Over the past week or two there have been some pretty exciting RED DRAGON 6K footage released. From images shot using available light to Lady Gaga’s newest video, the RED DRAGON has entered the film world with a roar. A virtual feast for your eyes, we hope you enjoy the footage as much as we did.
Previously, RED has only released still images from it’s new 6K sensor, Dragon. Yesterday, director Mark Toia released the first video from the Dragon sensor, and it looks absolutely beautiful.
These days it’s easy to get caught up thinking you need a certain camera to make your project spectacular. Despite the title of this post, we know that content is king and cameras themselves don’t win film festivals! It is, however, fun to keep up with what cameras are being used. We’ve compiled the list below of cameras used to shoot films that were selected for the 2013 Tribeca, SXSW, and Sundance film festivals.
RED has finally launched a program that gives both students and schools a break on RED products. Discounts vary from product to product, generally 10-15% off. The RED Education Program will probably be more beneficial to schools since most student still cannot afford to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a camera. However, if you are lucky enough to afford it, now is definitely a good time to buy!
I’ve been hearing a lot about a bunch of new cameras with 16mm sized sensors. In fact it seems like it’s all anyone is talking about right now. I feel a little bad for these camera manufacturers “wait, you want smaller sensors now?”
You’re not going to get that super shallow DOF you do with 35mm lenses but there are some advantages to the smaller sensor size. First of all, they are cheaper to manufacture so…cheaper cameras. Plus, there is a ton of 16mm glass out there for pretty cheap so you might even be able to afford your own PL, B4 or C-Mount set to go with your new camera which would be really nice.
One of the coolest systems has been out for a while: the Ikonoskop (www.ikonoskop.com) shoots 1920×1080 uncompressed RAW footage to a CinemaDNG format. Based on those specs alone the camera pretty much blows away anything in the sub Red/Alexa price range. That said, it still costs $10,000, needs proprietary hard drives and creates BIG files. Check out some test footage my friend Snehal Patel shot with one: https://fearlessproductions.tv/testing-the-ikonoskop-a-cam-dii-the-camera-th
The other system you may have heard about is the Digital Bolex D16 (https://www.digitalbolex.com/). This one is a bit of an odd duck but it looks like it could be pretty neat if it can deliver on all of its promise. I haven’t been too impressed with the footage I’ve seen from it but the specs are great. It shoots 2K and records mostly uncompressed (12 bit – 4:4:4) TIFF, JPEG and Adobe Cinema DNG files which are very versatile and should give people some great images. The biggest pro might be the price point at $2500-$3500, for that price it’s worth buying one just based on those specs. The major con right now for me is the uncertainty of the whole thing, it was funded on kickstarter and there are no fixed specs or releases dates so if things go screwy in the manufacturing process (a big possibility for a first time camera maker) then you could be looking at much less camera for much more money.
Perhaps the hottest new camera right now is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (https://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/) At $3000, it comes at an affordable price, it has a firm ship date from an established manufacturer and has some great specs. You’ll definitely be hearing a lot about this camera. It shoots 2.5k 12-Bit raw files to standard SSD drives, it has a small form factor and easy to use connections and interface. It actually looks really nice. Plus, you get DaVinci Resolve for free with it. We will be getting one for sure so keep an eye out for pricing and availability
I’m putting the finishing touches on some videos I shot with Jonny Durango and his F3. We played with the S-Log and a couple different external recorders including the Gemini 444. There’s not a lot of stuff out there with this recorder so hopefully it’ll be useful to some people who are interested in using it. I’ll go into the images you’re getting in more detail in the video but in terms of the workflow there are definitely some pros and cons. On the plus side the Gemini is very user friendly, robust and easy to figure out. On the downside you’re looking at a little under a terabyte an hour in terms of storage which gets expensive. Add that to the hassle of dealing with the DPX files the Gemini produces and the balance of great, color correctable images versus ease of use and cost becomes closer to a wash.
We got our 5D MKIII this week and I have to say I am pretty impressed. Almost all of the problems that plagued DSLR shooters have been at least addressed if not solved completely. I’m going to do more thorough testing and some videos but my initial list of pros is pretty long. First and foremost, 30 minute clip size limits!! I know it’s still not perfect but hey, now you can shoot an interview. The headphone jack with on the fly adjustment is awesome as well. I haven’t gotten into the nuts and bolts of the new recording formats but look forward to having more info about that soon. Spoiler alert: It’ll do 60P in 720 so that’s really nice. As a part time photography nerd, some of my favorite stuff is going on outside of the video mode. I’ll keep it brief but suffice to say, it’s a hell of a still camera with a lot of cool tricks up it’s sleeve.
Had a client email looking for documentary style shooting options, he wasn’t too happy with e AF-100 or the FS-100 and wanted to try something else. Offhand, Billy mentioned that we have a scarlet package available. The client replied, “Red for run and gun work? You’re crazy.” After a few emails going over the options and realizing it wasn’t that crazy, the client wound up deciding to come in and do a test. It might sound nuts but the new Reds are starting to be practical for doc and ENG stuff. First of all, the Scarlet and Epic weigh about half as much as the Red One did and there are some great handheld rigs available. The Canon mounts offer autofocus and wide zoom ranges although a zoom rocker is still out. The cards will record forever without the weight and fragility of the red drives. The new red bricks are small and don’t go very long but the flip side of that is that they don’t weigh a ton. Audio is still a pain but it’s doable and most importantly, the Epic and Scarlet seem to be a lot more robust than the Red One. They definitely boot faster and seem to have fewer gremlins.
I have been pretty happy with the generic Canon batteries I’ve bought over the last few years and at 7 bucks (!) these are worth a try. Monoporice has been a good resource too, they have some amazingly cheap HDMI cables. Some of them have held up, some of them haven’t, now I just send out a spare with every cable and don’t worry about it if they come back broken.
The secret to generic camera gear is remember that these companies change manufacturers all the time, you’ll buy a product and have it be great and then buy the same product a month later and have it fall apart. This means there are some great deals to be had but it also means don’t invest too heavily at any one time and always get a spare!