To see where motion picture production is headed, head over to the Javitts Center in New York for PhotoPlus Expo (last day October 24) where over 30,000 photographers converge to lay hands on convergent digital still and motion picture camera equipment. Both Canon and Nikon have raised the bar with new cameras that seem to be more sensitive than what our eyes can see. The Canon 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3S have a low-noise ISO range of 200 – 12,800, and a breathtaking expanded sensitivity to 102,400. The Canon shoots 1920×1080 24P. Scriptwriters: you can write NIGHT-EXTERIOR with impunity, steering directors to the dark side with cinematographers who will expect 12,800 and 102,400 in more of their cameras.
Best of Show: iDC Follow Focus and Run & Gun Kit. Above: Husband and wife Bruce Dorn and Maura Dutra of iDC Photography. Maura is holding the iDC Follow Focus Kit. Imagine a soft skateboard wheel with white focus-scale ring touching your still camera lens without the need for rods, gears or bulky brackets. Bruce says, “Most Follow-Focus rigs are overkill for use with little cameras like the Canon 7D, 5D MK II, 1D Mark IV or Nikon D3S. The gear-driven versions I’ve tried are generally cumbersome and far too complex.” Bruce knows what he’s talking about. He’s an accomplished photographer and film director; he and I have worked together on fashion commercials: he as director and I was DP. Bruce is holding the iDC U-Boat Commander Rig for HDSLR cameras. It has lightweight handles and grips, and a bracket for a viewfinder magnifier.
Maura Dutra is well-known for her work in Hollywood visual effects. In future articles, we’ll talk about some other products Maura and Bruce have designed to make your visuals look great: lighting accessories, brackets, soft boxes and more. Meanwhile, Bruce continues, “With many follow focus rigs, gears need to be purchased and installed on each lens. Alignment is a time-consuming process. These over-sized (below) and overly-complex focusing systems might look butch but they effectively waste the stealthy advantages of a compact capture device like the Canon HDSLR cameras.”