Friday, May 2, 2014

Ultralight Filmmaking

iPhone 5C

I have been assembling camera pieces over the past few weeks to record videos and shoot photography outdoors with my new iPhone 5C.
My older Cannon Vixia HF R20 video camera weighs over 10 ounces, so the i-Phone is currently the best bet at 3.95 ounces for carrying a lightweight camera that also shoots HD video.  It is also a better camera choice for stills since it has an 8 megapixel camera (Canon = 3MP).  There is also the fact I can edit and post videos using the cell phone, something else I cannot do with only the Canon camera.  Plus GPS, maps and all the other fun apps that can make life seem a little easier.
Some of the apps I will be using include Filmic Pro for shooting video and Adobe VideoBite for video editing on the iPhone.  For photography I have been looking into the Camera+ app and a few others.  I will download other photographic and film-effect apps over time.
If you have any question about using an iPhone for making a professional quality video,  watch this film onlineYou will see what I mean.
Tiffen Fusion fluid head tripod

To improve the photo and video quality I have also purchased a fluid-head tripod (think smooth moves), a tripod mount with a unipod handle for light hand-held work, and an Audio Technica lavalier microphone for recording quality audio tracks and interviews.
The weights:
Tripod - Tiffen Fusion, 3 Pounds, 7 ounces.   I could not find a lighter weight fluid head tripod.  Most weigh 7 pounds or more.
Mount - First2Savv tripod mount.  No weight given, but expected to be around 12 ounces with the unipod handle.
Microphone - Audio Technica ATR-3350 lavalier mic, .02 ounce.  Plus a couple spare button-size batteries.
There is also an audio converter cable with both mic and headphone jacks at about .03 ounces.
This is a good start and I'll be looking to get Olloclip lenses and will be testing different mounts like SteadyCam as I go.
For hiking and backpacking, the tripod hooks onto my daypack or backpack easily, and the iPhone  lives in its belt case.  The microphone gear stays in a small waist pack or the backpack belt pockets. 
It is all very lightweight, and some parts are Ultralight.  It all gives me the power to create quality hiking, backpacking and travel videos & photos without having a lot of stuff to carry.  I believe the total rig will only add about 4 pounds to my current 9 pound base weight when backpacking.  That's far less than my 11 pound Nikon and lenses.
BTW - I call it "FILM MAKING" because I am old school.  I started with a 35 mm camera at 10 years old, studied in the film program in college and have worked in various media and television industries for about 40 years.  My Filmmaking life is much like Ultralight backpacking, where the most important stuff you use is in your head.
Watch for upcoming short videos on this blog, on the Lite Packer Lifestyle Facebook page and on a new You Tube Channel coming soon!

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