COMMENTARY: Entering the World of Cinema Cameras
In this extended essay, I’ll go into detail on my decision to invest heavily in a cinema camera, and the pros and cons related to the purchase.
I was a high school quarterback. I realise that is an odd way to begin a photography article, but hear me out for a second. As a quarterback, one thing you have to learn how to do is hit a moving target. Sure, it’d be nice if the receivers just stood still in one spot and you could just gently lob the football to them underhand, but on the actual field of battle that’s not exactly how it works. Not only do receivers have to run full speed in varying directions just to get free of their defenders, but the higher the level of competition, the more likely it is that you will be throwing the ball before the receiver even “comes out of their break.” In other words, you have to guess what move the receiver will make, before he makes it, based on the terrain, the receiver, and the situation. In essence, you are throwing blind.
I make that comparison because running your business, especially a photography business with constantly changing technology, can be a bit like trying to throw a pass before a receiver has come out of his break. You think you know where he will go. But you’re never completely sure until it actually happens. Sometimes you guess right and the play goes for a touchdown. Sometimes you forget to account for the free safety, throw an interception, and end up with egg on your face.
Buying a new camera system can be just as risky of a decision. Make the right call and you end up being paid back tenfold. Make the wrong decision, and you find yourself still needing to solve the same problem a year later but with far less money in your bank account.
Knowing this, I took my time before deciding to take the plunge to move up from shooting video on my DSLR to venture into the world of cinema cameras. What follows is a lengthy, but thorough trip through the arduous decision process.
Image credit: Christopher Malcolm