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The PBS documentary show POV recently conducted a survey of filmmakers regarding the equipment they use. The survey was conducted in September of 147 filmmakers. There are a few things to consider. Most of these documentaries would have been put into production in 2011 or 2012 with only some of them being shot in 2013. Digital cinema cameras like the Sony FS700, F5, and Canon C100 weren’t on the market when most of these were shot. Even the C300 would have only been on the market a short while and at a higher price point. It will be very interesting to see how these numbers shift over the next 12-18 moths. Here are some key points:
Cameras: Most popular single camera: Canon EOS C300, however if you combine 5DmkII and 5DmkIII then that becomes the most popular camera by a large margin.
Specialty Camera: nearly 1/3 of docs used a Canon consumer camcorder to get “discreet” footage.
Lenses: Since most people shot with Canon cameras most people used Canon lenses. However i thought it was interesting that the most common 3rd party option was Zeiss. At Professional Video we often preach the advantage of Zeiss all mechanical lenses.
Editing: Over 75% of editors used some form of Final Cut Pro, ether 7 or 10, in their post. Over 90% of post was done on a Mac.
Support: My personal favorite tripod, the Sachtler FSB8 with the carbon sticks, was also one of the most frequently used documentary tripods.
Buy or Rent: Nearly 85% of documentary filmmakers purchased their primary camera. A documentary can often mean many many hours of production at unusual schedules. Owning might have advantages when compared with commercial or narrative filmmaking.
We need your help. We really need your feedback. Professional Video has been in the Portland area for nearly 25 years. However, we haven’t always been receptive to the feedback of our customers. Right now we’re seeking it out. Tell us what we’re doing right. But more importantly tell us what we’re doing wrong. Tell us how we can improve. Tell us what we can do to earn your trust and your business.
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