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Using DSLRs in Cinematography

Taking a break from the normal drone of history around these parts, I thought today we'd have a little fun looking at the present and the future of cameras and film-making. Most everyone who thinks of movie cameras thinks of the big rig with a huge viewfinder that weighs a ton. No one thinks of a camera they could walk into any store (or go online) and order and carry around with them in a camera bag. Well, the day is quickly coming when cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II replace the big camera rigs entirely when it comes to film-making. Several movies have already used it to film some scenes (traditional film cameras were used on scenes that required greater depth-of-field). These movies include Act of Valor (shot using only the 5D), Marvel's The Avengers used it in several scenes. The popular television show House used this camera for filming the scenes with the babies in the episode "Lockdown," figuring that the little actors would respond more positively to a smaller camera than a big looming rig. The scenes from "Lockdown" were so well-done that the camera was later used to film the entirety of the season 6 finale "Help Me." The rebooted series Hawaii Five-0 is also being shot with the Canon 5D Mark II. With consumer-market cameras getting better and better and the prices coming down, it won't be long before just about every household has a camera capable of shooting a movie on their shelves. When that happens, it could lead to a Renaissance in film-making and television-shows as everyday people get together to film their own shows and movies and use the power of the Internet to distribute them -- all without needing to set foot in a Hollywood or New York studio. -- da Bird
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