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DALSA Origin 4K Digital cinema


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#1 Benjamin Smith

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 04:15 PM

I was just looking at this DALSA Origin DC cam. Does anybody know anything about it? If so please do tell. Is it a good cam? How does it stack up to others case in point the RED? This camera is news to me.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 07:03 PM

The Dalsa Origin predates the RED ONE by a few years. It is fairly large and bulky, and has an optical viewfinder like an Arri D20 does.

It sends out 16-bit uncompressed 4K Bayer-filtered RAW, as opposed to RED's 12-bit 4K Bayer-filtered RAW that uses the REDCODE compression. Because of this, the Dalsa generally uses large-capacity data recorders like the Codex. The Dalsa has a CCD sensor instead of RED's CMOS sensor.

The image quality of the Dalsa is quite good.
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#3 Benjamin Smith

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:05 AM

The Dalsa Origin predates the RED ONE by a few years. It is fairly large and bulky, and has an optical viewfinder like an Arri D20 does.

It sends out 16-bit uncompressed 4K Bayer-filtered RAW, as opposed to RED's 12-bit 4K Bayer-filtered RAW that uses the REDCODE compression. Because of this, the Dalsa generally uses large-capacity data recorders like the Codex. The Dalsa has a CCD sensor instead of RED's CMOS sensor.

The image quality of the Dalsa is quite good.


Thanks David. Which one would you recomend?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:17 AM

Thanks David. Which one would you recomend?


I haven't used either, but simply due to the size of the Dalsa Origin, and dealing with uncompressed 4K, I'd say that the RED seems more practical for the typical narrative filmmaking that I do.

Of course, if you're hoping to purchase a camera, the Dalsa isn't for sale, nor would it even come close to being as affordable as the RED.

Now I suppose if I were doing a commercial where I knew the size of the Dalsa Origin was not a problem, nor was I shooting a lot of 4K footage, I might use the Dalsa instead. In theory, 16-bit uncompressed 4K should be better than 12-bit compressed 4K. In practice, though, there are other factors that affect image quality. For example, the RED may be less noisy in low-light underexposure (or it may not be) like when rated at 1600 ASA.

Since the Dalsa is for rental only, personally I think Dalsa should buy some RED's and tweak them to be a good B-camera for the Dalsa. Then you could go out on a shoot with the bulky Dalsa and the small RED and be able to shoot in a greater variety of situations.

This is all something that would need to be tested, but overall, the RED camera is: (1) more affordable; (2) more practical, due to the REDCODE compression of 4K, and plus the smaller body size -- so all of this argues in favor of using the RED camera in typical filmmaking conditions rather than the Dalsa.

There is a somewhat streamlined version of the Dalsa coming out called the Evolution, though not as small as the RED (though the Evolution has an optical viewfinder, which accounts for some of the bulk). And I assume REDCODE-style compression (like Cineform) could be applied to the signal for recording.
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#5 Benjamin Smith

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:02 PM

Thanks David
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 12:32 PM

Dalsa so far has sort of been the VistaVision of digital -- great for effects work. They brought in Rob Hummel to turn the company around and make it an "A" camera for feature production. He knows his stuff. If they listen to him, it'll become an excellent camera.



-- J.S.
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#7 Lance Flores

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 02:39 PM

I haven't used either, but simply due to the size of the Dalsa Origin, and dealing with uncompressed 4K, I'd say that the RED seems more practical for the typical narrative filmmaking that I do.

<snip>

Now I suppose if I were doing a commercial where I knew the size of the Dalsa Origin was not a problem, nor was I shooting a lot of 4K footage, I might use the Dalsa instead. In theory, 16-bit uncompressed 4K should be better than 12-bit compressed 4K. In practice, though, there are other factors that affect image quality. For example, the RED may be less noisy in low-light underexposure (or it may not be) like when rated at 1600 ASA.

<snip> Then you could go out on a shoot with the bulky Dalsa and the small RED and be able to shoot in a greater variety of situations.

This is all something that would need to be tested, but overall, the RED camera is: (1) more affordable; (2) more practical, due to the REDCODE compression of 4K, and plus the smaller body size -- so all of this argues in favor of using the RED camera in typical filmmaking conditions rather than the Dalsa.

There is a somewhat streamlined version of the Dalsa coming out called the Evolution, though not as small as the RED (though the Evolution has an optical viewfinder, which accounts for some of the bulk). And I assume REDCODE-style compression (like Cineform) could be applied to the signal for recording.


I'd agree with David on the RED for a production camera. The Dalsa is hands down the better camera; its picture excellent. I'd disagree about the noise though the Dalsa still seems to be better in the low light for noise. With Cineform's codec (soon to come 4K) the colour should be stunning. But, we have the same issues with it bulky profile. For the same reason we are will probably be shooting the majority of our film with RED and the Phantom 2K. The Phantoms have the best s/n ratio I've seen yet. The 65 is simply spectacular. They can be pushed to 1600ASA with negligible noise in the blacks, blacks that are true black.

Practically speaking for our film and probably for yours, the Red is the best bang for the buck and easy to shoot with. It will accommodate a film-out with good results if you acquire RAW and use good production value practices. Our DP is doing a lot of testing now on the RED. If your serious about doing digital cinema, you might want to join the Digital Cinema Society. They do a lot of evaluation and interview with the manufacturers.
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