Friday, December 30, 2011

E.P.I.C. Footage & tech. tips...

Ok It was about time to bring our christmas present out in the wild and test it a little bit.
Wednesday I made a "one man band" test & tried if it´s possible to use this camera just like you use the Canon dslrs or normal video cameras. Thursday We went to an abandoned ski resort to film some extreme snowmobiling and testing how Epic is doing in the cold.

As start I tried to build a "one man band" configuration. In simplified configuration Epic is quite light so I tested it with lightweight manfrotto 503 HD head and carbonfiber sticks. Configuration worked quite well, but when you are used to working with cine fluidhead you realize how bad the small videoheads are to operate. And another thing is that this is a modular cine camera with primelenses, it´s not ment to be "one man band" camera you need at least 2 pairs of hands to work reasonably. So this config may work with fix shots when you are in difficult conditions (to carry good sticks&fluidhead) but I still prefer having a fluidhead to operate.

The first test outdoors were not too promising. Maybe I went out too soon. The backfocus was off and I couldn´t focus my wide lenses to infinity. There was also some problems with the touchscreen lcd (it was -14C) it was too cold or I met a program bug when I tried to test the HDRx video. I went back to studio and started to adjust the backfocus. I thought this could be good thing to share here because you can´t find this on Epic manual.

Adjusting backfocus is pretty simple on Epic. At start if you don´t have any focus equipment like "redfocus" you should adjust the focus with widest lens you have (reacts the most to backfocus issues). Open the iris to maximum and place the camera almost as close as your lens focuses on. (my 16mm lens focuses 30cm so I placed it 50cm from focus chart)Focus your lens on that distance and if it´s not sharp your backfocus is not right. To adjust the backfocus open the backfocus coverbolt with t10 torx tool and under it you can find another t10 torx bolt that moves the sensor. Clockwise brings the sensor front and Counterclockwise moves it back. So keep your lens focused on right distance and srew the backfocus skrew untill the image is sharp (the bolt is a bit off axis so you have to keep your torx tool turned about 80deg). Put the coverbolt back on and you´re done!

Torx tool turned 80deg off axis
Cover bolt over the backfocus bolt

Thursday we went out on an abandoned skiresort (very secret place ;) ) to do some test shooting. There was not enough of snow to do any special tricks with snowmobiles and in twilight there was not enough light to film proper 300fps slowmotion.

We did some shots with the sector wide open to see something what 300fps with epic looks like. Normaly we would need to use 1/600sec exposures to keep the nolmal 180deg sector but we needed to open it as open as it could be resulting the 1/364sec exposure.

Here´s couple examples. I think we´ll film some EPIC material in that skiresort later in the spring, when we have more snow and more light.

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