Chase 2021 - New Technology? - Target Areas? What Will You Do Differently?

Apr 10, 2008
504
264
11
Tulsa, OK
www.facebook.com
Vehicle:
2005 Toyota 4Runner Sport 4x4 - 291k miles
I just replaced the lower control arms and will replace the brakes next month. After that I plan on having the transmission and transfer case flushed with filters replaced. Truck still drives great so I expect to get another 2-3 years use out of it before I move on to my next vehicle.

Data:
Netgear Wi-Fi router - AT&T
Lenovo tablet for radar/GPS/internet
Delorme Map books for backup navigation

Video:
Sony NxCam
2 - GoPro Hero 3 (outdated but still works well) for time lapse
I-phone 6 with LiveU streaming app for live feed to KOKI-Fox23
JVC Everio HD handycam for backup video

Photography:
Canon 90D
18-135mm
55-250mm
Rokinon 14mm f2.8

My gear is definitely not top grade, but it more it's more than enough to get the job done.
 
Aug 9, 2012
491
1,058
21
Macomb, IL
stormoptics.smugmug.com
Made some last minute equipment changes recently that I will use for the upcoming 2021 season (whenever it arrives). I sold off the A7III I had along with the 16-35mm GM lens. Really think the A7III is a great camera for video+photos but I already have an A7RIII so it was just kinda extra. I had gotten a 12-24mm lens last year for a good price, so I was waiting to get rid of the 16-35mm lens that I used all last season (did very well!). The biggest upgrades I made this year was the addition of an A7SIII along with my A7RIII for photo+videos. I was going to sell off both my bodies and buy the A1 that just came out, but availability issues and pricing were just too far out there for me and it didn't seem practical for me. I also have an A9 II that I use for birding, but I probably won't use that for chasing....

My car remains the same (2011 Ford Escape), I have an Ipad Pro that I mount in the passenger seat RAM mount along with my Macbook Pro 16". Will use the same internet I've used since 2011, Verizon Wireless, already been on one chase this year and it only got spotty once. Still don't have a mounted video camera, thinking about picking up an action cam just so I'm able to film all my chases from beginning to end. One focus of mine for 2021 is going to be getting stable tripoded video of supercells and hopefully tornadoes along with high quality stills. Recent years I've been about getting super close, but I think I'm willing to back off a bit to get those clean zoom shots from a stabilized position versus in a moving car.


I'm interested though to hear any other chasers experience using the A7SIII. I'm still waiting on it to be delivered and hoping to play with it before chasing picks up. I know the rolling shutter is still an issue (although improved over the SII), but I'm not really looking to film lightning at high frame rates so that doesn't matter much to me. I'm really after the extreme low light performance and more video options over the A7III.
 

Michael Towers

Supporter
Jun 28, 2007
321
171
11
Machesney Park, IL
I just spent a bundle this week on major upgrades to both my camcorder and laptop. My old camcorder still works fine and has served me well for 12 years, even surviving a dunk into a lake after a foolhardy attempt to film myself musky fishing with the camera mounted on a tripod on the back of the boat. Wave hits boat, boat heaves, tripod wobbles then tips over into lake camera first with me catching a leg just in time to retrieve it. Camcorder still running then dies, put in bag of rice for a week and was pleasantly surprised it not only worked again but with no ill effects. Old camcorder will now serve as a very nice dash cam on suction mount I bought years ago but never used. So now I have a dash cam which is something I’ve always wanted and for my main cam I bought this beauty:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/handycam-camcorders/fdr-ax700

I bought it on ebay for about $400 less than the price on Sony’s site, it arrived a few days ago and I’ve had a chance to pretty much learn everything I need to know about it and give it a little workout. It’s a lot larger and heavier than my old cam so filming on the fly will be a little more of an effort but a lot of my shots are on tripod and I’ve already switched my quick release head from my old to new and it secures quickly and easily onto my tripod. Based on the filming I’ve done the quality really can’t be discerned because my monitor is only 1920x1080 and I haven’t hooked it up yet to my 4K TV. But when trying to watch on my PC it became apparent it’s not up to the job, the video doesn’t play well regardless the program used to run it. I was surprised though that I was able to render it successfully although not nearly as quickly as rendering my previous HD stuff. This got me to thinking about how outdated both my PC and laptop are with my laptop 11 years old and PC 12 years old, both running 7 on nearly identical internals as both have dual core processors at 2.6 GHz and 8G RAM. Like my camcorder both still run fine but once I started checking out new laptops I started drooling over some of the specs at not so terrible prices. I really am an impulsive type and in less than a few hours of comparison I not only decided on what I wanted but bought it as well:

https://www.amazon.com/ThinkPad-E15-1920x1080-i7-10510U-Business/dp/B086M8D4PQ?th=1

This should do the job and then some for all my needs, not just those related to video. I have some concerns about compatibility with the stuff I’m currently running but that’s something I’ll address once it arrives next week and I’m sure I’ll be able to utilize everything I need one way or another. So after some major splurging I’m excited to have two great new additions to my repertoire of chase equipment and jinx be damned, bring on the storms!
 
May 22, 2007
135
47
6
Mesa Arizona
About the only changes to last years chasing is an upgraded dashcam (Sony FDR 3000) and the purchase of Radarscope Pro. I have been using just the standard Radarscope but I need higher grade couplets views.