Most strategic DSLR for night + video

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
viking87
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:59 pm
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Stellar Dusty Moon

Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by viking87 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:20 am

Photographers out there... I'd really like to try and do the nights justice on camera, probably more moving than still, which may finally warrant a new camera body (Rebel T3i current, overdue). For anyone who may be familiar... I'm wondering if the A7 S3 is really such a quality jump in astrophotography from the 2 that it warrants the bump, or anything else I suppose. This will also be my first attempt at such shooting, so I'd like to get the kit ahead of time to practice before the week. In particular, I'm hoping I can mesh quick exposure ground level activity with long exposure stars overhead... BRC may do too much light pollution though, I'm not sure.

I put in for a Media Pass for a loosely developed doc idea... anyone know the frequency of those being allotted each year? Hoping I can get a drone permitted as well, I'd be a kid in a candy store.

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by Jackass » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:46 am

You might be able to get a media pass, but all of the drone slots probably already got swept up months ago. There aren't very many of those to go around, and everyone wants to fly their drone.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Molotov
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:03 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: ESD Camp "The 'Burbs" 3:15 & D
Location: Land of Oz

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by Molotov » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:02 am

You might consider an underwater housing for any high end camera and lens. The dust out there is super invasive and a professional post-event cleaning may not get it all out.

Myself, I just use a Nikon water and dust proof point and shoot and just hose it off with a little vinegar and water when I get home.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 3152
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:08 am

Continuing ePlayans Jackass and Molotov, you might reach out to the drone registration program and the Artery to find drone collaborators who have worked the event for a few years.

There are several threads on photography, including dust on ePlaya. One of my posts included https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/0 ... rning-man/ and https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/0 ... rning-man/. Others discuss bagging and housing. Personally I wouldn't bring expensive equipment and an RV is handy. Even in an RV there is a lot of dust for the sensor if you are changing lenses. Also reselling equipment that has been to the playa without disclosing that to the buyer and explaining the downside is dishonest. As you know, the playa dust corrodes electrical connections.

The other suggestion I would make is to find a location sound collaborator or two. They would also be bringing $1K on up of sacrificial gear: field recorder-mixer, boom mic, lavalier, wireless and microphone furries - wind noise suppressors.

Most people don't bother with sound (or lighting - so you get the snowflake effect from the on camera/on axis flash) because it's too hard. So then in post, they add an EDM soundtrack. It gets boring after a while.

Finally get you model release plan in place.

There might be an opportunity through the Artery and the Communications departments to help the BORG with quality on-playa interviews. One of the things that the BORG needs is "doing it right" videos including on-playa shots. The BORG has their own YouTube with some of that. And maybe they can connect you to others who have done on-playa projects similar to your vision in the past.

I agree that astrophotography while the event is on will be difficult, I'd composite that. Download some night photos from the past years and try practice compositing them to see if that meets your vision. Also bring plenty of ND filters for the day and a color swatch patch/white balance set for color management.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
viking87
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:59 pm
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Stellar Dusty Moon

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by viking87 » Thu May 02, 2019 5:31 am

Aha! Artery sounded like more of a loading and infrastructural type of department, but it looks like this is exactly the kind of place I need. The dust storm video linked in your article was probably a cool moment to catch, if not half a kamikaze mission for the camera. I'm not the most cautious shooter and your articles nearly steered me away from bringing a brand new kit, but I'm sure there could be an aesthetic justification for occasionally cutting to an older, more reckless camera.

I'm glad you mentioned sound... I'd like to conduct a rolodex of very short short responses - essentially quick testimonials - about "what are we looking at?" or to complete a sentence like "one time at burning man..." and stringing shortened responses together based on whatever is on-screen. Using a carrot-sized mic to hand off and allow people to get in close, I hope to cut out most of the madness surrounding them. I saw a lot of cameras at my first burn there last year, but nobody grabbing sound. Stories from within should really be what carries the torch here - "They Shall Not Grow Old" style, if you've seen it. I'm working out a very loose through-line but am expecting to just go equipped and see where it all takes me. When in doubt, I'll trim it down to 10 minutes and drop a beat under it like the rest. Nevertheless, my old gen DSLR isn't going to draw anyone in visually... especially if it ultimately becomes the EDM highlight reel.

Someone returning is going to get much better droning footage than I will anyway so this could be safer & smarter. Doing content direct for BORG is another great idea.

I have never used underwater housing on a camera like this, so that may be nice to have regardless for the future.

Thanks for all this!!! The camera hunt continues but now with a better scope of bottom line needs.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5870
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by BBadger » Thu May 02, 2019 5:32 pm

Some cameras are dustproof by design and can vibrate off any dust that happens to get inside. That said, often the lenses will allow (suck) dust in especially if they're telephoto lenses. Even on P+S cameras I often would turn it on inside a bag or something just in case it was sucking in dust via the lens extension.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
viking87
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:59 pm
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Stellar Dusty Moon

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by viking87 » Sat May 04, 2019 4:01 pm

Hmm... the zoom suction is a little concerning, as apparently the alkaline of the playa is smaller and more potentially detrimental that just ordinary dust that would wipe off. If I bring a decent camera, there may not be a zoom, just a few fixed length lenses.

User avatar
happydragon
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:53 am
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: Camp Thunder Spoon
Location: San Antonio
Contact:

Re: Most strategic DSLR for night + video

Post by happydragon » Sat May 11, 2019 9:07 pm

Your mileage will vary depending on what gear you ultimately choose. I have a Nikon D4 and 24-70 that are my go to playa setup. It's survived two burns now with nothing more than blowing off and a vinegar wipe down post playa. No bags / housings, etc and I even took it out to play in a couple of dust storms. You can read a chronicle of my first year bringing it here: https://happydragonphotography.blogspot ... rning.html if you are curious. My last trip out I was too lazy to lug that beast of a camera around, so I went with my fuji x-t1 with an 18-135 lens, and had no issues either. If you get a pro level weather sealed camera / lens combo and don't change lenses on playa you should be good to go, just be more careful than I was when you are climbing around with it.

Post Reply

Return to “Power & Electronics”