So if you had “unlimited money” to create the perfect camera platform, what would it be? What would you need? And how would you build it? That’s the concept answered by Corridor Digital and B&H, who looked at their unique needs, and created a camera platform that can go from shot to shot. And while B&H helped them craft a camera with basically an unlimited budget, that doesn’t mean that the most expensive camera was the best camera for their needs.
“The real key to a perfect camera is to steal a page from GoPro’s playbook. GoPro makes a small cube of a camera, and you can put that camera into any rig you need. You want it on your forehead, you want it on a gimbal, you want it on a tripod, or a drone that falls out of the sky. All these setups can be yours with one GoPro system. And I was inspired by that.” – Niko
For Sam and Niko, the heart of their perfect system centered around RED. Having been shooting on the RED platform for awhile now, the Corridor Crew moved laterally from the RED Dragon 6K full frame brain, to the Super35 centric RED Gemini 5K model. Some would argue this isn’t a lateral move, but a downgrade resolution wise. But when you consider that Gemini is a “vampire for light” and that you can up-scale from 5-6K Raw with little loss of quality, it does end up being on balance a lateral move. It also had to shoot “smart Raw,” which the Gemini does. Or, as Sam puts it, “the perfect camera, allows you to make mistakes. I want to make as many mistakes on set as possible.”
From there, Niko had one basic criteria … the perfect camera platform had to go from setup to setup, without having to change anything. That meant a camera package under 10 pounds, but able to set down when needed. Here’s the laundry list of requirements that Niko had, and what setups he wanted:
Move from handheld, to shoulder mount, to gimbal, to slider, to tripod, all without changing a single thing in the setup. Now this was quite a challenge considering that you’d have to balance the camera on a gimbal, and Niko chose the two-handed Letus35 Helix Jr. to shoulder the load. The challenge here was that you did indeed need to remove the Gemini’s battery, since it would use phantom power from the Helix to power it. But Niko said that only meant to rebalance the gimbal moving forward and backward on the X axis, since the camera remains center mass. And if you pre-balance it, you wouldn’t have to worry about it when the time comes.
His other preferences included using a Teradek MDRACI Wireless lens camera control and an RT MK3.1 4-axis Wireless Lens controller, with which to pull focus wirelessly. That lead to a SmallHD Focus Bolt 500 TX-RX Kit so the assistant cameraman can see what he’s focusing on. Then came a simple Bluetooth wireless transmitter so that you could hear your sound wirelessly.
Lastly, Sam and Niko opted for SIGMA Art series lenses with an EF mount, as Niko believes that PL mounts belong to “old, oversized camera platforms.” There’s a few other things, including cables and quick release and dovetail mounts, but this is essentially the core setup that Sam and Niko say is their perfect camera. For this year. You can see the entire list at B&H here.
What do you guy makes for the perfect camera? Does this measure up to your ideal, or perfect camera platform? Give us your list in the comments below.