Cinematography : Mirrorless Camera Question by Kristina Smith

Kristina Smith

Mirrorless Camera Question

Hey, I understand that mirrorless camera’s are all the hype these days. Professional mirrorless camera have been around a bit and now that the average consumer can use a mirrorless 4K camera. Do you think the Industry will change from heavy duty camera like Arri Alexa mini and Red Dragon monstro to DSLR mirrorless 4K? I understand there are many other factors that play a role in this, but for budget concerns will make a difference in tv shows and films? Just curious

Andrew Sobkovich

No. Professional motion picture cameras are very different animals compared to still cameras. Just. start with the simplest things like ergonomics. Shoulder mounting, a pro camera is easy and the balance is very natural. Still cameras have entirely different requirements. Start adding in all the features that are easily added (whether they are needed is another issue entirely) and a still based camera is a huger unwieldy mess than a pro cinema camera. This is before getting into the image quality and all of the things that go into making it real. The still cameras are absolutely not on the same league at all when considering colour, latitude, real resolution, and the ability to record those images at the quality that the cameras can produce. There is a reason for the difference in price and it shows n the image.

Still cameras usually have better lenses available than a phone, so they do have something going for them.

If still cameras are deemed adequate for specific scenes or shots where their inherent limitations can be hidden, then still cameras are certainly used, But not as the main cameras for any production where the term Director of Photography is an earned, deserved and respected title and not just someone saying they are one.

Kristina Smith

Thank for input Andrew, I kinda figure something was off with DSLR motion picture. I agree that components of a motion picture have the ideal for industry standard. That being said in the overall context, we should all remember that DSLR are still considered photography still cameras even if they shoot video.

Kristina Smith

I understand motion picture camera are for professional use and DSLR is not movie standard.

Andrew Sobkovich

The answer to your question, will still cameras replace motion picture cameras in motion pictures, is still no. They are not comparable in image quality. The camera is a very very small part of a production budget..

Damian Lloyd

A quick Google search will reveal the cameras used on Oscar-winning movies. Overwhelmingly, year after year, it's the Arri Alexa.

One advantage to DSLRs: they're cheap enough that they can be used for shots that the camera won't survive.

Bo. R. R. Tolkien

don't you know they film in Augmented reality cameras. perfect for news, fake and real. when they filmed real war footage, they used similar evolved cameras. what we are being shown, is not the whole picture, may not even be the real picture. Augmented and Diminished reality cameras are making our life more and more like the movie, one in particular, being The Matrix. The Matrix is not a movie. It's a movement.

Andrew Sobkovich

Damian, there are many different Arri Cameras that have differing characteristics. That they were used on Oscar nominees tells you very little. WHY they were chosen is vastly more important. The more you know the people involved the better chance you have of getting to the true answer to that question. We choose cameras for many reasons, not all of them being because they give the most appropriate images for the project.

Kristina Smith

Personally, I prefer the Arri Alexa mini, Red Monstro Dragon and Sony FS7. I use to work at at a Rental House. So I got to learn a lot about Cameras,the set up, the wireless, lenses, the lighting and AKS. But for right now and not working, I own a Canon 70D and messing around with. I am also a fan of canons C300 mark 2, which is used on various reality shows, broadcasting news etc, I got to play with canon c300 mark 2. Yes, some people do not have the means for professional gear, so it generally a simple question if the consumer mirrorless camera I had and yes, it was answered on here so thank you.

Damian Lloyd

Andrew S.: Are you saying that creators would choose the most appropriate tools for the job?

Andrew Sobkovich

Kristina continue working with your camera. Hands-on experience is a great teacher, just make sure to be tough on yourself when evaluating what you have done. In art schools, copying master works is a way of learning, same for what we do. Pick a scene that you like and see how close you can be to emulating it. Could be individual parts of the master image you wish to learn about. So, composition, lighting, colour, filtration, etc are all parts of the final image. Working with a camera and completely knowing it gives you the grounding to then assess other cameras with your base camera as a guide. You might find another camera has greater latitude in which case your consideration is that the new to you camera can see “X” amount more stops before over-exposing on highlights. Having a baseline starting point makes the learning process easier.

Starting in a rental facility is a really good thing. Exposure to not only the tools, but to people who can answer questions and to the clientele who bring their own perspective on utilization. Good choice.

Andrew Sobkovich

Damian, the DP is the creator of the image. Choosing the best cameras for what we are creating is the aim but there might be other factors, besides image quality, that must be considered.

Damian Lloyd

Ah, thank you, Andrew S.! Perhaps you would be good enough to inform me: when people say "lens", what do they mean?

Karen E Ross

Hey, Andrew Sobkovich! Agreed - the camera is a small part of the budget - unless it's no budget, and then it's all of your production budget LOL! But typically, art department and crew/talent salaries take the cake. However, choosing the right camera and lenses for the feel/look is important, even if the pricetag doesn't make it as important.

Damian Lloyd If you want to tag someone, you can start with the @ symbol and it will prompt a list of people - that way Andrew won't miss your comments.

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