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I hate big cameras

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On 4/27/2018 at 1:06 PM, HockeyFan12 said:

I find the Alexa Mini and Red to be inappropriate for a one man band, despite the small size. Too much to rig and maintain. The C300 and C100 (popular with Vice shooters) and even the FS7 are borderline. I could see them being used by wedding shooters or news journalists. 

I've seen some spectacular results from single operator Red users, so I think it depends on your skill level and what you're shooting.

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6 hours ago, kye said:

I went 4K because I was interested in pulling out still frames and printing them as pictures...

I love using a DSLR because I can just hit the shutter button and get a raw still with fullres of the situation. I dislike how the Sony mirrorless models force me to also change the shooting mode. An old school shitty Canon 7d did it right where it just paused the recording, took a still and everything continued. Pulling scheenshots from 4k is ...aahh...blah.

To the OP, yeah. There are definitely times where a nimble A7sII will get better shots than an FS7. I was on a really, really fast turnaround shoot with an A7sII and another operator was using the FS7 with a tripod. I got much more coverage with the A7sII. I also do enjoy operating the A7sII/1dx more than the FS7 or C200 series unless there is a client and we have to plug the cams into a monitor. The FS7 particularly is a weird mix of bulkiness and boxiness.

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7 hours ago, jonpais said:

I've seen some spectacular results from single operator Red users, so I think it depends on your skill level and what you're shooting.

I would imagine that some of the challenges might be able to be planned for and compensated for in advance?

What aspects of using a larger rig do you think are likely to get in the way of a single operator?  I'm curious if it's lenses, outboard sound, the rig, media management etc.  

The reason I ask is that I've normally kept my gear as simple as possible but as time goes on it threatens to get more and more complicated, so knowing what the common first issues are would aid in me understanding at what point my setup is getting too complicated.

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9 hours ago, jonpais said:

I've seen some spectacular results from single operator Red users, so I think it depends on your skill level and what you're shooting.

I think it depends more on your skill at swapping batteries and setting up a matte box than anything. Setting the exposure and focus and composition right is the same on any camera. I've been a single operator Red user in the past and gotten decent results, technically superior results to cheaper cameras, even. But I found the experience exhausting and constrictive. To be fair, this was with a Panavised Red MX and a set of Panavision Primos. That rig was huge, a monster, and took 90 seconds to boot up. (Those are the best lenses I've ever used, though.) When I switched to an Epic with Lomos, it was a lot easier. Still a pain to carry around and set up. Would have loved internal NDs and longer battery life.

Also, where? For nature videos I absolutely agree with you, but on a fast-moving set (wedding or ENG or even doc and low budget indie narrative) I can't see it. Are you saying Vice shooters are using FS7s because they lack the technical or artistic talent to operate a Red? I've seen a lot of nice looking footage on Vice, nicer than most Red footage under similar conditions; Vice's cameramen seem capable to me, but they're on super fast moving documentary sets and need to move fast so they have different priorities. 

I do agree fully with the "what you're shooting" part, but it's a small range of content that has a crew of one but also demands exceptional technical image quality. Mostly stock footage.

 

16 hours ago, kye said:

I agree too.  Any difference between 4K and high-quality 1080 capture pales when you're watching something and the quality of the content takes over.  To a certain extent IQ is one of those things that just has to be 'good enough' not to get in the way of the story.

I went 4K because I was interested in pulling out still frames and printing them as pictures - treating video like a 8MP 25fps continuous burst mode if you like.  If I was just shooting video I would be outputting in 1080 and wouldn't be ruling out 1080 cameras that have high quality outputs.

An appeal to content is so facile, though. Even though I just made one... For me I think I have a low bar for what constitutes acceptable image quality (needing 4k makes sense for stills, but doesn't for me), maybe I just have poor eyesight or something, maybe the stories I want to tell aren't that visual.

I think most people here need exceptional technical image quality, but are trying to get it affordably. Jon, for instance, is doing HDR, which does require technical excellence. So for me to say "just focus on the lighting" or just "focus on the story" is beyond the point, because most people here are looking for acceptable image quality as a precursor to telling their story or lighting their scene in the first place. 

I'm not doing that–I couldn't deal with the 5D Mark III's softness, but these days I'm happy with whatever. Most of my questions are just with workflows and stuff now. To that extent I should get off my ass and actually focus on lighting and storytelling...

I might even discover I'm wrong about IQ... haven't been shooting much, might be imagining a lot of this in my own head while I'm between projects. Might be time to write less here and more on in Final Draft...

So I apologize to anyone I insulted. Maybe I just feel insecure that my needs don't require the high end stuff yours do, but that doesn't make them worse, just different.

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@HockeyFan12 I’m not trying to be argumentative here - for one thing, I’ve never shot with a cinema camera - but here’s an example of one filmmaker who often shoots with Red, usually with a very small crew. For this project, he shoots with a Red while another operator handles a second camera on a slider. There are several other examples on his channel. I’m certainly not saying this way of shooting is ideal for every situation, and I’m sure my arms would’ve worn out after five minutes!

 

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11 minutes ago, jonpais said:

@HockeyFan12 I’m not trying to be argumentative here - for one thing, I’ve never shot with a cinema camera - but here’s an example of one filmmaker who often shoots with Red, usually with a very small crew. For this project, he shoots with a Red while another operator handles a second camera on a slider. There are several other examples on his channel. I’m certainly not saying this way of shooting is ideal for every situation, and I’m sure my arms would’ve worn out after five minutes!

 

A sitting talking head is just about the easiest thing there is to shoot. No need for camera movement, no need for a follow focus, you can stop and reset and change batteries and media without interrupting the flow of things completely, and insanely easy to light. If your work is limited to talking heads with no camera movement, I suppose the size of the camera doesn't matter that much. He's still got two other crew members, though.

My bad for not caveating that, but that's an extreme example of the easiest possible shoot. And it's still not a one man band.

If I did have the crew, I would take the cinema camera, of course. Not saying I wouldn't. I have shot with both the Epic and Alexa a few times and lacked the experience (and/or crew and support gear) to manage those sets as well as smaller ones, so I'm biased, to be fair.

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5 minutes ago, HockeyFan12 said:

A sitting talking head is just about the easiest thing there is to shoot. No need for camera movement, no need for a follow focus, you can stop and reset and change batteries and media without interrupting the flow of things completely, and insanely easy to light. If your work is limited to talking heads with no camera movement, I suppose the size of the camera doesn't matter that much. He's still got two other crew members, though.

My bad for not caveating that, but that's an extreme example of the easiest possible shoot.

Nothing you’ve said contradicts what I already wrote. 

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d80a206addd3b9760194d36114561a3e.jpg

 

Dammit, inserting that image killed my whole post.. :(

Anyway, my points were:

  • @HockeyFan12 I think we agree with each other
  • "good enough" image quality might be a Red or even a Venice camera depending on your client and distribution medium
  • "good enough" will vary from person to person and even job to job
  • "focus on story" still stands - just because you've got a Venice and 19-point lighting and Hollywood actors doesn't guarantee you'll make something worth watching (Hollywood provides lots of examples of well shot stories that weren't worth shooting)

And @jonpais - in terms of hand-holding a Red - look at that guys arms!!

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On 4/26/2018 at 2:09 PM, sam said:

 

Even if Arri is completely wrong about the amira being a single op cam, and sony, canon, panasonic, bm, red designed their roughly$5k-$20k lineup for the wrong demographic as I believe the above post infers, (ie needing a largish crew to truly reap any benefits image wise from any cam purpose built for motion capture, and maybe not even then) , I think the thing to keep in mind is the specific look, texture, or feel that each camera system imparts to an image no?  These unique, inherent qualities are subjectively deemed either beneficial or undesirable to an image

 

I'm in the third week of a feature film being shot with an AMIRA,  I'd say it is a massive massive stretch to think of the AMIRA as a one man crew kind of camera (though it is closer to that than any other ARRI digital camera). We have a three person camera crew for this. (& three person lighting crew, continuity person, AD, wardrobe, MIA & assistant, etc etc)

 

The FS7 however is very much on the small side of "big cameras", and can easily be operated solo. However, I've also worked on shoots with a FS7 which had a five person camera department. 

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36 minutes ago, kye said:

d80a206addd3b9760194d36114561a3e.jpg

 

Dammit, inserting that image killed my whole post.. :(

Anyway, my points were:

  • @HockeyFan12 I think we agree with each other
  • "good enough" image quality might be a Red or even a Venice camera depending on your client and distribution medium
  • "good enough" will vary from person to person and even job to job
  • "focus on story" still stands - just because you've got a Venice and 19-point lighting and Hollywood actors doesn't guarantee you'll make something worth watching (Hollywood provides lots of examples of well shot stories that weren't worth shooting)

And @jonpais - in terms of hand-holding a Red - look at that guys arms!!

I already said I wouldn’t last five minutes. Didn’t you read my post?

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 Did you read the article or just look at the first picture?😁 I mean I would want crew myself and certainly not disputing you. The article by arri just states that it was designed for solo operation.   If this gentlemans beard can handle the weight for an entire nfl game, I know yours can!

NFL_Alan.jpg

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I made the same kind of conclusion,

Anything bigger than a dslr is too complex for a solo shooter, I had a ursa mini 4.6k and it was too much to carry most of the time. ( with maybe the exception of c100/fs5 type of bodies)

The camera itself is fine but the large batteries +  a larger tripod/slider means that I can t carry lights with me, and make everything slower to operate.

I believe the new pocket 4k will be the perfect camera for solo shooter in term of form factor/features.

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@IronFilmTo quote the article by Arri, in reference to amirra:

"The documentary-style camera is optimized for handheld, single operation"

The pic posted is not part of Arri's article.

  He is a solo operator, not part of a crew. Its his personal camera,  that he was comparing against his friends F55

http://btlg2013.blogspot.com/2015/01/amira-on-nfl-sidelines.html?m=1

Just be clear, I don't disagree with your opinion, Arri does.

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A lot depends on your ph

39 minutes ago, Laurier said:

I made the same kind of conclusion,

Anything bigger than a dslr is too complex for a solo shooter, I had a ursa mini 4.6k and it was too much to carry most of the time. ( with maybe the exception of c100/fs5 type of bodies)

The camera itself is fine but the large batteries +  a larger tripod/slider means that I can t carry lights with me, and make everything slower to operate.

I believe the new pocket 4k will be the perfect camera for solo shooter in term of form factor/features.

A lot depends on your physical condition. Bernard Bertrand has shot some lovely videos of boxers training, handholding a GH5s, Nocticron, Bright Tangerine Titan arm, cage and Atomos Inferno. I tried it myself, it was just too heavy and unbalanced to hold comfortably. But I believe he was powering the Atomos from the mains (can’t recall) and his cage is much lighter than mine.

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3 hours ago, sam said:

 He is a solo operator, not part of a crew. 

 

Quote

Ted had arranged for a couple assistants (thanks Clay and Payton) to help with batteries and data wrangling for me, right in the end zone, under the rail of beer drinking spectators. 

 

I'd consider that a crew. Even so, you can use an Amira (or F55) as a single operator if you have to. You can pull your own focus and swap your own batteries and carry around a ton of expensive media, it's just going to slow things down. (The Alexa has really bad battery life in my experience.) If weight is distributed evenly, you can use a 70lb camera handheld for a day, it's just going to wear your back down more than a lighter one, but if it's balanced well it's not even that bad. This is all just opinions and priorities, no one is saying you absolutely can't. NFL films used to shoot 16mm on high speed cameras, maybe SR2 HS, they need that 200fps the Amira provides and need a cinematic look. From what I understand, they're mostly looking for clips for their highlight reels, etc. not trying to cover the entire game, and are probably using the center crop of the sensor more often than not. For them, the camera makes sense.

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