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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 February 9th, 2005 12:06 PM

HOW long is it going to take to produce a cheap 35 MM HD-cam?

We live in 2005, people! WHy on earth didn't they invent the HD version of a 35 cam. SO much technology and still we have to deal with lousy and bad DOF's and video-like pictures. NObody gots the guts to take the risk now. Tons of indies wanting to buy that solution. The solution to get profesional quality. Is it so hard to get narrow DOF's????? Is it so hard in 2005? BUt I Guess Panasonic, Sony, JVC and the rest want to make money by having us wait and begg. It is all about money. They don't care about the real indies anymore. :(

It goes from HD to SUper-HD...then it goes to DIG-HD, then to TRILIAN HD, then to XXL-HD.....THEY are fooling you guys with names and markering!!

It is time for a 35 MM simulator cam for everybody to buy.

Marco Leavitt February 9th, 2005 01:00 PM

My guess would be never.

Filip Kovcin February 9th, 2005 01:44 PM

next year - 1st of april!

Richard Alvarez February 9th, 2005 01:54 PM

Fot ten thousand dollars you can buy a real 35mm camera system. Of course, then you would be shooting on film, and all it's costs.

I don't think a 'cheap' HD solution that can compete with 35mm film will ever exist. The lenses alone are worth more than any prosumer camera.

(Assuming by cheap, you mean a sub ten thousand dollar solution)

Glenn Chan February 9th, 2005 02:29 PM

It's expensive to produce larger CCDs (for 35mm film-like DOF), unless there are economies of scale behind it.

2- A camera with larger CCDs also has to be marketable. I suppose if enough people request it, the manufacturers will listen and make such a camera.

3- There are technology barriers that prevent a video camera from producing images like 35mm film does. Two important differences are:
Film has much greater exposure latitude.
When video overexposes, it experiences color shifts.

4- Manufacturers ARE trying to invent the video equivalent of 35mm film cameras... look at cameras like the Thomson Viper.

Matt Irwin February 9th, 2005 03:30 PM

The Viper is awesome, though it looks like Arri may take the cake with the D20. (click: Cameras > Cameras > Arriflex D20)

No it's not cheap, but it has a 35mm chip among other things.

There's also the Panavision Genesis.

It's highly unlikely that there will ever be a system that produces results like the above AND has anywhere close to a prosumer price tag.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 9th, 2005 03:40 PM

Of course we all dream with a giant sensor, however it is not really required. All that is needed is a camera with very simple optics and a built-in ground glass, with some 35mm photo lens mount in front. That's it. Should be about as expensive to make as an FX1/XL2/DVX100, if not less.

But using 35mm optics is not the biggest problem for HD. Unfortunately writing a 1920x1080 picture to tape would probably mean lugging around a laptop. Even high-end current HD camcorders write lower resolutions to the onboard tape. So does HDV for that matter.

Rob Lohman February 10th, 2005 04:55 AM

Moved the thread to our "speculation" forum....

Jose di Cani February 11th, 2005 06:33 PM

Thanks for the replies. I apreciate. Sometimes it makes me mad, cause if we look at the the way Internet changed the music industry, why not change the video-at-home- with some new killer cheap 35mm-like solution (under 2000 dollar). I read things about the agust simulator and I also know tons of people willing to coff up the money for a system. So there is a huge market. We need a smart investor who can put these things into business. I have 2 left hands really so if I would make a agust-35 mm thing, I would make a ice-machine instead. I am that stupid in these things.

If it about chips and we see pentiums and athlons compete with each other like maniacs, I guess The market for cam-chips is not competetive. Sad. You can compared with the Technics turntable market. SAd, sad, oh so sad.

Rob Lohman February 14th, 2005 04:48 AM

How has the internet changed the music industry (other then them
being terrified of it for pirating reasons)?

Charles Papert February 14th, 2005 10:57 AM

Jose, an inexpensive 35mm sized sensor will not revolutionize the industry nor transform "video-like pictures" into anything other than the same pictures with shallow focus. It's one element amongst many that go into creating a "film look", and not nearly the most important as far as I'm concerned--the emulation of the 24p 3:2 pulldown was far more ground-breaking. (Don't believe me? Try watching the same scene as shot with a Mini35 at 60i vs a stock-lensed DVX100 or XL2 at 24p--I think it quite sure that the majority of viewers will consider the latter far more "filmic").

Rather than be frustrated by not being able to own a 35mm optical path for your DV camera, focus on your lighting, composition and storytelling abilities and how you can improve them. All of those are far more important than a shallow DOF. It sounds boring and trite, but I absolutely stand by it.

I own a Mini35 myself, but I don't always use it. In fact, I'm shooting a short this weekend and the director decided he doesn't want to bother with it, so it's just a bare DVX. I'll still work hard and make it look great.

Jose di Cani February 16th, 2005 07:55 PM

Thanks Charles. I apreciate your answer. WE want to much, huh? I thought 35 mm cams was all amout shallow DOFs. I guess I should complain so much and just make the best of it with standard technology(HD). I really hope you the best of the best.

And ROB>>>the internet has revolutionized home-based pc musicians. Thanks to the internet , I got to know wonderful musicians willing to interchange ideas and musical proyects, not only learning from them but also enjoying new things. The Internet made music universal now......more universal. And not to forget about people downloading your stuff for free...that is great publicty and how it shoul dbe. NO multinationals telling us what we should do. They only thing about money. Thanks to the internet, we don't have to listen to micheal jackson's and MAdonnas and other popular comerrcial garbage.

Rob Lohman February 18th, 2005 05:09 AM

Exactly Jose, but you said " Internet changed the music industry".

What you are talking about is NOT the "industry". The internet
has changed a lot in the music landscape for sure, by connecting
people and talent etc. But that doesn't have much to do with the
"industry" (since that is, like the movie business, quite elite as I
see it)

Jose di Cani February 25th, 2005 12:34 PM

It did change the industry ( the way people do business). Record companies are in pain now. even Madonna said that. Some artist do offer their songs in mp3 format, because they see that as a change of industry standards. The thing ' mp3' is huge. It changed us, it changed me.....offering me to put my music online.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 25th, 2005 01:12 PM

The 'net is very much changing the music industry industry. It used to be that record labels controlled the flow of music and money to and from artists and the public. That is not how it works anymore, the network has deintermidiated the business. Record labels in their traditional form only continue to exist as such because the change has not finished happening yet. The music business is now about media, advertizing and events, not about albums, and that is a BIG change. Musucians today are shifting from a more passive role, in whuch they worked under the umbrella of the label, into a more active rol, producing their own albums and working more live gigs, which is for many the only way to make some money with music nowadays.

Can a similar thing happen for motion pictures? I think so. But bandwidth constraints mean it will take longer than with music. What does this have to do with this thread? Not much... but we could speculate that the change will help "anybody" distribute a movie on the 'net, and that this will perhaps drive the market to a wider demand and availablity of large-sensor cameras. The wannabe digital film makers by now are saavy enough to know that they have to compete with the old school (read: Hollywood) not just with compelling storytelling but also with better technique, and larger sensor can surely be part of such a trend.

Rob Lohman February 26th, 2005 06:02 AM

I don't see how the net has anything to do with "a more active
role, producing their own albums and working more live gigs"

Give me one major artist (mainstream, ie on the radio / MTV) or
record label/studio that has benefitted from the net.

Perhaps I'm just mis-understanding everyone, but I'm just not
seeing it. Yes the net is a great place for low and mid-end artists,
but I just don't see it for the high level stuff [at this point in time].

All they seem to do is worry and pursue piracy issues and try to
get control of things like iTunes in my eyes.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 26th, 2005 11:34 AM

Perhaps my view of the music scene has to do with the fact that I am in a different market and that I don't value mainstream media too much. I value music more as an art form than as a business. In this context and in this continent, I have seen artists... --you know, the real thing, the kind that actually say things in their lyrics-- greatly benefit from the Internet. The network gives them a direct connection to their public, who can be informed of concerts and buy albums directly, without paying anything at all to the labels. This means albums can be cheaper and the artists make more per album sold, and I can only see that as a benefit.

Of course labels, which handle mainstream music products, do a lot of PR on behalf of whom they represent, so the public has this idea that artists are pissed of at the Internet, and even though it can be true in some cases, it is not necessarily the way things are. Artists, as long as they find a way to make a living and do their thing, will adapt to the new scenario. Now if when you say artist you are thinking of Madonna, well think again: Madonna, even though she is I guess a respectable person, is to you and me mostly a product, and even though she may sing moderately well, looks nice and knows how to dance, I would not call her an artist. Madonna has probably seen less sales because of the 'net, yes. But I really couldn't care less. Hollywood will also see less sales because of the net, but people like you and me will benefit, because we, as "low and mid-end artists" can benefit.

Charles Papert February 26th, 2005 12:19 PM

<<quote: me!: I own a Mini35 myself, but I don't always use it. In fact, I'm shooting a short this weekend and the director decided he doesn't want to bother with it, so it's just a bare DVX. I'll still work hard and make it look great>>

Well, on Friday the director suddenly decided that we should use the Mini after all, which meant a frantic rush to get ourselves set up for the next morning's shoot (thank you Eric MacIver at indierentals.com for supplying the Zeiss lens package!)

There were moments where I longed to be able to shoot without the system for exposure reasons (wide open on the 2.1 primes would have been about the equivalent of shooting around a 5.6 on the DVX100a without adaptor), having to use larger lighting instruments, but it was nice to be able to work the depth of field here and there. Still, however, I think that the film would not have notably suffered if I hadn't had the adaptor. More than anything, it allowed me to use my mattebox and filters--I haven't gotten around to getting the riser plates for the DVX.

I'll post the film shortly.

Charles Papert February 27th, 2005 02:24 AM

Here is that film, from Instant Films 17. I should make the disclaimer that it is on the raunchy side--the director chose to take the theme and run with it...! In any event, I'm posting it here for the visuals. It was fun to figure out how to present what was supposed to be high-concept porn, making it cheesy but not bad...

Simon Wyndham February 28th, 2005 06:32 AM

Why are people so obsessed with shallow depth of field?

Has anyone here actually tried to do something like a dolly move, keep the camera framed and constantly adjust the focus at the same time?

Guys, look, if you have very shallow depth of field it would be a nightmare, especially with a handycam camera. Shallow depth of field can be nice, but it can also be a curse.

Why do you think Hollywood productions have a group of people all around the camera? it's because stuff such as very shallow depth of field is hard to control, It needs an extra dedicated (and very skilled I might add) person to be the focus puller.

On your average indy movie is this kind of operation realistic? Further to this what about all the non serious amateur users that may buy some of these cameras? Give them a shallow depth of field when they have the camera on full auto all the time and can you imagine the focus hunting that would result?! Ugh!

Then there's the issue of light. You open the iris all the way you are going to need serious ND to bring things down. Try to get a deep DOF for longer shots and you are going to have to close down the iris all the way. That causes problems with light in itself depending on what is available.

For years film people cursed shallow DoF. At one time they constantly strived for deep focus. Obtaining deep focus with 35mm can be so hard James Cameron even made a specific compliment to his DOP's on the Terminator 2 commentrary because in some shots in the dark they managed to obtain deep focus.

Shallow DOF brings it's own problems people.

Ignacio Rodriguez February 28th, 2005 09:58 AM

Having a large sensor and optics mean you have more light to work with and can *control* DOF creatively. Of course for documentary handheld type work we don't want shallow DOF, so we step down the iris. The point is to have the added control and sensitivity of large optics, and take advantage of the scale and price of 35mm photo lenses, specifically.

Simon Wyndham February 28th, 2005 10:52 AM

As I mentioned this isn't neceserily the case. On face value you do have more control. But there are occasions (the Jim Cameron one being an example) where it is difficult to have your cake and eat it. Controlling DOF can sometimes be logistically difficult as I'm sure some film people can attest. In controlled sets yes, that's okay. But what if you want shallow DOF on a bright sunny day? That's going to be a lot of ND you will need, again pushing up the expense for the level of market I am assuming you would want this camera aimed at. What if you want deep focus in a darker scenario? Again more expense due to the lighting control that is needed.

In a full pro setup the things aren't so much of an issue as the resources are generally there at hand. But for the majority of indies, I'm not sure they are as ready as they think.

Further to this there is still the issue of people in general being ready to handle such a low depth of field during complex camera movements etc. Consumer and prosumer cameras are designed for a wide variety of people to use. Having a shallow depth of field, or neccesitating a full understanding of it, is not practical in a camera that will sell to the masses. Photography was never anything but an enthusiasts past time until the arrival of the quick snap style camera and instant Polaroids. Any video camera with 35mm sized CCD's and lense to match would be way out of most peoples pockets and hence going against what you are wanting to have in the first place, ie and affordable camera with 35mm sized CCD's and the ability to mount your own lenses.

That kind of camera is for the big guys, and it would have a price to match, purely because the demand for such features on a consumer/prosumer level wouldn't be there. Us dedicated guys are not the majority market for that level of camera.

As I mentioned, at one time 35mm films shallow DOF was the bain of many a DOP's life. If DOF was so controllable it wouldn't have been looked down up as much as it once was.

But hey, nobody said anthing about stopping people if they wanted to try. I just think many people miss the wider issues and implications.

Jose di Cani March 14th, 2005 10:52 AM

well said Simon!

The market (xl2, dvx 100 market) isn't ready for shallow DOF's yet, cause nobody is asking for it. Nobody asked for film look like material 5 years ago and look how things changed. They add more and more functions cause that is the way companies can compete with each other., they need to OR low the price to compete or they CAN add MORE value to compete and sell more. SO the market is allready pretty cheap but it will fall more and more, but adding value (more functions; maybe more shallow DOF in the future???) can do sooo much more.

I won't mind having 2 options on my cam. Shallow DOF if I wanna use it. If not, deactivate it. Shallow DOFS looks just soo warm and so fantasy-like. Silence of the lambs would not be that good without those shallow DOF moments. It would not be that scary, cause shallow means vague picture and vage=scary=horror (not able to see it clearly). You know what I am saying?

It is just how people look at film vs video. Accept that.

Luis Caffesse March 14th, 2005 11:17 AM

"It's highly unlikely that there will ever be a system that produces results like the above AND has anywhere close to a prosumer price tag."

People said the same about BetaSP cameras, then we got DV cameras. The same thing is happening with HD as we speak. If someone had told me 2 years ago that by NAB 2005 we'd see Panasonic releasing a DVCProHD camera for under ten thousand dollars, I would have called them crazy, yet here we are a month away from that.

Hell, no one ever though people would be shooting feature films on video...yet here we are with Star Wars, Sin City, Spy Kids 2 & 3, and a ton of indie films shot on both the Varicam and the F900.

There was a time when 24P seemed like a pipe dream, when XLR inputs at a prosumer price seemed like a long shot, when a removable lens on a 1/3 chip camera was unheard of.

Technology will always advance, it will get smaller and cheaper with time. It's inevitable.

We are no longer talking about specialized physical gear, about film stock, developing, etc. There is only so cheap that 35mm film will ever get. But, once things move to Hard drive or solid state recording (which they are already doing) then we are only dealing with ones and zeros.

As the technology advances, it will only become cheaper and faster to write more ones and zeros per second.

With so many people longing to make movies, it is only a matter of time before you will have the video equivalent of 35mm film at the price of a DVX100.

Put it this way, what do you think the next generation, or the generation after that, will be shooting on?

I'm not saying we should sit around and wait for it... no way. Get out and shoot with what is available to you today. My point is just that it is inevitable. Technology has always trickled down, and it will continue to do so over the years.

Christian Asnieres March 28th, 2005 12:25 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Irwin : The Viper is awesome, though it looks like Arri may take the cake with the D20. (click: Cameras > Cameras > Arriflex D20) -->>>

What is the cost of the D20 anyway? I have googled this to death and still don't know the answer.


Charles Papert March 28th, 2005 07:21 AM

I would guess around $200K.

Ignacio Rodriguez March 28th, 2005 09:37 AM

Sorry Simon, but speak for yourself, don't speak for us "indies". I am sure many of us can handle the DOF issue, it's not much different from handling it with a 35mm photo camera and there are MANY amateur photographers who handle it just fine. Granted, the moving image is more of a challange. So is manual exposure. So is audio. We can deal with that. I am sorry but I can't help but thinking that you are just being jealous as a "big guy". I am a "little guy", and I will do just fine with a larger sensor, Thank You.

There ARE people asking for the larger sensors, and massification of HD resolutions DOES need larger sensors in order to keep up with SD prosumer sensitivity. So I am sure we will have affordable larger sensors with the second wave of prosumer HD. Because as soon as we all get to try the first wave, it will be pretty clear that we won't settle for the less sensitivity from the smaller size of pixels.

I am probably not buying into the first wave because of the sensitivity issue. I will prefer to rent, and so will a lot of people in my segment of the market. Thus, the manufacturers will want to make something that most of us WILL buy, because they don't make money money from rentals.

So, to take us back to the topic, I'll say that --since 35mm video already exists-- the question is not how soon is it going to take to produce but how soon is it going to take for that technology to make mass-market. My opinion is that the second wave of prosumer HD, coming 2006, will probably have larger sensors. Perhaps not full 35mm, but larger than today's offerings. That will educate the public as to the advantages of larger sensors, which in turn will drive the manufacturers to produce models with even larger sensors. So I would speculate that we can expect 35mm prosumer (below $10k) in about 4 years.

Quite some time isn't it? Especially when you think that --if they wanted to-- they could do it now. But they will make much more money buy selling us smaller sensors first, so that is what they are doing, and it's just good business practice <sigh>

Richard Mellor April 5th, 2005 11:34 AM

I agree with you, Luis.

this http://www.vector-international.be/C-Cam/doc/CCI4.pdf

made thiswww.drachenfeder.com/int/take1.avi

Two years from now, you will buy this camera for $300.

I just sold a Barco CRT projector that the Pentagon originally bought for $54,000. I was happy to get $900.

Many of the things we are working on Charles cannot use;
he has to make the customer happy. The Drake will make better pictures than a mini dv anything, but I would not want to try to sell it to a client. Clients want to see Arri or Sony from a rental house. You could possibly light a professional set with lights from Home Depot, but I wouldn't dare show up in front of the client with them.

Radek Svoboda June 16th, 2005 07:22 AM

Lot of companies make CMOS and it will soon better than CCD and is cheaper. Kinetta an guys on this board will have 2/3" cameras this year. In couple years may see similar cameras with 35 mm sized sensors. Choices may be, 100K USD 2/3 Sony cameras or 5K USD 35 mm Obin cameras.


Marco Leavitt June 16th, 2005 08:05 AM

I agree with the comment that shallow depth of field isn't always better, and greatly complicates things. I think it would be cool to have the option of switching back and forth though. You could use the camcorder with 35mm sensors most of the time, and switch to the camcorder with 1/4 inch ccds for steadicam and other moving shots. Best of both worlds!

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.

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