.. It’s quite often those YouTubers who clearly own ridiculous amounts of equipment that are the Ones insisting it doesn’t matter Which leads us to ask the awkward question: Why did they buy it? Then I mean, if you really believe kit doesn’t matter, go, give your money to a homeless guy or something do something good for the world. But look if you’ve ever been on a big budget film set, You will have trucks and trucks and more trucks filled with equipment and then 50 or more crew to move it around and set it up, and I doubt very much. Producers would spend literally millions of dollars on all that stuff if it didn’t make any difference to their movie. Well, of course, it mates a difference. They are never going to shoot a blockbuster on a smartphone Now matter how advanced, smartphone cameras get It doesn’t make sense to do that. For a start, the people paying 20 for a cinema ticket. For a start, the people paying 20 for a cinema ticket are doing so in part because they want the highest quality, image and audio experience.. Of course, they also want a moving story brought to life with great performances from the cast, But its not like. We have to choose one or the other Someone paying 20 wants both high quality in the technical aspects AND the creative aspects of the movie. That said, if we DID have to choose between story and performances or technical quality, I wager that 99.
9 of us would choose story and performance Lets. Take an example Say the recent blockbuster Wonder: Woman 1984. Is there a reason they chose the year of George Orwells classic dystopian novel? I havent seen the movie, so I dont know the plot. Anyway, whereas the first Wonder Woman was shot digitally for the follow up. They decided to shoot on film. Some parts are shot using IMAX 65mm, but the majority of it is shot on 35mm film. They initially wanted to shoot the whole thing on the IMAX 65mm film camera, but it wasnt practically possible. Let me just say that again, They had 200 million to spend, but still had to shoot most of it at a lower image quality for practical reasons. So you see, equipment does matter, And even people with more money to spend than I can even imagine have to compromise Thing is its not just about money That big 65mm IMAX camera is hard to use for moving shots, even with all that money to throw around The lesson here is that its not that equipment doesnt matter, Rather, we have to balance many factors when choosing equipment And image quality is just one of those factors, Even filmmakers, with 200 million to spend need to make practical decisions, choosing a smaller film size and a Smaller camera, because the benefits outweigh the loss in quality When choosing equipment for a video project, its not just about the highest resolution or the widest dynamic range.
Like the makers of Wonder Woman 1984, we need to consider many different aspects, Not least among those factors is how much we can afford whats the budget. When I had my film show at a festival in Germany, I met a filmmaker from New Zealand who had shot her first movie on a budget of about NZ1m. It was shot on 35mm film. Now this turned into a disaster because the film print had to be sent to the festival from New Zealand, and it didnt make it in time. The premiere was only able to take place because the director had a rough cut of the film on DVD in her luggage Problem was the ending was missing from this cut, so she had to stand up in tears and tell the audience what happens at the end Of the film, Meanwhile, I brought my digital tape copy of my movie in my luggage, and the screening went ahead with no problem Anyway. The reason I mention that film is the director had shot part of it using a cheap DSLR. They wanted some shots of the characters travelling by plane, so while they were flying to a location, they quickly grabbed some sneaky shots. These were then edited into the movie alongside the 35mm film stuff. So, in this case, equipment DID matter Because using an ordinary DSLR, they were able to shoot some stuff they couldnt have afforded to get using the full 35mm cinema camera. When I go filming, I dont take every single piece of equipment.
I own, I think, about what I want to film and choose equipment accordingly. Sometimes I film with nothing but the smartphone and the native app on auto. Sometimes I bring lenses filters. Gimbals tripods microphones., Any professional, filmmaker planning a project will spend time working out what they want to shoot and therefore what equipment they will need to shoot it. If Im out and about shooting a review for YouTube. I cant record sound using my highest quality mic. This Sennheiser 416, Its not practical, so Ill use the inbuilt mic or a small lavalier. Again equipment does matter, But its not as simple as choosing the best quality kit. Sometimes something less quality but lighter and more convenient will be a better choice And literally every filmmaking project works like this from our no budget YouTube videos right up to 200 million blockbusters, So rather than lusting after better equipment. If you want to be truly professional, you need to start thinking this way. Think about it.. What is it that you want to create and what is the best equipment you can afford to achieve that Personally, Ive chosen to use smartphones Theyre still the cheapest most convenient cameras for shooting video, especially if you consider all the extras like lenses and tripods, are also Smaller The bottom line is this: use the equipment that suits your project and your budget. But the most important thing is that you make stuff., Even if you have nothing but a smartphone or a GoPro, If thats all.
You have then play to the strengths of those devices. Dont try to compete with an Arri, Alexa, think about shooting stuff that you cant shoot with a big cinema. Camera Equipment does matter. It matters that you choose equipment that gets you filming and not sitting at home. Saying if only I had a Blackmagic and prime lenses, I would be a professional Because heres the thing, the only people that think like that are amateurs Being a professional isnt about having a huge Red, Epic, whatever it is Its about choosing the right camera for the Right project at the right budget., And if you do that well, youre thinking like a professional., If you say to yourself All I want is the perfect camera. You first have to ask yourself the perfect camera for what Vlogging short filmmaking underwater cinematography wedding videos, advertising corporate videos, real estate …. The list goes on There isnt one camera or one setup, thats perfect for all those situations. First theres practical considerations such as how much you can afford to spend Also how encumbered you can afford to be by large amounts of equipment. Can you afford the extra crew needed to carry and set up this extra kit, How about getting it to the location? If you want to set up a jib arm, for example, is it legal? Is it safe? Do you have the time? Is it going to slow you down and ruin your shoot? This might sound obvious, but I cant tell you the number of times Ive been involved in low budget film shoots where being overambitious with equipment has caused a filmmaking disaster.
We have some crazy kit like tracks or a massive helium balloon light hen. Its taken so long to set up were halfway through the day and weve only got maybe one shot.. Everyone is panicking and going crazy and the whole project ends up going down the toilet. If youre filming in a situation where you have a time limit, make sure you know your kit inside out, Dont show up on the day of a shoot and be like. Oh, how does this work? My tip is, if you are in doubt about any piece of kit, then maybe leave it behind, Especially if its something big and complicated and likely to slow you down.. If you are filming on your own vlogging or just shooting some b roll, surely youll want to choose kit that is small, lightweight and quick to use Like this DJI OM 4 gimbal. It has its limitations in terms of restricted movement for some shots and max payload. But it sure is easy to use and carry around So that’s. Why it’s, my favourite gimbal, Sometimes I bring too much stuff and then I get annoyed because I cant find the thing I want when I want it.. You know that thought when youre packing the kit bag Ill bring this and this, and this just in case, I need it. Whats the harm right. The harm is having to empty out your entire bag to find the thing And thats the whole message of this video Expensive equipment can ruin your videos just as much as cheap equipment if its wrong for your project And thats, why equipment does indeed matter.
? Of course, I agree that you should just use the camera you have and don’t get hung up on equipment. I made a video about whether you should use a smartphone or a professional camera So check that out, if you haven’t already seen it So that’s it.