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MX v Alexa


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#1 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:56 AM

http://hdusermagazin...wordpress/?p=24
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#2 John Brawley

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:54 AM

http://hdusermagazin...wordpress/?p=24



They lost me when they said film is dead....but then again...it is a story by HDusermagazine.

I guess they shouldn't even be looking at RED either seeing as it's anything but HD.....

jb
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:02 PM

Seems like the Red camp are not happy, another 'ambush' test that knew nothing about..........apparently it was Ted's camera one of the first to be upgraded...... firmware not the latest......sounds like a repeat of the Red One debut and every subsequent test everyone ever did.
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#4 Jim Jannard

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:15 PM

Seems like the Red camp are not happy, another 'ambush' test that knew nothing about..........apparently it was Ted's camera one of the first to be upgraded...... firmware not the latest......sounds like a repeat of the Red One debut and every subsequent test everyone ever did.


Not unhappy at all... just posting the facts while answering the question. We could have easily brought a camera with the production OLPF and new firmware. No worries though... we are happy to be included with the Alexa as one of the two future cameras.

Why the need to stir it up so much? :-)

Jim

Edited by Jim Jannard, 28 March 2010 - 02:18 PM.

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#5 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:28 PM

They lost me when they said film is dead....but then again...it is a story by HDusermagazine.




same here, can't bring myself to finish reading. It's one thing to talk about HD cameras and tests but another to come out and attack film. This guy is an butt. Anyone care to give the Cliff notes?
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:33 PM

Same here. Though I assume it says something along the lines of "the red MX and the alexa perform similarly with a lower noise floor on the red, but more pleasing renditions on the arri" or swap the two.
Both cameras are a moving target, so tests are moot a bit until such time as you're ready to use one, then you should test qll systems your considering out to see which one works best for your specific situation.
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:55 PM

Not unhappy at all... just posting the facts while answering the question. We could have easily brought a camera with the production OLPF and new firmware. No worries though... we are happy to be included with the Alexa as one of the two future cameras.

Why the need to stir it up so much? :-)

Jim


Your post yesterday obviously pushed a button

"Stephen... 1st off, you didn't get banned. You got a few hour "timeout". 2nd... it wasn't for questioning if the specs would be met.

Jim"

Edit,

I was truly hoping that future products from Red would work out of the box, and that the weekly upgrade programme & beta issues would be a thing of the past. As a prospective customer I am a little disappointed.
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#8 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:11 PM

Not unhappy at all... just posting the facts while answering the question. We could have easily brought a camera with the production OLPF and new firmware. No worries though... we are happy to be included with the Alexa as one of the two future cameras.

Why the need to stir it up so much? :-)

Jim


Haha,because we enjoy pressing the buttons,they always work.

I also read that piece,perhaps a little premature in sounding the death bells for film.
I know it has largely happened in stills,particularly with commercial work.
I for one still shoot occasionally on 10x8,although it's getting harder to get it processed.

But seriously,I haven't had my Red upgraded to MX yet,but recently I did get the opportunity to have a play with a pre-production Alexa at Arri UK,and I hope to shoot with it soon.Seriously impressive camera,especially from an operators point of view.
It looks like an ordinary shoe box,rather than the post-apocalyptic shoe box that the Red is.
However I also had a chance to hold Ted's Epic prototype at the London Red day.
I must say that Red have learned an enormous amount since the early days,regarding ergonomics.(Spec's influence perhaps?)
If you can deliver on this one Jim,with real 4K,100fps & 15stops DR you'll have a camera to be very proud of.

Tom.
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#9 Jim Jannard

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:34 PM

Haha,because we enjoy pressing the buttons,they always work.

I also read that piece,perhaps a little premature in sounding the death bells for film.
I know it has largely happened in stills,particularly with commercial work.
I for one still shoot occasionally on 10x8,although it's getting harder to get it processed.

But seriously,I haven't had my Red upgraded to MX yet,but recently I did get the opportunity to have a play with a pre-production Alexa at Arri UK,and I hope to shoot with it soon.Seriously impressive camera,especially from an operators point of view.
It looks like an ordinary shoe box,rather than the post-apocalyptic shoe box that the Red is.
However I also had a chance to hold Ted's Epic prototype at the London Red day.
I must say that Red have learned an enormous amount since the early days,regarding ergonomics.(Spec's influence perhaps?)
If you can deliver on this one Jim,with real 4K,100fps & 15stops DR you'll have a camera to be very proud of.

Tom.


Tom... we are proud of EPIC but need to deliver it. Images from "Blackie" (1st working prototype) will be shown soon. It is measured 4K (from 5K Bayer), 100fps and 13.5 stops DR (according to the Arri test setup). 15 stops of DR won't happen until the next sensor due late this year.

Jim
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#10 John Brawley

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:53 PM

I also read that piece,perhaps a little premature in sounding the death bells for film.
I know it has largely happened in stills,particularly with commercial work.



The problem for me is that anyone who says "film is dead" is just buying into a ridiculous gear pissing match over numbers and statistics.

Even in stills, film is actually not dead. Sure, not many people choose to use it, but there are plenty who still do. And critically perhaps in this analogy, it's fine artists rather than commercial photographers.

It's like saying LP's are dead. Well they are not are they ? Diehards still use them. Yes they make up a small minority of the total music market.

I'm realistic and would say most of my recent work hasn't been shot on film.

This ridiculous clamouring to pronounce film being dead speaks volumes about the person making such pronouncements. It says they care more about specs than using their eyes. It says that they care more about the emotional choice to NOT shoot film and desperately want the reassurance that their chosen alternative is as good as film.

Meanwhile, good DP's who care about telling stories visually will simply choose the best tool for the job, based on the script, directors intent and available budget.

jb
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:55 PM

The Gospel according to John ;)
And of course correct in my eyes; right tool right job nothing more nothing less.
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#12 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:23 PM

"I'm realistic and would say most of my recent work hasn't been shot on film."

That's true for me also,but I do still shoot on film,not the smaller formats,but 10x8 & 5x4.
All my cine work is digital,although I keep on trying to convince clients.
I've got a job coming up next month where film is really the best choice,and I've been able to convince the client that film is the best choice,but only for the stills part of the job.
It wasn't an easy job to convince them,I can tell you.
Yes,film will always be here,and as long as it is I'll continue to use it if I can.
However I won't use or recommend film,if digital would be better for what I want to achieve.
Choose the best tool for the job.

Tom.
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#13 Keith Walters

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:31 PM

15 stops of DR won't happen until the next sensor due late this year.

???
I'm confused.
You're 8-9 months away from a sensor with 15 stops of DR?!
An extraordinary claim.
A camera like that would wipe the floor with the competition.
So, why are you bothering with the M-X?

Also what do you mean by "15 stops"?
The Dalsa has/had a 16-bit ADC but it had only about a 12 stop dynamic range.

According to your competition, what you are suggesting appears to be theoretically impossible, particularly with a CMOS sensor.
The military applications alone would probably be worth quite a few orders of magnitude than your present target market.
And they'd probably let you play with lots of neato stuff :lol:
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#14 Paul Bruening

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:07 PM


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#15 Jim Jannard

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 11:23 PM

???
I'm confused.
You're 8-9 months away from a sensor with 15 stops of DR?!
An extraordinary claim.
A camera like that would wipe the floor with the competition.
So, why are you bothering with the M-X?

Also what do you mean by "15 stops"?
The Dalsa has/had a 16-bit ADC but it had only about a 12 stop dynamic range.

According to your competition, what you are suggesting appears to be theoretically impossible, particularly with a CMOS sensor.
The military applications alone would probably be worth quite a few orders of magnitude than your present target market.
And they'd probably let you play with lots of neato stuff :lol:


These specs have been out for awhile... the M-X sensor has been measured in the last month by many people and in several different ways... including on the Arri DRTC (13.5 stops). Monstro has greater than 1.5 stops less noise than the M-X.

Late this year is our target... but we currently don't have a history of being on time. Hopefully we will do better with the Monstro sensor. 1st application of that sensor is 24x36mm at 100 fps...

Jim
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:49 AM

... we are happy to be included with the Alexa as one of the two future cameras.


Third out of the gate will be Sony's Q67 chip -- Basically it looks like a Bayer pattern rotated 45 degrees, with smaller photosites. It'll be the next generation in the F-35 line.




-- J.S.
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#17 Graeme Nattress

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:18 AM

Third out of the gate will be Sony's Q67 chip -- Basically it looks like a Bayer pattern rotated 45 degrees, with smaller photosites. It'll be the next generation in the F-35 line.
-- J.S.


Which is amusing, because according to Sony, Bayer patterns are bad :-) I guess their new mantra will be Bayer patterns are bad unless they're rotated 45°. Perhaps they've not read page 124-125 of Alan Robert's excellent "Circles of Confusion" book.

Graeme
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#18 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:41 PM

As someone on CML said " you will know when film is dead when you cannot buy it anymore" I would go one further and say you will know it is dead when you cannot buy or make it anymore.

These "film is Dead" statements are just juvenile and seem like some kind of insecurity to me. The painting world went through something like this years ago with the introduction of Acrylics and now years later you can get both Acrylic paint and Oil paint. I don't see any reason why emulsion and electronic imaging cannot co exist.

Enthusiastic DIY types are already making their own emulsion and with material becoming much more malleable I see no reason why a small plant could not use nanotech to formulate any emulsion recipe you would want.

Ten years ago there was just a glimmer of possibility that a small shop like Red or Arri could get it's own sensor built and make a camera around it but now it is possible...It is not rocket science anymore and we have small shops doing that too these days.

-Rob-
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#19 John Sprung

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:09 PM

I guess their new mantra will be Bayer patterns are bad unless they're rotated 45°.


The rotation is a good idea wrt aliasing on strong horizontal and vertical patterns, of which there are plenty in the real world. Then again, we have a pilot shooting now where dang near every location includes some chain link fence..... ;-) (They're on D-21's btw.)





-- J.S.
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#20 Keith Walters

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:55 PM

http://hdusermagazin...wordpress/?p=24

I couldn't get past this howler:

To be honest, I never thought the dynamic range discussion was a valid reason. Just look at the final result. It’s hardly a reason to baulk at two stops less than film, if a theatrical print made in a high-speed printing process has at best seven stops dynamic range, and your TV (that goes for DVD and Blu-Ray as well, of course) only displays 8-bit colour. But anyway, if that’s your only reason, it’s gone. The dynamic range of these two cameras blew me away. ARRI has measured 13.5 stops. What we found seemed to support that. Which brings me finally to our test.


The reality is, you don't need anything like the dynamic range of the original scene to produce a satisfactory picture.
The average sunny outdoor scene can have a total range that easily exceeds 20 stops, which means that no known capture medium can capture everything.
However once it is captured (as well as the medium will allow), the difference in brightness betweent he brightest and the darkest parts of the reproduced image can be massively reduced, and you eye still interprets it as an acceptable picture. Look at these images

Posted Image


The first one has the full 256 possible levels of an 8-bit JPEG image. That is, the brightest pixels are at level 255, while the darkest pixels are at zero. Since we need at least one step in the 255-step "staircase" to produce any sort of image, it follows that there is a 2^8 or an 8-stop brightness range in this image.
Now, by fiddling with the photoshop "curves" function, we can lift the darkest pixels away from the zero line, reducing the contrast.
The second picture has the blacks lifted up to a level of 32, so there is now only a 256/32 = 8 times difference betrween the brightest and darkest pixels. 8 = 2^3, so that's only three stops.
The third picture has the blacks lifted up to a level of 64, which means only 2 stops.
The last one has its blacks lifted up to a level of 128, so there is now only a 1-stop difference between the brightest and darkest pixels.
OK a trifle dull and washed-out looking, but you can still clearly make out the model's face, (or so they tell me :rolleyes:... )

The important thing to understand is that, while you can have a vastly smaller difference in the brightness of adjacent features in a reproduced image, and still get perfectly satisfactory results, you still have to be able to capture the original, sometimes huge, differences in the first place, so as to have something to reduce! The more dynamic capture range the medium has, the better it can do this.

It is routinely stated here and in other places that film has a dynamic range of "about 14 stops". I would dearly love to know where people get this figure from.
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