There was one thing I probably never mentioned about my change in video production gear three years ago. Selling my two cameras Sony Z1 and Canon HG10, moving to Canon 550D, Canon 5D Mark III and now the Sony A7s with Atomos Shogun. Two things really inspires me with DSLR’s…. candid images and depth of field. Two things I’ve never got with those two cameras and even today many higher budget video cameras can’t achieve. And if they can, they are too big to work daily on run and gun shooting sets.
DSLR’s really changed my workflow, how I can see things, be more agile, play more with focus, light and sharpness. But not everything is shiny and positive about DSLRs. For more advanced work you need to add a lot of more equipment around the body (external audio, better microphone, handheld rig, external electronic viewfinder, bigger batteries…etc.), everything is manual – from follow focusing to setting right exposure and white balance. It’s probably more expensive to invest in DSLR equipment than just buying a semi-professional video camera.
But what is different? Mainly the image sharpness, colors and dynamic range. Even between the Canon 5D Mark III and the Sony A7s is so much difference in colors and quality while they have same size of sensor. I personally still like the 5D Mark III image more. I’ve even started using the Magic Lantern hacks to get video quality in cDNG format. It’s actually writing 25 RAW photos every second and can be processed in much higher standards. Dynamic range on these two machines is just like riding a 21. century car with full luxury after only knowing how to walk. Worried about over exposure is just thing of the past.
The Sony A7s with a help of external recorder Atomos Shogun can give 4K resolution of videos (4 times bigger than HD). They are in Proress quality, which is great for grading, but can be bothersome if you’re working with fast workflow. So mostly I’m using LUT profiles to get them good looking.
Video cameras are improving fast too. Cameras such as ARRI, BlackMagic and even Sony has some good ones are having some great products. Only thing that bothers me are prices and their size. I like to bo compact and not carry around a heavy bazooka just to get some nice shoots. I hope to see some small version of great video cameras. Or just stick to DSLR’s. Who knows.