Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sony enters HDSLR Game - but is it enough?

Anyone who has been reading this blog will know that I'm a huge supporter of HDSLR technology and have been shooting on the 5d for over a year now and invested more money than I would like on equipment. In return though, I have made back my investment almost immediately and the camera has allowed me to be involved with some amazing projects I otherwise would not have the opportunity to direct. (I can't reveal at the moment but stay tuned... will blog about the latest developments).

Now having said that, many of my friends and colleagues in the tv and film business have wanted to delve into the technology. But given the ridiculous 5d rig I've built and how completely jerry rigged the whole thing is, I haven't really recommended it. I mean there have been times where I forget to push record on my Tascam or plug it into the camera in run and gun situations and have no sound. A lot of the time I'm shooting I am alone and it's a lot to have to think about.

That's why there new hybrid cameras like Panasonic's AG-AF100 and now Sony's entry with an interchangeable lens HD camcorder are welcome news. This new sony entry takes the technology it's developed for its tiny EXMOR 4/3rds chip from their NEX-3 and NEX-5 and put it in a standard camcorder body.  From what I can see from the video below though, there are no XLR inputs, and also I couldn't find an adapter that would allow one to use Canon, Nikon or PL mount lenses on it.  In addition, like the Panasonic AF100 the camera records in the inferior AVCHD codec.  Not broadcast quality.

Yes it's been over a year and a half and HDSLR revolution has changed my career, but at the same time the love affair is starting to fade.  Are these cameras the answer?  From the specs, I would say no.  The chips are still not full frame, and price point for entry is much higher by about 2 to 3 times. But the silver lining in all this is that Big Companies like Sony are starting to jump on the HDSLR bandwagon and are listening and responding to those of us who have a love hate relationship with these cameras.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

House Finale shot on 5d Mark II

The 2010 finale on the hit series "HOUSE" marks a ground-breaking game changer in the tide towards HDSLR.  The entire show was shot on a few Canon 5ds.  The director and DP wanted to take advantage of the 5d's extreme shallow depth of field that was appropriate for storyline.  They shot with 85mm/1.2 the 50mm/1.0 and 1.2 and two zooms the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm. 

The show's star Hugh Laurie embraced the new technology but joked, "What's next shooting on Iphones?"  In an in-depth interview with Philip Bloom,  Greg Yaitanes (dir) felt that the 5d did things that 35mm film (which the show is normally shot on) could not.

You can read Bloom's interview below.

Also you can watch the first two minutes here