Posts Tagged ‘Traditional Film’

Digital Filmmaking is the Future

September 27th, 2011 2 comments

“Four years ago, if you had a video and you wanted people to see it, you had to invite them all over to your house for a beer. With the web, it’s possible to produce a movie with almost no budget and get a million people to watch it”.

– David Trescot, Group Product Manager, Adobe

With a digital camcorder in hand, you can now make your very own professional quality film at a fraction of the cost it takes to make a feature film with the traditional celluloid camera. Plus, with no film reel needed, you avoid the film processing costs which are a major chunk of a small budget film’s budget. Digital Filmmaking has truly arrived with a bang in the present day world. While most professionals agree that a digital camera, however top notch it may be, cannot match the film/35mm resolution; they also contend that the cost advantage more than covers up for it. You can make a digital movie at one-fifth the cost when compared to a movie made with celluloid camera.

I think technology has always been relative, you know. “I think yeah, there’s a hell of a lot of more you can do technically now than you could ever do before. It’s never been cheaper to make a movie and get more people to see your film than ever before. You can get a digital camera for a couple of thousand dollars and your own desktop editing system for a couple of grand, and you’re making movies”.

– Dan Myrick, co-director, The Blair Witch Project

Since Mr Dan made those comments, the price of both shooting and editing equipment has more than halved.

Of course, for theatrical showings you can always later transfer your digital movie to film stock. If, for example, your ultimate goal is to someday have your video projected from celluloid in a movie theater, you’ll need to consider shooting your source footage at 25 frames per second, which will make for a smoother transition to the 24 frames of traditional film stock. To do this, you’ll need a PAL-formatted camcorder (commonly sold in European markets) rather than a camera that shoots at the standard 30frames per second. In addition, if you’re interested in widescreen projection, there are some cameras specifically designed for capturing images in the elongated 16:9 aspect ratio. These considerations are critical to your success with video-to-film projects, so carefully examine any prospective camcorder for the appropriate features and consult a film transfer facility to see what they recommend.

Another type of cameras which are a great help in transferring to film stock are 24P cameras. 24P refers to those cameras which have a frame rate of 24 frames per second, equivalent to the frame rate of a film stock. It is an ideal aspect ratio for video projects that will eventually be transferred to film, because it doesn’t necessitate dropping frames when converting formats. Pioneered by Sony, and now available from several makers, this technology has the ability to record 40 minutes of HD footage on a compact $70 cassette (compared to the $400 for 4-minutes of 35mm motion picture film, with processing costs). One example of such a camera is the Sony HDW-F900.

Digital filmmaking is truly the future of Cinema, with better technology, rising film costs and competition paving the way for it.

Kallore Gandhi

How To Choose A Digital Camera – Gimme My Options!

September 18th, 2011 No comments

Digital cameras cost anywhere from tens to thousands of dollars, with all of them having excellent components and will be a good one. What it boils down to is what is it a person wants, and what eventually will suit their needs. The new word on the block is “prosumer” cameras – referring to cameras and their equipment focused on mainly advanced amateurs, a very inelegant word but getting the point across.

According to unbiased consumer reports, the leading brands about price, quality, and guarantees are Canon, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony – with other brands coming from consumer-electronics, computer, traditional film, and film companies.

To avoid being stuck with this, recognize there is no such thing as a perfect camera. What is perfect is not what is the “top pick” but one that is the absolute most suitable one of all of them – for me – not the majority of the consumers. Choosing a digital camera from lists from the random choices of reviewers and camera critics is not the way to go, believe me, as they do not take a person’s needs into account with the most updated information available. Each camera comes with its own individual features like image resolution, storage capacity, lens power etc. So, what should the buyer look for in the camera?

The first step is thinking about what is needed and wanted. Look at various specifications – and recognize they are not always straightforward facts for all the cameras at once. An example is the number of pixels the sensor records on the cameras. We assume that a 5 Mp camera will give higher quality results than a 3 Mp, but this may not be true.

Questions need to be asked and looked in their entirety, not just one at a time. Some of these questions are: (1) what type of camera user am I?; (2) how important is camera size, megapixels, and finished picture size to me?; (3) what are the lens options to me?; (4) what are my memory choices, and how much do I need?; and (5) is money an issue, and how much can I pay or should I pay? A digital camera should last for about two or three years before upgrading; I need to look at the camera and how long it has lasted its present owners.

Many factors need to be considered when a buying a digital camera. Look at the online information of digital camera web sites and suitable models of what you want. Then go to your local camera store and handle the actual camera. Get a feel of it, and if it fits comfortably in your hands. Look at its build, its quality, and what it accessories it has.

Talk to the camera professionals that are working there, or even people you know who actually owns one. Look at some of the reviews of the camera you want; do not decide to purchase based on their reviews – only how they feel AFTER they have purchased it. What problems have they had? Would they buy another one? What guarantees does it have, and do they honor it? What is their return time on answering questions or repair work?

Resolution is another major requirement – I need to ask myself how much flexibility would I need to enlarge my images? Are 4×6 or 8×10 pictures what I want – if so, I need to choose the camera accordingly, as the quality of the camera is directly proportional to the resolution of its images. For 4×6 photographs, the 4 or 5 MP (megapixels) is adequate, yet can still do the 8×10 photographs without a lot of image distortion; any enlargements would require a 6 to 8 MP camera.

The 3 megapixels camera outputs images that are anywhere from 1 to 2 MB in size while a 7 MP camera outputs images that are 4 to 5 MB in size. A gentle rule of thumb is if I was a professional photographer then I would go for high pixel cameras; if I was a beginners I can look at low or mid-end cameras.

None of us want to think about our camera malfunctioning or breaking down entirely before we ever purchase one for any length of time, but it can and probably will happen at some time. If this does happen, make sure the camera’s manufacturer will guarantee this, and for how long after the purchase? If they do, they will exchange the new camera for the broken one if requested, and then pass the defective camera onto there servicing department. It will be fixed and sent to the outlet warehouse, completely functional.

Many deals for consumers can be found this way, at a newer and lower price for a fully functional and almost new camera. For amateurs and novice users, restored products such as these are popular for a lower price, and still has a warranty that is slightly limited.

Mike Singh