Administrators Popular Post Andrew Reid Posted June 22, 2017 Administrators Popular Post Share Posted June 22, 2017 Work tools are boring. I've always found mirrorless cameras way more fun to actually shoot with. In his day job John Brawley has an Alexa. Why on earth would he shoot 'for fun' creatively, with an Olympus E-M1 II? But he does. There are a lot of talented DPs who shoot with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras once they down their RED and Arri cameras at the end of the day. Yet I find in the mid-range market for video pros (wedding videographers for example) there's an aspirational value attached to the higher-end pro cameras, that is stupid and pointless. Aspirations should be creative. Owning a Sony FS5 or Canon C500 doesn't make you more creative, it makes you more efficient at work by a slight bit, and you appear more professional because of the big nobs and bells & whistles. Sadly, it doesn't necessarily make for "better" work because I have yet to see a clear distinction between work shot on mirrorless cameras and on stuff like the C300. In fact often the small camera stuff looks better and more inspired. The legendary Anthony Dod Mantle is known for his rough and ready work with digital, but when he went Canon C-series on Oliver Stone's recent series of Putin interviews, the look they achieved was slap dash and lazy to my eye... Could have been so much better. He used DSLRs as well on this shoot (between 2015-2017) and those shots actually came out more interesting! Too many pro videographers seem to dream of cameras like an Alexa and RED, why shows to me how important the professional label and look is to people, but creatively, they are no better and actually worse than the small cameras. I hated shooting with my Sony FS5. A fiddly pain in the ass, for my music video work in Berlin, it needed an OIS lens and rig for handheld - limiting the choice of looks from the lens. With a GH5 you can put any lens on there and it is instantly stable for handheld work, with a tiny form factor that gets out of the way. The FS5's image was worse than an A7S II but double the price. Aside from high frame rates it didn't offer anything creatively over a DSLR or mirrorless camera and now I have 120fps full frame on two of my small cameras along with 240fps 1080p on the pocket RX100 IV - So why bother getting a more expensive camera if it doesn't power you along creatively as much as the cheaper stuff!? These pro cameras aren't cheap... Sometimes I got lucky and I bought a Canon C500 for a very good price used, but do you know how many times I have felt compelled to take it out and use it for artistic work? Zero times. Kendy Ty is another example of a pro who downs his workhorse RED and shoots with a DSLR... The camera gets out of the way to such an extent he can shoot short films in public and direct the actors at the same time as being the main cinematographer. His work sticks in the mind as some of the most creative and spontaneous I've seen and there's not a C200 in sight... zero need for one! I think pros have by-and-large completely forgotten and lost the spirit of the DSLR movement back from 2010-2012 as they sought efficiency. XLRs, built in NDs, yadda yadda. Blackmagic as well, when they ditched the small cameras and went all-out URSA on us. Canon too... Oh wait, they never got it in the first place, and they invented it! Cameras should not just be about making money. That's how an art-form gets boring. That's how it dies. They are not just about doing a job. They're about creatively enabling artists and they're about democratising the art form so that price doesn't act as a road block to new talent. Of course Canon only care about profit, they are not interested in that. The Olympus E-M1 II's stabilisation isn't seen on any of the pro cinema cameras. It's unique. It offers something creatively to the result that a bigger, more complex shooting rig simply does not. On the audio side, so important creatively, small mirrorless cameras used to have limitations and some still do - but with XLR boxes with phantom power that fit in a hot-shoe, you can't really complain. Audio is not a big limiting factor on the Panasonic GH5. I still know that pros have their professional reasons for going Cinema EOS or Sony FS or RED or even Arri... Workflows, codecs, ergonomics, power, performance, looking-the-part... I'm not denying their reasons for one second, it would be so naive to suggest they drop the workhorse cameras and use a mirrorless camera for paid work. But the creative side of the small cameras is what matters to me and I think it is being overlooked as specs in the $6000-$10,000 pro market hot up. Sure, you can shoot all day on a big battery to a small broadcast ready codec with the C200, very practical... But can you put a 1970's Super 16 lens on there? Can you increase the character of your images by a factor of 10? Does it have an anamorphic mode? Nope. If I ever buy a C200... Shoot me. It's over. zetty, Orangenz, sudopera and 8 others 11 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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