The past couple of months have given us some very interesting new toys, or tools depending on the maturity level of the beholder. One thing is for sure, these new cameras are top notch and would be a welcome addition to any cinematographer’s toolkit.
The first one to come out was the Hero2 by GoPro. These things are built like a brick and could could probably survive an impact from space, no wonder it is the ultimate extreme sports camera. The Hero2 sports the same size and look with a couple minor outer differences from its predecessor, and that is an LED light on all sides and some added ports. Users of this camera now have a stereo audio jack for improved sound, and a mini HDMI for HD playback straight from the camera. Also improved is the sensor, brains and lens. Three different field of view angles lets you choose how much of the scenery one can see, and at the smaller angles lens distortion isn’t as much. It sports 11 megapixels and can shoot 10 stills in one second. A very amazing camera, below you can see an amazing promo video using only shots from the Hero2.
Next up is the Canon 1Dx, announced on the 18th of October this camera looks to be the next generation of HD-DSLRs. Not being available till next year Canon is forcing us to drool over the spec list which could be updated when the camera finally becomes available. Everything about this camera is sweet, well, almost everything, it has an MSRP of $7000. Other than that being the only drawback this camera has dual CF card slots, can capture full HD clips up to 29 minutes long, and many other features that are just awesome. This camera is foremost a still camera designed for photographers but it’s great to see Canon now thinking of the videographer even more with their products. Still haven’t seen any sample footage.
Next up from Canon is their first ever cinema camera, the C300. This beauty of a camera was revealed last week on the 3rd of November and looks to do some amazing things. The sensor is the size of a 4k camera but don’t let that fool you, it actually outputs 1080p. Why? because every 4 pixels is one red, one blue and two green and the camera puts them together as one pixel with a very dynamic color range. So while it may not be as big of an image as everyone hoped, it sure will have some of the best footage to color grade. Also this camera shares some features of the 1Dx, that of dual CF card slots, time code sharing and the ability to use any Canon EF lens. So will Canon finally start to make a dent in the cinema market? Time will tell, but in the meantime here is a short produced by Vincent Lafloret using the C300.
And RED on the 3rd came out and stole a little bit of Canon’s thunder, well, a lot of Canon’s thunder. RED finally unveiled the Scarlet camera. Full frame with a 4K sensor this baby can put out the same image quality as the RED Epic, the only difference between the Scarlet and the Epic is the Scarlet has brains that aren’t as powerful as the Epic’s, and it also happens to be $20,000 cheaper. The body for the Scarlet is $10,000 but you can get a shooting ready package for $15,000. No sample footage out yet of he Scarlet but we don’t really need it. But to whet your whistle The Hobbit is being filmed on the Scarlet’s bigger brother, the Epic.
There were also other cameras released in the past couple of months. Sony is trying to get into the DSLR video market with some smaller mirror less camera. It looks ok but I don’t know where I stand on that. I am pretty taken by Canon on the DSLR as they are the ones who pioneered the video DSLR. Man, with all these new cameras coming out it is a great time to be a filmmaker.