DSLRs have become the go to choice for low-budget video shooters over the past few years. While these cameras have some major advantages (small size, low price, low light sensitivity etc), they weren’t designed to shoot video. Because of this, it is necessary to add a few accessories to turn these cameras in to lean, mean, movie-shooting machines.
Another cool product from NAB that a few people have been talking about: the Tessive Time Filter. Watch the video if you get a sec, it’s a really cool product and the best part is…it fixes rolling shutter!
I’ve been hearing a lot about a bunch of new cameras with 16mm sized sensors. In fact it seems like it’s all anyone is talking about right now. I feel a little bad for these camera manufacturers “wait, you want smaller sensors now?”
You’re not going to get that super shallow DOF you do with 35mm lenses but there are some advantages to the smaller sensor size. First of all, they are cheaper to manufacture so…cheaper cameras. Plus, there is a ton of 16mm glass out there for pretty cheap so you might even be able to afford your own PL, B4 or C-Mount set to go with your new camera which would be really nice.
One of the coolest systems has been out for a while: the Ikonoskop (www.ikonoskop.com) shoots 1920×1080 uncompressed RAW footage to a CinemaDNG format. Based on those specs alone the camera pretty much blows away anything in the sub Red/Alexa price range. That said, it still costs $10,000, needs proprietary hard drives and creates BIG files. Check out some test footage my friend Snehal Patel shot with one: https://fearlessproductions.tv/testing-the-ikonoskop-a-cam-dii-the-camera-th
The other system you may have heard about is the Digital Bolex D16 (https://www.digitalbolex.com/). This one is a bit of an odd duck but it looks like it could be pretty neat if it can deliver on all of its promise. I haven’t been too impressed with the footage I’ve seen from it but the specs are great. It shoots 2K and records mostly uncompressed (12 bit – 4:4:4) TIFF, JPEG and Adobe Cinema DNG files which are very versatile and should give people some great images. The biggest pro might be the price point at $2500-$3500, for that price it’s worth buying one just based on those specs. The major con right now for me is the uncertainty of the whole thing, it was funded on kickstarter and there are no fixed specs or releases dates so if things go screwy in the manufacturing process (a big possibility for a first time camera maker) then you could be looking at much less camera for much more money.
Perhaps the hottest new camera right now is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (https://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/) At $3000, it comes at an affordable price, it has a firm ship date from an established manufacturer and has some great specs. You’ll definitely be hearing a lot about this camera. It shoots 2.5k 12-Bit raw files to standard SSD drives, it has a small form factor and easy to use connections and interface. It actually looks really nice. Plus, you get DaVinci Resolve for free with it. We will be getting one for sure so keep an eye out for pricing and availability
I have been pretty happy with the generic Canon batteries I’ve bought over the last few years and at 7 bucks (!) these are worth a try. Monoporice has been a good resource too, they have some amazingly cheap HDMI cables. Some of them have held up, some of them haven’t, now I just send out a spare with every cable and don’t worry about it if they come back broken.
The secret to generic camera gear is remember that these companies change manufacturers all the time, you’ll buy a product and have it be great and then buy the same product a month later and have it fall apart. This means there are some great deals to be had but it also means don’t invest too heavily at any one time and always get a spare!
Stray Angel is proud to announce that we are now renting the Canon 5D Mark III for all our customers in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The 5D Mark III is the latest from Canon and has an amazing ability to shoot in low levels of light. This edition has improved in all areas for Canon a 60fps, reduced noise, HD output, AII-I Codec at 100mb, and CF and SD card slots.
If you’re interested in renting, you can check out the 5D Mark III on our website.
Today I learned that even if you accidentally format a memory card you may not have lost the contents. Canon cameras perform a sort of soft erase when you format the card in camera. They remove the files from easy access and mark their locations as available space to be written over but they do not actually overwrite the area with random numbers or new data which would make recovery impossible.
Canon does not endorse any particular software solution for recovering files but many of the major brands including Lexar and Sandisk bundle recovery software with their cards and I’ve heard reports that many pieces of software work well to recover data if you use them right away after you accidentally format the card.
Last week at Stray Angel Films we had a tripod returned after being used on a beach shoot.
There was a lot of sand all through the tripod and corrosion on the screws.
I did some research and found this very helpful thread on this forum.
One of the main things I learned from this thread is that experienced shooters
do a preventative “treatment” before taking their tripod to the beach. Some coat
the tripod screws with WD-40 and some use mineral oil. And upon returning from
the beach, rubbing alcohol appears to work well as a cleaner.
Any other tips and suggestions please let us know!
Stray Angel Films