Cine Lenses or Stills Lenses?

Whether you’re shooting video with a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or upgrading to a high-end video camera, true cine lenses provide a great way to enhance your video shooting experience and achieve professional results. So why go for a cine lens that may cost thousands of dollars when your regular stills lenses is doing a creditable job capturing video? Because true cine lenses offer much greater control and precision, provide a more seamless shooting experience, and can deliver even better overall video performance.
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The Best 360 Cameras

What is a 360 camera?

A 360 camera allows you to take immersive, spherical photos or videos where every angle of the scene is recorded at the same time. This means it comes as either a rig that holds multiple cameras covering all angles, or a standalone camera with multiple camera lenses embedded in the device. 360 cameras come in two types: monoscopic and stereoscopic but most cameras are Monoscopic so I’ll focus on them. The term stereoscopic means it’s shooting 3D in 360 degrees. You all remember that 3D fad that died out recently.
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Lighting Basics / Budget video lighting gear

Lighting basics

Lighting is the key to great looking high-quality videos. If you’re currently shooting without lights, buying a low priced kit is a smart investment. If you’re shooting your videos using only ambient lighting in most corporate offices or homes, you’re leaving lots of quality on the table. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good lighting, but you do need to buy smart and know what you’re getting.
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Improve your Video and Stills photography lighting

Even with only two or three lights anyone can achieve great looking images on video or stills. A typical starting point for professional camera people is always the basic three point lighting setup, from there you can adapt it to achieve the mood you like on your shoot.

When three point lighting, the lights used are normally Key, Fill and Backlight (Hair light). The Key Light is the strongest light hitting your subject (or Talent), and the main source of light in the shot.

The Fill light is from the opposite side to the Key light and is there to reduce contrast and lighten shadows on the subject. Depending on how much contrast or shadow and definition you want on your subject, the Fill light can be moved closer or further away to vary the intensity (brightness). For a soft Fill light it can be filtered or bounced to diffuse it, or placed further away reduce the light’s brightness hitting the subject.

The Backlight (Hair Light) hits your subject from behind and or above which separates the subject from the background by making the edges of the subject’s body pop.
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Prime Lenses for stills and video

Why shoot on a Prime Lens?

Prime lenses have a fixed (one) focal length. You can’t zoom in or out. You get one viewing distance, and that’s it.

A standard prime lens is the 50mm “normal lens.” Its focal length roughly matches where your eye focuses, giving you an image that’s fairly close to what’s in front of you. Prime lenses come in all sorts of different focal lengths from extreme wide angle or fisheye to telephoto.
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Buying Professional Video Lighting gear

So you are after some new lights to shoot video with. With this comes lots of decisions which will be mainly answered by the video work you are doing or want to do.

Choosing the type lighting for your shoot makes an enormous impact on the quality of your final video. The correct use of lighting allows you to

  • control the mood of your video
  • Direct the eye of the viewer where you want it to go
  • Emphasize and de-emphasize elements within the frame
  • Add texture and color
  • Make people look beautiful, ugly, sinister, or angelic

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Essential Video gear – The C Stand

There is an ever increasing range of camera and lighting gear, new LED lights through to camera gimbals. But the C stand is probably the piece of gear that will be used on almost every shoot. The term ‘Century Stand’ goes back to the early days of motion picture production. Century Stands also known as “C Stands” are one of the most frequently used stands in the film industry. They are mainly used by grip and lighting and can support other things on film sets.

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A typical professional video shoot

A typical professional video shoot normally means you need a wide range of gear. Even the seemingly simplest shoot can need a huge amount of gear to make the end video look fabulous.

Keep in mind, there is no “one size fits all” equipment package for everyone since there are so many variables including budget, type of project, shoot style and shoot locations to name just a few.
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Which lights should I use?

When you are starting out or want to try a new lighting look, people always ask which lights should I use. While this is a great question, it’s not an easy answer. There is no one light that is great for every shoot. There are however lights that can be used in a variety of ways easily that make them worth considering.
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