Jump to content

A few questions regarding Film Rec and AVC Intra100

Mike Krumlauf

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

 this is the same with all the CCD cameras. They just don't quite have the same dynamic range. 

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this statement. While I will agree that there are def more modern cameras working with CMOS imagers that give a fairly wide DR, shutting down CCD tech saying its not "filmic" or sensitive in its own right for film type work is absurd. The tape and P2 varicam are capable of much higher DR to it's recorded image than you are proposing and if anyone really wants to nit pick CCD cameras for cinema you should look at the Sony F23/35 series. the 35 has a 35mm CCD that has close to 14 stops and you CAN obtain this information in your image. its 4:4:4 RGB. Lets not forget the viper cam as well. The HPX3700 Varicam is a 2/3" CCD like my 2700 only it sports 4:4:4 LOG out duel link HDSDI. There are plenty of CCD cameras able to produce beautiful filmlike results in the right hands and IMHO I find CCD images far more film like than CMOS hence why I left them for personal ownership in 2015 and began investing in cameras like the F900 and Varicam. I've done enough work with all these cameras and I should direct your attention to the quite large userbase of F35 owners over at DVXuser.com to attest that im not the only one still on the CCD bandwagon. I've been at this 20 years this december and after working with well over 60+ cameras, i finally got to a point where i stopped following marketing trends and began looking at what i wanted out of a camera. Its common place that REC709 does not have nearly as much information in it as a LOG curve, thats obvious. The problem is Film-Rec is in this grey area. its really not REC709 and like David mentioned and I can confirm, when you turn the color matrix menus off in the camera, its not really working in rec709 anymore. To really get the full value of what film-rec can do is converting its color space in davinci. I've found lifting the black stretch to 30%max in the gamma menu helps preserve the shadow detail more so you can expose for highlights. Given the 10bit 4:2:2 I can get away with pushing the camera like this and not having the image fall apart at all (i found my problem lied in my editor not the camera) We need to remember that film rec was designed by panasonic to give you as much DR as possible so you could print to film with little to no DR loss. Given we are past that time and have many advancements in post and color software, you can give film rec new life by working with it this way. I've gotten very very film like results from this and through hooking the varicam into scopes can attest that you GET all the dynamic range which film rec can allot which is between 12 and 13 stops. I know bruce has his own findings in this as well im sure he'd be happy to share.. he was the one that really opened my eyes to the power of the varicam years ago when i got my H model.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Well of course you had to bring up the F35/Genesis. When I made my statement, we were talking about broadcast cameras, not $200K cinema specific cameras that share literally nothing in common with standard 3 chip CCD cameras. Not only does the F35/Genesis use a very special 5k imager with color stripes vs a color pattern array, it's the only CCD camera (yes I know about the SRW-9000 integrated camera that came later, but it's the same tech) that can work with standard PL mount cinema glass, breaking the barrier the F900/950 and F23 had. 

Honestly, the first cameras I ever used were single or 3 tube, not CCD. I have used pretty much all of the later CCD Betacam SP, Digibeta, IMX and DVCAM camcorders. Sadly, I left the creative side of the industry just as HD came around, but I was heavily involved with engineering. I was the one who tested all the new equipment and decided what cameras clients should buy. In the early days, we worked quite a lot with JVC who had some great inexpensive cameras like the GY-HD100 - 250. We also worked with Panasonic, using the early versions of the varicam and eventually with sony when they converted their IMX cameras to 1080p HD.

My last industry event was when the Red ONE was announced in 2006 and I remember how amazing it looked compared to anything else on the market at the time, especially for that price point. Remember, the F35/Genesis hadn't even come out at the time of the first Red tests, they were very early to the game. Watching that RED footage on a 2k projector in a theater, I knew that was the future. Since then, I've been a pretty hard core CMOS devotee because they solved all the problems with the Bayer pattern (over sampling), dynamic range (RAW recording) size, weight and battery life. It did take them until 2009 to get it right though, the release of the Dragon was the end of any CCD cameras career. When Arri released their first Alexa, it was even better and the rest is history. So next year is 2020, making it 10 years since CCD's died and yes, we've come A LONG WAY since then. 

Where I agree with you the "cinema" imager Sony created for the F35/Genesis is an amazing piece of kit, the technology is stuck at 1080p and furthermore, getting a high dynamic range out of the imager and into the edit bay was very tricky and nearly impossible with the associated SRW-1 deck. Today we can get 12 bit 444 Cine EI log out of the camera using an Odyssey Q7 recorder and yea, it's stunning for nearly 10 year old tech. However, its huge, chews up batteries like candy, has issues with line skipping/aliasing and pretty severe morie as well. Plus, I hate to say it, but 1080p just doesn't cut the mustard anymore, doesn't matter how filmic it looks, the tech is just not there. 

So without a doubt, if we took any of the classic Varicam's and put them against a modern digital cinema camera, sadly the new camera would blow the doors off it in every single test segment. 

Modern Arri and Red specs: 

Dynamic range = RAW recording 14 - 16 stops depending on the camera
Recording = 16 bit 444 lossless (red and arri raw) or 12 bit 444 Pro Res
Size/Weight = is 6x6x6 small enough? That's the average size and weight is around 5lb.
Battery life = is 3 - 4 hours ok? 
Lens Mount = Industry standard PL 
Imager size = Super 35mm or larger to give a cinematic field of view 
Resolution = 4 - 8k depending on brand 
Audio = 2 - 12 channels of lossless 24 bit 192 khz depending on which adaptor is used 
Frame Rate = 24 - 150fps 

Today with tools like DaVinci resolve and modern cameras, you can manipulate the image anyway you want, it's such an easy process that makes the image look even more filmic than previous generations of cameras. It's becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between film and digital, which was not the case during the CCD days, where the cameras clearly looked like digital when projected digitally. Beautiful colors the F35/Genesis had, but over-all it was a technology that was dumped for good reason. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey im not saying that these cameras are "better", im just saying they are still an option and i happen to like them better then whats out there now at their used price point.


Give this PDF a look over. really dives into Film Rec. http://www.motionfx.gr/files/HD%20Varicam%20Film%20Rec.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/22/2019 at 8:32 AM, Mike Krumlauf said:

i have to agree that now returning to the varicam line, it def has the edge over the f900. 

And you might be surprised how 720P is not so different than 1080P with motion blur at 24 fps...  And the 720P cameras, with their larger photo sites, were more sensitive to light and could be used at higher ISO as well. ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Bruce Greene said:

And you might be surprised how 720P is not so different than 1080P with motion blur at 24 fps...  And the 720P cameras, with their larger photo sites, were more sensitive to light and could be used at higher ISO as well. ?

Yup, def see all of that bruce. :) Happy to be back with the varicam line. really well built machines!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...