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DSLRs: A Time Exposure

CreativeCOW presents DSLRs: A Time Exposure -- Cinematography Review


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THE INCITING INCIDENT

At some point in the evolution of today's DSLR, digital replaced film, and low light level photography became astonishingly clear. We saw our world in a whole new way. And then a seemingly innocent event occurred that for some would be the beginning of a whole new style, and for others, would be another nail in the coffin of quality cinematography.

Rather than schlep a real movie camera or camcorder around with your still outfit, wouldn't it be convenient if you could just lock the mirror up and shoot motion synced to audio? Canon added the feature to their marvelous 5D Mark II still camera, almost as an afterthought.

Their normally astute marketers calculated that no more than 3 or 4 percent of users would ever use the feature -- perhaps a few wedding photographers and single-person reporting teams.


BLINDSIDED!

They were off by a mile. The $2,800 camera started selling 5,000 per week. And 35 to 40% of buyers were shooting movies! Had Canon known they would sell 100,000 or so of these high-end cameras they could have built the camera a whole lot better for us cinema types. As originally delivered, the aperture, gain, exposure, frame rate and shutter speed of the 5D Mk II could not be adjusted by the user! There was no 24 frames per second mode, only 30, and if god forbid you panned past a window, the camera would dutifully underexpose your subject, confident that you'd rather try to see what's out that window than see the facial details of that boring person in the foreground.

These deficiencies have been more or less successfully remedied with software updates for the 5D and with 3 newer Canons, the 7D, 1D Mark IV and the Rebel T1i, all of which have HD movie capability.


NIKON AND PANASONIC

Naturally, other major players weren't sleeping through all this. As of a few months ago, Nikon's only manually-controllable HD DSLR was their amazing D3s, which though not as high resolution as the Canons (720x1280 instead of 1080x1920 pixels), was the undisputed sensitivity king, with ISOs all the way up to an astonishing 100,000! Panasonic's Lumix GH-1 delivered less speed and exposure latitude than the competition, but offered a reasonable 1080P image at a bargain price.


FATAL FLAWS

Focusing -- easily one of the most challenging of the cinematography skills -- is made dimensionally more difficult by using cameras and often lenses not designed for following focus in movie scenes with subject and/or camera movement. The large imagers are a mixed blessing. Yes, you get more selective focus but that also requires a gifted technician to avoid distracting focus buzzes.

The critically sharp optical finder is disabled for movie work. All that remains during shooting is a reduced resolution video output. Aftermarket focusing devices are necessary and some cinematographers find themselves required to design less challenging shots or shooting with more light at smaller apertures.

Because the movie mode originated as merely an extra feature, very little effort was put into maximizing quality. The cameras were tiny compared to purposebuilt motion picture cameras with similar size sensors. Hence the amount of processing power, rate of data flow, heat build-up, storage etc. was severely limited and the makers certainly had no interest in compromising their world class still photography capabilities. The result was a greatly compressed image using the h.264 codec. Compared to the pristine raw modes most of these cameras offered, the motion picture images suffered from noticeably less exposure latitude, greater noise, fixed pattern noise, less usable sensitivity (ISO) and of course, much less resolution.



Comments

Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by David Forrester
Loved the Article. YES - Canon is the sleeping giant. After doing about 5-6 short films, videos, and being a still serious photographer in my pre-film era (Contax / Zeiss), I have learned to use the Canon / Zeiss in much the same way. Starting off with a Sony Z5 and really enjoying that, the Canon was a new additional tool to complement the Sony.

Bottom line: It is a bear to operate, but used as a cinematographer, not a videographer, it is simply astounding in some situations that leaves me breathless. I recently shot an entire steam locomotive train at night film, with passengers, station, outside steam, RR tracks, inside the engine cab etc. Something impossible with the Sony Z5. The blacks were velvet smooth, the grain acceptable even at 1250, the shallow dof was the magic touch, latitude pretty darned good, still shots - well it is a Canon 5D!

The end result was stunning and the commentaries from all said the same. They could not believe the emotions, the beauty, the richness, the color, the ability to even take the pictures - like Hollywood quality. I was amazed.

As mentioned, you have to know what the hell you are doing - it is not easy by any stretch. You are constantly dealing with manual follow focus, composing, some aperture control, looking through a hoodman for precise focus, composing shots as you go and follow the steam locomotive in motion, getting the lowest ISO possible / right combination of aperture, being creative and telling story and keeping that camera perfectly where you want it to be. In other words, IT IS A CHALLENGE. But get it right, and you have pure gold. Bad shots and retakes are at least 50-75% it is so critical. Very unforgiving. A Marshall monitor is definitely worth a consideration. . . uhh ... needed! Of course sound is separate recorded - that is a given here.

Now if a Video camera with a large 5D sensor can do these night shots in the same way, and still be under $5,000, I would like to know where it is!

What I am saying is that Mr. Grimes is right. Canon has something powerful and a tool that is like no other. When the Mk3 comes out, and if the bugs are addressed, you are going to see something that will revolutionize the industry. My guess? greater latitude, 50Mbs film, maybe even 3k or 4k video, Raw capability, less noise, more latitude (1-2 stops), autofocus in video, maybe even choice of fps. But would that hurt the video division? Dunno.

But is sure is fun to think about it. Notice Canon has said absolutely nothing. Makes sense because once it comes out, the MK2 will disappear quickly - or remain available but the Mk3 will be priced higher and for good reason.

Damn - this waiting is tough. Keep making films and work the system - it may be tough, but it has gold blood if you know how to tap into it and marry it with a video camera like the Sony for instance. What a pair!!
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by aaron courtney
Daniel, I agree completely. It's comical to read some of these comments, as if end users are actually threatened by this movement. Some of you make the inherent post production complexities seem like using these cam's isn't worth the hassle they will inflict during the edit process. Well I completely disagree and here's a 15m film to prove my point - shot completely on a BORROWED 550D. I multitracked all audio on my mini remote recording rig, mixed down, and mastered the audio with little difficulty achieving perfect sync by hand for almost two hours worth of footage.

And Snorre Wik -thanks for the inspiration for a couple of cinematic elements I borrowed from you after watching your very, very well done piece!

http://www.vimeo.com/13617253
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Daniel Beahm
Thanks so much for this great article, Robert.

And it's great to hear people dialoguing about the issue in the comments. I think it's hilarious to hear people say this is a passing phase. The film industry is experiencing the EXACT same transformation that the music industry went through 15 years ago. The big money studios can't compete with almost comical (in comparison) budgets of indie films rivaling (story, writing, casting, acting, etc.) these studio films.

Cheaper tools make it easier for people to make movies. It doesn't mean people without talent can suddenly make good films though. It simply opens a previously closed door (filmmaking) to creative individuals who can make beautiful things with whatever tools they have at their disposal.

The era of GIANT multi-million dollar films is dying. It's not a viable business venture. Great filmmaking will still go on, but with cheaper tools.

Fortunately, we aren't simply losing the possibility of quality visuals. Quality will continue to improve with technology, and at some point in the future, some kid with a $1,200 camera is going to shoot something that looks every bit as visually stunning (from an optics point of view) as 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Meanwhile (right now), some of the best films of the decade are going to be shot on equipment that many will view as optically "sub-par." However, it will be a triumph for the everyman, and filmmaking will be revolutionized.

We shot our first feature on a RED, and (depending upon which script we shoot next) I'm excited to shoot a project on a 5DmkII/7D. I'm a little concerned about the focusing and exposure issues, but these are simply challenges to overcome in order to deliver the best possible product with the tools available. As with all art, the tool will factor into the decision making process as part of the medium.

The size and weight of the camera (not to mention the incredible light sensitivity) frees up all kinds of limitations I had with film, so obviously there are significant trade-off's between film cameras and DSLR's.

=======================
http://www.LeadingLadiesMovie.com
Let Love Lead™
+1
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Ray Stark
Watching the DSLR hype machine is amusing. I've done a few tests and ultimately feel this is yet another toy to pass the time with. Too many problems, mainly NLE compatibility. Maybe when DSLR grows up, it'll be a contender. For now, I'll play with the grown up cameras.
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Dave LaRonde
[Ray Stark] "Watching the DSLR hype machine is amusing."

It sure is, especially the hoops people gladly jump through to make still cameras work for video.

If DSLRs cost $20,000, they'd be just another way to record good-looking video, no more than an eddy in the stream of video imaging technology. People would be pointing out all the shortcomings of shooting DSLR video.

But they cost a quarter of that, and perhaps even less. So people gush over the marvelous images and ignore the shortcomings.

My conclusion: the DSLR scare isn't about making great-looking video, it's about CHEAP, great-looking video, and it will pass as soon as it's incorporated into a real video camera.




Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Douglas Villalba
Is that why Robert Rodriguez is using it on a new movie? or the full HD Series are bringing them to the sets for the season's finale?
It is not a camera for videographers. It is a camera for cinematographers.

Douglas Villalba

http://www.advertising-villa.com

info@dvtvproductions.com

G5 QUAD 4.5 GB RAM, Decklink HD Extreme, HVX200, FX1, A1 & HV20. Letus Extreme 35 mm adaptor, Rails, GlideCam
@Ray Stark
by Richard van den Boogaard
Please do so. Limit yourself to a mere 2/3 inch sensor or worse if you're working with a semi-professional (1/2 inch) or consumer grade camera (1/4 inch). F2.8 is all you're likely to get.

I am not saying that DSLRs are the ideal camera - far from it.

However, I am betting that there WILL be new camera bodies which will overcome some of the disadvantages in the current breed and still be able to use the same photo glass in front of it. A DSLR body costs €1000-1800, while you can easily invest multiples of that in proper L-Series glass. True, this is not cinema-style glass with proper T-Stops, but it's surely good enough for most any project I am involved with.

100.000 bodies sold means that there's a big enough market potential out there for upgrading to more professional bodies, so Canon's (or any other manufacturer's) video division would be really ignorant to leave that untapped.

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Douglas Villalba
You have played with a camera. You can't do a test unless you have experience with it and other cameras.
If It is a toy, you have played with it.

Douglas Villalba

http://www.advertising-villa.com

info@dvtvproductions.com

G5 QUAD 4.5 GB RAM, Decklink HD Extreme, HVX200, FX1, A1 & HV20. Letus Extreme 35 mm adaptor, Rails, GlideCam
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Mike Cohen
Nice article - you really clarify the issues and contenders. I enjoyed the Zacuto camera shoot out videos.

Interesting that with such perceived limitations (recording time, jello, h.264 compression/difficulty editing native files, audio) so many thousands of units have sold and such fantastic work has been created. I am a fan of Tom Guilmette and Philip Bloom's vids on Vimeo and despite the technical limitations, these guys blow me away with what they produce. Philip Bloom was invited to Skywalker Ranch to teach the Lucasfilm gang how to shoot good video with DSLR's.
We picked up a 7d last year, primarily to shoot stills for medical textbooks, but the video on a locked down tripod has been beautiful and useful on many shoots as a 2nd camera angle. It is also great for shooting behind the scenes footage.
http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/1056/dslr-a-new-beginning
Mike Cohen
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Chris Blair
As a veteran in this industry but as someone who also LOVES new equipment, new methods and especially new cameras that provide a unique visual look...I also think it's important to remember that to get great images from these things, you STILL need to be a skilled cinematographer and/or DP.

And...even though I'm a fan of Phillip Bloom, a lot of his Vimeo videos are really just eye-candy set to music. Of course he's typically championing a new product...and he DOES know how to use a camera to tell stories as well...

But if you have a great story, a great eye, and you already own a high-end HD camera with good lenses, you can likely tell your story just as effectively and with less location and post-production hassle using that.

You can achieve similar looks if you know how to position the camera and use focal lengths and ND and exposure to get shallow depth of field. Certainly there are setups where nothing beats a film lens, especially in tight spaces, but you can also use DOF adaptors that fit right to the front of your lens to achieve that same look.

We'll probably get one of these cameras, because we need a new still-digital camera anyway...but for 95% of our projects, the last thing we need is a more complicated work flow both on-set and in post...not to mention the complications of running separate sound...doing without TC etc.

Yes these things have great potential, but it sounds like from the posts that while they greatly reduce your equipment weight and space, they greatly increase what you need on-set and in post. I'm not sure that's it worth the trade-off for people working in the middle of the market budget-wise.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Douglas Villalba
The camera is just a tool. Just as I use different video cameras for different projects I use the DSLR.
I have just replaced my Letus adapter for a DSLR. Sure I have to do sound on a separate recording device (Zoom H4n) but I don't record sound all the time either.
I just finished a Short Film in Nicaragua with a DSLR and most of my gear was on a carry on bag. The image quality is superior to any 35mm adapter and the editing is no different to any other h.264, HDV recording video camera.
I still own the HVX and a Canon A1, but unless I have to do long takes I will use the DSLR.

Douglas Villalba

http://www.advertising-villa.com

info@dvtvproductions.com

G5 QUAD 4.5 GB RAM, Decklink HD Extreme, HVX200, FX1, A1 & HV20. Letus Extreme 35 mm adaptor, Rails, GlideCam
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Richard van den Boogaard
First up: wonderful article.

Thanks to the Canon DSLRs, I now earn a living with them!

Only last October 2009 I took a course in traditional broadcast ENG Camerawork and then started a search for my own camera set. Due to the earlier work done by Philip Bloom with various 35mm adapters, my eyes were initially set on an EX-3 with a Letus and some nice 35mm glass in front.

However, inspired by Bloom's rapid adoption of the EOS 5D mark ii and later 7D, I decided to go DSLR all the way. An excellent decision, I must say. After six months I have been able to recoup most of my investments and sometimes have to figure out where to find the time to do all the projects I am involved with. I do not work in cinematography, but rather on web videos with high production value. My clients are extremely happy with the results.

<object width="600" height="363"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/eIDoyuMHyzA&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/eIDoyuMHyzA&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="600" height="363"></embed></object>

What I find inspiring is to be part of a movement that shakes up the industry like nothing before. Also, I love the whole eco system that has been evolving with all sorts of manufacturers (Zacuto, Red Rock Micro, etc.) coming up with ways to overcome the intricate disadvantages of these game-changing devices.

Although I am totally in love with the versatility of these cameras (you get to shoot great video and do RAW 5K image timelapses with a single device!), I do not like the burden that it places on the editing process.

Recently, I had to do an edit of ten 4-minute interviews and I found out that the only way to get a workflow going was to first sync up the full audio track, do an uncompressed render (not wanting to lose further quality from transcoding in the process) and then start editing. Syncing up all the individual clips would have taken way too long. However, this workflow resulted in a whopping project size of 250GB (!):

<object width="600" height="363"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/marcKHQ0Pp4&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/marcKHQ0Pp4&hl=nl_NL&fs=1?rel=0&hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="600" height="363"></embed></object>

Altogether, I am hoping that Canon will come up with a successor body which has both RAW video recording capabilities (as a selectable option), FullHD res monitoring output and proper XLR inputs. Could be some other manufacturer as well, but I still want to be able to re-use my Canon glass.

I too hope that these suggestions will make it to the R&D departments of Canon cum suis.

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com
+2
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Beau Tardy
I can see from a Director/ DP point of view how these cameras can be great tools. But being an editor myself I cringe at the mountain of trouble these tools create when trying to edit: no timecode- no syched audio- compressed mpeg footage as a master...

Its like we've gone back to nickelodeons where you spin a stack of photos to achieve movement. DPs have fun, editors beware!
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Drew Walkup
First time poster here guys, so bare with me.

I recently returned from Italy on a month long shoot. My kit: Canon 7D, 4 Nikon AI-S Prime Lenses, IndiSystem Support package (Shoulder Mount, Matte Box, Follow Focus), Zoom H4n as a mic/recorder/mixer, 2 Sennheiser Wireless Lav Systems. I literally had two bags going over there: a brazillion dollar bag from Crumpler and a larger check luggage which, in the US, could be a carryon. It's amazing I can fit everything but lights in two bags!

I have to say, any doubters that think these cameras cannot be used for production are wrong.

David, I really liked your answers to George's & Joe's questions, very concise and to the point.

Chris - regarding audio. The audio on these cameras is terrible. From my experience, I would recommend going the external audio route. Just as with the HDSLRs, we finally have the technology to have a device with the quality/price ratio that doesn't gouge us.

There are many solutions. I personally went with a Zoom H4n handheld recorder. It comes with a mic, has two XLR inputs and can record and mix 4 tracks at once (Stereo Mic + Two Line-In). With two lavs in addition to the mic on the Zoom, I had a stereo background track and two direct lines to my talent.

As far as ergonomics, I'd highly recommend getting at least a should rig for the camera. The rolling shutter is a problem for me even when I'm holding the thing... especially at longer focal lengths. The shoulder mount effectively removes rolling shutter due to hand shake and I'm very please with the results I had.

For me, I work with this camera like it's an ARRI film camera because the camera works like a film camera. ISO, highly selective focus, limited shooting time, etc. These cameras should not be used on shoots where a HVX would be perfect. There are situations where a smaller sensor is better, but I do fiction filmmaking and there is no place for an HVX there. This also means that there are more people required. If I'm going to do a project correctly with the 7D, I'm going to have a DP, Camera Op, 1st Assistant Camera (Follow Focus) and 2nd Assistant Camera (Slate, Loader) as the minimum for my camera crew. If you have the people, you can do the poor man's follow focus with tape markers around the lens. If you have fewer people I'd recommend getting a Follow Focus for your support rig.

I hope this helps!

Drew Walkup
Cinema Veritas
+1
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by David Spicer
Loved the article! I can't wait and see what comes next if Canon actually wakes up to this market!

"I was rather surprised to find out the max recording time was only seven minutes. The salesperson said it was due to trade restrictions. Another claimed it was the fat32 file limit."

If your in Europe then yes because it's considered a video camera if it records for more than a certain amount of time and so it's taxed differently. Although if you're in the US then it depends on how complex the image is. I recorded an entire fireworks show (25mins) with my 5D Mark II because the background was just black. Your file size is capped at 4GBs. I do hope that they will have a fix that will seamlessly just start to write a new file once it hits 4GBs.

"I just can't seem to get over the whole CMOS distortion issue with "jello-cam". I just want to know I'm not crazy here, but does anyone else view this as a problem?"

The rolling shutter issue is a problem with CMOS sensors in general, but it's really only an issue if you pan to quickly or have an extremely unstable shot (Blair Witch...). If you know these issues then you can minimize them by planning your shots and not jerking the camera around. I shoot a lot of road rally and autocross and I haven't had an issue with rolling shutter, and I do most of it free hand.

-David

+1
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Snorre Wik
I really liked the article and the comments above, and I truly enjoy the exposure the new HDSLR format has been getting lately. My pet peeve with most articles and comments, however, is the lack of experience with the format from most of the authors. I've been shooting documentaries, in the field, without any changes to the production work-flow, for the past few months now. And the results are stunning! The network managers I work for have uniformly sat up straighter in their fancy chairs in order to pay better attention to the possibilities made by the 5D2. I hope you'll be able to spend 23 minutes watching the first film I filmed, using only 1 Canon 5D2 body:







Make sure you watch it in 720P
Thanks!
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Chris Blair
Great article!

But what about audio? These days medium to low-budget projects rarely have a separate audio crew (at least here in the midwest), and virtually every video shoot I've been on in the last 25 years records audio onto the camera's media (not separately).

I've also read many blog posts about some pretty nutty workarounds to get quality audio into these cameras.

Also...what about monitoring both video and audio? I'm sure it can be done, but is it as easy and ubiquitous as what we expect from high-end professional cameras?

Last, what about ergonomics? There was mention of the difficulty in focusing and the possible need for 3d party focus add-ons, so are these add-ons ready for prime-time?

I can't wait to try some projects with one of these cameras though. I'm a big fam of Phillip Blooms work with them.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Dave LaRonde
[Chris Blair] "...what about audio? ...what about monitoring both video and audio? ...what about ergonomics?"

I'm with you. Yeah, these cameras might make nice pictures, but right now you have to decide how to use them EXTREMELY carefully.

Canon, for one, already knows how to make a video camera with proper controls, inputs & outputs and operator ergonomics. When they make such a camera utilizing their inevitably-to-be-upgraded sensor technology, watch out!

For me, DSLR's are like a train that hasn't quite stopped at the station yet... but they'll get there soon enough. If you want to use them now, you'll just have to put up with their limitations and deal with the aggravation of using them effectively.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Joe Mizera
I was seriously considering adding the 5D MkII to my tool bag. I found a limiting factor however, that would prevent it from being very useful to me. I was rather surprised to find out the max recording time was only seven minutes. The salesperson said it was due to trade restrictions. Another claimed it was the fat32 file limit. I know the latter isn't true, as most SD dedicated video cameras simply create a new file.

I can see how this wouldn't be a big issue in film syle production. I work primarily in event and business video. A camera like this might be OK to shoot some B-roll, but I just wouldn't have much use otherwise, when I need a camera that can record for at least a hour. Hopefully, we will see this addressed in the next revisions.

Joe Mizera
Mizera Digital
http://www.austexvideo.com
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Liam Holland
Thanks for this article, it is really interesting.
I've been researching into the video capabilities of the new DSLR's a lot and I think they are great! It seems that a lot of people are concerned about how it is going to affect the industry and that it will mean the end of their jobs, but I really don't think that is the case. A camera is simply a tool, it's what you do with it.
These DSLR's are finally making it possible for low budget filmmakers, people who are still trying to get into the industry, to shoot projects that look more cinematic and professional. This will increase the chances of their work being noticed.
I have every intention of shooting my next project on a DSLR. It will save me a lot of money and when working with modest budgets, every penny counts.

-
Liam J. Holland
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Lee Menningen
I didn't understand the argument to be that the future should always have video and still combined in the camera, but rather that the technology used in DSLRs is paving a way to develop lower cost and better digital video cameras. (The very idea of $40,000 video camera's is insane!)

There will always be a demarcation between casual camera users and those who professionally produce video-for-sale if only because of the application (for instance, audio needs are different between the two classes.)

Note video "quality" is subjective. I, for one, dislike film because of its constant flicker and bland colors, while many up-and-coming videographers strive for that "film" look. But with the new breed of sensors (and perhaps existing lens) doesn't it become possible to produce whatever look you desire, or easier to overcome in difficult situations, all at a significantly lower cost?
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Dave LaRonde
[Lee Menningen] "The very idea of $40,000 video camera's is insane!"

A little bit of history easily puts that notion into perspective.
Here's a workhorse from the golden age of TV, the Norelco PC-60:



The ballpark price tag for it and its kin: $80,000. In 1960's dollars. Lens included. Think well into six figures for the same camera into today's dollars.
Today's cameras are dirt-cheap by comparison.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Dewi Evans
A Canon 5D MKii complements our 'proper' P2 full size shooting kit. It is the tool of choice for certain and definitely more niche jobs. Its a bit like getting our mini cam out - always about horses for courses.

Its a very limited piece of kit but still a very welcome addition - used on the right job in the right way it can look stunning.

Love the way Canon have shaken the tree!

D Evans
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Charles Mercer
I recently bought a Canon 450D as a play-around holiday snapper precisely because is didn't have a video capability. I shoot professionally with a Sony EX3 so I reasoned why would I want video on my DSLR? That doesn't make me a typical consumer, but I still can't really see the point of putting video on a DSLR when the market is already satrurated with excellent, small and powerful video recorders. The addition of video facilities to DSLRs is making them very expensive, and I would prefer to to see manufacturers putting their resources into improving the still camera side of things.
There are obviously a number of customers who love the combined idea of video and still cameras, but I do have some difficulty with appreceiating the moving images I've so far seen taken on a DSLR. And some of the contraptions to hold these cameras steady are beyond belief. My wife complains like crazy that when we are on holday and I ask her to carry lenses, filters and other assorted bits and pieces. I wonder how you would get some of this equipment past airport security?
But there's no doubt these combined units are getting there, and it will be interestong to see what future developments will bring.

Charles Mercer
Pearldrop Video Productions
Re: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by george
As much as I would love to embrace the DSLR technology. I just can't seem to get over the whole CMOS distortion issue with "jello-cam". I just want to know I'm not crazy here, but does anyone else view this as a problem? I shoot a lot of handheld and a lot of action for that matter, and i find it difficult to accept an imaging system that distorts the image in that way.

http://www.rundfunkmedia.com

creative media manufacturing
Re: Article: DSLRs: A Time Exposure
by Ed Cilley
Robert I think you summed up the technology nicely when you said...

[Robert Primes, ASC] [Canon is] "sleeping because until quite recently, their management hasn't seemed to have had much understanding of our professional movie industry. I believe they were caught unaware that their cameras had the potential to combine the resolution of 70mm, the latitude of film and the sensitivity of goddesses."

Or to sell 100,000 units in a year. It will be interesting to see how the photography division and the video division combine or fight for the next wonderful camera.

Thank you for this article.

Ed


Avid and FCP Preditor
_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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All Eyes on IBC 2016 for Cameras and Lenses Galore

All Eyes on IBC 2016 for Cameras and Lenses Galore

What’s that you say? An IBC that’s not only relevant, but downright exhilarating? This used to not be news, of course. However, in recent years, IBC has too often become simply an opportunity for European audiences to see products already announced at NAB. In 2016, however, the focus swings sharply to Amsterdam, especially when it comes to cameras and lenses. IBC 2016 is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic trade shows for cinematographers, broadcasters, and videographers in years. Join Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a speedy overview of some of the highlights.

Feature
Tim Wilson
Cinematography
Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond

Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond

Whenever somebody equates "shallow depth of field" and "cinematic look," it's important to remember that the opposite is also sometimes true. Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson celebrates the work of Gregg Toland, ASC, born this week in 1904 -- the first master of extreme depth of field in movies like Citizen Kane and The Grapes of Wrath that forever changed what is possible for humans to do with cameras. This reprise of a classic article from the Creative COW Archives also offers a look at what Toland's approach to cinematic composition can mean for YOUR shooting.

Editorial, Feature
Tim Wilson
Cinematography
New Trends and Technology at Cine Gear Expo 2016

New Trends and Technology at Cine Gear Expo 2016

Cine Gear Expo 2016 exhibits open Friday June 3 and 4, at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California with major screenings, filmmaker panel discussions, groundbreaking techniques and new equipment premiers that are sure to influence the filmmaking industry. Catering to the world’s top motion picture, video and new media visual artists, Paramount’s prestigious back lot is the ideal setting for professionals to meet with colleagues and nearly 300 top equipment vendors to see live demos and get their hands on the latest gear. Take a look at how this year's hottest trends are shaping up.

Feature
Susan Lewis
Cinematography
School, Teachers, Italian Neorealism & a Few Soviet Films

School, Teachers, Italian Neorealism & a Few Soviet Films

In this exclusive interview, generously granted to Creative COW by the Gamma and Density Journal, during his lifetime, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, sat down with Yuri Neyman, ASC to talk about his life as a cinematographer. We remember the genius.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Yuri Neyman
Cinematography
Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, 1930 - 2016 - Remembering the Genius

Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, 1930 - 2016 - Remembering the Genius

Winner of an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the long list of official accolades for Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC doesn't begin to illustrate the impact his work has had on generations of artists around the world. Friend, colleague, and Global Cinematography Institute co-founder Yuri Neyman, ASC shares some of his memories with us.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Yuri Neyman, ASC
Cinematography
Stepping into the Surgeon's Eyes

Stepping into the Surgeon's Eyes

Take advantage of years worth of Greg Ondera's surgical cinematography experience for cleaner, tighter shots and a better outcome.

Feature
Greg Ondera
Cinematography
Panasonic Makes 4K Handheld with AG-DVX200 Camcorder

Panasonic Makes 4K Handheld with AG-DVX200 Camcorder

Panasonic has announced a new large sensor 4K handheld camcorder with the same filmic quality of the VariCam, which also saw updates at this year's NAB Show.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Cinematography
Cinematographer-in-Residence: Mandy Walker ASC at UCLA

Cinematographer-in-Residence: Mandy Walker ASC at UCLA

Cinematographer Mandy Walker joins UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as a Kodak Cinematographer in Residence, teaching the next generation of film students what it means to be a successful director of photography.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Cinematography
Adventures in 6K with Jackson, Wyoming's Brain Farm Cinema

Adventures in 6K with Jackson, Wyoming's Brain Farm Cinema

Staffed with outdoor sport enthusiasts and and fortified with the latest in 6K cameras and post production technology, Wyoming-based Brain Farm Cinema is taking wild leaps into the next level of production capabilities and working through challenges in media and infrastructure along the way.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Cinematography
The NASA IMAX Project with Cinematographer James Neihouse

The NASA IMAX Project with Cinematographer James Neihouse

James Neihouse, the large format cinematographer renowned for his work on projects from shuttle launches to volcanic eruptions, and newly-minted Academy member, finds himself working around the globe, literally, shooting the IMAX 3D film, Earth 2.0 (working title) co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and NASA. In this feature, Neihouse reflects on experiences working with astronauts, race cars, and rocket launches, and how important choosing the best equipment is in extreme production.

Feature, People / Interview
Creative COW
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