I often (OK always) take cameras down to Sydney’s famous Sea pools for the first quick and dirty test. Why? I find that working quick, in the near dark, run and gun style with little research or prep is a great test for any camera. I get to see how easily I can move around with the camera and how straightforward it is to change speeds, ISO and shutters on the fly. Being forced to shoot hand held gives me a great idea of the camera’s ergonomics and how easy it is to use in different shooting positions. Usually on a commercial shoot I have the luxury of a 1st AC to pull focus. Going handheld and focussing myself gives me a better insight into how good the EVF or monitor is, and how good any peaking or focus aids are. Finally the Sea pools are a visual challenge for any camera – the combination of people and water in harsh, unforgiving light is a great test. I get to examine sharpness, slow motion artefacts and dynamic range all in one location.
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