Rooftop Rig

Why I Don’t Hate DSLR’s

I was recently having a conversation with another shooter about the state of cameras. He shoots with a 5DMII and is pretty transparent in his dislike for it.  In fact, he’s waiting on his shipment confirmation for his brand new Black Magic Cinema camera, and is very excited to get the footage into DaVinci Resolve.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ll definitely be out shooting with him as soon as it arrives.  But, I don’t share his hatred of DSLR’s.  In fact, they’ve kind of endeared themselves to me. Because, like a problem dog, they are a challenge.


I’m at my most creative when the odds are against me, and I think most filmmakers are the same way.  At it’s most basic core, filmmaking isn’t about cameras and lights and mics.  It’s about using the tools you have to translate a page of words or a theoretical idea into a moving picture.  Filmmaking, really good filmmaking, comes out of adversity.

In this world of affordable 2.5k, I still kind of enjoy my low bitrate, H.264 compressed, rolling shutter, crappy audio recording DSLR monstrosity.  The thing is, as a community, we’ve addressed all these issues and found ways to work around them.  They are not perfect cameras, not by a long shot.  But we’ve taken them and owned them.  We’ve made them work for us and do their jobs as storytelling machines.

What I love about my DSLR is that it makes me want to create.  I want to run up against it’s faults and overcome them to tell a story.  I’ve never owned a camera that forced me to be this creative before.

And some day, we’ll look back as filmmakers and say “I was part of the generation that changed the game.” How cool is that?

Guns for Justice 2: The Revenging was produced by Samuel Hall and me.  It was also shot on a 7D, cut on FCP7, graded in AE CS5 and scored in Garageband and produced in less than 24 hours.  Which is pretty good for a DSLR.


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