We live in a time where launching into space is becoming easier and easier. SpaceX, a private sector company, has the ability to make deliveries to the International Space Station. If that's not cool, then I don't know what cool even means anymore. Technology like that makes our talks about camera tech seem so trivial. And it’s true. Camera technology isn’t world changing stuff. In fact, sending a rocket, filled with cameras to space really isn’t world changing. What is world changing is what we do when we get there.
Bear with me guys.
Ever since we as species had the ability to see, we’ve been able to see, and indeed, watch the moon. It’s become embedded in our culture, our mysticism and as we know now, its effects. In July 1969, humanity finally made it there. We touched down on the moon, and Neil Armstrong along with his crew stepped out into a new frontier, one untouched by mankind, which is pretty cool.
This fact alone could have had a massive impact on the world. And it did. But what captivated many is for the first time ever, we could see the Earth. We saw how glorious and fragile our existence truly is. All of this was captured not just because we sent a man to space, not just because we walked on the moon but because we had the ability to capture that moment, those rays of light, and share it with others.
Pictures, for better or worse, have the ability to put things in perspective unlike anything else. For those in the 1960’s that saw the images from the moon, and even before that, of our planet hovering in space, many realized how fragile and beautiful our home truly is.
I think we can all agree that cameras and cinematographers aren’t as sexy as rockets and astronauts. A great majority of us wanted to be astronauts as kids— then we figured out how unrealistic that actually is. But cameras let us see through the eye of those far away. They allow us to share perspective. Often the things we take for granted provide us with what we truly desire.
Going to space to shoot an IMAX 3D film is probably one of the coolest cinema projects that will be attempted this year. Last September, SpaceX sent C500’s with their accompanying Codex 4K recorders to the International Space Station to film the earth in a way that’s never been attempted before. The Film is called “A Perfect Planet,” and is slated for release in mid-2016.
While this might not be as world shattering as seeing the first few images of the earth and moon from space, we’re going to see things in an entirely new way with this project. Sometimes a shift in focus puts our problems in better perspective.
CANON CINEMA EOS CAPTURES SPACE IN 4K FOR NEW IMAX® 3D FILM
Via Canon Press:
MELVILLE, N.Y., September 22, 2014– Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that Canon Cinema EOS digital cameras and lenses have been selected by IMAX Corporation for an exciting mission to capture 4K footage in space. The cameras and lenses left Earth Saturday on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The equipment will arrive at the International Space Station, where astronauts will capture stunning 4K content for the upcoming new 3D film, tentatively titled A Perfect Planet, a presentation of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and IMAX Entertainment.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Toni Myers, the IMAX 3D space project will offer breathtaking, illuminating views of Earth from space, exploring mankind’s future on and off the planet. Renowned large format cinematographer James Neihouse serves as the film’s director of photography and trained the astronauts who will man the cameras while in orbit.
The IMAX production team selected Canon EOS C500 EF digital cinema cameras, Canon EOS 1D-C digital SLR cameras, and a selection of Canon Cinema Zoom and Prime lenses for the project. The EOS C500s will be paired with Codex recorders to capture 4K images.
“Of the digital cameras we tested for spaceflight, the Canon EOS C500’s image quality was more film-like than the other systems,” said Neihouse. “The sharpness is superior to some of the larger sensors. And it is more user-friendly for the astronauts. We have a good track record with Canon cameras in space.”
“I am thrilled that the Canon Cinema EOS cameras we have selected launched to the International Space Station and our astronaut crews can now begin filming spectacular scenes for our new project,” said Toni Myers, who will produce, direct, write and edit the documentary film. “The lightweight, flexible Canon cameras produce remarkable imagery and are ideal for capturing scenes of our beautiful Planet Earth.
“When we launched the Cinema EOS product line, Canon hoped to inspire filmmakers to take their craft to new heights. We are honored that IMAX, Toni Myers, James Neihouse, and the astronauts took our challenge so literally. To have our cameras and lenses travel to space is an incredible cause for celebration. We look forward to this awe-inspiring film and pledge to continue to engineer products worthy of the next frontier—whether here on Earth or among the stars,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
IMAX’s 3D film will be shot over the course of the next year with multiple crews of astronauts conducting principal photography. The film is tentatively set for release in early 2016.
For more information about Canon Cinema EOS cameras and lenses, please visit the Canon U.S.A. website at cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $36 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2013† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies in 2014. In 2013, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the tenth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past three years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA.
(cover photo credit: snap from nasa.gov)