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Lower Priced Cameras for Night Shooting?


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#1 Steve Absalom

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:34 PM

Hey guys, I have a shoot coming up in about 5 months for a very, very low budget film that takes place mainly at night (exteriors) on the edges of the city. We'll be shooting in areas where there are sodium-vapor lamps and other street lights, I just want to make sure we can maximize the efficacy of available light but also compliment the atmosphere that kind of lighting creates on screen.

I'm looking for what camera would be right for this shoot. Is anybody familiar with shooting digital at night?
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#2 Hunter Kerhart

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 04:06 AM

Hey guys, I have a shoot coming up in about 5 months for a very, very low budget film that takes place mainly at night (exteriors) on the edges of the city. We'll be shooting in areas where there are sodium-vapor lamps and other street lights, I just want to make sure we can maximize the efficacy of available light but also compliment the atmosphere that kind of lighting creates on screen.

I'm looking for what camera would be right for this shoot. Is anybody familiar with shooting digital at night?



As far as I know for getting some at least DECENT shots in low lighting, the brand new Canon T2I.
http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B0035FZJI0

Then you'd want to tripod mount it always. If you're going handheld you'd have to get a rig from RedRock Micro, or Zacuto. I have a RedRock Eyespy Deluxe on my 7D. Highly recommend it.
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#3 Steve Absalom

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:16 PM

As far as I know for getting some at least DECENT shots in low lighting, the brand new Canon T2I.
http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B0035FZJI0

Then you'd want to tripod mount it always. If you're going handheld you'd have to get a rig from RedRock Micro, or Zacuto. I have a RedRock Eyespy Deluxe on my 7D. Highly recommend it.


Thanks for the reply.

Edited by Steve Absalom, 21 February 2010 - 01:17 PM.

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#4 Daniel Joseph Lee

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:16 AM

I have to agree, the digital SLRs are currently as far as I know the world's best low light video cameras, you can shoot available light at night, you want get anything coming in as 1/10th as good anywhere near the price of the dSLRs.
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#5 Steve Absalom

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:59 PM

My sound guy just found out that I was looking into that camera and got mad. He said the footage looks bad. I'm going to have to try to test one out at Best Buy or something. I don't know what to think now. :(
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#6 Mark Bonnington

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 03:45 PM

My sound guy just found out that I was looking into that camera and got mad. He said the footage looks bad. I'm going to have to try to test one out at Best Buy or something. I don't know what to think now. :(

That camera hasn't been released to the public yet, so he probably doesn't know what he's talking about. If he's referencing the 7D and 5Dmk2, there's footage throughout the Internet showing what those cameras can do, and most of it is very good.

Where the current DSLRs fail, is in the task of recording long takes - they can't record HD for longer than 12 minutes at a time. Though if you have multiple cameras and cut between them, restart the one camera's recording while the other is still going, you can get coverage until the scene is done. It's just a lot of work compared to letting a camera record on its own for the whole scene.

Also, some of the DSLRs have slightly slow refresh rates on their imaging chips, resulting in slightly skewed objects when things move quickly through the frame. You can mostly avoid that distortion by keeping your camera motion to slow speeds. And even if you do move things quickly, the issue is usually pretty subtle, some people are more critical of it than others. Take a look at some of the footage on the Internet and it should help you make a decision.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:04 PM

Other reported DSLR problems are aliasing due to the line skip approach to recording the information as well as the compression and how far you can manipulate it later on. Personally, I don't mind DSLRs, for the price, but I wouldn't want to use it as a main camera-- too many trade offs just for DoF (lets not even get into the problems of working with the lenses in terms of follow focus etc)
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#8 Matt Leaf

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 03:29 AM

I too am considering these DSLR's as a first camera to experiment with Cinematography.

The whole rolling shutter thing is a bit of an issue for me. Are there any cameras out there that don't have this problem, or simple ways around it?

I read about a guy who just used slow frame rates and fast memory cards to solve it, is this true?

If it wasn't for the rolling shutter you could probably go with these cameras for a good first short or feature, but the rolling shutter pretty much destroys panning, which is terrible really.

Any other options out there is you can't live with the rolling shutter factor?
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#9 Matt Leaf

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 03:35 AM

Also, may I ask another question? Are the Red Rock mounts equivalent to steadicams for DLSR cameras?
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#10 Steve Absalom

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 01:30 PM

I am wondering about that myself, anyone know?
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