While working on an upcoming article, I realized needed a refresher course in the math for determining both how much depth of field and at what aperture I needed to shoot at in order to attain that control while working in extreme macro imagery. It might be confusing to some to hear that I would want to do the calculations manually rather than just let the camera tell me, but I was shooting film on a camera that was made in the 50’s. Thankfully, I had recently gotten an updated version of David Eubanks pCam app, now called pCamPro, a digital compendium of all things photographic and cinema related. It’s called “The Swiss army knife of cinema and photography apps” by the developer, and for good reason.
With all the computerized gadgetry we use on a daily basis, we forget that the automatic settings on many cameras hides what is really going on behind the scenes. These cameras automatically compensate for the increased exposure need when working in macro, which can result in a tremendous amount of light loss. The closer you focus, the less light you have reaching the image plane. Without the advantages of the latest tech, I was not about to waste some very precious film guessing my exposures.
One of the other features I used was the Field of View conversions between sensors. Working on a reshoot to match what was done with a cine camera, the app allowed me to pre-conceive what optics and apertures to use on a DSLR using an APS-C sensor that faithfully matched both the look and feel of the established shots that were created with a full frame cine camera.
The pCam Pro iOS app offers technical Camera and Lighting info that dynamically calculates changes as the data is entered, with 4 Siemens style test charts, and numerous focal length and comparative distance conversion capabilities. Additionally, it provides users with slates and a host of other tools along with reference and information including the Camera Comparison Chart that Tom Fletcher and I produce. This new version of pCamPro offers users an affordable, yet prolifically curated collection of technical data designed around and for the needs of serious Still Photographer and Cinematographers everywhere.
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