Loving the support I’ve been getting from you kind human beings, another question: how is it you guys stay geeky with all the tech? Are there any resources for us camera folks (magazines, books, websites) that could help overview gear in one place as opposed to constantly having to wildly keep 50 tabs open when comparing and learning? Been dying to just compare cameras and learn all the ins and outs of WFFs, wireless transmission systems, etc.
Hey Jacob, glad you are squeezing the best out of this forum. Actually this was meant for this. Lately, to keep up to speed with all the new cameras/lenses/accs and so is almost imposible, but here are my tips (or at least what I do)
- talk to collegues and people in the business about doubts, issues I had on set, experiences, configurations and so on. With so many variables around, I think sharing experiences is the way to go.
- follow trade shows: of course you can’t go physically to all trade shows around the world (and if you can give me a call and I’ll be more than happy to be your guest😝), but through social networks you can follow them and get to know the main news. Which ones? If you want my two cents, NAB, IBC, Cinegear and maybe Paris Microsalon, but Asia also has quite a few interesting trade shows and counting
- online resources, such as newshooter, cinema5D, provideocoalition, abelcine are very good to check every now and then
- subscribe to your local cinematography magazine
- be a geek, try to use as much of you free time as you can surfing the web in search of camera-related topics
hope it helped!
I think Fabio did a pretty good summary already, but here are some more things to add:
- Talking to other assistants, and rental house staff - they all work with all this camera gear every day as well, and for me it always helps enormously to hear how they work, what equipment they like and dislike and so on. At rental houses they also might show you their new equipment and you can test and compare stuff that you didn't take with you on set before.
- Also for a lot of hands-on comparing and testing I can't recommend the Camerimage Festival enough. It's not as large as the big trade shows, but in my opinion that's what makes it even nicer: It's focused only on cinema gear, and with all the seminars and workshops offered there, its always a really resourceful event. (plus, you can watch nice movies every day ;).
- Instagram - following hashtags like #cameraassistant, #focuspuller or similar and following a lot of other focus pullers (and some rental houses) gives a nice insight into how others approach different situations on set. Also by following some of the cinema brands you won't miss it when something new is announced by them.
- A colleague here in Vienna made this awesome database, comparing most lenses and cameras by various specs: https://brains.florianmilz.com For example when I want to know something about recording times or max framerates of a specific camera at specific settings, I always look there. Also, there is a lens coverage tool and I really like how all this information is unified at one place.
- And last but not least: this forum obviously! It's still kinda new and I expect it to grow even more, but I really like reading the threads here, and the answers by other focuspullers to various questions. There is always something in the answers that's helpful, new or interesting to me.