After the  enormous amount of emails I have received (some of them vitriolic of nature) and the controversy created by the debut of the Canon EOS Cinema C300 last Thursday at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, find here a sweet morsel to satisfy all those whom have swear loyalty to the RED Digital Cinema products. But prior walking into Ren-Mar Studios (the new home of RED Digital Cinema in Hollywood) and start a bloody camera shoot-out, I would like to take a moment and reflect on the timely and secretive way Canon has entered the manufacturing race of digital motion picture cinematography equipment after successfully capturing the imagination of millions of consumers with their EOS DSRL line. 

The influence of Canon EOS  in the consumer and professional  photo and video  market is now so profound and vast,  a whole new multimillion dollar cottage cheese industry developed at blazing speed on the shoulders of the new DSRLs,  ranging from all kind of carbon fiber and aluminum brackets to rods and stabilizers, to shoulder rigs and cages, to optical and electronic viewfinders to name a few, and not surprisingly, many of those products today set the support  standard in how to capture images around the globe.

As a cinematographer and seasoned photographer in all formats for over twenty years whether on film stock or digital video, I recognize the importance of RED Digital Cinema cameras and its workflow, pushing the  envelope of digital cinematography acquisition, creating an exceptional marker that completely paved the way cinematographers define how to capture an image with a large sensor camera in relationship to the dynamic range, look and color fidelity of film stock. 

But, the most influential marketing aspect of all large sensor cameras for feature film, episodic TV and TV spot making,  (including the RED One, Sony's F35,  Arri Alexa,  Panavision Genesis, EOS 5D and EOS7D)  has been their price point against negative film stock production and its post-production process, including its inherent  "instant gratification" which is seeing an "almost final image" right on set.  Today, there is not an absolute necessity to wait for film lab processing, work prints, or one light dailies, no more 20-20-20 printer points, or to have your negatives prepped for telecine (but still are many films labs available that will  do all the above). 

 High definition  video acquisition and its evolutive workflow have changed at such speed that all post-productions houses and all motion picture rental  camera houses are forced today to invest and re-invest thousands of dollars just to keep up with the latest technology.  Birns and Sawyer,  the oldest motion picture rental house in Hollywood just auctioned all their film cameras, lenses and accessories to welcome new digital cameras for sale and rent to stay competitive. Duart Labs, the oldest film lab on the nation, closed its 35mm processing lab last year. Technicolor acquired Laser Pacific last July to consolidate its post-production services. And the list goes on and on...(Film Goes to the Museum, next week).

So, the arrival of the EOS C300 and the Scarlet X are good news to all of us.  Let's go and  have a bloody shoot out right on Sunset Boulevard..! I would say, the one left standing is the most creative, regardless of the camera used. Filmmaking after all, is about telling a story, not about how many pixels or megabits I have on my blender, and both cameras deliver a fine picture to hold any storyline. So, today all cinematographers can enjoy  more top rated accessible working tools to choose from at a very low price point for whatever we decide to shoot.

Red Digital Cinema entered the camera manufacturing race on 2066 and is just recently coming out with a lower price point ($9,750+) and versatile 4K camera.  As for Canon goes,  is their first foray into making full fledged cinematography cameras,  but as we all now Canon invests millions of dollars on R&D (research and development), hence the EOS line with the 1DX, 5D, 7D, 60D and now we have the C300 ($20,000+) And for these two cameras, the Scarlet X and the C300,  this is only the tip of the iceberg. Two new camera systems that soon will be "upgraded"  again as its intended market responds.

 RED Digital Cinema announced its new Scarlet-X camera on the same day that Canon revealed its EOS C300. The news are still under wraps and the RED community has utterly taken down the company's servers. So the company's CEO has distributed information live to a small crowd. The Scarlet-X has an S35 sensor and the whole camera is essentially "Epic's little sister," with similar functionality. It's capable of 5k stills and 4K video at 25fps. Ratcheting down the resolution to 3K enabled 48fps, 2K gets you 60fps, and at 1K it can handle a  whopping 120fps. It can write data at 50mb per second using RED's proprietary "Redcode RAW" format to an SSD via the included slot.  The Scarlet-X will retail for $9,750 with a "full kit" chiming in at just under $14k. November 17th is the ship date for the PL mount version.

 The C300 on a Steadicam

Canon’s high-performance DIGIC DV III image processor facilitates high-precision gamma processing and smooth gradation expression. In addition to MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG2 422@HL compliant) compression, the EOS C300/C300 PL employs 4:2:2 color sampling for high-resolution performance that minimizes the appearance of “jaggies” at chroma edges. Additionally, with a maximum recording rate of 50 Mbps, the camera supports the recording of high-quality video.

 The C 300 on brand new a run and gun Red Rock Micro Cage.

The Canon EOS C300 PL (PL mount) digital cinema camera is scheduled to be available in late March 2012 for an estimated list price of $20,000. In addition to frame rates of 59.41i, 50.00i, 29.97P, 25.00P and 23.98P, the EOS C300/C300 PL features a 24.00p mode, matching the 24 frame-per-second frame rate of film cameras for high compatibility with common film-production workflows.

 The C300 on a compact Letus shoulder mount

 C300 Super CMOS Sensor

The Canon EOS C300/C300 PL’s newly developed Super 35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor incorporates approximately 8.29 million effective pixels and has a pixel size that is larger than that for conventional professional camcorders, enabling greater light-gathering capabilities for enhanced sensitivity and reduced noise. The sensor reads Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video signals for each of the three RGB primary colors, decreasing the incidence of moiré while realizing high resolution with 1,000 horizontal TV lines

For more info visit Red Digital Cinema and EOS Cinema 
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Cottage cheese industry! LOL. I had no idea it was so lucrative. Nice one.

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