Archive for January 29th, 2011

New toys and a new attitude

Updated below

A GorillaPod and a Tiffen 37mm 0.9 ND filter arrived today in the mail. They were both on a big sale on Amazon, so I thought I buy them for my small digicams — which are the main kinds of cameras I use nowdays. The 5D MkII is mostly used by my husband these days. Instead, I’m in a kind of a crusade to prove that good video can also be shot with small, cheap digicams, if the right skills are in place. I don’t believe that all video enthusiasts should buy expensive dSLRs and camcorders, for some of them, an HD digicam is more than enough, if used correctly.

Canon SD780 IS with the Zeikos filter addon, the ND 0.9 filter, and a GorillaPod
Canon SD780 IS with the Zeikos filter addon, Tiffen ND 0.9 filter, and GorillaPod

I might get the new Canon A1200, the one that shoots in 24p and costs just $110. I believe it’s possible to shoot close to 180 degree shutter, even without full manual control. If you set the camera to P mode, and half-press the shutter button, you will get the information about the shutter speed. Adjust the lights/scene or ND filter(s) until you get 1/50th or 1/48th shutter speed. Switch to video mode, lock exposure, start shooting. As long as the video mode uses the same exposure algorithm as the P mode, we’re in business.

BTW, the other day I found the manual for the A1200 (PDF), and it has all the video features I expected it to have (manual white balance, manual color control, exposure compensation+lock, focus lock), plus one that I didn’t: a miniature mode, like the one found on the S95.

UPDATE: With and without an ND filter, and some stabilization. With the ND filter there is some actual motion blur, since the shutter speed is more natural.