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posted by - Friday, 10 May 2013

Photo Credit: Eli Tawil

A cinematographer and lighting designer by trade, Rick Siegel has worked on feature length and short films in the narrative and documentary genres. He photographs episodic television series as well – in music, comedy, fashion, home style, reality and magazine formats. In this blog, he tells us all about his Sony PMW-F3 rig.

When it comes to choosing a camera rig to purchase or to rent, what are your biggest considerations?

RS: I apply several criteria to determine and visualize my choices: what are the scripted elements to be photographed, who is going to see this project, what are the deliverables, what is the best equipment to frame the story elements, and last, but not least, what’s my budget. It’s a balance between artistic options, communication skills, dollars and sense. 

So your choice depends a lot on the audience and genre of the project you’re shooting?

RS: That’s right. When it comes to camera and lens selection, each genre has its own requirements and factors to be considered. Also, how this camera selection will fit into both single-camera as well as multiple camera setups.

Can you give us more specifics of what you look for in the camera itself?

RS: Ease of use and a built-in toolset of options is important; the camera must be able to fit into many shooting situations. I like to be able to manipulate the black, white and gamma areas of my images so a menu structure that’s simple in design, while offering a wide range of control, is ideal. Other attributes I look for include internal recording to media cards, higher bit-depth output for off-board recorders and monitors, and the ability to produce REC709 or Log style imaging.

I prefer to have a large single sensor (super 35mm or larger) that has at least 2K (1920×1080) in resolution and will permit some degree of slow motion capture. I would also choose to have a PL mount.

The camera body should have multiple mounting options for power supply, video display, recording deck, handheld and mattebox controls.

What would you say is your overall goal when together putting a camera rig?

RS: I want to have a camera kit that I’m completely facile with. My own ease with the equipment’s functionality must allow me to stay focused on creating engaging images for our audience to see.

Rick’s Camera Rig

Visit Rick’s website for more examples of his wide-ranging work, and view the gallery below to see more photos of Rick’s rig in action, then visit our site to see the special Rick Siegel F3 Bundle! We’ve also teamed up with Rick to present a special How to Light & Frame the Best Interview Ever workshop, which is coming up on May 16th in New York, and it’s not too late to register.

Do you have a rig you think our readers would love to hear about? If so, drop us a line. We’re considering making this an on-going series based on your feedback.


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