You remember Gene Nagata? He has compared the video quality of the iPhone 7 with an Arri Alexa – a Hollywood camera for 82,000 dollars. Now Gene is back with a new comparison, which is exclusive to us first to see: How does a Canon 80D DSLR compare with the Arri?
What’s noticeable in his videos: When Gene holds an iPhone or a Canon 80D in his hands, the videos look eh already professional. How does he do that? I asked him. Interview with many video tips under the video.
Engadget: Gene, who are you?
Gene: My name is Gene Nagata, on YouTube I run the channel PotatoJet. I am a filmmaker and owner of the production company Second Light Creative, with whom I mainly shoot advertising videos.
What role do amateur cameras play in your everyday life?
As a production company, effective and efficient video production is very important to me. But high-end equipment I only use for certain projects and when I believe that it is really necessary. My comparison videos help me to decide – and I hope they demystify the differences for my viewers as well.
How do you decide for the right camera?
If I could, I would record everything on a mobile camera, it is very comfortable. But depending on the project, it is important to know the differences between professional, prosumer and consumer cameras. Once you know these differences, you can choose the right equipment.
The differences between cameras are familiar to many enthusiasts from the theory, but I like to make these comparative tests so that you can see these differences exactly. When I see the image material next to each other, the result is predictable in many parts. But sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.
Of course you can also compare cameras with their specifications, but I feel that many manufacturers produce cameras that have particularly high specifications, but do not record the clearest, most beautiful images.
A camera has so many aspects that do not appear in the specifications. For example, I respect Arri very much because they have not taken the jump to 4K for a long time and many of their cameras still have no real 4K sensor. But that does not mean they do not have a good sensor. They have an “unusually large light-sensitive area”. So there are fewer pixels, but the best.
How important is the equipment?
It is always said that “equipment plays no role”. But it is also called “professional equipment for professional results”. I believe that both are applicable. Professional equipment will always have a head start, but as you can see in my comparison, the difference in some areas is huge, and in others it is not even that big.
Anyone working with consumer equipment can definitely make great pictures, these devices can be really a lot today. I just test a pinch and am surprised how good it is! If you understand the limits of your camera and remain within these limits, each camera can look good.
How to make good pictures with simple cameras?
The most important tip is quite clear: one must imagine the result as precisely as possible before the turn. Think about how you want to cut it, what music you want to put under, what lighting you want, etc. The more you know what you want, the better the result.
If it is a new camera, you should play around with it for a whole day and explore its limits with different settings and light situations. If you have it, you can play with the environment. For example, when I record my YouTube videos in my home, I wait until 2 in the afternoon, because then the sun shines through the window and I get so free lighting. In addition, it helps to understand the dynamics capture (see video), in order to get evenly illuminated pictures.
And whatever helps, is a pretty tripod, lol …
Can you give some tips on how to make professional equipment with amateur equipment?
Good lighting is the secret. If you do not have your own headlights, Sun Seeker can find out where and when the sun will exactly appear. This lets you see, for example, which window light will drop, when a range is in the shade, etc. When I film outdoors, I always try to shoot the morning or late afternoon, because then the sunlight comes at a more interesting angle than simply from above at midday. This makes it much easier for everyone who prefer natural light.
Tripods and stabilizers not only guarantee that spectators will not be bad, but also a high-quality look. In addition, the compression difficulties of poor codecs can be compensated for when the material is moving. There are countless tripods and stabilizers on the market, with which one can make high quality recordings.
What I love about professional cameras is their built-in ND filter, with which one can produce a shallower sharpening depth even with ample light. If you do not have such a filter yet in his camera or as accessories, should write it to the wishlist. However, one has to read the reviews of the filters well: some generate a vignette.