Friday, August 20, 2010

Inaugural BOSFCPUG Canon Video/DSLR Filmmaker Meetup Report

The inaugural BOSFCPUG Canon Video/DSLR Filmmaker Meetup happened at E.P.Levine in Waltham last night. A crowd of about forty people turned up for a fun and rather raucous event. There were several Canon DSLR’s and a selection of lenses on hand to play with, as well as an XF305 video camera.

Pizza arrived before the meeting started, and I chatted briefly with a T1i owner who’s just getting his feet wet in video, and a DV camera owner who is playing with video while trying to learn Final Cut Pro.

Playing with gear before the meeting started

Barbara Ellison from Canon brought the XF305 along, and was there to answer questions about Canon’s equipment, as well as ask what people were looking for in future gear.

Dan Berube of the BOSFCPUG mostly managed to control the proceedings, though the meeting space was rather loud and echoey, and I think the tide might have turned in favor of the audience when they vetoed the idea of going through a PowerPoint presentation on the XF305!

Barbara’s been with Canon for over twenty years, and until recently has primarily been involved in still photography and printing. Canon used to have dedicated technology area reps, and now they have switched things and reps have to cover everything.

Barbara did make an interesting comment about still photos and printing, making me wish she had perhaps had a chance just to talk just about still photography:

If you’re a still shooter and you're not printing, we should talk. Because you should print and put it on the wall. And if after a year or two you still like it, find it interesting, then it's probably a good picture. If not, you're either growing as a photographer, or it's not as good a picture as you thought

There was some talk of the upcoming Canon Expo 2010 in New York (Sept 2-3rd) If you're interested in what Canon is doing in video - either with the XF300/305 or DSLR's - you should seriously consider going to this event. Sounds like there will be lots of stuff to learn, not just from Canon, but from companies that work with Canon. You can register using a Passcode and Invitation Code that’s on the BOSFCPUG website.

Before things threatened to turn to complete anarchy, the XF305 was hooked up to the projector, and some video that was shot just moments before in the EP Levine store was displayed. I also got to hold and play with the camera. It’s very similar in size, weight and form factor to the Sony FX1, so I think I could adapt to it pretty easily. The LCD display is nice and large, though oddly the mic capsule looked rather…ahh…cheap.

Dan Berube demonstrates the XF 305 while Barbara Ellison looks on

Finally Dan asked for suggestions for future DSLR meetups. From the comments he made at the beginning of the meeting, it seems clear he’s hoping this might grow into a group that meets regularly separate to the BOSFCPUG. If you're interested in shooting video using DSLRs I'd encourage you to drop Dan a note and let him know what you might like to see at future meeting.

I'm looking forward to see what happens next.

[UPDATE 9/23 - Dan Berube passed along the following addition to the report: -
I'd like to acknowledge Jay Ignaszewski of AJA Video, who co-sponsored the pizza refreshments and was present to answer questions about ProRes workflow using the AJA KiPro Portable ProRes File Recorder. Jay not only had a couple of KiPros on hand but he took the time to show how to connect a KiPro to the HD-SDI out of the Canon XF305 camcorder for those that desire ProRes acquisition on location, and helped set up the footage demo with the XF305 at the end of the Meetup. Jay is a good friend of the BOSFCPUG and you will see Jay and AJA workflow solutions at many upcoming BOSFCPUG Meetups!
- Dan]

BOSFCPUG: Canon Expo 2010 New York

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