With the ever-increasing choice in video cameras, some strong opinions are emerging. Craig Marshall reports
On a recent trip to the edge of the Australian 'outback', I bumped into a production crew shooting a music video and over breakfast at our historic bush hotel, I struck up a conversation with the DOP. He was from Melbourne and shooting this clip on his own RED Epic coupled to a Atomos Samurai Blade HDD/SSD recorder. As the conversation turned to cameras, the Arri 'Alexa' and Sony F55 in particular, I asked him if he had shot any material on the Canon 5DMk11?
I was not prepared for the tirade which followed: "Too much" was his curt reply. "Grips hated it, crews hated it, gaffers hated it, editors hated it!" "Don't hold back" I muttered, buttering another piece of toast... "The only people who liked it and wanted us to use it were the Producers because they had all bought one but at the end of the day, the pictures really were c**p from that dreadful H.264 codec".
These comments from someone who evidently knew what he was talking about surprised me a bit as the 5D Mk 11 was the camera I'd been constantly recommended just two years previously and a camera which still has an almost iconic following among DSLR enthusiasts all over the world. This makes me ask the question: with the power of 20/20 hindsight vision, will the recent exciting offerings from BlackMagic, Digital Bolex, etc. be regarded in a similar light in just a few years time or was the DSLR 'explosion' just that: a blip in time and technology?