Fusion: The Facts and the Folly

Laforet's vDSLR gear | Photo by Vincent Laforet

In the summer of 2008, famed commercial/editorial photographer Vincent Laforet heralded the release of Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II with his short film “Reverie”. Both photographers and filmmakers alike were blown away. The release of the 5D has created not only it’s own subculture, but an entire industry was born as companies large and small have entered the market to produce gear and accessories to make shooting video with this camera more effective.

Then, last night at midnight EST, Vincent amazed the worlds of photography and filmmaking again with the release of “Nocturne“, a short film shot on Canon’s yet to be released 1D Mark IV. Shot completely at night, with no external lights, at ASA 6400, and absolutely NO GRAIN!

Marathon Press Webinar Announcement

In today’s economy, if you’re a photographer, you can no longer ignore the viable income-generating potential of adding pro video of some sort to your repertoire of services. Whether you shoot weddings, portraits, or commercial work, the melding of the two media, commonly known as “Fusion”, has opened the door for you (and your competitors) to gain new business. But, how do you do it in such a way that make sense? Marathon Press has asked me to give a webinar on the subject, next Monday, October 26, at 1 pm EST. Whether you’re a photographer or a video producer, I encourage you to sign up for the webinar.

Topics I will discuss include:

  • What exactly is “Fusion”?
  • How to approach the addition of video services from a smart business perspective
  • Renting vs. Buying
  • The best gear and lenses to use for shooting video
  • Things you must know before you begin to edit
  • The pros and cons of doing the shooting and/or editing yourself
  • Effective strategies for finding shooters and editors to work for and/or with you
  • The best resources for learning more in-depth knowledge
  • Specific services you can add to your studio to expand your repertoire.

Click here to sign up for the webinar.


This camera is an exciting time for us as well. If you’re an event video producer, how can you not seriously consider a camera such as this when you look at these amazing low light capabilities. Imagine shooting an entire wedding reception, in dark mood lighting, with no obtrusive video light, clear imagery, and no grain!

But, these are also scary times as competition will heat up. Everywhere photogs turn they’re being prompted to consider video. Likewise, the savvy videographers out there are finding some way to add photography to their line-up as well. The lines are blurring even more. Will you join the revolution, or continue to fight against the inevitable?

4 thoughts on “Fusion: The Facts and the Folly

  1. Cool Ron! I'll try and join in on the webinar. What's holding me back from this type of camera? The ergonomics and the audio work flow for video. Also the price. Adding the lens, more video accessories (to aid in ergonomics), external audio capturing device, memory cards and smaller things like batteries, case will add up quickly. I see this as a great camera for film and documentary. I know it is astounding for wedding videography, but my market is not saturated with competition. The wedding market is actually depressed all across the board where I live.I was working on the set for a local film maker and he was using the 7D. The footage is jaw dropping. The lack of any serious on board audio was an issue and it will add more work in the edit having to sync audio constantly for the myriad of takes. It is nice to have it all in camera especially for weddings or any live event. Again, the ergonomics to go hand held with video are not there unless you pay extra.

  2. Hey Tim,I hear what you're saying, but the costs are not as bad as you think. The 7Dwith a kit lens is only about $1800. $1800 for jaw-dropping footage! You canrent other lenses as you need them, or buy some used ones. Renting a 24-70and a 70-200 for say a week might cost you $150. You could probably evenfind a 3-day rental. Especially for someone like you who primarily doescorporate work, just build those rental costs in. Six years ago I spentabout $3200 for a PD170. For that amount now, you could get a 7D and one ortwo decent lenses.As far as audio, you could use a lav mic with a mini jack to go directlyinto the camera in addition to a second audio source. If in post the audiotaken directly to the camera is usable, no syching is necessary. Manyviddeographers use digital audio recorders as back ups anyway. But the ZoomH4N is a fave among video DSLR shooters. Allows you to monitor audio, has 4channels, multi formats, and is about $350. Synching in post is not reallyall that bas, especially if you use a clapper on set. Heck, it makes youfeel even more like a “real” filmmaker. :)As far as form factor, there dozens of options available from Zacuto,Cinevate, IDC Photo and Redrock Micro to make shooting with video DSLRs morecomfortable.The toughest part for me really is the editing. It's a bear to deal with,having the first convert the H.264 files then editing them. But, IMHO, thequality of the footage far, far outweighs the downsides.

  3. Oh.. i thought the body only was $1,800. The cam audio has no manual controls. That's very limiting, but for jaw dropping footage… I am tempted.. don't get me wrong here 🙂

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