50 Canon full-frame DSLRs turn bungee surfers into Matrix-like action characters


(Credit: Canon Europe)

We’re sure some day, in the future, technology will allow us to shoot those “bullet time” videos (you know, the ones we all went gaga for when The Matrix came out in theaters) straight from a single device, but until then, you’ll need an elaborate setup like this one involving 50 high-end Canon DSLRs and lenses.

In a profile of Swiss TV production company DokLab, Canon Europe’s Professional Network (CPN) highlighted that company’s recent creation of frozen-in-time motion footage using 50 Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLRs and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Normally, such a production would be cost prohibitive (as Pop Photo points out, it’d cost half-a-million dollars to acquire just the camera equipment), but luckily for DokLab, all it had to do was ask.

“We approached Canon to see if 50 cameras and lenses were available to do this shoot,” DokLab’s Pierre Reischer told CPN. Usually, Canon doesn’t have so many sitting around at one time, let alone a flagship model like the 1D X, but the company at the time was preparing to support photographers at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, and just happened to have that many 1D X camera bodies and lenses handy. “It was like, ‘wow’. This is the top model. We were going to shoot with 50 of them – it was just crazy,” Reischer said.

But, it seems acquiring the cameras was the easy part. DokLab had been tapped by a Swiss public broadcaster, SRF, to document a new sporting phenomenon called “bungee surfing,” where surfers are towed at high speeds, using a bungee rope. The production company wanted to give the video that Matrix-like shot, but, in order to do so, DokLab had to build a special rig, alongside the bank of the water, that arranges the cameras in a manner that best “freezes” the sport.

Considering how much the gear costs and how difficult it is to capture the shot, the setup had to be complex. The outcome is short of anything but spectacular. CPN has a detailed account of the setup, but it also has a behind-the-scenes video of how DokLab got the footage. Check out Canon Europe’s CPN site for more, or view the Canon Switzerland (in German) version below.

(Via Pop Photo)

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