Question by Patrick: What Camera Is Good For Filmmaking?
Hi, I am very into making films and I want to buy a camera for filmmaking. The one I’m looking at is the Panasonic HDC TM700, but the only reason why I’m questioning it is that it lacks the shallow depth of field I had in my previous mini DV camera. To me the digital HD image is great in terms of colour and resolution, but it’s flat and it doesn’t have the shallow depth of field- film aesthetic that I love. Is there any lens adaptor or setting for the camera you can use to alter the DoF or would I be better off with a DSLR. (But I would want one of a similar price!)
Any help would be great, thanks! 😉
Answer by Jim A
Patrick, if you’re looking into film making you’d better be shopping film cameras. Otherwise you’re looking into video making because these cameras don’t “film” anything. That’s in Hollywood. And if you truly do want film, 16mm would be good place to start.
Depth of field is a lens and light issue. There is no such thing as a tool, adaptor or magic bullet to create this effect. Any lens can do it but it’s a matter of control, understanding lighting and aperture.
Do you understand the relationship between these? If not a short course may help.
Fact is the wider your aperture the shorter your DOF. That’s why, when the cinematographer was asked by the director to put the entire scene in focus, the shooter replied I’m going to need lots of light. In the reverse, if you want a shallow DOF then you’ll cut down on the light there by opening your aperture and shortening the DOF. Understand? There’s no magic but so many seem to think there is because they don’t understand lenses and lighting.
For more on DOF go here for a look.
Give your answer to this question below!