Ryan Cockrell (from Lunch and Recess) sent us this intriguing look at the work of a Taxidermist which he shot on the Ikonoskop
We shot a test film called “Fishhooks” with the Ikonoskop A-cam d2 a while back. Its been on the festival circuit and made it into three festivals and was just picked for Vimeo Staff Picks on Saturday.
From Ryan Cockrell:
We were searching for a step up camera from the DSLR world.
We had been shooting on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II for years, and were getting bigger jobs where needed silly things like outputs, and stuff like that. So we started checking out cameras, and we read about the ikonoskop here on planet5D. It looked like a cool camera, and the images looked gorgeous so we wanted to try it. This was the result:
The idea with all of our tests is to shoot something as if it's a paying gig. So we have to use it in all the ways we normally need to use it. So we shot a short doc with our friend, Becca Barnet, an artist in Charleston, SC. (Beccabar.net for more of her work.) I've admired her work for years and had been wanting to find a reason to shoot something with her. Since she was a friend, we were able to tell her that it may be all for nothing, as we had never used the camera before and it was a test after all. So she was cool with us getting up in her face all day long even if we didnt get a usable frame.
This was a one day shoot, we used the Kessler Pocket Jib, sticks and handheld. The ikonoskop is a weird looking camera and a bit strange shaped with a funny eyepiece that makes you turn your head a bit to shoot. It does have a great monitor that made shooting on the jib really easy. Ergonomically it was not too bad. The camera by itself is steadier to hold than a dslr, but it's still quirky.
We loved the look of the images, and the RAW files gave us a lot of data to work with. Too much data in fact. The files were so huge, we filled all four of the rental kit's memory cards before lunchtime. And by the time we had filled the last card, we were still waiting on the first card to transfer.
This was the deciding factor for us and it was instant. We shoot a lot of documentary style stuff, which requires us to rapidly change memory cards, and we fill them quickly. We ended up going to lunch and waiting on the cards to finish transferring. This is obviously not an option on paying shoots.
After the shooting was all over, editing was pretty easy, although slower than with the 5d2. It bogged the computer down a good bit and also required grading which we did in Davinci Resolve. We had much more control than we were accustomed to, which was really nice.
In the end we ended up going with the Sony F5 after shooting the Cataloguing my Dreams test referenced earlier. We loved the ikonoskop, but have been really happy with the F5 choice. The upgrades have been really great, and we are excited about the announcements made at NAB. I'd love to have an ikonoskop around for personal work, but it just eats too much memory for our daily work. Interestingly, we tested teh AXS-R5 with the F5 earlier this week, a lender from Abelcine. It's great, and the RAW footage is excellent. It also eats the memory. So the issue with the ikonoskop is the RAW format. The F5 provided the flexibility we needed in the end to step out of DSLR production with minimal growing pains.
I hope this helps some folks with decisions about camera purchases. Theres an awful lot of new options now with Blackmagic and AJA putting out interesting looking stuff. I know the F5 is kinda pricey, but we got a great deal with the kit and have been using it often. Everything about it is really what we were looking for: ergonomics, image quality, memory usage, expandability, outputs, shipping time, and now an upgrade path to the F55. All in all I'm really pleased. We still use the 5D2 (same camera now 5 years old) when we need to fit into a tight space and it matches the F5 nicely. Still love it too.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)