ChallengeTo achieve a high quality, stable image in a challenging environment requiring simple, light-weight equipment and adaptability.
SolutionTo use the Panasonic EVA 1 camera with integrated ND filters, XLR inputs, internal mic and 10-bit colour depth to shoot athletes in mountainous terrain.
"I wanted a camera that would require little or no accessories to be fully functional. Every time you have to rely on an additional accessory, you add complexity and the risk of a hardware malfunction increases. That’s not something I can afford when shooting on a remote glacier in freezing temperatures."
As an ex-pro kayaker, David Arnaud is used to challenging conditions and locations, travelling to remote corners of the world and seeing and amazing places. It was this that led to “a passion for visuals and storytelling” and prompted the decision to combine action sports with filmmaking. Currently, David Arnaud is a producer and director, working with brands, athletes and events.“I'm pursuing that same passion today, with the exception that I hold a camera in my hand rather than a kayak paddle,” says David.
The majority of David's work involves shooting documentaries, sporting events, nature, athlete's projects and commercials. This includes a lot of action sports in inspiring and challenging locations, hence the need for a camera that would fulfill the requirements of these unusual circumstances.
“The day after I purchased the camera I took it straight to a shoot on the Hintertux glacier in Austria. It was -18°c and I was concerned with how the camera would behave under these circumstances so this was a leap of faith. At the end of the day everything went very well and I loved the footage coming out of EVA1.I was impressed with how the stock battery lasted several hours. Also, most of the controls were usable while wearing gloves. This might sound secondary to some, but this made a big difference to me that day! If a camera performs well in this environment, then you know it'll do well pretty much anywhere else.”
For his shoot following top athletes, David needed a camera with easy mobility. “I wanted a camera that would deliver great images and yet be lightweight and portable. I do a lot of run and gun work, and a fair amount of “ski and gun” too! I have to be able to fit the camera, lenses, batteries and tripod in a backpack.The EVA1 ticked these two major boxes: low weight and great picture quality." The camera also allows shooting continuous 100fps in 10-bit depth which is “very important in sports.”
“The EVA1 ticked these two major boxes: low weight and great picture quality.”
EVA1 also allows for increased flexibility post-editing. On a bright sunny day in Austria, “I thought I had overexposed a few shots but I was able to retrieve information in the highlights on every single shot.” The sensor latitude on the camera gives greater control over shots which are highly contrasted. “For example, when shooting on snow I can expose a person's face properly without blowing the highlights in the background. That's not something I was used to with my previous equipment,” remarks David.“The highlights rolloff in particular makes a big difference on snow and glaciers. Although I shoot in a variety of environments, I'm referring to snow a lot since it's such a difficult environment to shoot in.”
The variety of features compact into the EVA1 means it's versatile for other types of shooting, not just action sports. David also used the camera for a commercial, as the EVA1 rig allows it to be easily transformed from a minimalistic camera to a studio one.“This versatility is great. The fact that the EVA1 works with relatively inexpensive and universal SD cards is another bonus,” adds David.
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