On Wednesday night I took myself and some of the gear I have recently acquired down to Way2Fast Model Car Raceway. Where I found about a dozen or so guys, all with detailed miniature race cars.
There seemed to be a couple of different categories depending on how fast each car could go, types of wheels and engines, many different things. The tracks have eight lanes and each track is about ten metres in length from start to finish.
As much as I was keen to watch these miniature race cars, I was here to start using my new gear. I had brought along a Canon 1100d DSLR, two lenses, a Canon 16-35mm f2.8 and a Canon 70-200mm f.2.8. I also have a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 but have had to return it for repairs. I also brought a Manfotto tripod and monopod as well as a Zacuto Z-Finder.
For audio I used a Rode NTG-2 mic mounted on a Rycote Hot Shoe Extension with a Sennhieser wireless transmitter which sent the audio back to a receiver attached to a Zoom H4n, although in the end I really didn’t concentrate that much on the audio.
The 1100d has very limited video functionality and is not really that comparable to the likes of its big brothers and sisters, but hey you get what you pay for and well I got this for free. Really the only adjustments you can make are deciding whether to shoot at 25 frames or 30 frames and there is only the choice of 720p. I hope that a possible Magic Lantern hack may help bring the 1100d at least into the same realm as its bigger family members.
ISO, frame rate, etc seem to be automatically set by the camera although I am not certain and will have to do a bit more research in regards to this. On looking back at the footage there does seem to be a lot of changes going on in regards to exposure throughout the shot. Weird light flickering and colours.
I started off by shooting some wides with the 16-35mm on a tripod with the Zacutto Z Finder. I quickly found that the Z Finder gives me a pixelated effect, as it magnifies the 1100d LCD screen and this made it even harder to find focus. So I quickly decided to put the Z Finder back in the case which left me with a rather small LCD screen and my ability to find focus remained an issue.
After shooting wides, I put the camera onto the monopod and found this quite comfortable to use admittedly not super stable but it is a monopod. I found I was able to get quite low and into some good positions. Including a high wide shot although again this shot fell apart due to focus.
However the focus issue was not all bad as I enjoyed being able to set a focal point and have the cars hit that point as they took a corner or sped down the straight. I found the colours to be quite natural and only a few of my shots were dark.
Things I need to work on are really sitting a lot in the focus and manual adjustments area and I think a bit more research into a pull focus would be useful. I would also like to do a bit more hand held stuff so as to get a grasp of just how much the camera moves, or I move with the camera.
But over all it was a quick and nasty shoot which garnered me a lot of information and has brought many things to my attention.
I have done little to no grading on the image as really it is just a camera test. So take a look, let me know what you think and if you have any thoughts or suggestions I would really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.