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Rolling shutter is not OK


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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:08 PM

I am a sucker for sci-fi action movies, and as such I watched the 2012 version of Total Recall the other day. To save anyone else the need to watch it, here's the problem, illustrated with some images borrowed from our friends over at the Internet Movie Firearms Database.

 

TotalRecall-90two.jpg

 

The film is full of obvious instances of this; the very first few shots in the opening sequence are rotten with strobe lighting it and it looks absolutely awful.

 

I seem to recall that when Red started promoting their original camera we were largely aware it was too good to be true, and that this was one of the first major catches we became aware of. The above frame was almost certainly shot on an Epic, but that's not really the problem: the situation we now have is that in order not to be completely steamrollered by a company that was willing to make cameras worse in order to make them cheaper, everyone else is forced to do the same. Now it's very difficult to find a mainstream digital cinematography camera that doens't have this fault. A couple of the Sony F series, mech shutter Alexas, and the upcoming 4K Blackmagic Cinema Camera would not have suffered this problem.

 

So, there we are. A considerable failure on a $125million feature. This being the internet, you'll have to imagine the slow, derisive handclap I'm currently performing; suffice it to say:

 

Well done, Red. Well done. You're very, very clever.

 

P

 

PS - Looking even more closely, some shots seem to have had rolling shutter fixes painted in. I thought causing people extra post work was supposed to be a cardinal sin?


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:22 PM

The real question is would you be this upset had you not watched Total Recall. Granted, I hear what you're saying loudly-- and I suppose one can only hope that with the cheapness of high resolution CCDs (as in the new black magic) perhaps we'll move away from CMOS. Who knows, could happen. I suppose it'll depend on how good the new BM camera really is.


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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:31 PM

a company that was willing to make cameras worse in order to make them cheaper, everyone else is forced to do the same.

 

Well done, Red. Well done. You're very, very clever.

Unlike Arri or Sony, RED didn't have a reputation to lose, so they've always been more interested in market share than quality.


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:55 PM

I've seen that same half-frame flash rolling shutter artifact in stuff shot on the Alexa.


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#5 Vadim Bobkovsky

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:17 PM

Rolling shutter is the least of new Total Recall's problems, quite frankly. I also noticed blown out magneta highlights in car chase scene couple times, ohhh nooooooooo. Just another excuse to bash "the inferior Red" I guess. So don't waste your time on this, go out and shoot with your camera of choice. Maybe you'll be successful cinematographer like Paul Cameron one day. They actually picked Red not because of 3D, too, oh nooooooo (2).


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