Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch at DVinfo.net

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Old February 6th, 2018, 07:44 AM   #1
Vortex Media
 
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Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch

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I've been wanting to try shooting a SpaceX rocket launch with two cameras mounted on the same tripod so that both cameras can follow the rocket as it ascends. So I mounted my new PXW-Z90 to the handle of my PMW-F55 and I must say that it worked even better than I expected.

The F55 is at the beginning and the Z90 begins at 1:15

The F55 was shooting 4K RAW @ 120 fps using a Canon 200-400 f/4 lens with built-in 1.4x extender. The Z90 was shooting HD @ 120 fps using the 12x optical zoom of the camera and custom Picture Profile that i created. Because I was shooting slow-motion the camera's digital extender and Clear Image Zoom could not be used. The tripod is my OConnor 1030D and 35L legs. The rocket lifted off about 10 miles away from my shooting location, and NASA's massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is about five miles away.

Next, I'm going to try this setup with wildlife so I can have tight and wide shots simultaneously. I think the Z90's auto-focus and auto-exposure functions are so good that I can just align the two cameras and it will do a pretty good job.

The set up reminds me of when NASA used to transport the space shuttle orbiter on the back of a 747.

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Old February 6th, 2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch

Great footage Doug,

Very cool setup. Today they are sending a car into space, now that is a different marketing campaign.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; February 6th, 2018 at 10:03 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch

Very impressive setup! (not exactly a tourist cam setup)

Just came from the BBC.com web site where there was a picture of the "business end" of the rocket that'll be used. Title: Elon Musk's huge Falcon Heavy rocket set for launch

This is a "test launch" with three rockets powering the main one and can lift over 60 tons into a low earth orbit, weight equal to five of London's double-decker busses. That's a far cry from the early days when little basketball-sized satellites were being launched and the world was watching.

Elon does say that the test is just that, to see if all goes well and doesn't blow up the whole launch pad. It'd be great to have a video of that shot. However, if only two of the rockets fire and the system falls over on it's side, I wouldn't want to be in it's line of fire as it scoots across the ground! Each rocket has a number of thrusters! That's where your big tele would come in real handy. This is going to be a real doozer of a launch.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 01:50 AM   #4
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Re: Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch

I missed it by 8 hours. Just arrived in Korea to work at the Olympics. Fortunately the launch was a success, so there will be plenty more.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 04:43 AM   #5
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Re: Z90 piggy-backed on F55 for rocket launch

Doug, are you sure that rig is street legal? I mean it looks more like something you could use to shoot that rocket down with. I remember seeing it and looking through the viewfinder when we hooked up in Florida. I rig dreams are made of. Very impressive footage from both cameras. Enjoy Korea and please be safe. Bob
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