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Ed_David

The Rise of Camera Agnosticism and the End to Drooling Over Non-Existent Toys

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I like my Samsung NX1 a lot. But has there ever been a LESS sexy brand to own? Samsung.  It's like saying my camera is a Toyota Corolla. Boring!

 

​That is my concern, that NX1 bodies and lenses will have very poor resale value on the 2ndhand market.

Though I don't mind that if it means I can make it work for me in my favour.... ;-) By buying up one at a significant discount 2ndhand rather than getting it new, unfortunately it seems NX1 cameras can hardly be found second hand and not at any significant discount. Which makes this a point in the GH4's favour when it comes to buying one secondhand.

 

​Keep in mind with the hybrid camera phenomenon you are getting a lot of people coming over from stills photography.  In stills photography you buy a system...  not a camera.  You buy into a Canon system or a Nikon system... then you stick with it.  It is cost prohibitive to switch back and forth.  So if someone is a serious hybrid shooter and does 80% stills it still makes sense to stick with one system.  Everyone has to figure out for themselves where to draw the line.

​If you're mainly shoot video (which is the case for most people on this forum) your lens set should be chosen so that you've got a great degree of flexibility in taking it with you from one camera to the next (for instance if you go with all Nikon F mount, like I've mostly done).

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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

Another point to make is that young up and coming filmmakers and cinematographers these days focus on the wrong things - they get caught up in the mindless drivel of tech.

It's important to know. But it's also not the most important thing - for a Cinematographer, but especially for filmmakers interested in other areas of filmmaking.

People these days get caught up 'comparing sizes' rather than learning and experimenting with lighting and focusing on things that are much more important than whose camera is better.

I've seen some incredible things shot in iPhones and DSLRs. And I've seen some absolute sh*t shot on RED, Alexa and even film!

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I have never seen in the past 7 years a photographer use a Red camera to shoot both stills and video.  Not once.  And I've worked with some really incredible photographers.

Pulling stills from RED footage or any high quality motion camera is getting more common.

Especially now Starlets realise they can scrub through video on their ipads and tell the photographer which frame to start Photoshopping....it's Kanye crazy.

Of course 'Frame grabbing' won't ever replace proper photography - but it's getting around that this video technology is now capable of print reproduction for stills. 

http://www.red.com/shot-on-red/photography

http://filmmakermagazine.com/4154-red-one-camera-used-for-megan-fox-esquire-cover/#.VPW9KvmsV8E

 

For example. if you are a wedding photographer, I'm guessing it will only be a matter of time until the bride and groom expect to be able to choose 'select frames' from video to be printed or available as high resolution. This is already kind of the case, for when a miraculous moment is only captured in video, often that still frame becomes very quickly 'acceptable' for print media.

'Who needs that overpriced jerk?!' - they will say to a stills photographer of 25 years experience, whilst employing a kid with a video camera shooting continuous video at 1/4000th shutter - just in case the bride wants to print the only frame of video where she does not look fat. 

 

 

RE: Brand 'Loyalty' (previous thread mention) - there is no such thing as brand loyalty. This is a tool that marketing people use to make customers feel like it's actually a 'one or the other' or lifestyle 'ownership' choice....it's bullshit cigarette & car marketing strategy from the 1950's.

In my opinion the most genius marketing thing that Apple ever did - was to make people forget that they were buying essentially the same soul-crushing enslavement devices that Microsoft or anyone else would ever make. Apple truly knew how to market their brand in the mid - late 90's to appeal and attract loyal and appreciative customers. After all you don't buy a 'computer' from Apple, you buy a 'Mac'. Since modern cinema cameras are literally computers, it's not really surprising that a similar dynamic in brand 'loyalty' discussion is happening all over again. How else are they to shift those units, unless they fuel the fire with incendiary hype and questionable product names? (I'm looking at you RED).

Working professionals in TV and Film mostly don't buy into this bullshit, they simply use what works to do the job. If they had a bad experience with a RED camera on a shoot, chance's are they won't forget that in a hurry and would steer clear unless they were force-proven otherwise. If they drop an Alexa in a lake, they make a call to production and a standby camera body is delivered within an hour - nobody cries. This is not the world that cares what the newest sub $3k camera can do in a non-lit vimeo test of your neighbours dog...the blog/forum crowd is a very different demographic, but yet so many people on them seem to be 'experts' these days....too busy comparing stats rather than actually making anything creative outside in the real world. 

 

 

 

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This is not the world that cares what the newest sub $3k camera can do in a non-lit vimeo test of your neighbours dog...the blog/forum crowd is a very different demographic, but yet so many people on them seem to be 'experts' these days....too busy comparing stats rather than actually making anything creative outside in the real world. 

To be fair, my neighbor's dog is really cute. 

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I will never understand why people get worked up over brands.... I treat any camera I own as a lease.

Buy it, use it, sell it, upgrade to whatever ticks my boxes... ad infinitum.

This last three years alone I have been through Nikon, Panasonic, RED, Casio (!), Sony, GoPro, Canon, Blackmagic and now Samsung.

As said above, I buy manual lenses that fit Nikon mount, they will work on pretty much anything.

 

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Pulling stills from RED footage or any high quality motion camera is getting more common.

Especially now Starlets realise they can scrub through video on their ipads and tell the photographer which frame to start Photoshopping....it's Kanye crazy.

Of course 'Frame grabbing' won't ever replace proper photography - but it's getting around that this video technology is now capable of print reproduction for stills. 

http://www.red.com/shot-on-red/photography

http://filmmakermagazine.com/4154-red-one-camera-used-for-megan-fox-esquire-cover/#.VPW9KvmsV8E

 

For example. if you are a wedding photographer, I'm guessing it will only be a matter of time until the bride and groom expect to be able to choose 'select frames' from video to be printed or available as high resolution. This is already kind of the case, for when a miraculous moment is only captured in video, often that still frame becomes very quickly 'acceptable' for print media.

'Who needs that overpriced jerk?!' - they will say to a stills photographer of 25 years experience, whilst employing a kid with a video camera shooting continuous video at 1/4000th shutter - just in case the bride wants to print the only frame of video where she does not look fat. 

 

 

RE: Brand 'Loyalty' (previous thread mention) - there is no such thing as brand loyalty. This is a tool that marketing people use to make customers feel like it's actually a 'one or the other' or lifestyle 'ownership' choice....it's bullshit cigarette & car marketing strategy from the 1950's.

In my opinion the most genius marketing thing that Apple ever did - was to make people forget that they were buying essentially the same soul-crushing enslavement devices that Microsoft or anyone else would ever make. Apple truly knew how to market their brand in the mid - late 90's to appeal and attract loyal and appreciative customers. After all you don't buy a 'computer' from Apple, you buy a 'Mac'. Since modern cinema cameras are literally computers, it's not really surprising that a similar dynamic in brand 'loyalty' discussion is happening all over again. How else are they to shift those units, unless they fuel the fire with incendiary hype and questionable product names? (I'm looking at you RED).

Working professionals in TV and Film mostly don't buy into this bullshit, they simply use what works to do the job. If they had a bad experience with a RED camera on a shoot, chance's are they won't forget that in a hurry and would steer clear unless they were force-proven otherwise. If they drop an Alexa in a lake, they make a call to production and a standby camera body is delivered within an hour - nobody cries. This is not the world that cares what the newest sub $3k camera can do in a non-lit vimeo test of your neighbours dog...the blog/forum crowd is a very different demographic, but yet so many people on them seem to be 'experts' these days....too busy comparing stats rather than actually making anything creative outside in the real world. 

 

 

 

​I do big commercials.  I'm on one right now.  I also have an Emmy and just was in American Cinematographer.  And brand loyalty is a big thing.  We mostly use Arri HMI lights.  Joker sometimes but Arri because we know Arri makes a damn fine light with the M90 or M18 - Joker 1600s never took off.  I use the best camera for the job - but I have to have long talks with the producer sometimes about that.  For instance, I just did a Lincoln commercial in Dubai and we shot on the Sony F55 - not the Arri Alexa or Red Epic Dragon.  Why?  - Got that question so many times.  Alexa was too heavy - it was 16 hr steadicam days in the 110 degree weather - and Red Dragon - not good in heat - but I got slack - because Alexa and Red have better names.

I also shoot dog videos on smaller cameras.  I own the NX1 and the Sony A7S - and I work with film and own 2 f35s and red one mx and use alexas and red dragons and arri 416 and 435 on jobs - and there is so much goodness to come from using a small lightweight camera.  So much wonder and beauty from using these little guys - it reopens wonder and ease and has improved my color grading knowledge so much.  It's such a pleasure to have a lightweight camera where it is fun again, where it's not physically exhausting to reframe.  

So there is a differing opinion from me.  

Traditional DPs are now dealing with the new era, where young upstarts like me can rise up without being a loader, 2nd, 1st, , cam op, then DP.  Or electric, best, gaffer then DP.   I became a DP in just about five years.  I was an assistant editor for 5 years going down the editing path and I switched because I was already shooting docs.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  My sense of lighting took longer to develop but my sense of the emotional space was more developed.  Getting smaller moments.  

There is no right way to be a DP.  Because I am so unconventional, I bring a childlike wonder to filmmaking.  I bring a different perspective and wonderment to how I work - more innocence, more in the moment.

There is no one right path.

Older established DPs I have nothing but respect.  Maryse Alberti, Gordon Willis, Raul Coutard, Jordan Cronenweth, Storro, Michael Chapman, Conrad Hall, Lance Accord, Nestor, Wexler - nothing but respect.

Also the DP of IDA - the most beautiful film I saw in the past 4 years, was a cam operator - first time DP.  The director said he was so good because he had no ego.

So next time you watch an unlit video of a dog - think about how much fun the DP was having.  How casual it was, and how beautiful that can be.  

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So next time you watch an unlit video of a dog - think about how much fun the DP was having.  How casual it was, and how beautiful that can be.   

I'll think about that when I'm in my studio hanging out with my cat.

;)

 

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I shot on RED twice and made some very average music videos. I switched to my GH3 for the shoots afterwards and I had a lot of fun and the videos were great!

In the last 2 weeks, I've shot on the FS7, FS700, GH3, Blackmagic, GoPro and iPhone. My best video was shot on the GH3 because the idea on the GH3 was better than the others, had better lighting and better composition. What a shocking discovery!! ;)

 

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  And brand loyalty is a big thing.  We mostly use Arri HMI lights.  Joker sometimes but Arri because we know Arri makes a damn fine light with the M90 or M18 - Joker 1600s never took off.  I use the best camera for the job - but I have to have long talks with the producer sometimes about that.  For instance, I just did a Lincoln commercial in Dubai and we shot on the Sony F55 - not the Arri Alexa or Red Epic Dragon.  Why?  - Got that question so many times.  Alexa was too heavy - it was 16 hr steadicam days in the 110 degree weather - and Red Dragon - not good in heat - but I got slack - because Alexa and Red have better names.

We're saying the same thing, but I think you're referring to different things here. I agree with you - but I would say in the case of Arri lights, that's perhaps brand reliability. My Gaffer uses Arri lights because they're a damn good light and they're reliable. If Arri started making terrible lights tomorrow, he wouldn't buy Arri lights anymore.

As a professional working DP, you need to be across the technology, but a professional, IMO, should use the right tool for the right job. The great thing about filmmaking is it's solely a creative endeavour - and that means you can pick the camera, format or stock that you think is going to have the best effect. That can even mean having a RED Dragon as A cam, an SR3 as a B-cam, and a C300 shooting 2nd unit if you really felt that way inclined. As long as you can back it up with a creative idea or decision, it's perfectly feasible.

But as a professional, you shouldn't be closed to new ideas. If my Gaffer pitches me a light that looks incredible, and does something I've never seen from a light before but comes from China and is a no-name brand, I'll happily go with him on it if he has confidence in it. I'm not going to stipulate he only use Arri lights because I like Arri. Similarly, I'm not only going to ever use Alexas because I like Arri. I'll always be open to new ideas and new looks - even if every project I shoot this year is shot on Alexa (unlikely), it will be because I've felt that the Alexa is the right camera for the project - not just because Arri's my favourite, or because I own an Arri and feel I need to justify my expensive purchase (I don't - but you get the analogy for many RED owners).

Each camera has its pros and cons and one should be across the pros and cons, rather than disregarding the cons because they like the pros so much (and in some cases dismissing the cons as if they don't matter).

Also, not to take a swipe at you, but as a general comment - I can't think of anyone who takes videos of their dogs who isn't having fun at the time. That doesn't mean they should all be DPs. There is a beauty in having fun and not worrying about anything but yourself and the subject, but whilst being a DP at a fundamental level requires a love for the camera, it isn't the only pre-requisite to being a DP. I know you know this, and your story shows its possible to go from having fun shooting videos of your dog to shooting quite substantial work. However, I feel I have to caution those who may take from your story that you're advocating not needing any knowledge or experience to become a professional DP.

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So reduser just deleted all my posts because of my thoughts that brand loyalty is bad for film making - and also that reduser is bad for red.  The moderator told me that posting on reduser is like coming into red's living room and talking poorly about Red's wife.  They are so crazy there.  But it's good because spending all day on a message board is a waste of time.

Part of what is great about EOSHD is we can praise or trash talk any camera, lens, light, or anything and no one seems to care too much.  They are all just tools and objects - sure someone might get mad if you make fun of their brand new car but really - this isn't about cars it's about a thing that records footage to tell stories.  Like do you think people got upset if you made fun of their typewriter back in the day?  No, you talk about what their typewriter writes.  

​As long as you praise my camera and trash all the rest, you are on the right track. Otherwise you are a misguided fool :)

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​That is my concern, that NX1 bodies and lenses will have very poor resale value on the 2ndhand market.
Though I don't mind that if it means I can make it work for me in my favour.... ;-) By buying up one at a significant discount 2ndhand rather than getting it new, unfortunately it seems NX1 cameras can hardly be found second hand and not at any significant discount. Which makes this a point in the GH4's favour when it comes to buying one secondhand.

 

​That is because they are being sold almost as fast as Samsung can make them apparently.

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We're saying the same thing, but I think you're referring to different things here. I agree with you - but I would say in the case of Arri lights, that's perhaps brand reliability. My Gaffer uses Arri lights because they're a damn good light and they're reliable. If Arri started making terrible lights tomorrow, he wouldn't buy Arri lights anymore.

As a professional working DP, you need to be across the technology, but a professional, IMO, should use the right tool for the right job. The great thing about filmmaking is it's solely a creative endeavour - and that means you can pick the camera, format or stock that you think is going to have the best effect. That can even mean having a RED Dragon as A cam, an SR3 as a B-cam, and a C300 shooting 2nd unit if you really felt that way inclined. As long as you can back it up with a creative idea or decision, it's perfectly feasible.

But as a professional, you shouldn't be closed to new ideas. If my Gaffer pitches me a light that looks incredible, and does something I've never seen from a light before but comes from China and is a no-name brand, I'll happily go with him on it if he has confidence in it. I'm not going to stipulate he only use Arri lights because I like Arri. Similarly, I'm not only going to ever use Alexas because I like Arri. I'll always be open to new ideas and new looks - even if every project I shoot this year is shot on Alexa (unlikely), it will be because I've felt that the Alexa is the right camera for the project - not just because Arri's my favourite, or because I own an Arri and feel I need to justify my expensive purchase (I don't - but you get the analogy for many RED owners).

Each camera has its pros and cons and one should be across the pros and cons, rather than disregarding the cons because they like the pros so much (and in some cases dismissing the cons as if they don't matter).

Also, not to take a swipe at you, but as a general comment - I can't think of anyone who takes videos of their dogs who isn't having fun at the time. That doesn't mean they should all be DPs. There is a beauty in having fun and not worrying about anything but yourself and the subject, but whilst being a DP at a fundamental level requires a love for the camera, it isn't the only pre-requisite to being a DP. I know you know this, and your story shows its possible to go from having fun shooting videos of your dog to shooting quite substantial work. However, I feel I have to caution those who may take from your story that you're advocating not needing any knowledge or experience to become a professional DP.

​I really like your perspective on this.  Yes in my case, I worked 100 hours a week for two years straight and I still push myself after each shoot I do - after 14 hour days I'm still learning and researching and studying other footage and my own like a football player after the game watches videotape footage of how they did in the game - it's hard work and the desire towards perfection that gets anyone good at any profession.

Yes you are right - you can't just suddenly call yourself a DP and command a crew of 40-100 people easily.  You have to slowly learn how to be in control during a scout and prelight.  It's not 1-2-3 DOG VIDEO then DPing a film for Paul Thomas Anderson.   It's much much harder and a longer road.

Thank you - all good points!

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​That is because they are being sold almost as fast as Samsung can make them apparently.

​Or maybe it's because the GH4 was announced over a year ago and the Samsung just became available a few months ago.  The GH4 was already being treated like old news when the Sony a7s became available.  Plenty of people have moved on to the latest and greatest.  A year from the announcement date you will see more Samsung's for sale.  They are all battling it out for the same or at least overlapping spaces.

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​Or maybe it's because the GH4 was announced over a year ago and the Samsung just became available a few months ago.  The GH4 was already being treated like old news when the Sony a7s became available.  Plenty of people have moved on to the latest and greatest.  A year from the announcement date you will see more Samsung's for sale.  They are all battling it out for the same or at least overlapping spaces.

​I think more and more people will start to dig the NX1 - and it will go up in resale and you'll get more parts made for it.  Happened with the A7S.  At first, no one cared about that camera.  Then MacGregor started to care and Andrew did and that started the chain reaction.  The end goal, for grander karmatic and thematic reasons, I guess, is to force Canon to make a camera again as revolutionary as the 5d Mark II.  We are all secretly rooting for you, Canon.  You were the little guy.  Panasonic and Sony towered over you guys.  Now we want you to keep doing well!  Especially now that Sony seems to be on its last legs.  

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