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Why do I like the look of the Canon 1D C and Blackmagic Micro Cinema so much than the Ursa, F55, FS7, and C300 mark ii?

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1 hour ago, independent said:

As far as complaints about Sony color, a lot of Hollywood thrillers/horrors intentionally have that "Sony" look, graded more towards green and yellow. None of their skin tones look "rich" or "beautiful." David Fincher's films look pretty Sony.

I saw Gone Girl again just now, and I don't think that's correct. But Fincher has gone a long way for sure. Fight Club was an example of his "dirty" period. I remember how I was really *shocked* during the first minutes, where the voice?/ of the character?/ played by Edward Norton said things that felt so true (to me). The visual style was closer to Grindhouse, a compilation of deconstructivistic techniques. With Zodiac (or earlier already?), Fincher became ever cleaner. Gone Girl was crystal clear 6k, but I perfectly remember those first shots of Rosamund Pike looking up (to the narrator?), and how I thought, she looks so real it might as well be my hand touching her hair. Sony style? Surrealism? Hyperrealism?

1 hour ago, independent said:

Roger Deakins claims he could care less about the camera, he'd shoot on anything, he'd make an iPhone image look cinematic.

That's intriguing, isn't it? I use my iPhone for sketches. Why not shoot exclusively on an iPhone and forget about all this bullshit about aesthetics? But this borders on the killer phrase It's not the camera, and Andrew doesn't like this kind of reasoning in his forum. He once said it's stating the obvious. I think he is right.

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Cameras do matter. Deakins fought for the alexa on hail ceasar and the cohens insisted kodak film. Have you seen hail caesar? It looks amazing. The camera is as important as the lighting lenses color etc. A lot of top dps say the camera doesnt matter but of course it does or they would not be risking it all to shoot on film when digital is so much safer for a production.  How it renders motion and  sharpness and smoothness. The camera is really important. Everything is important.

And yes deakins could say he would shoot on an iphone because that's baller to say.  But how many top DPs have "slummed" it on shoots with less-than-good cameras for major feature work?  Pretty much no one except Rodrigo Prieto who likes the Sony F55 for night exteriors.  Pretty much every other DP I can think of only shoots Alexa or Red.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

The camera is immensely important in visual story telling, right from the most basic: a 20mm 4K Iphone vs a 720p Canon SLR with DOF control & smooth skin tones, making an entirely different film if executed by either over another, to the most advanced minute differences like a Sony FS7 vs a C300 image colours, the camera choice can make or break a movie. Just like lenses, lighting, location, they all contribute to making the visual imagery, by which a movie speaks to the audience.

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36 minutes ago, Ed David said:

Cameras do matter.

You are right, of course.

1 hour ago, Axel said:

Why not shoot exclusively on an iPhone and forget about all this bullshit about aesthetics?

This was meant as a joke, but not entirely. If it fits the style, it could be cinéma vérité. Like in the said Victoria. But I agree with independant and others, the best camera is the camera that fits the intendet style. And realism? Reality? I couldn't care less.

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1 hour ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

The camera is immensely important in visual story telling, right from the most basic: a 20mm 4K Iphone vs a 720p Canon SLR with DOF control & smooth skin tones, making an entirely different film if executed by either over another, to the most advanced minute differences like a Sony FS7 vs a C300 image colours, the camera choice can make or break a movie. Just like lenses, lighting, location, they all contribute to making the visual imagery, by which a movie speaks to the audience.

Having used so many cameras on many different shoots, I can absolutely agree the camera choice has a tremendous effect on the final end product. 

Sometimes it's the wrong choice. Once for aesthetic reasons I chose a RED, but operating it held the entire production back creatively - so it ended up with pretty visuals but an average video at best. 

It works the other way round too. I bought the Sony RX10 II and ditched it after 3 shoots. Hated the aesthetic, the lens, the sensor size, noise performance. Replaced the lower end stuff with an A7SII and people are saying "the quality has gone up several notches"....

You should never be held back shooting though.If a Canon 550d/T2i is all you have then go for it!

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1 hour ago, Oliver Daniel said:

Having used so many cameras on many different shoots, I can absolutely agree the camera choice has a tremendous effect on the final end product. 

Sometimes it's the wrong choice. Once for aesthetic reasons I chose a RED, but operating it held the entire production back creatively - so it ended up with pretty visuals but an average video at best. 

It works the other way round too. I bought the Sony RX10 II and ditched it after 3 shoots. Hated the aesthetic, the lens, the sensor size, noise performance. Replaced the lower end stuff with an A7SII and people are saying "the quality has gone up several notches"....

You should never be held back shooting though.If a Canon 550d/T2i is all you have then go for it!

agreed completely!!

You want the best camera and lens and lighting and bla bla bla, for the job, but whatever you have or get, make that sucker shine!

Don't just say, "oh I suck, I give up, no way." just figure it all out.  Maximize the strengths, minimize the flaws.

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11 hours ago, Axel said:

 But this borders on the killer phrase It's not the camera, and Andrew doesn't like this kind of reasoning in his forum. He once said it's stating the obvious. I think he is right.

 I'm not demeaning the role of cameras or differences between them, just that certain cameras do not necessarily look more "cinematic" than others, for a variety of reasons that I had stated.

10 hours ago, Ed David said:

Cameras do matter. Deakins fought for the alexa on hail ceasar and the cohens insisted kodak film. Have you seen hail caesar? It looks amazing. The camera is as important as the lighting lenses color etc. A lot of top dps say the camera doesnt matter but of course it does or they would not be risking it all to shoot on film when digital is so much safer for a production.  How it renders motion and  sharpness and smoothness. The camera is really important. Everything is important.

Agreed, everything is really important, including the camera, but not solely the camera. The issue is, what makes something cinematic? I haven't seen hail caesar, but Deakins was quoted as saying he didn't think shooting with an alexa or film would have made a difference. And that wasn't a glib comment - alexa dominates the industry because it looks filmic. And you might have loved it because you like that look, period. To you, it may reflect that golden age of film, which would also be appropriate for the period look of that film. Lots of reasons why film was a great choice - and why alexa would probably have been too (and the lighting, grading, movement, direction, production design, etc.). And on the other hand, Revenant would have looked less "cinematic" had it been shot on film, because our expectations of cinematic are changing, expanding, and evolving. So digital is increasing the scope of a cinematic look.

10 hours ago, Ed David said:

And yes deakins could say he would shoot on an iphone because that's baller to say.  But how many top DPs have "slummed" it on shoots with less-than-good cameras for major feature work?  Pretty much no one except Rodrigo Prieto who likes the Sony F55 for night exteriors.  Pretty much every other DP I can think of only shoots Alexa or Red.

That's true, because the reality is that they are the highest quality digital cameras. They have more flexibility as well. They also are responsible for transforming the movie industry (Sony has some role here too) from film to digital, largely in part because they've been able to emulate the look of film. But that's not to say that other cheaper cameras can't look cinematic. For one, they've been making their way into feature films, including Hollywood blockbusters. For another, they're getting better with technology, which is why we're even having this conversation about these cheap, little cameras.

"The camera matters" is indeed stating the obvious, but that's not the point here. The question "what makes things cinematic" I think is a more important and relevant question, because I don't think one look (nor one camera) is necessarily more "cinematic" than another. Today, even film isn't more cinematic than digital. 

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Camera choice is crucial. Shane Hurlbut doesn't spend weeks testing cameras for the hell of it; neither do I. Imagine The Walking Dead shot on a Red Epic. Sure you could, but why would you want to?

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Yeah, but you're missing the point; are they choosing cameras based on what looks the most "cinematic" or what's right for the story, the production, etc.? 

I'm not sure what the point about Walking Dead is - why wouldn't you shoot it on Red Epic? Would it be less "cinematic" than 16mm? It's one thing if they decide upon a certain aesthetic. But what's the likelihood that they all sat down and picked 16mm film because it looked the most "cinematic"? 

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18 hours ago, Flynn said:

Heard an interview with the DP for The Witch. He said almost all of the film was shot with a 32mm. They used legit cinema lenses though.

When ppl say a focal length on a forum like this without mentioning format size, do I assume we are talking about super35mm? I used to work with film and last feature I shot was with Red One when it first came out so I missed all the dslr full frame phase. I get confused now what format is considered standard now especially on video forums. thanks 

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5 hours ago, independent said:

 I'm not demeaning the role of cameras or differences between them, just that certain cameras do not necessarily look more "cinematic" than others, for a variety of reasons that I had stated.

Agreed, everything is really important, including the camera, but not solely the camera. The issue is, what makes something cinematic? I haven't seen hail caesar, but Deakins was quoted as saying he didn't think shooting with an alexa or film would have made a difference. And that wasn't a glib comment - alexa dominates the industry because it looks filmic. And you might have loved it because you like that look, period. To you, it may reflect that golden age of film, which would also be appropriate for the period look of that film. Lots of reasons why film was a great choice - and why alexa would probably have been too (and the lighting, grading, movement, direction, production design, etc.). And on the other hand, Revenant would have looked less "cinematic" had it been shot on film, because our expectations of cinematic are changing, expanding, and evolving. So digital is increasing the scope of a cinematic look.

That's true, because the reality is that they are the highest quality digital cameras. They have more flexibility as well. They also are responsible for transforming the movie industry (Sony has some role here too) from film to digital, largely in part because they've been able to emulate the look of film. But that's not to say that other cheaper cameras can't look cinematic. For one, they've been making their way into feature films, including Hollywood blockbusters. For another, they're getting better with technology, which is why we're even having this conversation about these cheap, little cameras.

"The camera matters" is indeed stating the obvious, but that's not the point here. The question "what makes things cinematic" I think is a more important and relevant question, because I don't think one look (nor one camera) is necessarily more "cinematic" than another. Today, even film isn't more cinematic than digital. 

This post reminds me of this discussion I just read a few days ago. Probably my favorite exchange ever on the subject of "cinematic" looks with filmmaking. 

Steve Yedlin recently made a video trying to match the Alexa and 35mm film as close as possible. Seen here: http://www.yedlin.net/DisplayPrepDemo/

Following that, he posted an email exchange between him and Mario Carvalhal, here: http://www.yedlin.net/160105_edit.html

Really interesting stuff. I'm in pretty much total agreement with Steve's perspective. 

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3 hours ago, independent said:

Yeah, but you're missing the point; are they choosing cameras based on what looks the most "cinematic" or what's right for the story, the production, etc.? 

I'm not sure what the point about Walking Dead is - why wouldn't you shoot it on Red Epic? Would it be less "cinematic" than 16mm? It's one thing if they decide upon a certain aesthetic. But what's the likelihood that they all sat down and picked 16mm film because it looked the most "cinematic"? 

I'm missing the point? :astonished:

Firstly, "cinematic' has to be the dumbest word I've encountered on the filmmaking forums. The dictionary definition is: relating to the cinema, and: having qualities characteristic of films. In the 21st century an increasing number of films are shot digitally; not all those films look like they've been shot on film, some have been shot digitally and attempt to emulate the look of film, others have been shot digitally to deliberately look like video. Some films are shot on film with deep DOF, realistic color, and grain removed in post, and look like they've been shot digitally. So "Cinematic" doesn't have any real specific meaning, it's a misnomer. "Filmic" on the other hand does have meaning because "filmic" means something that looks like/emulates actual film stock. You can choose a camera that produces a "filmic" look to suit your story, or you can choose a camera that produces a "video" look, but if you're a director asking a cinematographer for a "cinematic" look, expect the cinematographer to shake his head and/or laugh.

You wouldn't shoot The Walking Dead on a Red Epic because it would take a lot more time and cost a lot more money to get the deliberate lo-fi S16mm look right in post. If I was asked to shoot The Walking Dead digitally I'd shoot it with the Digital Bolex. You choose the camera that best tells the story you want to tell (within your budget), it's as simple as that.

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8 hours ago, independent said:

Today, even film isn't more cinematic than digital. 

It must have been in 2007. An actor from the local theater asked me if I wanted to record a rehearsal for a scene from Blaise Cendrars novel Dan Yack. It was, as it turned out, just one page of the novel - the whole thing too complex to adapt, they eventually realized. I had a Canon XH-A1 then (euro name) with a Letus adapter for still lenses. They used costumes from the fund and the prop department (you should go there to see what's cinematic) made a sculpture from wood and painted it to look like concrete. They controlled the stage lights to maximize the effect. The camera matters? Yes, but to which degree? Somewhere between one and five percent.

8 hours ago, independent said:

 Today, even film isn't more cinematic than digital. 

Tarantino used film for The H8ful 8. In a nofilmschool newsletter, I saw this:

 

... and I know this projector brand by heart. It was widely used because it was comparatively cheap. But it had a lot of mechanical imperfections. For instance, the lens revolver is on a hinge and can be swung away to facilitate inserting the film. We used to fold a paper twice and stuck it in to maintain backfocus during a two-hour turn with heavy vibrations. A 70mm slide is magnified to 50 feet, you can imagine what a tolerance of 4 layers of paper means! Nothing was perfect in the analog world. Tarantino must love those imperfections, among them, almost inevitably, bad image steadiness, dust (polyester running with high speed over plastic rolls!), scratches, visible splices, flicker.

I too find these things romantic - in the way you love steam locomotives as a child. I sometimes miss my ancient analog Bolex (with spring mechanism) that I gave to a film student. But in comparison to the BMMCC it would have lost in almost every respect.

And I second what squig wrote above. We must eventually stop to confuse terms.

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11 hours ago, squig said:

Camera choice is crucial. Shane Hurlbut doesn't spend weeks testing cameras for the hell of it; neither do I. Imagine The Walking Dead shot on a Red Epic. Sure you could, but why would you want to?

Shane Hurlbut goes a bit overboard in my opinion. He's not even anywhere near the talent level of guys like Roger Deakins, Chivo, Bradford Young, who all have said they rely on "feel" and "aesthetic" over charts.

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23 hours ago, Ed David said:

Cameras do matter. Deakins fought for the alexa on hail ceasar and the cohens insisted kodak film. Have you seen hail caesar? It looks amazing. The camera is as important as the lighting lenses color etc. A lot of top dps say the camera doesnt matter but of course it does or they would not be risking it all to shoot on film when digital is so much safer for a production.  How it renders motion and  sharpness and smoothness. The camera is really important. Everything is important.

And yes deakins could say he would shoot on an iphone because that's baller to say.  But how many top DPs have "slummed" it on shoots with less-than-good cameras for major feature work?  Pretty much no one except Rodrigo Prieto who likes the Sony F55 for night exteriors.  Pretty much every other DP I can think of only shoots Alexa or Red.

...actually film is the safest choice also...( with the empty palette of alexa you really need the $$$$ for coloring)

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3 hours ago, odie said:

...actually film is the safest choice also...( with the empty palette of alexa you really need the $$$$ for coloring)

Today 'film' means little else than analog storage. The images are scanned and from there on treated like any material with digital origin.

And if you had the slightest idea of how cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive analog color-timing had been, of how many generations of copies needed to be printed for every stage of the postproduction.

And how risky that was (and still is). No chance to check immediately what was recorded, if the material was faulty or any kind of damage that could happen afterwards. 

There may have been a time, say, when the Red One was unreliable and refused to work properly in various climatic conditions, that DoPs said, no thanks, we rather shoot on film, but I think that's history.

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On February 28, 2016 at 7:55 AM, Ed David said:

Maximize the strengths, minimize the flaws.

As shown with the film you shot on the EM5II.  Many flaws with that camera and they're all successfully minimized -- and the strength of it is on full display. 

Of course, the great thing about high-end gear is that it's forgiving and gets you where you want to be easily. (aside from the dent in the pocketbook) But, any image capturing device can be used in a creative and intriguing way, for sure.

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22 hours ago, Hanriverprod said:

When ppl say a focal length on a forum like this without mentioning format size, do I assume we are talking about super35mm? I used to work with film and last feature I shot was with Red One when it first came out so I missed all the dslr full frame phase. I get confused now what format is considered standard now especially on video forums. thanks 

They shot with the Arri Alexa and while I'm not sure of the crop factor I think it's Super 35 (1.5 when compared to full frame). So a 32mm lens on it is equivalent to a 48mm lens on something like a Canon 5dmkiii.

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4 hours ago, Flynn said:

They shot with the Arri Alexa and while I'm not sure of the crop factor I think it's Super 35 (1.5 when compared to full frame). So a 32mm lens on it is equivalent to a 48mm lens on something like a Canon 5dmkiii.

Thanks for clearing it up, appreciate it

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