Gear News

When we started making films, back in 2012, we were using a second hand Canon 5D Mkii. This was, without doubt THE camera that started the digital filmmaking revolution. Red was already around but stupendously expensive, especially once all the add-ons were, well, added on. Being proprietary meant you had only one option. At the other end of the scale, the Canon 5D ii was open to all sorts of third party add ons, from monitors to matte boxes, lenses, microphones and even software with the Magic Lantern hack. Big(ish) films were made with this camera, from Martin Scorcese’s ‘Hugo’ to scenes from all sorts of blockbusters and even the entire last season of ‘House’. It was a class act. But things move quickly in anything digital and better cameras appeared rapidly.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

We moved on to a Sony NEX FS700 (actually available in 2012!) in 2016 and shot Stop:Watch on it. Its slo-mo capability was amazing (actually, the slo-mo scene in Gazpacho! was shot on this camera by Ben Jacobson, the father of the young star, Holly).

Holly in ¡Gazpacho!

Holly in ¡Gazpacho!

So we used it for Stop:Watch and the teaser for The Flock. It’s still a good camera, great if you have the 4k firmware upgrade and an Odyssey 7Q recorder/monitor. We didn’t. As a non-4k camera it was bulky, (check out the camera in the photo from the previous post), and pretty unwieldy. Plus, we couldn’t get it on a reasonably priced gimbal like the Ronin M, which we’d just purchased for something else. Time to bite the bullet and check out the next camera we could possibly lay our hands on.

DJI Ronin M

DJI Ronin M

Enter the Kinefinity Terra 4k. This was a ground breaking camera itself. Not to the revolutionary heights of the Canon 5D Mkii, but possibly the most feature rich, affordable 4k camera on the market. AND it would fit on the Ronin M. It could also be powered by the Ronin M via the D Tap socket on the gimbal itself. Strap on a high capacity battery and away you go. Will it revolutionise our filmmaking? Well, it may allow us to use a wider range of recording formats, a wider range of shot styles (it’s way way lighter that the FS700) and the image does look a lot more ‘cinematic’, which we realise is a personal aesthetic.

Shiny new toy!

Shiny new toy!

So yes, we expect to improve our filmmaking in a technical manner, but a great script and a friendly cast and crew is ultimately far more important. So why did we buy it? Ease of use, image quality and the potential to rent it out. Indie filmmaking, especially short filmmaking, does not provide a living wage so, a weekly rental now and then can help finance the sort of films we wish to make. We hope!