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Andrew Reid

Pro camcorders? They're pointless creatively.

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On 7/18/2017 at 8:05 AM, IronFilm said:


Sadly the director on the feature film I worked on recently believed the exact OPPOSITE, and constantly wanted me to "hide" my boom pole and blimp. 

Nothing worse than having to hide your boom pole. I say flaunt it as long as there are no children around.

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On 7/18/2017 at 5:01 AM, HockeyFan12 said:

I couldn't disagree much more strongly. That kind of rigging is taking away everything good about a dSLR and adding nothing but headaches. The only exposure aid I need is my 758 cine (heck, with zebras I don't even need the spot meter) and the only sound I would use from an on-camera mic would be for syncing dual system sound. Even with the best pre-amps in the world, your mic is still in the wrong place if it's on-camera. I can see the handle or a small cage being useful for balance, or maybe a loupe in daylight being helpful, but beyond that I don't see the point.

That said, not everyone agrees with me! If it works for you it works for you. As I mentioned before, s union AC I worked with did the same thing with a C300 when shooting a super bowl ad, rigging it out like crazy... and it is not designed to be rigged out. I asked what the point was when the ergonomics are great (for me) out of the box, but apparently the operator wanted a large 435-like form factor as it was what he was used to, having a film background. He wanted the thing to weigh 50 pounds.

But for me the smallest rig is the best one. If I wanted to weigh it down I'd tape a barbell to it. I do often get asked to use a matte box or something so clients and insecure actors will feel like the small camera is a real "cinema camera" but nothing makes me more irritated than this request. "Is that a real camera? Yes, are you a real actor? If so it'll show in your performance. If it's a real camera it'll show in the footage." But when I get that request it doesn't even reflect on the camera it reflects on me. If you think you know more about my job than I do, you've already lost confidence in me just by asking for a larger camera. Project your insecurities elsewhere. I'm doing my job well, worry about doing the same. Ugg... actors. So insecure it even wipes off on camera department.

I'm not saying I complete disagree, though. The Black Magic cameras, for instance, have such poor ergonomics that they need to be rigged up. Just offering a dissenting opinion. Each will have his or her own preferences. (And for mirrorless still cameras like the GH5 and A7S I do think the ergonomics are so poor that they often benefit from having a small cage and an HDMI clamp, but beyond that I don't see the point.)

I appreciate where you're coming from, but if you're working with a camera with no headphone jack to monitor audio (if even for a scratch track); no dual SD card slots in case one card fails; lousy focus peaking, and no way to check focus during playback, apart from the first frame of a clip, and on a tiny, low res screen at that - a monitor/recorder sure comes in handy. Nobody is talking about rigging anything out like crazy - there are many lightweight, affordable monitors and cages for small mirrorless cameras. To those who say, why not use a dedicated cinema camera, well, there's a world of difference in cost between something like an Ursa Mini or Canon C200 and a Sony a6500 or Panasonic Lumix GX85/G85. And even with a cage, monitor, microphone and follow focus, my G85 is ten times smaller than something like the Ursa Mini, and can always be broken down when I absolutely need discrete (though I find there's no truth whatsoever to the statement that a camera and cage is any less discrete than even a Sony RX10, in fact, I've already found that it's easier to shoot people on the street with a rigged out camera). BTW, if a paying client asked me to throw some rails and a matte box on, I'd do it in a flash, no questions asked. 

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Just now, jonpais said:

I appreciate where you're coming from, but if you're working with a camera with no headphone jack to monitor audio (if even for a scratch track); no dual SD card slots in case one card fails; lousy focus peaking, and no way to check focus during playback, apart from the first frame of a clip, and on a tiny, low res screen at that - a monitor/recorder sure comes in handy. Nobody is talking about rigging anything out like crazy - there are many lightweight, affordable monitors and cages for small mirrorless cameras. To those who say, why not use a dedicated cinema camera, well, there's a world of difference in cost between something like an Ursa Mini or Canon C200 and a Sony a6500 or Panasonic Lumix GX85/G85. And even with a cage, monitor, microphone and follow focus, my G85 is ten times smaller than something like the Ursa Mini, and can always be broken down when I absolutely need discrete (though I find there's no truth whatsoever to the statement that a camera and cage is any less discrete than even a Sony RX10, in fact, I've already found that it's easier to shoot people on the street with a rigged out camera). BTW, if a paying client asked me to throw some rails and a matte box on, I'd do it in a flash, no questions asked. 

That's fair. 

I would do almost anything if I were paid enough. But the matte box thing is an insult. 

 

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On 7/2/2017 at 5:52 AM, Oliver Daniel said:

Getting back on topic....

What exact camera setup does everyone find the most creatively liberating then, and why? 

I've been using an A6500 + Zhyuin Crane + mostly the Sigma 30 1.4.  Just watch the RS and the image is great. 

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