No more film cameras?

Auguste and Louis Lumière, were among the first filmmakers.

ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras within the last year to focus exclusively on design and manufacture of digital cameras,” writes Debra Kaufman of Teaching my film students how to use their 16mm Bolex is now obsolete?

For me, any passing of a technology I’ve taken the time to master is saddening. Unless, of course, the replacement makes for better work. In my experience I’ve seen filmmakers take much greater care at the time of photography when more money is on the line if they mess up. Cheap media’s made for a “cheap” end product. But that’s not always the case of course. It’s just a lot easier not to care so much when you’re not blowing $$$ every minute you shoot.

As to my wondering if digital may make for better work: assuming you give as much care, if not more, to the work you film digitally (oxymoron now?), digital has given us a much more productive feedback loop, from high-def monitors on the set, to the ability to afford a greater shooting ratio, to a much, much, much nimbler editing process. All this probably makes for the ability to create better work.

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