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A Dartmoor Springtime - A Short Film

Two months ago I bought a Canon R3. I did this for a number of key reasons, the main one being that I felt it was time for a hybrid camera system that could shoot video as well as stills. The other reason was that I missed the handling of a 1Dx. The R3 weights just 200g more than the 5Dmk4 I have used for the last seven years, so all the boxes were ticked.

A Dartmoor Springtime - A Short Film

So to celebrate the purchase I set about shooting a small project, all about Dartmoor in the springtime. The timing couldn't of been more perfect as we had a truly spectacular springtime in 2023.

The door was opening to a completely new visual format and a new way of looking at the world. No camera cages / cabling and external video screens. I just packed my usual photography bag, including a few little extras like LED panels and mini tripods.

The Dartmoor 
Camera Bag

I used my existing lenses - EF 24-70 f4LIS, EF 100-400 f4L IS and the 1.4xIII for a lot of the long distance shots, but it was the new RF100mm Macro that really made it diverse. The lens was superb for longer distance isolation as well as the incredible 1.4x life-size detail work. It changed the dynamic of the video completely.

A Dartmoor Springtime - A Short Film

Additional kit was the DJI Pocket 2, the DJI Mic set and a now sadly discontinued Sony D100 audio recorder, which were all used creating the ambiences in different circumstances.

Audio was all recorded separately, all on location either at the time, or on separate visits, but it had to be from the same place. The main issue was transatlantic jets and general vehicles which often ruined the visual moment. I omitted the need for music, which I thought was unnecessary as production continued.
It’s been an exceptional spring and intense learning experience to say the least. It has made me think about attempting a Dartmoor Summertime one, based on the high moors and more out-the-way places.

I shot the video in ALL-I, Canon CLog3 in Canon Cinema Log. I processed the whole video in the free version of DaVinci Resolve 18. How delightful to have such great software available for free.

I have to add in that handling colours and the complexity of colour grading was a steep learning curve but one I had to force myself through. The biggest issue was colour and contrast continuity between using the Pocket 2 and the Canon R3.

The main thing is I managed to do it, so if I can do it, then you can too. The thing that separates the R3 from other cameras its speed and diversity of video capture. I have to say I became thoroughly addicted to one hundred frames per second and I can't wait to shoot more in this delightful format.

FYI - The bees in this video are moving at four times slower than real life, so although they seem to plod around quite sedately, many of the clips are less than a second in realtime.