Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

It’s hard to contemplate how film has lost favour over the last year or so to what is effectively…video. RED ONE is being used more and more in place of film, television has opted for the “35mm” adaptor look with many hi-end productions like Dr Who being filmed with Sony F35s and nightmare health and safety issues !  Is this to save money on hiring a jib or was this episode re-named the tripod from hell  !

At this moment in time there are many film makers making lo budget video films with HDSLRs once again digital and ironically from a stable of cameras that were once famous for 35mm photographic film. Digital has turned the stills camera on it’s head introducing HD video as the lesser side of it’s photographic features. Because Canon, Nikon etc will not compromise the cameras photographic nature which is it’s priority feature we get less than acceptable niggles when trying to use the camera for something that it was not seriously intended for…filming !

Kevin Shahinian’s “City of Lakes” knocks my theory on it’s head with a wonderful 28 minute film shot entirely on HDSLRs and some stunning camerawork.

Kevin…”There are so many ways to tell a story…

And so much a wedding symbolizes. So many questions it tends to raise: What is love? What is faith? It was our hope to explore these themes in a far more dramatically engaging way than we felt possible in a traditional documentary… Perhaps there is more within this story then meets the eye.

In the fall of 2009, Melissa & Samir embarked on an incredible journey to Udaipur, India, to fulfill a lifelong dream of having their wedding in the country of their ancestry. This transcendent place, affectionately called the “CITY OF LAKES,” located in the breathtaking region of Rajasthan, would be the setting for their extravagant, three-day marriage celebration, and the backdrop of our unprecedented film production – shot entirely on-location. We believe this to be the first ever live event/scripted concept production ‘hybrid’ film ever produced on this scale. It was shot entirely on DSLRs, the Canon 5D Mark2 and 7D.”

View on ExposureRoom

What does the future hold, sadly film has become very expensive to produce and in these hard times producers are not willing to run to these costs so we are going to see a lot more “FilmLike” films made with shallow depth of field digital video cameras. It took long enough for the penny to drop but the video manufacturers are fighting back with their own FilmLike video camcorders poised at the lower end of the marketplace though I have no doubt that we will see these camcorders being used all over the video and film industry before long.

Panasonic were the first company to announce such a camcorder and by all accounts looks feature rich bringing back all the professional features you would expect from a true FilmLike camcorder like XLRs, various lens mounts and a decent viewfinder. Don’t expect this camcorder to be a competitor to RED or ARRI but at it’s price point, below £10,000 they will sell in their thousands and the best news is that you can turn your 5DMk11 back into a photographic camera and use the lenses with the new AF100.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “Film the future

  1. I think the HDSLR’s will have a place for video simply due to their price point. If this camera is say £5,000 – that is still way too pricey for some when u can pick up a 7D for less than £1,200

    I really do think HDSLR’s for video are here to stay simply because they are mass market items

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