After 3 years of shooting on DSLRs I’m glad that production companys have the chance to use an amazing yet affordable alternative with a camera like the Sony F3. Shooting an ad on it last week was a major positive experience for me and I can only join in to the praises that come from everywhere about this baby. What a great picture and how convenient to use it is. I’d prefer it over a RED any day and at $14k this one is a nobrainer for me. If you wanna buy it try here. For another $3,680 Sony gives you a firmware upgrade that will activate s-log recording and HD-SDI 4:4:4 output. It kind of sucks that this feature is hidden in an expensive firmeware unlock, doesn’t it? But hey, this camera really is affordable for what it does. The firmware upgrade is available here. Many have asked if that upgrade is really worth the extra cash and Abel Cine, the New York based rental giant has finally put their meters on it to check out the real potential of this hack. The result: 13.5 stops of dynamic range with some nice LUT options that can also be recorded over HD-SDI. See the video below where Andy Shipsides explains and shows the additional menu options: via AbelCine, via nofilmschool.Read more
After the really really enjoyable first episode of the Zacuto SCCE they have finally released the second of three episodes. Once again I cannot stress enough that if you’re a camera person you really shouldn’t miss the chance to see this beautifully edited piece of well done camera comparison! It is not only revealing to see how digital cinema (and analog film for that matter) cameras compare, and to hear industry professionals speak about their observations, but also a great great opportunity to learn about very imporant aspects of cinematpgraphy like signal to noise ratio, resolution, compression that is very elegantly explained in these tests. Episode 2, “Sensors & Sensitivity” of the three part series continues with tests covering sensitivity, resolution, compression and the relationship between them. It is striking to see how bad DSLRs performed in this par of the comparison. While they had some good performance in the dynamic range part of the last episode, this time around they fail hard and show their weaknesses. Not only does moire go crazy as we all very well know, but most importantly the images are literally destroyed at times by the line skipping characteristics of the current HDSLR sensors and their unhealthy compression pipeline. Here’s a list of all the cameras that were compared: – Arri Alexa – Sony F-35 – Sony F3 – Canon 5D Mark II – Canon 7D – Canon 1D Mark IV – Nikon D7000 – Weisscam HS-2 – Phantom Flex – Panasonic AG-AF100 – RED ONE M-X – 35mm Kodak 5213 and 5219 film Here are some quotes I felt were important: “(…) shocking in a way to see how the stills cameras don’t work at all (…)” “(…) wow, I thought the Canon would be more on than that (…)” “(…) this isn’t a test that advocates for one camera over another (…) you might have one camera that works really well for one situation and another camera might not (…)” “(…) as the budget changes we’ve had to (…) use the Canon’s cause we had to (…) seeing, especially the AF100 (…) and how it compared to the F3 and how they compare to the bigger cameras, that was the biggest surprise (…) a new option that we could do (…) that’s bringing the quality back up.” There’s one more episode coming out in August. Stay tuned!Read more
Filmmakers around the world have mentioned the Great Camera Shootout 2011, hosted by Zacuto many times this year, and while some people got the chance to see the resulting footage in full resolution in a theatre the rest of us has been waiting for Zacuto to publish it on the web. And finally, the first episode is here and I cannot stress enough that if you’re a camera person you really shouldn’t miss the chance to see this beautifully edited piece of well done camera comparison! Not only is it a very scientific and accurate comparison of the current most important large sensor cinema cameras (DSLRs among them), but it also has comments by many DOPs with different backgrounds nicely woven into it to give you a great scope of observations and opinions. This first episode is all about Dynamic Range. The second and third episodes will be published in July and August of this year. The first screengrab on the left shows the people involved in the project. Professional DOP Robert Primes, ASC, designed and administered the full series of tests. Here’s a list of all the cameras that were compared: – Arri Alexa – Sony F-35 – Sony F3 – Canon 5D Mark II – Canon 7D – Canon 1D Mark IV – Nikon D7000 – Weisscam HS-2 – Phantom Flex – Panasonic AG-AF100 – RED ONE M-X – 35mm Kodak 5213 and 5219 film It is very interesting to see how well the DSLRs performed with measured 11,2 stops of exposure latitude and to see the differences and similarities of the Canon DSLRs to other large sensor cinema cameras. I think it’s great to get a feel of what the different cameras will do for you and where they’re missing out. The highly anticipated Sony NEX-FS100 was not part of the test, but it’s brother that shares exactly the same sensor, the F3 showed some very strong lowlight capabilities. In the next episodes the cameras will face an analysis in regard to it’s sharpness, color quality, flesh tone reproduction, compression losses and shutter artifacts. Jump to the article by Zacuto and the embedded video: Single Chip Camera Evaluation – Episode 1 I’m eager to hear what you guys think about the test, please share in the comments. Personally I must send a lot of respect to the people involved. Thanks for this great and enriching watch!Read more
by Jared Abrams | 3rd February 2011
The Bui Brothers asked me to borrow some gear for a BTS shoot they were doing for Zacuto. I was lucky enough to find out about it and snuck down to set to hit up Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn with a few questions about the shootout and the new EVF. It was a massive undertaking. They had so many new single chip cameras there for the test. Everything from the Arri Alexa to the new Sony F3 was there. I was impressed with the scope of some of the tests that were going on there. They had every type of test from color charts to spinning wheels to models with different skin tones going on at the shootout. It looks like they will release three versions of the new EVF. The EVF-Snap ($675), the EVF Flip-Up ($775) and the Z-Finder EVF ($805). The Z-Finder EVF is the only model that includes a Z-Finder. The release date is set for March 10th, 2011. Click here to check it out.Read more
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