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Sam Wong's First Impressions of the EOS R5 C

Sam Wong is a photographer and filmmaker specialising in fashion, portraiture and documentary. A creative storyteller with an interest in capturing unique stories and perspectives, Sam’s upbeat style explores the distinctive characteristics of underground subcultures. A hybrid shooter that frequently mixes mediums, Sam is well placed to review the video and stills performance of the EOS R5 C.

Sam used the EOS R5 C on his shoot ‘Off Balance’, a short film and series of stills exploring movement in studio at SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne and on location on the surrounding streets. We spoke to Sam on set about the concept of the shoot and his experience bringing it to life with the EOS R5 C.

What drew you to photography and filmmaking?

I was drawn to photography and filmmaking as it was a way to connect with people from all walks of life that I may not have been able to if I wasn’t holding a camera.

I first got into photography when my high school teacher gave a film camera and told me I should use it to document me and my friends busking on the street when she found out that I was a b-boy, break dancer. Knowing very little about cameras, I shot a black and white roll and took it back, when she developed the images, she was so surprised with how raw and gritty they were, and she encouraged me to pursue a career in photography. At the time I was almost 18 and was pretty late to the photography game but I was super passionate and with my teacher’s help, she helped me build a folio within 6 months to get into RMIT Ba Photography and the rest was history.

“Creating projects between the two mediums allows me to never get bored of doing the same thing and each medium inspires the other.”

Sometimes a project begins from photography, and motion is an extension to showcase the in-between moments. While some days the project could be a one-to-two minute short film, and photography is to create images that draw people to watch the film. I enjoy the freedom to work between both and mixing techniques to discover new ideas.

Image of contemporary dancer taken by Sam Wong using the EOS R5 C

Is there an overarching theme or visual challenge that keeps you motivated or excited in your work?

Movement, cinematic lighting and different personalities are common themes I like to explore in my work. I enjoy connecting and creating with people who are often opposite to what I do to bring together a new story.

Image of hip hop dancer taken by Sam Wong using the EOS R5 C

Tell us about the concept you were working with today.

I think every great dancer has their own distinctive way to find balance and that’s what makes them unique. Today we explored that idea by filming with two very talented professional hip hop and contemporary dancers, Josh and Amber, who are both very fluid and different in the way they move. It was exciting to capture them today with the help of talented gaffer James Thompson who programmed the lights to shine in certain shape and colour while the dancers moved between the streets and a spinning platform in studio.

We were able to use a lot of creative lighting and work with the way they like to move to create a very special project. They’re not just there as dancers, but they’re there to lead us in the way we should capture movement. When you understand that, you will always create something special.

How was your experience shooting with the EOS R5 C?

I love a small, powerful and functional camera and the EOS R5 C is that. Using the EOS R5 C, the transition between stills and motion was very seamless. Taking the camera and putting it on a gimbal, and taking it off and going straight to stills tethering to a laptop, it was no problem - it was all within a 30 second to one-minute changeover, and I think that was pretty awesome.

Long exposure image taken by Sam Wong using the EOS R5 C

Having an 8K full frame sensor like the EOS R5 C is really exciting. In my line of work, I do like to use a lot of effects, and lots of after-camera editing, so by giving the editor such a big file, he’ll be easily able to move things around, create a lot of interesting digital zooms and have a lot more room to be creative with the footage in post-production.

“One of my favourite things about the R5 C is how quickly you can switch from 25 frames, to 4K 120fps - it’s amazing, you’re able to create a huge variety of footage without having to spend too much time fiddling with the settings.”

The autofocus has been pretty great, I’m doing a lot of fast and crazy movements and by having that function, the camera just takes full control and concentrates on the subject for you, and you’re able to just concentrate on your own camera movement and just be creative.

Image of dancer taken by Sam Wong using the EOS R5 C

Has the R5 C given you any ideas on what you want to use it for next?

I definitely would like to travel and work more with this camera – it’s much lighter and it has so much function so it will free me up from bringing a lot of gear to just focus on being creative.

I’m very interested in looking into having the EOS R5 C – it’s somewhere between an EOS R5 and a C70, it does both jobs and does it seamlessly, so it will be great for me to take on the road. It’s a big step up from the previous models, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Watch the BTS video to see Sam in action with the EOS R5 C and his impressions of its performance

Watch Sam Wong’s film ‘Off Balance’

Learn more about the EOS R5 C