Video: Duy Linh Tu demonstrates his Canon 5D mkIII documentary shooting setup

By site editor Dan Chung:

Large sensor camcorders like the Canon C300, Canon C100 and Sony FS700 have become very popular amongst documentary filmmakers in recent months, but DSLR still remains the number one choice of many. Some shooters continue to use DSLR simply because they feel it makes financial sense – their cameras were paid off and the clients they work for aren’t demanding a better image quality at this point in time, so why change? I know several shooters who continue to use their trusty 5Ds in preference to the newer offerings because they prefer the look of the images and the size and weight of the camera. One of those is Newsshooter contributor Duy Linh Tu of Columbia J-school. He’s the first to admit that DSLRs aren’t designed to be run-and-gun cameras but has overcome many of issues with a fairly simple setup. He’s put together the excellent video below detailing his documentary setup with the 5D mkIII.

Canon 5D Mark III Video Rig from Duy Linh Tu on Vimeo.

Below is the list of the gear Duy used in the video:

Canon EOS 5D mkIII Digital Camera Kit with Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens

Sound Devices MixPre-D Compact Field Mixer

Sound Devices XL-CAM Camera Mount Bracket for MixPre-D

Sound Devices XL3 Mini Male to TA3-F Connector Cable is a 12″ Link from a Sound Devices MixPre/MP-2 Tape Output to a 442/302 Series Mix Input

Hosa Technology Stereo Mini Angled Male to Stereo Angled Mini Male Cable – 8

Redrock Micro DSLR Baseplate

Redrock Micro DSLR Mini Tripod Platform

Redrock Micro microMount 3-Pack (w/out Spuds)

Redrock Micro microSpud (3x)

Redrock Micro 8-011-0004 15mm Carbon Fiber Rod (9″, Pair)

Redrock Micro 8-011-0006 15mm Carbon Fiber Rod (4″, Pair)

Zacuto EVF Pro (3.2″)

Zacuto Z-ZCM Zicro Mini

Rode NTG-3 Precision RF-Biased Shotgun Microphone

Pearstone DUSM-1 Universal Shock Mount for Camera Shoes and Boompoles

Like Duy I have large sensor cameras at my disposal. I can choose to shoot Canon C300 or Sony F3 for any assignment I want, but even so I recently purchased a Canon 1D C for documentary work. For me there is still an allure to shooting DSLR video, it is somehow more intimate when shooting with a DSLR. While other cameras are technically better I feel that most of the time the image recorded on the 1 DC is somehow closer to the one I wanted when I shot it. I still love the C300 and its the best all round camera for my daily work, but I find myself reaching for my DSLR more and more.

If you want to know more about Duy and his work you can follow his tumblr here.

Manfrotto New 500 Bridging Tech_1

Kessler 640x120-1


Posted on July 11th, 2013 by Dan Chung | Category: Camera support systems, Canon EOS 5D MkIII, documentary |

3 responses to "Video: Duy Linh Tu demonstrates his Canon 5D mkIII documentary shooting setup"

  1. Martijn Schroevers Says:
    July 13th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I’m sorry to write this, but this is an impossible setup. Way too heavy and balanced way too far up front. Try to hold this setup in an interview for five minutes… your back will crack! There’s no need for the Zacuto EVF (with the battery to feed it and the red rock rods just to hold it) as you can much better use a (Zacuto) Z-finder directly attached to the camera. Resolution of the Canon VF is the same as the Zacuto’s. That way you stabilize the camera with the eyepiece. It’s much better to put the mixer on a shoulder rig like the Ikan Stealth as a counterbalance. All great cinematographers say you should ‘dance’ with a handheld camera. This means it should either be very light or at least well balanced. This setup is neither.

  2. admin Says:
    July 14th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Martijn, like you I prefer a balanced setup if possible on my DSLR rig. I also prefer to use a Z-finder directly on the camera to an EVF. I don’t think the Duy’s rig is impossible though – it’s just different to how I would do it. Duy has clearly shown that it works for him and has the results to prove it. His 5D rig with EVF and mixer is actually not too different in weight to a C300 – and there are plenty of shooters who simply hold them in front of their face. An EVF can be positioned at any angle and can be magnified even while recording. Also I believe that Duy uses a monopod quite a lot and so it would be no problem to do a 5 minute interview with this setup.

  3. Steve Says:
    November 7th, 2013 at 11:18 am

    That’s a lot of hoops to jump through and a lot of cash… Cost about the same as a C100 when you’re done.

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