Part 4 – Camera Remote Control
The third and final accessory that we will discuss in Part 4 of the SELFILMED 101 series, is the remote control, specifically a LANC Controller. As we shift away from the acquisition of your camera setup, we will move more in the direction of helping you understand how to use your equipment. One of the most important themes you will see throughout future articles will be reduction of movement when filming. The camera arm and fluid head certainly help in this arena, but I cannot stress enough the importance of one-handed camera operation as a SELFILMED hunter.
If you read Part 1 of this series, Brett outlined the importance of selecting a camera that has a LANC port available for remote control use. There are several companies that make LANC Controllers and some do more than others. There are a few functions that are must haves. Zoom and Power Control, if your camera remote does nothing else, make sure it has these two options. Zoom and Power controls are the two features you will use most, and they will be the two functions that will make the difference in being successful or not in the field.
It goes without saying that if your camera battery dies, you won’t be filming much of anything. Any camera battery is going to die if you film long enough on a single sit. I generally take at least one spare battery with me, but if your camera dies right as a deer is coming into range, that spare battery will do you little to no good. Instead, opt for a good LANC controller that allows you to manually power off your camera during times that the action is slow. Additionally, you also need to be able to power your camera back up as soon as it is needed. With the proper LANC controller, this is simple to do with one hand and very little movement.
Zoom is essential when filming, and not only should you look for a LANC controller that allows you to change the zoom on your video camera, but you should look for a LANC controller that has a zoom button so big it is hard to miss! You will zoom more than you will do anything else when you are filming. A product like the VariZoom VZ-Rock puts the zoom control right at your thumb. It is the most obvious feature of the LANC controller, and it is easy to operate without looking away from your camera/target animal. I highly suggest you find a LANC Controller with a similar variable zoom button. By variable, I mean that you can change the zoom speed according to the pressure you apply to the zoom button. This is also a great feature as it allows you to capture those slow zoom in/zoom out shots that you see so often on your favorite hunting shows.
Last but not least, if you can find a LANC Controller that allows you to toggle between auto and manual focus, this can also be a nice feature to have. Especially when hunting in thick cover or out of a blind where you will have constant obstructions in your field of view. Locking in on an animal in manual focus might make the difference in a good or a great video.
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SELFILMED 101 Series:
- Part 1 – Camera Selection
- Part 2 – Fluid Head Selection
- Part 3 – Camera Arm Selection
- Part 4 – Camera Remote Control
- Part 5 – Camera Setup and Placement
- Part 6 – Importance of 2nd and 3rd Angles
- Part 7 – Interview Strategy
- Part 8 – Shot List
- Part 9 – After the Shot
- Part 10 – Putting it all Together (Editing)