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-   -   HOW long is it going to take to produce a cheap 35 MM HD-cam? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/area-51/39155-how-long-going-take-produce-cheap-35-mm-hd-cam.html)

Jose di Cani June 19th, 2005 04:42 PM

Richard Mellor,

I don't think the cc14 will be that cheap in 2 years from now. It takes longer. I am thinking about a 4 year period for DV cams with 35 mm similar quality to come to the market. It won't be as cheap as teh xl2 now. The xl2 is expensive for today's terms.

Eugenia Loli-Queru July 21st, 2007 04:14 AM

Good discussion guys. I found of this thread via Google, right after I posted a blog post on my blog about the elusive "film look": http://eugenia.blogsome.com/2007/07/...ive-film-look/

Even if I am an amateur, shallow DOF is something I am dying for...

Emre Safak July 21st, 2007 08:03 AM

That was two years ago. The camera has since been made, and it's called RED. About the same cost as 35mm, once you factor in film and DI.

Charles Papert July 21st, 2007 09:17 AM

And of course even at the reservation price of $18K, there are plenty out there (including that linked blogger) who will feel that is exorbitant. Then there will be a $5K camera with similar capabilities, and that will be called ridiculously priced. And so on and so on.

Emre, I would consider the RED and its workflow to be substantially cheaper than 35mm. The rental price will be lower than a comparable 35mm package (as the cost equivalent of the body itself is 1/10 the price of the average 35mm sound camera); the 35mm costs cost of raw stock, processing and telecine/DI will still be more than the film-out to negative required in digital acqusition and the rest of the distribution costs remain the same. However, once the migration to digital projection is complete, this will drop radically also.

The main issue with consumer-level 35mm sensors is the focus. 35mm as a consumer-level still format was made possible by increasingly sophisticated auto-focus, but that technology doesn't work continuously for motion picture applications. The art and science of pulling focus in a large-format medium is something that has yet to be automated, and still requires a fantastic amount of skill. No degree of focus assist in the viewfinder can assure a continuously sharp image, particularly when subject and camera are moving. Having worked with the full gamut of focus pullers, from mediocre to legendary, I've seen firsthand how much is involved in acquiring sharp images for the big screen, and I just can't wrap my head around how a "casual" shooter will approximate this.

Eugenia Loli-Queru July 21st, 2007 12:32 PM

Sorry guys, but I am personally talking about a small camera, not a beast like the RED. And at a price of $1000. Such camera, while technically possible, it is NOT made yet. I explain about it on my blog post linked above.

Emre Safak July 21st, 2007 12:46 PM

That's not 35mm territory any more. As Charles significantly observed, even if you had the DOF of the 35mm format, you would need a focus puller to operate it. It's not just a matter of size.

Jaron Berman July 21st, 2007 01:56 PM

So all I have to do to become my own studio, distribute my film, and make millions is reduce my D.O.F? ARGGGGGGG, all this time, and the answer was right there!

Eugenia Loli-Queru July 21st, 2007 01:59 PM

Not everyone is interested in making millions. Some, they just want the look, because that's what they want their art to look like.

Personally, I have enough money to live a somewhat relaxed life (at least, way better than I could in my childhood), so when I go shoot on weekends, I am interested in the look, not the dough.

Fergus Anderson July 21st, 2007 03:51 PM

then there are 35mm DOF adapters. I have the money to invest in one for my HV20 but I an painfully aware I dont have the expertise to use it!

Eugenia Loli-Queru July 21st, 2007 04:00 PM

I have an HV20 too, but I am not interested in these adapters because I need a small device to carry around, not a buttload of what is essentially hacks. This is why I suggested in my blog a kind of small camcorder that gives you the film look automatically -- even at the expense of being a bit more difficult to use. Right now, to get some background blur I need to zoom-in 100% with my HV20 and this is just not always practical.

Jaron Berman July 21st, 2007 04:52 PM

wow, tough crowd. hot mic..hot mic...

Point being, there are so many subjective factors to "quality," that it's impossible to really satisfy ANY market, if you refine the market enough. Quality could be pixelvision with a great script and actors. Or, maybe its terrible actors and script, shot on 5201 film and scanned at 4k... it's all up to the client - and that's not limiting it to paying clients. If you shoot for yourself (you being the client), and you're happy, then that's all that matters.

As pointed out, there are items on the market now which allow prosumer products to produce s35 or shallower D.O.F. Some deliver excellent performance and cost very little. If that look is required by one's work, it is a simple matter of buying an adapter and lenses. However, complaining that no manufacturer is "willing" to make one's dream camera for their dream price is essentially going to a Honda dealer and screaming at the clerk for not building Ferraris. "You have the technology! Stop protecting the upper market!" Cars are cars, right? They all have the same technology right? Engines, transmissions, wheels and bodies. So why can't civics perform like Ferraris...at civic prices??? Even if they decided to do it, do you think it would lure people otherwise looking for SUV's?

Note that while many users on this board have an affinity for the shallow D.O.F look, the subscribers to this site only make up a small percentage of the total market of consumer/prosumer video gear. And believe it or not, a lot of people simply don't want to hire an AC to pull focus...or shoot music videos all the time where going in-and-out of focus is encouraged.

The indie spirit is looking at all your options and gaff-taping your way to a solution. Or if you're an indie with a budget, renting and borrowing your way to a solution. Obviously, this board has a fantasy element to it, but so does the production world. And in the production world, an artistic spirit is probably better served by finding real solutions than waiting for a magic bullet.

(For some people, that real solution means putting millions on the line to start a new company....which is always an option!)

Jaron Berman July 21st, 2007 05:04 PM

On the bright side, there's a bit of talk now about "the industry" going towards 2/3" chips with deep DOF and selecting focus in post. This can be done now with after effects or any number of tools in post.

Also, there is a holographic technology that is being developed in still cameras which allows you to set your focus point in post. This is certainly a LONG way from still, not to mention motion cameras.


But.... to get the shallow D.O.F. in the first place, you STILL can't cheat the laws of optics (yet)..so lenses will likely be a the limiting factor in size and price for a while to come.

Emre Safak July 21st, 2007 08:51 PM

Right... I hope it is clear to all that DOF is a function of the imaging area. The larger your chip, the shallower the DOF. Big chips are expensive, so this is what we get. It is the same in the still photography world. People ask why their point and shoots don't look like 35mm. They think it is some Japanese conspiracy, when it is the simple laws of physics.

Jack Jenkins July 30th, 2007 10:41 PM

Since shooting my intial short films on 16mm, I was skeptical about switching to video. I used to be fairly obsessed with getting my video to look like film. So much so that before doing my first real video short I shot a few scenes with both my 16mm camera and a borrowed video camera, in order to have a real world side by side comparison. Well what I found was they are different, very different...duh. But It did teach me an important thing and that was, of course they are different, one is FILM and the other is VIDEO. I know it seems simple and I am not trying to be obnoxious or condecsending, but the two things are really really different. From lens quality, filmstock, physical film movement through shutter, even something like the wieght of the camera and how you shoot with it, all these things make for a very different image.
Not worse, just different. The end result was, I liked the limited grain of the video and the kinda over-saturated colors I was getting so I went with video for that short. But for another short, shooting on actual film might be more acceptable.

RED will look more like film than say a consumer hd camera, but RED still doesnt look like film. From what I have seen RED looks great, but it doesnt look like film. "Superman returns" was shot digitally and it looked great, but it looked different than film. What we are dealing with now is stuff that doesnt look like film and doesnt look like "video". It looks like something new, an odd, grainless, saturated, very sharp image. I think alot of the time people confuse the "film look" with good lighting, photographic skill, compositional skill, the Kodak color pallete, and in general a concern for the image.

The bottom line is if you want something to look like film shoot it on film, 16mm is not that expensive. I mean you can't do 20 takes of everything or just get tons of extranious footage, but if you're careful and plan you can at least make a short for a few thousand bucks (similiar to the cost of a video camera)

Lastly, you will drive yourself crazy trying to make video look like film. Its like trying to trick yourself, you will never be able to do it (without a self inflicted brain injury). The key is to just try and make it look like you want it to. I have seen fantastic looking video and terrible looking film. Its all in how you do it.

Simon Wyndham July 31st, 2007 05:03 AM


"Superman returns" was shot digitally and it looked great, but it looked different than film.
Depends on how you viewed it. A lot of films these days use CGI backgrounds and elements, so half the stuff shot these days isn't film originated anyway.

But once these aspects are transferred to film for cinema release they take on the characteristics of that medium, including the way that the film passes through the projector (obviously). Viewing on a digital projector from a movie that was shot with no involvement in the film medium would of course look much different.

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