POV’s 2013 Documentary Filmmaking Equipment Survey

Whilst the number of respondents is a bit too low to be a true picture, POV’s survey does paint an interesting picture of the Documentarist’s world. It’s still a ‘buy’ rather than ‘rent’ market, for the best part in love with Canon’s DSLRs and lenses.

However, there’s a couple of splits  I wanted to see, but isn’t here. Firstly the split by sensor size: what has happened to 2/3″, and what proportion are now S35? Secondly, and somewhat related, body design. There still seems to be plenty of room for ‘the little black sausage of joy’ – the fixed lens, all-in-one camera with a wide-ranging parfocal zoom.

Yes, the Mac dominates in Docco editing. I boggle slight at the FCP7 market – twice that of all the Premiere Pro flavours. FCP7 used to bog down with over 35-40 mins in a timeline, and for larger projects I’d have expected a larger takeup of Premiere Pro.

Still, at least Gaffer Tape makes it into the top 5 ‘things we love’ list.

POV’s 2013 Documentary Filmmaking Equipment Survey

HVX200 – the Volvo 850 T5 of video cameras

In the next day or two, I am going to take a pot of cash and exchange it for a camera (I already own 2 Z1s, a PDX-10 and an HV20). I really want to own an EX-1. I am nuts: 

  • It has questionable build quality (paint rubs off)
  • It has questionable build quality (back focus issues)
  • It has questionable build quality (twiddly switches)
  • It has questionable build quality (battery ‘booty’)
  • It has been designed in a potting shed (battery runs down on-camera)
  • It has been designed in a potting shed (handle is 3 inches off centre)
  • It has been designed in a potting shed (doesn’t handle IR well)
  • It has been designed in a potting shed (controls ‘sneezed’ onto camera)


  • Lens is to die for (maybe too sharp for Standard Def?)
  • Sensor is to die for (maybe a Letus isn’t totally necessary?)
  • Could this be the Infra-RED?

So what I posit is that the EX1 should be judged as the typical British sports car like the TVR Cerbera, in that it has no right to be lined up with Ferraris and Porsches in the same performance class, yet there it is. Hanging out on a Snout Break, ready to sprint with the Olympians. The Z1 is a sort of Prius in comparison, loading up on HDV Mung Beans. The Volvo T5 (looking awfully like an HVX200) is ready to pounce, using its reliability, dependability and sheer deliverability (feel the excitement!) to its advantage. Hmmm. The little Smart HV20 – small, fun, rather good… But still a little pip-squeak. And suddenly life turns into an episode of Top Gear…