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So Many Cameras, So Little Time

Without the camera there is no film, no movie to make. If you start making film on a regular basis you will learn to capture image with a number of different cameras. You will have your favorite but there will be many different ones that you have to hold. At a certain point using film became all but obsolete and digital took over. The introduction of the digital camera made capturing image infinitely easier. Film cameras are good to work with in the beginning because they teach you how to use a lens.

You learn about depth of field and how so push and pull focus plus a variety of other things that you will use when directing the camera. I like to think of using actual film as more organic. The image is a bit hazy and lacks that artificial crispness that a digital image can have. However there is no denying that digital is immediately gratifying. In the beginning digital was no match for film, but the technicians tweaked it until they developed cameras that are amazing.

Film has been relegated to high art and now we have no second thoughts about shooting in digital over film. The costs of processing are totally absent when you use digital to shoot. Getting your film developed was so expensive that in many cases it was prohibitive, but now there are completely acceptable digital cameras in a variety of cost ranges. Find a digital video camera and a tripod to work with. You will need a tripod with fairly thick legs for sturdiness and a good fluid head for panning. Also before you buy your tripod, make sure that the camera releases from the tripod easily and quickly. You will want a camera that has a good battery system for remote shooting. There are, any number of great digital cameras out there. You should be able to find a decent camera to shoot action between $500-$800. If you can manage to scrape together $1,000 a good camera is the Samsung VP X220L camcorder with wired external lens.

This camera has a neat compact body and it is very durable. A testament to this fact is that this camera was used in the Jack Ass show. Do some product research, buy your camera and start shooting. Handle your camera so you know just how to pan and focus with the equipment you will be using. Play it back and see how it handles different lighting levels and shutter speeds. Check out how it focuses automatically and practice a bit of manual focusing. I suggest that you start carrying a camera and building an image bank. An image bank will give you basic generic images that you will need to use as cutaways and various other functions in your film. Learn to look at things through the lens. Direct and build different scenes in the frame and shoot them in still photography first.

Before you start production of the actual film, practice shooting with your new camera. You can shoot your crew and the talent. Shoot anything that moves until you get it down. .


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