and small footprint. Either might be a perfect B cam. What these small-form cameras can achieve for the relative cost makes some of the top-end solutions look bewilderingly expensive. “Lighting is another area we have seen rapid change over the last few years. With creatives’ move to LED, we are continuing to refresh and extend our range of options to keep pace.” While innovation is driving our industry – in the sense of enabling our skilled creatives, at least – it comes at a literal cost. Keeping up with new releases is financially untenable for any filmmaker. Lenses, for their own characterful part, inevitably take longer to age out, if they ever do. But digital cameras, lights and accessories do so rapidly. And it’s not just a case of chasing new tools for bragging rights. Increased resolution or colour data impact deliverables, and may be a production demand.
know what they need, and want to be able to check availability, price and book 24/7,” Beard begins. And it’s not just the high-end staples being booked, either. With the rapid advancement of mirrorless and consumer cinema cameras, new options are increasingly sought-after on productions. At the highest end, a small selection of tools continue to dominate, but more broadly, the word of the day is choice. “The market is ever-changing, and while cameras such as the Canon EOS C500 Mark II, Red Komodo and Sony FX6 continue to be the workhorses of the industry, production companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to smaller- form cameras, due to their technical capabilities and exceptional results,” Beard continues. “Take the Nikon Z 9 with its 8K 12-bit Raw in-camera recording, or the Canon EOS R5 C with its excellent Cinema Raw Light codec
CREW CUT Hiring kit instead of buying can ease the crunch felt by every department of a film set
“Running a progressive hire business means you have to keep up with the latest technology,” Beard asserts. “This is always challenging, given the endless stream of new kit manufacturers produce. It has its fun side though, as there seems to be a new piece of kit arriving almost every day that we get to put through its paces. “In the past three years, we’ve replaced approximately 90% of our camera, lighting and accessory range, while continually adding to our lens stock. This has been a mammoth undertaking, but it means we’re running a fleet of the latest kit – in tip-top condition.” Where these costs can be avoided by the consumer, it seems only a good thing. It avoids huge start-up costs for individuals and allows set production budgets to be used elsewhere. “The reality of owning kit boils down to this: if it isn’t being used, it’s costing you money,” Beard notes. “Hiring kit means you get the latest equipment specific for the job you need and you’re only paying for it when using it.
TESTING, TESTING Video Europe’s in-house technical team service its kit all year round
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