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Old May 13th, 2018, 06:40 PM   #16
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Re: Prime Lense and EX3? Can anyone please provide some advice?

Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, any of these cameras will suit your needs. They are ranked in order of quality, so buy the best one that your budget will permit:
FS100, FS700, F3, FS5, FS7

A good interview lens would be any 85mm f/2.8 or faster. Other lenses may also work, but that is a good go-to lens for interviews when you are starting out and don't really know a lot about these types of cameras. Do not get suckered into buying one of those f/4 lenses with an 18-110mm (or similar) zoom range. They are all wrong for interviews or for anything that you want to look cinematic. You will be best served by a fast 75mm or 85mm prime for interviews and then you can build your lens collection from there as budget and needs dictate.
Hi Doug,

Although I understand why you would have ranked the cameras this way, when I'm shooting 1080 and the client absolutely does not want LOG, I prefer the look I get from the F3 as compared to the others, and place it at the top of my list. (of course obviously not an option of they want 4k, and if I do LOG with it that means I'll be recording externally.)

Last week I also picked up a Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 Art lens for interviews, and my initial tests with it have impressed me. Yes, it may not be quite as crisp as my 85 prime, but clients often want to go back and forth between 2 sizes for interviews (during the question), and I was finding that if the room was big enough to move the camera back from the subject my 28-70 wouldn't have quite the reach on the long end. Plus of course the Sigma adds an extra f/stop on the wide open side. (and last week all the Art series lenses seemed to be getting a $100. discount, so I jumped...)
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Old May 13th, 2018, 07:30 PM   #17
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Re: Prime Lense and EX3? Can anyone please provide some advice?

Hey Dave, I always value your comments and, as usual, I agree with almost everything you have written. But I'll stand by my ranking of the cameras . . . for someone who is new to big sensors, removable lenses, etc. On the other hand, if I was advising someone else, such as yourself, then I might be inclined to move the F3 ahead of a couple of the other cameras. In fact, I agree that an F3 with the Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 would be another good choice for the OP. But with that said, if someone has the money, I'd tell them just to skip over all the other cameras, grab an FS7, and don't look back. An FS7 would meet almost anyone's needs for the next five years and beyond and would provide amazing ROI.

There are many excellent combinations of cameras and lenses that will fit the bill for shallow depth-of-field interviews with excellent images and audio quality. But there are even more really bad choices to be made, and my comments earlier today were intended to steer someone away from going down a foolhardy path of using audio equipment (or certain types of cameras) that they don't need and would actually prove to be counterproductive.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; May 13th, 2018 at 09:06 PM.
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Old May 14th, 2018, 05:25 AM   #18
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Re: Prime Lense and EX3? Can anyone please provide some advice?

Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
i find it astounding that anyone in the business of shooting serious interviews would even dream of going through the hassles of setting up external 'primary' recording equipment, i often use a zoom as back up, just in case, but...
That may certainly be the case for single talking-head OMB work. But I regularly find clients paying for the audio tech to do a lav/boom combo in corporate work. Even more frequently if there are multiple people and you get past 2 channels with lav/boom.

In those cases the audio tech uses an external recorder and provides a mix-down feed to the camera. Both camera audio and recorder files are delivered to client.

I find it makes sense in many scenarios as it allows the crew to work faster and be more focused for a relatively small investment. Especially in a market that is pressed for time and not an easy noise or RF environment (NYC).
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Old May 14th, 2018, 05:51 AM   #19
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Re: Prime Lense and EX3? Can anyone please provide some advice?

Originally Posted by Patrick Bronte View Post
Can anyone please recommend a camera and a lens that will first record great HD footage and can capture talking heads with SDOF. I use a 3 point lighting system so will always have good light. I always do everything manually but have noticed some cameras have AF with face detection which is fine with me.
Any of the camera choices that have a CMOS sensor and an E or EF mount will do. That large sensor in combination with quality glass at reasonable cost will give you that look. So the Canon Cxx line or the Sony FS line are both your go-to places. If those are out of budget, a Canon 5DMIII with a separate sound recorder or a variety of the Sony/Panasonic 4/3rds may be a budget compromise that is certainly viable.

There are many finer points about any of these cameras that people can debate for hours in terms of choice (and have). Not sure there is a simple answer as it depends on a lot of factors and personal preferences.

Not sure what camera you are currently coming from and if a DSLR like or a Cine camera like setup will be easier to switch to workflow wise. Generally speaking always good to divide and conquer on the upgrade curve and not tackle everything at once.

Originally Posted by Patrick Bronte View Post
Do I need 4K? The end results will be headed towards TV but other than that it's going towards independent film festivals and the web. Will 4K become the required format within the next 3-4 years? Your help with some recommendations for a good camera and lens would be really appreciated here as I don't want to be talked into the wrong camera & lens by a salesman. I need to go in prepared.
Highly dependent on market. HD still is the norm here, but I've gotten 4K specific requests on a regular basis. There's a bit of an expectation that you can do 4K if asked, though everyone will be upfront about it, so you can just pass on those jobs.

My recommendation would be to pick a cheaper HD only camera and invest more into the lens. By the time jobs skew more towards 4K than they do now, upgrade the camera and you'll already have good glass. Quality SDOF looks live by quality glass more than anything.

That being said, I would validate that SDOF look requirement, and also the degree of blur. That seems to be driving a lot of your choices and painting you into a corner you may not need to be in.
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