I recently shot some video with my new Olympus OM-1. This is primarily a photo camera, but with high quality video capabilities as well. The autofocus underwater works well in video mode, despite the often challenging low-light conditions. I used the 12 to 40 mm kit lens to shoot the videos below, and a SOLA video light. The video light is not strong enough to light big scenes, so most of the light is ambient light. The camera only does 29 frames per second, which is a bit of a limitation when shooting fast moving wildlife. Otherwise I like the setup for video quite a bit.
It’s important in still photography to keep your camera steady, but even more so when shooting video. I also found that odd and creative camera angles, like they sometimes work with photos, don’t work so well in video.
These are garden eels, unusual fishes who don’t move from their dandy hole all of their lifes.
This is a video of a sea snake and a snake ell mimicking it. These snakes are good photo and video subjects, since they essentially ignore divers. I had the chance to swim next to it for several minutes. The fact that it swam over sand made the filming easier, when they forage in a reef they change directions more quickly. As usual with video, I edited out most of the footage I got. I tried to take the most interesting bits. Also, too many seconds of video shot from one perspective tends to bore the viewer. In this video I asked my lovely girlfriend Glaiza to narrate, I think her voice is softer, I like it more than mine.
Editing the colors and the contrast in videos is more of a challenge than with still photographs – more about that in an upcoming post.