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Has the Dalsa Origin actually been used?


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#1 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:37 AM

Earlier this year, Dalsa were in the news quite a bit with their announcement that they were setting up a Digital rental/production centre in Woodland Hills, just down the road from Panavision.

I'd forgotten all about that until I saw the thread here about the D-20. Does anybody know if Dalsa have had any luck with this scheme? I'm pretty dubious about the whole notion of "Digital Cinematography" but I would have thought they'd have generated some interest.

However a Google search only turns up the January announcements.
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:52 AM

Earlier this year, Dalsa were in the news quite a bit with their announcement that they were setting up a Digital rental/production centre in Woodland Hills, just down the road from Panavision.

I'd forgotten all about that until I saw the thread here about the D-20. Does anybody know if Dalsa have had any luck with this scheme? I'm pretty dubious about the whole notion of "Digital Cinematography" but I would have thought they'd have generated some interest.

However a Google search only turns up the January announcements.

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Hi,

A shoot out was done at Cinegear between the D20, Dalsa, Genesis,and 35mm film.

Panavision I believe are yet to post any pictures

For D20 http://www.arri.de/p...d_20_images.htm

The Dalsa Images were immediately available on the CML site.

Stephen
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#3 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 08:11 AM

Hi,

A shoot out was done at Cinegear between the D20, Dalsa, Genesis,and 35mm film.

Stephen

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Yes I've heard about that. But does this mean that they haven't actually had a single rental in the past six months? Sounds a bit grim!

What are they waiting for? Even if they let it go out for free that would have to be better not letting it go out at all. At least they'd be able to say: "XXXX used it to shoot YYYY"
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:28 AM

They are still setting up their rental department in their new building. I don't know if they had a rental yet but they are acting as if it will be happening any day now. However, I know one DP who was about to shoot a commercial using it but decided that there wasn't enough spare Dalsa cameras around in case his went down on the shoot.

They are still working out some of the bugs in recording and workflow but I expect you'll soon hear of someone willing to take the chance on it. I'd be more concerned with the 4K recording and workflow issues through post, and the costs of an all-4K post, than the camera itself. It may be the thought of a 4K post that is keeping people back.

Their facility on the street behind Panavision is very nice, with a nice screening room.
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#5 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 11:14 PM

I don't know if they had a rental yet but they are acting as if it will be happening any day now. 

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Well yes, but they were saying that back in January, too. I would have assumed that they wouldn't be sinking too much money into the project until they were sure of getting some substantial work. As it is, how much rental are they going to need to just recoup the last six months' expenses?

It's different with someone like Plus8Digital who already have a healthy TV-oriented rental faciltiy to fall back on. It probably would have made more sense for Dalsa to get into bed with them, since they don't seem to be too doctrinaire about what HD formats they supply.

It may be the thought of a 4K post that is keeping people back.

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If that's the case then they have a severe customer education problem. 4K originated material downconverted to 2K is always going to look better than straight 2K captured material. They should offer both options.

Their facility on the street behind Panavision is very nice, with a nice screening room.

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Traditionally, Panavison always have had the crummiest facilites, but that didn't stop them cornering the market. It's the product that matters, and PV have always had the best product.
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#6 Max Jacoby

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:46 AM

It's the product that matters, and PV have always had the best product.

I can't believe you just said that!

Did you really say that?
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#7 Michael Most

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 01:48 PM

It's different with someone like Plus8Digital who already have a healthy TV-oriented rental faciltiy to fall back on. It probably would have made more sense for Dalsa to get into bed with them, since they don't seem to be too doctrinaire about what HD formats they supply.


The Dalsa facility in Woodland Hills used to be Broadcast Plus, a company very similar to Plus8 in some respects. Dalsa bought the company and converted it, just as you are suggesting they should have done. I believe that Broadcast Plus still exists, and rents various brands of equipment out of the same physical facility. Dalsa wanted their own name on the building, not an unusual request when you're trying to get that name out to the public in the face of much more well known players.


Traditionally, Panavison always have had the crummiest facilites, but that didn't stop them cornering the market. It's the product that matters, and PV have always had the best product.


Firstly, Panavision's company headquarters in Woodland Hills (the facility that David is referring to) is far from crummy. It is something of a showplace, a combination of corporate offices, physical factory, some of the best lineup and test bays available, 2 shooting stages, and distribution center. Maybe some of their branch rental centers in various locations around the world aren't so impressive, but neither are many of the Arri dealers.
Secondly, am I dreaming or did you actually say that "Panavision have always had the best product"?
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#8 Mark Allen

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:45 AM

Is someone planning on doing a side by side of all of these images from the different cameras?

Edited by Mark Douglas, 10 July 2005 - 04:47 AM.

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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:53 AM

Is someone planning on doing a side by side of all of these images from the different cameras?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Yes,

It was done at Cinegear.
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#10 Mark Allen

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:16 AM

It was done at Cinegear.

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Boy, I'm sorry, I was totally unclear on my post. I mean - is someone planning on showing the results from the shoot done at cinegear. I heard that Laser Pacific was going to make the side by sides available for the people who participated. Any indication anyone else will havea chance to see these? So much depends on how things look in motion. I don't mind if they grade the footage as long as it is the same colorist going for the same look.
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#11 Stephen Williams

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:56 AM

Boy, I'm sorry, I was totally unclear on my post.  I mean - is someone planning on showing the results from the shoot done at cinegear.  I heard that Laser Pacific was going to make the side by sides available for the people who participated.  Any indication anyone else will havea  chance to see these?  So much depends on how things look in motion.  I don't mind if they grade the footage as long as it is the same colorist going for the same look.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

Panavision have not yet released their results. If you subscribe to CML www.cinematography.net The topic was hot yesterday.
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#12 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:34 AM

The Dalsa facility in Woodland Hills used to be Broadcast Plus, a company very similar to Plus8 in some respects. Dalsa bought the company and converted it, just as you are suggesting they should have done.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Interesting, because that was certainly not what they were implying in their January press releases. They made it sound like they'd set up an entirely new smell-that-paint state-of-the-art facility from scratch. Why would they do that? Well ... I couldn't help noticing that on the "Origin" page of the Dalsa website back then, the only contact address given was "investor@dalsa.com"! Sounds awfully like they were hoping somebody would take a white elephant off their hands....

Which by the way is the best explanation for what Panavision's current foray into "Digital Cinematography" is all about....
Oh, sorry; I forgot, you all think it was for YOUR benefit!

Firstly, Panavision's company headquarters in Woodland Hills (the facility that David is referring to) is far from crummy. It is something of a showplace, a combination of corporate offices, physical factory, some of the best lineup and test bays available, 2 shooting stages, and distribution center.

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I said "Traditionally". In other words, they were the market leaders no matter how rough and ready their premises were. In my experience, overly flash premises merely tend to incite grumbling among customers, who tend to suggest that prices might be lower without all the window dressing. Also, it is a sadly neglected fact of life that the people who have to use a company's test bays and other facilities are rarely the ones who make decisions about whose equipment is actually used!

In any event, the Woodland Hills complex is slated for demolition by its owners when the current lease runs out, to make way for a high-rise retirement complex, so all that money will go down the drain. It'll be interesting to see how much money Ron Revlon is going to let them spend on their next premises:-)

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Maybe some of their branch rental centers in various locations around the world aren't so impressive, but neither are many of the Arri dealers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You got THAT right!

Secondly, am I dreaming or did you actually say that "Panavision have always had the best product"?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've never said anything else. My lament has always been that every time thay manage to rack up an impressive track record with their mainstream film cameras and ancillairy equipment, they seem to get this irrestible urge to blot their copybook by f*cking around with television cameras. The CineAlta thing was not the first such venture you know; they spent an enormous amount of time and money trying to adapt Ikegami TV cameras to accept PV-type film lenses back in the 80s, with truly embarrassingly bad results!

In your half-awake state you've probably been attributing other people's half-assed responses to what they THOUGHT I said, to me. Which is far from uncommon on Internet forums....
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#13 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:51 AM

Hi,

Panavision have not yet released their results. If you subscribe to CML  www.cinematography.net  The topic was hot yesterday.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ho hum, even Jim Murdoch, a lowly video engineer, can yank just about any 35mm camera off the shelf from a 2C to a Millenium, load up a mag with some out-of-date test stock, slap on just about any old lens, and with the aid of nothing more than a basic light meter, go outside and shoot just about anything, with a considerably more than half-decent chance of producing HD broadcast quality images! Boring maybe, not terribly well-framed, maybe, but it's pretty hard to irreparably screw up the exposure!

Yet apparently the same thing is not possible with all these new Digital Cinematography formats, else you'd think they would have done it by now. Shut up all the skeptics for once and for all. I mean you could even re-use the same tape if you're that hard up!

The veneer of excuses is starting to wear pretty thin guys. They're not doing it because that will demonstrate for once and for all the excessively diapanous nature of the Emperor's apparel :P

By all means visit the CML website; Galt's e-mail is a hoot!
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#14 Keith Mottram

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:50 AM

Just wondering if any non-UK users of this forum has heard of a British TV character called Victor Meldrew?

Keith
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:26 AM

Just wondering if any non-UK users of this forum has heard of a British TV character called Victor Meldrew?

Keith

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Hi,

If they can get BBC Prime they may well get the joke!

Stephen
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:57 AM

The CineAlta thing was not the first such venture you know; they spent an enormous amount of time and money trying to adapt Ikegami TV cameras to accept PV-type film lenses back in the 80s, with truly embarrassingly bad results!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


CEI not Ikegami

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#17 Michael Most

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:09 AM

Also, it is a sadly neglected fact of life that the people who have to use a company's test bays and other facilities are rarely the ones who make decisions about whose equipment is actually used!


Perhaps in the UK. In the US, cameramen and, to some degree, 1st AC's often do make the decisions as to whose equipment to use. Not always, but often.

I've never said anything else. My lament has always been that every time thay manage to rack up an impressive track record with their mainstream film cameras and ancillairy equipment, they seem to get this irrestible urge to blot their copybook by f*cking around with television cameras. The CineAlta thing was not the first such venture you know; they spent an enormous amount of time and money trying to adapt Ikegami TV cameras to accept PV-type film lenses back in the 80s, with truly embarrassingly bad results!


Panavision has a company to maintain. They need to be able to foresee and, to some degree, guide where the industry is going to eventually go. No matter how much one may appreciate the capabilities of film as an imaging medium (in my case, a lot), simple economics dictates that the long term future belongs to electronic imaging, if only for the fact that the consumer end of the film business is disappearing faster than the Invisible Woman. Without the support of the traditionally much larger consumer market, there is, shall we say, questionable financial incentive for Kodak and Fuji to continue R&D and eventually manufacturing of motion picture film. This makes the current point in time very, very different from any of the past "film is dead" scenarios. And as the current generation of film trained professionals leaves the industry, the incoming generation of video trained professionals will replace them. Granted, this will all take some time, but I see it as inevitable. So does Panavision. So does Arri. So does Sony. So does Thomson. So does Panasonic. Etc., etc. It doesn't matter if you happen to like it, and it doesn't matter if I happen to like it. It doesn't even matter if it is any better. It is simply the way it is.

As someone else has already mentioned, the Panacam (the video camera you're referring to) was based on CEI electronics, not Ikegami.
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#18 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:05 AM

Granted, this will all take some time, but I see it as inevitable. So does Panavision. So does Arri. So does Sony. So does Thomson. So does Panasonic. Etc., etc. It doesn't matter if you happen to like it, and it doesn't matter if I happen to like it. It doesn't even matter if it is any better. It is simply the way it is.

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Er, you wanna tell me which particular movies were shot using Arri, Thomson, Panasonic etc etc video cameras, Not "Bollywood" type efforts, real features that significant numbers of people paid to go see. You know, that ones that pay the bills so all the arty-farty types have an infrastructure in which to make their self-indulgent projects that are of interest to "only two or maybe three people" (as Rik so succinctly put it in the very first episode of "The Young Ones":-)


If I saw any credible evidence at all that the necessary technological breakthroughs had actually taken place, I would be the first to agree with you. However I have not seen any such technological breakthroughs, that's the whole problem. The whole thing is a gigantic sharemarket con.

It's a bit like the Electric Car. This has been "just around the corner" for at least the last 40 years or so, and it always falls down when it comes to the battery department. And every few years we hear about yet another "technological breakthrough" which inevitably turns out to a slightly improved version of all the the motor and drive electronics that have gone before, and nearly always with the same 150-year-old lead-acid battery technology for power storage. Too heavy, too little range. But meanwhile the proponents usually manage to siphon another few million or so out of another pack of unwary investors.

None of the currently available electronic movie cameras comes anywhere near the resolution or dynamic range of film. The fact that so many people here claim that they do says more about them than the video cameras.

I have yet to see any cinema release project shot on video that doesn't look like it was shot on video. I have yet to see many at all. The bulk of them (if you can use that expression with such a pitifully small sample) were produced by the Lucas/Rodriguez consortium, and that's a special case (mental case:-)

And PLEASE, don't trot out that $#^&^@!! moronic comparison with colour or sound movies in the 30s. In that situation the proponents of the new systems were working hard to bring the audience something they hadn't had previously experienced.

So called "Digital Cinematography" simply attempts to bring them the same experience they've been enjoying for the last 40 years or so, but with a significantly lower image quality. I don't know what sort of "pioneers"n these idiots imagine they are, it's the engineering equivalent of tearing up a concrete superhighway and replacing it with two lanes of asphalt!


As someone else has already mentioned, the Panacam (the video camera you're referring to) was based on CEI electronics, not Ikegami.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whatever. There was more than one such project, and I'm positive I saw the name Ikegami mentioned. I'll have to wade through the early 80s section of my American Cinematographer library.

Edited by Jim Murdoch, 13 July 2005 - 05:06 AM.

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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:41 AM

The only fact is that the majority of mainstream theatrical features are shot on film and will continue to do so for some time. But if you want to live in denial that there will be a transition to digital image capture as the technology improves or gets cheaper or both, and that we'll see more and more exceptions to the basic fact I mentioned, well, that's your problem! I really don't care.

The truth is that the comparison of the transition from Technicolor to Eastmancolor in the early 1950's is not moronic because it wasn't a case of someone (Kodak) designing a system with superior image quality in an attempt to give audiences something more, but to design a color process that was cheaper, easier, and more flexible to use -- and hope audiences wouldn't notice the change in look. In that way, it is similar to the movements towards digital image capture.

Or don't look back 50 years, look back 15 years to the transition from film editing to digital editing, another significant technological change that wasn't about altering the way movies looked (although there have been stylistic changes as a result). Not all major technology shifts are about changing the moviegoing experience for the audience.

It is significant historically that we have some major motion pictures being originated digitally -- those by Lucas and Rodriquez should count considering their box office takes, and there was "Collateral" and "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", plus you've got upcoming films like "Superman Returns" and "Flyboys" plus directors like David Fincher starting to make features and commercials digitally.

Just look at the industry in 2000 compared to 2005. Digital has made a minor encroachment into studio feature production, and a significant one into independent features and TV sitcoms.

And if you don't think it matters that all these young indie directors and DP's are shooting digitally because it's not mainstream studio stuff, where do you think many of the directors and DP's of future studio films are going to come from? At least some of them are going to continue to want to work digitally.
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#20 Michael Most

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:52 AM

If I saw any credible evidence at all that the necessary technological breakthroughs had actually taken place, I would be the first to agree with you. However I have not seen any such technological breakthroughs, that's the whole problem. The whole thing is a gigantic sharemarket con.........


If you'd stop your ranting long enough to actually consider what I said, maybe you'd notice that I was referring to financial pressures related to the demise of the consumer film market. I went out of my way to say that technical merit was not the issue, nor was being equivalent to what we already have in film a requirement. As for "real features" shot using video cameras, I think both "Collateral" and "Miami Vice" (one shot primarily with Thomson cameras, the other shooting almost exclusively with Thomson cameras) qualify. As does "Superman" (shooting with the Genesis). None of these projects involve anyone named Lucas or Rodriguez. And none of them are "Bollywood" or "vanity" projects.

Not that I believe any current production information is needed to support the statement I made, which had just about nothing to do with what you're talking about. And regarding the Panacam, why is it so damn difficult for you to say, just once, "maybe I was wrong?" Are you related to George Bush, or what?
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