wanted something just like it for their day - low budget uni-student type thing (although of course we're making it as great/professional as it can be with the tools we have, and it was our first wedding shoot). Before you gasp in horror, no the K-r wasn't the main cam, or even the 2nd! . We had a team of 3 - two main videographers each with a 550d and a range of lenses, and my K-r - used mainly as a static cam for cut-away shots, but I also did some detail/candid too. My focus for the day was audio - don't know if that's less stressful or more ... - using a Zoom H4n as main (internal mics plus a rode), a yamaha PCM recorder as backup (internal mic), and then all 3 internal camera mics as a, "oh my god we're f**ked", backup. The two 550d's were using magic lantern for better audio control.

It was a fun day, stressful at times, but could have been a lot worse, plus some valuable experience gained. One incredibly valuable lesson I learnt is ALWAYS have a backup! You never hope to have to use them, but ... wow. Our Zoom failed during the actual ceremony - was monitoring it along with my K-r for the start and all was fine, got to after the vows and boom, it had powered down, was too busy focused on my camera - recycled the power, no files ... nothing! Had been freshly charged batteries and card in there. Managed to catch the end of the ceremony, but that was when things were pretty much over. So, the zoom internals + the rode was gone, nothing showing on the card, was time for some "subtle panic". Tried the SD card on our laptop and still nothing! Luckily - or should I say, exactly how such things are supposed to work - the backup recorder hidden behind some flowers on the registrar-table saved my ass, big-time! I don't know what we would have done without that.

Second lesson - always have spare cards, and cameras can overheat. After the ceremony we had time to spare for a few mins, so we sent one shooter off with a fresh card to catch people mingling while we went to check files and back everything up, changed cards/batteries. Came time to the speeches and all was going fine - all 3 of us set up on tripods, audio rolling with the Zoom seeming to behave itself, and then towards the end of the speeches I see one of the other guys hand his SD-card to the main camera and proceed to head out of the room. Then a bit later I get the main camera guy walk over to tell me a) we'd screwed up the SD-card formatting and his card was now full b) NOT ONE of us had any blank cards on us, as they were all in the storage room at the otherside of the building, how could all three of us not noticed that?, and c) I start to see a red thermometer symbol while filming ... uh-oh, never seen that before, must be overheating. Yup, two cameras down and mine overheating. Luckily that wasn't as bad as it sounds, as the speeches were effectively over, so I just got some more crowd/reaction shots - then the wedding party ate while we went and checked over everything ... and had breather.

So, a lot to take in, but we have plenty of footage and audio to work with, and thanks to this I have a much greater understanding of how the K-r is for video.

If anyone's into this sort of stuff and wants to hear how/what we did for anything specific, or if anyone has any tips, I'll be glad to hear it.

Couple of random snaps from the day:

(Grabbing a candid shot of the bride with the slider)

(magician who was at the reception - gotta love magicians! )




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