“I’m 22 years old, and I’m in my fourth year at university, and I work as a video director”
I’m Kazuki Sudoh. I’m 22 years old, and I’m in my fourth year at university. I work as a video director for a company called TranSe, where I work on music videos, do signage for fashion magazines, create web commercials and so on. One of the things I wanted to do in university was to study abroad. I began creating videos in order to record my memories. I was using my iPhone back then, and that’s how I became interested in video creation. The first equipment I bought was a mirrorless camera, and once I used it I was addicted to cameras. I asked my friends and acquaintances if I could film them, added fitting music to the videos, and so on. I’ve always been a bit into space and science-fiction, and when I began sharing my works on social media, the representative of TranSe contacted me: “let’s do something together”. Like this, I worked as an assistant on location, and that’s how I made my start in this business.
“The most important factor isn’t that the camera takes video, but that it can shoot photos as well”
Until the fp was released, my camera choice was between the iPhone and the EOS-1D X Mark II. At work I use a Pocket Cinema 6K by Blackmagic Design. When I choose a camera to buy, the most important factor isn’t that the camera takes video, but that it can shoot photos as well. While I make my living by creating videos, it is very important to me that my camera and my lenses are suitable for shooting both video and photography. When I think about lenses that are perfect for still photography, I must say I love the SIGMA Art series lenses for the texture and contrast of the images. At the moment, we’re using the Art F1.4 24mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses at work.
“‘Really easy to use!’ – that impression has stayed with me”
In addition to my work at the company, I also create Youtube videos on my own. A year ago I opened a music channel, and I already have about 30.000 followers and more than 1.6 million views in total. Because I’m so active on social media, a friend of a friend contacted me and asked, “hey, I’ve got a SIGMA fp that you can use if you want.” I was really interested in this camera, so I immediately said “yes, of course!”
Before I even begin to talk about its versatility for video production or photography, I have to say I already felt attached to the fp the moment I took it into my hands. I believe this is true for everyone – you only really use something for a long time if you feel an attachment to them. And somehow, I felt attached to the fp the second I had it in my hands…
I used the fp to shoot a music video, but I also needed to take photos for the thumbnails. I tried flicking that little switch on its top, and it instantly switched into photography mode. “Wow, it is really easy to use!” – that impression has stayed with me.
“The fp has dramatically increased the range of choices”
I also run a video online salon. About 1600 video creation enthusiasts take part in it, from middle-schoolers to people in their 60s. Many of them would like to make videos but don’t know where to start, or aren’t sure which gear they should buy. Until recently, when selecting a camera all you had to go by were its technical specs, right? For example, is the camera better for video or for photography, how high is its pixel count, how much does it cost and so on. When you buy other appliances, like a vacuum cleaner, you care about more than just its specs – how you feel about the design, for example, is an important factor as well. But somehow, same reason has simply not been a criteria when we choose cameras. With the release of the fp, however, I think the range of choices has increased dramatically. If someone wants to buy a new camera but doesn’t know much about technical aspects, and you include the fp in your recommendations, I’m sure that they will say, “oh, I want this one.”
“It has become extremely easy to record my daily life in videos”
There are no unnecessary buttons on the fp, and its UI is clean and easy to use as well. It is obvious that they tried their best to remove the hurdles of shooting video. It has become extremely easy to record my daily life in videos. In my generation, there are more and more people who work normal jobs but create vlogs whenever they go traveling. The essence of video is that it can capture anything that people want to remain as a memory just the way it is. I think this is a universal desire, regardless of age or generation, and so the lower the threshold, the better. I think it would be great if everyone could take videos without much effort, as a normal part of their everyday lives.
“It realizes a fundamental, universal human wish at the size of a smartphone”
I always wondered why there wasn’t a camera that combined high performance with easy usability. In that regard, this camera is the realization of that idea. It smoothly reduces all boundaries and helps turn the act of taking video into a natural part of our daily routine. The amazing thing about the fp is that it realizes a fundamental, universal human wish at the size of a smartphone. That’s a line I definitely want included in the interview, please! (laughs)
“Now you’re free to enjoy your ‘I want to shoot that’ moments”
As part of my job, we also take making-of videos of projects we produce – I always take a lot of selfies then. With an EOS-1D X Mark II. (laughs) I mean to say that I am used to taking selfies with a camera in my hand, and when I switched to the fp, it felt extremely light to me. I was excited – this will be a great camera for vlogs! While it may be rare to take selfies with high-quality DSLR cameras, it is always great to have less weight and unwieldiness to deal with. I think you could say the fp is managed to take all the good parts from high-spec cameras and iPhones. The fp removes all the hurdles of the image-making process, and now you’re free to enjoy your “I want to shoot that” moments. It is a camera that lets you do whatever you want anytime and anywhere, without compromises. I think it is a brilliant piece of equipment.
“I want more people to know about the joy of recording their memories in videos”
Whenever I’m at a place I haven’t been to, and am unlikely to ever visit again, I will take a video, without any misses. The other day, when I went skating with my girlfriend, I recorded the day in a video as well. I am not going to share or broadcast the video online. It’s only for myself, to help me remember the day. In a few years, when watch the video again, I am sure that I’ll be glad I took that video. I love photography a lot, of course, but I like videos even more at the moment. I want more people to know about the joy of recording their memories in videos. Not because I work as a video director – I just think it is my mission to spread the message and get everyone to record their everyday lives in videos.