The full-frame look is a favourite of many cinematographers – but it can impact the creative vision itself. "One of the coolest things about using a full-frame sensor is that it subtly modifies the way we visually tell stories," says Spanish DoP Juan Luis Cabellos AEC.
Juan Luis has worked his way up in the industry, starting as a loader working on commercials and music videos, then assistant camera on documentaries and into television. He remains inspired by his earlier work in documentary, and says "Travelling around the world was a pretty incredible experience and influenced how I understand light." Today Juan Luis is a proud member of the Spanish Society of Cinematographers (AEC) and shoots commercials and TV series.
His latest production, an Amazon Original series called El Desafio ETA, showcases the struggle between the Spanish police and the Basque separatist group ETA. On such high-end productions, there's no space to make mistakes, leading Juan Luis to make careful choices about the equipment he uses. "When something new is released, I look for its weak points, as I'm always trying to get the best image," he says.
When he first used the Canon EOS C500 Mark II, three things stood out immediately: "the full-frame look, the Cinema RAW Light files and the Sumire Prime lenses." With its 5.9K full-frame sensor, the ability to record Cinema RAW Light at 12-bit or XF-AVC 4:2:2 at 10-bit, and compatibility with both EF and PL mount lenses, it's a formidable filmmaking partner.
Drawing on his experiences shooting with the EOS C500 Mark II, Juan Luis explains the creative as well as practical benefits of shooting full-frame.