More now than ever in the past, it’s possible for people with unique concepts and vision to break into the camera technology industry. This is just an evolution of the great things brought to the world via digital imaging. Without the ability to digitally store video and photo images, we wouldn’t be standing/sitting here right now, having these sorts of conversations.
While we continually seem to have this conversation of digital versus film, the more interesting conversation I feel is the conversation of compression vs. raw. This is a conversation that many more of us need to have. We continually say things to the effect of, “the best image always wins.” While that’s true, the way that we intend to use these images should (in my opinion) heavily influence how we capture them. The choosing whether to shoot raw or with a compressed codec, is a huge part of that discussion.
While all of them concentrate on raw, or close to raw recording, they do so with entirely different methodologies. Kinefinity is a purely raw recording camera. There aren’t any compressed options. The AXIOM Beta allows nearly full control of the data pipeline, so not only is it raw, it can be many different versions of raw and uncompressed.
BlackMagic on the other hand allows both raw and ProRes, but limits its raw to 12bit. This isn’t a criticism at all, because if you can’t get your shot just right with 12bits, then adding an extra two won’t necessarily save you.
Personally, I love shooting in compressed formats.
Now wait, hear me out.
I love working with easy to use, ready to go formats that are as simple as loading into your NLE and editing. That being said, I often shoot raw and I also acknowledge that the vast majority of compressed formats found in conventional cameras do the filmmaker very little good. It takes a combination of well routed data, processing and a solid, creative codec to truly take advantage of shooting in a compressed format.
There’s a balance to be found.
In the future, and all three of these companies have their sights firmly focused on five years in the future, it will be very interesting to see where their systems are. I imagine that as storage becomes cheaper and easier to manufacture, and data write speeds increase, we’ll see more of a focus on a Raw format. This will play directly into BlackMagic, Apertus and Kinefinity’s hands.
In many ways these companies exemplify the future of digital cinema production, and it sure does look exciting.
Blackmagic, Apertus, & Kinefinity Talk Cinema Cameras
In a video just released from NAB 2015, cinema5D sat down with Tim Siddons from Blackmagic Design, Sebastian Pichelhofer from the Open Source Apertus project, and Michel Juknat for Kinefinity, and talked about not only new products, but how each company views their own cameras and the needs of their users:
Battle of the Camera Underdogs – Blackmagic Design vs. Apertus vs. Kinefinity – ON THE COUCH – ep 27
The thing that has stood out to me, and one of the things that I've learned from doing this for a number of years, is that every company works very differently, and comes up with products and product cycles in their own way. A camera is ultimately a tool, and there are so many different shooters and different needs that it's impossible to create one camera that fits the needs of everyone.
The ARRI ALEXA may be one of the most popular cameras in Hollywood, but it doesn't do everything for everyone, and by the same token, RED's offerings do things that ARRI can't or won't do. Canon and Sony also have models that fit the needs of certain shooters and not others based on features and build. While Apertus is trying to make a camera that can be adapted for as many users as possible, Blackmagic wants to build models for each type of shooter. Kinefinity has taken a middle of the road approach, and has just tried to build the most powerful camera they can at the most competitive price possible, and incorporate what they've learned in newer models. Either way, building a camera is a set of decisions that comes down to what users need, cost, and potential volume of sales.
Read full article at No Film School “Blackmagic, Apertus, & Kinefinity Talk Cinema Cameras”
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(cover photo credit: snap from No Film School)