Pocket Cameras, Action Cameras, Smart Phones – The filming revolution is coming (it’s already here!)

posted in: Gear, Technical, Technique | 0

handheld cameras

I’ve been an advocate for pocket HD cameras for a while, ever since I got a Samsung U10. The U10 is probably the worst introduction to Pocket Cameras, as was the second one I got, a Kodak Zi10. BUT once I got my first Kodak Zx5, I was hooked, and impressed.

Since those early days of trail and error by purchase, I have amassed an embarrassing number of smaller cameras. I currently have (with abridged Pros and Cons):

Samsung U10:

Samsung U10

Pros:
Compact & surprisingly comfortable to hold

Cons:
Almost everything else (especially sound quality)

 

Kodak Zi10:

kodak-Zi10

Pros:
External Mic input
Shoots wide when held upright = Comfortable single handed control
Tripod mountable

Cons:
TFT responsiveness is rubbish! You spend most of your time trying to get the options to respond.

 

Kodak Zi8:

Kodak-Zi8-HD

Pros:
External Mic input
Tripod mountable

Cons:
Battery life when shooting 1080
Bulky/odd shape/size

 

2x Kodak Zx5:

Kodak-Zx5

Pros:
Waterproof to 3m
Tripod mountable

Cons:
Mic needs to dry out before next use (unless you cover the Mic and speak with a little Gaff)
Output format is compressed and m4v (not native for Final Cut Pro) so requires conversion for editing

 

Go Pro Hero (960):

gopro_hero_960

Pros:
Compact
Heaps of accessories (including aftermarket)

Cons:
No screen
Heavily dated
Not full HD
Awkward to hold so really needs to be mounted
Sound is terrible
Lens can’t adapt and adjust quickly to changeable light conditions
Says supports 32gb SD, but often drops frames unless using a 16gb card

 

Go Pro Hero 2:

GPHero2

Pros:
Full HD 1080
Heaps of accessories (including aftermarket)

Cons:
No screen
Awkward to hold so really needs to be mounted
Sound is often terrible quality
Lens can’t adapt and adjust quickly to changeable light conditions

 

Go Pro Hero 3+ Black:

GPHero3

Pros:
Wifi (including smart phone app operation)
More compact and a little less awkward to hold
Heaps of accessories (including aftermarket)
Replaceable battery
Wifi remote included

Cons:
Haven’t used it enough yet (give it time)

GoPro: A Guide to Innovative Filmmaking [Covers the Hero4 and All GoPro Cameras]

 

4x SJ4000 (and Clones):

SJ4000

Pros:
Screen
Heaps of accessories (mostly aftermarket)
Replaceable battery
Good menu system for settings
Great adaptability to light changes

Cons:
Too many clones you often don’t know whether Original, SJ, or Clone, or Clone of Clone (but most work fine, just no Firmware updates)
Battery is often ridiculously hard to get out if in a hurry (but I’ve potentially found a solution for this)

So why am I dreading up all of this? Well just the other week Pixars John Lasseter said the likes of iPhones and GoPro’s will change the face of filmmaking, and soon.

Although, Chan-Wook Park filmed his short film Night Fishing on an iPhone 4 in 2011, it’s obvious the revolution has long since started

 

Read the article on The Verge:

Pixar’s co-founder says iPhones and GoPros will change filmmaking

We already know the filming revolution is here as more and more quality short films are produced using cheaper spectrum cameras and gear, but all this proves is that a good script, great actors and a little post magic in editing can make any footage appealing. John Lasseter has merely caught up and is now vindicating and advocating this movement towards what was once the lower end or taboo cameras.

Go Pro have their own channel dedicated to short films shot with their devices, and it’s well worth wading through.

GoPro Short Film Channel

Links:
GoPro
Samsung
Kodak
Kodak – Camera Comparison
The Verge
The Verge – ArticlePixar

Seemingly OLD buyers guide

 

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