PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.


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This could be thought of as a memorial post. A memorial to our Mark III, a camera that Practical used for so many different projects but that we lost this year. There are many cameras that are larger, shooting higher resolution, and have glossier bodies than the Canon 5D Mark III, but for very few of those was I as excited about than I was when I bought the Mark III, or stayed with me for as long as the Mark III did.

The main power of the Canon 5D Mark III was its staying power. It never left. Even after we bought more powerful cameras the Mark III remained at my side, even if just to stand by and take BTS photos while the newer, bigger cameras did the work. And when the bigger cameras couldn’t come, the Mark III was still, as always, right by my side-- hanging from my shoulder to be specific. When I would travel, things would happen that... really couldn’t be anticipated and that happened in far off corners where the only device I had on me was the camera over my shoulder. Some of these moments found their way into of our projects and often as some of the more interesting or incredible moments, or became projects of their own.

I think it’s safe to safe the epitome of this is West Coast Travelogue. It was filmed on a trip that was packed so tightly that I couldn’t even pack a spare batteries. West Coast Travelogue was captured through one lens, onto one card, in one card, and just with the batteries that would fit inside.  And while the equipment that was used was brought out of pure necessity, the tight situations I was in with that gear, the train compartments, sidewalks, windstorms, and lush forest corners, they were truly inspiring. And being able to have a camera that was both so small and so versatile that captured such beautiful footage is still so cool to me.

The Canon 5D Mark III carried a lot of responsibility in the creation of West Coast Travelogue. And while the footage was shot a year ago in February, it was only about a year ago this month that I actually finished and posted the Travelogue. I didn’t realize the response it would garner from both friends and from people I hadn’t met-- and I’ve had more people want to talk about this project than any other -- which says a lot about the power of being able to be so spontaneous and is one of the reasons that I’m going to miss this camera the most.


Every single image in this post was taken with the Mark III, which was lost on April 22, 2015 far from home in San Diego, California. We don’t know how it was lost or exactly when, but that wonderful machine leaves these images behind. We’ll miss you Mark III.