Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All I Want / Post Mortem

All I want is an Aaton Penelope with a digital back. Can't I have that?

OK so this is a post mortem on the shooting portion of Clonehunter, camera edition.

The Letus adapter (which did get an intermittent injury when the camera fell) is wonderful. The whole kit and kaboodle when attached to a Panasonic HVX200 is a pain in the booty. But the image looks very nice. The Letus is going back to the factory to get fixed.

What do I not like about shooting on a video format? I don't like the lack of detail in the highlights (or, more accurately, that I have to protect the detail in the highlights). I don't like how slow the dang camera is (I keep forgetting to measure the relative ISO but it's gotta be less than 200). I don't like how quiet the camera is -- I have on a few occasions realized that I was not rolling when I thought I was, or that I was rolling when I thought I wasn't.

The Panasonic HVX is fussy. The focus and the zoom can move on you by accident and you have to make sure they're not doing that. I don't like that I can't see above and below the image in the viewfinder. Bleh.

What do I like about shooting on a video format like the P2? I like the instant start, no waiting for the camera to ramp up to speed or load the video cassette. I like that on the very very few times we want on-set playback we can have it immediately. I like that we can shoot slow-motion and check playback right away.

Lenses. I love the build of the Nikons. I love the short throw of the focus rings. But I love the coating on the Canon S.S.C.'s better. The way they deal with flare is that beautiful "ploop ploop ploop" of rings rather than nasty lines and such which we can get from the Nikons. To which I say "bleh". So we use the Canons rather than the Nikons. I wish I had faster manual Canons...

(What's really irritating is that Canon and Nikon have opposite conventions for the way their focus rings work. So when you've been using one for a while you find yourself twisting the focus ring the wrong way all the time when you switch to the other. Thanks guys at Canon and Nikon. You jerks.)

Final verdict? I need a 1st AC to pull focus. We just can't do reasonable camera moves on a dolly without a focus puller.

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