CINEMATIC ‘FILM LOOK’
It used to be easy to spot the difference between cinematic ‘film’ and broadcast ‘video’ pictures. Traditionally film had a much narrower depth of field, creating a look that feels more ‘natural’ because it is similar to way the human eye perceives vision.
Video camcorders with small sensors create images with harsher, more edgy lines resulting in a rather clinical look. That is why feature films or big commercial productions used to prefer shooting on film cameras.
The last decade has brought a big change in video technology. Initially the ‘RED’ cameras picked up the idea of using a 35mm still sensor in a video camera. The rise of video capable DSLR cameras and the consequent introduction of large sensors in a huge variety of cameras followed. Nowadays film cameras are hard to find.
The picture quality of high end cinematic video cameras is fantastic. Unfortunately they are expensive, often require more manpower and usually create a huge amount of data, which can cause work-flow issues during acquisition and post production.
Smaller, DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras are an alternative. They offer great video quality from HD up to 4k, are light sensitive and suit smaller budgets. However, due to their still camera heritage they lack some user friendliness and are not suited for every type of video production.
DoF (Depth of Field) adapter technology explained
A DoF adapter connected to a broadcast video camcorder mimics the look of a large sensor camera.
This combination is ideal for fast work environments.
To understand the technique imagine a rear slide projection.
A camcorder with a DoF adapter attached records what is projected onto the adapter’s focusing screen. While the camcorders actual sensor is very small, it records the image ‘projected’ by the 35mm lens. The camera records to its normal resolution and the images have a slightly softer look than a true large sensor camera.
Advantages compared to a typical DSLR system:
- build in ND filter wheel avoids the need for time consuming manual lens filter changes
- easy to get audio into the camera
- ergonomic, no rigs needed to make it user friendly
- no harsh ‘rolling shutter’ issues
- less moire effects
- no overheating risk to camera
Most of all – a dramatically improved work flow due to high user friendliness
A DoF adapter combined with a quality HD broadcast camcorder is a great instrument to achieve cinematic vision wherever fast camera operation is required.
Panasonic AG-HPX372 and P+S Technik Mini35 Compact
P+S Technik’s Mini35 series adapters are of exceptionell build quality and allow for back focus adjustments. The adapter has its own iris which is a great advantage when using 35mm photo lenses. If the aperture needs to be adjusted during a take, the photo lens’ iris can be set to the desired stop and the adjustment can be done at the adapter instead, thus avoiding any stuttering “clicking” stop change.
Mini35Cs are specifically designed for the Panasonic HPX 300 series cameras. The adapter is mirrorless, creating fast video images which get electronically flipped within the camera. The resulting total loss of light is just half a stop.
Thor Production’s Canon FD mount high speeds and zoom lenses.
In particular: 20mm 2.8, 28mm 2.0, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.0, 200mm 2.8, 24-35mm 2.8, 35-105mm 3.5, 100-300mm 4.0, 2x Macro Teleconverter, Lensbaby