Friday, November 4, 2011

The day that rocked Filmmaking !!

I have a motto in film making and it parallels Apple's Steve Job's philosophical viewpoint for new products, KEEP IT SIMPLE,  KEEP IT FUN. After decades of working intimately with Apple I guess it rubbed off and after yesterdays announcements its fantastic to see where cameras and technology are heading...

Yesterday for me was history making & on the heels of Createasphere a great show all in our realm should know about, significant announcements were made by Canon, Red & Sony the day before. With all the hoopla of a Hollywood blockbuster premier, including Martin Scorcese, these announcements were blogged onto the internet from Paramount, Burbank and Hollywood in star studded fashion.

It's really fantastic how camera manufacturing GIANTs are really listening to all levels of film makers. SONY with it's new F65 and the F3's new hi tech wide and telephoto zoom (11-16mm & 18-252mm WOW!!) has really hit it right this time around for Indie and Feature market sectors.

Newly announced Canon C300 camera comes in at around $20K, RED's new Scarlet comparably configured at $14K and the Sony F3 also at around $14K. So who the clear winner will be in my mind is going to be who produces the best image, best workflow ie Codec and workable form factor for these new genre of run 'n gun cams.

Having worked with so many cameras including the F3 I look forward to test shoots with the 2 new kids on the block. My gut feeling is that the F3 will yield the most bang for the buck especially if SONY drops the S-Log fee which basically unlocks the 4:4:4 capability already built-in to the camera. It would be a smart move on Sony's part as the F3 will now be competing with 4K and 5K imaging capability from Scarlet and Canon's C300. While S-Log 4:4:4 may not be RAW it is incredible to work with in the color grading process and the image result is superb.

SONY F3 Telephoto & Wide Zooms !Why so Slow Sony?
Specs of Sony SCL-Z18x140 18-252 mm Zoom:

  • FZ mount (F3 proprietary mount) – 35mm format
  • 18 – 252 mm (14:10 zoom
  • T3.9 (wide end) – T6.8 (tight end) Too slow me thinks for $10K+
  • 7 bladed iris
  • filter diameter 82mm (forgot to check if it’s threaded)
  • weight: 2.25 kg
  • dims: 151.5 (w) x 173.5 (d) x 125.6 (h) at wide end
  • 216.1 (d) at tight end — inner barrel extended
  • Auto flange depth back adjustment
The front section telescopes out as you zoom to telephoto. Focus, iris and zoom gears are standard motion picture pitch, and will accommodate standard gears and accessories.  The front focus ring slides forward for Autofocus/Manual Focus and back for Full Manual Focus–just like on Sony’s EX1 1/2″ camcorder. Best part is the zoom is activated by the rocker control in the camera-right handgrip. For manual zooms or an external zoom unit, a switch below the handgrip disconnects the electric drive. Thank you Sony for keeping camera operator tools intact in the new smaller form cam.

Also coming in January 2012 will be the Wide Zoom PL Mount Cine Lens from Sony with a focal length of 11-16mm and T3.0.

Waiting for more data will update ASAP. You can watch a film shot by my favorite associate Vincent Laforet here: MOBIUS
Some shots from Engadget...



It's capable of 5k stills and 4K video at 25fps. Scaling down the resolution to 3K enables 48fps, 2K gets you 60fps, and at 1K it can handle 120fps, nice slow mo! Data rate is 50mb per second using RED's proprietary "Redcode RAW" format to an SSD via the included slot.

The 6 million dollar question...uh, how long till we actually see these shipping! Reliability similar to EPIC then you really need to buy 2 of these! So that's what I'm saving my nickels to do, but most likely it will be 2 EPIC-M's or X...hmmm that's only gonna cost me around $100K...nickles, more nickels please... back to renting for now!

I'll get back to reviewing each of these new products in more detail after the dust settles soon! Right now it's off to the next film project...using 2 F3's and an EPIC!