Comparing Camera Systems for Feature films

Thinking of buying a camera for your next low-budget independent feature film? Below is a comparison chart of five systems to help you decide. The cameras are the Sony PMW-F3, the Panasonic AF100, the Canon 600D, the Canon 5D Mark II, and the old and outdated JVC GY-HD111E. Click on the image to enlarge:

How important is Mirror Lockup and a Cable Release?

I’ve always wondered how much of a difference a tripod, mirror lock-up and a cable release would make to the sharpness of my images. So, I decided to test for myself. Test Parameters and workflow: Canon 550D with 18-55 IS II Kit lens at 55mm f/8 at ISO 200 and shutter at 1/60s Shot in […]

The Top 3 Directors of All Time

If Sidney Lumet has been my guru, then, as far as film direction is concerned, these are the directors I look up to as a role models of the highest order: 1. Akira Kurosawa   Akira Kurosawa holds the number one position, being the most prolific, successful, artistic and commercial of the three directors. He’s […]

What is Filmmaking? [Part Three]

Everyone ‘knows’ about the things I’ve written in Parts One and Two; however it is what I cover in this part that will make or break your career as a filmmaker. Anybody with money and tools can make a film, just like anyone with pencil and paper can draw. But to have a career as […]

What is Filmmaking? [Part Two]

In this part, I will cover prep, production and post. 2. Pre-production, or Prep The stages involved under prep are not always in this order, and not all of them are necessary depending on the type of film that you are making; but here they are: Storyboarding Location Hunting, Images/Data/Research Information and Database management Communication […]

What is Filmmaking? [Part One]

Who is a filmmaker? A Filmmaker is one who takes the onus of a feature film from beginning to end, and most commonly fulfills the dual role of producer and director (or more if impelled to do so). The traditional designations of any feature film have become too professional, with responsibilities demarcated, and boundaries clearly […]

Who needs the Zone System?

Every modern camera has an in-camera meter, and the most common of them is the Matrix or Multi-zone meter (also called evaluative or segment meter, among other names). Surprisingly, due to complicated algorithms that work effortlessly in real time, these meters give you the best exposure ninety nine times out of a hundred. And that’s […]

ETTR – Expose to the Right

To improve signal to noise ratio (S/N), many professionals advocate ETTR (Expose to the right) when faced with low contrast scenes. The Luminous Landscape has two great articles by Michael Reichmann explaining this here and here. You might want to read them first before going on. I decided to test this to see for myself […]

Technicolor Cinestyle vs Neutral

I did a dynamic range test for Video vs RAW in my last post, and RAW won hands down. If you haven’t read it already, read it here. In this post, I decided to test the Technicolor Cinestyle Picture Style for Canon DSLRs against Neutral and RAW, to find out which had the greatest latitude […]

Dynamic Range comparison of RAW v/s video mode on the Canon 550D

Does a DSLR output the same dynamic range in stills mode (RAW) and video? I decided to test for myself to see if that was the case. Test conditions and steps (RAW): Camera: 550D. Lens: EFS 18-55 3.5-5.6 II at 35mm (56mm on the APS-C) Aperture: f/8; Shutter: 1/30 sec (for both still and video); […]