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Working with different cameras


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#1 Jason Williams

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 06:55 AM

I've just been asked to do a shoot next week using a Digi Betacam, and I'm very unfamiliar with that cam .... should an Op be expected to know how to set different types of camera up? Or should it be the responsibility of the crew to set up the camera and for the Op just to "point and shoot" as to put it .... I'm just worried they'll ask me to configure it and I'd cock it all up, I have some basic idea on a Betacam SP and I have an old Panasonic F350 which sets up in a similar way.

Just wondered what's the norm on this type of thing.

Thanks!
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 07:12 AM

should an Op be expected to know how to set different types of camera up?  Or should it be the responsibility of the crew to set up the camera and for the Op just to "point and shoot" as to put it .... I'm just worried they'll ask me to configure it and I'd cock it all up,
Thanks!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Depends how the crew setting is, is there a DP ore just you. This is a video shoot so i think that i can say that you are the op-DP-cameraman etc etc. Means that you have to setup the digibeta. It's not that different than the cam you shot with last shoot. So no worries there, also the Provid has no problems. No problem, you can shoot and prepare it, i am sure. msn me if you want any tips about the digibeta.


Job B)
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#3 Jason Williams

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:39 PM

Thanks, there is a crew as far as I am aware with a Director and Producer, I would have imagined they'd know how they'd want the camera set up as it's part of a short film.

Will probably catch you on MSN soon any way, so we'll have a chat then about this, thanks for your help :)
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#4 Howard J Smith

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 04:18 PM

Hi Jason

(how are you?)
Shooting with Digi is very straight forward.
My golden rule when I use it on commercials is not to mess with it. (same for HD)
I take it out the box, keep it on pre set and use the filter wheel to give me the 'colour' I want - I usually do the rest with lighting or filters if needed (like film). But 9-10 times I just that - also watch out for 'A' on the filter wheel as it is a Star filter, very 70's. - use B, C or D. unless you are in a disco!

I never white balance the camera unless in extreme (Green) or what ever set ups.

Exposure - if you are in an enviroment that has consistent light for the shot, put the lens on manual and then frame your shot and hit the button next to the expose switch (on the lenes) this also will 9-10 give you what you want (unless someone in white is in front of you) -
also make sure the colour monitor you get with it looks good with the bars - and if so then you can trust it for everything else.

Don't worry and have fun - oh and don't forget to turn it on - this is a classic! - and remember with Digi that you will still have a picture on your monitor even when the recorder has stopped due to low power, very handy!!
Use the return on the lens after each take to check it it there - push and hold and it will scroll back about 10 seconds, then reset ready for the next shot.

Hope this helps
all the best

Howard
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#5 Jason Williams

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 11:00 AM

Hi Howard,

I'm great thanks, definately looking forward to shooting on Digi Beta ... a first time :D

Thanks for the help and advice, I've spoken to someone else and they've given me literally the exact same advice, especially about the filter wheel and the return button!

Will grab some pics off and post them when it's completed.

Thanks again,

Jason
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#6 JobScholtze

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:13 PM

I've spoken to someone else and they've given me literally the exact same advice, especially about the filter wheel and the return button!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:D :P
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#7 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 08:44 AM

My advice is do some homework. Research the camera you will be working with, most manuals are avail online. Be upfront with production, let them know your level of understanding with any given camera. Dont sell yourself for something that your not. Every shoot is different, larger video shoots should have an engineer on staff, if so, no worries, he will take care of the camera set-up.

Good luck,
Jeff
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#8 Matt Burton

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 09:19 PM

:o Hey Jay!

Nice to see you getting some darn work already.

When your ready for film cams i'l be right by your side with a pencil & notebook.
Out of interest, whats the best way to learn about film cams ? assit perhaps ?

Anyhows be shaw to let us know how it goes and good luck mate ;)

Matt.B
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#9 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 12:25 AM

when im asked to work on a beta cam or any other video cam that the production is supplying, i ask them up front if they will have a 1st who will adjust the cam (or DIT if ita a HD project).. this goes for if im operating or just camera operating.. keeps the responsibilty off of you so thats one less thing to worry about. if its a small project or student project and they dont have someone for that than thats a different story.

having said that, its still a good idea to read up on the particular camera you will be working with just in case the cam assistant is not educated in the camera (you know it happens...)i
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#10 Jason Williams

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 12:49 AM

:o Hey Jay!

Nice to see you getting some darn work already.

When your ready for film cams i'l be right by your side with a pencil & notebook.
Out of interest, whats the best way to learn about film cams ? assit perhaps ?

Anyhows be shaw to let us know how it goes and good luck mate  ;)

Matt.B

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks bud, looking forward to the shoot, I'm setting off in about 10 minutes, will email you over the next day or two to catch up, and will let you know if I ever get the opportunity to shoot with film :D

Jase
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#11 Jason Williams

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 01:10 PM

Well ... what a great day! It was definately long though, left the house at 7am and walked back in the door just after 11pm ... phew!


Was brilliant though, loved the Digi Beta, lots of fun, works extemely well on the Provid, minus the matte box though, would have maxed the arm! After a small amount of messing for a transmitter/receiver we got going, five locations/shots for the day, we actually shot one more than planned, I was quite happy to carry on!!

It was pretty simple stuff, following subjects, and one running. I attempted something I've never properly tried before (and before anyone says I'm stupid, I had someone holding the vest I trust implicitly!) - running backwards. A dangerous idea, but after I'd tried it quickly I actually felt quite comfortable so tried a short run backwards, then a quick pan and then follow running forwards, then a don juan run, quite tricky as there was a corner involved!

I ended up feeling like a snake though ... I had the sound guys attached to me via cable, was quite fun when I made turns or anything, they had to follow ... make sure the cable followed, and they didn't end up in shot!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I hope I can repeat it soon .... I've definately got the bug now and am still on a high from it.

Some pics attached from the day.

Just a short last note, thank you Thomas ;)

Jason

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