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Kodak to market new consumer S8 camera, fall 2016


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#1 cole t parzenn

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:16 PM

http://www.kodak.com...er8/default.htm

 

Super 8 is a small negative but if you can shoot sync-sound and get a high quality scan economically... Well, we'll see what happens. I expect a few people to be disappointed, when they wait two weeks to get film back from their expensive new camera and it's approximately standard definition resolution, plus grain.

 

What do you guys think?


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#2 Jeff L'Heureux

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:03 PM

I don't think people would buy this camera for the pixel count of the scan, but rather precisely because it's super8 and looks as such.  I love super8 footage.  You can shoot something today and it will instantly look like something shot in the 1950's or 60's.  It's a hipster's wet dream.

 

If the price is right, I'd pick one up just to have fun with, and more importantly, I love that Kodak is pressing its advantage by marketing film as a completely different beast from digital, which it always has been.  Ever since they reorganized they've made great moves to keep film alive and well.

 

I also love the idea that they will process it and scan the super8 it for you when you ship it to them.  I've always wondered why they never did that with 16mm and 35mm too.  If they could do high quality scans of the larger film gauges, it would render the further closing of any film labs not an issue anymore and keep pricing completely in their hands for raw stock, processing, and scanning.  This would infinitely simplify the workflow for film-based productions for those young filmmakers who have never tried shooting film and are turned away by the sometimes daunting workflow.  Actually, that's a very exciting prospect.  Now I hope this super8 experiment of theirs is successful so maybe they start thinking in those terms for all of their film products.


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#3 cole t parzenn

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:14 PM

People buying it for the wrong reasons, I mean. ;)


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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:52 PM

Actually, that's a very exciting prospect.  Now I hope this super8 experiment of theirs is successful so maybe they start thinking in those terms for all of their film products.

 

That's exactly what I think this is the beginning of.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 11:36 PM

I don't think the workflow is a problem, in my eyes it's one step away from shooting digital raw.

The current market pricing is the problem in my eyes.

There are labs who try very hard to do competitive pricing, but most labs don't care. They have high end clients who will pay their exorbitant fees, so they keep them high. The problem is that equipment costs are still high, which pushes cost onto the consumer. Once the equipment cost drops (which it will eventually) the cost to shoot film and finish digitally, will drop. It sucks to spend all this money and effort on shooting film and spend twice as much on making it visible in a digital world. It should not be cheaper to make prints, it should be WAY cheaper to scan. There is zero reason why scanning is so expensive, they're practically DSLR's with electronically controlled film movements. If Blackmagic can build one for $40k, someone else can as well.
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#6 Jay Young

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 05:49 AM

I totally agree Tyler,

 

I even went so far as to call film scanner manufacturers and inquire about pricing.  I wanted to understand why it cost me $500 per real time hour to get 20 minutes of footage back.

I understand that "computer render time" is a thing, but we're not making CG here - I actually don't understand the whole computer render thing as I assumed it just simply did 3-pass scan of single frame to a single file... there shouldn't be any render time.  Now if some customers want a non-single-file-based format (Like ProRes) then there will be render time.  But, if any smart lab would simply buy more than one computer, render time wouldn't be a thing.

 

Have the machines not payed for themselves already? Even the million dollar machines? I would never believe that a business like FotoKem has not paid off all its physical equipment yet.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:38 AM

ProRes can trivially be encoded faster than realtime, using everyday equipment. It's done in cameras, after all.

 

Back when film was more commonly shot it was too easy to hit the sort of walls that I think are being alluded to here. Scanning cost a fortune partly because the equipment was expensive, but also because it was in a building in an expensive part of town with very nice interior decorating and an overpaid person operating it who generally thought he (or rarely she) knew better than the customer.

 

Then you couldn't have it on a hard drive unless it was transferred to HDCAM first (ick) and then transferred and oh yes, we'll be charging you for all those steps.

 

It was absurd and obviously so, and it didn't do much for the reputation of film or postproduction facilities in general.

 

P


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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:05 AM

Perhaps not mass market consumer, more for a niche market of artists and fashion people without a deadline.


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#9 Geoff Howell

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:33 AM

I'm afraid from where I'm standing the price point on the camera is largely irrelevant.

 

even if they sell these at £500 or less it doesn't chance the fact that 50ft of Tri-X will now set you back around £30 (up almost 50% from just five years ago)

 

unless Ferrania can deliver their upcoming product at a much more reasonable price my film shooting will be limited to the  thousand or so feet I currently have stashed in my fridge.  

 
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#10 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:09 AM

I even went so far as to call film scanner manufacturers and inquire about pricing.  I wanted to understand why it cost me $500 per real time hour to get 20 minutes of footage back.

 

Calling the manufacturer of a scanner to find out why a given lab charges what they do doesn't make much sense. The scanner manufacturer has nothing to do with the pricing structure of the labs that buy their gear.

 

Some labs charge by foot. Some charge by hour of labor. Some charge by hour of footage multiplied by some factor that accounts for their costs + profit. Comparing one lab's pricing to another can be tricky, because there are a lot of variables, including how they have their systems set up. That said, most labs are reasonable and will either stick within your budget (if it's reasonable, and possibly with the caveat that higher paying work will get priority, so they use your jobs to fill in schedule gaps) or they'll tell you they can't do it.

 

It sounds like the scenario you've described uses the old telecine model, which is based on a "room" rate - much like you'd deal with in the audio mixing/mastering world. That is, they figure out what they need to be making per day or hour on the room, which includes all the gear, and base the rate on that. Because your job ties up that room while it's being worked on, all that gear is tied up as well, and they can't be using it on other jobs. That's because in that model, the equipment is all interconnected. 

 

Modern scanning is different from telecine in that color correction and scanning are separate processes, so it's entirely possible (depending on the lab's setup) to do the two things at the same time. In fact, it's common. So the old telecine model doesn't really make a lot of sense these days, unless the lab's setup requires it.

 

We use a hybrid model for pricing - scanning is always by foot, but grading is by hour (with a multiplier). We split them up because 90% of our customers do their own grading these days and just want our scans. Restoration is based on an evaluation of the footage, and then we figure out an estimate for the project. DVD and Blu-ray authoring are similar, but the estimate is based on how much footage there is, the formats we're starting with, and how complex the menu design work is. 

 

I understand that "computer render time" is a thing, but we're not making CG here - I actually don't understand the whole computer render thing as I assumed it just simply did 3-pass scan of single frame to a single file... there shouldn't be any render time. 

 

It depends on the scanner, but in most cases your assumption is incorrect. Our Lasergraphics scanner can go directly to ProRes files. Our Northlight cannot. Most high end scanners can't go direct to Quicktime, actually, there are just a handful that do. Most go to DPX or TIFF sequences. If you want Quicktime files from our Northlight, we have to scan to DPX, then move those massive files over to our Resolve to render out. If you're talking about 4k scans, getting 20 minutes of files from the Northlight to the Resolve is either a 6 hour copy over the network, or 2-3 hours to copy to a transfer drive, and then 2-3 hours to copy off the transfer drive. In other words, it takes a whole day to make that file set, tying up the scanner PC and then the resolve during load out and load in.

 

Now if some customers want a non-single-file-based format (Like ProRes) then there will be render time.  But, if any smart lab would simply buy more than one computer, render time wouldn't be a thing.

 

It doesn't work like that. We have at least a dozen workstations running at any given time: Scanner controllers, Resolve workstation, PFClean restoration system, one for only Blu-ray authoring, one for only DVD authoring, 3 PCs that do nothing but encode video to MPEG2 or AVC, Computers that do nothing but act as render farm nodes for software that supports it, two FCP workstations configured for different realtime work, etc. None of them are slouches either - most of these machines are high end workstations with 32GB or more RAM, massive GPUs, most have at least 12TB of local RAID storage that can move files at 1GB/second, plus a 20TB centralized network storage system that any computer in the office can access. 

 

And yet, it takes a long time to do certain things. You can't simply say that more computers mean it's faster, you have to take into account the differences in the capabilities of those systems, the way the machines are interconnected, the available storage space (20 minutes of 4k DPX is over 1TB of data - there's no quick way to move that around). In some cases, the fastest way to convert that is to leave it on the machine it's on and run the conversion. But that ties up that machine from doing other work, like scanning. 

 

Have the machines not payed for themselves already? Even the million dollar machines? 

 

They probably haven't. And even if they have, that's beside the point. Is the lab there to do charity work or is it a business? It's a business. Once the machine has been paid off, they should be able to earn some money on it for a bit before having to upgrade to something new, no? I will tell you that we've had our Lasergraphics scanner for 2.5 years. It's not paid off, and we paid a fraction of the Million you mention. We're scanning on it daily, but it will still take another 1.5 years for it to be fully paid off. 

 

Why? Because the scanner payments are only one part of the equation. We have to pay for Rent, Electricity, Insurance, Payroll, software and hardware updates, support contracts, new computers, repairs, advertising, shipping, supplies like leader and splicing tape and LTO tapes and hard drives, office supplies, office furniture, etc, etc. The list goes on. And when the scanner fails and requires out of warranty repairs, who pays for that?

 

I would never believe that a business like FotoKem has not paid off all its physical equipment yet.

 

Then with all due respect, you're living in a fantasy world.

 

Time and technology don't stand still. Companies are constantly re-investing in new gear and new resources because things break, new formats come out, new methods requiring new hardware, etc. It never ends. 

 

-perry


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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:11 AM

 

I'm afraid from where I'm standing the price point on the camera is largely irrelevant.

 

even if they sell these at £500 or less it doesn't chance the fact that 50ft of Tri-X will now set you back around £30 (up almost 50% from just five years ago)


 

 

 

Clearly you live in the UK!

Anyway the answer to that is to only shoot something very short on it and then it's not as much of an issue.

 

Or maybe to emigrate if that is an option...

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 06 January 2016 - 09:11 AM.

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#12 Jay Young

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:17 AM

Then with all due respect, you're living in a fantasy world.

 

Time and technology don't stand still. Companies are constantly re-investing in new gear and new resources because things break, new formats come out, new methods requiring new hardware, etc. It never ends. 

 

-perry

 

 

Perry, Thanks for the insight.  You've given me some things to think about.


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 01:31 PM

Yep Perry is spot on, that's why I blame the manufacturers and not the post houses. In my eyes, the current scanning technology and workflow are archaic at best. Yes, we've seen dramatic speed increases along with resolution, but the VAST majority of people who want their film digitized, don't need the quality of the current lineup of machines. This is why I'm (for better or for worse) excited about the blackmagic scanner. It's a first-gen product, it has a lot of bugaboo's, but it snaps the current workflow in half, throws it in the garbage and starts over again from scratch. When they figure out a way to change lenses for each format, it will be a game changer in my opinion. Real-time 4k scanning to Cinema DNG deliverable. Using modern thunderbolt 2 enabled computers and drives, copying files takes minutes not hours. Those same drives have USB3 on them for the client's work station.

If Blackmagic fixes the optics issues, I'm buying one and I'll have the best scanning prices in the world. If you want professional quality, go to a top shop. If you want something that looks great, in raw color space, that costs less then a telecine, come on down!

I only bring this up because I'm constantly fighting with labs on pricing and I'm tired of it. I know they can't go any lower, but it's cost prohibitive! Film isn't the expensive part, getting it digitized is and that's what needs to change.
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#14 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 01:34 PM

even if they sell these at £500 or less it doesn't chance the fact that 50ft of Tri-X will now set you back around £30 (up almost 50% from just five years ago


Umm but that old price doesn't come with processing or telecine. If Kodak truly wants to sell stock for $50 USD and that includes stock, processing and HD transfer, that's a game changer.
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#15 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 02:13 PM

As I see it, the Blackmagic scanner is not the solution. Look at it this way:

 

Scanner: $30,000

Beefy Mac to run it: $6000

Storage: $2000

16mm Option: $5000

Audio option: $5000

 

So for the hardware alone, you're into it for just about $50k. That seems fairly cheap. However...

 

* Scan speed is real time, so 24fps. 60 minutes of footage takes 60-70 minutes to scan, with setup time.

* Audio is a separate pass for now, May be real time with above option

* Files copied are pretty lightweight, but useless outside Resolve. You still have to convert them to a more common format

* It's a blackmagic product, so it's likely not going to work properly for at least 2-3 years. I'm not being facetious here, I'm basing this on past experience. I would expect that it's going to have a lot of issues that will take quite some time to resolve. Early reports I'm hearing confirm this suspicion. 

 

Now compare that to a machine like the ScanStation: 

 

* Scan speed is 60fps max. 60 minutes of footage takes about half an hour, assuming 10 minutes setup.

* It scans directly to whatever format you want, no conversions

* it scans audio at the picture scan rate, regardless of format (optical, mag)

* it's based on control software and hardware that's been in the wild for well over a decade and is proven and reliable

 

Yeah, it costs more than double what a tricked out Cintel does. But I can guarantee (again from experience), that it's going to be a smoother ride for whoever buys it, with less downtime and more productivity. It's priced correctly for what it is. The market for these scanners is not and never will be that big, to the point where you can really hit economies of scale. It's just too niche a market for that. The problem isn't that the manufacturers are keeping the costs high for artificial reasons, it's that they've poured years of R&D into these things and have to recoup that money. Sure, the material costs have dropped, but all that R&D doesn't, nor does the cost of ongoing support and development.

 

We're human, and we want things to be less expensive. But when you do the math, you realize that the intangible things (Speed, lack of downtime, reliability, ease of use, smoothness of the workflow, etc) are what you're paying for. And it's worth it. We rely on our ScanStation, and the thing just runs and runs and runs the way we'd expect it to. Same with the Northlight. They're solid machines, built for the long haul. I'm certain the Cintel will not be up to this level of quality, because that's not BMD's M.O. 

 

We've been bit by that same thinking in the past. We still use Spruce Maestro for DVD authoring even though DVD SP does most of the same stuff. Why? It's rock solid, won't trip you up, and outputs perfectly compliant discs. We spent $25,000 on our blu-ray authoring system back in the day for the same reasons. We've tried saving money on key pieces of hardware in the past, and have found that every time, we would have been better off spending more for a product with better support, better stability and greater reliability. Hardware and software. 

 

As they say, you get what you pay for...


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 06 January 2016 - 02:15 PM.

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#16 Geoff Howell

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 03:53 PM

Umm but that old price doesn't come with processing or telecine. If Kodak truly wants to sell stock for $50 USD and that includes stock, processing and HD transfer, that's a game changer.

 

could be that I missed it, but I didn't see anything regarding the cost of this new film+processing+scan package. If the $50 for everything price point is true then yeah that's pretty good!

 

however, there's talk over on filmshooting.com about pro8mm supplying the processing/scanning end of this arrangement; if this is the case than I think we'll be looking at closer to $100  


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#17 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:15 PM

As I see it, the Blackmagic scanner is not the solution. Look at it this way:
 
Scanner: $30,000
Beefy Mac to run it: $6000
Storage: $2000
16mm Option: $5000
Audio option: $5000


Yea, that's pretty close. You don't need audio though, I'd focus on camera original only. I heard the 16mm gat was $2k from my Blackmagic rep, but she may have been wrong. Currently, it's a non-feasible solution because as we've talked about in length before, it crops the imager for S16mm. When they solve that problem, it will be a workable solution.

My number for a build-out was more like $45k, which isn't that bad all things considered.

* Scan speed is real time, so 24fps. 60 minutes of footage takes 60-70 minutes to scan, with setup time.
* Audio is a separate pass for now, May be real time with above option
* Files copied are pretty lightweight, but useless outside Resolve. You still have to convert them to a more common format
* It's a blackmagic product, so it's likely not going to work properly for at least 2-3 years. I'm not being facetious here, I'm basing this on past experience. I would expect that it's going to have a lot of issues that will take quite some time to resolve. Early reports I'm hearing confirm this suspicion.


Yep, all completely accurate information. However, the one little bit you may not realize is that ALL cinema cameras require the same transcode to a "common" format when shooting RAW. So that step can be put onto the client instead of at the telecine shop, which will save the client a vast amount of money. My point is that the system is set it and forget it. The only post process done is copying the files to a drive for the customer and that can be done very quickly whilst your loading the next roll of film.

Now compare that to a machine like the ScanStation: 
 
* Scan speed is 60fps max. 60 minutes of footage takes about half an hour, assuming 10 minutes setup.
* It scans directly to whatever format you want, no conversions
* it scans audio at the picture scan rate, regardless of format (optical, mag)
* it's based on control software and hardware that's been in the wild for well over a decade and is proven and reliable


True, however the cost of owning such a nice product, falls onto the consumer. That's the big problem... It's not a game about quality as much as it's about price. I'm talking about charging people $150/hr for a real 2k or 4k scan of their product with no audio, just camera negative.

The market for these scanners is not and never will be that big, to the point where you can really hit economies of scale. It's just too niche a market for that. The problem isn't that the manufacturers are keeping the costs high for artificial reasons, it's that they've poured years of R&D into these things and have to recoup that money. Sure, the material costs have dropped, but all that R&D doesn't, nor does the cost of ongoing support and development.


Ohh no doubt! However, they aren't that complex. The manufacturers make the systems MORE complex by needing special computers, special one-off software that nobody else uses and overly specialized hardware. If Blackmagic can build a machine that runs on standard computers, using over the counter standard software, so can other manufacturers. In fact, by now most of the manufacturers have amortized the cost on building specialized movements. It's all about imager/sensor quality today and how fast it can scan. The genius of the blackmagic scanner is that it just works. It doesn't take a highly trained/paid employee to make it work, anyone can be taught to run it. You may argue, you don't want some novice touching your camera negative, but I argue the results won't be much different.

We're human, and we want things to be less expensive. But when you do the math, you realize that the intangible things (Speed, lack of downtime, reliability, ease of use, smoothness of the workflow, etc) are what you're paying for. And it's worth it. We rely on our ScanStation, and the thing just runs and runs and runs the way we'd expect it to. Same with the Northlight. They're solid machines, built for the long haul. I'm certain the Cintel will not be up to this level of quality, because that's not BMD's M.O.


We shall see! I just think it's a game changer if it works at all. The moment Blackmagic sticks a 6k sensor in one and real optics for similar price, the other manufacturers have something to worry about.

We've been bit by that same thinking in the past. We still use Spruce Maestro for DVD authoring even though DVD SP does most of the same stuff. Why? It's rock solid, won't trip you up, and outputs perfectly compliant discs. We spent $25,000 on our blu-ray authoring system back in the day for the same reasons. We've tried saving money on key pieces of hardware in the past, and have found that every time, we would have been better off spending more for a product with better support, better stability and greater reliability. Hardware and software.


I still use Compressor and DVD Studio Pro for making DVD's. The 64 bit version of compressor works great and delivers a pretty good image in not much time. I don't do any BluRay authoring... nobody really wants them for some reason. :shrug:

As they say, you get what you pay for...


Sure do! Obviously, I'm new to the scanning business and it will take a while before we can afford something. However it's on my agenda for my school because it will lower the cost for my students. It will also teach them how to do that kind of post production, which is nice.

But I 100% get your points and agree with them. I'm just hoping there will be a paradigm change soon.
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#18 Carl Looper

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 06:34 AM

 

could be that I missed it, but I didn't see anything regarding the cost of this new film+processing+scan package. If the $50 for everything price point is true then yeah that's pretty good!

 

however, there's talk over on filmshooting.com about pro8mm supplying the processing/scanning end of this arrangement; if this is the case than I think we'll be looking at closer to $100  

 

No - that was just someone imagining that - confusing the Kodak camera with the Logmar camera. While Logmar are involved in the development of the Kodak camera, the Kodak camera is a brand new design, and nothing to do with Pro8. The Logmar camera, on the other hand, is sold exclusively through Pro8 (in the US). And it's this fact which the filmshooting.com writer took as a cue to suggest there was some arrangement between Pro8 and Kodak.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 07 January 2016 - 06:37 AM.

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#19 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:03 AM

My point is that the system is set it and forget it. 

 

No scanner is "set it and forget it." Even the ScanStation, which is damned close, requires a trained operator -- not to work the machine or the software, which are pretty easy to do, but to know what to look for and to make the necessary adjustments so you get a good image. Different films require different approaches (even with the same film stock), and it's never just a matter of threading up the film and hitting Go. 

 

My understanding is that the Cintel scanner is, in some ways, fussier to use than the Lasergraphics scanners. I don't have hands on experience with it, but I have read the manual and it seems like you have to do a lot more just to get to the point where you're scanning than you do on either of our scanners. 

 

The manufacturers make the systems MORE complex by needing special computers, special one-off software that nobody else uses and overly specialized hardware. 

 

I can only speak for the two scanners we have. The Northlight uses RedHat Linux, and while it does use their own software, there's a command line interface to it that's fairly well documented, so you could probably make it work with other tools if so inclined. It is a totally proprietary scanner in terms of the scanner itself, yes. 

 

The Lasergraphics scanner uses the software that they built for the Director, years ago. Both of their lines of scanners use the same software. It's easy to use, well designed, and stable. The PC it runs on is a pretty vanilla high end PC. It probably costs about 1/3 of the Mac you'd need for the Cintel. The transport is proprietary, but there is no such thing as a generic film transport one can simply buy off the shelf. The camera is a high end (better than BMD) off-the-shelf machine vision camera with a high quality printing lens. The motors can be purchased from Digikey, I think. From what I've seen of the inside of it, the individual controllers are custom, but that's all part of the transport and there's no way to *not* have that be custom. 

 

Each scanner out there takes a different approach to how it does its thing, and there's no such thing as "off the shelf" scanning software. There never will be. Again, too much of a niche market for that, and too many variables to make that realistic. Yes, the Cintel uses Resolve to control the scanner, but it's a special application within an application that does it. It could just as easily be standalone. They only do it in Resolve, I suspect, because the files the scanner produces need to be exported. 

 

My point is that you've described Lasergraphics' approach when describing the advantages of the Cintel. The Lasergraphics scanners are more expensive because they work reliably and without much fuss. I really think it's going to be some time before the Cintel is on par with what you can already get today.  

 

 

The genius of the blackmagic scanner is that it just works. 

 

From what I'm hearing, this isn't the case. And anyone with any history of using BMD products would probably take the notion that a new product of theirs "just works" with a grain of salt. A very large grain of salt. In my experience, a small salt mine worth. 

 

We've been pretty loyal Blackmagic customers since the intro of their first HD SDI capture board, over 10 years ago. They used to be a lot better, but in the past 5-6 years, as they've grown, they've released most new products into the market prematurely with tons of hype, and with major issues. We've had to return 3 fairly pieces of hardware because they didn't even do what they advertised (a HyperDeck Pro, an Up/Down/Cross, and their first gen Teranex). Eventually, they added the features we were expecting (and they were advertising from the beginning), but in the case of the Teranex, it took years. Our ancient Teranex box (pre-BMD model) has been able to do the same thing for a decade. 

 

My point is just that this is effectively a first generation product from a company with a mediocre reputation for quality, and it's just barely been released after almost 2 years of delays. Early reports are that it's got issues. Given all that, I wouldn't expect this to be reliable for some time. 

 

On the other hand, look at the ScanStation Personal line. Comparable with the Cintel on features and price, but the thing *actually* just works. Seriously. If you're thinking of buying a scanner, I'd get that. It's going to cost a similar amount (comes with the PC so you can factor that out), and it's a better piece of hardware with years of hardware and software engineering work having gone into it, and lots of customers using it in the wild. Plus way better support than I've ever had with BMD...

 

-perry

 

 


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#20 Freya Black

Freya Black
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Posted 07 January 2016 - 11:55 AM

There are plenty of cheap telecine options for Super8 from workprinters, flashscan, even sometimes old Rank machines or Bosch Telecine machines.

 

Maybe we aren't talking about Super 8 now tho?

 

Freya


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Abel Cine

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Glidecam