In the full frame: the mirrorless market hots up

Camera tech

Film maker’s view

Adam Plowden on set with his mirrorless camera system
Adam Plowden on set with his mirrorless camera system

“Since the Panasonic GH2/GH4 and Sony a7s were released, we’ve witnessed an arms race from manufacturers to keep delivering better and better mirrorless cameras that exceed expectations in terms of quality and features,” writes producer and director Adam Plowden.

“I myself have 3 mirrorless cameras. They are very beneficial for the video productions that I work on, where being a versatile shooter is very important. The 4K and HD slow motion features (with no crop or windowing applied) creates beautiful images, especially with a full frame sensor.

However, understanding these cameras limitations is just as important as knowing how to operate them professionally.

Firstly, lens choice. If you are switching from DSLR to mirrorless, you will often have a bunch of lenses that don’t fit with the new mount. Using an adapter or Speed Booster allows these lenses to be used on mounts with a shorter flange distance, but the autofocus functionality goes out the window.

The codecs used in recording video are also heavily compressed. Although this is beneficial in regards to small file sizes, when it comes to colour grading or effects during the editing stage it becomes apparent that the footage ‘falls apart’. Noise and artefacts begin appearing. Thankfully, external recorders that capture 10-bit video in ProRes, Cinema DNG and other codecs are available that further expand the recording capabilities of the cameras.

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