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Andrew Reid

Pro camcorders? They're pointless creatively.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I say they aren't mutually exclusive. After years of using mutliple camera setups which were an A+ in certain area, and a D in others, I finally found one that is an A all around (for me). Of course it depends on what you're creating, but I think the UM46K is the most complete creative tool that "gets outta the way" and let's me focus on what I'm shooting. It's not tiny like a mirrorless camera or DSLR but it's still small enough to hold in one hand. No need for external recorders or monitors. Quick touch screen controls that are a breeze. I can go from 24p to 60p with a single press of a button on the monitor. Same with RAW. If I need to shoot RAW on a single shot...press a single button. :heart::D:heart:

 

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41 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Only one of these examples involves one of the larger pro cameras, the C200 and I am not even convinced of what it gives to a music video shoot exactly...

C200 was just an exmaple of course... FS7, RED, the new Panny etc could all take it's place

Having good skintones, DPAF,  sync'd audio, NDs, a good codec for post, HFR options at 4K etc would all benefit a music video over an A7sii

I make my money from landscapes and drones... So smaller is usually better for me too (i've lugged a HVX200, external recorder and heavy tripod up plenty of mountains, not fun!)... but that is more a practical consideration rather than a creative one.

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On a bigger budget shoot of course a camera designed to be most efficient with a larger crew will be more efficient with a larger crew. But without that crew, 9/10 it won't be. And the image is gonna be pretty similar.

If you have your director sitting in video village and a zoom that weighs 10kg of course you will need a huge rig you can balance out and a BNC out to run to the monitor. 

If you don't need those things, don't add them. Look how Kubrick shot Eyes Wide Shut, with almost no crew and pushing his stock a stop or so so he could light minimally and shoot for days. Most directors wish they had that freedom. Difference is, if you're not a pro, you do. If you want it.

Nothing against pros, I would love to shoot for a living. 

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Well I do not agree with all of the above. It depends on what you are trying to do. I agree that shooting with a dslr is more fun, when shooting on vacation, or exploring new sites, event videos or weddings. But whenever your are shooting on a set, the lights are set, the grip is set, its all about getting that last 10% increase in quality for me, or trying to achieve it at least. The creativity for me atleast is what I do upfront the shoot (location,moodboard, storyboard, lighting,testing, as on a shootday...) I often quit watching some video's because they do not have that high end look to it (color,DR,bad grading, bad editing,...), and yet I know guys like Kendy are really great at what they do. But If you compare the quality between the t2I and a Alexa, its nowhere even close. I feel like its already outdated image quality wise. 

Would I go backpacking with a Alexa, No not really. Would I rather shoot a narrative with a dslr, no not really. 

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4 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

guys like Kendy are really great at what they do. But If you compare the quality between the t2I and a Alexa, its nowhere even close. I feel like its already outdated image quality wise. 

Would I go backpacking with a Alexa, No not really. Would I rather shoot a narrative with a dslr, no not really. 

On the other hand, films like Kendy's get made and have the style they do and the energy they do in part because of the flexibility a small camera/minimal crew.

IQ isn't a big deal to most lay viewers.  As long as the sound is decent, the image doesn't have to be pristine.

Anyway, it's all just tools. Pick the ones that gets you where you want to go.

Some people WANT to move to "Video Village" and build a career there, others would rather run free with a GH1 and a single prime lens. 

There's no right or wrong answer. 

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8 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

Well I do not agree with all of the above. It depends on what you are trying to do. I agree that shooting with a dslr is more fun, when shooting on vacation, or exploring new sites, event videos or weddings. But whenever your are shooting on a set, the lights are set, the grip is set, its all about getting that last 10% increase in quality for me, or trying to achieve it at least. The creativity for me atleast is what I do upfront the shoot (location,moodboard, storyboard, lighting,testing, as on a shootday...) I often quit watching some video's because they do not have that high end look to it (color,DR,bad grading, bad editing,...), and yet I know guys like Kendy are really great at what they do. But If you compare the quality between the t2I and a Alexa, its nowhere even close. I feel like its already outdated image quality wise. 

Would I go backpacking with a Alexa, No not really. Would I rather shoot a narrative with a dslr, no not really. 

But your average set day costs in excess of six figures. That's nice when someone else is paying for it (in that case, bring the Alexa). When you don't have those luxuries, it's better to work around them than to buy them out of pocket. I wouldn't have that much fun or feel that much freedom if I knew my shoot were costing me a year's pay. And without those luxuries (which are far more expensive to hire than the cost difference between an Alexa and a t2i), a smaller camera ends up delivering a better result 9/10 times.

But you're right, there are incredible advantages to being a pro DP and it's a great job and something to be very proud to be. I was kidding about the "being a pro sucks" rant. Of course it's great! It's just that it has its trade offs, and for us amateurs, we'd do better using amateur gear. 1) because it's cheaper to buy 2) because it's much cheaper to use. And the image quality is, as you say, only about 10% better. Most pro DPs aren't lugging an Alexa around to shoot pick ups, either. Most aspiring pros would do better to follow their example. 

I say this as someone who's tried running around with an Alexa a few times before lol. It's no fun!

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I always like to think of David Lynch shooting Inland Empire on the Sony PD-150 with the autofocus on. He started shooting the movie not knowing it would be anything more than just a scene, using the cheap little DV camera, but then finding it creatively liberating. I wouldn't buy a Red or Alexa, even if I could afford it, for this reason. Digitial started out as this new, creatively liberating medium where you could just pick up a small camera and start making a movie without the need of a big crew, using a heavily rigged cine camera or camcorder just kind of defeats the advantages of the medium (for me anyway). My favorite shoots are the ones where it's just me and one or two actors. 

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9 hours ago, Matt Kieley said:

I always like to think of David Lynch shooting Inland Empire on the Sony PD-150 with the autofocus on. He started shooting the movie not knowing it would be anything more than just a scene, using the cheap little DV camera, but then finding it creatively liberating. I wouldn't buy a Red or Alexa, even if I could afford it, for this reason. Digitial started out as this new, creatively liberating medium where you could just pick up a small camera and start making a movie without the need of a big crew, using a heavily rigged cine camera or camcorder just kind of defeats the advantages of the medium (for me anyway). My favorite shoots are the ones where it's just me and one or two actors. 

Well "inland empire" is pretty unwatchable cinematography wise. I rather see a old black and white film over this. But thats just my opinion :)

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4 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

Well "inland empire" is pretty unwatchable cinematography wise. I rather see a old black and white film over this. But thats just my opinion :)

I'd rather watch a David Lynch film shot on DV over anything made by anyone on this board. But that's just my opinion.

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16 minutes ago, Matt Kieley said:

I'd rather watch a David Lynch film shot on DV over anything made by anyone on this board. But that's just my opinion.

To be fair, I'd probably rather watch a Brett Ratner film shot on beta max over anything made by anyone on this board... okay maybe not.

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BMMSC is pretty awesome especially for the size. Is this creative, probably not, it was just to demonstrate what is possible with such a small camera, it is operating the camera system with one hand and driving with other :) 

 

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Funny to see this prop up again as I'm thinking the same thing again today after a shoot. 

This time - I was using my FS5 again with the Shogun Inferno.

I've not been enjoying the experience very much to be honest - much preferring to use my A6500  (which I also feel has a better overall "pleasing" image in 4k). 

It's got great features like 4k 100fps, raw, electronic ND and all that, however I wouldn't say it's helping that much. 

I'm wondering whether I'm on a creative stump at the moment, taking it out on the FS5. Maybe I do like it. 

We'll see. 

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I reached a similar conclusion with the GH5.  Sold our RED Epic W and now use the GH5 exclusively.

Cameras like the Alexa and RED kind of spit in the face of progress, when you really think about it.  They are overpriced and the form factor is geared towards a system that is stuck in the past.  Big, overbloated crews where 5 people are needed to do the job of one person.  As digital moves forward, we shouldn't just see IQ improvements, how about taking advantage of the usability improvements as well?  Big/expensive cameras just don't make sense anymore.  It is 100% a status thing.

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That's the spirit.

See, plenty of pros out there have done this and they are well advanced in their careers.

Dod Mantle is a digital innovator and he knows what we're talking about.

I wish guys like Nino at Cinema5D would stop pushing all this trash onto us that we don't need and start doing the kind of thing Philip Bloom was doing in 2011... Shooting for George Lucas with a DSLR...

It was so much more fun than watching him lug 5 suitcases around full of crap.

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I fully agree Andrew.

 

The FS5 looks like an ass-pancake.

I've been shooting pro since 2008 - and my work hasn't really gotten that much better with the more expensive cameras and lights. It's actually suffered.  I am rethinking everything about how I light and frame.

But with that said, the one thing that is nice : no rolling shutter, built in nds.

everything else - smaller cameras let you move and be more creative in many ways.

the alexa's image is good, but you shoot on it after shooting on the gh2 - and your work isn't going to look $50,000 better.  It's just got a nice sensor, but that's about it.  Big deal.

Shoot small and fast and find nice angles and experiment.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

Maybe time to pick up a used 1D C?

I've seen them for as low as £2000 in the UK!

Nah, it's a good camera but I need way more video features than the 1DC provides. 

The FS5 covers everything however once you add a lens and decent battery - it's not so lightweight anymore. With the Shogun Inferno, it's beastly and I do get to feel restricted. 

I've had weird little thoughts about selling up and going GH5 with a better set of lenses....... 

1 hour ago, Neumann Films said:

I reached a similar conclusion with the GH5.  Sold our RED Epic W and now use the GH5 exclusively.

Cameras like the Alexa and RED kind of spit in the face of progress, when you really think about it.  They are overpriced and the form factor is geared towards a system that is stuck in the past.  Big, overbloated crews where 5 people are needed to do the job of one person.  As digital moves forward, we shouldn't just see IQ improvements, how about taking advantage of the usability improvements as well?  Big/expensive cameras just don't make sense anymore.  It is 100% a status thing.

Wow that's a big decision. 

I've planned a one-off camera swap with a friend who owns a GH5, see if it tickles. 

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