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Andrew Reid

Why I think Canon have forgotten the indie filmmaker

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The only way to get a 4K DSLR is to spend the money I was going to spend on actors and then I have no content. If I spend the money on content I have no camera and have to make do with shoddy 1080p on the 5D Mark III!

 

IMO you're better off shooting a film on the BMCC than on the 1DC. Over 99% of the films on the big screen today have all their post work done and are output at 2k resolution. I only know of a few films delivered in 4k (at a few selected theaters) in the past few years. 35mm film scans are mostly scanned at 2k. So really, if you have a movie to shoot, take the $6k you'd even spend on a 1DX if it had 4k and add it to your movie budget. Just go for it, seriously!

 

This whole thing could change over time with RED's new 4k distribution platform (and other new ones), but that's not what's gonna make or break your film.

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That's a totally different argument ScreensPro

 

The point you raised is that Canon have priced you out of making your project... Forcing you to either choose talent in front of the camera, or features in your camera.

 

I put forward the counter argument that Canon have already created a budget indie camera that shot Shane's film and made him a good income and received praise from critics and viewers alike. In fact, they added a better codec, better low light, less aliasing and moire in their 5DIII upgrade.

 

Face it, Canon have provided cameras that any indie film maker could shoot a watchable film on, if they have the script and talent.... prices from $500 to $30,000.

 

I'm sure we'd all prefer more features.. resolution, dr etc.. and we'd all prefer things to be cheaper.... But the art of making an indie project succeed is to find ways around such problems and use your talents and script to drag people into the art.

 

Anyone sat on a script thinking they need to wait to shoot it in 4K, or with 14 stops DR, or must have raw, or must have x lens are just wasting their own time.

 

If you have a good script, buy a D800, a 5DIII, a 6D, a GH3... hell, grab a 2nd hand GH2 or 5DII.... Learn to light your scene and get pristine audio... and go do

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People managed to shoot stills before AF; if AF matters buy a lens that can autofocus with the system.

Fair enough. I apologize, my point should have been clearer; for someone manually focusing with a large aperture, the GH3 is much easier. Especially for stills.

Panasonic 7-14. Not the best piece of glass but if there's no other solution, then that's it.

If a professional needs AF then they will have bought the GH3 to be part of the m4/3 system. In fact, if a professional "buys into" the m4/3 system, then their m4/3 lenses will be just as future proof as lenses for other camera systems.

 

The only problem I have with GH3/GH2 is show me a pro photographer shooting professionally stills with it. GH2/GH3 is only addition, it's not a hybrid. It'll never beat canons/nikons system for stills with superior range of lenses and flexibility. It'll never beat FF sensor for stills. It's nice for extra resolution in video - if you need it, it loses in everything else.

 

Add the fact canon at some point in the future will adjusts to the competition. They will have to. They can easily crush GH3 if they want to. When it happens, you're ahead if u already know their system. It is very likely that they'll stay at the top of the photogpraphy industry with their cameras.

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The only problem I have with GH3/GH2 is show me a pro photographer shooting professionally stills with it. GH2/GH3 is only addition, it's not a hybrid. It'll never beat canons/nikons system for stills with superior range of lenses and flexibility. It'll never beat FF sensor for stills. It's nice for extra resolution in video - if you need it, it loses in everything else.

 

Add the fact canon at some point in the future will adjusts to the competition. They will have to. They can easily crush GH3 if they want to. When it happens, you're ahead if u already know their system. It is very likely that they'll stay at the top of the photogpraphy industry with their cameras.

 

 

Fair enough.  When it comes to photography, the FF Canons excel versus m4/3.  While it is a better tool, a photographer reduced to a mere GH1 or compact will still be able to produce an amazing image.  "Knowing a system" is only a little bit more then reading a manual and shooting specific tests.

 

Getting a usable shot is much easier from a Canon/Nikon camera then others, which is a much better argument for owning one.  They respond well to professional care on assignment, which in my opinion is why those two companies are the go-to for professionals.  I know I'd rather hike through rain with an aging 1Ds3 and some L zooms as compared to my Arax CM/MLU; as much as I perfer images from the Arax, it is not weather sealed etc etc.

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The only problem I have with GH3/GH2 is show me a pro photographer shooting professionally stills with it. GH2/GH3 is only addition, it's not a hybrid. It'll never beat canons/nikons system for stills with superior range of lenses and flexibility. It'll never beat FF sensor for stills. It's nice for extra resolution in video - if you need it, it loses in everything else.

 

Add the fact canon at some point in the future will adjusts to the competition. They will have to. They can easily crush GH3 if they want to. When it happens, you're ahead if u already know their system. It is very likely that they'll stay at the top of the photogpraphy industry with their cameras.

 

gh2/3, and really m4/3 in general, was never really intended for the pro photographer. until the gh3, panny never really incorporated 'pro-user' features; or at least advertised them as such. the gh series just happened to have some really good video output, and then only made better by vitaly and others. if you look at how these cameras were/are marketed, the intended segments aren't the pro photographer, let alone filmmaker...the users made them as such.

 

i don't think it would make sense for canon to make a specific 'gh3 killer,' because if you look at the buyers of these cameras, i'd say the indie filmmaker is actually a fairly small percentage. canon wouldn't make a full frame, top of the line 'pro model' dslr, and then cram it full of top of the line 'pro model' cinema eos stuff as well. people shooting dedicated stills don't need 4:2:2 color, 4k or any of the lauded video features; and people shooting dedicated video may not want the dslr form factor, rolling shutter issues or so on. it reminds me of the 'old' car saying, 'fast, cheap, reliable...pick 2.' there is no such thing as the 'perfect' all-in-one; in cameras or otherwise, because it has to be good at everything, it doesn't excel at anything.

 

if you already haven't bought into a canon/nikon system, (someone like me) m4/3 is at a more affordable price point for lenses (legacy lenses). there are drawbacks with crop factor, manual focus and so on, but i rarely use autofocus, even for stills, and i really haven't had any issues with the 14mm end of the kit lens not being wide enough. so for me, and i think many others, the benefits of a great video camera, pretty decent stills camera, a bunch of adaptable, fairly affordable, lenses, smaller form factor and other little details (audio levels, histogram, pretty much no moire, etc) and then the pricing of the cameras themselves, brought them to their purchasing decision. i believe canon will remain top of the camera makers, for a while. but these kind of oddball cameras like the gh series are doing enough to cause the big guys pay attention

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Canon didn't "forget" about the indie filmmaker.. They just don't care.

 

I wouldn't blame them either.... They produce various cameras that are hailed by indies... They fix up all the well known problems and the indies just bitch because the resolution isn't quite as good as a gh2... even though more important aspects, like DR, colour, skintone and low light are far superior.

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Andrew, I agree with the idea of the article and I'm sure everyone can agree that having more features for less money would be nice. But to say that the indie filmmakers have to "suffer" is just plain wrong. 

If not having 4k is suffering than your life is far to easy.

As others have mentioned, if you have a story and can't tell it on a 5d/gh2 than you can't tell it with an Alexa, it really is that simple. I've loved my C100 and actually do see it as a resolution increase, but I bought this because its the best event camera on the market. It has NO competition for event filmmaking. Canon can price it whereever they want because it really is that good. 

Same story for the 1DC. Canon is a business and their goal is to make money. Why would they release a product with no competition for what it does and make less money off of it? 

I'd love an honest answer.

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Yes we are suffering. Your Canon is crippled because Canon want to protect the ridiculously high margins of their Cinema EOS line. You paid for hardware that does HDMI at 1080p, you get 720p. You paid for true 1080p resolution with no moire, you get moire on the 6D and upscaled 720p on the 5D Mark III.

 

ScreenPro and others are stating the obvious when it comes to indie filmmaking. It goes on regardless of Canon or camera specs. It is a different argument.

 

But everyone who has a Canon and shoots their indie project with it could have had it so much better in terms of image quality if it were not for Canon holding back on any serious improvements.

 

Sure go ahead and party like it's 2009 with your 5D Mark III. Fixed moire and all. Woohoo. Great.

 

I have moved on.

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^^ on the other hand you go and party like resolution is the most important apsect of video making. I have moved on.

Also who are you to tell what kind of  margins are high and what price is O.K. for a product you don't make.

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I understand wanting the most from what you buy. I want the most from what I buy.

However, as an event photographer/filmmaker the 5dIII are almost everything I could ask for.

I don't want RAW file sizes. I'm not saying that this is everyones needs, but they fit my needs fantastically.

I don't think that Canon forgot about the indie filmmakers (i'm not one) I think they are just marketing elsewhere.

They are a company first and foremost, if there is more money to be made for them by doing it the way they are than thats how they'll do it. Maybe the online community is right and they well be out of business or everyone will boycott them or they will simply have to release something incredible for 300 dollars, and maybe not. Who knows!

But please, you are not suffering. You have a BMCC, you are not suffering.

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There is a huge difference between "Event Photographers", "Wedding Videographers", 'Landscape Photographers", "Time Lapse" photographers or guys who teach 'Tutorials" even "Photographers" who play around with naked girls on their 5D's to some shite music..or shoot weddings that 95% of them will end in divorce within 5 years..lol...and a real 'filmmaker'.

 

Vimeo should have a seperate section on their site for weddings and the other BS...ad nauseum.

 

Just because a lot of people can buy a $3,500 still cam with video function (or even an Epic/Alexa for that matter) does not make them a Filmmaker.

 

Filmmakers shoot movies. (narrative - even with a 5D). I'll cut you some slack on a great documentarian like Werner Herzog or Ken Burns..but that's it.

 

I don't give a holy shit what Phillip 'i'm obsessed with pussy cats' Bloom calls himself.

 

Shoot a feature movie or shut the f*** up about what you are.

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Man, that complaining is just so funny.

 

So let me get this straight. A 5dmarkIII is "no good". A C300 is "no good", and C100 is "no good". BMC is apparently the greatest cam ever. You are getting sponsored by Panasonic and about 50% of your articles is bashing Canon cams. But no mention of the horrible Panasonic AF100? Or the suckiness of the FS100 (which you have actually bought). You do know that it shoots shitty AVCHD with horrible highlight rolloff? 5dmarkIII is comparably more low resolution but it does have a more beautiful image than the FS100/700. Joseph Kahn complained that the FS700 looked like video and shot his newest music video with the 5dmarkIII and made it look great. I guess he didn't hear the complaints?

 

So the Canon C100 which arguably does make one of the best 8-bit images around is trashed to the mud because the C100 is a bit more expensive than the FS100?

 

I don't get the logic here. But I'm not a GH2 fanboy so maybe I'm misguided.

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Shoot a feature movie or shut the f*** up about what you are.

 

Ridiculous statement.

 

We are talking about image making machines. Not narrative film cameras.

 

Do you think some indie kid shooting his friends reading out a poorly written script is far more important than, say, a guy sat in a hide for 9 hours trying to capture footage of a mountain lion?

 

We are all on here for different reasons. I've been involved on indie shoots, but my main work is nature imagery (stills/film). My view is just as valid as some indie filmmaker.

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But I'm not a GH2 fanboy so maybe I'm misguided.

 

I am a GH2 fanboy (well, i love the camera). I still can't get my head around the people on here who feel cheated though.

 

Canon, Lumix, Sony, BM, Nikon etc all have tools that are more than capable of making a feature that could be shown on cinema screens and wouldn't see people walking out for a low resolution image.

 

Product separation, product crippling etc.... Fine, have a moan. But don't feel hard done to, you have some great tools out there.

 

btw - if Canon operated like people want them to... They will go out of business in 5 years. Not ideal!

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Do you think some indie kid shooting his friends reading out a poorly written script is far more important than, say, a guy sat in a hide for 9 hours trying to capture footage of a mountain lion?

 

We are all on here for different reasons. I've been involved on indie shoots, but my main work is nature imagery (stills/film). My view is just as valid as some indie filmmaker.

 

Very true. Its a tool, that's all. What we use this tool for is up to us, we are all here for different reasons, me: to learn as much as I can from people who have greater skills then myself, and I have learned a lot. Learning from people with more experience them myself is very refreshing.

 

Now more then ever its looking easier to become a film maker, just recently Dan Trachtenberg made a short film on youtube. Now he is directing a new feature film from a comic book Y: The Last Man. This is very promising for people like me.

 

 

 

 

I don't give a holy shit what Phillip 'i'm obsessed with pussy cats' Bloom calls himself.

 

Shoot a feature movie or shut the f*** up about what you are.

 

I feel that this is very misguided, Philip Bloom is great at what he does, I might not like everything he does but I respect him for putting himself out there. He has a very good eye for documentary work.

 

 

 

Man, that complaining is just so funny.

 

So let me get this straight. A 5dmarkIII is "no good". A C300 is "no good", and C100 is "no good". BMC is apparently the greatest cam ever. You are getting sponsored by Panasonic and about 50% of your articles is bashing Canon cams. But no mention of the horrible Panasonic AF100? Or the suckiness of the FS100 (which you have actually bought). You do know that it shoots shitty AVCHD with horrible highlight rolloff? 5dmarkIII is comparably more low resolution but it does have a more beautiful image than the FS100/700. Joseph Kahn complained that the FS700 looked like video and shot his newest music video with the 5dmarkIII and made it look great. I guess he didn't hear the complaints?

 

So the Canon C100 which arguably does make one of the best 8-bit images around is trashed to the mud because the C100 is a bit more expensive than the FS100?

 

I don't get the logic here. But I'm not a GH2 fanboy so maybe I'm misguided.

 

I'm not sure if you've been reading the past stuff but Andrew has comment on his displease of the AF100. Enough so that even a representative at Panasonic has commented here on the forums(If its reliable). I feel the hate for Canon, but its because of how much it has ushered in for the Indie film maker that it became quite glaring on the set backs. Why does a t4i/6D have moire but a 5DM3 doesnt? Why do we have to pay double or sometime triple? I really like the colors science behind Canon but their business model isnt targeted at the indie market anymore(specifically me). So I cant comment on everyone else but myself, Canon isnt really aiming for the independent film makers anymore unless you'rs renting possibly.

 

I wouldnt say the 5D is "no good" but its starting to look like "why get a 5D when I can get a BMCC or GH2/3?" Heck even a t4i or 7d which is bulit like a tank? Its a tool. Dont let others opinion misguide you or offend you. This is the internet after all, even in these some what quiet forums we get into heated debates. ;)

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Which "indie" films are these that can't afford to rent a $6-10k camera but can afford a full cast, crew, grip truck, lenses and the remainder of the camera package, locations, art design, sound, and to finish in 4k raw? And what distribution outlets are they seeing that justify the need for that kind of image quality? Network HDTV and 4k DCP? I get that Canon's dSLRs have been disappointing for videographers (in the case of the Mark III, more so for being disappointingly close), but both Canon and Red -- who started this whole game -- have done pretty well putting "professional" quality cameras in the under $10,000 price bracket. Both companies are open about their cinema line targeting "professionals" for whom such an expenditure shouldn't be that devastating -- they know their prices are higher than dSLRs because they aren't selling dSLRs. A grip truck equipped for an indie movie usually has half a million to a million dollars in gear. SAG day rates range from $250-$900 for indie (theatrical) film. What's overpriced again?

 

I can't understand how a $6,500 C100 or $8,000 Scarlet, even when both come closer to $10k fully equipped, will really break the bank. They are the cheapest part of producing an indie feature... I get the complaint "my toy is too expensive" but these cameras weren't designed as toys, as honestly most Canon dSLRs excepting the 1 series (which is also $6500) are. I'm buying a cinema camera as a toy and I really do empathize with this argument because I have the same complaint. I wish the Mark III had the same image quality as the Alexa. Absolutely I do. But it's like complaining that a sports car is too expensive or a Toyota isn't as fast as a Porsche. Why the entitlement? What options did we have before Red and Canon? The Panavision Genesis and hvx200? You can buy a great toy for cheap if you pick your poison (low res, small sensor, etc.) or you can buy a toy designed for "professional" use (not even better image quality -- the BMCC likely runs circles around the C100) for a lot more money. But still ridiculously less than ever before. Who should be complaining are videographers with digibeta and HDCAM systems and F35s and all that nonsense who are seeing their business go to kids like me with dSLRs and 1/10th the rate.

 

Either way, this complaint boils down to "my toy is too expensive." Your film didn't get rejected from Sundance because it didn't have "true 1080p" resolution or because it wasn't shot in RAW. 

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