Music Video Camera Testing Theory

My ‘Music Video Camera Testing Theory’ is related to my ‘Crew of One Theory’ in testing how many locations can I get to one day, how many shots can I get and how many days I can shoot in a row without getting sick. Right now, results indicate that a 3-4 day shoot week can work with the limitation of one location per day. This will only continue to work if I stay healthy and avoid more back injuries, so we’ll see if I can manage that.

Whenever a camera test can be turned into something, it’s a good idea. Lately I’ve been disguising camera tests as music videos (or was it the other way around?). I’ve grown accustom to the Canon C300 work flow but I’ve never really been able to push it till now. In my most recent camera tests, I wanted to find the limitations of the latitude of the C300. How dark could the shadows be? How does the camera handle highlights? I wanted to check different light levels to see how the camera responded to darker areas and shadows. To test this, I set up even lighting with a strong base level of light in the first video I shot. In the second, I went with darker side lighting so I could compare results and see how much darkness I could get away with.

Still 1: Bright image

Music Video still.jpg

Still 2: Dark image

The range of stops is great compared to most digital camera, but highlights still burn out pretty quick. There’s a new look digital films have now where we are supposed to just accept that we don’t have the same amount of highlight detail anymore. We have a latitude range we have to work within. You have to decide; do I want detail in my highlights or do I want details in my shadows? You can’t have both. I want both but without bigger budgets for cameras that can handle that kind of latitude I’m stuck lighting to the limitations of the camera. The trick is to work within those limitations in such a way that makes it look like you didn’t have any limitations to begin with... easier said than done.