Cinematography Trends with Canon Cinema EOS Series

Diving into the new trends in Cinematography with Canon Cinema EOS Ambassadors

Canon Cinema EOS Series has been well accepted across the board. Whether its wildlife, documentary, cinema and wedding shoots. Leading Canon Cinema EOS ambassadors share their insights on the current cinematography trends and experience of shooting with Canon Cinema EOS Series.

Vijay Bedi and Ajay Bedi - Wildlife Filmmakers

The Bedi brothers are wildlife filmmakers and photographers coming from a family that has a long history of expertise in this highly specialized field. Vijay Bedi & his twin brother Ajay Bedi are the youngest Asians to have won the Green Oscar for their films – The Policing Langur. Ajay Bedi & Vijay Bedi are also the only Indians to have won a nomination at the television highest awards at Emmy® Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Vijay & Ajay, father Mr Naresh Bedi is also world renowned wildlife conservationist. He is the first Asian to receive a Wildscreen Panda Award and the first Indian to receive a nomination for the British Academy Film Awards. He was honoured by the Government of India in 2015 with Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award..

Which wildlife cinematographers, past or present, do you most admire? How challenging is it to shoot wildlife?

I really like young Bertie Gregory cinematography. Bertie has filmed television shows for Nat Geo WILD (Mumbai's urban leopards and caiman hunting jaguars), as well as for BBC's Planet Earth. He also filmed for BBC David Attenborough series “Seven worlds, One planet and won BAFTA and Wild life: resurrection Island and Wild Life: The Big Freeze for Nat Geo series.

 Filming nature documentaries comes with lots of challenges. That really need depends hugely on the subject matter: filming small creatures requires macro lenses and perhaps even more specialized probe lenses; filming distant subjects requires long lenses; filming light-sensitive animals at night needs infra-red lighting and IR sensitive cameras or starlight cameras; filming in Ladakh(cold desert) wildlife requires cold adapted equipment. And most of the time you are filming in extreme weather conditions beyond your control.

Your take on the latest trends in cinematography in 2021?

2021 seemed like a camera war, every company was taking a camera out with the best features. Canon seems to have held its ground and got a major shift to 8k while the rest of the industry was still coping with 4k workflow. In 2022 I think there will be a big shift and focus on 8k cameras which could be a future trend after the Olympics were filmed in 8k. This works very well for us in terms of natural history film that we can future proof our content for 8k workflow and for future productions. That way we are working at par with the Indian feature film industry as far as quality is concerned.

How do you find shooting with Canon EOS Cinema Series? Which Canon camera are you using presently?

We use different Canon EOS cinema cameras for different productions. If we have more time to control for factors and set up, we prefer the Canon EOS C700 FF which produces very crisp video quality. It is slightly bigger than other cinema cameras but holds its ground when it comes to quality. We also like to work with the EOS C70 Cinema camera a lot which looks like any mirror less camera but has professional audio ports to plug in our microphones to give us broadcast quality.

Priya Thuvassery – Documentary Filmmaker

An independent documentary filmmaker and television producer based in New Delhi, Priya’s body of work has focused on women and gender, her stories windows into myriad experiences of the body, the environment, the community, mapped from gender and feminist perspective. Priya has been directing, producing and editing documentary films & television programmes for New Delhi Television, Fox Traveller, CNA, National Human Rights Commission of India, Films Division of India, Public Service Broadcasting Trust & Khabar Lahariya for over a decade now. She has been Co-Director of the IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival, New Delhi, from 2019-2020 and is currently a board member for IAWRT India chapter 2020-2022. She is also recognized as a Canon Cinema EOS Platinum Associate. Currently, she is working on a series of climate change films and the impact of Coral Woman film. Priya has a Master’s in Mass Communication from the Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre, at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

What motivated you to shoot documentaries? And how challenging is it to shoot documentaries?

I love hearing stories, meeting new people, travel and having extraordinary lived experiences. The first motivation is to live or experience it myself and then share, convert that lived experience into an audio and video story. So, documentary films happen to me as a by-product of my urge to live these realities breaking one's comfort zone. So, most of the time these films/ themes push you to extremes- from going to a desert to underwater.  These journeys often lead to a lot of physical and technical challenges. But the most difficult ones are when you have to deal with the emotions, trust, confidentiality, safety of your characters. You are dealing with real lives and people in your film. They have a reality beyond your film. And at the same time as a filmmaker, there is a responsibility to tell a story. The lines you draw between these two leaves space for a lot of challenges and responsibilities.

Your take on the latest trends in cinematography in 2021?

In 2021, I assume it's also due to the pandemic impact, a lot of documentary filmmakers are turning to cinematographers and is doing multitasking, working in smaller crews etc. So, they are going for user-friendly camera's that enable them to multitask.

How do you find shooting with Canon EOS Cinema Series? Which camera are you using currently?

Cinematic - that is my one word for the experience. It performs so well even in low light conditions! These days documentary filmmakers are looking for broadcasting, OTT and theatrical releases.  So, the quality that the Canon EOS Cinema series provides is amazing. Currently, I am using the Canon EOS R6 and Canon XC15.

Alphonse Roy – Wildlife Filmmaker  & Bollywood Cinematographer

Wildlife cinematographer Alphonse Roy has been wandering in the wilderness for over two decades, befriending tuskers and taking shots of big cats. While he has worked on a number of wildlife documentaries such as Treasure Seekers: Tibet`s Hidden Kingdom, Man-Eaters of India, Kingdom of Cobra, Temple Tiger, Elephant Mountain, and Tiger by Night among many, he stumbled upon mainstream commercial movies, making his feature film debut with the award-winning movie Aamir in 2008. Mr. Roy is known for projects like Mai Ghat, Gulaab Gang, Raid, Aamir and Mumbai Cutting.


Which are the cinematographers you admire and were you influenced by anyone? Which films in Bollywood and Hollywood stand out for their cinematography?

The cinematographer I admire in the UK is Roger Deakins, and my favourite film of his is The Assassination of Jesse James.  In India, my favourite cinematographer is Santosh Sivan ASC. A memorable work of his is the Chaiya Chaiya Song. Just imagine what he would have done if he had today's small Camera body from Canon, and I am talking about the form factor of Canon EOS professional cameras.

Your take on the latest trends in cinematography in 2021?

There are multiple trends that have come cinematography’s way in the recent past. Cameras are moving a lot and have now become a part of the storytelling. Earlier cameras were more just observers from a director’s point of view but now because of the development of technology and compact camera sizes, they have seamlessly become a part of the whole.

Secondly, multi-camera shooting has become the norm now. On one set there is no longer just one main camera, whereas there are multiple cameras to capture different actors and shots at various angled. Earlier we would have to sacrifice video quality for the sake of putting the camera at the edge of bike or for other such risky shots, but now innovation has enabled smaller camera bodies with higher quality, which has brought a big change in Cinematography. The democratising of filmmaking by digital technology has been another game changer. There is freedom of expression even for the common man who may not know all the nuances about the art of filmmaking but can still explore the same with the help of technology.

Lastly, the development of Artificial Intelligence has played a large role as well. IRIS was earlier used only eye doctors, but this has now shifted to cameras in the form of autofocus technology. Motion pictures are now using advanced autofocus for not just humans but even animals, making filmmaking and capturing such shoots more scientific and objective. Now an image is never out of focus!

How do you find shooting with Canon EOS Cinema Series?

I love the Canon C700 camera with Canon lenses. My film, which won an award for Best Cinematography at the Singapore International film festival, was shot on Canon C 700. The noiseless low light sensitivity and accurate colour rendition by that sensor are valuable to me. The personal Camera I am using now is the Canon R6. It is a recent acquisition and I have fallen in love with it. I had the opportunity to shoot the Taj Mahal on the 18th of November, which also happened to be the full moon night. But unfortunately, it turned out to be a cloudy night with the moon well hidden behind the clouds. In Taj Mahal you can use a tripod as the Archaeological Survey of India has an Archaic rule which says professional shooting needs special clearance from ASI.  By definition in ASI parlance, " Professional Shooting happens with a tripod".  But with R6 I shot this image at 1/30th of a second with 35mm f 1.4 Lens at an ASA of some 12000. But the beauty is even in such low light the colours are so true. This sensor has "Rods And Cones " like a Tiger.

Rajesh Gupta – Wedding Filmmaker

Rajesh Gupta, also known as The Lensocrat is an artiste by default. He is a multidisciplinary and award-winning celebrity photographer. His recent work includes the prestigious portrait shoot of the Oscar winner lyricist Gulzar, Mr Shah Rukh Khan, Pandit Chitresh Das, Amrish Puri, Mithun Chakraborty, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Jasraj, Mahendra Singh Dhoni etc. He has also worked in collaboration with Master painters, Paresh Maity , Wasim Kapur, Sanatan Dhinda , Chittrovanu Mazumdar and G R Iranna . Designer Raj Mahtani , Kiran Uttam Ghosh , Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra ,Shyamlu Dudeja and many more .

What motivated you to shoot weddings? And how challenging is it to shoot weddings?

Wedding Photography happened to me! Yes, it was arranged. I started primarily as a street photographer and used to love capturing candid Portraits of people.  Gradually I became a family Portrait photographer specializing in coffee table books.  So, one day I got a call from one of the renowned Industrialist family from Kolkata asking   if I can come to their party during an engagement ceremony and take a few portraits of the couple. I took three days to reply. I was in two minds about taking up the assignment. I wanted to say NO but the family kept insisting I quoted a premium so that they can say no, but the family agreed to it. The picture of the couple became very popular amongst their friends and family and thus started my journey into the genre of wedding and events photography.

Your take on the latest trends in cinematography in 2021?

Reels are trending now a days. We have started thinking in Portrait mode. From 16:9 to 9:16 ratio. It’s a reverse ratio and its challenging to shoot. The transitions and cuts have become faster so we have to do a lot of thinking before the shoot and after the shoot on the edit table. 

How do you find shooting with Canon EOS Cinema Series? Which camera are you currently using?

I cannot think beyond Canon cameras now a days. They are the most versatile, user friendly and advanced system I have come across, I shoot in C LOG and the colour palate and skin tone is simply brilliant. The menu is simple and to the point. My Camera bag contains three cameras – Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, Canon C200 and the Canon EOS R5 along with R lenses.