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EXTREME DOPs discuss minicams, lenses, 4K and all by Mel Noonan I f anyone knows about the practical reality of using minicams and lenses it has to be the DOPs who are out there using them. We are now seeing minicams used in all areas of production, some with 1080p and 4K capability at prices you would not have believed possible a few years back. I spoke to some of the DOPs I know for feedback on past, present and future experience and information which may be useful to other users out there. Stuart Nicholls, DOP, UK: Stuart says “For some time now in addition to using the Toshiba HD minicam, for a more fi lmic look I have I have been using either the Nikon D600 DSLR or the Canon C300 on and off my Polecam, and with the ability to suit the camera to the job, the results have been really great. Now with the pressure increasing to be 4K capable I have bought the new Sony FS7 which I use in conjunction with the Carl Zeiss ZF2 prime lenses carried over from the Nikon D600. It’s around the same size as the C300 so it mounts fi ne on the rig but with the addition of the 4K capability and slow- mo at up to 180fps in HD. Now I’m totally covered for the foreseeable period ahead.” Bachir, DOP Paris: “I’m currently working as DOP in Morocco shooting a TV feature . I’m using a Canon DSLR 5D MkIII with lenses 16/35, 24/70 and 70/200. I’m also using the 5D on my Polecam with the 24/70 zoom lens. When I shoot in France on broadcast production, I use 2 kinds of cameras on and off my rig: the Panasonic Camcorder HPX255 and the Sony HDC-P1 with a wide angle zoom lens.” 56 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 100 APRIL 2015 John Gillan, DOP, UK: John has been a champion of Toshiba minicams back from when he put the fi rst SD version on his early Polecam. He stayed with the HD version of it (IK- HD1) on his rig when others were changing to larger cameras like the canon C300. “I stayed with the Toshiba HD for a reason. With experience the Polecam effectively becomes part of you, and you know you can fl y the camera to precisely where you want, to show what you want, with the dynamics you want to give to it. You can still do it with a larger camera but there’s a subtle difference and personally I prefer the dynamics of using the small camera. It does depend on the job of course and I will use other cameras for other jobs.” “Lately for some jobs I‘ve also been using the Black Magic Design Pocket Cinema camera on my rig. It produces 1080p and I’ve been very pleased with the results, as have my clients.” “What’s happened now of great signifi cance is that Fujinon have brought out a couple of new megapixel lenses including a C-mount 17x zoom that I have just bought from Polecam Systems. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made to suddenly see the resolution I had been fi ltering out with the previous lenses I’d been using. It’s given my Toshiba HD minicam a totally new lease of life. The wide end of the range is 4.5mm, just right for Polecam, so I’m going to be using this combination on my rig a lot. The Zif controller that the Polecam guys have put together works really well. I’ll defi nitely be using it on the Cliff Diving series I’m shooting through the course of this year.” “I am also looking at going 4K with the new JVC GW SP100E camera when it arrives to complete the range of cameras I have to offer.”