16/10/2013 | by tristan
Portable cameras are so good at what they do. They’re convenient, rugged and versatile. But once they are taken out of the conditions they’re optimised for they may not provide such great footage. One important factor to consider is lighting, especially when it comes to on snow. Whilst snowdomes provide pretty consistent lighting conditions, the ever-changing mountains do not. In flat light (cloudy or foggy conditions) where there are no features, buildings or trees to provide shadows and contrast a lot of visual information can get lost. This can lead to shots where it looks like the riders are just floating about in a cloud. But if you’re up the hill in those kinds of conditions, filming is likely to be one of your last priorities.
Another thing mini-action cams find difficult to deal with is being pointed directly at the sun. As well as silhouetting whatever you’re filming at the time, it can lead to side effects such as lens flare and/or vertical purple lines on-screen (the digital version of lens flare). Sometimes these effects can be desirable to create an atmosphere in an edit, but if they’re not for you quite yet think about where the sun is whilst setting up to film.
(N.B. – pointing your camera at the sun for extended periods of time, i.e. while filming a time lapse can permanently damage its sensor.)