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    #41
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I've thought about it more, and I think the doom and gloom is a bit overwrought. I think this technology will put some downward pressure on labor rates and possibly eliminate or drastically reduce some kit fees. But I think that only the most basic camerawork will be replaced by amateurs or producers with a phone, some of which has already happened.

    What I think is more likely to come of it is video happening where it would not otherwise happen. Like with gimbals - gimbals dont replace steadicams or steadicam ops. But they let me shoot steadicam-esque stuff for weddings and corporate b-roll where I would have been handheld or on slider before.

    An iPhone is not that much cheaper than a basic mirrorless camera with a kit lens. even if it can handle focus and exposure, it still needs to be operated. Someone needs to run around placing it, even if you can crop and reframe later. But even your capacity to crop and reframe is called into question if you have to waste a ton of resolution stabilizing in post.

    Where do people think we are with using depth maps to relight the talent in post? I haven't seen that demo'd yet


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    #42
    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    I have absolutely no interest on an apple phone, but: this lidar thing is huge news, those sensors used to be really expensive just a couple of years ago, the whole tesla vs waymo autonomous car war revolvers around lidar vs standard camera strategies. I guess this is very good news for google.


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    #43
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    Yes. Things have gotten predictable with speed improvements, camera improvements, a new faster cell network. All the usual suspect. But lidar, as it matures, will be on of the coolest new practical features going forward. It's not talked about much yet, but seriously, it will be the must have upgrade feature. This opens up a whole new world of usability for the phone. Can't wait to see what devs do with it, but I suspect it will be a major focus at the keynote next year as they trickle it down into every model.


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    #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    I've thought about it more, and I think the doom and gloom is a bit overwrought. I think this technology will put some downward pressure on labor rates and possibly eliminate or drastically reduce some kit fees. But I think that only the most basic camerawork will be replaced by amateurs or producers with a phone, some of which has already happened.

    What I think is more likely to come of it is video happening where it would not otherwise happen. Like with gimbals - gimbals dont replace steadicams or steadicam ops. But they let me shoot steadicam-esque stuff for weddings and corporate b-roll where I would have been handheld or on slider before.

    An iPhone is not that much cheaper than a basic mirrorless camera with a kit lens. even if it can handle focus and exposure, it still needs to be operated. Someone needs to run around placing it, even if you can crop and reframe later. But even your capacity to crop and reframe is called into question if you have to waste a ton of resolution stabilizing in post.

    Where do people think we are with using depth maps to relight the talent in post? I haven't seen that demo'd yet
    Talking about the semi-immediate future, not the distant future (even though that's always fun).

    There's more to it than phone tech wiping out everything and I think we should use our imaginations more about what small-medium cameras could also become.

    Similar to computers, larger amounts of hardware should provide better performance. Perhaps cameras bigger than phones will also see huge leaps in imaging technology. There could be a format that doesn't yet exist, which can only be captured by boxes of a certain size, which happen to be bigger than smart phones.

    So while the iphone tech could replace current camera iterations, there should be more room (literally) for products larger than phones to give us even more.

    The other thing is thinking about how things are shot. Making feature films on the run in the Sahara Desert or travelling to multiple countries in a short time period is one thing, where there's no arguing that the phones will shine.

    But for a LOT of cases, shooting is done in few locations. For example, a feature film might be in a single house for a week, then they move onto the next location etc. Or a stereotypical corporate shoot is in an office for half a day then moves to one other location.

    So if there's a huge amount of other film equipment and running around isn't required, then one or two camera cases won't be a big deal, while possibly making the actual shooting easier. Plus the phone will still be in your pocket too.

    For editing, I think it'd be cool to assemble a timeline in pre production then as it's being shot the program replaces everything with the "best" takes. No manual data transfer, hardly any editing/grading.

    These saved post costs should be redistributed to production e.g. lighting, talent but in reality it'll probably just be a total slashed budget...

    I think we'll be officially screwed once believable lighting can be done after the fact. I'm hoping physics gets in the way!
    Last edited by rob norton; 10-14-2020 at 05:12 PM.


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    #45
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    The amount of work and work opportunities lost due to the advances in phone technology will be commensurate depending on what kind of work you do for which kinds of clients. Take live streaming, the largest growth field in media this year. I can 100% see high end phones utterly dominating in live streaming.
    I've done two shoots this year live streaming with the C300 MKII, C200 and have an upcoming one that will be FS7, but those have been the exception, we've mostly been using my X-T3s and some Sony PXW-X70s when we need servo zoom cameras. Basically live streaming is 90% spokespeople and celebrities being talking heads, the perfect situation where phone's terrible form factor won't matter at all. We are already using PTZ cameras in live streaming and they mostly look like crap but they save having to pay a camera operator so producers love them.

    In live streaming, the clients are really impressed by anything that doesn't look terrible because they are mostly coming from using their laptop's terrible 720p 15fps garbage camera. An X-T3 with some good lighting to them looks like how an Arri Alexa Mini LF looks to us.
    In low end documentary, some event, corporate work, I think phones will soon dominate, other than the occasional client who likes real cameras and lenses but the majority of those clients simply won't care. As of now, I don't think we have anything to worry about with
    fake re-lighting technology, it really looks pretty poor mostly compared to "real" lighting. But never underestimate producer's drive to save money. As a producer, I kiddingly say I just get what's left over at the end and the more I can make cuts without drastically affecting
    the end product's quality, the more profit I make. For the majority of the live streaming jobs we shoot, an advanced iPhone 12 or 13 would probably do a decent job.

    But live streaming is worlds apart for "normal" production. There will always be those who want to do things as cheaply as possible and the new phones will give them more ammo to not hire pros except when they are absolutely needed. But a LOT of work out there today, work with real budgets and deadlines, is done by dabblers, especially at corporations. Those people are never hiring a pro anyway so the new phone tech will make their efforts look better and better. The average video viewer is simply NOT very discerning. Frame a shot decently, use some generic soft light and a cheap wired lav and most audiences will think it looks pro enough. Anyone
    can achieve what I just outlined today with a minimum of skills and money. Most audiences cannot tell the difference or simply don't care even if they can tell the difference.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #46
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I dunno, puredrifting. Look at all the work that goes into pulling off a livestream, especially one with more than one camera. Sure, it might be producer work and not cameraman work. But just because your clients all own the camera you'll use and have it in their pockets doesn't mean they can pull it off without help. Sometimes I think we dont give ourselves enough credit for everything we do outside the exposure triangle.

    And the same goes for using phones in doc/corporate/whatever. Just because anyone can point the thing and get a good picture doesn't mean they have the experience/sensibility/stamina to run around with the thing and put it in the right places. and I'm not sure that capturing audio is getting any easier, 32-bit float aside.

    I do some work for a corporate agency that owns a bunch of GH5 cameras and rents or hires owner/ops for more serious stuff. Maybe they'll buy iPhones to replace their GH5s. I don't see the dynamics fundamentally shifting. And even with the iPhone, you'll need rigging and extra lenses. You're still looking at a $1500-2000 package, although it's true that that's cheap.


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    #47
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    A few thoughts.

    1) Streaming of all types really took off during the pandemic. There are a lot of the various webcams and a bunch of digital cams receiving streaming capabilities. Since a fixed mount camera is sufficient for most users, the next generation streamer will probably have a rotating base, built-in LED lights, a wireless mic, a clamp on mounting and/or gorilla-type stand. 1080p is sufficient but there are 4K webcams already out there.

    2) In terms of pro video production, a RX-100 type camera (on a hand-held gimbal, if neded) ought to be good enough. The problem is that the cartel doesn't want it to be good enough and smartphones are taking over that segment. Lighting can be corrected in post, as shown in the "Birdman". It was rotoscoped in post and that was six years ago. (co-incidentally, a Chivo lensed film)

    3) Once the iPhones get higher res sensors, a greater optical zoom, more processing power and software utilization, you won't have to be Chivo to make it look like a Chivo production. Removable media won't hurt either.


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    #48
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Okay, this is from Ken Rockwell, whom a lot of people do not like, but there are times, I do agree with what he says.

    Here he is talking specifically about stills(and the new $6K Zeiss point 'n shoot), but it translates to video, as well.

    ...If you have to edit or "fix" your pictures, why did you bother taking them in the first place?

    In real photography, pictures aren't broken. All the work happens before the shutter opens: you have to pay attention before you shoot — not after. To create worthwhile photos, shooting is the last thing we do. In real photography, the mantra is See, Feel, Shoot — or as one vulgar guy wrote: F.A.R.T.: Feel, Ask, Refine, Shoot. When the shutter closes, you're done. ...your composition, lighting, point of view and what and when is in your picture all have to happen before the shutter opens.

    This is hard work. It requires a lot of creative thought to make a great picture. ...you can't just wave a camera around and expect to capture magic without any thought or artistic synthesis on your part. As the great Scott Kelby has pointed out, there is no "unsuck" button in Photoshop!


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    #49
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    That's an old artist talking; not a 20-year-old kid with advanced technology at his or her disposal.

    You WILL be able to point-and-shoot like never before.

    Whether that's art and whether you/we like it or not is open to interpretation.


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    #50
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    I worked this job where I assisted on one side of a remote zoom interview. The production company sent 2 small cases to the interview subject which included an iPhone 11 Pro, ring light, cheap tripod, gorilla pod, and those Shure omnidirectional mics that plugs into the iPhone. They had a cheat sheet for how they wanted it to be set up. Basically they wanted the phone A right behind the laptop, just above the camera. They wanted it shot vertical because they knew it would be a split screen layout. Phone B was off to one side, but a bit wider. Once the job was over, all I needed to do was upload the files via Dropbox...which was already on the phone and logged in to an account. Then I shipped the cases back which already had a pre-paid shipping form.

    I suppose the point of this reply is to reinforce that there is a use-case for using a mobile device...for now. I could see this working for podcasts and other types of corporate work that revolves around some sort of video chat. The one bad thing for folks like us is that everyone knows how to use a phone, which means the production company can eliminate hiring a person like me if the interview subject is savvy enough. I was only hired because the guy who was being interviewed is a self-proclaimed "tech luddite". The production company could've sent a kit w/ a DSLR or camcorder, audio kit and bigger tripod, but for what they were delivering, the phone worked perfectly.

    It was super easy, and the rate I got paid reflected that. But during the pandemic, it was better than staying home for that 2 hours.


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