Pro Moviemaker Summer 2018




If you are on a budget, it makes sense to only buy the equipment you and your clients actually need rather than what you simply lust after, such as 4K or Raw cameras. The vast majority of films are delivered and viewed in HD quality, via YouTube or Vimeo. But with everything from smartphones shooting in 4K nowadays, it’s easy to kid yourself into believing you must at least shoot in 4K even if you deliver in HD. The arguments go that shooting in 4Kmeans you are future- proofing your content for when 4K is the norm and that you can crop in to 4K coverage far easier without losing quality if you are editing on a 1080 timeline. But the downsides are the expense of the kit in the first place, plus the huge strain on hard disk space that 4K places as well as the computer power you need to edit the footage. And many cameras don’t offer the same shooting options in 4K, such as slow-motion and certainly not super slow- motion like 240fps. If you want even higher quality and decide you need a camera that can record in Raw, you will have the flexibility to change white- balance and pull out shadow and highlight details far more easily than in any compressed format. But the extra space you need for camera media, storage hard drives and archiving as well as project files in your editing software can be vast. There is a very real increase in time to save and edit the files, as well as an extra stage to convert the Raw into a format that’s editable on a typical NLE. All these hidden costs may make your ‘bargain’ 4K or Raw cinema camera not quite the money-saver it may first appear. WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED? “Hidden costs maymake your ‘bargain’ 4K or Raw cinema

Canon took what it had learned from the popularity of its EOS 5D Mark II, mixed it with the know-how of its camcorder division and launched the EOS C100 as its first entry-level Super 35 cinema camera. Like a proper pro camera it has built-in ND filters, XLR inputs and Canon even upgraded the one-shot autofocus to the best system on the market, Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Make sure you buy one with that. It’s compact, takes the affordable EF lenses, shoots in Log, records to SD cards and the ISO goes up to 80,000. Unfortunately there is no slowmotion in Full HD and the internal codec is a low bit rate 4:2:0 AVCHD, but it’s good enough for many applications. An external recorder means you can take the clean HDMI signal and up the quality to ProRes 422. For around £1000/$1200 used, it’s a bargain. And while it lacks 60fps and the higher ISO of the current Mark II, it’s a winner.

CANON EOS C300 While the EOS C100 was a great option for independent filmmakers, Canon’s original C300 added broadcast-quality 50Mbps 4:2:2 internal codec and was a huge hit with documentary shooters as they didn’t need an external recorder. It had the same body style as the C100, and controls that anyone moving up from a DSLR would find easy to understand, without alienating experienced video shooters. It also came in a PLmount as well as Canon’s EFmount, showing its credentials as a serious filmmaking camera. It’s well built but relatively compact, has typically punchy Canon colours even in low light and it records to cheap CF cards. It may have a sensor that is essentially the same as the C100’s, but the improvement in internal codec makes it a great choice for many users right out of camera. It also shoots at 60fps for slowmotion but only in 720p, something the C100 lacks. At launch the C300 was around £12,000/$13,000 but a used one can be snapped up for around £2000/$2400. That’s a great deal and a lot less than the current 4K-capable Mark II which is around £9000/$10,000.


SONY FS7 When the FS7 was launched, there were long waiting lists as filmmakers wanted to get hold of a camera that could be used as an ENG-style

camcorder or a full cinematic camera, all for less than ten grand. It has been a massive success, is the most rented camera at the majority of rental houses and there are lots of them around on the used market. Although the Mark II version has a lot of improvements such as a stronger rotating lens mount, Rec.2020 colour space and variable ND filter, the FS7 is such a big seller it’s still officially in the Sony range. And the image quality and all the functions remain the same, including, of course, the headline of 4K shooting to a pair of XQD memory cards. Although the FS7 body only cost £7000/$7500 new, good used ones that aren’t battered and have low hours are now going for around £5500/$6500. And if you reallywant to get Raw out of it, buy an external recorder and Sony’s own XDCA extension unit which costs an additional £1800/$2000.

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