Rocky Mountain HD

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Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Tracker Productions a video production company in Banff Alberta Canada is using the JVC GY-HM100 ProHD camcorder to shoot 1080p footage of the Canadian Rockies for promotional corporate and travel videos. Cascading waterfalls snow-capped mountains serene lakes and animals in their natural habitats are among the majestic scenes being captured by cinematographer and Tracker Productions owner Les McDonald.
  “A bear might only give you 15 to 20 seconds to get that close-up so you had better be ready. Because the GY-HM100 is a lightweight rugged feature-rich handheld I can easily carry it into the most remote locations and operate it very quickly and precisely ” says McDonald. “I’m able to get really steady peaceful beauty shots using the camera’s built-in focus assist image stabilization and Fujinon 10x HD zoom lens.” 
 McDonald alternated between tripod crane and dolly shots for a recent video promoting Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel and Conference Centre. Featured on the hotel’s Web site the video gives viewers a virtual tour of the facility’s pool dining rooms meeting areas and guest rooms as well as an enticing look at the vistas and activities the Canadian Rockies region has to offer. 
 “I can certainly attest to the strength and durability of this camera ” McDonald says. “One week after I got it I put it in the back of my car but the hatch door didn’t secure properly. When I drove off the camera bag fell out onto the ground and the tent trailer I was pulling drove right over it. There were tire marks on the bag the lens hood was twisted off and there were some dents but it still worked perfectly. I had three days of filming left in Jasper National Park and having a functioning camera was essential.” 
 The GY-HM100 is known for its Apple Final Cut Pro native file recording but it can also record HD footage as native .MP4 files that are compatible with all major NLE systems. McDonald prefers the .MP4 option because his PC-based edit suite is built around Adobe Premiere Pro. He said it is very easy to transfer and edit footage using SDHC memory cards. He also uses JVC’s ProHD Clip Manager software (included with the camcorder) to log and organize his footage into bins which further streamlines his post process.
With his signature DVD Postcard featuring Canada's mountain national parks McDonald is now using his GY-HM100 camcorder to build an HD stock footage library of nature and wildlife. While he has other tape-based camcorders at his disposal the GY-HM100 has quickly become his acquisition tool of choice. 
  “I find myself gravitating to the ultra lightweight GY-HM100 on all kinds of jobs because it can be set up or torn down quickly in very tight or hard to reach places ” McDonald says. “I’ve spent way more for cameras but this one gives me a very big bang for the buck.”