Today, we’d like to reintroduce you to the power of high-speed cameras with a cool video.
Earth Unplugged, a YouTube channel created by BBC Worldwide, recently released a short video of a Goshawk catching its prey midflight. Goshawks are supposedly “aerial cheetahs” so not only are they expert hunters, they also catch their prey at such unbelievable speeds it’s hard to capture their attacks with just a simple video camera.
This high definition footage shows the hawk attacking a yellow water balloon with a piece of bait attached to it in slow motion. It even shows some up-close-and-personal shots of the bird’s long sharp talons tearing through that balloon as if it were a piece of paper. The incredible details they captured of the hunt has made the Gohawk look every inch the menacing hunter that it is – it barely even flinched when the balloon popped!
There’s not a lot of information on how the Earth Unplugged team captured this awesome sequence but PetaPixel thinks they were using a Photron FASTCAM. The sequence itself, which you can watch after the jump, is a snippet from a 6-minute episode they channel released about a year ago entitled “Goshawk Hunts in Slow Motion.”
Canon Rumors reports about what could become a new trend in customizing your camera: hardware hacks. In past years, we saw a lot of third-party firmwares that promised to improve image quality and performance of your camera–most notably Magic Lantern, which greatly improved video performance in Canon DSLRs. But Canon compacts weren’t left out, either, and Nikon DSLRs had their own Magic Lantern counterpart. But let’s face it, every trend becomes a fad at some point, and in 2014, software hacks just don’t cut it anymore.
The next big thing coming to a camera near you could be hardware hacks, which, as the name suggests, involve swapping out hardware parts of the camera. It’s not uncommon that photographers tinker with their camera, for example when converting them to infrared or multi-spectrum sensitivity by adding and/or removing filters on top of the sensor. It’s another thing altogether, though to swap the camera’s entire logic bord. Which is exactly what Canon Rumors suggests will soon be offered for Canon DSLRs.
The site has received word that “a certain company” will soon come out with a hardware hack for the EOS 5D Mk III, which will replace the camera’s mainboard with a customized one. The benefit of the operation that will cost around US-$ 1000 will be increased dynamic range as well as better sharpness and performance when recording video. In that regard, the hardware hack promises roughly the same results as Magic Lantern’s custom firmware.
At this point, we have no idea who is doing this, when it’ll be available, how much of an improvement it will yield, and whether other camera models will also receive hardware hacks–though CR is positive the 5D3 won’t stay the only model that can be customized. Firmware hacking is already a risky thing to do, because it can potentially make your camera inoperative, or contain malignant code. But at least it’s free. Would you pay someone a whopping $1000 to tinker with the internals of your DSLR, though?
It seems that even curious maritime creatures are now fancying themselves photographers. Either that or the octopus in this video has a really bad case of narcissism.
Around Valentine’s Day, divers Warren Murray and David Malvestuto went for a dive in Bluefish Cove, a cove in the Point Lobos State National Reserve (Carmel, CA) that is a favorite among divers for its clear water and abundant marine life. They had their underwater photography equipment with them.
As they were taking snapshots of the life at 80 feet below the surface, the funniest thing happened – a Giant Pacific Octopus that was sitting on a rock they were swimming by took one look at the underwater rigs they were lugging around and tried to wrestle one from Murray.
The whole thing was captured on film by Malvestuto, including Murray’s helpless and confused expression as he hung on to his rig despite the cephalopod’s insistence.
Apparently, a Giant Pacific Octopus can grow up to 30 feet wide so I guess Murray’s lucky this one looks like it hasn’t fully grown yet. Otherwise, he would have definitely lost the tug-of-war.
Watch the incredible video after the jump and make sure to stay until the end so you can see the octopus get up close and personal from Murray’s camera’s point-of-view.
SLR Magic has just officially announced its Anamorphot-50 anamorphic adapter, which has been developed in close co-operation with the videography community. Thanks to its 1.33x squeeze factor, the Anamorphot-50 can be used to record footage in the cinematic 2.35:1 ratio within a 16:9 container format. Just as with all anamorphic video, the results will have to be stretched to the intended format in post-production.
The Anamorphot-50 will be available in two editions, a standard edition and a special edition. The standard edition is the more affordable one, setting you back $899, but it may contain slight imperfections such as small specs of dust. This is a compromise between price and quality that SLR Magic decided to make. The special edition will be free of such imperfections, but will set you back a whole grand more. Also, it will only be sold in Hong Kong.
In addition to the Anamorphot, SLR Magic will also be selling achromatic diopters for close focusing. These come in set for $299 and comprise a +0.33 and a +1.33 diopter adapter. You can pre-order both the Anamorphot-50 and the diopter adapters right now by following @anamorphot on Twitter and emailing a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 14th (GMT +8). After that, you’ll have to wait until March until the adapters hit official SLR Magic retailers.
After the break, you can find a sample video by Seb Farges, who spent a week with the new SLR Magic Anamorphot-50 adapter, using it on both an Olympus E-M5 as well as a Sony A7. In that video, you will get to see not only the wide 2.35:1 cinematic look, but also loads of beautiful anamorphic flare that’ll make you want to place an order for one of the new adapters right away.
The French really are crazy…in a good way, that is.
If you’re nursing that cup of coffee, struggling to wake up and start your Monday, this video might just be what you need for a boost of adrenaline.
A group of daredevil highliners called the Skyliners decided that it was a great idea to launch two linked hot air balloons together, have each one of them attempt to cross the slack rope at a great distance from the ground, and document the entire thing for all the world to grasp at. Their exciting, nerve-racking and admittedly at times, funny, attempts were caught on camera by filmmaker Sebastien Montaz-Rosset, disconcerting falls and all.
It was the groups’ collective dream to cross a slack rope between two hot air balloons, crazy enough, and they were at the brink of making it into reality. Unfortunately, none of them successfully made it to the other side (I meant balloon! Thankfully none of them made it to that other side either – they were all wearing parachutes.) but that doesn’t mean they won’t try again, according the Montaz-Rosset.
Successful crossing or not, the video itself is enough to give anyone a rush – at least, anyone who is not accustomed seeing people fall from a great height. At least the Skyliners sounded like they were all enjoying themselves.
To find out more about these daredevils, you should find the time to check out Montaz-Rosset’s documentary “I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies)” from 2 years ago. For now though, check out their crazy attempts after the jump.
Ultra High Definition video has finally become affordable for the masses with Panasonic’s new GH4, which is the first consumer-friendly 4K-capable mirrorless camera. But the camera is not only for amateurs, as the massive add-on interface unit goes to show. One of the first videographers that was able to realize a project with the new GH4 is Bryan Harvey, who used two GH4 bodies and a slew of Micro Four Thirds lenses for a shoot in Yucatán, Mexico.
While some might claim that 4K doesn’t make a huge difference over Full HD on screens smaller than 50 inch at regular viewing distances, it does make a difference as soon as your display resolution is higher than Full HD. On the MacBook Pro Retina, there is a visible difference between the 4K and the Full HD footage in terms of raw sharpness, and when watching the video it made our jaws drop. In fact, the footage is so sharp that we felt an urge to dive right into the scene in front of us–that’s how life-like and realistic it looks.
Whether or not the GH4 will fully satisfy even the most demanding of videographers will remain to be seen, as this is mainly a question of the quality and flexibility of its output. But so far, what we see is pretty breathtaking, and the fact that 4K is now available at a consumer-friendly price tag is simply exciting. You can find Bryan Harvey’s video after the jump, as well as a short behind-the-scenes clip where he talks about the experience. Be sure to also take a look at our first impressions with the camera.