What's this gear?

Texas_Toast

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In that case check out some online tutorial sites for making and editing documentaries and how to interview well. Stick to your mobile phone, maybe get a small gimbal for it if you want the footage a bit smoother again and finally get a small audio capture device with some sort of semi-directional mic on it, so you can hear what they are saying instead of all the background presence.
Yeah, my old DSLR died like two years ago, and I had an unopened iPhoen from a few years prior, and when I learned how to use it as a camera I instantly fell in love!

And I think it's pretty nifty doing the kinds of videos that I do too.

But it's good to know that digital cameras can do a lot more than when I used them.

And I'll have to sort through all of this and figure out what to do as I learn more.

But for now, I am more focused on the journalistic part and the content.

I just got into this and the other Sony thread because video and interviewing is more on my mind these days!
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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I can't speak for others, but for me it's versatility! I have a kick@s$ camera for photography and great video quality straight out of camera or captured in Log format for extensive colour correction and editing. Plus, I have the ability to very quickly move between the two when needed, instead of trying to export still frames from moving footage at a far lesser quality.

Technology has changed over the last five years or so to a point where dedicated video capture devices are aimed (almost) solely at the top end of town. Welcome to the new world where SUV's come in about four different varieties! There is no longer just one old type of SUV. Same goes for camera's and a lot of other things. Technology evolves and we either stand by screaming for the past or embrace the new and run with it.

Ask yourself and answer honestly! "Am I still driving the same type of car I first learnt to drive in?" If the answer is no, then you have no need for any resistance to changing to evolving technology with a camera either! ;)

Having said that, we have a few members of this sub-forum that embrace working with emulsion for their photography and do that rather well if I might say so! However, that is a bit different to running around using an old shoulder-mounted VHS camera, like I found at an abandoned inner-city place! Great if you want 'that look' but otherwise outdated in so many regards.

View attachment 939437

I would suggest looking at a camera that does both video and stills when you head off looking, to save your space, time, etc. The technology is so easy to use and the quality when used properly is quite remarkable, all things considered.

Awkward? Perhaps if trying to use it in its basic form, hence why cages and all the paraphernalia came to be! Widen your grip on it and with the incredible in body stability available on modern cameras you are good to go, or whack it on top of a gimbal and you're golden! I never capture video footage with any of my cameras in their base state. I never did with my cinema camera's either! they got kitted out dependent on what I was doing and how they needed to be used, from handheld, to shoulder mounted, to tripod, monopod or gimbal mounted. Each required its own setup.

Think seriously about what you would like to capture with your video and research how that is achieved these days to see what sort of rigs and cameras are recommended. Like with cars, there's differences aplenty!
Anytime I see one of these old video cameras, I can’t help but think of America’s Funniest Home Videos and Bob Saget. That show probably helped sell a lot of these! :D
 
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jagolden

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So you agree that photo is of a DSLR and not a video camera, right?

And what do you formally call this "rack"?

If you could provide a link to one (e.g. B*H) that would be helpful!




Nifty idea! How long have they been around?




Yeah, I used to always roll my eyes when people would be out with 600mm lens or even just a large lens shade to feel important.




Probably pretty hard to hold things steady for any amount of time with all of that extra weight and no tripod, right?
I do not believe at all it is a dedicated video camera.

Frequently called a cage. Just one example:

No idea how long they’ve been around. Just noticed them popping up in my Facebook feed for last year+. Probably because of my subscribing to many Affinity Photo/Designer groups.

Don’t know how heavy they are but I see people with them. Depending on cage size and accessories weight would vary. The extent of my “rig (cue eye-roll”) is a Manfrotto monopod with a small ball-head phone mount and Sandmarc auxiliary lenses.
 

Alexander.Of.Oz

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I agree with Alexander; in some ways an iPhone is a great video machine, better than a lot of dedicated cameras. There are all kinds of mounts for them, sound solutions, etc. Sheesh, Soderbergh made a feature film with them. Just one example: https://www.hollagully.com/best-iphone-filmmaking-gear-and-accessories/
Not to mention the ability to film through the Filmic Pro app for high bitrate Log type captures and superb editing ability! I still prefer my iPhone on a small gimbal for some more sensitive community events and actions, for the reasons the original poster mentioned of putting people at ease! Combined with the sort of add-on's Rob just shared, you have a stellar starting point.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Not to mention the ability to film through the Filmic Pro app for high bitrate Log type captures and superb editing ability! I still prefer my iPhone on a small gimbal for some more sensitive community events and actions, for the reasons the original poster mentioned of putting people at ease! Combined with the sort of add-on's Rob just shared, you have a stellar starting point.
This past weekend I watched more YouTube videos on film making and learned a little more...

One thing they said is that videos with a true "cinematic feel" have shallow depth-of-field in most cases.

Yesterday as I was interviewing someone outside a local library, my mind noticed how deep the field-of-depth was - I can clearly see the flowers and the library behind the interviewee all in focus on my iPhone.

So that was a "learning moment" for me on why my iPhone is NOT a video camera!

Eitehr way, I still have had great success interviewing people with my iPhone. 👍
 
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James Craner

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Yep, that is why people use dedicated video cameras or DSLR or mirrorless cameras to shoot video as lens are too small in smart phones to allow narrow depth of field (DoF) unless it is done in software. That having being said I don't think shallow DoF is critical for interviews compared to shooting a feature film for example. iPhone is probably a good start point to get the basics done and then move on from there.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Yep, that is why people use dedicated video cameras or DSLR or mirrorless cameras to shoot video as lens are too small in smart phones to allow narrow depth of field (DoF) unless it is done in software. That having being said I don't think shallow DoF is critical for interviews compared to shooting a feature film for example. iPhone is probably a good start point to get the basics done and then move on from there.
Yeah, and it is better to get the interview with an iPhone than to have great DoF with an interviewee running away from a larger camera! :)
 

Alexander.Of.Oz

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This past weekend I watched more YouTube videos on film making and learned a little more...

One thing they said is that videos with a true "cinematic feel" have shallow depth-of-field in most cases.

Yesterday as I was interviewing someone outside a local library, my mind noticed how deep the field-of-depth was - I can clearly see the flowers and the library behind the interviewee all in focus on my iPhone.

So that was a "learning moment" for me on why my iPhone is NOT a video camera!

Eitehr way, I still have had great success interviewing people with my iPhone. 👍
Just because a certain camera may have shallow depth of field does not make it 'cinematic', neither does the frame rate, or lighting, or camera movements. There are a multitude of 'cinematic' styles if you look at Cinema, its origins and traditions. I do wish that these self-confessed experts on YouTube would stop prattling out such inane rubbish!

Seriously, in regards of video capture, for a more raw and earthy feeling documentary style all you would need is your iPhone, a small tripod and a mobile phone holder. It can be sat down somewhere for still footage or can be handheld with the tripod legs. Audio is another separate thing, but there are little tiny semi-directional mic's with holders that plug into your lightning port.

With your iPhone, look at using the focusing and exposure control tap to touch and lock features it has built in to it! You can force it to focus and meter exposure on the persons face and have them filling about a third of the frame will actually achieve slightly softer backgrounds. Try it out, learn how to force it to lock the exposure and focus too. That also opens up your ability to control exposure in the simplest form too, through the use of the exposure slider on the side of the yellow box.

With the addition of a variable ND filter, you can then control the shutter speed to achieve double the frame rate, known as the shutter angle (the relationship between shutter speed and frame rate) and traditionally it is kept at 180 degrees.
e.g. 25fps : 1/50 shutter speed or 30fps : 1/60 shutter speed

Don't get caught up in the rubbish about having to use 24 frames per second to be 'cinematic'! We do not watch things on film any more, we watch them on digital presentation devices which work differently as they must obey the laws of electrickery and not a budget for production which dictated the 24fps standard!

The app I mentioned earlier on called Filmic Pro, will give you many controls that the native video capture app doesn't and is well worth the $30 when you are at a stage of getting more manual control of your video captures. It will require a good quality variable ND filter to monitor your exposure though. They do come in simple clip-on types though, so are easy to apply, you don't have to get a cage for the phone.

Remember to pay keen attention to the background behind and around your subjects, if it's darker and simple it draws our attention to the interview, if it's busy, bright and chaotic that will disturb our attention and draw it away from the subject. That is easy to remedy by moving yourself so you have a clean background. Having said that, there are times where you want busyness or particular things in the background to add to the storytelling. there are no hard and fast rules in composition. Play with it, make it yours!

Learn your interviewing styles and techniques, then find what works for you personally and what you are creating. A great YouTube channel for this is that put out by Mark Bone. He knows his stuff and is very generous with insights and tips on all aspects of documentary production. He may use bigger gear than you, but it's all still applicable.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Just because a certain camera may have shallow depth of field does not make it 'cinematic', neither does the frame rate, or lighting, or camera movements. There are a multitude of 'cinematic' styles if you look at Cinema, its origins and traditions. I do wish that these self-confessed experts on YouTube would stop prattling out such inane rubbish!
So are you claiming that there is no such thing as "cinematic" per se?

I was just relaying what I watched and have heard, but I'm certainly not claiming any knowledge or expertise in this area.

It was funny, however, how after watching a few YouTube videos - and in fairness, they seemed very credible - how the whole "shallow DoF" jumped out at me. (Amazing how you never notice certain things until one day!)


Seriously, in regards of video capture, for a more raw and earthy feeling documentary style all you would need is your iPhone, a small tripod and a mobile phone holder. It can be sat down somewhere for still footage or can be handheld with the tripod legs.
Well, as mentioned before, I am having a blast with my iPhone, and "I" think the results look good - but an expert probably wouldn't think so.

I'm still undecided on upgrading - although being broke helps my decision! :)

If I do upgrade, I am most likely to get a dedicated digital video camera. I know a lot of you would disagree, but based on years of prior experience in the photography world, for me personally, I hate compromising. But that's just me.


Audio is another separate thing, but there are little tiny semi-directional mic's with holders that plug into your lightning port.
Once I'm back to work, the first thing I'll likely buy is a wireless audio setup with lav mics. (I think they run about $500.) From what I've heard, people forgive not-so-great video, but don't forgive not-sogreat audio.)


With your iPhone, look at using the focusing and exposure control tap to touch and lock features it has built in to it!
Yeah, I learned about that feature last week, and have been trying to remember to use it, although I have forgotten every time I have interviewed someone.

(I wonder if there are better video/photography apps out there versus what is built into iOS? Personally, I think the UI engineer on the built-in software deserves an "F"!)

If it weren't so hard to adjust and lock settings on my iPhone, I'd likely make adjustments more often...



You can force it to focus and meter exposure on the persons face and have them filling about a third of the frame will actually achieve slightly softer backgrounds.
Good tip!


Try it out, learn how to force it to lock the exposure and focus too.
I got the focus lock down, but then if I need to change the expose I often bump it out of lock - prime example of where the iPhone UI sucks!!



That also opens up your ability to control exposure in the simplest form too, through the use of the exposure slider on the side of the yellow box.
Well, since I have been shooting daytime and close up, usually exposure isn't an issue, unless it's super sunny. And I did photography long enough to know tricks to compensate for that. like subject positioning, looking for shade, etc.

(Lately, the bane of my existence is ROAD NOISE - for which there aren't tons of cures.)


With the addition of a variable ND filter, you can then control the shutter speed to achieve double the frame rate, known as the shutter angle (the relationship between shutter speed and frame rate) and traditionally it is kept at 180 degrees.
e.g. 25fps : 1/50 shutter speed or 30fps : 1/60 shutter speed
Are we still talking about my iPhone? You lost me on this part...


Don't get caught up in the rubbish about having to use 24 frames per second to be 'cinematic'! We do not watch things on film any more, we watch them on digital presentation devices which work differently as they must obey the laws of electrickery and not a budget for production which dictated the 24fps standard!
So what frame rate makes the most sense? And dumb question, but what end effect do you get if things at shot at 24fps vs 30fps vs 60fps vs 120fps or whatever?!


The app I mentioned earlier on called Filmic Pro,
Oh, I missed that one...

Is that a camera app for my iPhone?


will give you many controls that the native video capture app doesn't and is well worth the $30 when you are at a stage of getting more manual control of your video captures.
Fwiw, I *always* shot manual on my film and digital cameras. Always!

So I would much prefer a more manual setup for video, although maybe video is a different beast than in the camera world?


It will require a good quality variable ND filter to monitor your exposure though.
Is there such a thing for an iPhone?


They do come in simple clip-on types though, so are easy to apply, you don't have to get a cage for the phone.
Do they make iPhone cages?! :)


Remember to pay keen attantion to the background behind and around your subjects, if it's darker and simple it draws our attention to the interview, if it's busy, bright and chaotic that will disturb our attention and draw it away from the subject.
Good composition reminder!! 👍


That is easy to remedy by moving yourself so you have a clean background. Having said that, there are times where you want busyness or particular things in the background to add to the storytelling.
Yesterday I had that, because I was downtown on "Main Street" and so I had the storefronts and sidewalk trailing behind my subject.

Another thing I (apparently) learned from the videos, was changing angle during the interview. My only technically acceptable video had a lady standing in front of a store sign, and I felt it intruded on her privacy, yet I didn't want to stop the interview... So at a logical break, I swund in next to the store and changed the angle to looking down the sidewalk. That got rid of exposing the sign, and when I go back to edit, I think I'll appreciate that position change. (I'm going to try and remember to do that more since I think it willr eally help.)



there are no hard and fast rules in composition. Play with it, make it yours!
True.


Learn your interviewing styles and techniques, then find what works for you personally and what you are creating.
Most of the videos I am trying to watch are centered around that. (I can figure out, and buy more, gear later on, but the story-telling is where the $$ is!) :)


A great YouTube channel for this is that put out by Mark Bone. He knows his stuff and is very generous with insights and tips on all aspects of documentary production. He may use bigger gear than you, but it's all still applicable.
Thanks, I'll be sure to check that out!
 
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Alexander.Of.Oz

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So are you claiming that there is no such thing as "cinematic" per se?
There is 'engrossing' vision capture and expression and then there is all the otherwise stuff we are flooded with. It's that simple, you need to discern for yourself why it tickles YOUR fancy and see if you want to incorporate that into your work.

In a technical sense the term 'cinematic' means of the cinema, there are very few documentaries that make it to the cinema. The word has become an overused and meaningless parody of its roots, sadly. YouTube has a lot to answer for! 🤣

So what frame rate makes the most sense? And dumb question, but what end effect do you get if things at shot at 24fps vs 30fps vs 60fps vs 120fps or whatever?!
Use the right frame rate (and therefore shutter angle as well) for what you want to convey, exactly as you would do with using a camera when you choose the shutter speed. Search the Interwebz, there are a million and one explanations of this, with visual examples provided. As you are already proficient at manually controlled photography, it will be quick for you to get it.
 

Texas_Toast

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There is 'engrossing' vision capture and expression and then there is all the otherwise stuff we are flooded with. It's that simple, you need to discern for yourself why it tickles YOUR fancy and see if you want to incorporate that into your work.

In a technical sense the term 'cinematic' means of the cinema, there are very few documentaries that make it to the cinema. The word has become an overused and meaningless parody of its roots, sadly. YouTube has a lot to answer for! 🤣
Yeah, I have found the whole term confusing already! (But it sounds soooo *important*!) *LOL*


Use the right frame rate (and therefore shutter angle as well) for what you want to convey, exactly as you would do with using a camera when you choose the shutter speed. Search the Interwebz, there are a million and one explanations of this, with visual examples provided. As you are already proficient at manually controlled photography, it will be quick for you to get it.
Okay, I'll add that onto my pile of video to-do!
 
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