Tuesday 15 November 2016

First 2 weeks with the Canon 5DMkIV

Gear isn't the be all and end all, and most of the time its not the only way to up your game.

How ever after 3 years of hard service ( and I mean hard ) my 5DMk3 was starting to flag. Nothing critical but the odd thing that was just a bit weird and showing its age, time to retire it to the job of back up. Step in the new Mk4. Tiny bit smaller, Tiny bit lighter ( very welcome ) and a fair bit more punch.

Video Nerds! Now when I got my Mk3 it was a camera I used it for two solid years to shoot both photos and video. I now have the amazing Sony FS5 for video, and so this new camera is much more a photo only body for me. I will add a bit on at the end for video though so skip down there if that's what your after. Back to photo stuff...

Nothing too life changing specs wise, but a few very nice improvements. Ive had the camera for a good few weeks now and shot with it pretty much every day since I got it, but mostly on a few jobs I cant show the world for a few months yet ( *Cough* Deathgrip *Cough* ) so I sadly cant show you loads of images that would really show what I am on about ISO/DR wise etc. 

How ever I have just got back from a few days in Spain shooting for old friends of Aspect RoostDH and now have one or two shots I can use to put this post up. Read on below for my few things I think are worth the upgrade:

The new toy. Small steps better than than a giant leap.

Low Light: The old Mk3 found its upper limit at around 1600 for Clean images, 6400 in a pinch and not above if you wanted to use the images for anything other than Instagram.

The new Mk4 pushes those limits way up. Now 6400 is Clean! , 8000 is more than ok, 10,000 is still very usable, and much above that I haven't even needed to use. With fast glass and ISO 10,000  you can shoot in the dark pretty much, great for the dark woods Im in all the time.

One thing to note is the ever annoying trade off in Dynamic Range vs ISO. Amazing in this new camera as ill mention below but only up till about ISO 1600 when it looks much like the older Mk3 at low ISOs.

Amazing steps up in ISO and Dynamic Ranger

Dynamic Range: This is the big one. I would say along with the ISO these two areas make it a worth while upgrade if your in the market for one anyways. If your Mk3 is all good, for now I wouldn't jump ship. ( wait for the price to come down a bit then jump )

If you shoot below ISO 1600 this new body now rivals Nikon and Sony in the DR stakes. If you use LR and PS well you can now pretty much do away with flash in a lot of place where you would have needed some fill flash before with the Mk3. Just makes all the images look so much crisper and more vibrant.

Nice bump in resolution as well.

Auto Focus: The new auto focus system was dubbed before release as a small step up, but in real world use its far better. Much more accurate especially noticeable at wide open apertures. On the shoots I have done so far with it I would say a solid 20-30% more shots tack sharp when using servo focus with a rider coming right at me. That's a pretty bold claim, but it is a good deal better.

Mega Pixels: Not a huge jump as 23MP was more than enough, but still nice to have that extra 7MP. Shots are that bit sharper, can crop in that bit more. Welcome but not revolutionary. 


A pretty big improvement even from my very limited testing. I have only shot a hand full of shots on the Mk4 video wise and only looked at them in Premiere, not actually edited or exported anything but its a huge step up over the Mk3 off the bat.

Sharpness was always an issue with the Mk3, when you put it next to anything from Sony or Panasonic it looked like you had butter smeared over your lens but the new Mk4 is on par with a C100 sharpness wise. You have the ever amazing Canon colour space, no Clog but you can flatten off the PP in camera and it looks great.

No real video stuff like peaking or zebras which is a shame, but it does have Mic in and Phones out, it shoots in the All-I codec as well as the lower res you will know from the Mk3 and all in 8bit colour, and in 4K @ 30p ( Motion Jpeg codec ) , 1080 @60 and 720 @120. So not bad at all and if I was going off grid into the mountains and needed one body for stills and video it may well do the job.

If you have any other questions let me know, but so far so good.


Saturday 8 October 2016

End of the season & latest work

They say time fly's when your having fun, and in the blink of an eye the 2016 race season has come to and end.

Aspect Media have been flat out all summer, all over the world covering the EWS series as well as shooting clients projects away from the races in between.

Now we have about a week of down time before all our off season work starts in earnest so as always if you think we could work together on a project, be it photos, video or both dont hesitate to reach out.

Here are a few of the recent projects that have gone live out there on the internet over the last month or so while we have been a little busy to update this blog:


Film we made for DMR bikes and the release of their Brendog signature grips. Studio/indoor dirt jumps, studio lighting and lots of smoke machines used to make something visually new and interesting, outside the normal stuff for the bike world. 


For the last few summers we have been a large part of the production team behind the Enduro World Series. For 2016 we pushed the coverage along with Editor Nico Turner and Producer Richard Cunynghame to yet higher production values.

Main Film: a 20-30 min recap of the weeks racing, in depth, presenter lead. Online within 48 hours of the race end:


One Min: Short 1 minute long all action video out within an hour of the race ending.


Hiplok are a great company that Aspect has worked with before and this is the crowd funding video for a new product they released. 



Flexing the muscles of the Movi Aspect has in its arsenal. 4K from capture to delivery.

Scotland You are Pretty When it's Sunny... 4K from Aspect Media on Vimeo.


Proof its not all about the latest tech. Short holiday/travel/adventure video from one half of Aspect, Jacob Gibbins holiday with his other half round Canada and the USA. Shot on everything from his phone, point and shoot to the Sony FS5.

BC | NYC - 2016 from Aspect Media on Vimeo.

We now have a bunch of other shoots in the diary for the autumn which we cant wait to dive into, but as always we would love to hear from you if you think we can work together on something.



Tuesday 21 June 2016

Portrait personal work

I recently got some new flash kit and wanted to try out a few ideas regarding colored lights, styles and some more non sport studio based work to pad out that side of the portfolio.

With photography we are all so lucky to be in the position of if we are lacking a specific kind of subject matter from our book, all we have to do is go shoot it, and done. We now have work to show we can work in that style to use in pitches for commissioned work. 

So I gave good pal and killer designer Jay Robinson a call who needed some fresh shots taking for his portfolio and snapped a few things last night.

Just something a bit different and non bike for a change. Next up men in suits near big shiny buildings!

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Latest work for May/June

The last few months have been pretty manic for Aspect, lots of what we have been working on wont see the light of day for a while yet but here are a few things that have hit the internet recently...

Will Weston - Imprint Grips: 

Brief: Short 1:30-2 min video showing off the product while not being too sales heavy and focusing on Wills riding. One day shoot with one filmer ( who also had to shoot some photos to go up with the video ) and as you can see the weather was far from playing ball.

Will Weston - Local Hill from Aspect Media on Vimeo.

EWS Rd 3 - Ireland 

A large part of our summer is the coverage of the EWS series, so this month it was Rd 3 in Ireland. Over the week the team out puts something like 5 videos but this is the main highlight show. 20 something minutes of race recap out within 48 hours of the last rider crossing the line. Nico Turner smashes these out the park. 


Sadly this photo is all I can show you from this all time trip that the Aspect team went on recently. Chris Seager from Aspect is working with Clay Porter and Brendan Fairclough this year on a new full length film project. If you search for the #deathgripfilm on insta you can see the odd little sneak but its a black out till 2017! All time though, you just wait world! 

Hiplok FLX - Nikki Whiles

Hiplok make some pretty rad bike locks, I use mine daily. They asked us recently to help them make a film and shoot photos for the launch of their new FLX lock. So we got Welsh pinner Nikki Whiles out to the woods and made this:

Morvelo - Short Film

Over the last few weeks we have been down in Devon shooting for a new project with Morvelo. Lots of kinds of bikes and a real feel good message. Not going to be seeing the light for a good while yet but till then check out these exclusive screen shots: 

Anyway thats about it for now. Currently editing away on various projects and out in Les Gets in the Alps shooting for other ones.



Sunday 17 April 2016

2016 Show Reel and New web site!

For the last few years we have been in the great and fortunate position of being so busy working, we haven't had much free time to put together a new show reel. The last one we put out in 2012/13 has done us proud but it was time to put together something fresh show casing what Aspect Media can do in 2016.

We saw this as the perfect opportunity to launch our brand spanking new web site as well! Much the same as the reel we just felt the old one was a bit dated and didn't represent us as a company as well as it could so we got killer web designer and coder Tom Hallam to build us a bespoke site.

Responsive to different screen sizes and devices, clean, large images, social media icons and integration and we think an all round nice place to view our work. 

Check out a few print screens of key parts of it below or just check the site out for real via this link:

Big bold and image driven.

New reel front center. Get a taste of what we do with one click.

A hint of where half of us are based.

Nice section showing a selection of our Instagram feed for a visual peek at what we are up to currently.

Bit of back ground info on what we do and who we are.

Services we can offer you and a few of the people we have been lucky enough to already worked with.

Projects are where you can see some of the work we have been doing the last year.

The site has also been designed with mobile use in mind front and center. With so many people accessing information from their phones or tablets the site is fully responsive in real time. Try it by scaling your web browser down and watching the site morph before you eyes.

The mobile site on an Iphone. Nice and clear.

Simplified main menu for mobiles. Easy even with the fattest of fingers.

The project page for mobile is clearer and takes less hovering.
Anyways so thats the new site and reel. Hope you like them, and sorry its been down for a few weeks if you have wanted to get a look at what we do.

As always keep up to date with what we are doing via facebook, Twitter and Instagram... Links are all top and bottom of the new site. 

Saturday 16 April 2016

New Lowepro DroneGuard BP 450 AW and Fox Head Kit

Here at Aspect we consider ourselves pretty damn lucky to have friends at some of the best and most well respected companies in action sports kit and camera bags alike. Both of which we use week in week out in some pretty harsh locations.

Both Tim from Lowepro and Mo at Fox have helped us out with kit for the last year or so in return for good honest feed back from the places there kit will be tested to its limits, and as much exposure as we can get them.

So when I got a few big boxes through the post the other morning it was a nice treat to have the new Lowepro Drone Guard BP 450 AW for our brand new Phantom 4 ( as well as another Whistler 450 AW as that bag is so bloody good we needed another one, not a thing about it we would change honestly )

See blog post about the Whistler bag here:


Drone Guard:  

 As you can see from the above photos the bag is pretty big, boxy and well protected. Just what you want for a drone case.

We used the crappy polystyrene case the drone shipped with for the first week or so we had the drone and while its good enough, even after one day of taking it out for a test flight in the park it was already looking a bit beat up, and put that with the fact that there isn't even room in it for a spare battery its fairly useless. Great if you dont buy another thing other than what it ships with, and dont have far to take it, but you really want a bag designed for carrying a drone and all its bits and doing it safely.

Great layout and room for everything you will ever need, plus lunch.

Well padded and loads of sections and pockets.

Not even near fully loaded and the Drone Guard has ample room, padding and protection for all the kit. The 2 pouches at either end of the main compartment keep the drone in place snug, hold plenty of kit them selves and there is room down the sides where you can see we keep the charger. Add in the pocket on the top large enough to store A4 sheets of paper without folding, great for flight books, maps etc, various other zip pockets both on the outside and inside, prop straps so they are fast and easy to get out, all in all its pretty perfect. ( not surprising given Lowepros CV with making bags ) If you had a small DSLR size camera you could squeeze that in with a lens or two as well if needed.

Light weight enough to fly with, just about hand luggage size ( although we haven't tested this in the bins yet ) 

The DJI Phantom 4:

We used to ( still have it some where gathering dust ) an old DJI Phantom 2, and it was great... when it worked. That thing was so unreliable and needed nursing and caused no end of head aches. This new Phantom 4 is just a whole new beast from the ground up, other than bearing the same Phantom name its incomparable. Why did we not do this sooner ?!

4K, 120Fps, Raw Photos, amazingly smooth gimbal, great video down link to your phone, flys itself, avoids trees ( we have tested this and it works, fly it right at a tree and even with the sticks fully forward it doesn't move )

Lots of sensors, floating 3 axis gimbal, wider feet.

Annoying needing new batteries again, but these new ones last a good deal longer and charge super fast. All in all after a few first flights its a stunning bit of kit and we cant wait to take our pilots tests later this month and start using it on shoots!

Fox Head Europe Kit: 

If you know whats up, when it comes to riding kit there are only really a couple of players and Fox Head is right up there. Top of the list in our opinion.

We have been running their kit for a year or so now and it looks the nuts, works flawlessly, its hard wearing, good value for money and I mean if its good enough for half of the riders we shoot week in week out at the EWS then surely its good enough for us squids ?

New trail lid with subtle dark cammo. Great fit, great protection and looks good too.

The half face and goggles looks not for everyone but its comfy and you can still see in the rain so ...

Wont be misplacing these things. Thin and simple.

Really great simple, clean, bright. Will look great on camera.

Vents under the arms and double stitched seams.

More trail/summer top.

Both jerseys have a little zip pocket on the back for keys/phone etc, nice touch.

So apart from all this clobber turning up we are in the final stretches of getting our new website and show reel out there, busy editing various projects, shooting new ones in 2 countries at the same time and making the most of any down time in between.

Cheers for the support Lowepro and Fox!


Saturday 16 January 2016

Backcountry 2.0 with Fairclough, Reynolds and Wilkins

Yesterday a new video that Aspect helped shoot went live over on Pinkbike. Check it out via the link below:


"So the idea for 'Backcountry' came about, back in 2014 when the S4P crew started digging at this secret spot just outside of Swindon. Covered in loam and hero dirt and all on this small yet steep hill - it was just so much fun to ride. So I went down one day and got the camera out and filmed a rough-and-ready video, which went down a storm... It's hard to make anything bad with all those boys, especially when they're all on good form and bouncing off each other, and the floor.

F**k knows why, but it took us a whole year to get together again and do another one of these edits. So, with a message from the S4P boys saying "are you free next week to come film", I dropped everything, grabbed (Chris) Seager and (Tom) Grundy, filled the car with camera gear and got down there. There were no steady cams, no jibs and very little slow-mo on the agenda, just good old fashioned simple fun with mountain bikes. The cameras were rolling pretty much non-stop because as soon as you stopped recording, someone would have a huge crash or something else wild would happen.

This edit was shot by myself and Grundy with Seager shooting bits in between trying to ride and keep up with the pros. As you will see in the video, he didn't do too badly, but not that great either ha-ha! Shout out to Grundy who killed it on the editing on this. You know it's kind of fun, doing a project like this with no client and no one to please. For this reason, I think these projects will always be lo-fi and all about the fun!

If this becomes an annual tradition, you can count me in, 100% - for the last two have been been filled with some of the memorable days. All hail the official S4P Swindon 'Loaman-Qualiceum'.

I hope you enjoyed the video and we look forward to bringing you Backcountry 3.0 next year!"