Safari Travel Company Eyes on Africa Uses AG-AF100 Camera to Produce Enticing Video Marketing Tools
Eyes on Africa, an African safari travel and guide company, is using the Panasonic AG-AF100 large imager camera to produce marketing videos of their safari tours for online distribution, marketing multimedia and trade show highlight reels. Last year, owner James Weis, sound recordist Bryen Hensley and DP/camera operator Mark Kluiszo set off to Botswana to capture the essence of a safari experience, and they have had an incredibly positive response to the images the AG-AF100 captured.
“The AF100 performed way beyond expectations,” Hensley said. “We were on a safari vehicle bouncing around through the wilderness and it held up beautifully.”
In the planning stages of the project Hensley was looking at renting a larger camera, but the AF100’s affordable price, feature set and lens interchangeability sealed the deal and Weis purchased one specifically for the shoot.
Footage was shot from open-air Land Rovers, helicopters and by foot, all demanding a lightweight, ergonomic design as well as professional features. Kluiszo was able to shoot high-quality video in all these circumstances.
“It has the look of the DSLR cameras but with all the features I was used to as a shooter for 20 years,” he said.
Kluiszo used a variety of lens including the Lumix 14-140mm zoom and Nikon Nikkor zoom, telephoto and wide-angle lenses. Having various built-in ND filters and the ability to open the aperture to adjust the depth of field was beneficial to the project and resulted in stunning visuals.
“We would get so close I could put on a Nikon 80-200mm zoom lens and get nice, tight shots of their eyes,” Kluiszo said. He was also able to capture the speed of these wild cats at a moment’s notice. “The AF100, especially the pre-record capability, allowed me to keep up and not miss the fast-paced action.”
The footage was edited using Apple Final Cut Pro. Weis recently displayed the HD footage at a travel convention in Los Angeles on a 50-inch LED TV and found the video to be compelling and incredibly effective, even without completed editing.
“At these trade shows we are exposed to 10,000 people walking past our booth in one weekend,” he said. “The video has proven to be a very effective marketing tool.”
In fact, about one week after the show the company had already secured bookings. A few people even requested the “Blu-ray/DVD” version of the Botswana footage.
“It’s pretty rare for people to make a decision to go to Africa that quickly,” Weis said. “My gut tells me that I’m definitely getting a return on investment on the camera.”
Hensley and Kluiszo were recently named first place winners in the nature and wildlife category of Panasonic’s "Shoot It. Share It” online video contest.