DPP Home Gear Cameras Hi-Tech Studio: Be A Hybrid Shooter

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hi-Tech Studio: Be A Hybrid Shooter

Get into the motion game with the latest equipment for creating and working with 4K video

Canon glass owners also have a high-quality 4K video option that offers 12 stops of dynamic range with Blackmagic Design's Production Camera 4K. The BMPC looks like a rangefinder, but it's a dedicated camcorder with a Super 35mm-sized sensor for roughly the same APS-H angle of view as the aforementioned Canon models. The BMPC 4K camera is capable of compressed ProRes 422 for faster editing or CinemaDNG RAW for better postprocessing options. It lacks stills functionality, but the Canon EF mount is TTL for metering, and it includes the popular DaVinci Resolve color-grading software. The BMPC captures directly to removable 240 GB or 480 GB solid-state hard drives—a nice touch, as they can also be edited from directly. List Price: $2,995.

There are a number of dedicated camcorders capable of 4K video, as well. In contrast to the very expensive Sony NEX-FS700R, PMW-F5, PMW-F55 and F65 cinema cameras that require dedicated SxS memory cards or expensive external video recorder systems to capture 4K, Sony's recent FDR-AX100 Handycam has a very aggressive price point of slightly less than $2,000. Capable of capturing Ultra HD video at 3840x2160, the 14.2 effective megapixel, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor provides UHD 4K in either 24 fps or 30 fps, with 120 fps available for slow-motion sequences. To achieve manageable file sizes, it employs Sony's new consumer-friendly XAVC S file format with high-quality Linear PCM audio compression and MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression. The Cinematone Gamma/Color function produces in-camera "looks," and a Dual Video Recording mode will capture AVCHD and MP4 files concurrently for immediate playback to HDTVs, Blu-ray discs or the Internet. It can also stream to displays through an included HDMI cable, and the system has selectable internal neutral-density filters, WiFi connection and optional XLR kit for more advanced microphones over the internal audio. List Price: $1,999.

Available at a bargain price point, GoPro's small, but powerful HERO action cameras are currently available in two editions: the flagship model, the HERO3+ Black Edition, and the lower-cost HERO3+ Silver Edition, which is capable of 1080p at up to 60 fps. The HERO3+ Black Edition captures at a number of resolutions, including full 4K at fast-motion frame rates of 15/12/12.5 fps, as well as 2.7K resolution at 30/25/24 fps, 1440p at 48/30/25/24 fps, 1080p at 60/50/48/30/25/24 fps, 960p at 100/60/50 and 720p at 120/100/60/50. The GoPro is meant largely for supplemental footage rather than an A-cam, so 4K frame rates are useful for fast-moving footage and zooming into frames that can be added to HD edits, for example. The HERO3+ Black captures 12-megapixel stills, as well as time-lapse sequences at 0.5-, 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 30- or 60-second intervals. List Price: $399 (HERO3+ Black Edition); $299 (HERO3+ Silver Edition).

JVC's GY-HMQ10 camcorder was one of the first consumer-level offerings capable of 4K capture, capturing up to two hours of footage directly to readily available SDHC/SDXC memory cards. The system will deliver 4K video at 24 fps, 50 fps or 60 fps and HD at these same frame rates, as well as 60i/60p and 50p/50i. The 4K signal is split between four HDMI output terminals so video is able to be live-streamed. The camera also has two internal XLR connectors for working with professionally balanced microphones. There are a number of professional features like Focus Assist and manual controls over lens and camera settings. List Price: $4,995.

Starting with the RED ONE, the very first camera on the market to offer 4K resolution, RED has produced several 4K-capable cameras for a number of years, including the RED EPIC and the latest RED DRAGON sensor, actually capable of 6K video at 6144x3160. Their most affordable system is the RED SCARLET-X, the company's answer to still cameras, which offers motion capability. The SCARLET-X is a still and motion camera capable of 12 fps stills at full 5K resolution, as well as 4K video files at up to 30 fps, 1080p at up to 60 fps and even 1K files at up to 120 fps for slow motion. REDCODE RAW files preserve a lot of leverage in editing, and RED's HDRx technology creates a dynamic range of between 13.5 to 18 stops. The SCARLET-X is available with a Canon EF or PL mount, and it captures directly to REDMAG SSD drives, available separately. List Price: Begins at $7,950 (SCARLET-X/BRAIN only); $725 (REDMAG 1.8" SSD drive).


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