BVE 2016: Cinematographer Geoff Boyle says “ARRI have a problem”, likes Varicam LT image, uses C300mkII autofocus.

At the BVE show in London I sat down with award winning cinematographer Geoff Boyle to discuss the state of high-end digital cinema cameras in early 2016.

Geoff has been shooting commercials for over 30 years and runs the Cinematography Mailing List (CML) at Cinematography.net – a site full of information and testing for the working DP.

ARRI have been the dominant player in the high-end camera market for several years.
ARRI have been the dominant player in the high-end camera market for several years.

Large sensor factual and documentary television is currently dominated by Sony and Canon. But for higher budget work ARRI has been the dominant player for a few years now. In the interview Geoff described to me why he thinks ARRI’s dominance of the high-end camera market may be under threat due to studios and clients demanding native 4K images.

Looking at the Varicam LT during the interview
Looking at the Varicam LT during the interview – filmed on an BMD URSA Mini 4K

I asked him which cameras stand out at the moment and he praised the new Panasonic Varicam LT and Canon C300 mkII. He told me that both these 4K cameras produce nice images that he is liking the look of. Geoff explained how the Varicam LT was the camera that Panasonic should have made from the beginning, and spoke highly of the images he had seen. Later he explained how he has been using the C300 mkII’s autofocus to shoot commercials.

Checking out the Canon C300 mkII with Geoff.
Checking out the Canon C300 mkII with Geoff.

Geoff gave me his thoughts on the direction that RED is heading, and also told me that he was curious to see how Blackmagic Design 4.6K sensor shapes up. We also talked about Sony and how he expects a follow up to the F65 in the near future.

Geoff throws the Panasonic Varicam LT on his shoulder.
Geoff throws the Panasonic Varicam LT on his shoulder.

It was really interesting to talk to someone who works at the top end of the industry voicing views that perhaps go against popular online opinion. I certainly learned a lot from the conversation.

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