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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:25 AM   #1
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Surprised...People do act different around a "Pro" look camera!

I'd always heard about the effect of a more pro looking camera...now I believe it.

Last summer I shot motorcycle drag racing with a little Pana GS250. Put it on the web and made a DVD which sold pretty well among the racers.

This year I showed up at the track with a GL2 on a nice tripod and noticed a few things.

1. Profesional courtesy....The "official" track photographer came over to talk cameras with me.
And when rain approached, he said I could use his room under the tower to protect my camera.

2. Access....I set up the camera in several places off limits to spectators and was never questioned or asked to move.

3. People just acted different....They didn't act "goofy", like when you point a little camera at them.
People didn't just step in front of the camera if they knew I was taping.
We set up at the winners circle and asked the winning riders for a few words....Wow! You would have thought I was taping for ESPN they way the responded.

It was fun!

Bob T.
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Last edited by Bob Thieda; June 18th, 2007 at 07:58 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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I'm reminded by your post of a display window at a high-end menswear store in San Francisco I saw years ago - alongside a display of a Dior shirt, Armani suit, Bally shoes, Gucci briefcase was a little engraved card that said "To get where you want to be, you must look like you're already there."
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #3
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This has been discussed in a number of threads. The "Big Cam" effect of carrying a bigger camera, or even a smaller camera tricked out with mattebox and extended mic, batteries etc. Most of the public has a subconcious (unconcious?) image in the back of their minds. It's the image they see of LARGE television cameras, set up in the back of the room during news conferences, it's the image of the reporter and videographer with the huge shoulder brick running down the street, it's the 'behind the scenes' footage on their favorite DVD that shows the Director and DP standing next to a Panavision or Mitchell Camera with those big 'mickey mouse ears' film magazines sitting on top.

Hence, 'bigger is professional' gets stuck in their minds. Cause the little camera that Uncle Joe has, doesn't look as good as the pros.


Sure, WE know the quality of the image isn't strictly dependant on the size of the camera - it's dependant on the skill of the operator.

(Huh, this is sounding suspiciously like a different argument...)

Nevertheless, when I show up with my XL2 with the 16x manual lens, the FU 1000 viewfinder, the dual CH910 battery pack on the back... yeah, it LOOKS as big and professional as the rest of the news crew. Heck, I've had News crews pick up and test drive the XL2 on shoots and comment "Yeah, we should get some of these."

So sure, in the sense that it LOOKS more professional, you'll get more respect, a little more 'lattitude' from officials, and as has been discussed on this board, clients will feel a little more comfortable with the set up.

Of course, more conspicuous is counter-productive when you are trying to be surreptitious... but that's another thread.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
This has been discussed in a number of threads.
Oops, sorry!
Now that I think about it, I'm sure your right....

Normally I'm a search first kinda guy, but I was just so surprised by the change in attitude, I could hold back.

Oh well...can't wait to capture and look at the footage from the weekend....

Bob T.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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You'd be amazed where a nice camera, an $8 logo'd shirt, and an assistant will get you! I still get oooooze and ahhhhhz from my old VX2100
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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Yeah, a logo t-shirt is good. A nice logo'd nameplate on the jacket is good too. (a little more upscale when you're wearing a jacket) Just 'acting' professional can go a long way in being perceived as professional - BECAUSE IT IS professional.

Confidence, politeness, and a big smile - even when people are upset - make it a lot easier to get what you need done, accomplished.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #7
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The flip side to this 'big-camera' issue is the 'nudist syndrome' (as I like to call it). I've always used a big rig (Betacam or more recently DSR300s) and noticed that people DO act differently in front of the rig....they avoid me like a nudist at a buffet. I think they are afraid of being on network television (even when I'm shooting a wedding). My usual joke during those events is that the satellite truck is right outside and this is going live. Some get it, others think I'm serious.

Its gotten to the point where I'll use the smaller camera at certain events just to get more 'natural' reactions and to be less intrusive (especially in tight quarters).

Still, I prefer the big rig for 90% of my work...cause the image rocks!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Marco Wagner View Post
You'd be amazed where a nice camera, an $8 logo'd shirt, and an assistant will get you! I still get oooooze and ahhhhhz from my old VX2100
OK then.....a couple of shirts, one for me and one for my "assistant", (the dear wife), and I'm good to go...

Just need to get me a logo.....hmmmm
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Old June 19th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #9
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I find the "look" of my equipment makes a big diff in people's attitudes, partly because I'm a one-man band. But I have to show I know how to use it, too, or I'd give the worst impression of all.

Anyway, appearance counts for a lot, no question. I sometimes have pre-shoot meetings in a hospital. I get a lot fewer confrontational "May I help you" inquisitions from staff if I'm wearing a jacket and tie, rather than jeans and t-shirt.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #10
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Don't forget...

http://www.hollywooddreamfactory.com/newimages/meg2.gif

...if you wanna go that little bit OTT ;)

Seriously though, I was filming at NASS (National Adventure Sports Show) a few years ago and noticed this in quite an obvious fashion, there was about 5 of us at the bottom of this ramp where a few guys were all trying a certain transfer. At the end of the line, in the best shooting position, was an XL1, then the top VX at the time (we're talking '02 or '03 I think) then me with an XM1 and so forth down to an old DSR model. Natural selection or something ?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #11
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The only negative I had (VX2100, Beachtek, Hotshoe mounted AT835 with full Mike Muff) was always having to say that I was not shooting for the news ;).
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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #12
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yes i totally agree about the publics big is more pro i have been a tv pro cameraman for over 10 years and when out and about especially doing news
with a sony dsr or dvcpro on the shoulder i sometimes wished for a wee camera as it started to get boring with the(whit channel is that own big man and whit station are ya fa
as because it was a big camera it must be a tv station)but now when i take my wee canon hv20 out no one seems to bother(well nearly no one but you always get one.........so definetely in the publics eye big is more pro
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Old June 20th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #13
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Wow, I had not even thought about people reacting this way till I read this post and remembered the first outdoor wedding I did with my Pana DVC-30 with the XLR adapter, Azden shotgun and wireless lapel receiver on it, all on top of a nice tripod and me wearing headphones.

Had immediate friends with the wedding photographer and about every "hobbiest" photographer and videographer that came to the wedding.

I also have gotten the "news person" reaction when I videoed at some public events.

Interesting.....

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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #14
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We all play our roles and have our props and costumes. Construction workers in suits and bankers in torn t-shirts would both get a lot of second looks.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #15
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I actually prefer the opposite. People act less self-consciously, and more candidly, around less intimidating equipment. This works in the event field, but it also seems to be true for actors.

I would much rather increase my invisibility with a camera.

Sure it might drum up the occasional business by folk who are impressed with gear, but the majority of my business comes from people who sample my work and those who get their finished product and word-of-mouth me jobs.
I find that my work is better when I am less of a magnet for eyes and people who come up to me when I am trying to actually film something.
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