Reza Productions just posted on Vimeo the full short movie they shot last March with a bare-naked Canon HV30. In my opinion, it’s on the best top-5 of all the HV short films shot so far: it’s color graded well, light and photography is great, it’s cut pretty well, and the director was smart to setup his shots in a way that by zooming-in he would introduce some slight shallow depth of field. Shallow enough to make this short movie to look very “filmic”, as in “movie-like“. I am very impressed by the look he got out of his naked HV30. Download the 1080p HD version here.

This short movie proves that HV’s 1/2.7″ sensor & semi-fast lens are enough in most cases, if you know how to light & shoot properly. From all the gadgets I’ve bought over the last 2.5 years to feed my filmmaking hobby, the 35mm adapter was the most useless one. Except the initial test with it, after it arrived on my doorstep, I never used it to shoot anything. I wasn’t happy with the vignetting, the loss of resolution and stabilization, the bulkiness, the difficulty of actually shooting with it. Instead, I learned how to maximize my camera’s ability to achieve a shallow-enough-for-my-purposes DoF. Even a tiny bit of shallow DoF is enough to get rid of the “video look”. You don’t need massive amounts of it! The latest music video I shot has some pretty shallow DoF at times, and it’s shot with a bare HV20 too. Here are two snapshots from it:

I believe that most of the videographers who bought a 35mm adapter are misguided. Except maybe a handful of HV videos shot with a 35mm adapter on Vimeo (out of about 500 such videos watched so far), the majority are just shaky “tests”. Sure, there are situations that very shallow DoF looks better, but I am personally just not sold on it. There are more important things on a video than blurriness. And I am not willing to lose so much just to get blurriness. In fact, now that I have a 5D MarkII, I will do my best to keep shallow DoF under control.


munesh wrote on November 13th, 2009 at 7:31 PM PST:

I could not agree with you more about the bare HV series lens. I too bought a 35mm adapter but now i just prefer the lone Canon lens that comes with the camera. the image is soo much more superior.

Paul wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 2:35 AM PST:

So I take it, you or munesh are willing to sell your 35mm adapter at a low reasonable price?

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Eugenia wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 2:52 AM PST:

Sure. My adapter cost at the time over $300 (vibrating, with an achromat, Nikon & EOS support). It is basically never really used. I sell it to you (or anyone else) for $150.

Rolf wrote on November 14th, 2009 at 4:16 AM PST:

What’s All This “filmic” or “movie-like“ look Stuff, Anyhow?

I’m also a tech fan, but yesterday I saw “Blow Up” from Antonioni: DOF ? endless, color grading ? none directly perceivable. But, extrordinary story, super photography with interesting dolly travels, even zoom, special locations …
So this brought me down to think more about the non technical settings.

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