We are currently back in Iceland shooting a new photography program called Through Mark’s Lens and everyday is a challenge, not just physically, lugging heavy equipment through snow and ice to get the best shots but also technically. The extreme cold is playing havoc with our batteries and sound equipment. Sometimes we have no choice but to down tools and head to the nearest café just to warm the V-locks and Zoom.
As you can imagine, an important part of a photography program about Iceland is capturing the northern lights. Everyday we track the weather patterns and choose destinations that will give us the best chance of filming the Aurora in an iconic location.
The presenter of the program, Mark Andreas Jones, has been running photography tours throughout the country for ten years so his ability to get us to where we need to be to have the best chance of capturing this extraordinary phenomenon is uncanny. However, the problem we have wrestled with from the beginning is how best to video the lights without ruining the still imagery with additional lighting. Small LED panels, reflector boards even the torch on an iphone all produce a fake look on video and destroy the images photographer’s covert so passionately.
Enter the Nikon Z6.
Last night we were at Vestrahorn at 3am with no wind and a full moon. Conditions could not have been more perfect if we had been shooting in a studio. However, none of our high-end video cameras had the ability to register in the semi-darkness. Mark was shooting crystal clear stills on his new Nikon Z6 so we decided to see if the video quality on the camera would be just as good. The result was unbelievable, the sensitivity of the sensor in low light provided clear imagery with very little noise. Suddenly we had quality 4K, moonlit footage without upsetting dogged photographers that had travelled half-way around the world to get the shot.
The Nikon Z6, is a game changer and the future of low-light video!