Here at OneRiver Media we received the new Cinema Camera last month from Blackmagic Design for our own testing. We asked for permission to shoot with cast and crew, and in less than one day, assembled a story, crew, and actors.
The biggest reason for attempting this shoot, (“Texting is 'gefährlich'” or, “Texting is ‘dangerous’” translated from German) on such short notice was to really see how well the new Cinema Camera could hold up under a real production environment, and in the end, it worked very well for us. A few main factors I wanted to specifically test for in this production were the following:
- Low light abilities (among others, the opening shot only uses city lights).
- Dynamic range (we literally shot INTO headlights).
- Image sharpness
- Tonal range
- Narrow DOF
- Extreme wide angles
- RAW CinemaDNG image data quality
- Functionality and ease of use
In all regards, I feel the camera was able to accomplish all of these tasks with no problems and exceeded my expectations in many situations. In the end, I’m very happy with the results from the camera. The short film, which is currently getting funding as a PSA, isn’t the next Hollywood blockbuster, but it did allow us to test the camera in extreme situations, and on such short notice. In all accounts, this was truly a 24-hour film production and we had fun doing it. We will upload a 1080p24 version once funding is completed.
Note that we did not go for a gravy grade in post. Again, our main object was to really push this camera and go deep with it, not just do a typical beauty video. We really wanted to test this camera! We went for something something somewhat neutral with contrast that didn't stretch too far away from the source. We wanted to really *push* the camera and shoot something tough for it to handle, not a simple in-studio or daytime production. Our main objective was to push the camera in sever conditions. Had we shot on a DSLR or regular video camera, the highlights would have been blown out and the shadows would have turned to mud. So instead, we opted for a post-production neutral look with contrast. Again, a DSLR wouldn't have given us detail in both range and sharpness.
We used the following lenses on this production: Canon 24mm f/1.4L, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, Canon 135mm f/2, Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom. The Sigma lens ended up working perfectly for super wide shots, and ended up being used a lot. Surprisingly, we ended up using fewer lenses than we expected.
Did we learn anything on this production with the Cinema Camera? Absolutely. Are there things I may change in future productions using the Cinema Camera as a results of shooting this one? Absolutely. Stay tuned as we’re going to be presenting a lot more info on this production, including behind-the-scenes footage.
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Many thanks again to the entire cast and crew for being available on such short notice, staying through the night and giving your 100%. I love working with great crew!