Case Study Showcase
Introducing the use cases of LUMIX professional cameras such as the BGH1 and S Series cameras with practical hands-on reviews from their users, where they are used for wide-ranging situations - Filmmaking, live streaming, action, and more.
Flexus Dance Collective x Matthew Cawrey Photography
Shooting theatre productions and rehearsals on dimly lit stages creates a special set of difficulties for the videographers commissioned to record them, and who are inevitably expected produce beautifully exposed and detailed footage. Matthew Cawrey is one such film- maker, who previously had to work extra-hard to get on top of the issues caused by low light levels and the dramatic contrast ratios created by spotlights in dark environments. Already a LUMIX user, Matthew was relieved to discover the solution to his problems was a good deal closer to home than he thought when asked to shoot a particularly challenging project.
‘I was asked to film a stage performance put on by the Flexus Dance Collective which was to be live-edited and streamed out on the same day.
‘I was asked to film a stage performance put on by the Flexus Dance Collective which was to be live-edited and streamed out on the same day.’
I usually use the LUMIX GH5 for this sort of event, but to work with the theatre’s production set-up I needed to provide an SDI signal. I looked at HDMI-to-SDI adapters but really wanted to keep everything as streamlined and reliable as possible, so I needed to find a camera with SDI built-in. It was a great relief to be introduced to the LUMIX BGH1 when I went to Panasonic with my requirements. Not only does it have SDI-out but it also offers Panasonic’s Dual Native ISO sensor that allows particularly high ISO settings with greatly reduced noise. And, an extra stop of dynamic range compared to my GH5 was a welcome bonus.’
Matthew was able to connect the 3 BGH1’s directly to the theatre’s infrastructure via the 3G-SDI connector and know that the signal would cope with the cable length needed between the camera and the production suite, and that it would fit seamlessly with the venue’s own protocols. And being able to run the BGH1 on mains power was a real benefit, he says, as he and his team often have to leave cameras running unsupervised during performances.
‘As I’ve been relying on LUMIX kit for this type of project for the last couple of years I was confident to make the switch to the BGH1 at short notice’
‘The fact that I was able to switch to a system with this flexibility, without having to invest in lots of new equipment, was a massive plus,’ says Matthew. ‘I can use the lenses and peripherals, such as the XLR1 adapter for my audio inputs that I already have, and am familiar with, from the GH5 system. As I’ve been relying on LUMIX kit for this type of project for the last couple of years I was confident to make the switch to the BGH1 at short notice. Being a LUMIX user anyway getting the camera set up was straightforward – and aside from some time going through the menu system it all felt very familiar. Getting used to the button positions will take a little time, but it’s always a challenge when working with new equipment.’
Matthew has been very pleased with the way things worked out and is delighted with his switch to the BGH1 – and not only for the added quality it offers in the difficult lighting conditions he is constantly working under. ‘The end results for this project totally exceeded expectations,’ he says. ‘The feedback from the client and online audience members has been extremely positive. The more light- sensitive Dual Native ISO sensor in the BGH1 and the added stop of dynamic range made a noticeable difference when shooting this project. And happily the post- production workflow is no different to working with footage from the GH5’s that I’m used to.’
Neil Reading, the artistic director of Wolverhampton’s Arena Theatre where the event was filmed, backs this up when he says ‘The quality of the image produced, given the low-light conditions and speed of movement of the performers, was superlative and, coupled with our recently installed infrastructure, allowed us to produce a show for live-stream which was on a par with the productions we have been seeing from our much larger peers over recent years. We are entering a new world with streamed theatre, and while some of the major venues have been streaming live work for over 10 years, for smaller venues this is very much a new departure.’
The LUMIX BGH1 not only allowed Matthew to get on top of this specific commission but it has opened a new live-streaming avenue for his business. ‘This new system enables me to now offer a more practical solution for live- streaming events that has the potential to open opportunities for the company that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. At a time when so much of the work we’ve undertaken previously just isn’t happening, this is invaluable. I see this as an exciting jumping off point for the company as we head into what will undoubtedly be another challenging year.’