External recorder or monitor-recorder: why do I need one?

best on camera recorder

Deciding on new camera gear is always tough and you have to focus on which product is right for you.

I have owned and used on camera monitor-recorders for a long time. I originally bought a Atomos Samurai when I bought one of the first Red One cameras in Australia. The reason this was a great option to add to the Red camera was because it allowed me record a video stream with matching file names and timecode (to the RAW recording) the Red camera was doing. This allowed more options in post production as well as allowing for playback on set. This was in the very early days of the Red before the cameras could play back the footage. These two features alone were more than enough reason to buy the Atomos.
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The cost of 4K


cost of shooting 4KOne of the most often asked questions is “How much is this gonna cost us to use 4K ?!” Well a great article from AbelCine goes through the costs on a multi camera shoot for both 4K and 1080 (HD) production.

The rumours that shooting 4K are way more expensive are busted.  The cost for shooting 4K is the same as shooting 1080. The costs of the post are explained by Juliet McNally at AbelCine.

They have worked out the its a 55% increase in cost, but think of all the advantages. From an audience perspective, it starts with improved quality: unprecedented levels of resolution and contrast and, ultimately, a much more dynamic, engaging and immersive entertainment experience. If shoot and finish in 4K you are future proofing as 4K Tv sets are being sold in the states for $1200 also youtube streams 4K footage today.

To read the great article http://blog.abelcine.com/2013/05/21/the-cost-of-4k-from-acquisition-to-archiving/

Field of View Comparator – Epic, Arri, Canon, F65

Ever wanted to know what the field of view of different cameras are and be able to compare them … well now you can.

Able Cine has made this great tool and they have recently added all the new cameras from NAB 2012. The new cameras include the Canon C300, C500, and 1DC. The C300 and C500′s sensor is almost exactly the same size as Super 35mm film; at 24.6×13.8mm it has a 28.2mm diagonal. The 1DC can record in both HD modes and in a 4K mode. The HD mode uses the full frame sensor area just like the 5D Mark III, however the 4K mode uses a smaller APS-H mode, like the 1D Mark 4. All these options are now available in our tool.

Additionally, they’ve added the Blackmagic Digital Cinema camera to the list, which has a sensor size somewhere between Super 16mm film and a 4/3rd sensor like on the AF100. At 15.8×8.9mm it has a 18.14 mm diagonal, which leads to a fair bit of cropping when compared to Super 35mm and full frame sensors. The Blackmagic Camera can record in both HD (ProRes, DNxHD, and uncompressed) as well a full 2.5K 12-bit Raw format. The Raw data is captured in Cinema DNG format at a resolution of 2432×1366, however the captured image area is the same, so you should get the same field of view in either mode.

NAB, Red and lots of new products

NAB Vegas 2012Well NAB the huge TV gear / software show in Vegas has opened with lots of new gear announcements. Red has announced an upgrade to the only still very new Epic camera. The upgrade is a new sensor that will be available from the end of this year. The new sensor will have a higher resolution (increase from 5K to 6K) smaller pixels (for finer detail) and increased dymanic range ( from 13.5 stops to 15 stops) Red also announced a lot of other new accessories see red.com

Black magic has entered the camera market with an odd looking camera. This I see as an interesting move for a software company to move to making cameras.

Sony have brought out 3 new lowish cost large sensor cameras – great to have choices, but we have too many for some post houses to keep up.

Canon has announced a new camera, the C500. This would make me very unhappy if I had just purchased the C300 as that is now outdated. This must be one the fastest cameras to ever become outdated as they have only just hit the market about 3months ago.

So all in all there are today a heap of new options for production and post. Its exciting times !!