in photography, videos

Re-creating a scene from ‘Goodfellas’ with a $2,000 camera 

TheCameraStoreTV is one of my favorite YouTube channels. They offer in-depth reviews of cameras, delivered with an affable tone and an air of fun.

One series they’ve been doing is “Wooden Niccolls” in which their main host, Chris Niccolls, tries to re-create famous scenes from movies, but using the consumer-grade cameras that they have access to. For their latest entry, they tried re-making a scene from Goodfellas using the upcoming Panasonic GH5:

These videos are very amusing, and the final results are impressive. It seems like it truly is possible to get pretty close to the look of a scene from a classic film, so long as you have the right lighting setup. However, this is also true of a lot of other high-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras these days. I would’ve appreciated a closer look at exactly how much you can push GH5 footage in post, or what flexibility you have with GH5 footage in non-studio conditions. That being said, the ungraded GH5 log footage they show in the video looks fantastic.

I used to own a Panasonic GH4 and while I enjoyed shooting with it, I eventually sold it because I just didn’t find the Micro 4/3rds format (and the Panasonic lenses I used with it) delivered on the sharpness, bokeh, and separation that I was looking for in my images and videos. Moreover, the low-light performance was just not comparable to competitors. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Fuji X-T2, which is a camera I take with me almost everywhere.

That being said, the GH5 looks really formidable in its video specs, and since Canon doesn’t seem to really care about the mirrorless/DSLR video revolution, I might check it out just to see what’s possible.

  • DaanishSyed

    Thanks for posting this! I have so many feelings about this. I’m incredibly interested in the film vs digital debate. The Keanu doc Side by Side is my jam. I could watch filmmakers discuss stuff like that for hours. The reason I find it so fascinating is that I find myself wavering between the two sides all the time. For a very long time I thought the pro-film argument was overstated. I thought Nolan and Tarantino were just being pretentious (Tarantino’s argument of digital just being “TV in public” drives me insane). Then I remember re-watching the game of thrones pilot and REALLY noticed when it switched to film for a few scenes (as it was originally shot on film then mostly re-shot on digital) and it hit me like a ton of bricks – I felt a huge difference in atmosphere and just looked way better. Then there was the absolutely ridiculous fiasco on Project Greenlight where the director made a big stink about shooting on film and it ended up looking like hot garbage. Of course there are countless examples of gorgeous films shot on digital – Anyway, all this is to say, I found the video above extremely interesting. For me, the more they got it to look like Goodfellas, the worse it looked in comparison.