Crank up the ISO!

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Nikon ISO Test

Back in August of 2013 we talked about the Megapixel Race, and at the time ‘Better Low Light Performance’ was mentioned as a feature many users requested, and it looks like we’re getting there.

Check out this Nikon Rumors post with some high ISO comparisons. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the “409,600 ISO” mentioned. It seems like just five years ago (was it that long ago?) when the Nikon D3x could go to 6400 ISO. This puts the Nikon D4s having an ISO 64 times as high as the D3x!

Now, these numbers are the high settings, and you really won’t get quality shots at such high ISO, but if you do need to shoot a “black cat in a coal mine at night” at least you can.

Maybe the “Megapixel Race” is over and now the “ISO Race” is in full swing.

March 25, 2014 · Posted by in photo  

It’s been a while since I posted about making a camera mount, but since I made another one this week, I thought I should share.

JJ

Maybe you saw this photo over on our Facebook page, or maybe you saw Jason on the slopes at Grand Geneva. Either way, you may have noticed some weird camera things going on.

The first one is the Nikon D800 he’s holding, which has a GoPro camera mounted on top of it. I made that one a few months back, partly as a joke, but knowing full well it would come in useful someday.

Helmet Mount

GoPro actually sells a lot of great accessories, including some adhesive mounts that work well on helmets. Jason wasn’t sure he wanted to stick one on his helmet so we came up with another solution.

Female Mount

I’d 3D printed a few of these female mounts before, but they also expect you’ll be using some adhesive to stick them. I left the office around 6pm and told him I’d have something the next day.

Female Mount with Plate

I figured Jason might be OK with some zip ties attached to his helmet, so I spent a few minutes doing some 3D modeling and added a plate beneath the mount. I then printed it on a RepRap 3D Printer, and had a nice camera mount for him to use just a few hours after we first talked about it.

I totally guessed on the size of the plate and the placement of the holes since I didn’t have a helmet to test it with. We ended up drilling two more holes to get a good fit on his helmet, but adding more holes to the file and printing it again would be trivial.

3D Printing really is an amazing technology. You might say to yourself “Why would a branding firm need a 3D printer?” Take it from me, once you have one, you find a lot of uses for it. :)

March 28, 2013 · Posted by in misc, photo, video  

It’s heeere… after quite the wait, Z2’s highly anticipated Nikon D800 is in the house (office). And it’s been worth the wait. The D800 has created a huge buzz in the video community and we’re proud to add it to our collection. The camera features the latest technology, including superb light sensitivity, high quality drop focus, and increased lens compatibility.

The D800 rounds out Z2’s full range of video capabilities, from on-the-go social media videos shot with an iPhone to the cinema quality capabilities of the RED ONE. Here’s a quick look at some videos we’ve shot with our various equipment.

iPhone. Behind the scenes footage from a photo shoot for Hilton Milwaukee. Shot and edited same day.

Panasonic HD. Holz Motors Gotta Dance Music Video.

RED ONE. Glue Dots DRTV.

Can’t wait to see what the D800 can do for our clients!

July 3, 2012 · Posted by in video  

Lytro

There’s a new camera, which is (supposedly) revolutionary, and this time, it doesn’t come from RED.

The Lytro sounds too good to be true, sort of. I mean, they do use the word “magic” in their marketing copy.

Here’s a description:

Lytro lets you take pictures like never before. Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera captures the entire light field, which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.

Yeah, this sounds like magic. I know a lot about photography and I’m still not 100% sure what they mean by this. Luckily, you can read about the science they are using.

There’s some quotes on the web site from mainstream media and some tech blogs, but no photography sources. This one from the New York Times is interesting.

“For a photographer, whether amateur or professional, the Lytro technology means that the headaches of focusing a shot go away.”

I know a lot of photographers, and none of them consider focusing a shot a headache. In fact, a good photographer consciously chooses what they want in focus and what they don’t want in focus.

The Lytro method seems to assume that you can’t decide what should be in focus when you are shooting, so you should decide later, with software, or just let the viewer decide. This might be good for consumer cameras, but I just can’t see pro photographers jumping up and down with excitement over it.

Lytro

In this butterfly shot, you can have the butterfly be in focus, or you can choose to have the flowers behind it in focus. You can check out the gallery to see how it works and try it yourself.

I’m still pretty curious about this camera. The simplicity of its reminds me of an Apple product, but I still can’t see anyone with professional Nikon or Canon gear dumping it to use one of these.

October 24, 2011 · Posted by in photo  

This was a fun project we did back in 2010 for Assurant Health. It’s a 10 second TV spot that was done using stop motion animation. We shot it using a Nikon D3x, frame by frame.

It took a few attempts to get what we wanted, and there was a good amount of Photoshop work in there as well (editing of all the individual images) before it all went to Final Cut for assembly.

Oh, we also composed and recorded the original music. The voiceover? That’s C. Thomas Howell.

As for the airplane itself, the only magic involved is a piece of aluminum foil we spray glued between two pieces of paper to get the plane to stay in position as it was folded.

There’s no crazy 3D rendering involved, no real complicated video editing, just a simple idea, a bit of trial and error, and some creative thinking. Sometimes that’s all you need. :)

June 16, 2011 · Posted by in photo, video