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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old January 16th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 68
getting started shooting wildlife


I've been working in the business for about six years, mostly corporate and network shoots.

I've decided to switch careers to marine biology, but I still want to stay in the business somehow.

I figured that nature photography would be a good way to do this. What's the most popular type of video camera used for nature films? I read on a lot of posts here that a lot of people use Canon XL series cameras. I also know that Discovery HD theatre uses Sony F900's and Panasonic Varicams.

I recently bought a Sony Z1U, since HDV is trickling into broadcast television now. I like the camera, and I took it to Big Bend to shoot some stock footage, mainly landscapes and close ups of plants, with a few shots of birds in the mix as well. However, I was dissatisfied with the zoom capability of the lens. What types of extenders are avialable?

I somewhat regret not getting the JVC or Canon XLH1. It would be nice to use some really good 35mm HD glass on an XLH1, that would make some really pretty pictures, plus, you have an uncompressed out, for the possibility of recording to another HD format, and i've already seen some Firestore drives that record DVCPro HD coming on the market...makes you think...

I'm wanting to buy another HD camera in the future, to replace my Betacam SP, but I don't know what that camera will be. I heard that Sony's XDCAM HD might be the next big thing for us freelance camera owner/operators.

That put aside, does anyone have experience with the Z1U zoom extenders? I'd like to go ahead and start shooting more nature footage.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,011
unfortunately, most of the solutions for extending the z1's reach are pretty jerry-rigged at present. i have an FX-1 and would like to see one of those third-party lens manufacturers make a decent 72mm extender. here's the main link about it:

also, try the end of this one. another dvinfoer, steve mcdonald has some ideas for extending the reach as well, worth a look:

no clean solution yet, imho. unless someone can chime in, with new info on this topic!
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply

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