On a recent project of short three- to five-minute documentaries for Porsche USA, I put my trust in an Atomos Shogun recorder and a Sony a7S camera. The first installment in the series follows the Porsche team at the Mobil 1 24 Hour Endurance Race at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Our brief was to cover the racing team, the races, the fans and everything that goes on there.
During one of the first preproduction calls with the director, he made it clear he wanted to be small and fast, with a very small footprint, and he also wanted to shoot 4K for possible big-screen opportunities down the line. I suggested shooting with the Sony a7S, a very small mirrorless camera able to both shoot in extremely low light and output 4K via HDMI to an external digital recorder. I recommended to the director that we capture to an Atomos Shogun because of its ability to record 4K ProRes HQ files, which the editors had asked for. It’s also a really light on-board reference monitor that I can depend on for color, composition, exposure and focus.
I was concerned that the heat and humidity at Sebring might pose a problem with the a7S and Shogun, but in the five days of shooting, I never once had a problem with either the camera or the Atomos Shogun. They rocked the whole job with no issues.
Anthony Arendt is a director of photography.