December 2014 - Gadgets Galore!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All!
I love this time of year mostly to spend quality time with the kids and family. But partly because of all the great deals that come around. I remember the days when we used to have January sales AFTER Christmas but now it seems everywhere has jumped on the pre-Christmas sales bandwagon.
Black Friday in the UK was unbelievable.
Not so much for the bargains to be had but by the disgusting behaviour of so many people. They were literally fighting each other to grab a crap TV that they didn’t even want. Many things were clearly destined for eBay the very next day.
Putting that aside, I hope you have all had a wonderful 2014. I hope you are looking forward to and making plans for the coming year. We have had a rather tumultuous year what with moving home and taking over a large guest house in Weymouth.
Living right by the town and beach is great. I now find myself walking around a lot more to take photos of
One thing I am getting stuck into at the moment is building the new site for the guest house (Beachcomber Guest House). This means collating all the thousands of photos and video clips I have taken throughout the years in Weymouth to put together a promo video or two for the site.
There have been some great new releases throughout the year and it is good to see the rise of 4K video. If you have yet to watch 4K footage on a large 4K TV, get down to a store and check it out. It is just as amazing just like when I saw HD for the first time.
Grabbing stills from 4K or even 8K footage is going to become the norm in a few years. Saving up for a DSLR with 4K video would be a wise investment I think. I have already pulled some pretty cool stills from 4K myself (size and quality reduced for web, click for larger image):
Three purchases really stood out for me this year and got me as excited about photography and videography as did a simple filter or lens hood when I was around 13 or 14.
So, This Month
Go Pro HD Hero 4
I haven’t managed to fully review the Go Pro HD Hero 4 yet. I will do soon but I have some cool footage to show you from this powerhouse of a camera. Building on the success of its predecessors, the HD Hero 4 gives us 4K footage at 30fps which is pretty cool. That is considering the size of this camera.
It also has a huge number of other features including rapid stills firing, fast frame rates for video and amazing image quality. I put up some footage on our HD TV this morning and was blown away by the clarity. Learning how to render out footage for best playback is essential though.
Here is a time lapse video from the HD Hero 4 taken at night using the amazing "night lapse" mode. This is 10 hours of time lapse compressed into just 40 seconds of really cool footage:
If you want to know how I got the Go Pro HD Hero 4 to run overnight, through frost and a bit of rain for 10 hours, you can read about it, including settings used here:
Just for fun, I lined up all of the Go Pro HD Hero cameras ranging from the original HD Hero through to the HD Hero 4. I then compared both sound and image quality from each. They have come a long way!
You can also see some very nice footage from the Go Pro in the Feiyu-Tech Gimbal review later.
Feiyu-Tech G3 Ultra Gimbal for Go Pro HD Hero Cameras
What incredible footage!
The Feiyu Tech Gimbal is one great addition to your Go Pro HD Hero cameras. I have had a lot of fun with this too. I was lucky enough to head down to the South of France for a week with the family where I put all three products through their paces. We went to Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo and finishing up in Paris.
For a couple of hundred quid, you can turn your Go Pro footage into professional looking clips with ease. Check out the full review below with lots of sample footage from France!
New Sony A7II
Now this camera is groundbreaking…
Those clever boffins at Sony have managed to expand on the A7’s greatness by adding built in stabilization. An industry first and something to pay attention to as others follow suit soon no doubt. There are no excuses for shaky footage or blurred images due to camera shake now. This camera stops all that nonsense! Check out the press release…
Go Pro Drones Anyone?
Possibly due to a falling out with DJI, a large and forward thinking drone manufacturer, Go Pro have hinted that they may be breaking into this rapidly expanding business during 2015 so watch this space if you are a UAV fan…
Aerial Quadcopter Practice
Yes, well…ahem. I have started to train myself in the art of aerial videography and had a lot of fun doing so…until my (super fun) mini Quadcopter decided to go swimming in the sea…
If you shoot stock photos or footage, this may affect you. Adobe have announced plans to buy Fotolia Stock Agency. Read up on this here:
How to take amazing landscapes with an entry level DSLR and kit lens (no excuses):
I promise to add the following which I missed this month...sorry : (
Just for fun…
Lastly, around 14 years ago I was reminded why I should always take a camera of some sort with me wherever I go.
When I lived in Gran Canaria, we went out sea fishing one day and the following happened out of the blue. I have only just seen this footage again after all those years and realise just how important what I do is! Watching this and a ton of other old clips brought back so many happy memories!
So there we are, in the immortal words of Mr Lennon, another year over! I hope you all have a brilliant time over Christmas and that 2015 is your best year yet.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from All Things Photography.
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