Digital innovations and Filmmaking -

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new dream - Putting a DSLR in my pocket like a GoPro HD

This blog is dedicated to DSLR cinema and low budget filmmaking. Technology is important but it isn't the camera that makes the film, it is the filmmaker! Whatever the tool you use, the most important thing is by far the story. It becomes more and more true, because video technology available today makes shooting everywhere easier and cheaper than ever. 

The DSLR cameras are probably the less expensive professional digital cameras that allow you to put the film on the theatre screen. The 5D and also the 7D are well known to be incredibly good on the big screen. Today, I would like to go further and show that it's possible to make a film that looks professional even if you use a video camera smaller than a soda can and 10 times less expensive than the Canon 5D Mark II.

Let's focus on the GoPro HD cameras. These cameras are often used by people who have high-danger sports activities like ice climbing, motor cross, snowboarding and surfing… The GoPro Digital camera is perfect to capture exhilarating moments, but it also opens a different way for creativity and original ideas. In other words, it brings a new way to tell stories. GoPro cameras are great toys!

I can tell you that this GoPro camera was not designed for professional filmmakers, but you can really get a professional result. You don't have any flexibility! You can't define your own shooting settings! It is fully-automatic. The focal length is fixed. The lens aperture is fixed (f/2.8 is a good choice most of the time). The camera needs a lot of light to give a nice result. That said, I think these 4 videos are awesome enough to show that you can get a professional result with a GoPro HD Camera. If you know the limitations of the camera and do not expect it to do something it wasn't designed to do then you will have a wonderful time with this toy. You can also use a GoPro to complement the footage you take with more sophisticated cameras.

GoPro is an incredible tool that allows filmmakers to tell stories in a different way, with amazing point of views. It really puts viewers in a unique perspective : in a green bucket, on a hoop… On top of that, the GoPro camera is so small that nobody knows that you are making a full HD video… It's easy to make a video with kids who are having a great time and you can always keep it in your pocket.

The most interesting thing about this camera is the risks you are able to take that you would never consider with more expensive gear. You can put a GoPro on the ground and let a several hundred kilos object fall directly on top of it (just next to it). The GoPro won't get a scratch!

I'm personally excited. Professional adoption of GoPro cameras has not been as fast as for example the Canon 5D Mark II, but there is a lot of professional value in these cameras. Well, it's like the early days of HDV. Now I dream about a mix of both the 5D Mark II and the GoPro HD! In my opinion, DSLR and GoPro cameras bring their own cinema style. I would love to be able to put my 5D in my pocket. This is just a dream, one more for this summer...

The motivation to write this article came from a couple of videos I saw recently that just screamed at me to share them. Thank you Betty Wants In, FKY, Paul Kroeker, and Reel Story Films.

1 comment: