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#1 Keneu Luca

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:13 PM

This thread is a continuation from a question that was asked in this other thread:
see posts #135 and #136 where this statement was made:

"Red is not a video camera because it's not limited to outputting video formats. To the extent that it does output video, it's for monitoring purposes, like the video tap on a film camera. The whole idea behind the Red is to do a whole bunch better than is possible within the constraints of video.

All chip cameras, CCD or CMOS, three chip or one, have a lot more data and dynamic range coming from the chips than can fit in even the best available HD video formats. The video camera way of dealing with that is to do loads of sophisticated and irreversible manipulation to get the picture to fit in the tiny space of tape. This means having a DIT on set, basically your dailies colorist plucked out of post and on the clock full time in production. The Red and ArriRaw idea is to simply record everything that comes off the chips as data, and deal with it in post. To accomplish this, Red uses data compression, a whole different idea than dynamic range compression."


I didnt want to hijack that thread, so I created this one to focus on this particular topic of whether or not RED is a video camera.

"The video camera way of dealing with that is to do loads of sophisticated and irreversible manipulation to get the picture to fit in the tiny space of tape."

This implies that RED is the first camera not to use tape. Or that any digital camera that doesn't use tape is therefor not video. Or that RED is THE FIRST camera to produce images that exceed every and any known tape format.

While I do understand the point being made that RED offers something new and very exciting to video technology, isn't it still, at it's core, video technology? Like most inventions (<--lack of a better word), video is an evolving technology. As is film. RED is another advance in video technology, such as the introduction of the ccd, the transition from analogue to digital, and going from SD to HD. And like those other advances, it didnt mean you could no longer call it video - it was simply a progressive element in the technology.

What is the simplest way to define video?

Wikipedia
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.

merriam-webster
a recording similar to a videotape but stored in digital form (as on an optical disk or a computer's hard drive)
(they also define TELEVISION and VIDEOTAPE in that link)

Video is electrical. Whereas film would be the capturing of images through a chemical process, requiring no electricity whatsoever. Like video, film has had a series of advances, and continues to do so. Changes in the raw film's chemical properties, grain structure, changes in the chemistry used to develop the film, changes in the mechanics of film cameras - none of which ever removed themselves from being called "film."
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:14 PM

It's been suggested that the cameras that basically record the RAW output (compressed are otherwise) are data cameras. Or perhaps these are just a sub group of the generic video camera. CML has created two groups RAW/log and Real Time with a digital title ( HD being different... I guess more broadcast centred). Ah, well...
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#3 Keneu Luca

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:22 PM

It's been suggested that the cameras that basically record the RAW output (compressed are otherwise) are data cameras. Or perhaps these are just a sub group of the generic video camera. CML has created two groups RAW/log and Real Time with a digital title ( HD being different... I guess more broadcast centred). Ah, well...


Would that mean that film cameras are also "raw data" output?
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#4 DJ Joofa

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:47 PM

I personally think calling Red One a digital film or video camera is fine as we are already inundated with technical jargon. For e.g., is it pixels or sensels on a Bayer CFA? The context makes it clear in most circumstances that Red is not a film camera and how it differentiates with "regular" video cameras that output to standard formats. Introducing new terms such as "data cameras" are perhaps only going to add to the list of technical terminology. If tomorrow we have a camera that outputs more color channels than 3 or 4 then shall we have more terminology to define that camera: tri-color camera, penta-color camera, octa-color camera?
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

For a start it doesn't matter. What matters is the capability of the thing; how it reacts when you ask it to reproduce various types of image, and the semantic argument doesn't have much relevance there.

But frankly, I think they're all video cameras. It's just a shorthand for an electronic imaging system. I don't think it's much to do with the recording medium - we take devices with no recording medium at all and still call them video cameras, so that's no answer. The issue really is that people like Red and Dalsa in their day don't or didn't like being called video cameras for political reasons.

I'm not sure the CML model is a particularly good reference for this - people end up bringing up a lighting topic, for instance, that's relevant to more or less everyone, and then it gets hived off into side lists on the basis of what camera happens to be involved.

P
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#6 Keneu Luca

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 07:23 PM

For a start it doesn't matter. What matters is the capability of the thing; how it reacts when you ask it to reproduce various types of image, and the semantic argument doesn't have much relevance there.

But frankly, I think they're all video cameras. It's just a shorthand for an electronic imaging system. I don't think it's much to do with the recording medium - we take devices with no recording medium at all and still call them video cameras, so that's no answer. The issue really is that people like Red and Dalsa in their day don't or didn't like being called video cameras for political reasons.

I'm not sure the CML model is a particularly good reference for this - people end up bringing up a lighting topic, for instance, that's relevant to more or less everyone, and then it gets hived off into side lists on the basis of what camera happens to be involved.

P


Yeah, what it's called is not the most important thing that can be discussed about the camera. Its functions and interface are more important. But that's why I created this separate thread - to discuss what it is called and how that name is appropriate or not. Thats why I didnt hijack the thread where this topic originated.

There are certainly many other threads on this site that address is functionality. But this one is about what it's called and why.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:57 AM

A lot of this is for marketing purposes.

As Phil says they are all electronic imaging systems, I suspect the difference between them is just the recording format and how this is handled in post production. Video is the catch all term for this, unfortunately this word has been around for a while and it now carries a lot of meanings beyond the original one. It's really depends if people what to put the "computer with lens on cameras" in a separate group, although that could place the RED in with web cams. ;-0

I suppose you could say that film carries photo chemical raw data.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:43 PM

"The video camera way of dealing with that is to do loads of sophisticated and irreversible manipulation to get the picture to fit in the tiny space of tape."

This implies that RED is the first camera not to use tape. Or that any digital camera that doesn't use tape is therefor not video. Or that RED is THE FIRST camera to produce images that exceed every and any known tape format.

While I do understand the point being made that RED offers something new and very exciting to video technology, isn't it still, at it's core, video technology?


Huh? It wasn't supposed to imply anything at all like that. Maybe the word "tape" was an unfortunate shorthand choice. I really don't see how any of that claims that Red was the first to do anything.... Dalsa and Arri were there before Red. Genesis uses tape, but in ways that surpass the conventional limits of video.

Let's see, what actually characterises video and causes its constraints? It's mainly that video is always real time, rather than streamed and stored like data. It's designed to feed a few very rigidly standardized broadcast formats. That's why we have problems when people approach these new data cameras with a video mindset.

The important thing I was trying to express is that these new data cameras -- not just Red -- are so much more than conventional video cameras, and they don't come with all that heavy video baggage. Instead, they have their own odd clutter of bags and boxes of stuff. But do your homework on them and you can make pictures that video can't match. It's not your grandfather's TK-41. ;-)

Theoretically, we could go live to air from the video tap of a Panaflex. But I think that a Panaflex is clearly something more than a video camera. The mindset hump to get over is that these new cameras, not just Red, are more and different than what we've always known as video.

Let me also make it clear, in spite of having written so much, that I agree with Phil: it really doesn't matter. ;-)






-- J.S.
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