Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

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thefilmaddict

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Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostSun Jan 22, 2023 3:55 pm

I currently own the URSA 12k and really love it. I also have ef lenses (sigma 18-35 and some dslr magic micro primes).

Now I’m shooting a no budget documentary outside of my day job and I need a second camera to accomplish 2 things:

1. For the sit down interview, I want a b-cam. I want a medium and tight shot to work with.

2. Some of the doc takes place traveling, including on a plane. I need a bare bones camera setup to shoot that. It needs to be low profile so that I can take it on as a carry on. I’d just be using the camera and a lens — no tripod.

So which camera should I get to accomplish these two things?

I thought about the canon R6 mark 2 or the Panasonic S5 2. Both of these cameras have stabilization, are full frame and can be adapted to work with ef lenses. I also love that they are decent still frame cameras as well. Plus, they are small enough that I think I could bring them on a plane without issues.

The downside: they will both be expensive by the time I buy everything I need (including the lens adapter, media cards and batteries) and will they match the color science of the ursa 12k? Plus, they top out at 4k.

Then I thought, maybe I should just buy the pocket 6K pro. It doesn’t have image stabilization (unless the lens has it), it doesn’t have intelligent autofocus and it’s not full frame, but I can use my lenses on it and my cards. Plus, the color science should match the ursa well, right? I also like that the screen is bright and adjustable — I wouldn’t need an external monitor and the internal nds will be helpful, too.

Those things considered, would the 6K pro be small enough to bring onto a plane and wound using the sigma 18-35 lens on it be stable enough handheld?

As far as settings, I was thinking of shooting the doc in 8k on the ursa 12k q5 and if I get it, the pocket 6K in 6K q5. Both cameras at exactly 24 fps. I figure these settings are safe for film festivals and could easily be adjusted for release on tv??? Or is 23.976 better?

Would I want to edit everything in dci 4k 24fps or would you pick something else (like edit 8k or edit everything 6K)?

Once you guys help me decide which camera to get and what settings to shoot an edit in, I’ll be all set. I could just go for it, but I figured input from you guys would be very valuable and hopefully prevent any upfront mistakes.

Thanks!
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thefilmaddict

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostSun Jan 22, 2023 4:10 pm

One more question:

As far as a b-cam, I’ve always had the theory that the weakest cam in an interview should shoot the close up and the better cam shoot the wider shot. Do you agree?
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Kays Alatrakchi

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostSun Jan 22, 2023 4:20 pm

I would try to stay in the same camera ecosystem, it will look more consistent in the end.
>>Kays Alatrakchi
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Adam Langdon

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostSun Jan 22, 2023 5:25 pm

I shot a doc in October of 2022 in Africa with two Pocket 6k Pros and two photo zoom lenses.
The size, weight, and image quality was superb for traveling to a country and aboard airlines where it was more restrictive.
Ursa Mini 12k - Pocket 6K Pro - DZOFilm Pictor Zooms - SLR Magic APO Microprimes PL/EF - Canon 17-55mm f2.8 - Aputure Lighting
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostSun Jan 22, 2023 8:57 pm

While it is possible in post to pretty seamlessly match any reasonably good camera to any other reasonably good camera, making the transform for a good match can be complicated depending on the cameras involved and on how closely you need them to match. Cutting from the same shot of a face on one camera to another is one of the toughest things to match accurately since we are all so tuned in to see even slight skin tone differences. The color of the background can change quite a lot and we may never notice, but when the color of a face shifts, even a little, we see it.
Since the 6K Pocket Pro uses a different sensor than the 12K Ursa Mini Pro, even it won't be a 100% exact match out of the box, but it will be a whole lot closer than any camera from any other company.

Another advantage of going with a 6K Pocket Pro is the menus. It might seem a small thing, but it has the same menu system as the Ursa Mini Pro. And, when time is tight on a documentary shoot, not having to move between different menu systems saves a whole lot of mental processing. At least it does for me.
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Jukka Tallinen

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostMon Jan 23, 2023 3:29 pm

Good advices above.

Jason, I've been shooting a feature doc since 2018 starting with Ursa Mini 4.6K (prores). I soon added a Pocket 4K (prores) into the mix because of need to travel with a single bag on planes/trains/cars. The last footage is being shot with Pocket 6K Pro's (braw).

I'm very much enjoying the post thanks to quite consistent, uniform footage to work with. I shot very small parts with Panasonic EVA1 and GH5 in a pinch, and they do stick out a bit.

P6KPro with Sigma 18-35 handheld will work, I've used it without problems on documentary work, but due to the slower sensor readout speed it will not deliver like the Ursa Mini handheld. I've had good experience on problematic gimbal shots with this combo using Resolve's gyro stabilization. If you go this route it is good to test the limits and maybe see how gyro stabilization works with your shooting style.

Just a tip, with 18-35 I was always hoping for more reach, so I paired it with the Sigma Art 24-70 2.8 with stabilization on P6KPro for handheld documentary work. I ended up using it way more than the 18-35, and while perhaps not the most exciting lens, it has served me well when there's a need to move quickly.
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thefilmaddict

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostMon Jan 23, 2023 7:11 pm

Thanks, everyone. Good advice on getting a second camera. Looks like I'm leaning toward the pocket 6k pro. Does a battery last about an hour with the camera? I'd love to rig it up with a v mount battery or something, but for travel to keep it small, I'll probably just use a single battery at a time.

Can you hook it up to a consumer battery pack, like people use for their phones? You know, they have a USB port? I wonder if plugging it into that every once in awhile would make the battery last longer. Do you guys use anything like that in a pinch?

As far as frame rate and resolution to edit in, I may have to ask the resolve people that question. I'm assuming people still deliver 4k for film festivals. Just not sure if 23.976 or 24 is better and if they want DCI resolution.
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wemrick1

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostMon Jan 23, 2023 7:39 pm

thefilmaddict wrote:Thanks, everyone. Good advice on getting a second camera. Looks like I'm leaning toward the pocket 6k pro. Does a battery last about an hour with the camera? I'd love to rig it up with a v mount battery or something, but for travel to keep it small, I'll probably just use a single battery at a time.

Can you hook it up to a consumer battery pack, like people use for their phones? You know, they have a USB port? I wonder if plugging it into that every once in awhile would make the battery last longer. Do you guys use anything like that in a pinch?

As far as frame rate and resolution to edit in, I may have to ask the resolve people that question. I'm assuming people still deliver 4k for film festivals. Just not sure if 23.976 or 24 is better and if they want DCI resolution.



You can add the optional grip that holds two batteries. With the three batteries you can get better than a hour.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostMon Jan 23, 2023 8:30 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote: Cutting from the same shot of a face on one camera to another is one of the toughest things to match accurately since we are all so tuned in to see even slight skin tone differences. The color of the background can change quite a lot and we may never notice, but when the color of a face shifts, even a little, we see it.
Since the 6K Pocket Pro uses a different sensor than the 12K Ursa Mini Pro, even it won't be a 100% exact match out of the box, but it will be a whole lot closer than any camera from any other company.

Totally agree with Jamie here. When I have to shoot multicam especially with a human element involve and transitioning between a medium to a close up of the face for example, if I get a chance I will shoot with the same camera and model, using the same kind of lens. That will give me almost seamless transition and exposure as much needed. The alternative is using the cameras belonging to the same ecosystem.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostTue Jan 24, 2023 9:11 am

I like the idea that my UBG2 will match identically with a Pocket 6K Pro, which I will most likely get at some point in the near future for smaller form factor filming situations.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostTue Jan 24, 2023 7:55 pm

thefilmaddict wrote:I'm assuming people still deliver 4k for film festivals. Just not sure if 23.976 or 24 is better and if they want DCI resolution.
Film festivals do not care what resolution and frame aspect ratio you use. Do whatever you want. DCPs have to be integer frame rates, so 24.00 or 30.00, not fractional rates like 23.976 or 29.97. However, you can shoot + master your movie in fractional rates and even free DCP tools such as DCP-o-Matic can make the correct adjustment from the fractional rate to nearest integer rate in the process of creating the DCP.
So you should choose the resolution, frame aspect ratio and frame rate that makes sense creatively for your story.
And don’t get hung up on pixel counts. Most cinema projectors are still just 2K, and in my experience most festivals won't accept a 4K DCP for that reason. If you do happen to screen in a theater with a 4K projector, the 4K projection systems do great internal upscaling from HD/2K DCP. Unless you’re planning an IMAX screening, you’re never going to be able to see the difference on a cinema screen viewed at standard distances between a good 2K master that has been upscaled by the projection system to 4K versus a native 4K master.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostWed Jan 25, 2023 2:22 am

Which applies to most modern TVs too.
Many users of DR struggle with UDH on less capable hardware instead of happily working along in HD. One can get excellent HD quality from oversampled camera sources and, again, at regular viewing distances you won’t see much of a difference.
Don’t approach DR with your preconceptions from another NLE.
Many features are better, some worse, most are different.


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Ellory Yu

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Re: Documentary Questions - 2nd camera and settings

PostWed Jan 25, 2023 2:47 pm

thefilmaddict wrote:As far as frame rate and resolution to edit in, I may have to ask the resolve people that question. I'm assuming people still deliver 4k for film festivals. Just not sure if 23.976 or 24 is better and if they want DCI resolution.

I have participated in many film festivals in the USA and internationally. I still yet to encounter a festival that, if you are selected for screening, will require 4K. The festivals usually will require you to submit your picture in DCP 2K @ 24fps in a drive that is formatted in a Linux partition or through a DCP company of their choice.
URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2, Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Panasonic GH5
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