With high-quality images and the ability to put the viewer at the heart of the action, mini-cameras are responsible for some great shots. The traditional view of grainy electronic images has been transformed recently and creatives are now using the new breed of these small cameras to add alternative and innovative footage. Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire used SI-2K mini-cameras to get shots that would have been virtually impossible with large cameras.
Smaller cameras, smallerbudgets?
The rental rates for mini-cameras are generally lower than for larger format cameras, but longer set-up times may have to be taken into account. These cameras are usually used for getting a unique shot - think Bear Grylls jumping out of a helicopter (shot on a Sony HXR-MC1P) in Man vs Wild.
What are the best tips for using a smaller camera?
You should always book a thorough test shoot so that you can get to grips with the camera and experiment with the looks you can achieve. Most mini-cameras do not have viewfinders and it seems that every one records onto a different media format. The usual rule of sorting your workflow out before production certainly applies.
Where is the future for mini-cameras?
There is a lot of interest in 3D camera rigs at the moment and due to the inter-ocular distance of small-format cameras coupled with a very high resolution, minicams such as the Iconix are perfectly suited for this application.
Paul Carter, head of cameras at Axis Films.