Beignets in the Crescent City

January 27, 2014

Back in the studio after a successful 5-day shoot in the Crescent City, and not only did photographer Chris Snyder (view some of Chris’s work here) and I have a chance to sample a few delicious beignets and drink a bit of chicory coffee at the world famous Cafe’ du Monde, we also had ample time to check out some new gear. Here’s what we found.

Other than keeping our client completely happy, one of my main objectives was to evaluate the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro on a Canon 70D rig. First, it’s important to mention that Chris and I were on the run from New Orleans’ French Quarter to its Warehouse District for 12 to 14 hours each day, so a lightweight handheld video system was the only way to go. The Zacuto was perfect for “run n’ gun” shooting, while at the same time helped assure that the images I captured were top notch. With the Zacuto, I was able to easily set focus and exposure under any ambient light condition, as well as check an image once it had been recorded. The color and clarity of the Zacuto are fantastic, and the diopter is irreplaceable if you happen to wear glasses like I do. An option that I seriously consided for this shoot was a small 7″ LED monitor, but based on our shooting pace and the numerous locations and situations we had to cover, I think a monitor, even as small as 7″, would have been impractical. Bottom line… I’m very happy with the Zacuto EVF, it was the perfect choice for this job and fits my shooting style well.

While it was my responsibility to capture video, Chris was on site as a still photographer. I can’t speak entirely for Chris, but he was sporting a new Nikon D3 and several new lenses. The D3 is fast, a real workhorse, and the photos that its full sized chip capture are nothing less than amazing… or maybe it’s just Chris. And in case you’re wondering, yes we were asked several times, “what’s the best cam, Nikon or Canon”? Chris was always quick to let everyone know that it’s not the camera, but the operator. And then of course he said “Nikon” and I jumped in with “Canon”.

Well that’s a wrap for the day. Thanks for a great shoot Chris, good luck next week in Phoenix. I plan on getting a bit of rest and then move on to the next “big” thing. I’ll keep you posted.

Ray Monell