The age of the Digital SLR is well upon us. With a wide variety of backs and formats, and plenty of video-capable units available under the mythical $1000 price point, the line between High-End Photography and the Rest Of Us is becoming terminally (lens-)blurry.

That’s not to say that any muggle can go out with their shiny new DSLR kit lens and take world-class, cinema-quality video – good camera control, lighting, composition and content is as important as ever – but the technical barriers to doing so are all but gone.

DSLR video still has its limitations, rolling shutter and sensor overheating chief among them. Like any other limited medium, if you master the strengths and work around the weaknesses, you can make beautiful things.

Westernsynthetics feat. Charles Smith – The Machine (official music video) from mark reid on Vimeo.

I keep going back to the first focus-pull in this piece at 0:16 and the “particle system” at 0:40. These really do have the look of some of the advanced particle rendering we’ve seen in past years. I think showing the “mechanism” behind the particles’ movements detracts from the effect somewhat, but this really is a lovely looking and subtly edited piece of work.

Here’s what producer Mark Reid had to say:

in the past i’ve done a lot of work with digital trickery, compositing layer upon layer, etc, but for this one i did it old school style. it’s shot on a Canon 7D with a macro lens, taking a look at a bunch of seemingly ordinary objects found around the home. apart from a bit of colour correction, some slow dissolves and a tiny bit of layering at the very end, it’s all straight out of the camera. it’s surprisingly enjoyable to step away from post-production and literally get your hands dirty. 😉