Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The 4K Range
From the high-end, state-of-the-art RED EPIC DSMC camera to the midrange SCARLET and Canon Cinema EOS-1D C to the recently introduced GoPro HERO3, the 4K world is getting more crowded for photographers who are expanding into motion
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
The SCARLET shares much of the same technology and the same sensor as the RED EPIC. The SCARLET can shoot 5K still frames. For motion capture, it shoots up to 4K resolution at 30 fps. At lower resolutions, the SCARLET can shoot at faster rates. Like the EPIC, the SCARLET is available with PL, Canon EF, Nikon and Leica mounts, and the Brain starts at $7,950. The SCARLET definitely feels like a younger sibling to the EPIC. It shares the same DNA, and some photographers might find that it's an ideal camera because of the price-to-performance ratio. Also, if you want to get into more elaborate filmmaking, you can rent an EPIC to go along with footage that you capture with your SCARLET. Because of the shared DNA, it can be much easier to match footage shot with the SCARLET to footage shot with the EPIC. Contact: RED, www.red.com.
The Canon Cinema EOS-1D C was hinted at when Canon debuted its Cinema EOS line. When it finally hits stores, the DSLR-shaped camera should retail for about $13,000. The body is reminiscent of the Canon EOS-1D X and, in fact, the cameras share much of the same technology. Motion capture is available at 4K resolution at 24 frames per second. By attaching a recorder to the HDMI port, you can record the 4K footage in 8-bit, 4:2:2. When shooting 4K motion, the EOS-1D C uses the APS-H portion of its full-frame sensor. It comes with a Canon EF lens mount. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
GoPro has taken the world by storm with its compact action cameras. Their low cost, solid image quality and durability have made them the darlings of the high-adrenaline, extreme-sports crowd. In the fall of 2012, GoPro unveiled the next generation of HERO cameras, the HERO3. The company has clearly paid attention to higher-end users who have wanted some professional features, and the HERO3 running GoPro ProTune firmware is capable of shooting 4K at 15 frames per second. In a camera that costs $399 and is smaller than a typical tripod ballhead, that's remarkable. Obviously, the HERO3 isn't a substitute for a RED EPIC. Its single-focus lens and small sensor make it a good choice for special situations, including shoots where you need something that can be knocked around a bit. Being able to splice some 4K GoPro footage into a larger 4K production keeps your resolution consistent. Contact: GoPro, gopro.com.
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 And Sony SLT-A99|
|If you're not shooting 4K, there are a number of high-power, full HDSLRs on the market. The full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III is the successor to the infamous 5D Mark II. It has the same Canon AF system as the EOS-1D X, and a new firmware update, to be released in April, will allow it to record 4:2:2 to an external recorder via HDMI. Contact: Canon, www.usa.canon.com.
The Nikon D800 has been billed as a medium-format killer. It has a full-frame, 36-megapixel sensor for still shooting, and in motion-capture mode, the camera can record 4:2:2 to an external recorder via HDMI. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.
The new Sony SLT-A99 is a full-frame, 24-megapixel DSLR that has Sony's Translucent Mirror Technology. The mirror never has to flip out of the way to shoot, and the camera can shoot up to 60 frames per second in full HD. Contact: Sony, www.sonystyle.com.
|Blackmagic Cinema Camera|
|Introduced at the NAB show in April 2012, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a 2.5K motion-only camera. With a sleek, low-bulk design, the camera caught a lot of attention thanks to its full-featured spec list and its sub-$3,000 price tag. The camera is available with a Canon EF lens mount, and at 2.5K resolution, its output is between full HD and 4K. The camera is an intriguing option for photographers who want a dedicated, interchangeable-lens, motion-capture camera with higher motion resolution than a DSLR, but at a lower cost than the high-end 4K options. Contact: Blackmagic Design, www.blackmagicdesign.com.|
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