Is there anything this girl can’t do? Snowboarding, skateboarding, skimboarding, photography and ambassador to top action sports brands like Hitcase, Amber is one of our most prolific and enthusiastic content producers. You can see some of her awesome videos and pics shot with Hitcase Pro on one of her many social media channels below. (PS she’s wearing our new FloatR neoprene sling that keeps your Hitcase afloat in the photo above.)
Today’s Big Hitter is John Cain, traveller, entrepreneur, adventurer. John has been travelling and blogging for the last 1.5 years on his sites http://vinjabond.com/ and http://sixvaser.com. John has some great articles about his passions, travel, adventure and survival.
He started documenting his adventures using a GoPro but switched to his iPhone and the Hitcase Pro in 2013. Now, about 95% of his photos are taken with the Hitcase Pro. You can see more of his work on his FlickR site. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixvaser/
His work is inspiring and tempts the traveller and adventurer in all of us. The photos below were all shot with Hitcase.
In the first of a series called Big Hitters we are showcasing athletes, travellers and adventurers in our News section who are capturing extraordinary action and adventure footage using the Hitcase.
A big highlight for Hitcase recently has been the new Hitcase family member Reed Hansen, 6 time world champion wake skater who likes the simplicity of using his iPhone5S + Hitcase Pro 5 to share his wake skate sessions.
Check out his Facebook page to see what he’s up to.
iPHone 5s and Hitcase Pro 5
Canadian national tv network Global visited Hitcase and interviewed our CEO Brooks Bergreen and Mark Zealand our in house video pro giving the lowdown on what the Hitcase Pro is about and how it’s changing the way people use the iPhone.
As the manufacturer of a product in a new category it is sometimes difficult to get across exactly what we are creating and why to potential clients.
Is the Hitcase a waterproof iPhone 5 case? Yes, up to 33 feet but it’s more than that. Does the Hitcase protect your iPhone from drops and vibrations? Yes, it can do that as well. Is the Hitcase Pro a wide angle lens for the iPhone? It most certainly is. Can you mount the Hitcase like an action camera? Absolutely! But it can do more, especially with our free Vidometer app.
Explaining what that “more” is succinctly is not always easy, that is why this enthusiastic review from one of our customers is so edifying.
Vinjabond explains why he chose the Hitcase Pro, how he uses it and how it benefits him in his adventure and travel photo/videography.
Read Vinjabond’s full Hitcase Pro review here.
Here are some choice quotes that really hits home on what the Hitcase is.
“I have now been using the Hitcase Pro for a year with heavy use all over the world. Often in punishing conditions that would have otherwise destroyed my iPhone; a sandstorm in Giza, hunting in a Cambodian jungle, clubbing in Seoul, a snowstorm in Berlin, typhoons in Taipei, trekking mountains, and countless underwater activities.”
“The GoPro cameras have become ubiquitous to action, adventure and travel photography / videography but there is an alternative that I personally prefer. A more accessible, mobile, convenient and reliable choice… The Hitcase Pro for iPhone”
“With the existence of the Hitcase Pro, if I could have any camera in the world regardless of cost for travel, adventure and action filming, I would choose a phone. Not a DSLR or a GoPro but the iPhone.”
We think Vinjabond has helped us explain the Hitcase Pro even better than we can. The truth is, the Hitcase Pro is more than the sum of it’s parts. It is the combination of all the features mentioned above that produces an amazingly rugged portable video recording and sharing device using a gadget you always have with you.
You can see more of his creativity on his FlickR page of photos shot with an iPhone 5 and Hitcase Pro showing how the combination is just as capable as a higher end camera.
The video is completely shot with Hitcase Pro. Mud, water, knocks. Whatever, the Hitcase can take it no problem.
Thanks for the shout out from Transworld Wakeboarding magazine for naming Hitcase Pro their Digital Obsession of the month. Here’s what they have to say.
“This is no ordinary iPhone case. It’s function combines the free Vidometer app by Hitcase and your phone’s internal sensors and embeds and displays your altitude, speed, G-force and more on your videos in real time. The case itself is shockproof, waterproof, includes a wide-angle lens option and is GoPro mount-compatible. It’s really quite impressive.”
We have been shooting plenty of underwater videos with our Hitcase Pro 5 recently, especially during our trip to Cuba. (Watch out for our upcoming videos from there.)
Here are some tips from our experience that will keep you dialed in the next time you hit the water.
Getting Rid Of Water Drops On Lens
If you get tiny water specks on your Hitcase Pro lens the quickest way to clean it up is more water. It sounds counter intuitive but all you need to do is quickly dip the Hitcase in the water again or even lick it!
Do I Need Color Filters?
Nope. The iPhone 5s has good enough color correction that filters are not usually needed. Just let the camera set the color balance.
The Most Common Question Answered
One of the most common questions our tech support people get is “how do I focus underwater”? Without being cryptic, the honest answer is “it depends”.
Generally, auto focus works really well underwater but on occassion you will need to pre focus using touch focus. The Hitcase’s touchscreen cover does not translate touch underwater so we suggest you take a test shot beforehand. Simply go underwater and take a sample shot of your subject on autofocus then go back to the surface and verify. If autofocus doesn’t work, use Focus Lock – AF/AE Lock on a surface object or person about the same distance as to what you are shooting underwater, focus will lock on that setting so you can shoot your target when you go back under.
The important thing is to pre determine what you’re shooting before you go underwater. Knowing and anticipating what you’re filming underwater beforehand is vitally important. Perhaps you want to focus on coral 8 feet away underneath but autofocus is locking onto fish swimming around it, simply go back up and Focus Lock, AF/ AE Lock. This requires you to hold your finger down on the screen until AF/AE Lock is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Just point your Hitcase at your hand, your buddy or boat from 8 feet away then go back down for your final shot.
Focus often depends on your activity, if you’re splashing around a lot as in sea kayaking the splashes on the Hitcase Pro will cause the iPhone to autofocus on the splash. If you set focus manually, it will remain focused on the distance you set.
Second Most Popular Question
After focus, our users’ second most popular question regarding watersport recording is “how do I start recording/taking footage under water?”.
We are actually surprised a lot of people don’t know the iPhone can start recording using either the – or + volume buttons. Our brushed metal button covers make it easy to start recording by touch.
NEVER NEVER NEVER DO THIS!
Never open your Hitcase until you’re on dry land! Salt water kills iPhones, there is no recovery from salt water if it gets into your iPhone! Resist the temptation to open the Hitcase during your watersport activity. Do not open it on your boat, do not open it on your kayak, do not open it on your surfboard, do not open it anywhere near the water Sam I am. You may get lucky and have a small possibility of recovery with freshwater but don’t do it. You could have sand on your hands, accidentally drip water from arm or a wave hits at the worst moment. There is no reason for you to open the Hitcase anyways, all versions of the Hitcase allows full use of your iPhone while remaining in it’s secure environment.
Get Outstanding Videos With Just A Few Tools
As covered in our previous article monopods are great low cost tools that should be in every sports videographer’s toolkit. Whether moving the camera further away from you or getting dramatic odd angle shots, monopods are versatile and easy to carry. The only caveat when shooting in water is to making sure your monopod is water safe. Some models use glue to hold the shafts together that dissolves in water and other units are made with metal that can corrode, the same with tripods underwater. Make sure the one you use is waterproof. You can see an example of a tripod in use underwater recording a swimmer coming towards the camera in the video above.
Our own ChestR is another useful mount for recording action sports. It is made from neoprene so it’s lightweight and waterproof. The patented 3 point harness makes it easy to put on and the 360 degree rotating mount lets you record in all sorts of angles hands free. You can be swimming and have your Hitcase pointed downwards or be kayaking and recording from your POV hands free. The uses are endless and limited only by your imagination with the ChestR mount. As if that isn’t enough all our mounts including the ChestR are compatible with all GoPro cameras.
Another handy item for your watersport go bag is the FloatR mount for Hitcase. It’s comfortable, waterproof and true to it’s namesake it floats. With it you can take your Hitcase deep underwater and it will float back to the surface. Use it to prevent losing your iPhone and Hitcase underwater.
Well, there you have it. Some tips and ideas to take your water sport videos to the next level. Let us know what you think or tell us your killer underwater shooting trick we totally missed in the comments below.