Thursday, October 28, 2010

Still and Motion

The age of HDSLR came at no real surprise, it is not started by how the camera is made, rather, it is started by how the media is stored, so it is a move more software than hardware.  Wether or not the Canon 5D II will become a landmark camera in history is no longer much of a debate, but it is to be understood there are many cameras before it built with capability of taking video footage.  What Canon 5D II did, is to bring the large screen feel of quality - more on the definition of in and out of focus of an image, that excites photographer all over the world.  And suddenly, everyone who owns a 5D II (and many more come after it) can start making movies or short films, for one biggest advantage - capable of shooting in poor light - this can free the photographer from dealing with complicate (very complicate) and expensive (very expensive) of lighting issues.
Wether the quality came from Canon 5DII or the like can be comparable to the true moving making machines such as Panavision or Arriflex, or RED is still heavily debate. Certainly many production companies has used them, but much less of them rely only on them, which tells something.  Although one cannot rightfully say the Canon 5DII is poor man's movie camera, it is not too far from truth.
As still photographer, of course I would move on motion at any given chance, although I still like the still image, but working on motion will also give me a different perspective into producing still images.  So with Canon 5DII, the 7D, and the Tester 13 hacked Panasonic GF-1 - now converted to IR only camera, and lately the Sony NEX-5, and soon the Sony VG-10,  I too work on quite a few productions on short films, and more are planning.  And the charming of it is that with a relatively inexpensive tool, and reasonable collection of lenses I have, it is hard to resist such possibility.
without much double, Canon 5DII with its larger sensor to produce very beautiful selective focus image made it still a hot choice today, but what Panasonic did with their GH-1 (or more likely to be called GH-13 after being hacked), and the GH-2, put itself on a position serious challenging Canon and even RED, and so I am just waiting.  Waiting while using all of them, until and I think in not distant future, a HDSLR capable of producing 4K raw motion footage, perhaps in a platform or camera design we have yet to see.
The "Poisoned", is a short film capture on 5DII, with a little soft and vintage look.

The new project "Entrance and Exits", shoot on NeX-5 with a large array of primes lenses from Canon and Leica, is a little more fun.  The SONY NEX-5 is small but fun piece to work with. Although an adapter that can translate the electronics and powers between a body and non-proprietary lens is not available yet (is it that hard to make one?), I did get around the problem with a spare Canon camera for aperture setting of the lens, and remove the lens while the lens is stop-down with the camera. It may sound inconvenience but really it is not. With most of the motions captured in f/4, I just use them as fixed focal lens with few exceptions.

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