Camera Gear


The Art of Filmmaking and Editing


Lesson Info

Camera Gear

The first thing that you should know is everything that you've seen today, that we've shot, and I think the Everynone people are the same way, has been done with a DSLR camera. And I think we have a lot of photographers in the audience, hopefully we do. The real reason that we're sitting here right now is because technology has made it possible for us to use our cameras and get production quality that just a few years ago would have cost $30 or $40,000. Now when Ross and I did The Get in Motion Tour we actually rented half a dozen movie theaters across the country and actually did the performance inside of a movie theater. We had a great Canon projector, and when you see this footage projected on a huge 30 or 40 foot screen, it holds up. It's just like the movies. What was that recent movie done with all the-- Act of Valor. Act of Valor. That movie Act of Valor with the Navy Seals was all done with 5D Mark IIs, and it was in theaters across the world. So, don't think that, you know...

, you have to spend a lot of money, you don't need to. And it's really interesting how technology has brought us here. I think video cameras have been around for a long, long, long time, okay? The eighties I remember camcorders, VHS camcorders. Weird, I don't remember it. Yeah, I bet you don't. My hair remembers. (audience laughter) But I bet if you think about it, how many photographers back in the eighties ever thought they'd be sitting down in a room or going to a performance, or on some sort of educational experience where they were going to learn filmmaking principles. It would have never crossed their minds. But the reason why we have people tuning in and wanting to learn about this today is because the technology has given us the opportunity to make things at this level. But of course the key to doing that and doing it well and doing it in a way that you can sell is storytelling, which is why we focus so much on that. So let's talk a little bit about what bodies we have. We have a 5D Mark II and Mark III. A 7D, a 1D Mark IV, a 60D, and a Rebel T2I. Now you basically want to go ahead and break those down into two different types of cameras. Three. Ones with crop sensors, yeah, there's two crops in the sensors. Ones with crop sensors, and then ones without crop sensors. We won't go into a lot of detail here. On our website we have a DVD there called Filmmaking for Photographers where we spend 45 minutes going through every single camera body, what the advantages are, and we choose, we use about a dozen different lenses and put them on each body and show you the effect that it has. Side by side. Yes, side by side, so you can compare it. So it's a really great way, that ones on sale for $49. But basically we're using a full frame camera most of the time because we want the lenses to have the same effect that they were designed to have. Unless we're in a situation where, for example, we're purposely trying to avoid some distortion, maybe with a wider lens. Then we'll put it on a crop body. Or in a situation where the particular camera of choice is useful because it's in a tight space that's the easiest to look at. The 60D camera right here at the bottom right has a flip out LCD screen, that'll flip out back towards you so that you can put it, for example, in a refrigerator, and then have Kevin come in and get a cake. And then he's allowed, he's able to see himself, you're able to frame everything up perfectly, otherwise you'd have to take the shot, take the camera out, review it, take the shot, take the camera out. So it's very, very effective in tight spaces where you don't have the ability to look at the screen from a normal perspective. The 5D Mark III and Mark IV obviously give you the best sensor image, Mark IV being a 1.3 crop sensor factor. Yeah, so for those of you who might not understand the crop sensor situation. The 5D is a full frame sensor, so here would be the sensor. And then we would have, say a 35 mm lens. The lens projects the image onto the sensor. So when you have a full frame sensor you're seeing 35 mm. But when you put the 1.6, like the 7D, the T2I, the 6 DD all the Rebels, they all have a 1.6 crop factor, so that 35, it's not scaling the image it's cropping the image. So you essentially take 1.6 and multiply it by and you get something around a 50. So that's how that crop works. And the Filmmaking for Photographers DVD Jeff is referencing it shows you how each lens looks on each sensor, the distortion, and then what uses you would have for each sensor. So like, I love the 5D in the full frame sensor and my favorite lens is the 512, which people always ask me how am I focusing with that lens on the fly? Well, the answer and bullet point to that is practice. Everybody write that word down, it's a crazy concept. People want to practice on their clients and not go in their backyard for three hours and just focus on soda cans that are distances apart from each other. But to get that same look, I could put the 35 on a 7D and I'll have a lot easier time focusing if I'm running around. So those combinations can give you the different, the same frame with a different look. And all these cameras give you roughly the same quality, meaning, if you project it large, it's 1080p, it's going to look great. Where you'll get into difference is of quality of any kind really fall under the higher ISO ranges. On the older cameras we don't go much above 1600 or because it really falls apart. The 5D, I would say, the 5D Mark II would be 2500 would be the highest I'd go. The 7D, the highest I'd go would be 1600. The 60D I'd probably stay around 1600 there, as well. The Mark IV I would stay, I would go above 4000. And then the Mark III, I mean you can-- Mark III you can push that. You can go pretty high. Yeah, so. The quality, though, looks acceptable for any kind of project that you would end up doing. If you watch the Creative Live trailer we did, there's a shot on the street where it looks like a girl's legs, you can see the leggings, and it's in the dark. That's a 5D Mark II and there is not one light in the entire vicinity, it's just that's natural, available light. And you can see the exposure's great and there is no grain. So that should give you an idea of what these cameras are capable of in low light. So we use all prime lenses with two possible exceptions. But, the reason is because you want to have the sharpest lenses that you can get, which, of course, prime lenses are always going to be sharper than zoom lenses. And a lot of times you're going to want that wide aperture to give that really blown-out look that nice bokeh. I think embarking on the process of deciding I'm going to do filmmaking is a process of embarking on either buying prime lenses or learning which ones to rent. You'll see a significant difference, more so than what camera body you use in the quality of your film and your production, how nice it looks, based on whether or not you're using prime lenses. A point I wanted to make, actually, Jeff was talking about the, you know you want to shoot wide open. We use the prime lenses because you can go to 1.4, 1.2. I want to make this point, it is very important. Because when you get your hands on a DSLR for the first time just like I did, the fact that you can go to a 1.2 is crazy. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should all the time. I'm not saying you should never do it, I'm not saying it's not the greatest look. But you've got to use it very selectively because focus becomes more and more difficult as you open up wider and wider. So, if I'm shooting an interview, and it's a close-up of somebody's face in a 85 1.2, I'm not going to be at 1.2 because the moment they exhale they're going to be out of focus. So you have to think about how much latitude am I giving my subject? How much movement's in the scene? You know, things like that. So the DSLR revolution has produced this whole shallow depth of field look that I see and I can tell when I'm looking at a DSLR film because there's the subject and then everything else behind it just doesn't exist. And just because you can go to 1.2 doesn't mean you always should. So here are the lenses that we own, the 14, the 24, the 35, the 50, the 85, the 135, the 180 Macro, and a few zoom lenses. We'll talk about those separately. So let's first go to the 14. So the 14 is really good for wide angle shots. I would say that it's probably the sharpest wide angle lens Canon makes, in my opinion, and I do like it. You could play the video, actually. The one thing you have to understand is that the sides are going to distort, big time. So you don't want to put people on the edge of the frame, and in fact, I would say you want to put this on a crop sensor body. On a crop sensor body, 1.6. If you have it. Yeah. And, the thing about wide angle shots, as you can see, one thing you're going to notice is that pretty much everything is in focus on these shots. And that's sort of the idea of a wide angle lens is to establish, I made this point at the beginning of the presentation that wide angle shots are like the forgotten child of filmmaking, especially beginning filmmakers because look at this scene. That scene is lit like the one that is in the cabin. Those are hard to light because number one, where are you putting the lights where you can't see them? So that's one thing. And you know, you have to account for so much more space in a shot, as opposed to a telephoto lens where you only have to worry about someone's face. It's easy to light somebody, it's not easy to light an entire room and make it justify as you move in, which we'll get into light justification in a minute. So there were several of those shots in there, the cabin scene from up high, bird's eye view, and the refrigerator that were shot with the 60D, 14 combination. The reason number one to do that was to remove the distortion that comes with a 14. But reason number two was in the cabin that thing was literally in the corner of the room, like literally. We had a haywire and whatever we could do to get it up there. There's no way for us to even see how the shot was framed without having that flip out screen. And then, of course, in the fridge, like I talked abour earlier. So it's a good combination for that. The 35, this is one of my favorite lenses. I love the 35 and when I discovered it, I really abused it a lot because it's a really, you can use it, it's very sharp. So you can get away with a wide angle shot. And why it's easier to focus with a wide angle shot is because usually you're going to stop down. So you're going to have a lot more leeway when it comes to the focus, you can play the shot. It's a great two-shot lens and what a two-shot is is putting two people in a frame simultaneously. You're going to do this a lot in filmmaking, so, you know, get used to it. This is very, very popular, and you're going need to know how to do it and what lens combo to do. I use it pretty exclusively on a crop sensor. There are times like in this situation where I'll put it on a 5D and try to get that wide look. And you can see, I have the range of focus and I can grab the shot. So I use it for wide angle lenses, or wide angle shots. I'll use it for two-shots. And you can get away with it on a close-up, if you have it on a crop sensor body. So, don't think you can't do it. I'm in pretty tight there, and the reason why I'm using the 35 there is because I'm in a canoe, number one, so all of the movement of the canoe, I'm going to have trouble riding. I would not be at 1.4 there. I'm probably at 5.6, probably a lot higher. So I don't have to worry about holding focus. I'm more worried about holding the shot, more than the focus itself. Here's one of the three zoom lenses we own, the 70-200 IS. We own the Mark II version as well as the Mark I. The Mark II is significantly sharper. We love it because it's so versatile. And even though it's not necessarily as sharp as like a 135 2.0, it just gives you so much range. And when you're out there, a lot of the time, having the ability to be flexible is more important than necessarily having the ability to have great production value. We'll talk a lot about that in audio. And he makes a great point, it's not as sharp as the 135 2.0. And when you're in tight on somebody's face, this is HD, we're going to see it all. There is no Photoshop that is going to save you after the fact. So, the good thing about a zoom lens like this, it's sharp enough to hold up to the prime lenses. But it's not going to be so sharp that it's going to show everything. So I use this for close-ups, it's my favorite close-up lens because it flatters the subject a little bit more than the 135. I mean when that 135 (fist smacking) gets on you you're going to see everything. I mean if you were sleeping an hour ago we're going to see the sleep lines in your face. So, you can see here I'm moving with it and the IS is sort of taking over there. The image stabilizer does work. And then, of course, I'm just using it for a series of close-ups. And it's my favorite close-ups lens even to this day. I just shot a TV pilot where I rented a bunch of the new Canon cine lenses and some ICP-2s. But guess what made the cut? The 7200, and we kept it. That was the only regular lens you used. It was the only lens that I own that I used in that situation because those prime lenses, the ones the CP-2s and the Canon cine lens it was too sharp to put in someone's face. And we had an actress and she was a diva, so you got to cater to them, you got to flatter them, that's up to you. Speaking of sharp, the 85 1.2 which is, I think, the sharpest lens Canon makes, and absolutely my favorite for photography. For filmmaking too, if the subject's not moving around a lot. That 1.2, even if you're stopping it down, if there's any movement in your scene at all, it's going to pretty challenging to go ahead and-- So like, look at the shot here. She was in focus originally, and then she moved her head, and then she's out of focus. That's the whole idea shooting at 1.2, you don't want to do that. When you nail it with the shot you really see you're rewarded with an amazing look and I do love to use it when I'm in control. On that situation I'm on a shoulder mount, just trying to hold it. I'm at 5.6 there not 1.2 and you still see I get the look I want. I would say probably very rare where I'm using the 85 1. and actually shooting on 1.2. And then Jeff, he introduced me to this lens, which I love it so much, he handed it to me and said, you can't take a bad picture with this lens. So let's see what it does for video. And, so it's definitely one of our favorite lenses because you can that really high end look. But we almost never use it for events. Because, again, in events you're not in control and this gives you so little depth of field you really need to be in control to use it and use it effectively. Whereas when we're in control we use it a lot. Every photographer, or filmmaker should have, and much more so, as a photographer you really need a Macro if you're going to be doing pictures of flowers, right? But other than that it's more of a toy and not necessarily a great business tool for portrait photography, or whatever. But as a filmmaker you must have either the 100 Macro or the 180 Macro, it's indispensable. And I, for the first half of my DSLR days, I used the 180 Macro and loved it. And these are all 180 Macro shots. And essentially, it's taking a small object and filling up the entire frame with it. And drawing your attention to a very small detail that matters so much. And you can use it for close-ups as well. And then as Jeff wanted some of his photography gear back, sorry for taking it all. That's alright. I got a 100 Macro, which I'll actually go on record saying I actually like it a little bit better because it's 2.8 instead of 3.5, so you get a little more light out of it. It has image stabilizer which is always my biggest thing with the 180 is when you're in so tight, you could blow on that lens and you'll see it. So you have to be very, very controlled with that 180, the 100 gives you a little bit more leeway. And it's significantly cheaper to get the 100. There's wide, medium, and close-up, and then there's the Macro, right? But the Macro, there are so many moments in a film where that extreme close-up is going to make a big difference, visual and emotional impact. So it's definitely a tool that you have to have. Let me tell you why we think LensProToGo is go great and I'm going to tell you a little story about my days with Monty. And again, I'm going to take information and wrap it inside of a story because that's always more effective. So before I met Monty, I actually went to a Tony Robbins seminar. And I was there kind of as a volunteer and ended up being a behind-the-scenes photographer, kind of by accident. Because I threw my 85 1.8 lens and my cheap Canon zoom lens in the car with my Canon 10D. I happened to be taking pictures, and I left the cheap zoom lens off and I took the 85 the whole day. And the crew was blown away with the photographs. They came to me, I was a student at LSU, and they were like oh, where's your studio? You're a great photographer. And I'm like, this is just more of a hobby. So the next day I put my cheap zoom lens on and took a bunch of pictures. I showed them to people and I didn't get nearly as many people who were impressed. And I started to realize that you know what, good glass matters. It makes me look like a better photographer. So I went home and I made a fateful decision. I pulled out the credit card, I went to B&H, and I bought $10,000 worth of lenses without no conceivable way to pay for them as a college student at LSU, go Tigers. And then he was homeless. (audience laughter) But I did this because I had faith that by investing in the good glass and my photography looking that much better, that it was going to come back to me in some way. And sure enough, I met Monty a few months later, and he saw all the photos I had taken with the good glass, and then offered me the position of his assistant. Which would have never happened if I hadn't gone out there and done that. Now not all of us are as crazy as I was, or in a position to go out there and spend that kind of money. But having good glass will definitely make a difference in the production quality of your films. And that's why we recommend LensProToGo. Before we could afford the 35 1.4, we went and rented it from them for our Expedia, earlier in the broadcast we talked about how we got a project to make a film for Expedia. We didn't have the lens, Clay was using it that weekend, so we couldn't borrow it. We went to LensProToGo, we spent $75, we got it for four or five days. And it made all the difference in the world. And that was a very small cost for the job, but it improved the overall result significantly. And a couple more points on LensProToGo, it doesn't matter, I own all the L series lenses, and when I shot a TV pilot I still rented like six lenses from them, a microphone, all sorts of tools. You can rent sound gear, you can rent camera movement equipment like sliders and things like that. They have a whole bunch of stuff that you can rent. They send it to you in a box, and you have a prepaid shipping label back to them, so they make it really easy. And if that doesn't do it, they give you a lollipop with every purchase, and that's my favorite part. And it doesn't matter, you can save up and buy all the lenses you want, but really, you're always going to find something you want to rent or test. A new lens comes out, you don't believe us that the 7200 Mark II is significantly better than the Mark I. Rent it for a week and test it out. And the one thing I will say about the business side of this, the one thing I like to do when I bill a client is make an invoice and list everything I used, and put a price on it. And if you rented a lens, charge your client for it. Make them pay for it. If you're going to do a portfolio piece, and you want to build your portfolio and you think there is an opportunity to make a great film that's going to make you a bunch of money by showing it to other clients that you have, rent the lenses. Rent the lenses. Make the investment. Like they say, repeat customers, stick it to them next time. (laughing) Is that what they say? There's two reasons to rent the lenses. The first is because your production quality is going to increase. And the second is, depending on how often you're doing this, it may actually be less expensive for you to do it that way.

Class Description

Have you ever thought about using your talents, training and equipment to design moving images to tell a story? This film workshop is your opportunity to learn how to become a visual storyteller with Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow. Whether you're a photographer or an aspiring filmmaker, you will come out of this class with all of the skills to produce web commercials, wedding, birth, family and event films.

Discover what you'll need for your camera bag, lighting, how to shoot a conversation - all during a live shoot! You'll learn how to create a story throughout the editing process. This film workshop is 3 days of non-stop information, all of which will allow you to expand your business and increase your profits.