With the cost of cameras continuing to come down and more filmmakers going the DSLR route, it was no surprise that the Small Profile, Big Results? The Advantages & Challenges of DSLR Cinematograhy Panel was one of the most popular ones at the NAB show. Just like last year’s session which featured commentary from DPs Rodney Charters (“24”) and Gale Tattersall (“House”), the conversation stayed focused on various aspects of using the Canon 5D. Moderated by Jon Witmer from American Cinematographer, speakers on this year’s panel were Cinematographers Russell Carpenter (“Titanic”), Svetlana Cvetko (“Inside Job,” “Miss Representation”) and John Guleserian (“Like Crazy,” “ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction”).
Starting off the discussion with the reasons for using Digital DSLR cameras, Carpenter said, “My confession is that I’m not a technical person. I can visualize using these cameras on set.” He became interested in digital photography because of the still work he was doing and was introduced to the 5D Mark II in November of 2008 when he went to Canon with Bill Bennett. “We thought that this was going to revolutionize the way that images could be captured,” he remembered. Referring to it as a way to level the playing field he continued, “The quality was going to be available to anybody who wanted to make images.” The drawback at the time was the post production houses couldn’t figure out the best way to work with the new equipment. However, a year later that changed and there was a whole industry built around this camera.
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