Too often I hear from videographers and DPs that “the camera is just a tool, and if you want to shoot something correctly, you have to have the right tool for the job.” In some cases they are correct. When it comes to big budget episodic shows and films, bigger is often better.
But when it comes to digital storytelling and branding, it’s the creative use of the tools at hand that matter more than the ‘right tool.’
You don't need a specific camera to shoot a specific project for the most partyanymore. I've been using DSLRs for years to shoot really anything. The power of filmmaking and cameras is in the willingness of the artists to achieve their goals with the tools they have rather than say they can't achieve the work because they have the wrong tool. I will never accept that. Using smaller and sometimes the 'wrong tool' takes more effort to come up with solutions. That's the part of production I enjoy the most. Coming up with a clever solution is much more satisfying that 'buying the right tool.' Buying the right lenses is more important than buying the right camera.
Steven Soderbergh hammers home the point shooting an entire film on an iPhone 8 and having that film picked up by Netflix. The iPhone has a fantastic camera, as do most high end mobile phones these days. Adding software like Filmic Pro or Mavis to the phone gives you full manual control. That completely changes the game and allows you to, yes, film commercials, videos and even movies with something as simple as an iPhone. Add a separate digital audio recorder for high quality sound and you're good to go.
The days of showing up with a big camera to prove you're professional are at an end. The bigger cameras with additional inputs are a must for some projects, but for much of what we do these days, smaller cameras accomplish the same goals. Prove you're smarter, agile and more creative by showing up with solutions vs. 'big gear.'