WASILLA, ALASKA—Every professional camera operator has unique challenges to "get the shot." Physical and environmental obstacles can be daunting. Magnify those challenges 50-fold when the location is the Alaska winter tundra and the shooting forum is documentary-style. There is no "easy shot" here at the top of the world, with sub-zero temperatures and a mix of windy snowstorms. The constant threat of equipment electronics freezing up at any time is ever-present.
Shooting in Alaska is always a challenge. Those who dare to capture video in this life-threatening setting are a truly pioneering breed. Theirs is a special calling and the equipment they select has to be just as rugged. At the core of any camera package is its power, and during the past year, our production crew has been working with IDX lithium ion batteries—all with great success. With the workhorse model E-10 at 93 Watt-hours and dual stackable and the Endura Elite at 136 Watt-hours for longer shooting segments, our shooters could consistently and confidently rely on the IDX cells time and time again.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE SHOOT
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the most difficult and awe-inspiring backdrops to document. When we first thought of moving to the IDX battery family, there was apprehension from some of our photo journalists. When you're in the middle of nowhere with temperatures dipping down to 40 below zero, documenting the drama related to the cold is one thing; seeing a flashing light in your viewfinder relating to low juice is another kind of drama that everyone who has been in that position knows too well.
IDX's E-10 and the Elite models proved to be absolutely "Iditarod Tough."
Our photographers used the E10 and Elites from Anchorage to Nome, creating more than 3 terabytes of HD footage, The batteries were described as "ultra-robust," and the shooters liked the idea that they could stack E10's to provide longer shooting opportunities. They also really liked and relied on the Elite's light weight and staying power.
BATTERIES STAYED THE COURSE
Weather conditions ranged from calm, clear days to brutal blizzards, and the batteries provided outstanding reliability without unexpected discharge due to the extreme temperatures. We didn't have a single report of these batteries "flashing out" on us. IDX batteries traveled up the entire trail—transported on snow machine sleds in action pack containers, traversing over tussocks and just plain nasty terrain. The batteries worked without fail every time we hit the record button.
Complimenting the batteries was IDX's X5-Lite, a 50 Watt LED on-board light that provides true flesh tones and color renditions at 5600 K. Much of this race's drama unfolds in the night. Teams coming out of the darkness with a sole headlamp and the green eyes of the sled dogs are the kinds of shots that help us tell the story. Light is everything at those moments, and the X5 worked brilliantly.
IDX is back again this year as our choice of power systems for the 2011 event.
Chas St. George has been the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's public relations director since 2004. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact IDX at 310-328-2850 or visit www.idx.tv.
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