• Other Nick

My Date with an "Outdated" Camera

I didn't know what I was doing. I had no plan, I barely had a vision. But my shots ended up getting into the final cut of a music video I'm producing and directing. More on that later. Recently I spent a day with Black Magic's BMPCC4k. For those wondering "didn't this camera come out early 2019?" the answer is yes. Yes it did. But if you had asked anyone who bought one last year if they thought it'd be a tool that was obsolete in just 1.5 years, of course they would all tell you "of course not". So then why is everyone flocking to the new 6k version?

You see, I have a problem with "latest, greatest" crowd. Because it really doesn't fit well with the "it's about the art" mantra that they also seem to convince you they are into. The fact is I haven't delivered anything over 1080p in my career thus far. No, I'm not working for Sandwich Video or Harmon Brothers, but uh...they don't broadcast in 4k either. I once worked for a photography company that shot on cameras released in 2002. (I worked for them in 2016). We made AWESOME images and got paid consistently and well. It's because we simply knew how to use them. Proper lights, contrast, colors, modeling. I don't understand photogs who preach about getting the latest stuff. But enough of my complaining about "kids these days". It doesn't matter how much I say "you don't need the best and newest" if I don't make a great point. So read on to figure out what I'm bumbling on about.

The above screen shot from my outing is why I love this camera. In short, the dynamic range is there, (for those who don't know, DR is how much range a camera has on capturing highs (whites) and lows (blacks)). It was a gray and rainy day, and the BRAW footage allowed me to find color and contrast in post. Does it matter that is wasn't in 6k? No! Does it matter that there are cameras with BETTER DR? Well...uh....I mean not really. Because the ultimate point is, I got what I needed and it looks great in my opinion.

The thing about this camera is that it lends a helping hand to "run and gun" situations because it's tiny, easy and intuitive to use, and makes you really think about the shot, NOT the gear. In fact, it's so easy to use, I had never actually used it before that day, literally ever. However, when I picked it up from rental from Alex Clark (Blu Flame Media) I immediately knew what buttons to press, it's like it knew what I wanted it to do.

The thing about that day and that camera was that I felt like a kid again. Well not a kid-kid. But like a first year film student. The city suddenly had new character. I was trying out weird stuff. It felt like I was shooting video for the very first time. At the same time, it felt familiar and safe. The best part was that I didn't even know what I was trying to capture. I went to lunch with the camera and shot my burger. I drove to an abandoned store. I stood in the middle of roads. And about 8-9 shots made it into the video I was working on at the time. It was (black) magical.

I guess my final point is this: It literally does not matter what gear you use. What matters is getting lost in your craft. Falling in love again with creating. Making yourself smile and enjoy life for a moment. Because isn't that what the arts are for? - Other Nick