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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #1
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cant wait till shooting with A DSLR fad dies

what are your thoughts? sure the image might look good. but its not like that's the future for the camcorder. also some of the rigs just look silly, it looks like your a photographer and not a pro videographer.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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It's not about to die until we get cameras with similarly large sensors in a proper form factor, that aren't burdened with unnecessary parts such as a mirror and a pentaprism. In addition to the forthcoming RED Scarlet, both Sony and Pansonic are already taking steps in that direction, so your wait should be over within twelve months or so.

See Sony prototype cinema camera shown at NAB

and http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/digital-...hd-camera.html
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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Image is Everything

I haven't had a client call in six months requesting anything but my 5D and 7D. They clearly don't care about what the camera looks like, and neither do I.

I don't try to predict the future, I shoot in the present, using the best tools available for each client.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #4
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It's in it's infancy right now. Until manufacturers (other than Canon) can step up to the plate with better solutions for less money, it's not going anywhere any time soon. I really hope the Panasonic 4/3" will take Canon lenses and cost under $4k but I may be pushing the envelope of reality there!
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #5
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You won't hear any complaints from me. I'm using my Pentax K-X to shoot B-Roll for my JVC GY-HD100. I have no intention of replacing my shoulder cam as my main weapon of choice. But the ability to carry a large-sensor camera with several fast primes and a small tripod in a backpack -- and all at a ridiculously cheap price -- is like a dream come true.

Establishing shots, cutaways, architectural details, landscapes etc. are so much easier, and it cuts together very well with the stuff from the JVC.

I will admit, though, that I don't quite get the appeal (except for the obvious cheap large sensor) of outfitting your DSLR with unwieldy shoulder braces, stabilizers, etc. The thing I like best about shooting video on a DSLR is the portability.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morgan View Post
what are your thoughts? sure the image might look good. but its not like that's the future for the camcorder. also some of the rigs just look silly, it looks like your a photographer and not a pro videographer.
And all this time I've been waiting for cheesy 1/3" chip camcorders to die...

Looking like a photographer isn't the worst thing ever, and has let me shoot tons of stuff that would have got me kicked out if I had a video camera.

If you are worried about what you look like, go into image consulting.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #7
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I did a shoot this weekend at an event and several people with very nice cameras approached me a bit confused why I was panning so slowly on a tripod. "And what's that thing sticking off the back of your camera?" (my Z-Finder!)

I explained I was shooting full HD video which really surprised a few of them. I had one guy ask me about the Z-Finder only to look at his camera...a 7D! I asked if he'd ever played with the video on it and he said "no, I'm just a photographer!" I told him he needed to expand into video as he has one of the best cameras for it!

Fun times we're in!
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Standing View Post

I will admit, though, that I don't quite get the appeal (except for the obvious cheap large sensor) of outfitting your DSLR with unwieldy shoulder braces, stabilizers, etc. The thing I like best about shooting video on a DSLR is the portability.
Its not hard to understand. the cameras make awesome and "arty" images with less trouble. People rig their cameras for what they need to get their shot. Narrative shooters typically what follow focus cabability, a matte box for ease of filtering, monitoring, and rails to hang all sorts of stuff off of. They don't care particularly about size. Some are concerned about looking "Pro" too. If they have a shot that does require more portability, or shoulder configuration, the same camera can do that stripped.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 02:03 AM   #9
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The only thing wrong with DSLRs is the awful videos that people make with them.
If I never see another locked off shot with blurred background video showing someone smiling at the camera, reeds blowing in the wind, etc, I will be a happy man.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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No matter how much you may not "like" the DSLR trend you're missing the point.

The whole reason that so many of us are changing is incredibly simple. At some point, we got hold of one, and shot something. Then we took the little card. Read the files onto our desktop. Clicked onto them. And suddenly something in our brain went "Holy Mother - that looks AMAZING"

Not just OK. Not just Good. Not even just Better. Our brains fired off the message "This looks freeking AMAZING!"

Thats what makes trends happen. Not all the marketing hype in the world.

It's private. It's personal. And it's instinctual.

AMAZING gets the juices flowing again. It makes you dream of what you can do now, that you couldn't do yesterday.

And sorry, but the moment I saw this topic headline, my brain just went to "he doesn't get it."

The trick is that just cause you don't get something yet, or someone wants to dismiss it because it's often used poorly early in it's life cycle - does NOT mean that there isn't something fundamentally surprising going on. And dismissing it because you haven't experienced it or don't understand it is silly.

This buzz is NOT the result of people who have experienced LESS suddenly seeing a bit MORE. It's coming from people who've seen a LOT getting surprised because what we're seeing on our monitors in our studios NOW is on a WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL from what we've seen before.

Dive in or don't. That's your right. But don't dismiss it as unimportant if you don't yet understand it. A lot of us who have seen a WHOLE lot of professional fads come and go have checked this one out and are getting our brains re-calibrated.

That's the point here.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 08:56 PM   #11
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I just want to say that I'm proud of all of you for having avoided the term "game-changer" (or variations of same) in this thread. Keep up the good work.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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Laurence Janus

I think you'll like this article here: Bokeh Porn by Simon Wyndham

http://www.simonwyndham.co.uk/bokeh-porn.html
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #13
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Dom,

I wasn't much impressed by Mr. Wyndham's article.

It was an excellent example of yet another person trying to shoehorn their myopic view of a small aspect of a subject into a substitute for understanding of the wider implications of that subject.

For example, would it surprise you if I told you that the MOST successful projects I've shot with my 5d had NOTHING to do with either "shallow depth of field" OR of lens bokah?

Mr Wyndham rails against the test videos on Vimeo - which admittedly concentrate on those aspects - probably because we've never had a "cheap" motion picture capture systems that did these particular things so well. But that's not to say that because DSLRs excel in these niche areas they don't also excel in areas that are far more important to the generalist.

For instance, last month I completed a series of videos designed for high def projection in a trade show booth. These were specified to be "high key" composites combining products (cel phone models in this case) with live action shots of people in various costumes using the products in question.

The 5d handled the tabletop cel-phone video with distinction - partially because I could use a tilt-shift lens and therefore keep the geometry of the product true. Try THAT with your video camera.

Then when we went to the shots of the full sized people using the products, again, against a white background for compositing with the product shots - there was no depth of field nor "bokah" considerations whatsoever.

What there WAS was video of outstanding clarity and detail. One actor was dressed as a repair man and with the outstanding detail of the large image sensor - the grain and texture of his leather tool holder fairly jumped off the screen with an clarity and authenticity that I've simply never seen before using standard def camera equipment.

The "richness" of the image itself was what was so impressive.

THIS is what the DSLR revolution is about. Not the thousand boring shallow depth of field test shots the article references.

This technology is the future of video. Not in it's current form-factor - but when the astonishing capabilities of the DSLR *image* meet the convenience of the traditional camera form factor.

So I'm learning TODAY about the new video requirements of the future. e.g. lens choice, the capabilities of technologies like tilt-shift, how to use filters and other tools to control depth of field if and when it's necessary, and how to view a scene with a more critical eye, understanding that the lens and the sensor I shoot on tomorrow will be capturing a whole lot more detail and information than what I've been accustomed to using in the past.

I think that's smart.

And I think folks like Mr. Wyndham are foolish because they are letting their ire at the newbies "first blush" excitement at a few perhaps minor elements of the new tools which may or may not be important to them, blind them to what's really going on here.

It's not just the "bokah" that's better. Or the "depth of field" that's better.

It's that the VIDEO itself is QUALITATIVELY BETTER - by a HUGE margin.

And at the price point - it's nearly UNBELIEVEABLY better.

That's what the DSLR thing is all about.

FWIW.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #14
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Bill:

I too read Simon's article but I took a different tack with it. Looks to me like he was railing against the "test videos" specifically rather than the actual technology of the cameras and the images they can make. Actually I agree with all of his essential points (including his frustration with the rabid obsession regarding absurdly shallow depth of field--who really needs an f1.2 lens, when the camera is capable of ISO's into the thousands?) although I wouldn't state it in quite as snarky a fashion myself, but that's just a stylistic choice.

While I am invested into the DSLR's myself (owning a 1DMKIV and a set of ZE's), I will make no bones about the issues with the imager, particularly the aliasing aspect. That to me is the number one killer as it is the only one that can manifest so intensely on a static frame, which makes it that much more apparent. Codec issues, rolling shutter--these have obvious room for improvement but are for me more subtle issues than the inability to shoot certain brick walls for fear of having them explode into rainbows, or have major twittering pop out even on a human subject (I have in the past referred to the buzzing salt-and-pepper eyebrows on an interview subject I encountered, short of physically blacking the guy's eyebrows, there was no on-set solution I could muster).

In a situation where there is no particularly advantage to using these cameras, such as shooting against a white cyc as you described, I would be interested in seeing a head-to-head test of the DSLR's against a Sony EX3, for example. Certainly if the results were to be keyed I'd go with the EX3 for the improved codec (or an even better one, via external recording from the HD-SDI spigot). I have a major label music video coming out shortly that I shot that included both green screen work and night exteriors--I won the job based on night footage I'd shot with the 1D, but opted to use HVX200's for the green screen elements as I felt the DSLR's would complicate things on a production and post level (I would have spec'd higher-end 4:2:2 cameras for this aspect of it but the director already owned them and with the level of post being done with the green screen work, they were more than adequate--and the footage came out beautifully).

As we all know, the inexpensive nature of these cameras has to be factored with how much one needs to invest in everything else to make them work, starting with an appropriate set of lenses and continuing into whatever else the individual requires to make it work for them. I need HD-SDI monitoring capabilities so for me, that's an HDMI to HD-SDI converter; the difficult nature of pulling focus with the still lenses means I always use my Preston FIZ, which thankfully I already owned; plus the custom base and power mods I've built to power everything off one battery--and this is the absolute minimum I work with for a "real" production job.

So for me, the price point against a smaller chip camcorder is easily equalled out, and the image quality for a certain type of job where shallow depth of field is not an issue has to be weighed against the pitfalls of the technology. I've had wrestling matches with skin tones with these cameras that I'm still working out, and the ergonomics are still painful no matter what kind of external framework I build them into--consider how long it takes to do a custom white balance compared to the single push of a button with a standard video camera. The example of tilt-shift lenses is a good one and accentuates that there are a wealth of still lenses available for use with these cameras, but of course they present their own issues for working with moving objects and being able to accurately follow focus. For me, the aspect of depth of field control is the biggest advantage with these cameras that outweighs the many disadvantages, but I take a different approach to it than the majority of users probably since it's not new to me, having spent 20 years shooting 35mm cine. To further stress the distinction, it's about having a choice of depth of field, not automatically opting for the shallowest possible look (bokeh porn). Every shot requires consideration in dozens of ways; composition, movement, lighting etc...focal length and aperture choices tie into all of this, and along with that the depth of field consideration.

At this point, large sensors are obviously here to stay, so it will be interesting to see if the "shallow masses" will eventually learn to move beyond their current fascination into a more mature approach.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #15
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Charles:

Whether or not the term is appreciated, this camera is a game changer.

The assumption sometimes made by many on this forum is that everyone here is working solely in the professional environment. While all of us aspire to producing at professional level, I believe a greater proportion of those involved with these cameras are either aspiring to a future in the business, or are those that are merely making films as a avocation and not ever expecting to make a living in the business. From that stand point, despite the limitations of these cameras, they remain game changers, as they offer a way for us to experience and experiment with large format "film" techniques that just weren't available to us due to cost before.

And given the fact that the finale of a popular show like "House" was shot entirely with the Canon 5D, I think game changer is an apt description of the new video DSLRs.
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