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Suggestions for a project with Canon 5D MK III

Filippo Maso

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Hi All,


I'm writing to ask you few suggestions to get the best out of a Canon 5d MK III.


A friend asked me to shoot a short movie in Afghanistan. We'll spend the majority of the fundings to get tickets, visas and accomodation.


I know that this is a photographic camera but our budget is really tight. Furthermore we have to travel very light and we don't have any other choice...


I've spoken with few DOPs and DITs and in general they told me to go for an external recorder like atomos ninja II or pix240 (too expensive) and to use a kit of low-cons, NDs and an IRcut.

I was also thinking to shoot RAW with Magic Lantern but apparently is not so reliable.


Do you know any other way to get better definition, dynamic range and a less digital look?


Another questions is: Do the low cons effects the definition of the image?


We'll shoot with few old C/Y zeiss primes 28 /2, 50 /1.4 and 85 /1.4 and a canon 24-70 F4


If you have any other suggestion would be really appreciated.


All the best



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It's always important to know the project's intended viewing system. Will your primary viewing medium be YouTube, DVD, a large projector in a theater, etc?
This will affect your choices in the cinematography. For instance, if you're not projecting in a large theater, it may not be necessary to spend all that extra money on a external recorder and RAW data storage, which is quite expensive. Depending on the story, the cinematography could use a gritty aesthetic in order to enhance the story.

As for the low cons, I'm not sure what you mean by "definition," but a low con filter only lowers the contrast of the image, which might be necessary in the desert landscape of Afghanistan. Another trick I've picked up over the years is using an upside down grad filter, in your case the sand would be covered by the grad portion of the filter, in order to get a lowered contrast when the sun is excessively lighting the ground.

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I would swap the 5D3 for a Sony A7s. This would buy you an extra couple stops of dynamic range, any many stops of extra low-light sensitivity. Could be very useful since you probably won't have much lighting at all. Add a cage, an EVF, an XLR audio adapter, handheld rig and you should be in good shape.

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