Assignment 8 – Camera Formats

Before I post a blog about my experiences on the short film set im going to talk about the camera our group used and some of its features!

For this shoot we used the Cannon XF100. This is a small professional camera that is also compact and lightweight compared to other cameras at a films disposal. The camera itself has a 3.5” screen (LCD), an internal microphone and also two XLR ports. Now before you ask an XLR port is found on most visual and audio recording devices and Is mainly used to connect an XLR cable to your boom mic to help record and balance sound. (If you’re already confused wait until you read the next paragraph!)

When you’re about to record you have to look at and adjust your boarding numbers. On the bottom right hand side of the LCD screen there’s a handful of numbers which are: 50i; 1920×1080, 25p and 1/50. But what do these mean? Lets start with the 50i. This is the number that we know as the bit rate. The bit rate is the amount of date that is transferred to the camera per second. There are 3 different settings on this camera. 50i; 35i and 25i. Now as this camera is 50i it is – as expected – the best quality of the image possible to record on this camera. Next is 1920×1080 which works with the bit rate and we know this to be the resolution of the footage you are shooting. So in this case it is 1920 pixels across and then 1080 down, this is also the best quality for the resolution which many people know to be HD. Next is 25p. 25 p is what is known as the frame rates per second which to put simpler is the number of frames recorded in a second. Most films use 25p. Last is the 1/50. This is the shutter speed of the camera. The shutter speed is when the camera opens the shutter and exposes the camera for 1/50 a second per frame. (Confusing, tell me about it!)

Now there are other features on this camera that come in very handy. You have the focus wheel at the front of the camera which allows the user to adjust the zoom manually but this means you have to make sure you put each shot into focus yourself. If this is not the option you want the camera can focus for you automatically but therefore it can affect the shot you want. On the cameras you can also adjust the iris and gain. The iris being where you control the amount of light coming into the lens that may affect your shot. The gain is how you control the cameras sensibility to the light on the lens Yet when controlling this it can affect the image itself so you have to make sure you are careful.

There you have it! That there are some of the features that consist of the Cannon XF100 but also other cameras. Whilst it can be confusing at first once you wrap your head around it, it gets easier. Overall the XF100 is an effective camera to use for any short film but I look forward to using a variation of cameras in the future!

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