3D documentary filmmaking: why Sony EXs aren’t ideal for our beam splitter rig
A week of testing our B cam beam splitter rig system has revealed that the Sony EX1/EX3 duo we’re using with the Film Factory 3D BS Indie Rig aren’t ideal for shooting our first 3D documentary.
The issue isn’t technical – Alister Chapman reports using the same cameras successfully, and we were able to genlock the EX3 to the EX1 by connecting the EX1’s Y channel of the component output to the EX3’s genlock in connector, just as he has.
It’s logistical …the cameras are just too big and cumbersome for this particular beam splitter rig.
We’ve modified the rig so they fit better, but getting them aligned vertically is rough – the mics protrude and we’re still seeing the edge of the box and/or the bottom of the mirror when we use our Sony EX 5.8 mm lens (which has a 56-degree horizontal angle of view).
Wide shots are a must for Blowdown, the explosive demolition documentary we’ll be filming, so we need a system that will effectively capture this kind of footage – ie. we need to hit the sweet spot on the mirror, have the cameras vertically aligned and not see the rig when we use wide-angle lenses.
The alternative is enlarging the image in post to eliminate the part(s) of the shot that contain the rig, but that will degrade the quality, so I want to try and avoid this (especially since we’ll be blowing the footage up it to a certain degree already to facilitate convergence).
So, now we’re working with Canon Canada directly to get loaners of the XF305, which has just been released.