I Bought a DJI Spark

Thanks to a strange sale at Target (Green Monday? I didn't know that was a thing), I picked up a DJI Spark drone about a week before Christmas. I couldn't help it - I've wanted a drone for a while and had been seriously looking at the Mavic but couldn't justify the cost. The Spark was close enough to a refurbished Mavic that it didn't make sense either, until the sale.

I've already crashed it several times, but it has help up nicely. Most of my crashes were with the cell phone controls when I first got it, but since then I've gotten the controller (perfect Christmas gift from Megan), making it easier to avoid obstacles. I also added a set of prop guards, and at low speeds they provide a lot of resilience, as well as added safety.

So I made a video, comprised of clips I recorded the first two weeks or so that I had it. It's a little longer than usual but I really liked this track, so I just stuffed everything I could from my first few flights in.

I can't wait to use it in more places, I'm starting to get the hang of planning cinematic shots before I take off - with a battery life of barely 15 minutes it's important to know what I want to do ahead of time. I'm also looking forward to seeing how the quality of my footage improves as I become a better pilot. Plus, I need an excuse to get the Mavic later on.

Panama Guitar Cover

I know this site is primarily focused (ha ha) on camera technology, photography, cinematography etc but I made a quick video of one of my other hobbies, guitar. This is a cover of Van Halen's Panama, using a backing track I also found on youtube.

I originally filmed a video playing the same song with four different cameras at once to test built-in microphones and high ISO noise of a few bodies I have on hand. That slowly become a multiple angle shoot which I had originally planned to change cameras for different parts, but instead I've just cut all three angles together in the same video.

The top left is a Canon 6D with an adapted Olympus OM 28mm f/2.8. Then the right/closeup camera is another Canon 6D with an adapted Nikon 85mm f/2.0 AIS set to f/2.8 because I thought the angular bokeh looked cool on the headstock of the guitar. Bottom right was my (now gone) Panasonic G7, the only one filming in 4k. This allowed me to crop down a nice shot of the fretboard without losing resolution - the original footage is wide enough to see the floor at my feet and up to the top of my head.

Lighting was done with the overhead room light along with a pair of Yongnuo YN-300 II's, one in front of me just off to my right and the other is up on top of the Marshall amp right next to the close up camera (which is visible in the top left shot). These lights are great, and have adjustable color temperature, can be powered by batteries or from the wall, and come with a bluetooth remote control which allows on/off, color temp adjustment, and you can change channels on the remotes or lights themselves if you needed to control multiple banks of lights. I'm working on a review for these, because they are an amazing value.

Maui as seen by the G7

Here's a quick video showcasing the quality of footage you can get out of the Panasonic G7, which I reviewed in more detail here: Panasonic G7 Review.

All footage shot with either the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens or the Olympus 25mm f/1.8. No gimbals or steadycam rigs. Grading and composition done in Adobe Premiere CS6.