Over the past few years as digital film technology has evolved, there's been a huge boom in smaller, cheaper cameras that can capture great footage and even compete with the more expensive options. While for bigger budget projects, the familiar brands may dominate, the independent world has rapturously embraced offerings from the likes of Canon, Sony and Blackmagic Design.
These range from DSLRs through to fully-fledged, video-specific cameras, and while their main selling point may be their lower price point, there are actually a few other factors that make them great, especially with the right lenses. Read on to find out more.
The benefits of lower cost cameras
Of course, the most important and immediately obvious reason why you might choose to invest in a cheaper camera is the savings that it will provide. This isn't just good for your wallet, but actually means you've got more budget for other areas of the production, which may be actors, locations, costumes or anything else. You could also pick up two cheaper cameras, which will allow you to operate with an A/B setup for dialogue and action scenes.
There's more to consider than simply price though. Cheaper cameras like the Canon C500 are often much smaller than their more expensive brethren, which can actually be a great boon when operating under tight deadlines or with a small crew. They're easier to operate, modularly upgradeable and many of them are equipped with an EF lens mount. An EF mount means that the camera can use almost any standard photography lens, which gives you huge scope for switching things up on set, which you'll rarely get with the more expensive PL lenses.
It's the marriage of sensor and lens that really produces great footage.
Video-specific EF lenses
As the popularity of lower cost cameras for commercial video has gone up, many lens manufacturers have started to take notice. Accordingly, we're now seeing a range of lenses that are optimised for shooting video, but equipped with an EF mount and provided at a more realistic price. After all, the camera is only half the story, and it's the marriage of sensor and lens that really produces great footage.
Dedicated video lenses are slightly different to photography lenses, being equipped with T-stops and de-clicked rings for greater precision. These sorts of features are what you'll get with EF lenses from the likes of Canon, Samyang and others, and they can really bridge the gap between affordable cameras and their high-end Hollywood cousins, making great footage an achievable reality for all.
For more information on video-specific EF lenses, get in touch with DVT today.
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