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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.

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Old October 24th, 2016, 10:30 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,109
Seeking Camera Training Advice for LA

Hi all:

I just joined the local union here in LA, ICG600. I have decided to step up my game for landing new clients and projects and have embarked on a training mission, in order to be able to truly exploit all of the features each of the popular lines of cameras have. I own a C100 with a Ninja Blade, I rent C300s and occasionally the C300 MKII, RED Epic, F55, Varicam 35 when a client has a project that warrants it. But when I rent these various cameras, I rarely have the time to actually shoot tests and explore the menus, features and options, it's typically get it to the setting the client has requested and go shoot as I am also dealing with producing sometimes, working on hiring crew, doing the interviews, etc. I don't want to be a DIT or AC for features or TV, I pretty much want to work as an operator/DP in the marketing/promo/EPK/BTS/Doc and high end corporate world, where I already have established clients.

Yesterday, I took the all day C300 MKII training seminar at Canon Hollywood with Suny Behar. It was great, some lecture, in depth about features, the differences between the roll off curves for log, menu and camera setups, advanced metadata management that would be utilized on multicam episodic, how some of the more hidden features of the camera work, how to tweak and adjust the DPAF settings for various scenarios and then we divided into teams and each team shot various assignments that were designed to make us dig deep into the menus and to become more fluid with operating in high pressure, timed situations. It was a great day, well worth my time and I now feel very confident in being able to actually utilize the advanced features of the C300, which formats, gamma and matrix to shoot for different situations, etc. I feel as if I now know the C300 MKII pretty well.

I am interested in finding similar experiences for:

1. The Sony F55 - I have shot with this camera, not the FS7 or FS5. In my arena, the F55 and the FS7 are both used fairly often. I can't afford to rent an F55 package just to play with it, but I possibly could do so with the FS7. Question is, if I learn the F55, will menu, features and setup translate to the FS7? Or is the FS7 "dumbed down" from the complexity of the F55? Does Sony ever offer the same kind of free seminars to explore the finer points of cameras like the FS7 and F55 in SoCal?

2. Same with RED. I have rented and shot the Epic a while ago, have not kept up with the new developments at all, but does Red offer any kind of free or low cost training on their cameras at their studio? Any of you take any RED training that you would recommend?

3. In my work, I would be much more likely to rent the Amira than the Alexa. Is there a good source for hands-on Amira training in LA? I've shot with the Alexa before but had two ACS who pretty much handled everything, I found the camera easy to operate but I do not know the functions, menus and features very well. I shoot BTS on several shows that shoot Alexas and Alexa minis so I have a lot of exposure to being around them in production, but that's pretty different than picking up the package, setting up the camera, etc.

4. Not sure if it is worth training on Varicam 35/Varicam LT? I was at the introduction of the Varicam 35 at Panasonic and while I like the cameras, I don't see them gaining much traction for the shoots I do. Opinions?
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