Whilst local producers and directors go gaga over Red Cams and Vipers, and maybe Cinealtas, in their eagerness to go into digital filmmaking, most of them are unaware of the alternatives available to them today. Alternatives that produce excellent cinematography and economical solutions.
Last Thursday, most broadcasters and some local filmmakers, head down to Singapore for their annual Broadcast Asia Expo pilgrimage. Though the expo has lost most of its oomph in the last five or six years, curious technogeeks and technocineastes still try to find time to visit the show which is still reputed to be the biggest in Asia.
I went down with partner Ken Yap just to check out a few things that we were interested in - the DSLR digital revolution.
Why DSLR? DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, and this is the digital version of 35mm SLR cameras me and my father used to use.
The current versions of these DSLR offers users HD quality video recording at 1080p. So what's the diff? Most consumer and prosumer camcorders are already offering full HD recording capabilities.
Well, most camcorders have video lenses attached to them - one's you can't change and get cinematic quality depth of field.
With DSLR cameras, one can use a plethora of film lenses to give you images true or rather near-cinematic clarity.
And while Red Cams can cost you RM150,000 and Vipers go Northward in price, DSLR solutions can begin as low as RM2500k. Even with a set of quality lenses, you may just need to burn about RM50,000.
The only concern most cinematographers have about DSLR is its bodyshape. Being a handheld camera, most users find it too light to be used for professional filmwork.
This is why, there is now a whole new industry that offers accessories turning the DSLR into mean little machines.
I am so impressed by these DSLRs that I am seriously considering shooting my documentaries and upcoming drama series 1870 with the Canon DSLRs.
Check out this video by renowned cinematographer and documentary filmmaker Philip Bloom. Gorgeous images from the mid range Canon 550D that retails here for about RM2500 plus.