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6 Things to Consider When Assembling a Video Rig

Here are a few things to look out for and keep in mind when purchasing gear.

By Spencer Lookabaugh

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Codecs

Almost every camera in production compresses video in one codec or another. Most cameras like iPhones or point-and-shoots will use MPEG or AVCHD at best. These codecs throw away a lot of information like color and dynamic range. More video oriented cameras like the Sony a7S II or a6300 will allow for the awesome (read “far less compressed”) XAVC-S codec. As far as in-camera recording, this is about as good as it gets for the under $8,000 price point.

There is a workaround, however, and that is the use of an external recording device. The options are virtually endless. For the price conscious, look at the Ninja 2 or Ninja Blade. The Ninja 2 allows you to record in a virtually uncompressed codec called Pro Res. There are three different levels of Pro Res — LT, HQ, and 422 — each offering less and less compression in exchange for larger files and more detail. The Ninja Blade offers the same recording performance as the Ninja 2 with the added benefit of focus and exposure aids like peaking, zebras, false color, and various scopes. There is one more benefit to these and I will discuss this more in depth in another point. The Ninja 2/Blade records straight to solid state hard drives (SSD) as opposed to SD or CF cards.

Read more at fstoppers.com

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