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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #31
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Re: 5 things about the C300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
I'm not sure how long you've been in the industry, but manufacturers have been making pro cameras in the non-shoulder form factor for decades. Shoulder rigs have only been "mandatory" since the DSLR revolution.
The Arriflex 16mm SRI/SRII was introduced in 1975 and was a mainstay in the film industry for many decades along with Arri's 35mm film cameras. Sony used this basic form factor to build there entire Betacam line which was the foundation of the video industry. There is a reason that these cameras were the workhorses of both the film and video world. I started in the "film business" in 1986 and through the years on hundreds of commercials, music videos, documentaries and feature films these cameras just worked.

The film industry did not start with the Canon 5D or Red. Each of these non-shoulder form factor cameras requires a unique rig and setup. They make it very difficult to maintain an industry standard that makes it efficient to prep and work with a camera system. Thanks Charles for putting some perspective on a frustrating trend in the camera manufacturing industry.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #32
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Re: 5 things about the C300

It goes back further back than the Arri SR, there are two roots for the shoulder mounted camera, the modified Auricons in the USA and the Eclair NPR in France during 1960.

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The Camera That Changed the World, BBC Four, review - Telegraph

That, combined with the Nagra tape recorders using Pilotone sync were key developments. Even better with crystal sync.

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Old March 15th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #33
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Dylan, which pro cameras are you referring to? I can think of exceptions, but for what I would think of as pro video and film cameras, the overwhelming majority were designed to be shoulder-mounted when required, not held in the hands.
Charles, your memory is off limits as you were flying $250,000 cameras on top of $80,000 Stedicams while the rest of DVinfo was shooting 4-8lb cameras like the PD150, XL1, DVX100, HVX200, EX1, etc... style cameras :)

That is the range of pro (or semi-pro to some) cameras I'm talking about. And I'd say the overwhelming majority of pro-video camera sales in the last 20 years has been in that handheld (vs shoulderbrick) market.

Anyway, we're getting off topic. My points, if I remember correctly:
1) no one should be surprised that the C300 isn't a shoulder mount camera.
2) the bulk of us on DVinfo used to shoot cameras this heavy handheld and although we complained, no one died.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #34
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Bob Willis View Post
The Arriflex 16mm SRI/SRII was introduced in 1975 and was a mainstay in the film industry for many decades along with Arri's 35mm film cameras. Sony used this basic form factor to build there entire Betacam line which was the foundation of the video industry. There is a reason that these cameras were the workhorses of both the film and video world. I started in the "film business" in 1986 and through the years on hundreds of commercials, music videos, documentaries and feature films these cameras just worked.

The film industry did not start with the Canon 5D or Red. Each of these non-shoulder form factor cameras requires a unique rig and setup. They make it very difficult to maintain an industry standard that makes it efficient to prep and work with a camera system. Thanks Charles for putting some perspective on a frustrating trend in the camera manufacturing industry.
Great history lesson Bob, but I'm not quite sure whether you are agreeing with me or not.

I'm saying that (almost) none of us who shot with the hundreds of thousands of PD150, XL1, EX1, etc. style cameras that were the workhorses of the commercial video production world for the last 15-20 years, ever thought we needed a shoulder rig, cage system, etc... They were a pick up and shoot solution.

I think your comment about the 5D/Red seems to agree with that?
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Old March 15th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #35
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
2) the bulk of us on DVinfo used to shoot cameras this heavy handheld and although we complained, no one died.
Well, I don't know anyone who died, true, but I DO personally know of at least two people who had to have long periods off work with wrist injuries due to this style of shooting. (Both using "lightweight" non-shouldermount cameras.) I have also heard of many instances of a period of shooting having to be cut short because of severe discomfort. (One of the cases of wrist injury was someone who didn't heed the warning signs during a long handheld interview.)

The real point is why do we have to endure a design which can so obviously be bettered at little or no extra cost? Why do manufacturers have to do it this way when JVC at least shows how it can be done so much better?
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Old March 15th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #36
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Re: 5 things about the C300

Ah and I know 2 retired broadcast shooters who have permanent back issues due to the weight of their shoulder rigs. Got to listen to the body when it tells you to stop.

You make a great point though... why do many cameras have terrible ergonomics? It's maybe a question better reserved for Chris, but I'd guess that the answer is... the camera manufacturers have to make a body that appeals to the broadest market and the handycam form factor does? As much as I like JVCs cameras (having been a JVC shooter for a while) that design doesn't seem to be taking the market by storm.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #37
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Ah and I know 2 retired broadcast shooters who have permanent back issues due to the weight of their shoulder rigs. Got to listen to the body when it tells you to stop.
There's a big difference, and one which is at the heart of Health and Safety risk assessments - if a risk is identified, one of the first questions to ask is "can it easily be reduced at reasonable cost?" If so, the expectation is that it should be done. With camera weight there's a limit to what can be done - training in lifting techniques, maybe, are there any lighter batteries, but you can't simply make a 2/3" camera and accessories lighter. And the consensus seems to be the ergonomics are as good as they can be.

With the smaller cameras it's a different matter. The answer to the "can the risk be easily reduced?" question is an obvious "yes" - redesign it more like the JVC styling.
Quote:
As much as I like JVCs cameras (having been a JVC shooter for a while) that design doesn't seem to be taking the market by storm.
Errr, there are other factors to a camera than ergonomic design, as I'm sure you're well aware........ :-) I think it's the design that wins JVC the praise, if it's not the best seller, I suspect it's due to other factors.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:53 PM   #38
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Ah and I know 2 retired broadcast shooters who have permanent back issues due to the weight of their shoulder rigs. Got to listen to the body when it tells you to stop.
All I've got to say about that is Garret Brown is still operating today. Eat your Wheaties and put your big boy pants on kids.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #39
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Re: 5 things about the C300

Let's all watch out for punctuation on these posts, folks... just one missing comma and it reads like you're wanting to put your big boy pants on kids.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #40
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
... cameras like the PD150, XL1, DVX100, HVX200, EX1, etc... style cameras :)

That is the range of pro (or semi-pro to some) cameras I'm talking about. And I'd say the overwhelming majority of pro-video camera sales in the last 20 years has been in that handheld (vs shoulderbrick) market.
Dylan, I shot with the PD-150 in 2002, barely a decade ago. It has a special place in my heart. In fact, it was small enough to fit in it. :)

Also, the XL1 wasn't a 'brick' model, it was shoulder mount, wasn't it? And you're right about the last 10 years - it sure felt like 20! I can relate to that.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #41
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Errr, there are other factors to a camera than ergonomic design, as I'm sure you're well aware........ :-) I think it's the design that wins JVC the praise, if it's not the best seller, I suspect it's due to other factors.
I did say I was an *ex* JVC owner. :) I meant though that other manufacturers had not adopted the form factor due to its lack of popularity overall, not that it was what was holding the HD100 type cameras back from wide success.


Sareesh, the XL1 was not a shoulder mount camera, but instead had a brace that folded out to snug up to your shoulder for a third contact point. I liked it, though lots of people hated it. The optional XLR adapter had a shoulder pad (IIRC) and it wasn't until the XL2 that they made the shoulder pad/XLR ports a full time addition. Having said that, the shoulder mount was mostly useless as the weight was 90% over the front of the camera unless you got an AB adapter and hung bricks over the back. Anyway, even Canon now has ditched the shoulderable cameras completely.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #42
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Re: 5 things about the C300

Is it just me, or:
  • Isn't manipulating a heavy camera on a perfectly designed fluid head+support a tactile pleasure to use?
  • Doesn't a perfectly balanced shoulder mounted camera become an extension of your body, as opposed to a box-in-your-palm, which is actually a pain in the wrong place?
Sure there's a workout involved either way. But are we exercising the right muscles?
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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:32 AM   #43
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Sareesh, the XL1 was not a shoulder mount camera, but instead had a brace that folded out to snug up to your shoulder for a third contact point. I liked it, though lots of people hated it.
Actually I too thought it was a bold move on their part, trying to bridge the gap between both designs. It's a pity they didn't pursue it.

Just wish we had a 2K camera that didn't take that many years out of our lives, eh?
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:35 AM   #44
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Re: 5 things about the C300

I'm still very surprised at 56 IRE for skin tones with standard gamma. 56 IRE is normally used as the top end of the window for a mid grey card (42-56) with standard gamma, not skin tones which are typically 60-70 IRE. Of course if it works for you, then who am I to say your wrong, just surprised.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #45
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Re: 5 things about the C300

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Charles, your memory is off limits as you were flying $250,000 cameras on top of $80,000 Stedicams while the rest of DVinfo was shooting 4-8lb cameras like the PD150, XL1, DVX100, HVX200, EX1, etc... style cameras :)

That is the range of pro (or semi-pro to some) cameras I'm talking about. And I'd say the overwhelming majority of pro-video camera sales in the last 20 years has been in that handheld (vs shoulderbrick) market.
Missed a bunch of stuff here as I was embroiled in a couple of busy work days. Yesterday I was finishing up a project I've been shooting that was a lot of fun, a spoof of "The Bachelor" which we shot on unadorned Sony F800's. I didn't have operators on the pickup day yesterday so I ended up with the camera on my shoulder for a scene in a limo and I noticed for the umpteenth time that the classic Betacam form factor is a darn good one. The camera is perfectly balanced on the shoulder, the weight is just enough to keep it stable but not so much as to wear one down (all day long would be another story, but not terrible). That to me is still the classic "pro" video camera form factor, which goes back roughly to the TK76 (which emerged about the same time as the SR1).

I didn't think anyone considered the PD150/XL1 cameras as being "pro"--I'm pretty sure the term "prosumer" was already in use at that time. And yes, Dylan, of course I was using that class of camera back then, why do you think I showed up on this site?! The XL1 was my first serious camcorder purchase, to be followed by the XL1s, DVX100, A1...none of which I ever enjoyed shooting handheld, always found them to be an abomination. On an extensive handheld EX3 shoot a few years ago I took pains to mount the camera on a baseplate with long rods and a brick battery to get the damn thing on my shoulder one way or another. After the emergence of the JVC HD100, which finally got the right idea, I thought that the other manufacturers would follow suit, and the HD version of the XL series would have a clamp-on back section to turn it into a shoulder mount camera--but amazingly, Canon, Sony and Panasonic still continue to turn out handheld cameras with poor ergonomics.

David: Garrett is still putting on the rig at workshops, but he retired a while ago from operating on movies. Not to say he wouldn't be physically up to the challenge (at 70, God bless him) but as he says, he got tired of riding around in passenger vans! Steadicam, while certainly a great deal of weight, does have the advantage of being well-distributed on the operator's body, while a heavy handheld rig is of course biased entirely on one side which can be far more stressful on the body even at a substantially reduced weight. I used to shoulder a dressed-up Genesis or F35 with SRW deck onboard, a good 50lbs of camera and I was not happy with the way it torqued the spine, which Steadicam never did (the film equivalents like BL's and Platinums were about the same, but generally with 400 ft loads restricting takes to 4 minutes, unlike the "keep shooting" mantra of the HD world).

And finally, back to yesterday's "Bachelor" spoof shoot ... it would be hard for me not to mention that said scene placed me in the back of a limo in the solo company of Jennifer Aniston for 15 minutes--a chance to reminisce about our last time working together (Office Space)! She was very pleasant--and cute.
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