New Year, New Gear
2012 was a great year for filmmakers in terms of technology. Canon released their line of cinema cameras, the C500, C300 and C100, respectively, not to mention the 5D MkIII. Black Magic Cinema developed an affordable 2.7K Camera for under $3000 and RED made 4K affordable.
Even with the incredible advance 2012 brought, 2013 is already shaping up to be an even better year. The Black Magic Cinema Camera should be shipping soon (hopefully), Sony is releasing an affordable camera that can shoot 240 fps at 1080p and Panavision is developing a new digital camera to compete with the best. Here at Green Sky we are all excited about the new gear being released and here are is what each of us can’t wait to try out the most, as well as our favorite setups that we already use:
Chris – Like many filmmakers, I am obsessed with shooting time lapses and slow motion. The two cameras I’m most excited about are the GoPro Hero 3 Black and the Sony NEX-FS700. I’ve always loved the shots we have gotten from our Hero 2, attaching it to Cadillacs racing around the track. GoPro has made their camera even better this time around, adding 60 fps in 1080p and 120 fps in 720p, not to mention the added low light capabilities and the 2.7K resolution at 24 fps. Luckily, mine is coming in just in time for ski season, so I can grab some great shots while going down the slopes.
Along the same, but better, lines, the Sony FS700 is a much more powerful camera. Since it has yet to be released, I haven’t been able to use it quite yet, but the 240 fps in full 1080p is something I can’t wait to try out, especially on the race track and golf course. Add that footage to what Twixtor can do and some cool slow motion shots are bound to happen.
Even with all of these new options out there, for right now my favorite setup is an “old” one. Just give me a Canon 7D with a 17-40mm L lens. The 7D is completely weather sealed and can handle whatever I and Mother Nature can throw at it all while producing beautiful 1080p footage. Plus it is not too much to carry around.
John – I think the 2013 equipment release I’m most looking forward to is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. And, while it not the shiniest and most technically advanced tool in box, I think it could be a great next step for both my personal and professional video projects. Basically, like most digital filmmakers, I’m always looking for ways to produce the most professional, and many times the most “film-like” image, for the least amount of money. And, with an alleged 13 stops of dynamic range and RAW file output for only a few thousand bucks, it looks this could be a really good option. I’m also attracted to it’s compact size and simple design because of the amount of “short-notice” shooting I do. Overall, It seems like a wonderful grab-and-go camera with what sounds like an amazing digital output. And, if the people at Blackmagic can ever get all the kinks worked out and actually start shipping out this product, I have a feeling it will end the current DSLR craze and begin a new era of budget film making.
If I was stranded at an event shoot with one “bare bones” camera setup, I would choose a Canon 5D mk II with a 24-105mm, a 24″ slider, and a basic Manfrotto tripod. This setup, if used properly, can sustain a great day of flexible and mobile shooting for nearly any outdoor corporate event. But, if I wanted to get a little experimental, I would probably go with my Canon 60D on my homemade stabilizing rig, a.k.a. the Shaw Claw.
Adam – As owner of Green Sky, I don’t always have time to stay on top of all the latest technology so I often rely on guys like Chris and John so to help keep our team up to date on the latest gear, trends, and anything related to video and film so we can, in turn, ensure our clients are getting the best product for their money. With that said, I would like to see Green Sky start shooting with some of the 4K packages when appropriate such as the RED Epic. With it’s high-speed shooting capabilities, the Epic can shoot up to 300 fps in 2K mode, which bodes well for automotive shooting we do of Cadillacs and Ferraris drifting around corners and flying down straight aways at over 150 mph.
Taking a look back at 2012, I’d have to conclude that our “go to” set up for the kind of quick-paced, in the field shooting we do was the DSLR route using Canon 5D Mark ii and 7D along with the 70-200mm f2.8 is, 24-105mm f4 and 50mm f1.2. For sound in the field, we have had great success with a pair of Shure wireless lav mics for interviews and our trusty RODE shotgun mics for natural sounds and back ups along with a Zoom H4n. For stabilization, we are loyal Manfrotto users and love bringing a 24″ slider with us wherever our travels take us for those beautiful cinematic-looking shots.
When it’s all said and done though, the most prized and trusted piece of gear we use is our eyes and I’m lucky to have great, young, talented cinematographers and editors on my team to really bring our videos and brand stories to life for our clients.