Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome to My New Undertaking

Hello Everyone,

My Name is Dan. I'm a cinematographer. I've decided to start catalogging my Experience using my new Canon 7D cameras (2 of them) to shoot an independent feature film.

I was (as far as I know) the first person to complete principal photography of a feature length narrative film using the Canon 5D Mark II back in February 2009. The film is called "The Louisiana Conversation." It should be seeing the light of day (or the dark of night) soon.

My primary reason for writing about my experience with the 7Ds is that Canon has paid Virtually no attention to me whatsoever at this time.

One might think that someone pioneering the use of a camera meant primarily for stills as a motion picture camera might hold some status with Canon. Apparently only if you have a blog or are already an award winning AP photographer (no diss).

Anyway - just to give you an idea of how much Canon is living in the dark took them over 8 months to release a firmware allowing direct manual control over video functions on the 5DII. I got around this by using the superior Zeiss Contax series of lenses with EOS adapter rings on them. They have a manual aperture ring (Like any red Blooded cameraperson's lens should have) unlike the lame electronic aperture control of Canon's Eos glass. Thankfully you could lock the shutter speed, and then use exposure compensation to dial your ISO into place.

Still, the charm of the 5D Mark II far outweighed any hassles I had to go through to make it do what I wanted. In June Canon finally relented and rolled out the manual control firmware.

So here it is almost a year later, and I managed to score Two Canon 7D's on their first day of US sale at Calumet Photographic in Hollywood. Big Props to Jeff and all the other people at Calumet who helped me get my hands on the camera as soon as possible.

I'm just getting ready to shoot my first night on this feature, so I have to run for now...but first impressions and some samples coming soon!

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