It’s The Gear That Matters, Or Maybe Not

Forums General Discussion It’s The Gear That Matters, Or Maybe Not

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    One theme that I hear time and time again is you can’t do some task with a particular camera because you need things like autofocus, image stabilisation, flippy screens, FF etc; it’s the gear that matters most. Back in my news and sports photography days, I was using an Olympus system (4/3) when every other person was using either Nikon or Canon (APS-C), especially for fast action sports. However, for around six years I had no trouble providing results as good as anyone else.

    So it’s with some degree of disgust that I read about people suggesting that the likes of the BMPCC4K/6K is absolutely unsuitable for say weddings, because you need all the features that come with hybrid cameras. I’m not a wedding photographer or videographer as, quite frankly, I don’t really enjoy weddings and find them boring, but I’ve shot enough weddings (unfortunately) to know what’s required and what can be done with even the most rudimentary gear (especially when it comes to today’s mindset). I shot my first wedding with a Yashica twin-lens reflex camera while working for a studio.

    Recently my niece got married and engaged a photographer and videographer to cover the wedding and, to amuse myself; I decided to record the wedding ceremony with my BMPCC4K (the uncle with a camera) so that I could get in some practice with the camera as well as editing practice. I kept out of the way of the two hires and did as best as I could throughout. At the end of the day, I think I did a reasonable fist of the ceremony (I didn’t cover the reception) and when I compared it to what the paid videographer produced, I think I did reasonably well. I can’t show the paid videographer’s results; professional courtesy and all.

    Was my video perfect? No. It was somewhat of a long final edit and, after talking to a friend recently, I made a reduced version, but I still prefer the longer version. The paid videographer produced a <3 min video covering both the ceremony and reception. The paid videographer was using a Canon 5D of some vintage on a shoulder mount and another fixed on a tripod and all the shots were done with AF enabled and, as a result, the focus was in and out in every clip. Honestly, it looked terrible.

    This wedding simply proved to me that no matter how automated your camera might be, it will not guarantee perfect results by any means. In fact, when you start relying on the technology too much, that’s when Murphy comes out to bite you hard. When the autofocus decides to settle on a more interesting subject in the background, rather than the bride walking down the aisle or the bride and groom meeting for the first time in front of the priest or celebrant, you can’t ask for a reshoot.

    This brings me to the reason why I bought the BMPCC4K in the first place and why I’m so happy with the way that it works; I just wanted a fully manual camera and to get back to deciding everything for myself. The wedding ceremony, if interested:

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    John Brawley

    Real Cinematographers manually focus…

    Or actually get someone else to do it for them 😉

    You’re correct of course. I’ve been watching some docos lately and the amount of AF hunting is just making me crazy.


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