Just The Same (But Brand New)
August 27, 2010 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the camera used to shoot the most amazing footage I've ever seen.

What kind of camera was used to shoot the breathtakingly beautiful St. Vincent tour videos (like here, here, and here) and where can I buy it (and how much it'll cost me)?
posted by howiamdifferent to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Searching his blog I found a few other videos shot with a Nikon D90. The wobbly look to the video looks about right. You could ask him.
posted by sanka at 6:18 AM on August 27, 2010

This just a guess, but judging from how some of the scenes flickr as the exposure adjusts automatically, some autofocus, some rubber band (the wobble artefact you see in some of the videos, common to lower-end video recorders), some have a long depth of field and some have some or none of those things, you're almost certainly looking at footage from lower-end DSLR with a few different lenses. You'd get that effect from video-capable DSLR with a prime lens on it set to manual focus and a fair bit of sepia-tonish stuff done in post.

The Canon 5Dmk2, current hotness in that field, doesn't exhibit that rubberbanding. But that's a known issue with some Nikon DSLRs that record HD. Also, by and large musicians are not made of money. So, this is just a guess, but I'm thinking that you're looking at something like a Nikon D90 with the entry-level F1.8 prime lens on it; it certainly looks like a lot of the D90 video test footage I've seen. That, plus some Final Cut for the editing and Adobe Aftereffects for the sepiatones.
posted by mhoye at 6:51 AM on August 27, 2010

Keep in mind that stuff is heavily, heavily post-processed.

The only virtuous thing the D90 is bringing to the table is shallow depth-of-field; it is also bringing an obnoxiously quantized exposure (the clunky brightness shifts), a too-high shutter speed (stroboscopic feel), and that wobbly jello feel from a rolling shutter that is characteristic of big CCD sensors not really optimised for video.

This video could have been shot on any DSLR. Please don't concentrate on equipment when it is really skill, talent and inspiration where the magic lies.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:56 AM on August 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Looks like a Nikon to me, which is why you want a Canon DSLR for video work, if you're serious about it. The 5D MKii is still champ, and with a price around $3,000 with kit lens. If you want to save some money, you can get fantastic images out of the 7D around $1,800, or wait it out for the upcoming 60D for estimated $1,400 (although I can't speak to its features yet). There is also a consumer end Canon that shoots HD, I believe the XSi runs around $500, but I have no hands on with that one.

If you want video to look like that, get any HD capable DSLR with a 50mm lens, 1.2 or 1.8. Purchase the Magic Bullet Quick Looks plugin from Red Giant Software to go with an editing program of your choice (Final Cut, Avid, Premiere). Let me know if you have any questions, I can point you to some helpful resources.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:20 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Alas, the XSi doesn't shoot video. I believe shinynewnick is thinking about the T2i.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:33 AM on August 27, 2010

Please don't concentrate on equipment when it is really skill, talent and inspiration where the magic lies.

To some extent that's true, but I've noticed over the years that the people who say that tend to have pretty nice gear. A while ago this made the rounds, in which he made the reasonable point that you can take good photos these days with an iPhone, but politely overlooked the elaborate studio lighting setup, professional hair stylist, and the fact that the camera was pointed at a professional model, and then photoshopped all over the place.

So yeah, the skill, talent and inspiration matters a lot, and every now and then somebody with a piece-of-shit Holga wins a Pulitzer, sure. But the gear also matters.
posted by mhoye at 7:36 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

shinynewnick - I'd be interested in those resources too, if you wouldn't mind posting them. :-)
posted by dorkydancer at 9:38 PM on August 27, 2010

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