After some consideration during spring 2010, i decided to stop DSLR video shooting – despite some serious investments in gear and paraphernalia – and return to HD videocamera shooting, using a DOF convertor to taste. For the latter my tools of trade remain the Sony XDCAM-EX, 35mm DOF adapter, Zeiss prime lenses, SmallHD DP1x, Convergent Design Nanoflash, et cetera…
I have been a film cameraman all my life and i’m used to heavy duty cameras with ditto tools. The flimsy and fragile DSLR lenses and focussing, in combination with the clumsy camera design and total lack of control (maybe with the exception of using the Magic Lantern software on the 5DmkII) and lack of a proper viewfinder, made me decide to take my losses and drop the 7D. DSLR cameras are NOT video cameras (yet). They are a gimmick and most of all just still cameras. I still find the amount of compression and micro-blocking artifacts due to downscaling on the Bayer-filter imaging element unbearable, specially when used for blowup to 2K cinema format. There is no “raw” SDI-like output.
I was saving up money to buy the Scarlet by Red, that was announced Spring of four preceding years in a row ;-) When it’s release was delayed again this spring, i decided to just be patient, confident and satisfied with the gear i already owned and spent my money on other more important things.
The XDCam-EX / Nanoflash / DOF adapter / Zeiss lenses combo gives me perfect and professional control over image, depth of field, video signal and exposure. The HD signal is much much cleaner, specially when blown-up for 2K cinema use, and provides me with an outstanding Film Look.
Because the 7D was on the shelf catching dust for over half a year already, i decided to sell it. I don’t feel sorry – not even for the financial loss. I only feel stupid; that i’ve allowed myself being swept away with the whole DSLR hype, with some prominent international filmmakers in the lead. – read updated article above –
DSLR filming = Low Budget. Let’s not forget that and let’s see what the future brings.