1.26.2017

Caught between two camps. The self-inflicted war between my photography and my videography.

Not angry, Just a bad case of RPOF (resting pissed off face). 

There's something disturbing about being stuck in the middle between two disciplines. From one side I feel the comforting tug of having done something for decades, with all the security that implies; and from another side is the lure of something different and new, along with the enjoyment of mastering new information, new techniques and new hand/head skills.

I started the year out by shooting five video projects for three companies and I'm currently in the pre-production phase of another big video project for February. Things are going well and I've made only a few, non-fatal, missteps. In the realm of photography the year is off to a slower start with only a handful of portraits, along with some still photographs taken during video projects to round out a campaign.

There's a lot to love about video. The process can be much more complex. From scriptwriting to editing there are just so many details to keep straight. The projects take more time to finish but this also means more time to bill. And each facet can be a profit center for a creative content business; from the rental of my gear to the charges for auditioning music for music beds.

Photography has its own, different attractions. It's so much easier to do the pre-production. And the post production. The projects don't last as long, which plays to my attention span. Most still photography projects are shot, post processed and billed in the space of 48 hours. A nice, steady cash flow stream.

But juggling both is hard work. Harder work than just knuckling down and choosing one over the other.

I spent a quality hour and a half at our local U.S. Customs office. I was getting my form 4457 stamped. But I was waiting behind a man who was hellbent on arguing with customs about something I could not quite understand. He was angry, they were angry and by default, I was angry. I've never had to do this before. I usually just drag along a couple of camera bodies and three or four lenses when I head out of town. When we worked out of country in the 1980's and 1990's it was a time when major companies had in-house travel departments or contracts with big travel agencies and things like visas and forms were handled by brokers and third party suppliers who had accrued some expertise in working through the system. Not so now. Everyone is on their own and scrambling to get their receipts uploaded to Concur.com. Now you get your own form 4457 filled out. Part of the production.

This push and pull between photography and the moving arts isn't some new religion I picked up on my way home from Costco.com one day. I've tumbled in and out of it for a long time. It all started when I was the creative director in an ad agency. I would come up with a creative concept and write a script for a television commercial and it was expected that I'd be at the shoot to make sure the production matched the concept, and that the talent read the words in the same way I intended them.

In those days most of the commercials I worked on were filmed on 35mm film which would be timed and transferred to two inch tape which would be edited and color graded and transferred to our distribution (tape) media. It was mostly analog back then so you started big so as not to lose too much quality on the way down the stream.

Somewhere in the late eighties or early nineties I got bit hard enough by my fascination with the process to buy a Bolex Rex 5, 16mm film camera along with an Angenieux 12-120mm lens. I used it mostly to shoot black and white Tri-X movie film. We shot several commercials with that camera before I lent it to a young film maker, from whom it was stolen.

By then I was interested in Super8, which was going through a nice resurgence. We used it for anything we could. My favorite project was for a company called Tech Works. We shot a beautiful talent, (Lou Ann Lofton) in an office, being demonstrably bored waiting for her computer (which had too little memory -- remember, the client made memory) to finish rendering something. Lots of dramatic black and white clips, close ups of clocks ticking away in slow motion, beautiful girl drinking coffee with a look of angsty disgust, a mean boss who kept looking at his watch....

I shot the entire first half of the project in black and white Super 8 with the Nikon R10 and then, after the (fictive) installation of ample memory, we shot the last half in glorious color, using a Sony Betacam. You know, like the Wizard of Oz movie; we're in Kansas so it's black and white. We're now in Oz so it's all in color.... The film was a big hit at one of the annual Apple Developer Conventions they used to hold.

My next plunge down the rabbit hole came when Canon introduced the XL-1 video camera. Interchangeable (big, white) lenses. Incredible zoom ranges. And the then current rage amongst enthusiasts: Hi-8 videotape.  Had to have one. My favorite project with that camera was my Coffee film which I did in conjunction with then "nobody", Rene Zellweger.  I had her walking down a steep hill downtown in five inch heels, in a tiny black dress, along with heart shaped sunglasses and a flowing leopard print scarf. She navigated along the sidewalk, down the steep grade, toward camera, all the while carefully balancing a white coffee cup on a saucer. And every once in a while she would stop and sip coffee while amused passersby stopped to gawk.

We also did a short film with that camera for my director friend, Bruce. Very dark. Very dramatic.  We did a couple of weeks of 10 hour days and got our money's worth out of the camera. Assisted by a very battered Sony ECM-55 lavaliere microphone (along with a very eclectic assortment of other, even older, microphones).

For about a year I taught a class about cinematic lighting on a Saturday, every six weeks, for The Austin FilmWorks. Director, Steve Mims ran the school in between film projects. He liked the way I lit projects for our mutual friend, Bruce, and we had a good run. But that was back in the 1990's and I was so busy with our high technology corporate clients that I went into photography only blinders mode for years at a time. The last project that Steve and I worked on was a music video called, The Hottest Thing in Town, for country legend, Billy Joe Shaver. On that project we actually built lighting instruments that hung over a pool table to provide even, motivated light for the pool game that was central to the narrative. We  modeled the lights after the big rectangular light boxes with beer logos that normally light the tables - the difference was that ours had two different 500 watt Totalights inside with their power cords running to separate dimmers...

That's the first big project where I really practiced with moving lights as well as moving cameras. The video went on to win a Country Music TV award in the year we produced it. Our camera operator was using an Arriflex super 16mm camera along with the new Zeiss 10-100 f2.0. Juicy stuff at the time...

But all through this string of motion stuff the photography seemed like the best shot at earning a good living, and the draw toward a well practiced discipline was strong. Lately I've been feeling the gravity from the motion side of things. I presumed I might just ramp up the number of projects we would go after this year but now I think I have a new intention. I want to go all in on video and continue offering photography to existing and referral clients who are interested. It's a sudden and big change for me but it feels right. Mostly because I love the control of sometimes getting to also write the scripts.

All the gear is so good now. Doesn't really matter which field. Lights are lights and cameras are multi-lingual now. When I talked to a nice lady named, Angela, at Customs today she pulled each one of the cameras I had listed on form 4457 out of the case to confirm their serial numbers. At some point she said, "I'm kinda surprised at all the different cameras you have. Do you really feel you need them all?" I laughed and asked her if there was some sort of limit. She smiled and said, "We don't care as long as you bring em back in legally." I was already thinking about the specific things I'd be using all four cameras for....

At any rate, that's what I'm thinking about today. Out running errands before everyone else gets out of work and hits the road... KT


1.18.2017

An interview with Vincent Hooper who is playing the role of "Stokely Carmichael" in the Zach Theatre production of, "The Great Society."


Vincent J. Hooper reflects on "The Great Society" from ZACH Theatre on Vimeo.

Vincent is an incredible stage actor and was a wonderful interview subject. I worked with Zach's P.R. person, Lauren, to ask the right questions. With good talent and a good interviewer I sometimes feel like it's enough for me just to light scenes and run the camera.

Just thought I'd share the stuff I did and referenced in this previous post: https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2017/01/using-sony-a6300-to-create-video.html

We were obviously shooting a noisy location but I thought the background noise from the sirens was pretty cool.


We also did an interview with Meredith McCall, the actor who will be playing "Lady Bird" Johnson in Zach Theatre's upcoming play, "The Great Society."


Meredith McCall reflects on "The Great Society" from ZACH Theatre on Vimeo.

I love Meredith's interview but I do hear some car noise outside. I guess it's a balancing act when it comes to either stopping a good interview and trying to wait for sounds to clear or just realizing that you are on a "live" location and taking whatever comes.

We shot the interview with two of the Aputure Light Storm 1/2 lights. One through big diffusion and the other as a background wash. The camera was a Sony a6300 set to shoot 1080p. In retrospect I wish I had shot in 4K and down sampled. I've been testing the 4K capture lately and it's so nice.

Hard to get the room sounding perfect when you are faced with metal ceilings, concrete floors and metal overhead doors.... Ah....location work.


1.16.2017

The importance of "B-roll" in video production. A hard lesson for me.

super A.D., Ben, grabs for all the "B-Roll" he can find!

The hardest thing of all in creating good video is not getting the color right or the footage sharp. Some would say the hardest part is always getting good sound. But for me the hardest part of the process is the edit. And the stumbling block for me is that I have a hard time understanding the vital importance (in the edit phase) of having lots of great "B-roll" to choose from. 

First of all, What the Hell is B-roll? Most of the video work I do involves shooting interviews. The interviews can be about new products, new processes or about something that the interviewee has done that is interesting. My somewhat linear mindset leads me to want to shoot the interview the same way I'd shoot a photographic portrait. My brain was programmed by years of still photography to compose a very nice frame, get my lighting as close to perfect as I can and to pay attention to the main event; the actual interview. 

But if you are creating video that's watchable you need to understand that having a person stare into (or near) the camera lens and talk can get pretty boring pretty quickly. Also, since we seem to be culturally evolving into a new species that learns almost exclusively by seeing, we need on screen images of the things our interviewee is talking about for the audience to better understand the content. Finally, we need scenes and associated imagery to cut away to in the event that we need to make an edit to the primary footage. After all, the way video works best is to get your audience into the story. Technical glitches are a quick way to pull them right back out of your story and move on to something else. 

In the video Ben and I are currently on for a healthcare client we have an interviewee who gave us a tremendous interview session. The technical problem is that she said great stuff but it was spread across different clips. We wanted to piece one very tight and coherent program out of these little gems of content but every time you make a cut from one clip to another there is a jarring difference in the overall continuity. The person's body might be in a different posture, hands in a different place, even the expression might be much different (if the light or sound is different; that's on you!). 

So, when we want to join different clips we need something else to cut away to to keep the audience from seeing the obvious visual hiccups. That's the primary role of B-roll. It is footage that gets inserted into your program either to show something that relates to what your narrator or interviewee is saying or to provide a way to disguise cuts between clips. The best situation is that B-roll will do both. 

Since my brain seems hard-wired to go straight for the obvious I end up running the "A" camera in most projects. I have a good, linear idea of the overall outline of the project and I'm off and running from point "A" to point "B". I'm busy following the map. But I am not incapable of learning. In solo projects I set up a second camera to run during interviews which gives me a different point of view to use in my edits and I try my best (with a meticulous shot list) to get as much footage that is relevant as I can. But if push comes to shove it's the direct interview that always takes precedence. 

Recently I was beaten over the head with just how useful and necessary good B-roll could be. My assistant director on our healthcare video project spent the shooting day with a Sony RX10iii camera in his hands. We set both the primary shooting camera and his camera to the same codec, the same white balance and fps to give us a fighting chance at mixing the footage in the edit. 

Everything I shot the A.D also shot, but from a different angle and different magnifications. He also shot details and close-ups and reverse angles. In all, he shot about twice as many clips as I did but, in my defense, my camera was running all the time on interviews...

When we got back to the studio my A.D. started editing the footage based on the outline we created. We had just done a Lynda.com refresher course to learn what was new in Final Cut Pro X 10.3 and were both excited to try using the "flow" transition tool to cut together the interview (which would serve as a primary narration track) from the jigsaw box full of clips we had at hand. The flow tool is a great transition tool where audio is involved. It seems to understand that we're piecing together two different clips of audio and automatically makes the transitions almost (audibly) invisible. 

As you may guess we had dozens and dozens of clips butted together and while the audio was more or less seamless the visual cuts were obvious. That's when my A.D. started diving into his treasure chest full of B-roll. Stuff I never thought about came out. A super close up of a stream of fresh, hot coffee filling up a coffee carafe in the kitchen. An ethereal shot of a bowl of lemons. Numerous shots of the products shot in an artsy way with a moving, handheld camera. Lots of angles of our main talent athletically piloting her wheel chair in a park, at a lake, at a restaurant, getting in and out of her car, having a meeting, etc., etc. 

He seemed to have the perfect cutaway shot for every contingency and I marveled as the project grew from a barebones documentation to a full blown, visual narrative. Video is so much richer with images that bolster the "main" footage.

Since my current A.D. is "on loan" from his college I'll be looking for a new assistant director/editor to work with in February. First on my list of question for them will be, "tell me your ideas about shooting B-roll..."

It's good to figure out where my blindspots are so I can work on them. From now until it becomes second nature I'll be carrying a "B-roll" shot list with me on every assignment. Yikes. So much harder than the camera work. At least for me.


1.09.2017

A quick story about videotaping the opening session of a regional (north American) sales meeting for a client. Just some nuts and bolts.

 "LBJ" Played by Steve Vinovich at Zach Theatre. Coming soon. 

I've always been on the advertising side of photography, film and video. I've been involved in making TV commercials since 1985 and in making photographs for ads even longer. My one "cross over" into public relations and special events has been the photographic documentation of corporate events. Sales meetings in Maui, customer showcases in Madrid, Rome, Paris, Lisbon, etc. The corporate meetings have always been fun because I get to learn new information and at the same time practice my craft for hours and hours a day. 

I've recently been branching out and I've been delivering more video services. All kinds of video services. This morning I had the opportunity to videotape the opening session of a sales meeting for one of my clients. Usually, I roam the events with a still camera and try to catch interesting moments, but today I was standing behind a tripod on a riser, next to the A/V "command center," making a two hour and seven minute video documentation of the executives (and a motivational keynote speaker) on a black draped conference center stage. The challenges were there but it was a fun time trying to pit the things I've been learning over the last year against the chaotic nature of a series of live presentations. 

The event started for real today but it started in my mind the day last week that we booked the job. I started planning for how I would shoot and how I might handle worst case scenarios. My imagined scenarios ranged from complete camera failure (bring back ups) to the meltdown of the audio (have multiple sources) to the grim idea of an unlit stage with black drapes (solution? hang your head and cry, but make sure the audio is perfect....). 

Over the weekend I was able to get in touch with the A/V guy at the Westin Hotel where we would be providing our services. I drove out to meet with him yesterday and he had already put a set of risers exactly where I would have put them in the ballroom. He had an XLR cable running from the sound board he would be managing, right over to my camera. He'd thoughtfully provided a power strip, just in case I needed to plug in something. I was so happy I hugged the guy. 

My worst case scenario for audio went something like this: I'll be on a platform in the middle of the room, about a hundred feet from the sound board. I'll need to grab sound from the board with a portable audio recorder running into a wireless transmitter, then into a wireless receiver that is connected to the camera. Can't imagine what might go wrong in that scenario (sarcasm implied). But I knew it would be less wrong than trying to tape down 100 feet of coaxial cable running across a crowded conference ballroom.

My back-ups, if the sound board/wireless idea went south, were, in order, grab the second set of wireless gear and get a microphone near one of the loudspeakers. My last choice was to put a shotgun microphone on the camera and pray. Luckily, Steven at the Westin was all over it and the audio was perfect from beginning to end. 

I knew which camera I wanted to use but even waffled there for a few moments. I thought the RX10iii would be a great choice but I worried about how well I'd be able to focus it. I also worried about the battery life and the 29.99 minute cap on run time. I briefly toyed with the idea of renting a "real" videocamera or, alternatively, using the a6300 with a the 70-200mm. I did few tests and decided to go for it and use the RX10iii; and I'm glad I did.

Some tips I've learned from the video camera operators I worked with on shows like this in the past. 

1. Get the venue to set up two riser stands that are about 24 inches high. These will ensure that you get over the heads of the audience in front of you. You'll want two, one right in front of the other. Your camera/tripod goes on the front one and you go on the back one, that way when you shift your weight the camera doesn't wiggle and exaggerate the motion via the 600mm focal length. 

2. You'll want a feed (cable) from the sound board that the A/V people are using to mix in the sound from all the speakers' lav microphones, along with walk-in music, etc. I vote for a single channel of audio (mixed down) that comes to me as an XLR plug. It's a line level output so you can't take it straight into a consumer camera like the Sony RX10iii directly; the signal is too strong! You'll want something like my little Beachtek D2A which has a line/mic switch for each channel which puts a "pad" in between the line signal and the camera. 

I set the Beachtek to give me two mono signals instead of stereo on the off chance that I'll want to run a safety microphone in the vacant channel.  (Yes, it was part of my strategy...). The Zoom H5 also allows you to pad a line input and will also give me two totally separate channels. 

A lifesaver on the D2A is a little switch labeled "G1" and "G2." This switches the ground phase and comes in super handy as it did today. When I hooked up all my stuff there was a nasty hum in my headphones. One flick of that switch killed it. 

3. Figure out what the dominant light source for the stage is well before the start of the program and set that instead of relying on AWB. Today we worked with tungsten/halogen spots and the "lightbulb" setting was right on the money. 

4. Wear comfortable shoes. Go to the restroom before a 2 hour program starts...

5. Use manual focusing. With a detailed, seven inch, external monitor you'll be able to punch in and check focus from time to time to make sure what you see is really what you see.

6. Set up focus peaking on your monitor but also double check focus by punching in. Just to make sure.

7. Modern executives love walking back and forth across the stage as they speak, and some love walking out into the audience. Make your pans nice and smooth and be ready to ramp up your ISO as they leave behind the lovely light that was created for them on the stage. Just remember to make slow, smooth pans when you follow them around...

8.  Forget about trying to capture the Power Point stuff on the screens adjacent to the main stage. You can get a copy of the slide deck and output them as Jpegs then add them into the program as B-Roll.

9. Listen carefully for any electrical hum in your sound mix. It's probably coming from a power cable crossing a microphone cable. That can be fixed but only if you do it before you get rolling.

10. I find that if I'm paying too much attention to the subject matter of the speaker's presentation I lose track of my duties as a video documenter. I mostly ignore what the speakers are saying and pay attention to keeping my ever pacing presenters near the center mark on the monitor screen.

Today's set up: I had the camera (RX10iii) mounted in a cage with the monitor mounted up and to my left (top of the frame).  I had the Beachtek D2A mounted on the other side, also at the top of the cage (my right). The monitor is somewhat battery hungry (and the older Sony NFP-550s I have for it are aging quickly --- they were left overs) so I used an A/C adapter and ran the monitor from that. Since my RX10iii has a headphone jack I plugged in my headphones directly into the camera. The output from the D2A went into the microphone input of the camera. The left channel was the signal from the sound board while the right channel was the output from a shotgun microphone sitting in a cold shoe next to the Beachtek.

The 29.99 minute limit on continuous recording was much less of an issue than I assumed it might be. At any time during a recording cycle you can hit the red record button to stop recording and then immediately hit it again to start a fresh 29.99 minutes. I got into the rhythm of starting a clip and then looking at my watch. When I hit the 25 minute mark I would start looking for an organic gap. Something like applause at the end of a presentation or the arrival of a new speaker. The gaps in between clips never fell on a live spot in the program.

The camera ran for two hours and eight minutes (from the walk-in to the walk-out) and never missed a beat. No overheating, etc. I got about one hour and 50 minutes of runtime from one camera battery but I was too nervous to let it go down the last 4%. Since the camera was mounted on a cage and the show was rolling I just grabbed a small USB charger battery and stuck the cable into the camera's USB port to provide enough power to get me the rest of the way through the program.

I never worried about the memory card. I was using a Transcend SDXC U3 card with 128 GB of space on it which would have given me a bit more than five hours of record time shooting XAVCs 1080p.

The show wrapped and I packed everything up and headed out the door to the car. Our raw video came in at about 49 GB but after rendering it and outputting it in the client requested MP4 format the final size on a memory stick is just shy of 20 GBs.

This was fun for me. On Weds. we'll be back at the Westin in the afternoon to catch the closing speakers for the meeting. At the very end of the program they will be playing a three minute interview of a client of the company, which Ben and I filmed and edited last week. Should be fun to shoot the event video at which one of my own videos is being shown.

I like bouncing back and forth from video to stills. Still photography work is something I'm pretty confident about but video has so many moving parts it's still a fun challenge for me to get just right. And what is life without a challenge?




1.08.2017

Using the Sony a6300 to create video promoting a new production at Zach Theatre. Austin, Texas.



   

Ben and I had all day shoots on Wednesday and Thurs. last week. We're giving the new LED lights a good workout and I'm pretty much thrilled at the wonderful flesh tones I'm getting in both video and stills with the new lights. 

After a couple of full days of shooting video on multiple locations, followed by some rush edits on Friday, (along with too many meetings) I decided that I really needed to take some time off on Saturday. 

I slept in till nearly 7 am and then hit the pool for a refreshing swim (outdoors) in our new winter weather. Fun to watch icicles grow on the bottoms of the starting blocks while we did our workout. A little later we followed our Saturday family tradition and went out for lunch. The group consensus led us to Mexican food yesterday and it was a perfect counterpoint to the frigid weather. 

By mid-afternoon the absence of an immediate project to work on started to weigh on me so I packed a few equipment bags and headed over to Zach Theatre to make a few photographs of the early rehearsals of the new LBJ play, and also to record video interviews with three of the principal actors.  Once the actual interviews are edited and online I'll share a link here so you can see them for yourself, but as a poor alternative I did roll some video on myself before I packed up and headed home for dinner. The actors are much, much better in front of the camera --- and much better looking. But I thought you'd like to see what our final set-up looked like...

The camera was the Sony a6300. The lens was the 18-105mm f4.0 G. The microphone was an Audio Technica AT835B. One Aputure LS-1/2 LED used naked on the background and one LS-1/2 LED running through a 50 inch reflector to the left of frame as a main light. No fill. 

I spent today editing and then scouting our location for tomorrow's video shoot for one of my client's annual meeting events, in the ballroom of a local hotel. Our call time is 6:30 am and the start time is 8:00 am so I guess there's no swimming in the morning. 

Here are behind the scenes images of my set up for the videos:








And a "behind the scenes" candid of my favorite public relations collaborator, Lauren L. 


Ben, Belinda and I are off to celebrate our recent video successes with a nice dinner at the Four Season Hotel's restaurant, Treo. Hope you have a great and artistically productive week ahead.






1.07.2017

OT: My coldest outdoor swim to date. Austin, Texas, 20 degrees.

Not today my friends. Not today.

We're experiencing a big time cold front right now in Austin, Texas.  Studio Dog is wearing her pink sweater indoors and people I see out and around are shivering under mountains of down and PolarTec. I woke up this morning and looked at my phone to see what the temperature was outside. My phone told me that it was 20 degrees (f) and that we had a 15-20 miles per hour north wind whipping the wind chill down into the teens. 

I got out from under the warm covers and my wife asked me (in the tone of voice one uses to talk crazy people off ledges) why I was getting up. I told her that I had no intention of swimming in the deep freeze  outside but wanted to head over to the pool to see if any of the crazier people would show up and swim in this weather. I grabbed a small, Sony camera that makes video, bundled up with two sweatshirts and a jacket, gloves and a Craftsy watch cap, and headed out the door.

The car was barely warmed up by the time I got to the pool. I was surprised to find the parking lot nearly full. I looked through the cloud of steam rising from the pool enclosure to see the tail end of a packed, early workout finishing up. I checked the phone again and it was still 20 degrees. I grabbed my swim bag from the car and headed into the locker room. The first person I ran into was John. He just turned 70, has about 2% body fat and was pulling on his swim cap and heading out the door to the pool. Call it peer pressure but I just fell into the routine, pulled on a swimsuit, grabbed my goggles and swim cap and headed out after him. 

As I got to the deck the coach, Chris, yelled to me, "Walk on the grass, there's a lot of ice on the deck!"

The pool deck was icy in spots and the starting blocks all had icicles dangling down from every metal bar and surface. I tossed my parka onto a poolside chair, adjusted my goggles and plunged into lane three. With the exception of having to keep our heads down between sets the workout proceeded as all Saturday practices do: A long, accelerating warm-up set followed by a tough, long, main set. The warm-up had a fair amount of butterfly and backstroke in it while the main set alternated between 200 yard aerobic swims and 100 yard sprints. 

The guy I was swimming with in my lane surprises the heck out of everyone early in the workout. He had forgotten his water bottle out in his car. He hauled himself out of the pool, skated across the deck and jogged through the wind to the parking lot, some 200 yards away, returning with his water bottle. I'd rather have drunk pool water than tried a brave stunt like that!

Of course the most gruesome part of any cold weather, outdoor swim, is getting from the water back to the locker room. Especially when one must navigate barefoot across an icy pool deck. Fortunately no one slipped and fell and the showers in the locker room had ample supplies of hot water. 

I felt like I had truly earned my coffee this morning. Sadly, though, no video got taken; no photos snapped. 


1.06.2017

The quality of good video depends on so much more than the performance of your camera.

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first. The primary driver of watchability for a video is first, how interesting/compelling is the idea you are communicating. Second is the quality of the script. After acknowledging those two things we can dive into the technical morass that seems to surround any project that is made with fun gizmos and tools.

From what I know of the photography business and what I've seen and heard in the video business pretty much everyone is obsessed with cameras. It's a subject that comes up endlessly and one that gets argued all over the web. Which camera is best? Which files are best? Should I shoot 4K or 2K? Should we invest in Zeiss Primes or go all out for the Leica primes? Should we stick to zooms? Can a camera be any good if it doesn't cost more than $10,000? More than $2,000? Do you need to have a touchscreen? Is Canon better than Sony? Can a project actually be done with a micro 4:3rds camera? Will clients run screaming from the room if you aren't writing files to an external recorder? How will we mount the camera? What cage should we get for our camera? Is the rosewood grip better