Shooting Stills & Video @ Same Time with New Sony 4k Handycam FDR-AX100 + Sony A7R ! Shot with Nikon D800E on Zuma Beach in Malibu!

Shooting Simultaneous Stills and Video at the Same Time with New Sony 4k Handycam FDR-AX100 + Sony A7R ! Shot with Nikon D800E on Zuma Beach in Malibu!
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New Sony 4k Handycam FDR-AX100 + Sony A7R ! Shot with Nikon D800E on Zuma Beach in Malibu!

New Sony 4k Handycam FDR-AX100 + Sony A7R ! For my 45surfer rig! :) Hanging on the black 45surf surfboard, which gets hot hot hot in the sun! Shot with the Nikon D800E + the super sharp Nikon AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens (wide angle lens) on Zuma Beach in Malibu. I still love you Nikon! But methinks you need to start making smaller cameras! :)
A match made in heaven! (Malibu actually, but close enough!) So psyched!
With my favorite model wearing it around her neck! She often rides shotgun up and down the PCH with me, and makes other women jealous.
New Instagram! instagram.com/45surf
Join/like my facebook page! www.facebook.com/45surfHerosJourneyMythology
Follow me on facebook! facebook.com/elliot.mcgucken
See the rig in action!
vimeo.com/45surf
dailymotion.com/45surf
This is how you shoot stills & video @ the same time: vimeo.com/87324248
All the best on your epic hero’s journey from Johnny Ranger McCoy! :)

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Shooting Simultaneous Stills and Video with the New Sony 4k Handycam FDR-AX100 + Sony A7R ! Shot with Nikon D800E on Zuma Beach in Malibu!

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2014 45SURFER STILLS+VIDEO RIG: Small, Simple, 4K+36mp RAW power, & Nimble :) Shooting High Quality Stills & Motion @ the Same Time.

Thanks to Sony’s recent innovations exalting compact power in stills & motion cameras, the theme of 2014 will be “Small, Simple, 4K+36mp RAW power, & Nimble!”  Combine the small 36 megapixel Sony A7R released last November with the just-announced Sony 4K FDR-AX100 Handycam, and one can build a monster stills+video rig–both handheld and tripod/monopod mounted, as pictured below. I am stoked to see that the upcoming Sony 4K Camera can shoot stabilized 4K video with an 18x zoom–ideal for capturing the world’s greatest surfers in 4K motion! Also stoked to try out the 128 fps for slow-motion captures of the pro’s wicked shredding & aerials.

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Nikon D4   600mm F4 Nikkor Prime photos of Kelly Slater: Hurley Pro @ Trestles
11-time world-champ Ke11y Sl8r! This year we’ll shoot the champ in 4K motion!

I’m psyched to be heading down to Australia to shoot men’s & women’s pro surfing Rip Curl Pro and Roxy Pro events in early March, and above please find a figure representing the nimble rig I’m assembling!  It is comprised of the Sony A7R Full-Frame 36.4 MP + the Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter + the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Canon + the Manfrotto 694CX Carbon Fiber 4 Section Monopod (Black) + the 45surfer Stills+Video Bracket + Sony’s 4K FDR-AX100 Handycam camcorder with 18x 4K zoom (Clear Image 4K Zoom).

If one browses my earlier versions of the 45surfer stills+video rig at http://45surfer.wordpress.com, http://blog.9shooter.com, and http://9shooter.com, one can see how awesome the Sony innovations make the rig!  The 4K camcorder and small, light A7R full-frame complete it, providing unprecedented power in a compact form!

And I’m quite psyched that the new Sony 4K camcorder will be replacing the HD Nex cameras I have been using for video!

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What would your ideal stills + video rig look like?  Please comment below!

As a side note, I don’t blog all that much, as I am too busy shooting, editing (minimal editing–Lightroom but no photoshop), and uploading!  Part of it is that blogs and tweets seem so ephemeral, while photographs are forever, and I have always been drawn towards the permanent things.  But as my photography is now averaging well over 1 million views a day (closer to two million views/day across all my social media/hosting properties!), I figured I’d set up a blog and share some ideas.

Folks ask me, “How do you get so much traffic?”  Well, I guess I shoot photos folks want to see each and every day.  :)

Recent stats from one of my accounts:

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Well, do let me know what your ideal stills+video rig would look like, and all the best in 2014! :)

World champ Joel Parkinson returning from space!  Shot with my Nikon D4:
Joel Parkison Parko! Nikon D4: 600mm F4 Nikkor Prime photos of Kelly Slater et al.: Hurley Pro San Clemente

Enjoy some of my Nikon D4 + 600mm F4 Prime world champ Kelly Slater & Joel Parkinson photography!

Imagine capturing 4K video alongside amazing stills of the world’s greatest! This year we’ll be rockin’ it!
Nikon D4   600mm F4 Nikkor Prime photos of Kelly Slater: Hurley Pro San Clemente
11-time World Champ Kelly Slater

The 4K Sony Camcorder will be replacing the HD Camcorder in this rig, the Sony A7r will be replacing the bulkier Nikon D4, and the new Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens will be replacing the much heavier 600mm F/4 Prime, for a smaller, nimbler setup:

Nikon D4 rig with Video Camera for Shooting Stills & Video @ Same Time!

All the best in shooting stills+video in 2014! :)
Pretty Blonde Modeling Sony A7R ! Swimsuit Bikini Model Goddess Shooting Stills (Sony A7R with 55mm F/1.8 Carl Zeiss) & Video (Sony NEX6) Video!

4K Video & 36mp RAW Stills of Pro Surfers Kelly Slater & Alana Blanchard! Extreme Stills + Motion: Shooting 4K HD Video MOTION ( Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100) & 36mp RAW Stills PHOTOGRAPHY (Sony A7r) for Less than $5,000 with the 45SURFER Simultaneous Stills+Video Bracket!

2014 will bring us Kelly Slater & Alana Blanchard in 4K thanks to the new Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 just announced at the 2014 CES! The 4K Sony FDR-AX100 will be replacing the camcorder here, providing stabilized 4K video alongside epic RAW stills from a Nikon D4 or D800E (or Canon 1DX!):

Nikon D4 with AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR & Video Camera @ Huntington Beach!

Alana Blanchard!  Nikon D800E Photos of Surf  Girl Goddess Alanna Blanchard!
Pro surfer & Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Alana Blanchard
The 4K Sony FDR-AX100 will also be replacing the video cameras in these run’n’gun monopod-based configurations for simultaneous stills and video: 45Surfer Setup for Stills Surfer Photography & Video of Pro Surf Goddesses @ The VAN'S US OPEN OF SURFING! These rigs are smaller, nimbler, and ideal for navigating to the optimum part of the beach. Whereas one must generally set up a giant tripod mount and leave it there for the day so as to claim a spot, these smaller rigs are akin to those lane-splitting motorcycles that zoom on buy the stopped traffic during rush hour! Suppose you want to shoot a certain surfer warming up way on down the beach before their heat, and then return to the main beach to shoot them–this is the ideal rig for it.  And with the new Tamron 600mm zoom. . .

As I’m headed down to Australia to shoot the men’s and women’s Pro Surfing Quicksilver Pro, Roxy Pro, and Ripcurl Pro, I’m psyched that Sony will be releasing their new 4K camera–the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100! The Sony 4K FDR-AX100 will be replacing the 1080p camcorders and NEX cameras in the below configurations, shooting 4K vidoe alongside my Sony A7r and Nikon D800E’s which I use for stills:

Sony A7r Photos of Dr. Elliot McGucken's Fine Art Photography HDR Gallery Show!


Los Angeles Gallery Show! Dr. Elliot McGucken Fine Art Malibu & Socal HDR Photography
Setting up the gallery show!

LEARN TO VIEW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AS AN EPIC HERO’S JOURNEY–AS AN EXALTED FILM OF AN EPIC ADVENTURE–THEN YOU TOO WILL WISH TO CAPTURE STILLS & MOTION OF ITALL .

Modeling Sony A7R ! Swimsuit Bikini Model Goddess Shooting Stills (Sony A7R with 35mm F/2.8 Carl Zeiss) & Video (Sony NEX6)
Modeling the Sony A7R ! Swimsuit Bikini Model Goddess Shooting Stills (Sony A7R with 35mm F/2.8 Carl Zeiss) & Video (Sony NEX6)

“In buying equipment we often make a major mistake in calculating prices.  When you buy a camera, you are purchasing it not primarily for yourself, but for everyone who sees your photos.  Thus the more you invest, the greater the gift you are giving others.” –Dr. E

2014 is going to be an awesome year!  I closed out last year with my first gallery show in Los Angeles (which was an epic success) just as my Hero’s Journey Mythology Photography collection started averaging 1,000,000+ views/day across my various hosting properties.
Nikon D800E Dr. Elliot McGucken Fine Art Photography for Los Angeles Gallery Show!
Some photos from Dr. Elliot McGucken’s Los Angeles Gallery Show .

Nikon D800E Photos of Nikon D800E Photos Hanging at the Los Angeles Gallery Show! Dr. Elliot McGucken Fine Art Malibu & Socal HDR Photography

And today they just announced the new Sony 4K HD Video Camera, which I have been waiting for, so that I could start shooting 4K video MOTION + 36mp stills PHOTOGRAPHY at the same time with my 45surfer bracket http://45surfer.wordpress.com:

http://store.sony.com/4k-camcorder-with-1-sensor-zid27-FDRAX100/B/cat-27-catid-All-Handycam-Camcorders

Yes!  Soon I will be be mounting this epic Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 under the Sony A7r . . .

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. . .utilizing the 45SURFER bracket:
Modeling Sony A7R ! Swimsuit Bikini Model Goddess Shooting Stills (Sony A7R with 35mm F/2.8 Carl Zeiss) & Video (Sony NEX6) Video (Sony NEX6)
Imagine the above Sony A7r with the epic Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 replacing the bottom NEX-6! We’ll be shooting 4K video + 36mp RAW Stills! And soon we’ll be shootng 4K RAW video too! Surfing Moore’s Law with the 45SURFER Bracket rocks!

Also imagine the epic epic Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 under the Sony A7r mounted in these configurations for shooting surfers:
45Surfer Setup for Stills Surfer Photography & Video of Pro Surf Goddesses @ The VAN'S US OPEN OF SURFING!

Whenever I go surfing, or dirt-biking, or mountain biking, or skiing, or snowboarding, or skateboarding, I always see fellow athletes strapping HD GoPros, Contour cameras, and Sony Action Cams onto their bodies, skis, surfboards, bikes, and helmets.  Whenever I’m riding my Harley on down Mulholland Drive, every other biker is wearing a camera.  And yet, when I’m shooting beautiful models at Malibu’s scenic El Matador Beach or surfers at Pro Surfing Events,  I’m the only photographer who is also videoing the endeavor via a camcorder or SONY NEX attached to my camera via a bracket.  Why is this?  By and by I grew to realize that all too many photographers lacked the adventurous spirit, and tended to view their photographic pursuits not as art nor adrenaline-inducing adventures akin to accelerating a Harley on down Mulholland Drive on towards the PCH, nor catching big air while surfing, but as drudgery.

Well, I’d like to invite you to view your photography as an Epic Hero’s Journey.  Seek out subjects that you can fall in love with–follow that deeper Call to Adventure and let inspiration lead you where it may–select something beautiful that you have always wanted to shoot, and naturally, you will find yourself called to shoot motion alongside stills so as to capture and preserve the ephemeral beauty, and share it with others.  The action happens but once, and the spectacular sunset blossoms and fades in moments.  Once gone, the magic hour is gone forever, and you are going to wish you had both stills and video of the soft light illuminating a model like the light of Rembrandt.

2014 will bring us Kelly Slater & Alana Blanchard in 4K thanks to the new Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 just announced at the 2014 CES! The 4K FDR-AX100 will be replacing the camcorder here, providing stabilized 4K video alongside epic RAW stills from a Nikon D4 or D800E:

Nikon D4 + 600mm F4 Nikkor lens with Video Camera for Shooting Stills & Video @ Same Time!

Over the past three years, our 45surfer rigs have beat out all the competition in our annual “Simultaneous Stills & Video” Contests (The Second Annual “Stills & Video Pro Surfing Showdown!” 9SHOOTER Canon / Nikon / Sony vs RED EPIC / RED SCARLET photographic stills & video showdown challenge!) )  And now, with the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 replacing the standard HD camcroders in our setup, we’ll be that much further ahead!  Another great advantage of the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 over the RED EPIC and SCARLET is that the 4K Sony has video stabilization!

The 4K Sony FDR-AX100 camcorder will be replacing the standard HD video cameras in these run’n’gun monopod-based configurations for shooting stills and video at the same time: These 4K run’n’gun rigs are far smaller than their tripod-mounted counterparts–they are far more nimble and thus ideal for navigating to the optimum parts of the beach (or any sports arena) throughout the day. If one employs a large 600mm prime lens and tripod to shoot a major surfing event, one must generally awake well before dawn and get on down to the beach to set the giant tripod mount up to claim a prime spot, and then leave it there for the day so as to retain the location. The above smaller rigs are akin to those lane-splitting motorcycles that zoom on buy the stopped traffic during rush hour, as you can navigate in-between the larger lenses on tripods and even get your feet wet at the water’s edge without annoying nor blocking other photographers! Suppose you want to shoot a certain surfer like Alana Blanchard warming up way on down the beach in her black wetsuit before their heat, and then return to the main beach to shoot them–this is the ideal rig for it.  And with the new Tamron 600mm zoom. . .
Alana Blanchard Freesurfing in Sexy Black Wetsuit Huntington Beach Pier Van's US Open
Alana Blanchard Freesurfing in Sexy Black Wetsuit Huntington Beach Pier Van's US Open
Alana Blanchard Freesurfing in Sexy Black Wetsuit Huntington Beach Pier Van's US Open
Alana Blanchard Freesurfing in Sexy Black Wetsuit Huntington Beach Pier Van's US Open
Alana Blanchard Freesurfing in Sexy Black Wetsuit Huntington Beach Pier Van's US Open
Pro Surfer and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Model Alana Blanchard warming up before her heat, shot these with the run’n’gun 45SURFER monopod configuration.  I was able to run down the beach away from the competition area on out to where the surfers were warming up, shoot Alana Blanchard and Laura Enever, and then head back on up the beach to the main contest area to shoot more of the heats.  Doing this would have been impossible with the large tripod mount.  And now with the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 replacing the standard HD camcorder in the setup, and the 600mm Tamron zoom (Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Nikon) replacing the 500mm Sigma zoom, this smaller, nimbler combo will be the choice of 2014!

I was strolling down the beach when I spotted pretty surf girl goddess (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model & Rip Curl Bikini Model) Alana Blanchard freesurfing in a sexy black wetsuit, warming up for her heat!

And here’re some epic video of pretty goddess Alanna Blanchard I shot at the same time with the Panasonic X900MK 3MOS 3D Full HD SD Camcorder with 32GB Internal Memory mounted on my Nikon D800E via the 45surfer configuration.




Last year I was shooting with a Nikon D4 with a 600mm F4 Prime monster Nikkor lens mounted on the tripod:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/herosjourneymythology45surf/8555104297/

This year I wanted to be more nimble and work the whole area (shoot surfers warming up down the beach, coming and goring, running, hanging out/watching/etc.), so I opted to shoot with a Nikon D800E with the Sigma 150-500m lens mounted on a monopod. It can be tough to move tripod around with a 600mm F4 Prime monster Nikkor lens on a crowded beach, and it would be easy to upset folks each time you tried to set it up! There’s a good chance they would say “enough” and throw you and all your equipment in the water! There’s a common etiquette that one ought arrive early to claim a good spot, set up there, and keep it for the day. Latecomers are not welcome to set up on the main beach once it has filled up. But it’s OK to walk around with a smaller setup as long as you stay out of everyone’s way. Generally you can hug the water/shoreline with your feet and monopod in the water, as you’re down low enough so that you don’t block anyone’s view from higher up on the beach, where all the tripods are mounted. The Sigma 150-500mm lens also allowed me to zoom out when surfers ran down the beach or got in and out of the water, and I also had a Nikon D800E with the 28-300 mm lens strapped around my neck. And both cameras had video cameras mounted to them in my famous 45surfer configuration! Needless to say, it can be a bit scary standing knee-deep in water with all that equipment, with large waves breaking. You wouldn’t want to fall in!

Well, hope you enjoy the surf goddess photography!

All the best on your epic hero’s journey from Johnny Ranger McCoy! :)

P.S. There’s nothing like shooting the nikon D4 with the 600mm prime for quality, but I felt it was cool to give up a tiny, tiny bit of quality for far more variety this year! Plus I do not want to become a pixel-peeper! :)


And now with the just-announced Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 replacing the standard HD camcorder in the 45SURFER monopod setup, and the 600mm Tamron zoom (Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Nikon) replacing the 500mm Sigma zoom, this smaller, nimbler combo will rock 2014!

How Will You Shoot Quality Stills & Video @ The Same Time? Methods, Camera Mounts, and 9shooter Brackets for Shooting Stills & Video at the Same Time

How Will You Shoot Stills & Video @ The Same Time?  Methods, Camera Mounts, and 9shooter Brackets for Shooting Stills & Video at the Same Time: Article originally published in the winter 2013 issue of Resource Magazine.  The web edition may be seen here:  http://resourcemagonline.com/2013/03/how-will-you-shoot-quality-stills-and-video-at-the-same-time/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-will-you-shoot-quality-stills-and-video-at-the-same-time

Pretty Blonde Swimsuit Bikini Model shooting Stills (Nikon D800) & Video (Sony NEX-6 F/1.8 50mm Prime)Shooting stills & video @ the same time with the patent-pending 45surfer method.

How Will You Shoot Quality Stills and Video at the Same Time? : Words and Photos by Dr. Elliot McGucken


Video of 11-time world champ Kelly Slater caught at the same time as stills.

Just as the world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, reinvented himself by mastering aerials, today’s visual artists must remain competitive by keeping themselves atop the latest technological waves. And today’s dawn patrol is reporting that the waves are ideal for gnarly acrobatics once thought impossible: shooting high-quality stills and video simultaneously.

Two-page Red EPIC advertisements in photography publications and major glossies recently read, “Shoot a feature and the poster for it at the same time,” while stills pulled from 4K and 5K Red video footage regularly grace the covers of high-end magazines. Award-winning New York Times photographer Doug Mills mounted one DSLR atop another, calling his novel apparatus the “Double-Shot.” USA Today sports photographer Robert Hanashiro mounts an HD GoPro camera on a lens hood to capture video while shooting stills, writing on his site, “Obviously the best way to shoot a video gig is dedicating yourself to shooting just video. But in the ‘real world’ of newspaper photographers we’re having to multitask more and more.” NikonUSA.com presents various strategies for capturing HD-sized stills on a page appropriately titled, “What to do When you Need Stills while Shooting HD Video.”

Brunette Swimsuit Bikini Model shooting Stills (Nikon D800) & Video (Sony NEX-6 F/1.8 50mm Prime)

Press the shutter button while shooting video on a typical DSLR, and some will halt the video to record a full-resolution still (albeit at less-than-optimum rates), while others will record both video and a smallish 2-mp, HD-sized still at the same time. You’ve likely seen, thought about, or even tried other strategies for capturing simultaneous stills and video. For the past three years I have been “45surfing”—shooting simultaneous full-size RAW stills while surfing 1080 HD video with either a dedicated video camera bracketed to a Nikon D4 and 600mm F4 Prime lens in a tripod-mounted configuration for pro surfing events, or a handheld rig consisting of a camcorder bracketed to a Nikon D800E and 70-200mm VR2 lens when shooting swimsuit models. Here’s a rundown of the philosophy and various approaches.

Surfing Moore’s Law: Waste the Abundant and Conserve The Precious and Rare.

The fundamental philosophy driving the simultaneous capture of stills and video is driven by Moore’s Law—the same principle governing the exponential advancement of the Internet and digital media technologies which have afforded us inexpensive cameras alongside free and immediate global distribution. As the power of cameras and computers augments while their prices decline, so too does the power of storage media—hard drives and memory cards—plummet as their power increases. Feature films and TV shows are being shot on $2,000 cameras, while footage from the $200 GoPro HD Hero is being used in major movies and Madison Avenue advertisements alike. Run the numbers, and with time as scarce as ever and the importance of video in a world where YouTube is the second-largest search engine, it makes sense to set up one or several HD cameras for a shoot, mounting one on the stills-dedicated DSLR for the unique “first-person-shooter” perspective. “Shoot it all first,” as it costs the same, and “edit it down later” suggest a new philosophy for visual artists. And as weddings, sunset swimsuit shoots, and sporting events happen but once, you cannot return to shoot the video. You can’t ask the bride to walk down the aisle again, or ask Kelly Slater to re-land an aerial off a wave that is now gone forever. All of this calls us to adventure—to develop a strategy for capturing stills and video at the same time.

Stills and Video Require Different Approaches, Shutter Speeds, Etc.

A salient fact that one must honor while capturing simultaneous stills and video is that the two mediums generally require different shutter speeds for optimum quality. This is especially important when motion is present—either at the camera’s end, such as with a handheld rig, or when the subject is moving. When I was shooting Kelly Slater’s journey to victory at the Hurley Pro, exposure times for the Nikon D4 stills were generally between 1/2000s to 1/5000s, thereby freezing his action in mid-air, while the exposure for the video was around 1/60s to 1/120s—well over a magnitude of order difference!

A touch of motion blur in video frames is more pleasing to the eye, while sharpness is generally sought in photographic stills. For this reason, the Red cameras are limited, even with their 4K and 5K image sizes. If you optimizes the shutter speed for sharpness with speeds of 1/2000s or just 1/1000s, the video will appear “stuttery,” like those old black and white WWII film clips. Should you optimize the shutter speed for video at around 1/60s to 1/120s, motion blur will creep into the stills, showing up in handheld shots or when the subject is moving. When photographer Kevin Arnold used a $65,000 Red EPIC rig (now around $40,000) to shoot skiers at Whistler Mountain, he concluded, “The EPIC’s sensor, while amazing for video, just isn’t on par with top-end DSLRs and certainly not even close to medium format digital cameras when it comes to still images. The bigger challenge—especially when shooting fast moving lifestyle or sports action—is achieving fast shutter speeds. The great majority of the frames we shot were soft due to either camera movement or subject motion blur. This is the single biggest issue with pulling stills from video.”

Red EPIC vs. Hasselblad with Headshot Master Peter Hurley.

In the Fstoppers’ piece Will Video Cameras Kill Still Photography? Red EPIC vs. Hasselblad,” Peter Hurley shot headshots with both a Red and an older Hasselblad. It was generally agreed that while the Epic was impressive, the Hasselblad produced better results. But when one factors in the costs of the ~ $40,000 Red system vs. the ~ $10,000 Hasselblad, pulling stills from even the best 5K video leaves much to be desired for portraitists. Peter utilized continuous lighting for his test, and while a Red can be used with strobes, there are far more tried-and-true flash options for standard DSLR and medium format cameras. However, needless to say, if one also wants 5K video of the shoot, the Red wins!

Brunette Swimsuit Bikini Model shooting Stills (Nikon D800) & Video (Sony NEX-6 F/1.8 50mm Prime)

The New York Times’ Doug Mills’ “Double-Shot.”

While Doug’s method of mounting one DSLR in the hot shoe of another generated some buzz in the summer of 2011, it seems that he has not been employing the method as of late. Drawbacks include the occupied flash shoe, the lack of video stabilization, and the fact that two DSLRS can feel quite heavy after a short while. As he was using Canons, both cameras would had to have been manually focused when following a subject, which could lead to missed shots, while being awkward and unwieldy at best.

My lighter-than-a-DSLR, high-quality Panasonic or Canon camcorders I attach underneath my DSLR come with amazing video stabilization—a feature also lacking on Doug’s setup. The Sony A65 and A77 DSLRs, which I also use, come with both image-stabilization and auto-tracking focus which follows and focuses on moving objects, separating them from the background. I have experimented with mounting a video-dedicated Sony A77 underneath a Nikon D800E, and while it’s heavier than the camcorders and the image stabilization isn’t quite as good, it is capable of a shallower depth-of-field, for that coveted cinematic look and feel.

Capturing Video with the HD GoPro while Shooting Stills.

USA Today sports photographer Robert Hanashiro writes on sportsshooter.com, his blog, “I have a GoPro mount stuck onto the end of a lens hood for my Nikkor 24-70mm, and if you’re a ‘one-man band’ like I am, shooting assignments for stills and video, this can sometimes be a nice solution.” On YouTube, you can find photographers wearing the GoPRo during shoots, but with its fixed wide-angle lens, the lens of the stills camera is often present in the shot. Additionally, subjects appear a bit further away than you might like, and suffer some wide-angle distortion when they are close. The camcorders I use offer simple zoom controls, suited to shooting pro surfers a hundred yards offshore with a 23x stabilized zoom, or a model fifteen feet in front of me.

Tomorrow’s Cameras Will All Record Stills and Video Simultaneously.

The iPhone 5 can take full-resolution (8 mp) jpgs while shooting video, as can some compact cameras such as the Nikon 1 V2 (14 mp).  However, the capture rate of stills is relatively slow, and RAW stills yet elude the photographer in video mode on such devices.  Both the small-sensor iPhone and comparable Android smartphones lack zooms and that coveted shallow-depth-of-field film look.

Pretty Blonde Swimsuit Bikini Model shooting Stills (Nikon D800) & Video (Sony NEX-6 F/1.8 50mm Prime)

DSLRs such as the Canon 7D can acquire full-sized RAW photos while shooting video, but the video is interrupted. And on other DSLRs, when they do not interrupt the video, the photos are limited to the HD frame’s 2mp size, falling far short of their 22-36mp full-frame capabilities. Needless to say, we do not pay top-dollar to purchase 36mp DSLRs to end up with puny 2mp jpg stills captured in video mode.

Soon the processing power to shoot both full-sized RAW stills and RAW video will arrive across the board, as it exists today in the Red systems. In a couple years, 4K video, which is about 4 times the size of HD video (more than enough for feature films at your local multiplex), will replace HD as the standard, and even our smartphones will be shooting 4K video. But as aforementioned, while stills pulled from a 4K video will be large enough for print magazines and billboards, their exposure times will not always be optimum, especially in hand-held scenarios or when shooting motion. If you increase the shutter speed for sharper images, the video will suffer. Thus two cameras—one dedicated to stills and one to video—will continue to have advantages, as optimum stills and video generally require different exposure times. Also, this allows you to capture different fields of view in the stills and video, with different depths of fields, and, as we have seen, different shutter speeds; all of which suggests the use of a dual-camera system.

Brunette Swimsuit Bikini Model shooting Stills (Nikon D800) & Video (Sony NEX-6 F/1.8 50mm Prime)

Some Advantages of the 45Surfer System.

I constructed a table comparing the 45surfer to the Red EPIC, Hanashiro’s HD GoPro, general DSLRS, iPhones/Droids/smartphones, and other approaches. By no means is this list complete, nor is it the final word, and we would love to hear about your innovative takes on capturing stills and video at the same time, and the reasons for your preferred methods and means.

Sooner than later, a manufacturer will release a small, light, mirror-less compact camera system, such as the Sony NEX-7, with high-quality image-stabilization, tracking auto-focus, and the coveted shallow depth-of-field. Bracket two of these cameras together—one for stills and one for video—and the rig will weigh less than a single typical DSLR and lens. I am currently working on an app, which will be capable of matching the two cameras’ settings, such fields of view, zoom, and other selected attributes, so that when you zoom in with the stills-dedicated camera with a shutter optimized for stills, the video-dedicated camera follows suit, zooming with its shutter optimized for video, while correcting for parallax.

Just as once-impossible aerials are now part of all the world’s leading surfers’ standard repertoires, what was once inconceivable—shooting quality stills and video at the same time—is becoming a standard part of the modern visual artists’ repertoire. And remember that in the arts, as in business and life, the classic surfing maxim holds true: “The surfer having the most fun wins!”

About the Author: Dr. Elliot McGucken studied physics at Princeton University and UNC Chapel Hill. His award-winning physics Ph.D. dissertation on an artificial retina for the blind and enhanced CMOS photosensors, which was funded by the NSF and which appeared in Popular Science and numerous scientific publications, is now affording the blind sight. As a SoCal surfer and photographer/videographer, Dr. McGucken continues to work with CMOS photosensors in his Nikons as his 45Surf “Hero’s Journey Mythology” photography collection has grown to attract over 75 million views on Flickr and SmugMug, while he researches new techniques for shooting stills and video at the same time.

How Will You Shoot Stills & Video @ The Same Time?  Methods, Camera Mounts, and 9shooter Brackets for Shooting Stills & Video at the Same Time: Article originally published in the winter 2013 issue of Resource Magazine.  The web edition may be seen here:  http://resourcemagonline.com/2013/03/how-will-you-shoot-quality-stills-and-video-at-the-same-time/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-will-you-shoot-quality-stills-and-video-at-the-same-time

45Surfer Setup for Stills Surfer Photography & Video of Pro Surf Goddesses @ The VAN'S US OPEN OF SURFING!
A smaller, nimbler setup for shooting simultaneous stills and video at the Van’s US Open of Surfing. The Nikon D800E on the left with the 150-500mm sigma lens mounted on the monopod is accompanied by a camcorder with a 20x zoom for epic video. The Nikon D800E on the right is accompanied by a Sony NEX 6 for closeup shots of stills & video when surfers were entering and exiting the water. The Sony NEX 6 has cool face detection and autofocus and the 50mm F/1.8 lens provides awesome bokeh. Click on the image to zoom in!
Some stills: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herosjourneymythology45surf/sets/72157634848309254/
Alana Blanchard!  Nikon D800E Photos of Surf  Girl Goddess Alanna Blanchard!
Some video: http://vimeo.com/45surf