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That's it folks, we've not only stepped over the threshold of super clean high iso, we've flown over it. The sony FS cameras and the canon C cameras are the first cameras to be able to expose most scenes with practical lights(existing lights) And because of this, im hearing a disturbing sentence coming out of some filmmakers' mouths: "I don't need lights!"
Let's back up to the 5D Mark 2
The 5D2 heralded in not only the HD DSLR era, it also opened up the low light era, when everyone say Vincent Lafloret's "Reverie" film with shots up to iso3200 that looked markedly better than the high DB settings our our EX1's(an already great low light performer), it was an eye opener to the future of low light. And thus begun this trend of shooters foregoing lights.
The human eye gets PWN'd
When you get into the iso 1600-3200 usable range, adding a superspeed lens of F1.8 or faster basically starts seeing more than the human eye can. It's a cool thing to see for the first time! This also fed into some people's obsession with shallow depth of field, which is another story all of its own. Suffice it to say, people's association of shallow depth of field with the "film" look, went completely overboard along with low light shooting. I'll explain my un certified psycho-analaysis of why...
You have eager filmmakers doing they best they can with what they have, some taught by less than adequate "film schools". They have two basic concepts of how to make video look more like film: 24P, and shallow depth of field. Well, we got 24P back even in the SD days, and the shallow DOF really kick started with the 35mm adapters. In case you forgot about those, they were those devices you could attach to the front of your camera(HD DSLRs weren't around yet, so most cameras had a fixed lens) and then attach a nikon, canon, or other DSLR lens and get that shallow DOF, with the lovely tradoffs of light loss and just about doubling your camera's size and weight.
DOF adapters were all the rage, until the 5D slammed hard. Now you could get the shallow DOF, and shoot in practically no light! I think by this time, filmmakers were so ingrained with shallow DOF being vital to their film's 'film' look that superspeed lenses shot wide open was thought to be the mecca of filmmaking. The side affect of shooting wide open on superspeeds, is of course a ton of light exposure. Combine that with seeing very little grain when cranking up the iso, and someone with less then adequate training certainly could have the thought: "wow, i've got exposure.... i don't need lights!"
Read the rest of the article at mediahalo.com/articles/needlight/