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Newbie setting up C70 for documentary lifestyle, corporate and architecture / interiors.

Nick Burchell

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When I say newbie, I mean to rigging motion cameras. I'm a 20+ year veteran stills photographer and have shot some motion with my 5DIv's and directed a couple of commercial videos with full crews.

I shoot a lot of lifestyle and portraiture, a lot relating to food, farming, healthcare etc, as well as a good amount of corporate work. I like shooting in a documentary style with minimal and naturalistic lighting and I plan to use that approach in my motion work. I also shoot some interior design and architectural work. I've done a decent amount of research and feel reasonably good in my choice of the C70 as a first dive into a dedicated motion camera. I like the Internal ND's with a form factor that makes using it on sliders and gimbals and especially Easy Rigs simpler, along with being able to use my Canon lenses, even if I do need to purchase the adaptor.

What I'm looking for are suggestions from real working cinematographers, not some YouTubers, on how best to rig this camera up for the uses I've mentioned. I have the Atomos Shinobi and Manfrotto Nitro 608 head, but not much more specific video kit than that.

Do I need a cage and if so, best ones to look at. I've heard the Kondor blue with an angled small rig top handle so it's easy to hold the camera balanced is one good option. Thoughts?

Do I need the Shinobi, or should I rely on the built in screen, especially if using autofocus? What if I'm shooting outdoors in bright sunlight, which I do a lot?

Best microphones for general, ambient audio and for on location run and gun style interviews?  For corporate talking head interviews I'd probably use a lav + boom mike setup.

Follow focus for my Canon EF stills lenses. 24-70; 70-200; 28; 50; 85. All fast L's except the 85.

I assume the Canon speed-booster as the lens adaptor?

What lenses should I look to rent to make this camera sing? I like beautiful, filmic images and a certain amount of character in lenses and will probably be shooting wide open and with wides and mediums predominantly. 

What are your favorite gimbals and Easy Rigs for this camera? 

Good sliders for shooting architectural/interior work? I was considering motorized as I'm not an experienced motion camera operator, but a number of people suggested I stick to manual.

Anything else I've forgotten?

Many thanks for any suggestions or thoughts you may have!     


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  • 6 months later...

You probably already figured this all out, but the DJI RS2 gimbal is a great match with this camera. I've found that when shooting architecture, it's easier to just use the gimbal instead of a slider. You can get basically the same shots with 1/10 of the setup time. 

I don't use a cage with my c70. The stock top handle is actually pretty nice. Plus, any cage you put on it will probably make it a little too wide to easily balance on an RS2. 

I haven't found the build in LCD to be bright enough to easily use outdoors. But neither is the shinobi. You should look into a high bright monitor, maybe a portkeys BM5. The other option is a simple sun shade for the built in screen. That should get you close. Also, make sure to go into the settings and set "LCD backlight" (or something like that) to +2. The default setting is much to dim to use outdoors. 

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