Sad to say, but the


Sad to say, but the manufacturers of the cameras are just incapable at the moment of making cameras that respond as the eye does to LED light. Not just domestic consumer cameras, but professional ones too. Some are better – Panasonic and JVC are a little better than Sony and the others in my experience, and it also applies to many expensive DSLR stills cameras too. The biggest issue is with blue, because the LED lights are very frequency specific – and to make all the gorgeous collurs they can create, they do it with Red Green and Blue in various amounts – but with PAR cans, which can do the same with red, green and blue gels in them – the cameras cope because they contain lots of different shades of blue. A deep almost black blue, right through to peacock type blues. The greens and reds also go through the shades too. In LED – there is a big hit of one blue colour – hence why you can now have for the first time, a bright, deep blue stage. With gel, over 95% of the light doesn't get through. The trouble is the cameras cannot cope with light colours made up of huge spikes. Pink, magenta and red appear to be the same, and the blue is so blue that some fabrics parents source for costumes fluoresce – while others, exactly the same colour in daylight, don't.

We are involved with an awful lot of shows that have LED lighting now, and the dance school owners who hire commercial theatres have a tricky decision to make. Light for the audience, or light for the video. If you light for the video, the lighting will be bright and pastel colours – to the eye, dull and boring. If you get the theatre to light for the audience, then the video will be a problem. Sadly, there is no camera that can see what the human eye sees, so the choice is always a pain. We actually do lighting design for these kinds of events and we ALWAY ask in advance, because we cannot change the colours when the video people arrive half an hour before the show. They often rant and rave, but it's just too late. Lion King, and the witch numbers can have wonderful sunsets or deep greens for the Wicked stuff, you can do under the sea in marvelous blue greens and cabaret and chicago can go vicious red for Cell Block Tango and the kitkat club. None of this was possible before without mega budgets and lots of kit. The annoyance with the cameras is worse because the manufacturers don't seem to be addressing it at all. Even worse – it's difficult to recommend new cameras because just because you have one that is better, doesn't mean the new model will be the same. I still use one older camera because it's pretty good with LED, but the new one I was about to replace it with I discovered wasn't as good. I'm sorry there isn't a simple answer to this one.

Best Products

Best cinema cameras — 2021

Determining the best cinema cameras on the market today can be complicated. Here are the first cameras you should consider