In the grand scheme of things, vlogging is a pretty recent development. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphone cameras and the birth of platforms like YouTube, pretty much anybody can (and does) do it these days. But what would it have looked like if you’d tried to shoot a vlog with the camera tech of 30 years ago?
That’s what YouTuber Dan Mace wanted to explore in this video as he shoots the same vlog sequence twice – once with his iPhone 13 Pro Max and once with an Arriflex 16SR3 Super 16mm film camera – to see how the two compare both in ease of use as well as how the final result looks.
It’s a pretty cool and interesting, albeit expensive, comparison. The Super 16mm film Dan used to shoot his vlog costs around $200 per 400ft roll, equating to just under 11 minutes of footage. Dan shot three rolls of film for this video, which brings his total up to $600, not including the cost of developing and scanning so that he can edit it on the computer. And just checking here in the UK renting the Arriflex SR3 costs around £300 (~$408) per day.
No matter how infrequently you vlog, shooting it this way would get very expensive very quickly! Of course, you can save on the rental fee by just buying a used Arriflex SR3, but that’ll still set you back at least £4,000 (~$5,500) unless you get really lucky on eBay. And you’d still have to buy lenses and other bits.
The logistics of shooting a vlog, especially if you’re on your own, with such a large and heavy camera as the Arriflex SR3 are tricky, to say the least. There’s so much extra support gear that you need for a camera like this vs your smartphone. Not to mention something to cart it all around in, which can make accessing certain locations pretty tough. But ultimately, Dan said that it was actually much easier to shoot with overall than the iPhone. You just know when you’ve got exactly the shot you want, even though you can’t watch it back instantly.
And when you look back at the final results, the film version has a quality to it that the iPhone can just never replicate, regardless of how many filters you throw at it, even though the field of view and framing are identical.
It’s a very interesting comparison, although I don’t expect vlogging on Super 16mm film cameras is going to take off!