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DP Claudio Miranda Films an Entire Cinematic Short Film with a DJI Drone

When Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda (

Life of Pi

) was first approached to shoot an entire short film with a drone, he was a skeptic. “

I don’t like small cameras,” he bluntly tells

Definition Magazine

. “There’s no highlight range, there’s no dynamic range, they just clip and look terrible. So I just did a test and I was kind of amazed at how well it looked.”

Miranda was in fact so impressed with the X5S camera onboard the DJI Inspire 2, that he took it with him to use for shots on his next feature film,

Granite Mountain

Of the short film “The Circle,” he says, “

It was also really amazing, the low-light stuff that we did. It was quite like the way I would have lit a normal camera. I didn’t want to light to a higher f-stop just because I wasn’t sure about the focus. I really wanted to do what I normally do. So I lit like I normally do without any special dispensation for the Inspire 2, where it might need more light. I don’t really know how they got the camera to look so good, I was really surprised. In fact, from the beginning I didn’t really want to believe it. I realized that the camera records to the SSD at almost the same rate as the camera I would use on a film! The Sony F65 fills up a 512GB card in 30 minutes, the DJI X5S pretty much does the same thing. It’s 5K. You’re getting the full range and the dynamics – what I hated about small cameras in the past is when you pointed it at the sun you got these weird rings around it and they had a low bit depth in those highlights, there’s weird banding and the color fidelity was sometimes very right-bit looking. Also some of these cameras where they don’t have color fidelity make faces look two-dimensional, they flatten everything out and don’t have deep color. I hate a lot of cameras and those were the kind of things that I was expecting, but I was very surprised how well this one actually worked for us.  The shots we were able to get, like the vantage points, were really beneficial and will be beneficial for a lot of people. There are cheap digital cameras that have opened the door for a lot of people.”  

Check out “The Circle” below and read the full story