Learning to fly

I’ve been watching the whole aerial photography industry expanding over the last couple of years with great interest. The technology has moved forward so quickly and a lot of the imagery being produced is simply stunning.

Much like the rise of DSLR video, these devices have brought yet another area that was once reserved for high budget productions within reach of the everyday filmmaker. I haven’t been as excited about a camera technology since ordering my Brevis 35mm adapter in 2008!

I’ve been very tempted to grab one of DJI’s Phantom 2’s for nearly a year now but every time I got close to placing an order I was scared off by talk of changing regulations and unclear requirements involved in being able to use these tools commercially.

With each country around the globe struggling to find ways to regulate UAV’s there are a lot of grey areas for somebody stepping in to this field so I plan to try and demystify the process here in the UK. I’ll document my journey and share my discoveries as I go about both learning to fly, and from a regulatory point of view.

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Using markers as visual sync guides in FCPX

here’s a quick tutorial showing how I use markers in FCPX to give me a visual indicator in case any audio syncing issues crop up due to a mistake using the magnetic timeline.

Although the magnetic timeline offers many advantages when editing, I find that it’s very easy to inadvertently trim a clip without realising you’ve done it and as a result have all of the clips later in the timeline jump out of sync with a music track that is attached near the beginning of the project.


As each section of my projects start to become tuned to the beats in the music I drop in pairs of markers so that any future changes in sync are more obvious. The markers are dropped in place by selecting the target clip, moving the pointer to the desired location and then pressing the ‘m’ key if using the standard keyboard commands.


Quite often I notice these markers have moved out of alignment even before I notice any sync issues so it provides a good alert system as well as giving a visual clue as to where any unwanted changes have been made in the edit.

Canon announces the C300 Mark II

Click Here for Pre-order details from B&H

What the C300 Mark II means to me.

It’s great to see that Canon are continuing to innovate with this line of cameras and as expected the C300 Mark II now provides a 4K solution as well as higher bit rate recording and higher frame rate options. These are without doubt the areas that made the original C300 feel limited for me so let look closer at what’s improved.
In many ways the C300 started it’s life at the back of the pack and was left for dust by the competition before taking it’s first breath. Although the original C300 introduced an amazing new sensor and a brand new style of camera to the industry the use of the companies existing Digic DV3 processor limited it’s capabilities. For many C300 users though, the lacklustre recording specs were less significant because the camera offered a beautiful image from a 4K sensor recorded to the well renowned Canon XF format.

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C300 Price drop at B&H, looks like something new is on the horizon!


I’ve just received this via eMail from B&H. Definitely could be a sign that there’s something new on the horizon from Canon!

Find out more at B&H.


Canon EOS C100 MarkII Announced and available for pre-order

Update 10-02-2015

The C100 Mark II is now shipping.

Click here to view at B&H


I’ve just heard from B&H that they are now taking pre-orders for a Mark II version of the Canon EOS C100. Having a quick look through the specifications reveals some really important updates including the following.

• 1080p at 50 and 59.94 frames per second.
• Built in Dual Pixel AF including face detection AF mode
• MP4 recording option as well as AVCHD
• Additional Mic built in to the body for audio recording without the handle attached
• Body now includes mini joystick to allow full control without handle attached
• 3.5″ OLED Display with more position options and controls
• EVF Almost twice as large as the original C100 with a much better design (much like the C300)
• Built in Wireless support

The C100 Mark II is now available for Pre-order at B&H Photo for $5,499

Click here to view at B&H


Canon EOS C100 mark ii back OLED screen folded

Canon EOS C100 mark ii back OLED screen folded


Canon EOS C100 mark ii back oled screen

Canon EOS C100 mark ii back OLED screen


Canon EOS C100 mark ii back

Canon EOS C100 mark ii back

Canon EOS C100 mark ii with handle fitted

Canon EOS C100 mark ii with handle fitted