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.
Queen of the Court by Copper Five
Remaining agile, flexible, responsive and adaptive are the priorities of creative collective Copper Five. The business began when sport, lifestyle and fashion photographers Scott Heavey and Dan Rowley decided to combine their skills, experience and reputations in film-making and stills to form a bespoke content creation service tailored around their clients’ specific demands. Between them Scott and Dan have worked with some of the world’s leading fitness and lifestyle brands to film and photograph top-flight sports personalities as well as A-list celebrities all around the globe.
Always interested in the kit, the two have used a massive range of equipment in the pursuit of that magical ‘something else’ and a camera system that will enable them to tell stories in a unique and exciting way. Creating both stills and video to a very high standard inevitably means there’s lots of gear needed, and Scott and Dan have tried and tested a wide range of systems in their search for the best. And in the Lumix S cameras and bodies they have finally found what they have been looking for.
‘We use the S1 on all our commercial shoots now. Having the ability to use it as an A cam on small shoots or a B cam on larger shoots or for BTS material is a massive benefit and gives us scalability. The image quality we see from the LUMIX cameras for both stills and video ensures we can easily get a consistent look and feel across all of our assets, and the video file from the S1 makes it easy to cut into footage from other cameras.’
Scott and Dan say one of the big draws for them towards the LUMIX S system is that it provides them with the ability to shoot both stills and video with a high enough resolution to keep their clients happy. They can achieve this easily between the S1 and the S1R. Having still images that natively match the colour and contrast profile of the video footage is a massive bonus. During a recent project team photographer Tom Shaw used the LUMIX S1R for the first time, and paired it with the LUMIX S Pro 50mm F1.4 lens for a series of portraits. Using silent shutter Tom was able to carry on shooting without disrupting the audio while the rest of the crew were filming with the S1. This was especially important as the team had limited time with the athletes so audio recording had to be done on-set with no chance of voice-overs afterwards.
‘We wanted to utilise the S1 as we would any other cinema camera so we rigged it up with cinema lenses, wireless follow focus and monitors,’ says Scott. ‘The follow focus meant Dan could remain agile and follow the athletes during the actions sequences, and the monitor allowed me to see what was going on, whether we had the framing right, whether the light looked right and if the action looked right. The LUMIX S1 can be rigged up and utilised in the same way Dan rigs his RED, which is brilliant.’
This shoot for Queen of the Court is about a female only basketball initiative being run by The Black Prince Trust and was going to be filmed in pretty low-light conditions, even with video lighting, so the team were concerned how the system would cope. Tom though was amazed that the stills he shot with the LUMIX S1R at ISO 2000 were almost noiseless, especially as it uses a 47MP sensor. The film crew were delighted to be able to shoot in Vlog and to be reassured they would have plenty of flexibility in post-production to compensate for the poor shooting conditions.
The team has also found that working with the small and lightweight LUMIX S series allows them to be more flexible and to respond quickly to last minute ideas and opportunities that arise in the live environment. ‘When we plan a shoot we are always looking for an angle and an opportunity to work light and fast.
Sometimes we get time to plan and manage the whole shoot end-to-end but other times we have to deliver assets for a client and we are given a few minutes to get the look. This is where the S-series gives us the biggest benefits because we can pick it up and shoot rather than waiting to get something rigged up.
And I know that I can cut it into anything else we shoot. This has helped to speed up our workflow no end. It has improved the style of the way we shoot too, and that has been mentioned many times by various clients during shoots. It has changed how we work ‘on-set’ as the cameras allow us more freedom to move around and find the right shot without having to move huge lenses and rigging.’
Scott and Dan had tried a few other mirrorless systems in the past but nothing felt quite right. They say that the LUMIX S cameras feel ‘like real cameras’ in the hand, are familiar to use and have a menu system that’s easy to work with. ‘Our photographer Tom was new to the LUMIX S-series before he started to prep for the shoot, but it was hard to get him to give it back after wrapping up. He loved the 50mm lens especially and found that combined with the S1R he was able to get a clarity and organic feel that is pretty unique. We now have the S-series with us on every job – large or small. It’s become a part of our kit bag. If you are looking for a mirrorless solution or a replacement for your existing DSLR the S- series gives you a great combination of flexibility for both stills and video. It should be high on your consideration list. The compatibility, as well as the quality of the build of both bodies and lenses, is such a leap forward in new mirrorless technologies.’