I had been doing some testing lately regarding shooting video. Specifically, I’ve been trying out some of my Nikon glass on my little Sony Nex–7 to see how well it works for video, and if it’s practical for use hand held. I don’t have a rig, so without the stabiliser working I was a bit skeptical. However, if you’re shooting wide you can get away with a little shake. Anyway, I had shot some footage and played around with it in FCPX and that was that. I wasn’t overly happy with the results so I had parked the project.
A few days ago I picked it up again, for another purpose. I was trying out Premiere Pro. I had heard some colleagues raving about the software and I wanted to give it a go. As most of my video graphics work revolves around using After Effects, the interface was a welcome experience, being somewhat similar. I’m not just talking about the actual design either, but workflow too. I was able to approach the project in a way that I was familiar with, especially when it comes to adding effects and grading. I particularly like Premiere’s ability to use adjustment layers. In fact it was this specifically that attracted me to use it for re-working my little side project. I had been using the excellent Film Convert to grade my footage, but having it applied to each clip in FCPX slowed the whole thing down, and you would have to wait for it to render before you could play it, which made tweaking the edit quite painful. (I know you should have the edit locked before adding effects and a grade, but I was experimenting). In premiere, not only can you add the effect to an adjustment layer and turn it on and off as needed, but it will still play even with film convert added. It just drops the resolution slightly.
I don’t want this to end up being a Premiere Pro review, so I’ll leave it there. I’ll certainly be doing a lot more with it over the coming weeks, but for now check out the finished product. It’s not brilliant by any means, and far from the quality of the video I normally produce, but it was really just an experiment, and in the end it’s a nice enough finished product. It’s mostly compiled using shots taken with the Sony Nex–7 and a Nikon 24–120 f4. There’s a few Canon 5D shots in there too. While I got away with using it hand held for a lot of the shots, I really need a rig, or at least a decent E-mount lens that’s actually stabilised. I am impressed with how well the Nex–7 footage held up though. It doesn’t have the best reputation for video, but with some good glass on it, it does an ok job.