There was a moment, very recently, when I almost said good bye to my Sony FS700. But I decided against it, and instead, purchased the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q and the Metabones SpeedBooster.
What turned my head? The AJA Cion.
This camera looks to be amazing! And I was lucky enough to have a go when it came to CVP, London, a few months ago.
It’s balanced to perfection for shoulder & hand held work, which I love. I didn’t get to see any footage, as the sensor wasn’t a final version. But everything about this camera is incredibly promising and I can’t wait to one day use it.
The global shutter is a huge bonus, especially for Hand Held. The PL mount doesn’t bother me, as the next set of lenses I invest in, was always going to be PL.
The reason I have held back on investment, or withdrawn my investment as I had a deposit on one, is the fact it’s still not been released.
With a ‘summer’ release promised, it is now the autumn and there is still no sign of the camera.
As excited as I am about it, I really needed to start offering broadcast quality and film resolutions as part of my shooting package.
I also couldn’t help feeling that I had unfinished business with the FS700. I had bought it for a few reasons; 200fps, easily adapted E-Mount and the 4K upgrade path. It was the upgrade path that kept me with the camera, and the fact that I love it. I have create some great content over the last 2 years with it, and I love its form factor. I believe it’s the best camera to own, sub £15K.
When I decided to keep my FS700 the SpeedBooster was an easy choice. Replacing my standard E-EF mount adapter, reducing the crop factor on my EF lenses, and making them faster & sharper, meant that the SpeedBooster would instantly add new life to the FS700.
The next thing to get was the Odyssey 7Q.
I chose this over Sony’s own recorder, AXS-R5 & The HXR-IFR5 interface, not because the Sony option is huge and cost more, but because the Odyssey 7Q is first a monitor. A fantastic OLED monitor, which will always be useful, but it’s a recorder that works with multiple formats.
The Sony option only works with 3 cameras, all Sony. The Odyssey 7Q, after paid upgrades, can record Arri RAW, Canon RAW & the Sony FS700 RAW. Additionally it opens up ProRes on the camera, which means I can deliver broadcast 4.2.2 to my clients and the 4K to HD internal conversion, so far, seems fantastic! Not much more in terms of data storage, and one of the best HD’s I’ve seen.
A last word on the Odyssey 7Q for now, as I have only been using it in the field for 2 weeks, is that it is perfect for AC’s (Assistant Cameramen). My Focus Puller Jaime McInerney, was thrown into the deep end, asked to use the Odyssey 7Q with me for the first time on a short film, over a crammed 3 days. He learned the system within an hour, and we were working as if it had always been part of our shoots. The best thing about it is its focus assists. Mainly the zoom function, which is really easy to use, and the best thing is how easy it is to move around the image. Once zoomed in, you simply drag your finger across the screen to find your subjects eyes, or a bit of detail that needs to be sharp. This made things really easy when we had no time for a camera rehearsal, or blocking, and all we could do was shoot and check focus as we went along. So Jaime could stay zoomed in as we shot, and follow when he needed, with one swipe of his finger.
It was a lot easier than trying to do this on the FS700’s tiny screen and slow button system.
We did this as we were using my EF lenses, when on Cine lenses Jaime is pretty hot with a tape measure and then following by eye. But these assist tools will always be a help on a fast paced set.
I will update more on the Odyssey 7Q, as I use it more.
Thanks for reading,
AJA Cion: https://www.aja.com/en/products/cion
Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/convergent-design_cd-odyssey-7q
Hawk-woods Battery Plate: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/hawk-woods_dv-7qs
Convergent Design SSD’s: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/convergent-design_odyssey7ssd
Sony HXR-IFR5 interface:http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/sony_hxr-ifr5
E-EF SpeedBooster: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/metabones_spef-e-bm1
I want to share a typical situation that I have to work around, on most corporate shoots.
Little room and little equipment…
I had to light two subjects, in a small office space, in a two camera set up. For my A Cam I had my Sony FS700 and for the B Cam I had the company that hired me’s Canon 5D MKiii.
The day consisted of 4 interviews, with the same interviewer for each. The interviewer was an impressionist of the character ‘David Brent’ from the UK TV series of ‘The Office’. He was there to ask the questions, and provide a comedic edge to the finished video. But he was far less important as the message of the 4 people being interviewed.
Therefore I set up the B Cam to cover him and the A Cam to cover the 4 people being interviewed, as they would be on screen for longest.
My main problem was lighting the room. I had two lights at my disposal, a flag arm and small flag kit.
I set out by looking at the room. It had two windows that where getting plenty of light, but none of it direct as it was a typically overcast day in England.
Room Set Up:
I decided to shut off the windows to the side of the desk, and use the blinds on the far window to direct some light on our interviewee. This created his backlight, though it wasn’t best source. It did enough to add some separation from the white wall behind him though.
I then got to lighting. I had a FilmGear 300w Fresnel & an Ikan LED panel. Not the most spectacular of kits, but the corporate world brings these great challenges, and I love that!
I added some ½ CTB and LEE 216, to diffuse and balance the light. This was set up to key the interview subject as well as add some shadow behind the plant in the corner.
I then set up the LED panel to the right of the interview subject. This was set to full power and 5600K. This was to first act as a key for the David Brent impersonator, and then also as the back light for the interview subject.
I positioned it so it keyed well, but also just hit the top right of the subjects head and most of their right shoulder.
This, combined with the natural balance I was seeing, in the room, filled the subject enough and added contrast to the background.
The back light was too harsh on the subject, so I set up a stand, added the Flag Arm and set up a double net, from my flag kit.
This took the edge off and exposed better, but didn’t take away from the spread of the light, or change the colour balance, as I find with ND gels sometimes, and doubling up diffusion. It just gives a cleaner light in my opinion. I fit the flag arm to go above the light source, as the net was in shot when it came in from bellow.
Final lighting set up:
Once this was set up, I had used the space well and was ready to shoot. We shot all 4 interviews in a row, with some breaks to shoot around the office to get cut aways and some footage requested by the client.
I’m always dealing with situations like this on corporate jobs. You often find yourself with a miss match of cameras, and a random set of lights. I was lucky the lights where in such good condition and that I had my flag kit and a flag arm.
But thinking on your feet & problem solving is a skill that is needed on, even the highest of budget, films. The corporate world is a great place to learn this skill and to experiment as a young DOP, and that’s why I take on so many corporate jobs, and I feel my work on more creative projects benefits because of it.
Thanks for reading
Canon 5D MKiii: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/canon_eos_5d_mark_3
Canon 24-105mm F4: http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/canon_ef24-105_f4l_is_usm
Ikan LED panel (from a kit): http://www.prokit.com/products/ikan-ifb576-3-point-light-kit.html
Lee Filters set: http://www.prokit.com/products/lee-filters-pro-pack.html
So… I am currently redeveloping this blog to be more than a place for my Instagram pictures to live.
I’ve wanted to blog for a while, and I used to a lot back in Uni and when I first started out. Though this is now hidden behind closed doors on jackshelbourn.com.
The main reason why I haven’t been blogging, is time. The most time I have free to blog is between shoots. But I need to spend my time between shoots finding the next shoot!
So, when I have a great idea and want to blog, or want to share how I light and shoot a project, I want to be able to do this instantly and in a place when an audience can grow.
So I am sticking with Tumblr and developing this blog.
I want to feature more lighting walk thoughts, camera set ups, opinions and equipment reviews. Especially as I am getting to use more and more kit on one off basis. It’s good to get my thoughts down somewhere. And Tumblr is a place where I can easily blog in the Taxi/Train/Crew bus home.
Alongside this I plan to become far more active on YouTube, with content to back up and enhance what’s on here.
I am off on a shoot for the next few days… So once I am back I will release my first blog post about my FS700 and Odyssey 7Q. I will also try and blog about any challenges I have on this weeks shoot, as I am on location.
Then for YouTube, I plan a review of my main shooting package, and an extensive look at the Odyssey 7Q.
Any feedback or requests, once I start blogging, will be very welcome and I want this to be an accessible forum for anyone with questions.
Thanks for reading