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Old January 24th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #1
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DSLR production

How many people on this forum are actually producing material on DSLR? ..... I'm not talking about an occasional 5 minute music / video clip, or loosely edited wedding or YouTube clips, or quick grabs.......
I'm talking about broadcast or cinema released content of 30-60minutes or more.
And if so how many of these movies / programs have you done on this format?

In the market I'm in there seems to be a huge flurry to take up the DSLR format yet in 3-6 months the people seem to have gone back to the conventional video camera and the 'still' photographers that got into video have now faded out of the video scene and gone back just to stills.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: DSLR production

I've worked on a few indie features shot with DSLRs, but not as a producer. (prod. sound mixer). Unfortunately there many out there who suddenly call themselves DPs with the acquisition of a DSLR.. including equally naive directors, ADs , ect., ect. Fortunately, I'm spared some of that as most of those idiots have a low to no budget for sound, and end up with a 'hiring' a bozo with a H4n and a video mic. Aside for the lack of timecode, it can work out ok, provided everything is slated properly and with a good pro crew, exceptional results can be obtained with DSLR.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: DSLR production

I just finished crewing an Indie Bollywood feature that is now in post. It was shot entirely on DSLR. We did have a dedicated location mixer using a new SD 664 (man that thing is sweet). I would say that I've encountered about 10% of the serious small productions being shot on DSLR's. With the RED Scarlet and Sony F3 and soon F5 I'm seeing fewer and fewer productions going the DSLR route. I also worked on a Papa Roach music video with a decent budget where they used a RED Epic and a Red One.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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Re: DSLR production

Brian, why are you asking the question?

Cheers

Grazie
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:42 AM   #5
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Re: DSLR production

I think initially they gave a cheap?? but easy route to doing shallow DOF but I think that feature has been better defined by camera's that are specifically designed to do video and therefore don't have all the problems that were and still are prevalent with DSLR's

Also as time has gone on most people have found that doing any decent sound can be a real pain for a self op and more importantly the practicalities of trying to keep focus on a small screen with stills lenses has meant that once again there are now better video cameras available.

I also think that the fashion if it ever was one of searching for focus and wobbly cam has had it's 15 mins of fame and people are wanting to do things in a more traditional way as the Alexa has become more prevalent in mainstream TV production.

Who knows as there are still a fair zillion posts on how do I do proper sound on my DSLR with a rode videomic or a zoom whatever but I suspect that the DSLR has gone back to being a hobbyist camera that can allow the stills guys to do bit of video as well.

I always saw it as a trying to re-invent the wheel situation but there are now better defined wheels that do the job more efficiently these days and with the smaller chip cameras like the canon XF300 etc being full broadcast spec and the general rejection of DSLR's now that the testing has been done means that there are far better ways to produce content that can also be broadcast spec.

I also agree with Rick that there have been far too many wannabees calling themselves DOP's just because they have bought a DSLR and like all fashion they have had their day as people now wish to do things more professionally.

Sadly the lo/no new media graduate brigade now think that they must have a RED or an ALEXA to make their no budget movie as the UNI's have churned them out with little practical skills or real understanding of the Film and TV industry.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #6
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Re: DSLR production

Nicely put Gary.

As I own an XF300, I know and appreciate exactly what you are saying, both in terms of the quality and just the plain old "plumbing" knobs and switches that making capturing S&V a total pleasure. But, I was wanting to hear from Brian just where his particular "itch" was needing to be scratched, regarding the "market".

For example, I've just purchased a Canon Powershot SX50 HS - the one with the 50x optical zoom - and quite frankly, I will not be ashamed to mix in some B-Roll from it, in with my XF300. Again, as you say the maths and electronics with these pert, chippy-chippies is remarkable. It has the SAME DIGIC technology on the chip as my XF300! - My point is, I wont be neg about DSLRs, and my Bridge-Camera IF they/it will do more than adequate job and it will extend my creativity.

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Old January 25th, 2013, 04:02 AM   #7
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Re: DSLR production

The reason why the original question was a general enquiry of the trend of the industry world wide and where it is headed, I normally do a DSLR shoot every couple of weeks which are normally TVC's, short grabs VERY rehearsed and structured.
But my question stems from the possible investment in audio gear for the future, do I go SD788t or SD664 or Tascam DR680 or do I stay with my Marantz recorder teamed up with my SD442.
Most of the shoots I do are are commercial TVC's, corporate doco's or live link stuff, IF the DSLR work was to increase a SD778 or DR680 would be the way to go otherwise the SD664 may be my best alternate option.
It seems that many new / young people into the film industry will go down the DSLR route, do only one production in that format / structure and then move on to an easier format.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 04:58 AM   #8
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Re: DSLR production

I bump into plenty of low budget to broadcast professional crews - In the past ten weeks I've lost count of the number of interviews and shorts that have used the premises, the cast and even me. Not one of these have used DSLRs. The bottom end have all had Sony EX and Panasonic and the broadcasters, their usual bigger Sonys. All have had mics plugged into the cameras - not a Juiced gadget in sight apart from one crew who had a real juicer for making drinks (no idea why!) A couple have been low budget infovision type internet streamers, who perhaps could have been expected to have DSLRs for cost reasons, but didn't. Maybe DSLRs really were misplaced products, that have now been displaced. After all - surely the key issues are quite basic. Image quality in terms of format, and sound quality. You only have to look on ebay to see that the cost of proper sound facilities, focus and the ergonomic side can easily cost three times the cost of the camera - plus the fortune for better glass. I think it's a bit like the fad we had in the 70s for young people's cars. You bought an old Cortina or Capri, and added new wider wheels, flared arches, different seats, clever paint jobs and uprated engine and suspension. The problem was it was still a Cortina!
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Old January 25th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: DSLR production

"I think it's a bit like the fad we had in the 70s for young people's cars. You bought an old Cortina or Capri, and added new wider wheels, flared arches, different seats, clever paint jobs and uprated engine and suspension. The problem was it was still a Cortina!
That's an interesting analogy Paul, and I would agree.
I can't recall who posted the following (or was it this forum) but I recall someone from the UK, said to the effect that "due to the low equipment cost, the skill level needed is equally low, nothing could be farther form the truth."
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: DSLR production

Agree with you guys! Many pseudo-DP with 5d out there! But i have a question:

Top gear, National Geographic doc are shot with? Pana or Sony with prime lenses?
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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:38 PM   #11
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Re: DSLR production

DSLRs are here to stay. Albeit not in the same crappy quality and functionality.

Everyday I see many people jumping into the DSLR bandwagon, as they think and are erroneously suggested by people to buy a DSLR to improve their films. A few days back, I met a dancer who wanted to record his dance by using a 7D. He had been suggested to buy it. There will be enough people out there to buy DSLRs.

The camera companies are also improving the functionality of DSLRs. You can now record audio to DSLRs without the dreaded Auto gain. It is another matter that, I even found one filmmaker using the auto gain of the C300.

With Canon launching the 1D C with 4 K recording in a DLSR form factor, there will be more such cameras in the future and at lower price points. So wait for the second wave of DSLRs which will be much better. Those would were supposed to graduate from dSLRs to serious filmmaking, have done so and a lot of people with misplaced notions about filmmaking will fall by the wayside. So the sound guys will not have much of problems henceforth dealing with DSLR filmmakers.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 02:31 AM   #12
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Re: DSLR production

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Martell View Post
Agree with you guys! Many pseudo-DP with 5d out there! But i have a question:

Top gear, National Geographic doc are shot with? Pana or Sony with prime lenses?
More likely shot with Panasonic and Sony ENG camera's with stock or hired in zoom lenses.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #13
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Re: DSLR production

I get asked why I am resistant to going hdslr.

To me there are really only three advantages: raw files, bokah, 4k

A major consideration in my case is building out a camera for true production work. A D800 will set you back about $2900.00US. Not bad for a camera that "does it all"

You then need to mouse over to Zacuto, Red Rock, and outfit that unit. And don't get me going on Choziial! This starts your investment. Then you most certainly will need some sort of mixer for sound. And definately an external monitor. $$$$$. And with that gear and weight you'll need something more beefy and as follows exspensive, camera support.

And perhaps you go all out and set yourself up properly, now you might consider a sound person to work that mixer, and maybe someone to pull focus while you are busy being creative.

Don't get me wrong. The samples I've seen from hdslr's is amazing.

One other consideration is how your film will be viewed. I'd guess the majority of all us are doing stuff whether professional or amateur that will be viewed on the web, that big HD tv with blu ray. Do you really need all that 4k has to offer, or are we just pixel pigs.

When I set up lighting well, get my framing in mind, my Canon HV30, still blows me away. Not state of art. Just saying.

In the early 1990's and started a serious digital workflow, the question was always "...but what if I wanto make a billboard from your (then) 5 MP file" And I'd say go ahead. And from a normal viewing distance of about 300 feet, looks pretty damn good.

Bottom line is think about your intended use.

Finally, I've actually thought the camera world has it backwards. I think that they should be making video capture devices that shoot a nice 36MP file. After reading the above do you see the advantages of that?

Jonathan
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Old January 27th, 2013, 04:11 PM   #14
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Re: DSLR production

Guys I am way down the food chain and just a hobbyist. I own an XF300 because I find shooting video with a DSLR a PITA, but by heck, I would hate to be without the things you can do with a DSLR that you can't do with a video camera. I know that the Canon XF series camera are not known for their low light capabilities, but my 1DMK4 is so far ahead in that respect, it is ridiculous. Or I can shoot stills and video from the same angle, and Photoshop the bejesus out of the stills, and garbage matte some video in to bring the stills to life.

But DSLRs are still a PITA to shoot video with. Heck! When I decided to get serious and buy the XF300, I didn't even know about stuff like peaking and zebra stripes and all those features designed to make shooting video, and recording sound, more manageable. But I still think DSLRs shoot great video.

[EDIT] Just a little addendum, but footage from my XF300 is way more forgiving in post. Stretching the point, I also use a little Canon G1X for occasional b-roll because it is so light, and actually shoots really nice video, but if you don't have it right when you shoot it, you are not going to get away with any heavy PP manipulation without the footage falling to bits. My 1DMK4 is rather better, but still can't compete with 50Mb/s MXF footage.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #15
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Re: DSLR production

Hi Trevor,
In just finished a shoot and am getting into editing stage. Will soon release the Making of... film. I used C300 and for the B camera I used my trusted 1D Mark IV. However, the difference in quality of footage is huge. Having said that, my previous film was completely done with the 1D Mark IV and is still doing the festival circuit. There are many limitations, however, you can use any of these cameras as a tool and create good stuff. Afterall, you are telling a story through a film. Just that sound and music is very important in this story telling. Perhaps more than 50%.

In the early days of TV when there used to be black out of the picture and only sound used to come, we used to patiently hear and didn't switch off. And in the rare occasions when there was image and no sound, we used to switch off.

So even if a film is shot in DSLR and there are decent sound guys involved, then the production will work out well.
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