ABC News Memo

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at the plate

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How many of you have received a memo from ABC News stating that the magazine shows will now use the DVX100 as its camera of choice?


Well-known member
I got that memo...and then received the following memo shortly after:
Clarification: There is certainly a ÔbuzzÕ and excitement about this look, and we do see this look integrated in our show (studio and field) in some fashion. At the moment we are still conducting tests. Please advise all to have a hard look into this camera, and IF in the market for a 3 chip DV, we encourage the purchase.

BTW: the shooting style MAY also change
It is disheartening to get a message like this from a network. I can't imagine that many of the freelancers will go along with it except for using it as a supplemental tool. But then again, it is Disney. I think that those in the know there will know better than to use this as a primary camera. I like the idea though that they want to move to a more cinematic look ie 24P and hopefully 16X9.


Well-known member
IMHO, just look at the viewfinder. I don’t care how good the rest of the camera is if you can’t see what you are shooting and reliably tell if you are in focus then it’s not a suitable option for field work. I don’t like the ergonomics of the PD150 as much as the Panasonic but at least the B&W viewfinder means you know if you are in focus.


This is a very funny memo.

Well God knows I try. but no, almost everyone argues that the tools don't matter "its all in the talent". With the exception of CAMERAGOD & BALTIMORE SHOOTER and very few others CONGRATULATIONS on the funny memo, you talked the bean counters into believing what you preach at this board and no doubt what you preach inside the broadcasting circles!!!!.

You deserve exactly what's comin'. If this should really happen everyone can all accept it and pretend that these new generation freelance jobs are gonna pay normal $$$ daily rates. Ha! """excitement about this look""" I just love this next quote from Ken's memo - """BTW: the shooting style MAY also change""" Ha Ha, I can just picture it. Rosenblum's all-in-one VJs running around with little colour viewfinder handicams. A toplight, handheld without a soundman. Don't tell me you can't see it comin'...

"""Please advise all to have a hard look into this camera, and IF in the market for a 3 chip DV, we encourage the purchase.""" HA HA HA HA!!!

Here is a piece of the memo you forgot to include.
"""Be advised these superb new generation cameras don't need extra consideration given to lighting nor do they need a second person to run the audio.""" Fack me, how the hell do you know when that little camera is in focus??? Oh, the camera is designed to be operated in auto mode - therefore you don't need to worry about focus. No more need for a seasoned vet to run tools that don't function with precise feel and control...

Please be advised,
Since the only investment needed is a $3k camera, another $1k for ALL support gear and since you do not have to be (can't be) precise with this camera the new rates are as follow.
1) GEAR=$75
2) LABOUR=$150
So FACK YA pros and your obsolete betacams!!!!

You guys are cracking me up.
Keep encouraging the bean counters.

El Al,
Tim Delarm may keep writing how smart ABC is seeing the light accepting crews using handycams as primary tools for network. Nino Giannotti can keep writing how amazing those little toy cameras are - you can all keep encouraging the bean counters.... Note! This is not a slam against Tim or Nino or any one else. (Don't worry Nino, I still think that you're the smartest guy at b-roll :) )

Don't let the bastards get you down. Lets keep telling them how talented we are and how precisely we can run those new generation digital toy handycams...

Ken, this memo is out of context ;)
I must say, this is a funny post or I had too much bud.

sadly losing the battle of evermore.

[ August 04, 2004, 05:52 AM: Message edited by: Ivan ]


Well-known member
I wouldn't worry too much about the network shows switching totally to DV Ivan.They are used to a level of quality that certainly cannot be duplicated with the toy cameras. And the folks in the know won't let that happen (of course there is no guarantee). There are so many great cameras available now, with competing formats, that look really good and do the things these DV cameras much better. I recently used the Panasonic 900 DVCpro at 24P 16X9. What a nice camera. If the change occured today to that camera, I would not be dissapointed. Also Sonys new XD (disc) camera has a lot of promise on it (I've heard some great things about this camera) and could be the future of freelance guys like me. But my D600 (with 16X9 capability) is still holding up strong and pulling its weight. The ABC memo didn't worry me too much. They are looking to spice up their look. In the end, the DV won't cut it for them (my prediction)


Well-known member

Don’t try to speak for me you’re not good at it!

You’ve taken an observation I’ve made out of context and added your twist to it.

Keep to the facts!

Note! This is not a slam against you! :rolleyes:

Regarding the memo!

I have not read the ABC memo nor do I have any reason to receive it. I don’t contract with them.

However I do not support the use of any ‘MINI DV FORMAT CAMERA” in daily acquisition in ‘FREELANCE CONTRACTED HIRE” situations shooting magazine style formats.

Those type cameras simply were not designed for that application. They are not user friendly for that application period. Any “professional camera operator” knows this.

Yes the viewfinders do suck. Yes the tape format sucks. Yes the lens lack in quality and length. Yes the zoom, iris and focus operations suck.

ALL direct correlation to pricing control by the manufactures.

It would be hard to disagree that the electronics inside those little cameras are not amazing Vs the cost to acquire them but again this does not constitute this camera becoming the camera of choice for ABC or for whatever they had in mind for it in daily use.

These type cameras are amazing considering the cost to acquire them “WHEN USED IN A PRACTICUL APPLICATION.

I honestly don't believe daily broadcast freelance gigs are the intended application that Panasonic, Sony nor Canon had for the DVX100A, PD150/170 or Canon's XL series based on information available in print. The camera's, especially the Panasonic were designed primarily as a camera under the $4K range for filmmakers looking for a cheaper format to work with Vs film. Manufactures have, based on their research, decided the $4k is the ceiling customers looking for this type product are willing to pay.

The DVX100A is also a platform to created buzz for the SDX900 camera ELECTRONICS, which I actually consider an amazing camera but again it too may not be the best choice, right choice, for camera or recording median in every application. I have actually been considering a purchase of the SDX900 but I would use that camera primarily for it’s 24p 16x9 function.

Because of the DVX100A’s electronic ability to emulate film curve characteristics creating a nice 24p product for film transfer to 16/35mm blow-up, and, the camera’s “ELECTRONIC” ability to create a nice SD video out signal it has apparently caught the eye of several including programming vendors as a potential way to curve production costs.

Working on a special that is contained within “a production group” and not various daily production companies then by all means expand your range of vision and try new camera heads of formats.

Tim Delarm


You try humping your ass around Afghanistan for a few days with your BETA and you'll quickly find a use for the mDV. In fact the last press conference I was at, there were 13 mDV cams and two BETA's. mDV is what everybody uses in these conditions. My DVX has been through the war in Iraq and is in its 7th month in Afghanistan and 0 problems.

[ August 05, 2004, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: DGTate ]


Well-known member
Well, all of this has happened because of reality TV, shrinking budgets and the increased quality of consumer-cams. I have seen footage from many of them. XL-1, DVX100 and others... they do nice work,... But... I'm sorry, mini-dv consumer cam footage looks soft to me. Reminds me of u-matic. Those cameras don't have great glass. Also, you have a 500 line camera vs a 750-850 line camera. Maybe ABC thinks that look will make some of their talent look better ;>} They like the 24p look and that's fine, news doesn't have time to give footage that look in post (which is very easy to do).

It all has it's place. I'm surprised that ANY network would recomend the PURCHASE of a certain camera, even though they have their preferences.

You use the best tool for the job and the budget. Yes I use Beta SP, yes I use DigiBeta, yes, I use mini-dv, yes, I use a lipstick camera...

Who signed this memo anyway?

BTW, I got a call today from some guy who said: "running a camera isn't rocket science... you just point and shoot."

Yeah right.

Good luck to everyone.


Well-known member

I can only imagine what Jane Goodall was thinking when presented with the same equation by KODAK regarding subject acquisition.

Which is better...? ? Slide Film, negative Film? depends!
Granted, this is a stretch in theory but it still applies to this very situation. You could be given the best camera technology and worst talent and crash or, the worst technology and best talent and shine.

It wasn’t all that long ago say mid 80’s (excluding those not OLD ENOUGH to have had that experience and remember) that we were all shooting with less quality crap then say what we have recently giving our mom’s for Christmas to shoot “holiday gatherings with” so lets be real when we discuss these type topics.

Does this mean we want to degrade back to B/W televisions in the 50’s! NO!

But lets offer a realistic answer when we condemn a product we would rather not use as a tool IN OUR DAILY LIFES then to say, “its not of quality” “it’s PROSUMER”

It’s as much our responsibility to educate and inform our clients as to the best tool/product available for use as it is our clients to save their clients bottom line dollar! All while trying to make a dollar and support our families.

Wonder if Jane Goodall was ever able to get decent shots of those apes with less then satisfactory film?

For the record although unconfirmed, it’s my understanding that reality TV came about during the last big actors/writers strike hence “reality TV”!


[ August 07, 2004, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: tdelarm ]


Hmmm, BluesCam, I agree with a lot of what you wrote however,
Most network reality TV shows today are shot on MSW-900s (BETA IMX) and now PDW-530s (XD IMX) fully manual shoulder cams worth close to $40k each plus glass. Some network reality shows are shot on HD varicams & HDcams. Some are still shot on good ole Beta SP. It's news to me that reality TV and handicams go hand in hand.

It's easy to spit out statements without actually supplying any evidence or proof. I will be glad to supply a print out (with verifiable proof) of my above statement. I already listed about 30 network reality shows using the above cameras. I already listed it here at B-ROLL, let me know if anyone want me to re-post it.

I have yet to see a $4k handycam blow up nicely to emulate film curve characteristics. Jesus, most REAL CINEMATOGRAPHERS working with film say even a big chip F950 HDcam with a very expensive lens, running uncompressed at 1.49Gbps into an HDreel won't nicely emulate film curve characteristics. Even if the electronics could, a cinematographer couldn't properly focus a toy camera to get the needed shots.

With all due respect but I find these same old arguments laughable at best. Almost everyone else who ever seen a real film shot on a real film camera/lens can see the difference between that and an amateur piece of crap shot on a handycam blown up to film. The difference will be there, even if GOD himself did the shooting....

I have always agreed with the below.
"It all has it's place"
"You use the best tool for the job and the budget. Yes I use Beta SP, yes I use DigiBeta, yes, I use mini-dv, yes, I use a lipstick camera..."

The small chip auto handicams have lot's of uses.
1)) Weddings
2)) Supplement cameras
3)) Cheaper type corporate shoots (and I do mean cheaper)

What I stand against is using the cheap little cameras as primary tools for the bigger gigs. I'm against local news using the toys as primary tools @ any # market. I'm not against any kind of "film" using toy video handicams as long as I won't be forced to pay for it.

Back to Tim.
"""It wasn’t all that long ago say mid 80’s (excluding those not OLD ENOUGH to have had that experience and remember) that we were all shooting with less quality crap then say what we have recently giving our mom’s for Christmas to shoot “holiday gatherings with” so lets be real when we discuss these type topics."""

First of all I disagree with your above statement. Let's be real, great idea Tim.
I clearly remember the quality of the mid 80s. For instance I remember shooting with a ENTRY LEVEL broadcast camera, the M3A, hooked to I think it was a VO6800 3/4 inch deck. This package would BLOW AWAY any camera most people would give their mom for Christmas.

and maybe even more important:
In the mid eighties I had total and precise control over the M3A/VO6800.
1)) I had a big enough B&W VF to see if I'm in focus. I could judge my iris levels as well.
2)) I had total and precise manual control over my focus and iris.
3)) I had total and precise control over my audio.
Should I go on??? See Tim, with me it's not just the picture quality, with me it's also having total and precise control over my tools. After all I'm a craftsmen. Sounds to me like you're turning out to be a button pusher. Sounds like the bastards got to another one of us. With all due respect, but re-read the article you posted here when you first registered, the one with the film guys discussing the autistics of shooting film.

"""""Does this mean we want to degrade back to B/W televisions in the 50’s! NO!""""
Sounds to me like some people wouldn't mind so much. As for me, I'd take the precise control and feel of a mid 80s broadcast camera over the feel of today's handicam in a spilt second. You see Tim, I'm a craftsmen, not a point and shoot kind of guy... :p


Well-known member
Very nice Ivan,

Poetry in motion if you will!

Go back and read my original post. Read it for what I wrote and not what you assume. Should everything be composed in “readers digest” form for you to understand its definition?

Personally myself, I am able to look outside the box for new solutions to old challenges. I am not purposing any handicam be used as primary network camera. It is however useful as a supplemental tool in certain applications.

Ivan, is there any part of this sentence above I’ve just written you don’t understand?

Tim, with me it's not just the picture quality, with me it's also having total and precise control over my tools. After all I'm a craftsmen. Sounds to me like you're turning out to be a button pusher
Ivan, again so elegantly written. I guess I can add button pusher to my resume.

Since you’ve self-proclaimed the status of “Craftsman” I figured respect dictates, from one in the business to the other, a quick visit to your website to appreciate and better understand this foundation of knowledge you’ve en stowed upon us.

Ivans house

Unfortunately, I’m more puzzled now then before. What is it you actually do?

Design websites? Computer security consulting? Computer tweaking as advertised or video productions under the title “Sonic Boom Productions”.

I found a full listing under your “Reality TV” page.

Ivans production page

Which appears to be nothing more then a stringer news service. Correct me if I’ve misinterpreted this information.

I also found no film experience listed. Only a limited number of video “repeat clients”. No long list of major networks, no long list of reality shows – nothing!

Now granted, I don’t have a website as you well know, but I do have a thick resume filled with network clients as my base of experience to pull from.

I would like to think your claim to fame includes more then your ability to manually focus and zoom a camera.

So let me reiterate my previous stance.

The DVX100A or other same type camera is a wonderful tool for YOUNG FILMMAKERS OR those wishing to experiment with a cheaper acquisition format for future FILM TRANSFER release! Frequently used by college students on their projects.

These cameras also serve a useful purpose either in situations where a full-size broadcast camera is to heavy or to large inhibiting acquisition of a series of shots as demonstrated by this Internet article.

Dealing with Reality article

A more recent article if you prefer.

ESPN Winter X Games

It's news to me that reality TV and handicams go hand in hand
Ivan, considered yourself informed. These shows were not shot entirely on handicams, but they had a useful purpose, which has been my point along.

This brings to mind a few thoughts.

So when you say…

have yet to see a $4k handycam blow up nicely to emulate film curve characteristics.
Which film festival or film did you attend that left you with such a negative experience?

I would like to hear more about your real world 16/35mm-film experience rolling film to back up your knowledge of film curve characteristics, emulsions and telecine transfers? I’m always looking for fresh information regarding our trade, which you already are aware of.

Jesus, most REAL CINEMATOGRAPHERS working with film say even a big chip F950 HDcam with a very expensive lens, running uncompressed at 1.49Gbps into an HDreel won't nicely emulate film curve characteristics.
You should call the Star Trek crew and help them out of their jam. I’m sure they could use someone of your experience on set.

Trekkie website

I will grant you this as it’s information from the net, a trekkie site no less and not from any of my known colleagues so its to be taken at face value.

Here’s another interesting conversation by a group in a professional manner regarding format options. Notice in this conversation the HD format doesn’t seem to work for everyone’s application.

HD Format thread

Even if the electronics could, a cinematographer couldn't properly focus a toy camera to get the needed shots.
Ivan, you’re kidding right!

As a “SELF PROCLAIMED CRAFTSMAN” you would know in film environments we call this PULLING FOCUS. Duties performed by “1st assistant camera” positions.

*Readers Digest version - A function not performed by the camera operator such as yourself.

Which film did you have to pull your own focus on that was of any budget?

With all due respect but I find these same old arguments laughable at best. Almost everyone else who ever seen a real film shot on a real film camera/lens can see the difference between that and an amateur piece of crap shot on a handycam blown up to film. The difference will be there, even if GOD himself did the shooting
As do I find this mind numbing so in closing, for anyone searching for their own answers to Cinematography issues relating to both film and video. The websites listed below are good starting points for information in a professional manner.

Now with all due respect to Kevin. I find this on-going type banter counter productive.

Ivan, the misinformation highway is all yours.

See ya!



First of all Tim I have never questioned your past experience, knowledge or know how. On the contrary, numerous times in the past, on this board I have expressed how good it's to have new members on this board, new members filled with your knowledge and experience.

Let me refresh your memory:

December 17, 2003;f=3;t=000362
Hey Tim,
I've been following your posts at the general forum (chopper jobs thread, relamping thread, etc.). I must say, you are a worthy resource at these forums.
(BTW - this is the thread with the cinematographers article)

June 03, 2004;f=4;t=000157;p=1#000002
good to see you back here contributing.
It's great to see knowledgeable guys like you hanging around here sharing with us.

Not that long ago you posted this:
April 23, 2004
All production needs to be produced at a high-end level. I would go HD and down convert/pan & scan for SD if I could afford it but that’s a dream at this point. ... I am a few weeks from making the calls. ... Damn…why can’t it just stay SP for ever!;f=3;t=000458

Same thread, four days later:
April 27, 2004
At this point I'm considering either 2 - used 600's or one new Sony MSW-900 MPEG IMX to get started.

Then in the same thread:
July 30, 2004
"""One who becomes biased looses sight of opportunities"""
You continue on in this post praising a big three network for cutting down on quality and budget by hiring toy camera crews.

I am sincerely sorry that it didn't work out for you Tim. I was rooting for this thing to work out as I believe it's the well experienced knowledable guys that deserve the better things. However I see way too many people getting sucked into greed. AKA Mr. Rosenblum. I see way too many people getting sucked into his way of producing television. I don't even have anything against using handicams but let's keep things realistic. As cameragod, Bluescam R&G, and many other state - Handicams have their place. These are tools, know the limits and (proper)uses for your tools.

No I have no film experience Tim, but I do know what a focus puller is. (good luck having one pull the focus on your toy camera)
I have no time to read the film links but I did look at the main page.
Chocolate-dipped Panavision
The remake of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" experienced a delay on Wednesday when a worker dropped a $540,000 camera lens in a vat of chocolate.

I guess that dude will no longer work on real film productions, dropping a $540,000 camera lens and all. I guess he can get on a mini dv hack crew and pull focus on a hundred dollar toy handylens :D

Tim, once again, no one, I repeat, no one at this board ever disputed using the handicams as supplement cameras for either tight places or more commonly as "UN-MANNED POV CAMERAS"! Is this the great talent you're talking about??? To position an unmanned pov camera at the contestants while they sleep??? To use four seconds per hour in the final product???

Granted, I know nothing about the 2001 UPN show "Man Hunt" The article does however state that they used full size manual DSR-300 DVcams, I take it these were the primary cameras.

Or maybe this is the talented cameraman using handicams you talk of???
and I quote from your reality tee vee article:
Ladies & Gents meet the future talented cameramen.
Producers, for instance, needed to place recording decks on contestants to capture POV shots as the players scrambled across the terrain. To lighten the load, Hoffman's team designed special lightweight backpacks for each contestant. The production team attached XC-999 cigar cams to the players' clothing and cabled those cameras to tiny Sony PC-5 consumer mini-DV cameras in the backpacks,...

So the above is the new definition of talented cameramen????

Later on in your article it mentions the first season of the reality show "SURVIVOR" Well guess what Tim? The show's camera engineer, Brett Wilmot chose ten D600 beta cameras for the cameramen with D30s as back up.. Sure they used little dinky handicams BUT only for POV shots, mostly unmanned with very few shots actually used in the final product.
Here is the proof

Further down the article mentions another show using toy cameras
Again I quote:
On the recurring Fox Family special The Scariest Places on Earth, the premise calls for adult family members to spend a night “alone” in an old, scary building. Therefore, producers insist on limiting crew interaction with contestants as much as possible. To that end, contestants wear specially designed vest cams (Toshiba IK-TU40A ice-cube cameras sewn into motorcycle vests and attached to tiny microflow lights, a battery belt, and a clamshell recorder) for close POV shots.
Once again Ladies & Gents, above someone's definition of talented cameramen using toy cameras for reality tee vee.
Or maybe Tim is talking about all the "cameraman talent" in NBC's Fear Factor.
Another direct quote from the article:
Helmet Cams
NBC's Fear Factor concentrates on putting contestants through dangerous stunts while recording their reactions. For certain stunts, the show's producers rely heavily on helmet cams, which are becoming increasingly popular in the reality genre.

Above is another great use for the toy cameras in reality tv. But what the fack does this have to do with talented cameramen????? For your info the talented cameramen shooting for NBCs FEAR FACTOR employ MSW-900 IMX betacams and now they added PDW-530s (IMX) to the package.

Thank you Tim, you just proven to everyone what I meant about being a button pusher with a pov handicam as opposed to being a cameramen with a fully manual camera.

When people talk about reality tv being a cheap alternative to network programming, they are right. Compared to hiring a Panavision crew (like they still do for net drama) It's a whole lot cheaper hiring a D600 crew. But let's be real here, most professionals want to draw the line to hiring experienced people using good broadcast gear.

As to the ESPN article I haven't had the time to read but here is some more of my famous misinformation from looking at the pictures

Handheld cameras—Philips LDK10Ps, LDK20Ps, and Sony 950s—are used to capture action on the mountain. Photo by Tony Donaldson.

Most of ESPN’s platforms were built from the ground up with scaffolding, but the network also used four Spider Cam platforms. This is the first time ESPN used the mobile system at Winter X. Photo by Tony Donaldson

So let me reiterate my previous stance
You go ahead and keep telling folks to buy toy cameras with a toy viewfinders and show the world how their talent shines, make them think reality tv is shot with handicams . Join the other bastards trying to persuade the world how the tools of the trade no longer matter. Me, I think you'll be wasting your talent... tools have limits, people don't.

As for my experience and abilities, you trying to burn into me won't change a thing. People already tried that with statements like I don't own my own gear or because I'm Canadian, etc. I assure you, in my 23 yrs around video I have been involved from small corporate shoots all the way to being a cameraman shooting international musicians. As for my stringer service, I quit doing that because both the cops and ems scrambled their frequencies, I would still from time to time string (I loved the work not the money) if I still had access to the frequencies.

I guess you did miss the top two headlines on that page. The multi-cam and efp services listed. Since you're so interested in my business ventures I can tell you that about 90 percent of my video work comes from outside my video company. It comes as freelance, not stringer work through other more established companies, companies that have gear departments, promo departments etc. Do note FREELANCE is work for hire STRINGER is footage for sale. Big diference. On my personal page I can not conflict the work I do for others. Although I do have listed both major Canadian nets as clients on "my" page but I guess Canadian nets don't count for a big-shot L.A. boy, eh!

As to the websites, yes I do that, but I only specialize in small business and persona sites. I have a few small biz site clients right here whom happen to be well established b-roll members. Let me know when u need a site and I will give you a $5 usd discount if you let me mention on site the beta format in good light.

As for the computer consulting yes I do that too. This work is for larger more established sites that may need security measures put in place.

So Tim,
You may find my counter-posts counter productive, I on the other hand find opposing views very productive and I shall keep doing it - whenever I please... When someone (for whatever reason) starts posting things I don't agree with, I have every right to post my opposing views on this wonderful open forum. A forum not long ago intended for professional broadcast photographers now infested with cheap bean counters and their amateur supporters...

Thanks for taking my criticism like a man...

Hiding Under Here

Well-known member
Back from vacation. Got the memo before I left. Found it confusing as well.

A couple of things. ABC won't be able to make magazine programs with the DVX100A because of three things: 1. stars won't like how they look, 2. you can't match them well or easily, 3. no time code synchronization for multi-camera shoots.

What ABC is really interested in, I believe, is the 24 frames per second look. My guess is that they would like to shoot with the Panasonic 900s DVCPro 50 camera but they don't think their freelancers will spring for that camera because of cost. So, instead, they will try it on the cheap.

I think, in the end, it will be a big problem for them.

For the record, I have enjoyed a long and profitable relationship with ABC. Five to ten years ago, 20/20 was THE best showcase for w video photographers work. No network did human interest stories like ABC and 20/20. None. Working for them was the golden years of my career.

I'd love a reason to buy the 900. I'd sell my DV7 in a heartbeat to acquire that camera. I think. Maybe.


Well-known member
I just don’t get the 24 frames camera hype. You don’t need to do it in the field. A 10 min render in post and there is the look. If you don’t like it push a button and its gone. What is the big deal?


Well-known member
I recently had a DVX-100 requested(2 months ago) for it's 24p(and cheapness) for a shoot. It was the Primary and Only camera. Considering it's little more than a glorified home camcorder, it's nice. But the client would have been much better served if I would have been allowed to shoot this piece with my D-50WS and the 24p/film look done in post. They only saved $200 by using the 100 instead of a real camera. The improved look would have greatly out weighed the minimal amount of extra money they would have spent for my camera. Plus it would have been a Hell of a lot easier to shoot 99% of the piece. I don't care what anyone says, these cameras are not user friendly, you can't zoom, focus, or iris with any real degree of control or certainy. It's a tool that has it's uses, but too many producers think it's a whole toolbox that can be used for anything and everything all of the time.

Hiding Under Here

Well-known member
The issue is about ideas. Visual ideas.

How many people are truly "visual"? And not just visual, but visionaries in their visualness? Not a lot. How many photographers, the people who take the actual pictures, are original in their visual aesthetic? I think most of us are basically craftspeople who have learned how to use a camera because we are drawn to taking pictures. Being compelled, or having the desire to photograph things doesn't neccessarily make you a visionary; someone with a unique eye. Just as taking brush and paint to a canvas doesn't make you an extraordinary painter.

In the world of the producer -- or more specifically the "executive" producer -- there are even fewer true visual visionaries. These people don't understand the craft (maybe even the art) of taking pictures because few of them have actually had to tarnslate their thoughts and ideas via a camera of any complex sort.

While the number of stories extant on the earth at any given time is infinite, the pool of fascinating ones, the ones that will create an audience, is limited. Rather than beat the bushes looking for interesting tales to invest in, the easier approach is to tweak your visual style by snatching "new" technology off the shelf and applying it to themes you are comfortable with.

The problem arises when you go down that cul-de-sac and realize (again) that the "look" isn't what draws the audience. To be truly inventive you have to hit the streets and take the pulse of the public and anticipate their tastes. When asked, none of them would point to 24 frames per second as a need or want. It's the subtext of daily living that is at the core of successful cultural diagnosis: where are we going, from where have we come?

Being clever is never really about technology. However it's more difficult to admit that to oneself than it is to keep trying to find original approaches to worn story themes.

[ August 15, 2004, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: thomas, too ]


Well-known member
It seems this business is hurtling at warp speeds in opposite directions. Shoots are beginning to call for either the finest in Hi-Def cameras/lens or a $249 camera from Best Buys. Thank heavens for the time being the middle BetacamSP, seems to be holding.

I’ve decided that the best course for now is to rent all the weirdo cameras producers may request. Usually when confronted with the rental price they decide good old Betacam is okay with them. In this market if field producers want DV cam, usually run around with their own personal cameras. Interviews and any really “good” shots they want are left to Beta.

I’ve had the good fortune to shoot recently with the Panasonic HD camcorder. Great looking pictures and operates not all that much different from Beta (unless you want to play junior engineer). The HD lens are really outstanding. Truth be told I did find Beta a tad fuzzy afterwards. They call that HD withdrawal


Well-known member
Originally posted by Baltimore Shooter:
I agree. With the way things are right now, renting an HD Cam is the way to go til the format wars calm down a bit.

I have a feeling this may be "The Hundred Years War". :eek:

Hiding Under Here

Well-known member
Just for everyone's information, this action being discussed here is on hold for now. They are reconsidering it, most likely due to reaction from the freelance world.
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