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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Richard: So people might have gotten the impression from our last movie that we thought that you would never need a full frame sensor. People ask this all the time all the time, and I think there are some legitimate reasons to choose a full frame sensor. Robbie: Absolutely! Richard: What do you think those are? Robbie: Well, the first one I would start with is increased light sensitivity, right? Because we're going to that full frame sensor, because it's physically a bigger sensor, that naturally is going to be a little more sensitive to light, so if you're going to be doing a lot of dark shooting, you're shooting your next horror movie, or you're shooting indoors often or concerts, footage, weddings, exactly.
The full frame sensor is going to give you-- it's not considerable more amount of light sensitivity than a crop image sensor, but it is there. It is going to be more sensitive to light then say a crop image sensor. Richard: So that means you'll be less reliant upon things like boosting the iSO, so the image will tend to stay cleaner with a little less noise. Which I think actually leads to one of the next benefits, which is the fact that if you're going to be doing a lot of still shooting, people love these cameras, especially for weddings and events where they want that extra resolution.
Robbie: Absolute! I mean these cameras were built as still cameras, believe it or not, right? People like you, and I have just taken them and said, oh let's just shoot video with them. But if you're in a situation where you're going to be doing hybrid shooting, that is shooting stills and shooting video, yeah, nine times out of ten, I'll take a full frame camera with me, because I like the still performance of a full frame camera, for things like weddings and taking stills and so on things of that nature, and it just gives me a little bit more added flexibility. Richard: I think there is one more reason, which is if you have a lot of experience in cinematography and in your head you could just go, yeah, in order for this scene-- Robbie: You know, you are one of those guys who does this.
Richard: Yeah. I go, yeah, I need a 50 for this, or I want 85, and you have these numbers in your head, and you can look at a scene and see things in millimeters? Robbie: Yep Richard: Well, the benefit of the full frame sensor is you don't have to do any math or conversion. Robbie: Exactly! You have the 50mm lens what's written on the side of that lens on a full frame camera, it means that it's truly 50mm, that focal length is as advertised, compared to a crop image sensor, where you'll have to do a little math, you have to take the focal length of the lens multiply it by whatever the crop factor is to get your true or effective focal length.
Richard: And that's happening a lot, especially on sets when DSLRs are being used as second, third unique cameras, or for special effects or stunt work, where they are mixing these with traditional film cameras or high-end video cameras. People like that confidence in knowing that the lenses are matching up for effects work, for blocking out shots, it's just a comfort factor. Robbie: Absolutely! One more sort of for the focal length thing that I will mention is that is that when I know that I'm going need to do extremely wide shots, I'll often bring a full frame camera with me, because when I start getting into really wide lenses on a crop image sensor, say, 10-11 millimeters, that kind of stuff.
I might also get things like barrel distortion, pincushion distortion and things of that nature, where if I go, I'd say a 20 mm or 24 mm lens on a Full Frame Sensor, because it's just a little longer, and the advertised focal length is true, I am less likely to get some those artifacts on a Full Frame Sensor. Richard: All right! So to recap, if you're out at shopping and thinking about getting a Full Frame Sensor, realize it's going to typically cost you a bit more money. But the benefit is easier understanding of focal length, that the number on the lens is actually the focal length that it's going to perform at, the same effective focal length, and you're going to get significantly better low light performance compared to like a Micro Four Third's Camera.
When you're putting it next to say 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor, it's noticeable, but it's not a deal breaker. Robbie: Correct, and I thing the last thing is that if you're going to be doing hybrid shooting, or you're going to want take a lot of stills, and you are going to be shooting video as well, you are going to get light performance and another benefits out of using the Full Frame Camera when you need to shoot hybrid. Richard: Right!
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