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  • Writer's pictureZack Wilcox

Camera for a no budget feature.

I had spent a bit of time trying to figure out what would be the most important properties of a camera for shooting a no budget film. This was a question that I would often have a conversation or two or a million about throughout the years, with the ever changing technologies that push out resolution and color science closer and closer to perfection.

What is the real question here? Is it depth of field? getting the sweet bokeh and making sure that your forced perspective leaves no question to where the attention needs to be paid. Is it bit depth? Being able to push the color and dynamic range to a needle point. Is it ease of use? Being able to move the camera quickly, navigate menus with speed, and have versatility when it comes to accessories.

Well I can tell you that after a lot of time spent watching the pursuit for the fastest lenses with the most narrow field of focus that I have been turned off by this pursuit. Crazy depth of field can often be beautiful but at the same time it takes a great focus puller and can really add some time to the process. So you have to be careful with letting the obsession take over.

Menus are one of those things though. If you've been shooting with one brand for a long time then you have become used to the UI and you may be fast with it. But i can tell you that I love Canon's UI and I find the menus on Canon cameras to be easy to surf and find what you are looking for. But at the same time I prefer as many quick keys as I can get. ISO being the one that I would like to get to at a moments notice. This is more for a shooting without a crew sort of thing. If you have a crew and time then it's usually in your best interest to leave the ISO at your sensors native and light to taste.

The last part being that you want to make sure that the accessories that you like can be used with your rig. Whether that's just an external monitor and a follow focus or a full on cage and a forest of wireless gear planted on it. This is something that you need to know when you're looking at every camera. Some of the cheaper options out there use the same sensor as they bigger more expensive dslr's and they will cut you off from live video send while recording or a headphone jack.

The conclusion to all of this is that I have been shooting my no budget feature on a Canon XC10. I find the camera to be kind of the middle of the road workhorse. It's not as modular as it's brother the 5d mark 4 and it has a fixed lens that might turn some off. But that fixed lens is an optical zoom that goes from 24mm to 240mm in a 35 equivalent. That's a lot of lens. The camera is very easy to shoot with having a rotating grip and adjustable on board monitor, as well as it's light weight frame, and image stabilization that make it quite good in a run and gun situation. And last but not least it's Hdmi out, audio in, and two card recording options (SD and CFast 2.0) make it a great 4k video camera that has a lot to offer at a good price.


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