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Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.


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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #16
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The problems with Public Enemies had little to do with camera technology. The Sony F23 seemed to perform just fine on wides and on shallow DOF close-ups. The problem is more with the editing, score and the story itself. It just isn't that strong. Perhaps they will fix the color issues for the DVD release. One can only hope.

I sometimes wonder where Sony gets off charging $150K and $250K for the F23 and the F35, respectively. They don't deserve such high price tags. And cameras of similar specs and performance can be had in the $20K to $80K range. They probably could have shot the movie entirely on the EX1 and gotten nearly identical results.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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I sometimes wonder where Sony gets off charging $150K and $250K for the F23 and the F35, respectively. They don't deserve such high price tags. And cameras of similar specs and performance can be had in the $20K to $80K range.
Amortized cost of Research and Development.

If it costs you $10 million dollars to design and build "a better mouse trap" and sell ONE, it's a 10 million dollar mousetrap. If you sell 10 million, it's a one dollar mousetrap.

The install base on specialized cameras like the F23 an F35 is quite low compared to say the EX1. And this is before considering the cost of components and assembly AND aftermarket support.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #18
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Amortized cost of Research and Development.

If it costs you $10 million dollars to design and build "a better mouse trap" and sell ONE, it's a 10 million dollar mousetrap. If you sell 10 million, it's a one dollar mousetrap.

The install base on specialized cameras like the F23 an F35 is quite low compared to say the EX1. And this is before considering the cost of components and assembly AND aftermarket support.
There has been discussion in another thread about the higher cost of the optical block used in F23.

The lower cost cameras tend to used IT recording media, rather than the expensive to produce high spec VTRs, although as HDCAM SR does replace HDCAM the increased production runs should reduce the unit costs.

The F23 currently has the best dynamic range of any digital camera, so the performance isn't really the same as the cheaper cameras. Going for those extra percentage points of performance always adds hugely to the costs of anything.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #19
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...

I sometimes wonder where Sony gets off charging $150K and $250K for the F23 and the F35, respectively. They don't deserve such high price tags. And cameras of similar specs and performance can be had in the $20K to $80K range. They probably could have shot the movie entirely on the EX1 and gotten nearly identical results.
I'd also be suspect of those prices. The highest-end digital cameras are rarely sold to the end user (Red being the exception). They are rented, and in the case of Panavision, further modified for professional use.

So I don't think Sony really expects a cinematographer to plop down a quarter million on an F35. And what rental houses really pay for these cameras, IHNI, but I imagine it's less than list.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:52 AM   #20
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Mann achieved better results with the Viper FilmStream-produced "Miami Vice."

Plus, several models of professional, high-end 2/3" cameras can be had in the $8K to $20 range, fully outfitted for about $50K.

Plus, there is always the Red option, for about $50K-$80K with all the bells and whistles.

Unless you really have a need for pure, uncompressed footage for extensive color correction, the F23 and F35 are severe overkill. Light sensitivity with a 1/2" camera or above is more than enough to shoot any-budget feature film. If you can't make a 1/2" or a 2/3" camera work for you, then you simply don't know what you are doing.

I would gander that the severe cost associated with Sony products is their cost to advertise and market. They are more aggressive in this area than their competitors, and their customers pay the price.

Sorry for the rant. But a simple, 35mm sensor digital camera shouldn't cost that much. It's just that no one has attempted to put out a serious, no-frills 35mm digital camera yet.

Here is what I want: A 35 mm sized image sensor (HD 1920 x 1080). Interchangeable lens setup. 24 frames per second progressive. Manual control of shutter speed and white balance. Dual XLR inputs. Tape or disc recording media (solid state is still stupid). About 10 or 12 bit compression (this is more than enough to serious color corrrection).

And that's all I want. I don't see why something like that, body only, should cost more than $5,000. But unfortunately it's still about 5-10 years away.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #21
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You don't need shallow focus alone to control where the viewer should look, quite a few 35mm films use f5.6, especially outdoors.
This is very true. I'm not sure where this whole shallow depth of field trend came from, but good storytelling is not and never will be dependent on it.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #22
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Here is what I want: A 35 mm sized image sensor (HD 1920 x 1080). Interchangeable lens setup. 24 frames per second progressive. Manual control of shutter speed and white balance. Dual XLR inputs. Tape or disc recording media (solid state is still stupid). About 10 or 12 bit compression (this is more than enough to serious color corrrection).

And that's all I want. I don't see why something like that, body only, should cost more than $5,000. But unfortunately it's still about 5-10 years away.
Uhh, you just described a Scarlet35, except that it will have more resolution but you don't have to use it. Body will be a bit more than that, but it's a small company with a LOT of R&D to recoup.

I am curious why you feel it needs to be tape or disc. I MUCH prefer solid state for tons of reasons, including cost, durability, size, etc.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #23
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A lot of people are debating over the use of video (elsewhere at least), as if a period movie needs to be shot with film, and well lit. It seems like common sense to me that a period movie should be under lit, just to be more realistic. But the use of new technology is no different than the concept behind "Chinatown". Back then it was a period film shot like a documentary ignoring any traditional approach. I see nothing wrong with this concept, I'm just not into his movies.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #24
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Perrone,

I still prefer tape or disc recording media. You can just pop in a new one and have the tape or disc for archive, instead of having to store everything on a hard drive. My experience with hard drive recorders is that they are a pain in the ass. Tape or disc has never given me a problem, and all my tapes sit on my shelf, not susceptible to hard drive failure.

As far as I know, no Red camera has sync sound, or recording to tape or disc (disc is preferred, like the Sonys).

So no, no camera like what I want exists.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #25
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Perrone,

I still prefer tape or disc recording media. You can just pop in a new one and have the tape or disc for archive, instead of having to store everything on a hard drive. My experience with hard drive recorders is that they are a pain in the ass. Tape or disc has never given me a problem, and all my tapes sit on my shelf, not susceptible to hard drive failure.

As far as I know, no Red camera has sync sound, or recording to tape or disc (disc is preferred, like the Sonys).

So no, no camera like what I want exists.

Gabe. when you say disc, are you meaning optical disc? When I said I prefer solid state, I didnt mean drives, I meant like Compact Flash or SDHC, which is what I record to. I archive to BluRay as I agree that Optical is the nice choice there. Tape is just too fragile to me. Humidity makes them sticky, high temps cause untold problems, magnetic fields cause dropout (which is a REAL problem given the number of TV monitors and other mag fields we work around), etc. Solid State media are impervious to this kind of thing.

As for the RED, you're behind the times. They've had sync sound for a while now. Nearly a year or so if I remember correctly. Four channels of it on the RED One. And they can record to Compact Flash which would be my preference. Recording 2k RAW for about the price of HDCamSR.

My Sony records to ExpressCard which I much prefer to the XDCamHD workflow. While there is some merit to recording directly to optical, I much prefer to reuse my recording media and write source, master, and other materials to optical for safe keeping. If I wanted to do that in a Disc Based workflow, I'd have 2 or more discs per project and I prefer NOT to do that.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #26
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Red One is $17,500 just for the brain.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:43 AM   #27
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Red One is $17,500 just for the brain.
Yes, that's true. However, the S35 Scarlet is due to be about half that.

You said you wanted:

1. 35mm sized image (yes)
2. Interchangable lens (yes)
3. 24p (yes)
4. Manual shutter and white balance (yes)
5. Dual XLR (yes)
6. Tape or disc recording (CF)
7. 10 or 12 bit compression (yes)
8. Body only (yes)
9. Price $5k ($7500)

The Scarlet hits nearly everything in your list, it costs a bit more, and delivery should be here MUCH sooner than 5 years. So there you go.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #28
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I'm no movie critic, but I do have a thing or two to say about the film...

I shoot better footage than what I paid $7.50 for with my HD100. No offense intended to Mr. Mann, I actually like most of his movies very much. But echoing what others have reported, Public Enemies was a disappointment. Not only was the color correction way off in parts, but the camera work was IMO awful. There were shots where the position of the camera made for a very unflattering image, and a different lens should have been used. There were zooms that looked stuttery, as if someone were zooming using multiple moves of their fingers. There were very few shots that were steady at all. I understand the whole handheld style, but I definitely think it was overdone in this film. It's kinda like listening to a Mariah Carey song: you're so busy listening to her constant trilling of notes that you get pulled away from the lyrics. That's why I don't listen to Mariah Carey.

The editing didn't help the camera work either. There were very quick shots of random people in random locations that had absolutely nothing to do with the story, and were very distracting. The nighttime shots would have been okay if there was some mix of steady camera work to help you re-establish who you were following and what they were doing. Also, there were times when the audio was just awkward and off. Some of that could probably be attributed to the very quick cuts in several scenes, but sometimes the audio levels would shift noticeably between cuts even in quieter scenes. I guess it could have been the speakers in the theater... [/rant]
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #29
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Sounds good, Perrone. I gets that's the next step for me, if I ever have the need or a bunch of cash on my hands. If only I could win the lottery.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:36 AM   #30
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Sounds good, Perrone. I gets that's the next step for me, if I ever have the need or a bunch of cash on my hands. If only I could win the lottery.
Or, you could do what a lot of the Red One guys did to help pay for the camera... do as many paid shoots as you can, and rent the camera out to others as often as possible.
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