September 1, 2010
There has been a rise in the use of DSLRs in the filming industry. Despite memory capacity issues, the portability, affordability and professional quality of these digital cameras make them an obvious choice for short-film makers in Southeast Asia. Unlike video camcorders, professional stills cameras are full-frame (35mm) or cropped sensor, which are significantly bigger than the largest 2/3inch professional broadcast camera sensor. This results in a shallow depth of field, which allows you to focus on the subject, leaving the rest out of focus. This isolates the subject from the background and allows you to control where you want the audience’s attention. This is a common practice in the world of professional cinema, and is something a DSLR can do. A growing number of TV shows, short films and documentaries are being shot with DSLRs, such as the season six finale of House, which was shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The second season of Channel 5s Fighting Spiders was also shot with a Canon DSLR. The 13-episode drama was mostly filmed using the Canon EOS 7D, with only a few scenes shot using the LEGRIA HF S11. The EOS 7D is used to produce a cinematic effect while filming. Accompanying the two units of EOS 7D used for the shoot were a variety of Canon lenses ranging from macro to telescopic lenses, which provided the production house with the flexibility and creativity to achieve various effects, which ultimately contributed to the overall tone and feel of the series. For the action scenes in Fighting Spiders 2, the production team turned towards the Canon LEGRIA HF S11. With its superior lens quality and small compact design, the LEGRIA HF S11 is the perfect blend between performance and mobility. “Using a DSLR and a handheld camcorder not only provided us with the flexibility and mobility while filming, it also gave us an opportunity to try out different tricks and effects,” said Glenn Chan, director of photography and director of Fighting Spiders 2. At the Singapore screening of the 48 Hour Film Project, several participants shot their short films with the Canon 5D. In an earlier interview with Asia Image, Nicole Midori Woodford, who co-directed The Arrival (winner of the Audience Choice award), said shooting at a high ISO with the Canon 5D allowed them to use ambient light, practicals and indoor lightings. She added, We did not need extra lights that would weigh [us] down. Saturday Night Live director of photography Alex Buono used Canon’s new 5D and 7D cameras to shoot the tenth season’s title sequence and most of the season’s commercial parodies with Canon’s new 5D and 7D cameras. Most recently, Buono continued his experimentation with Canon DSLRs as the second unit director and director of photography for the new ABC drama series Detroit 187. At BroadcastAsia, Buono said the portability of Canon’s DSLRs enabled the crew to easily rig the cameras on top of a cab in New York for the iconic shots in the title sequence of Saturday Night Live. Part of Canon’s popularity in the DSLR market may have to do with its campaign to support filmmakers. “Canon is an ardent supporter of the local film industry, and we constantly seek partnerships with promising local filmmakers. Over the years, we have forged a close partnership with local filmmakers, especially those who are committed to showcasing Singapore’s talent to an international audience,” the company’s regional headquarters in Singapore told Asia Image. The company regularly loans out its equipment to independent filmmakers and supports the marketing of the films. Recently, it sponsored Steadfast, a short action film by Singapore filmmakers Linus Chen and David Liu. Canon’s sponsorship helped keep the film’s budget at S$10,000. As camera makers continue to address storage capacity issues, could DSLRs become the go-to camera for independent filmmakers in the region? ——————————– HI-DEF FIDELITY Despite 3D being all the rage, there is no shame in sticking to HD – especially a well-made HD camera. Asia Image takes a quick look at some of the latest HD cameras on the market.
——————————– NEW LENSES CARL ZEISS CP.2 100 MM/T2.1 CF Carl Zeiss has expanded its popular Compact Prime CP.2 lens series with two new focal lengths: the 50 mm with macro and 100 mm with closed focus function. These lenses have been specially developed for filming with HDSLR cameras and will be presented for the fi rst time at the IBC in Amsterdam (September 10-14). Product delivery is scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2010. Retail price starts at EUR 3.700 excl. VAT. The CP.2 100 mm/T2.1 CF is based on the Planar design and is the longest focal length in the Compact Prime CP.2 lens series so far. It extends the series by adding a very fast telephoto lens with a close-up focusing range of 0.7 meters. The CP.2 50mm/ T2.1 Makro is based on the Makro-Planar design and allows close-up shots to be taken with the object at a distance of just 24 centimeters from the front lens. This responds to the wishes of many filmmakers. All Compact Prime CP.2 lenses come with interchangeable mounts, guaranteeing maximum flexibility now and in the future, in every situation, and for various camera platforms. Thanks to the lenses’ aperture of T2.1, they are perfectly suited to filming in low-light situations. The macro lens, allows the capture of even the smallest details, such as an engraving inside a ring. By contrast, the telephoto lens can be used to draw attention to picture elements at a distance, such as the facial expression of a main character. Both lenses reduce reflections, thus contributing to the creation of contrast-rich, expressive shots. THALES ANGENIEUX 14 X 4.5 HD VIDEO WIDE ANGLE LENS Thales Angenieux has extended its line of HD Video Lenses with the introduction of a 14 x 4.5 HD Video Wide Angle Lens. The new 14 x 4.5 lens perfectly complements Angenieux’s high performance 19X ENG and 26X Telephoto HD Video Lenses as all three HD Video lenses in the line offer the longest zoom range in their respective categories. The new 14 x 4.5 HD Video Wide Angle Lens joins Angenieux’s 19 x 7.3 and 26 x 7.8 HD Video Lens offering. The new lens offers a focal range of 4.5 to 63mm (9 to 126mm with 2x extender) and an aperture of f/1.8 (4.5 to 41mm). The lightweight 14 x 4.5 HD Video Wide Angle Lens weighs just 4.6lbs and is available in semi servo and full servo versions, as well as with 16 bit digital connection for zoom and handle connection.