I never liked the DSLR form factor for shooting video. Three years ago I decided to shot the big DSLRs test with six then available cameras. Canon EOS 550D, Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Nikon D3s and Nikon D300s all with 50mm lens on the body. There are many new cameras from Nikon and Canon this days but those cameras are still being used in the field. I wanted to see usefulness of combining high end and low end cameras inside a brand (using lower end ones for backup) and I also did some other tests with them. I was preparing quit a while for this test. I made a special rig that would allow me to shot with all cameras at the same time, I went location scouting to get the best location possible and I did some camera tests with my lovely model Maja. I won’t write today about the results (I compared rolling shutter in a previous post) but will rather tell you about the shoot itself (video is at the end of post).
Few photos from camera tests with the beautiful model Maja.
Location scouting photos both shot at night.
This is the rig I was using for most of the shots. Six DSLR cameras. Two Nikons on the left and four Canons on the right. It was a pain to set them all. Composition, exposure, focus. I found out that the Nikons were more similar between high end and low end models and I don’t just mean the location of a Start/Stop button but also labelling the buttons. Nikon had simple Lv text in a square for Live View on a lower right side on the body to set the camera to video mode. Canon on the other part had a few different locations and markings for the Live View and Start/Stop buttons. On 5D Mark II and 1D Mark IV which would probably be the most used cameras it even had the same button designated for Live View on one camera and Start / Stop on the other. This really made my shooting more difficult and at times I was really angry at Canon. I don’t know if now with newer cameras thing are better. So user friendliness (if I can even say that with a DSLR camera) is better on Nikon cameras. Other than that cameras performed o.k. Images were great. I I nailed them and they didn’t need much colour grading they were great. But having to deal with so many different cameras grading was a must. And this proved to be quite difficult. The images don’t hold together that well. I also finished the movie in 720p as the Nikons were limited to 1280×720 resolution in movie mode. All in all I’m glad that we have now proper video cameras with large sensors and I don’t have to use DSLRs anymore.
Maja proved to be really patient with me not minding walking around scantly dressed while I was messing with the cameras. I also took some photos of her with Nikon D3s and 85mm f/1.4 lens, perfect for taking portraits.
The photo below was shot with 24mm f/1.4 lens which quickly became one of my favourite lenses.
Maja posing with all seven, err… six bodies.
This were all the cameras, lenses and accessories that I used for the shoot. I also had a friend Dino Schreilechner helping me with the setups and he also took all behind the scene photos.
I really didn’t like messing with all the user unfriendliness DSLRs can bring.
I used Glidetrack slider for some shots. Cokin Grad NDs and Fader ND were essential for getting the most out of the cameras and lenses I had. For the fill I used Photoflex LitePanels.
Thanks again to all who supplied me with the gear: Nikon Slovenija (Nikon 3Ds, Nikon D300s, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G), Samo Vidic (Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV), Foto Format(Canon EOS 550D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM), Luka Stanovnik (two Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lenses) and my father Milenko Prevec (Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM).
Video was edited in Final Cut Pro X. Music was done in GarageBand using Apple Loops. Title was tracked in Apple Shake. All photos were graded in Aperture.