I was hired to work on a project for Loblaw grocers. On this project I found myself using the Production Company’s own Canon C300 EF mount camera. The Canon DSLR lenses are excellent but they present a real challenge when trying to hold manual focus on a moving target! So, the first thing that had to be modified was the focus system. Jackson Yeung, my 1st AC sourced some zip gears from Sim Digital and paired them to an Arri follow focus kit. The zip gears are like plastic zip ties that wrap around the lens. The only difference is they also have “teeth” that mesh with the follow focus gearing.
Step two was to mount the entire camera assembly to a mitchell base set-up. We went mitchell base so we could utilize a larger tripod, heavier more stable O’Connor head and a heavy duty slider for smooth moves, topped off by placing the whole rig on a rolling spreader for efficient movement around the grocery store. We managed about 30 set-ups a day using this system.
Here are a couple shots taken off the monitor showing the shots we were getting. I was very happy with the outcome. The canon has great colour science going for it so the colour was really popping! I used a Normal gamma setting 3 which kept everything crisp and filmic looking. I find the standard gamma setting in this camera blows highlights easily and crushes the blacks into oblivion so I wasn’t going to go there. Log recording is great and it’s what everyone talks about but I suggest Log only IF you have the time, ability and tools to grade it properly otherwise it can come out pretty poorly. So in this situation, I found gamma 3 normal to have a nice balance of popping baked in colours without any blown highlight or crushed blacks. The C300’s small form factor, extremely high light sensitivity, and great colour science made it a good choice for a job like this.