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24 TVBEurope

News & Analysis Acquisition Focus

Sky Arts 1 series First Love used 5D and 7D as part of the HD programme’s 25% tapeless acquisition quota April 2012

DSLRs will continue to play an important role as a stylistic B camera

Shaking up the DSLR market

In the four years since Canon launched the EOS 5D MkII, digital SLRs have had a huge impact, particularly in the indie film and promo markets. Although not built for video the larger sensor mimics the aesthetic quality of 35mm negative while the sub-€2000 price tag meant new users could experiment with shallow depth of field for the first time. Adrian Penningtontakes a look

WHENTHERed One came to market in 2009 it also offered 35mm digital acquisition at an affordable price. However the complexities of Red Raw footage to the unaccustomed user meant that many of the early pioneers found their post costs escalated (though these issues have since been addressed). The reasons for DSLR popularity are not hard to fathom. They offer an uncomplicated menu, small form factor, a choice of interchangeable lenses, low light sensitivity and fps modes (24, 25, 30) to cater for different markets. To create a workable shooting

package for professional crews there are many accessories needed to adapt the DSLR hardware including rails, matte boxes, focus pullers and screen loupes, but these are now widely available. Sony’s SLT range of translucent mirror-equipped models even feature OLED electronic viewfinders. Furthermore, the software

packages that are commonly used have also improved to offer compatibility with AVCHD and other codecs. Rushes can be edited in the edit

suite in the latest versions without having to convert to other formats first. Raw TV’s Strictly Soulmates

for BBC3 was shot on Canon 305 with the addition of some GoPro and Canon 5D footage. Director (of two episodes) Clare

Series Producer and Director

Jane Gerber says, “We shot mainly on Sony HDCAM 790 with Pro35 adaptor and prime lenses for a filmic look but some parts of the film warranted more intimate interviews for which DSLRs were ideal. These

“Shoot Scarlet 4K for future proofing. Shoot Canon C300 at HD for immediate use. Shoot DSLR if you have no budget”

James Milner-Smyth, The Post Factory

Richards says, “We wanted to lift the film away from being a scrappy ob doc and obtain a better quality picture. We shot sit-down interviews with the 5D where the camera can get potentially closer on the subject and because it responds better to low light levels than the C305.” Sky Arts series First Love

about the musical roots of celebrities, produced by Electric Sky, also used 5D and 7D as part of the HD programme’s 25% tapeless acquisition quota.

moments included practice sessions at home and moments before and after a main performance where the less intrusive form of the camera was more suitable.” Cinematographer Matthew Irving shoots features with budgets of $1-10m and regularly employs a Canon 5D or 7D. “When doing a show using a high end camera like a Sony F35 I will have a DSLR on hand as my C camera,” he says. “On Quarantine 2: Terminal, (2011),

I shot the entire final sequence on a 5D because the scene takes place in a tight baggage tunnel, where no other camera would have worked in that space.”

Bypassing problems For James Milner-Smyth, MD at hire and post facility The Post Factory, the big disadvantages of the 5D Mk II are 8-bit colour, heavy H264 compression and realtime scaling artifacts. “But at that budget people either deal with it or work around it,” he says. “One way is to get a more logarithmic gamma curve put into the camera (such as with Light Illusion).” Since the low data rate does not meet the HD broadcast

standard of 50Mbps, only a small percentage of a show can contain footage from the camera unless the broadcaster has specifically allowed it. “No professional audio input and control is a real hindrance to the run and gun operator so an additional audio recorder is required,” says Ollie Wesley, cine motion account executive at hire shop Promotion. In addition, pattern

interference or moiré can occur in images with detailed horizontal lines and a jello effect, caused by the rolling shutter, is apparent on fast moving footage or fast pans. These positive and negative characteristics can be found in

Raw TV’s Strictly Soulmatesfor BBC3 was shot on Canon 305 with the addition of GoPro and 5D footage

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