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Grant Johnston Reviews the Zhiyun Crane 2 for Real Estate Video

Published: 22/12/2018
By: larry

4 comments on “Grant Johnston Reviews the Zhiyun Crane 2 for Real Estate Video”

  1. Great video, I have been using the Zhiyun Crane (smaller payload) for 6 months now with a Sony a7RII and a sony 10-18 lens. These are great. Since that payload is a bit lighter than what Grant has there were no stability problems due to weight. That rig was my starting point for serious WT videos and I can't say anything bad about it.

    Since then I have begun to move up to a Sony a7RIII and a G-master 2.8 16-35 lens. Hey it's tax time and investments at end of year (US) are like instant 50% off folks. Also have a Crane 3 Lab on order. The lens-camera weight is too much for the Crane but not the Crane 2 or 3 thus the move to the crane 3 (when it come in). Add to that I'm getting an Atomos ninja v monitor recorder. I'll let you know how that all works out.

    Please note none of that new gear will improve my video technique or the quality of the videos at all. It will however provide the capabilities in the right hands to produce some stunning videos. Facing that in my down time (slow time of the year) I have been spending time improving my technique both on site and off site in post production. Testing severe lighting conditions and hw to shoot around them. BTW the lighting conditions where Grant shot were of course great and he knew how to take advantage of those.

    Now why am I saying all of this? Simply to reiterate that all the gear in the world doesn't make great videos but practice, study, practice, plan, practice, study, review, plan and execute will go a long way. Then when you add the right gear more magic can happen. I began in August 2017 shooting Zillow with the Zillow ap unedited but near the end started experimenting with using the DLSR. Looking back all of those are embarrassments. Continuing in 2018 when Zillow dropped support for the Android I got serious about putting the time in to understand what I was doing. It has now paid off. Last year I shot 150 videos and they were OK... Note just OK. I have been determined to make 2019 the year of the video and become good at it.

    In consideration of moving from OK to good it would be much appreciated to see more video centric content here with each post centered on one small aspect of shooting video. There is so much to learn here and it's nothing like still photography. Gear reviews are great but how to hold and walk is important. Camera profiles are important (secret settings than make things work for video). Understanding LUTS are important. Composition in video is fluid and important but very different from still composition in that you are moving to that perfect composition in 3 second time frames. Length of clips is important. The difference between a Walk Through video and an Experiential video is important (Grant's video is king of a combo of the two). Audio is important, music or tempo or voice over are all important.

    Then of course the workflow and "what to charge" is very important. For starters I set my price points to make $100 per hour minimum and go from there. The thing with video is "you are already there" no travel time set up time or travel expense. I can now do a WT video in 15 minutes or less on site and 20 minutes or less in editing and get good results. That makes my entry level videos profitable but very affordable and no brainers for agents to just add on. Looking over my records for the year for every 1% time videos added to my total work flow I added 2% revenue. That makes this video add on twice as profitable as still images. In 2019 my business plan calls for 25% of revenue coming from video. I could do that with just 12.5% additional time. Furthermore some of that time will come form delivering fewer (but more thoughtful) stills at the same price.

    This entry video enables me to push other add-ons that are high margin like actually hosting those videos and building small pages and building ad campaigns around those items. 2019 we will be doing Experiential videos for high end listings, hosting them and building ad campaigns that no one else is doing, at least in my area.

    Sorry for rambling a bit about this, that's just how I am. There are a lot of moving parts to this video thing and what I have found it takes time and commitment to really understand and implement. A good video is worth much more than any gimmick like (with no disrespect) Materport, 3D, VR or the latest fad out there. It's just a basic offering that, when executed well, can be very profitable and everyone will understand and want. It stands on its own. Let's see more of this.

  2. What Frank said. I agree completely. Grant also recommends the MOZA AIR that I bought last spring and have had great results using my Sony A-6500. As Frank said, equipment does not make great videos, it is how well you use them. It's all in the mind, the skill development and the eye.

    I too added video to my still and drone offerings with an "econo" package for a 45 sec "Teaser" video that I can shoot in 20 minutes when I am already on site shooting stills. Takes about 45 minutes to edit adding music, using really short and snappy clips. These are designed for social media and property sites. This lets my clients tell their owners that they are offering and producing video which these days leverages listings away from realtors who don't. I charge $150 for this add on. But normally I shoot a full video for a lot more and produce both a 45 minute "teaser" video as well as a full video that covers the whole property. And those can be much longer such as the one I am working on for a 40 acre ranch with many buildings, groves and processing facilities.

    Building on Frank's comments and this theme, Grant has just reformatted his tutorials for video putting them all into one package for a one time fee backed up with his FaceBook closed group where he is also offering commentary on a member submitted video. Since all of us newbies tend to make the same mistakes to a greater or lesser extent, hearing him comment not on his own videos but those of his students, helps us all learn from common mistakes and he is amazingly supportive and decent in his critism. Not harsh like so many of my own professors in photography school. If anyone is wanting to add video to their offerings, I can certainly recommend starting with Grant's course. He is a master but with his new format, we learn not just from him but from our fellow fledgling videographers.

    And Grant himself does not sit on his hands, but is constantly trying new equipment and techniques and passes them on to his students. And no, I am not being paid to make a testimonial, just someone who owes whatever he knows about RE videography to Grants courses, not just how to shoot, recommended equipment and how to set them up, but how to edit the results for the strongest impact and most professional look and feel.

  3. I am a Crane fan, have 2 of the, I also use the 2 grip handle with remote, Sony A6300's. Love them. One set for 10mm lens and the other for their 10-18 lens.

  4. I am switching from wedding videos (6 years in a row... oh my..) to real estate. I do not like how he moves his crane. It should be a nice movement from a to b, without intermediate turns. He has a lot of them. Anyway that gear adds something important, first of all, it is a professional look. Real estate videos are tons of fun nowadays

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