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Sony Venice full frame cinema camera.


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#41 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:42 AM

It took Blackmagic a while to get there with their cameras, currently there is a tendency to announce/launch cameras before the all the features are in place. I gather the Venice isn't available until Feb 2018, so there is still time for more firmware changes. 

 

Although much smaller than Sony, with an estimated revenue of $190M according to one source, Blackmagic is not what you'd call little. For comparison, Arri, I gather, has a turnover of $375M.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 10 September 2017 - 02:42 AM.

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#42 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:03 PM

It took Blackmagic a while to get there with their cameras, currently there is a tendency to announce/launch cameras before the all the features are in place. I gather the Venice isn't available until Feb 2018, so there is still time for more firmware changes.


Yea, but from day one BM's intent was to make cameras that have an "open" codec/workflow that fits not only the cinematography aspect, but also post production, for a price point lower then pretty much everyone else on the market. This is a very different intent then Sony for instance, who is more interested in showing their prowess as a company.
 

Although much smaller than Sony, with an estimated revenue of $190M according to one source, Blackmagic is not what you'd call little. For comparison, Arri, I gather, has a turnover of $375M.


Blackmagic is a device manufacturer, they just happen to also make cameras. They're more similar to Sony then Arri or RED, who really don't make anything else but camera related products.

My point still stands... with or without them being a "small or big" company in YOUR eyes.

I'm only using them as an example because I have yet to use ANY cinema camera that's as easy to use and as well thought out. I'm not saying you can compare a $998 camera to a $45,000 camera, but companies like Sony and Panasonic could learn a lot from BM. Both Arri and RED do a great job in this area as well.
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#43 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:20 PM

No, the Alexa 65 sensor in Open Gate is roughly the same height as full frame, but much wider at 2.1:1, which is also not a commonly used aspect ratio. If you cropped full frame to 1.78 you'd end up with about 4mm less height than Alexa 65, which you just described as miniscule.


The Sony Venice has a native 3:2 aspect ratio. Thus, to get any "normal" ratio (1.75:1, 1.85:1, 2.40:1) you are always cropping the imager top and bottom.

So when you say people would rent the Alexa 65 and chop the sides off to get 1.75:1 aspect ratio, they're still dealing with A LOT MORE IMAGE SPACE and retaining field of view.

Wide imagers make SO MUCH MORE SENSE then square imagers because with a wide imager, the height always stays the same for different aspect ratio's. So the field of view isn't as disturbed as it is with square imagers that are cropped down top and bottom.
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#44 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

I'm only using them as an example because I have yet to use ANY cinema camera that's as easy to use and as well thought out. I'm not saying you can compare a $998 camera to a $45,000 camera, but companies like Sony and Panasonic could learn a lot from BM. Both Arri and RED do a great job in this area as well.

 

People select Sony cameras because they're reliable and can withstand a hard working life, I know of Sony cameras at the BBC which were nearly ten years old and being used most days of the week

 

You can also use a Sony camera without getting into the complexities of setting menus etc, some camera people never or rarely look at them. The Venice apparently has a much more simple menu system compared to the ENG cameras, apparently it's pretty much the same style as the Alexa..

 

If the Sony sensor works, it being more square hardly matters that much, you may even manage close to using full area if shooting for Imax at 1: 1.43.


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#45 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 07:26 PM

Personally I do think its a bit of a mistake to license the FF and anamorphic .. one of the camera,s main features is its the first high end camera with FF.. and this is pushed alot in marketing.. its sitting in the camera .. but you have to pay extra to use it..? probably better marketing just to whack on $4K to the price.. anyone buying is not really going to sniff too hard at an extra $4K.. or $6K..  basic phycology .. pay extra for whats already there.. or pay a bit extra in the initial price, because its such a great camera ..and your so lucky to be a buyer .. 


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#46 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 07:48 PM

The Sony Venice has a native 3:2 aspect ratio. Thus, to get any "normal" ratio (1.75:1, 1.85:1, 2.40:1) you are always cropping the imager top and bottom.

So when you say people would rent the Alexa 65 and chop the sides off to get 1.75:1 aspect ratio, they're still dealing with A LOT MORE IMAGE SPACE and retaining field of view.

Wide imagers make SO MUCH MORE SENSE then square imagers because with a wide imager, the height always stays the same for different aspect ratio's. So the field of view isn't as disturbed as it is with square imagers that are cropped down top and bottom.

 

"Format-agnostic", I think that's one of the coolest aspects of the Venice, and the right kind of approach for high-end cameras moving forwards.

Yes, if you're shooting a wide spherical aspect on the Venice, you'll have a notably smaller sensor size than a comparable spherical aspect on the Alexa65.

But that larger image circle makes the range of lenses available to shoot the full width of the Alexa65 massively more limited than what you can do on the Venice using its full sensor width.

However if you're shooting large-format anamorphic on the Venice, because of the height of the sensor you'll get basically an identical sensor size to shoot large-format anamorphic on the big Alexa. That's really frigging cool!
 

 

Personally I do think its a bit of a mistake to license the FF and anamorphic .. one of the camera,s main features is its the first high end camera with FF.. and this is pushed alot in marketing.. its sitting in the camera .. but you have to pay extra to use it..? probably better marketing just to whack on $4K to the price.. anyone buying is not really going to sniff too hard at an extra $4K.. or $6K..  basic phycology .. pay extra for whats already there.. or pay a bit extra in the initial price, because its such a great camera ..and your so lucky to be a buyer .. 

I agree, strange choice, they should have just made it $5k dearer and included all the goodies. At this price point, for a sensor this big, no one would question it.

 


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#47 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:22 AM

"Format-agnostic", I think that's one of the coolest aspects of the Venice


It's a good point you make. I just hope it plays that way in real life.

I personally prefer the Alexa 65 "premise" but in practice, it may not work the way it does on paper, thanks to the issues you brought up.
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#48 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:13 AM

An article which describes what the images look like and other thoughts.

 

https://www.provideo...?-remarkable/


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#49 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 07:12 AM

Here's some footage from the Venice. Unfortunately it's only Youtube, so highly compressed..

 

https://www.redshark...cinealta-venice


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#50 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:51 AM

Blackmagic's cameras are only slightly cheaper than the Sony FS series. I like the way they're built and the choice of codecs; it's cheaper to get to a full shoulder rig with Blackmagic, though the sensors are probably (slightly, possibly meaningless) better on Sony.

 

It's a crapshoot, frankly, but let's not assume BMD are particularly cheaper. I'd say they're fairly priced.

 

P


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#51 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematog...ge.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.


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#52 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 06:43 PM

With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematog...ge.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.

I doubt it, it's really the funkiness, compressed vertical perspective and aberrations that draws people to anamorphic. And T/1.3 lenses on S35mm sensors are already stupidly shallow in terms of DoF.

I think the appeal of larger spherical formats lies in other aspects.


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#53 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 07:10 PM

With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematog...ge.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.

 

 

Interesting article..  an old school film guy totally converted to digital ..  I think he explains why very succinctly ..  


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#54 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:03 PM

Yeah, sometimes I wonder if film really is finished, worldwide ... that using 35mm for Star Wars and things like that is really just the last hurrah before digital finally rids professional narrative productions of those old film cameras for good. As always, only time will tell.


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#55 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:21 PM

Yeah, sometimes I wonder if film really is finished, worldwide ... that using 35mm for Star Wars and things like that is really just the last hurrah before digital finally rids professional narrative productions of those old film cameras for good. As always, only time will tell.


It's finished in places like Australia, that's for sure. However in the states and in most of Europe, film is actually coming back to life. We've seen NEW labs start up, we've seen labs that nearly shut down, go back into production as well. The problem really comes down to predicting what film will turn into, rather then IF film will die, because it's NOT going to die.

Proof of that is the fact that pretty much every week, my cameras are out on rental. I'm one of a dozen people here in LA who rent film cameras and sure, I don't charge very much for my packages, but they're ALWAYS out on shoots and on some pretty decent productions, done by younger people who are interested in making movies on film. If the youth is as attahed to film as they appear to be, then we have hope of keeping film alive. However, like everyhting, if there isn't a younger audience to carry the torch, it will eventually die off.

So far film print presentations in the last two years, have made more money then their digital presentation counterparts in the same or similar venue/location. This is huge and it's critical because it shows that people are "interested" in seeing film prints and they're willing to pay for it. Warner was the first to strike prints of regular movies and they've seen steady profits due to them. Now 20th Century Fox is next with "Murder On the Orient Express", which will be the first non-Warner and non-Weinstein film release in years. After that Disney with "The Nutcracker and the Four Relms" directed by Lasse Hallström and "Star Wars Episode VIIII". There are two lower-budget 70mm releases in the next 18 months as well; PT Anderson's new movie and VOX LUX which will start shooting early next year. Warner has also comitted to making prints of pretty much anything, including 70mm IMAX prints of Blade Runner.
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#56 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:38 PM

But in the big picture film will surely die.. or at least be a very niche market for those that have the clout to insist on it.. if you look at high end production these days compared to 10 years ago..or even 5 years ago.. the DP,s changing to digital or being forced to.. even die hard 16mm guys like Barry Ackroyd are shooting digital .. and include all the episodic TV shows being made now.. digital has had a massive increase ..  seems film is only now very low budget because the gear is cheap or very high, where the cost, worry,  of film is not much in the total, if the DP and Dir insist on it..

 

Have a read of the Don McAlpine interview .. he raises some interesting points about his move from film to digital..shooting and post wise.. certainly a guy who knows what he is talking about.. and someone who has shot alot of film in his day..

 

Personally I dont have a horse in the race.. they can both look great to me.. and both can look crap too.. but just logically thinking .. its like the stills world.. it just has to go 99% digital at some stage..


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#57 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:39 PM

Christopher Nolan said in an interview a couple of years ago that he believed there was a 'conspiracy' to push film out of the industry. A bit extreme maybe. It's sometimes true that everyone decides to go a certain way for the sake of the economic health of an industry. I still believe film provides 'something' that is important to the look and feel of the movies, at least for certain genre of films eg. period movies. It's an almost intangible difference but it's there. Art/entertainment is not all science - some of it is sheer 'glitz' and an array of intangible and sometimes illogical things. The audience does care if a movie is shot on an iphone or on a Panavision Millennium 35mm. They just won't ever bother saying, that's all, they just end up voting with their feet, and it might take quite some years for that to become obvious. The industry needs to bear that in mind lest they paint themselves into a corner. Already Hollywood is not doing so well, and sure, is that only because of content? Or is content and delivery linked? They are in many other areas of the arts. The problem with digital is that it's science, there's not too much art in it. That's why they chuck funky glass in front of it to zazz up the artiness. How long can that last? The only hope that digital will finally kick film out the door is if digital can come up with some big time art in its kit-bag of goodies. So far, in my recent cinema going experience, which isn't extensive (but why is that, for someone who loves movies?), digital doesn't ring true to my eye. I felt like walking out of the Hobbit. Just looked awful to me.

 

Anyway, back to the new Sony camera.


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#58 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:57 PM

It's all summed up in that stills photo of Kate Winslet, seen at the start of the article on Don McAlpine, above. That says it all. That's the whole look of digital and contemporary art direction in a nutshell: metallic looking image, the colours aren't natural, and the expression on the face of the actress looks harsh and hard. It's not a soft or warm look. It would be argued that that's the 'look' they wanted. Fair enough, but to me, yuk. Compare that to a film still of Audrey Hepburn. There's warmth and light and character in that. The very light of real photography has music in it.


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#59 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 01:57 AM

But you can see very warm ,soft images from digital too... Deakins and Storaro have shown that..thats just in the grading.. you have a few billion "shades" to play with in something like 16 bit Raw.. you can also add a bucket load of grain if you want too.. but thats another theme thats been done to death..

 

But over all.. I just think its inevitable that digital will take over from film.... things move on.. its bound to happen .. dont know 100% but I would doubt a single one of the episodic tv been made is shot on film.. its cheaper, quicker and easier to shoot digital.. 

 

I know its a rabbit hole that always pops up.. but even the greatest fan of film would probably have to admit that its days are numbered .. for good or for bad.. maybe its a terrible thing.. but it will happen..


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#60 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:34 AM

But you can see very warm ,soft images from digital too... Deakins and Storaro have shown that..thats just in the grading.. you have a few billion "shades" to play with in something like 16 bit Raw.. you can also add a bucket load of grain if you want too.. but thats another theme thats been done to death.


You can for sure, but that doesn't mean they look "filmic". I didn't much care for the look of Rogers last film shoot (Hail Cesar). It almost looked like it was shot digitally, he used modern techniques especially for post and it was just meh. So even the best DP's can kinda make film not look any different then digital.

But over all.. I just think its inevitable that digital will take over from film.... things move on.. its bound to happen .. dont know 100% but I would doubt a single one of the episodic tv been made is shot on film.. its cheaper, quicker and easier to shoot digital..


Film died in 2013/2014, it's had a huge "come-back" in 2015-today. So it's past the dead days and we're finally seeing more production then we did in the days before the decline. The only bad thing is the prints, but that's changing with the release of 70mm movies nation wide.

Kodak sold over 10 million feet of camera negative in the UK so far just this year. That's umm... really good.

HBO, Netflix and Amazon all have shows being shot on film right now. First time for Netflix, which is pretty amazing since they're all about 4k deliverables.

I know its a rabbit hole that always pops up.. but even the greatest fan of film would probably have to admit that its days are numbered .. for good or for bad.. maybe its a terrible thing.. but it will happen..


That's what we said about records/LP's and they've had a TREMENDOUS comeback. In 2015, the #1 electronic device sold were record players.

That's what we said about old standard definition video formats, but Laserdisc, CEV, VHS, even betacam, these formats are having huge comebacks. I'm part of an "analog people" facebook group and you'd be SHOCKED how many younger people are into analog video. It's actually making worthless video collections and equipment have quite a bit of worth.

With new labs opening, 2 per year since 2016 and new film stocks being offered from Kodak in early 2018, we're slowly starting to see film come back. By the release of Star Wars Episode VIIII on 70mm, we should see the studio's finally realizing that they can make more money off 70mm prints then 3D screenings. If that happens, then filmmakers can get back to making movies on the format that the namesake of their trade is called. I'm a "film"maker, not a "videomaker", those are two completley different things and a lot of people agree with me on this, it's just a question of there being enough support around the world, to allow them to shoot on film, rather then being forced to shoot digitally.
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