Movie: A new camera

Hawk Owl
Hawk Owl

One of the last things I did last year was buying a new camera, the Canon 5D mark III to replace the 5D mark II. This is the first time I make an upgrade because of the filming capabilities of the camera. With the new firmware on this camera it has a clean HDMI-out, which means you can record movie in a much higher quality on an external recorder as on the memory card. This external recorder, the Atomos Ninja 2 in this case, has an additional advantage as it also functions as an extra monitor. Recording movies on a dSLR is really nice (as you could have seen on previous blog posts), but it has several drawbacks. One drawback is that it is very difficult to check the focus while filming. With non-moving object this is no problem, but when an animal starts to approach, it is very hard to see if it stays in focus. And as the live view autofocus modes are (yet) not good enough to track moving objects focussing has to be done manually. No problem, as long as you can see what is in focus and what isn’t… Professional film cameras have a function called focus peaking. With this overlay the areas in focus are coloured red, while the others have their normal colour. The Ninja 2 has this function too, which makes focussing a lot easier for me.

Of course all this new equipment has to be tested. And what is a better subject as two rare owls visiting the Netherlands this winter. Ok, I admit, they don’t move that much, but it was really nice to see them and test the possibilities of my new camera. This movie is the result of this testing (best viewed full screen of course).

[vimeo w=540]

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • Wow! These owls are incredible and the video quality is impressive. It’s impressive to think that you are just learning to use your new gear.


    • The good thing is that the settings and operation aren’t much different from my old camera, and if any, it’s easier. The only really new thing will be following moving subjects, but that was not needed yesterday 🙂
      So I was just testing what it could do and what the quality would be. And I’m really happy with that indeed.

      Thanks for the compliment.



    • I haven’t sued mine either 😉 For me filming gives my photography a new dimension. I can capture things that I normally couldn’t. Typical behavior, changes over time, movement. It gives me something extra to work with. It will never replace photography, but I think they can supplement each other. But I’ve got enough colleagues who will never touch the movie function either. I guess it’s personal 🙂

      Thanks for the reaction.



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