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Brian Drysdale

Sony Venice full frame cinema camera.

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With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematographer.org.au/cms/page.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.

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With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematographer.org.au/cms/page.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.

I doubt it, it's really the funkiness, compressed vertical perspective and aberrations that draws people to anamorphic. And T/1.3 lenses on S35mm sensors are already stupidly shallow in terms of DoF.

 

I think the appeal of larger spherical formats lies in other aspects.

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With larger sensor cameras now coming out, do you think this will affect anamorphic lens use? Was reading an article on Don McAlpine (http://www.cinematographer.org.au/cms/page.asp?ID=21905). With larger sensor it is easier to get c-scope type dof and so on. Sure, anamorphic will still be used, but on the other hand spherical has the allure of being less costly and I suppose more straight forward.

 

 

Interesting article.. an old school film guy totally converted to digital .. I think he explains why very succinctly ..

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Yeah, sometimes I wonder if film really is finished, worldwide ... that using 35mm for Star Wars and things like that is really just the last hurrah before digital finally rids professional narrative productions of those old film cameras for good. As always, only time will tell.

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Yeah, sometimes I wonder if film really is finished, worldwide ... that using 35mm for Star Wars and things like that is really just the last hurrah before digital finally rids professional narrative productions of those old film cameras for good. As always, only time will tell.

It's finished in places like Australia, that's for sure. However in the states and in most of Europe, film is actually coming back to life. We've seen NEW labs start up, we've seen labs that nearly shut down, go back into production as well. The problem really comes down to predicting what film will turn into, rather then IF film will die, because it's NOT going to die.

 

Proof of that is the fact that pretty much every week, my cameras are out on rental. I'm one of a dozen people here in LA who rent film cameras and sure, I don't charge very much for my packages, but they're ALWAYS out on shoots and on some pretty decent productions, done by younger people who are interested in making movies on film. If the youth is as attahed to film as they appear to be, then we have hope of keeping film alive. However, like everyhting, if there isn't a younger audience to carry the torch, it will eventually die off.

 

So far film print presentations in the last two years, have made more money then their digital presentation counterparts in the same or similar venue/location. This is huge and it's critical because it shows that people are "interested" in seeing film prints and they're willing to pay for it. Warner was the first to strike prints of regular movies and they've seen steady profits due to them. Now 20th Century Fox is next with "Murder On the Orient Express", which will be the first non-Warner and non-Weinstein film release in years. After that Disney with "The Nutcracker and the Four Relms" directed by Lasse Hallström and "Star Wars Episode VIIII". There are two lower-budget 70mm releases in the next 18 months as well; PT Anderson's new movie and VOX LUX which will start shooting early next year. Warner has also comitted to making prints of pretty much anything, including 70mm IMAX prints of Blade Runner.

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But in the big picture film will surely die.. or at least be a very niche market for those that have the clout to insist on it.. if you look at high end production these days compared to 10 years ago..or even 5 years ago.. the DP,s changing to digital or being forced to.. even die hard 16mm guys like Barry Ackroyd are shooting digital .. and include all the episodic TV shows being made now.. digital has had a massive increase .. seems film is only now very low budget because the gear is cheap or very high, where the cost, worry, of film is not much in the total, if the DP and Dir insist on it..

 

Have a read of the Don McAlpine interview .. he raises some interesting points about his move from film to digital..shooting and post wise.. certainly a guy who knows what he is talking about.. and someone who has shot alot of film in his day..

 

Personally I dont have a horse in the race.. they can both look great to me.. and both can look crap too.. but just logically thinking .. its like the stills world.. it just has to go 99% digital at some stage..

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Christopher Nolan said in an interview a couple of years ago that he believed there was a 'conspiracy' to push film out of the industry. A bit extreme maybe. It's sometimes true that everyone decides to go a certain way for the sake of the economic health of an industry. I still believe film provides 'something' that is important to the look and feel of the movies, at least for certain genre of films eg. period movies. It's an almost intangible difference but it's there. Art/entertainment is not all science - some of it is sheer 'glitz' and an array of intangible and sometimes illogical things. The audience does care if a movie is shot on an iphone or on a Panavision Millennium 35mm. They just won't ever bother saying, that's all, they just end up voting with their feet, and it might take quite some years for that to become obvious. The industry needs to bear that in mind lest they paint themselves into a corner. Already Hollywood is not doing so well, and sure, is that only because of content? Or is content and delivery linked? They are in many other areas of the arts. The problem with digital is that it's science, there's not too much art in it. That's why they chuck funky glass in front of it to zazz up the artiness. How long can that last? The only hope that digital will finally kick film out the door is if digital can come up with some big time art in its kit-bag of goodies. So far, in my recent cinema going experience, which isn't extensive (but why is that, for someone who loves movies?), digital doesn't ring true to my eye. I felt like walking out of the Hobbit. Just looked awful to me.

 

Anyway, back to the new Sony camera.

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It's all summed up in that stills photo of Kate Winslet, seen at the start of the article on Don McAlpine, above. That says it all. That's the whole look of digital and contemporary art direction in a nutshell: metallic looking image, the colours aren't natural, and the expression on the face of the actress looks harsh and hard. It's not a soft or warm look. It would be argued that that's the 'look' they wanted. Fair enough, but to me, yuk. Compare that to a film still of Audrey Hepburn. There's warmth and light and character in that. The very light of real photography has music in it.

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But you can see very warm ,soft images from digital too... Deakins and Storaro have shown that..thats just in the grading.. you have a few billion "shades" to play with in something like 16 bit Raw.. you can also add a bucket load of grain if you want too.. but thats another theme thats been done to death..

 

But over all.. I just think its inevitable that digital will take over from film.... things move on.. its bound to happen .. dont know 100% but I would doubt a single one of the episodic tv been made is shot on film.. its cheaper, quicker and easier to shoot digital..

 

I know its a rabbit hole that always pops up.. but even the greatest fan of film would probably have to admit that its days are numbered .. for good or for bad.. maybe its a terrible thing.. but it will happen..

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But you can see very warm ,soft images from digital too... Deakins and Storaro have shown that..thats just in the grading.. you have a few billion "shades" to play with in something like 16 bit Raw.. you can also add a bucket load of grain if you want too.. but thats another theme thats been done to death.

You can for sure, but that doesn't mean they look "filmic". I didn't much care for the look of Rogers last film shoot (Hail Cesar). It almost looked like it was shot digitally, he used modern techniques especially for post and it was just meh. So even the best DP's can kinda make film not look any different then digital.

 

But over all.. I just think its inevitable that digital will take over from film.... things move on.. its bound to happen .. dont know 100% but I would doubt a single one of the episodic tv been made is shot on film.. its cheaper, quicker and easier to shoot digital..

Film died in 2013/2014, it's had a huge "come-back" in 2015-today. So it's past the dead days and we're finally seeing more production then we did in the days before the decline. The only bad thing is the prints, but that's changing with the release of 70mm movies nation wide.

 

Kodak sold over 10 million feet of camera negative in the UK so far just this year. That's umm... really good.

 

HBO, Netflix and Amazon all have shows being shot on film right now. First time for Netflix, which is pretty amazing since they're all about 4k deliverables.

 

I know its a rabbit hole that always pops up.. but even the greatest fan of film would probably have to admit that its days are numbered .. for good or for bad.. maybe its a terrible thing.. but it will happen..

That's what we said about records/LP's and they've had a TREMENDOUS comeback. In 2015, the #1 electronic device sold were record players.

 

That's what we said about old standard definition video formats, but Laserdisc, CEV, VHS, even betacam, these formats are having huge comebacks. I'm part of an "analog people" facebook group and you'd be SHOCKED how many younger people are into analog video. It's actually making worthless video collections and equipment have quite a bit of worth.

 

With new labs opening, 2 per year since 2016 and new film stocks being offered from Kodak in early 2018, we're slowly starting to see film come back. By the release of Star Wars Episode VIIII on 70mm, we should see the studio's finally realizing that they can make more money off 70mm prints then 3D screenings. If that happens, then filmmakers can get back to making movies on the format that the namesake of their trade is called. I'm a "film"maker, not a "videomaker", those are two completley different things and a lot of people agree with me on this, it's just a question of there being enough support around the world, to allow them to shoot on film, rather then being forced to shoot digitally.

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You can for sure, but that doesn't mean they look "filmic". I didn't much care for the look of Rogers last film shoot (Hail Cesar). It almost looked like it was shot digitally, he used modern techniques especially for post and it was just meh. So even the best DP's can kinda make film not look any different then digital.

 

 

Film died in 2013/2014, it's had a huge "come-back" in 2015-today. So it's past the dead days and we're finally seeing more production then we did in the days before the decline. The only bad thing is the prints, but that's changing with the release of 70mm movies nation wide.

 

Kodak sold over 10 million feet of camera negative in the UK so far just this year. That's umm... really good.

 

HBO, Netflix and Amazon all have shows being shot on film right now. First time for Netflix, which is pretty amazing since they're all about 4k deliverables.

 

 

That's what we said about records/LP's and they've had a TREMENDOUS comeback. In 2015, the #1 electronic device sold were record players.

 

That's what we said about old standard definition video formats, but Laserdisc, CEV, VHS, even betacam, these formats are having huge comebacks. I'm part of an "analog people" facebook group and you'd be SHOCKED how many younger people are into analog video. It's actually making worthless video collections and equipment have quite a bit of worth.

 

With new labs opening, 2 per year since 2016 and new film stocks being offered from Kodak in early 2018, we're slowly starting to see film come back. By the release of Star Wars Episode VIIII on 70mm, we should see the studio's finally realizing that they can make more money off 70mm prints then 3D screenings. If that happens, then filmmakers can get back to making movies on the format that the namesake of their trade is called. I'm a "film"maker, not a "videomaker", those are two completley different things and a lot of people agree with me on this, it's just a question of there being enough support around the world, to allow them to shoot on film, rather then being forced to shoot digitally.

 

 

Yes ... maybe Im wrong.. a first time for everything :)... as you say maybe like LP,s .. there will remain a niche market.. like film in the stills world.. but the march of progress,well techie progress is hard to hold back.. yes Im all for 3D dying away in any form..!

 

Re filmaker .. I rather think its the story you want to tell being more important than the format.. but yes if you feel that the story is better told on film then its good you can have the choice.. in the end it will come down to money.. if digital becomes alot cheaper than film.. the whole workflow ,to beaming it out theaters in the future .. then film has had it..

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I just prey, the youth that seem so interested in film today, wind up making it big time and continuing their "film" practices in the future.

 

If that happens, film will stay alive for a long-ass time, mostly because it's an "option" that's very different to the digital world.

 

At the same time, I do see a "shift" in the way films are presented in the future. Now that 3D has been proven to be a complete failure, the studio's are looking for that next "gimmick" and if Kodak plays their cards right, it maybe 70mm! If that happens, we will have come fill circle from 70mm being the first true "wide screen" format before anamorphic lenses on 35mm to it surviving through the age of digital. Here is hoping! :)

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A lot of DPs seem to have gone fully over to digital because it's easier and cruisier. But man, that is a trap! Art isn't like that. The day artists want a comfy office job 'on the job' is the day art starts going out the window. And I'm afraid that without real art the movies as we once enjoyed them will die. Like the guy on Titanic said, it's a mathematical certainty.

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Does anyone have further impressions of this camera and where it fits in the ecosystem of LF, Mini, Red, Varicam? It seems like a great camera, but I find it a bit confusing that the Venice only has 10-bit internal, which is a bummer especially for gimbal work. Unless I'm not understanding something correctly, it seems the internal data rates are the same as the FS7 Mark ii.

Edited by Randy Rubin

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Does anyone have further impressions of this camera and where it fits in the ecosystem of LF, Mini, Red, Varicam?

Preliminary impressions from a few people over at CML are that the Venice is outstanding in just about every way. It's positioned as the flagship camera of their range, and as such, I'd guess most people will be looking to shoot RAW rather than XAVC. The one complaint that people have is its lack of high frame rates, but that will apparently be addressed in a firmware update.

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but I find it a bit confusing that the Venice only has 10-bit internal, which is a bummer especially for gimbal work. Unless I'm not understanding something correctly, it seems the internal data rates are the same as the FS7 Mark ii.

 

 

The Venice is probably a bit heavy for much gimbal work, certainly you'd have a good work out without assistance, more a Steadicam type

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It seems like a great camera, but I find it a bit confusing that the Venice only has 10-bit internal, which is a bummer especially for gimbal work. Unless I'm not understanding something correctly, it seems the internal data rates are the same as the FS7 Mark ii.

 

The Venice is probably a bit heavy for much gimbal work, certainly you'd have a good work out without assistance, more a Steadicam type

 

I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Venice might make an excellent gimbal camera. Firstly, it can be stripped down to the bare body quickly and easily. Secondly, the body alone is only 3.9kg. The internal NDs save you having to add matteboxes to the camera to control exposure. And I have an inkling, that Sony might eventually enable some autofocus capabilities through the e-mount - which could be a real boon for gimbal work.

 

Obviously leaving the R7 recorder off the camera will help keep the weight down, which will leave you with just the 10-bit internal recording. However, the less-compressed "Class 480" variant of 4k XAVC is robust enough to function as a mastering codec. So I don't think anyone will have issues intercutting that with X-OCN or Raw from the camera.

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I'm actually trying to get one to shoot a commercial in Spain in a couple of weeks.

 

Hopefully I get it because I always wanted to shoot with the F65 and the Venice seems to be way better.

 

The only thing that I don't get is the reason why the Sony engineers didn't put False Colour from the beginning!

 

Have a lovely day!

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best test footage yet.

 

could be the grade, but highlight roll off looks a little too harsh to me. Just brighter frames in general and way color/saturation is handled - feels lacking in richness. looking at the mans face at 2:56 for example.

 

a lot of the other stuff looks great though, tonality/color in the low to mid range is looking really good.

Edited by Albion Hockney

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could be the grade, but highlight roll off looks a little too harsh to me. Just brighter frames in general and way color/saturation is handled - feels lacking in richness.

I've said it before; there is no way to objectively judge the performance of any camera from looking at graded footage

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I was playing with one today.

 

Loved the Internal NDs! And you can access to the nds, frame rate, white balance and shutter degrees screen from the operator side without having to go into menus.

 

I was shooting on RAW and I was amazed at the fact that:

A) With a 512GB card I had around 67 minutes to record!

B) I shot 17GB and I transferred them to my laptop in less than 3 minutes!

 

The image coming from the camera is fantastic but I would love to have it on a job where I can light things my way with a lot of contrast to see how it performs, rather than wandering around the camera rental house with it

 

Have I said that I liked the images? super clean looking! Loved them!

 

I was going to use it on a job tomorrow but we are editing on set so we are using the Mini instead because of the well-known workflow.

 

The only thing I didnt like was the lack of false colour.. but they are adding it in September / October.

You have zebras and strangely enough there is a false colour to tell you that the highlights are going to clip so I dont know why they didnt implement it totally ha!

 

Next job will be with the Venice tho!

 

Have a lovely day.

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I actually have a sneaking suspicion that the Venice might make an excellent gimbal camera. Firstly, it can be stripped down to the bare body quickly and easily. Secondly, the body alone is only 3.9kg. The internal NDs save you having to add matteboxes to the camera to control exposure. And I have an inkling, that Sony might eventually enable some autofocus capabilities through the e-mount - which could be a real boon for gimbal work.

 

Obviously leaving the R7 recorder off the camera will help keep the weight down, which will leave you with just the 10-bit internal recording. However, the less-compressed "Class 480" variant of 4k XAVC is robust enough to function as a mastering codec. So I don't think anyone will have issues intercutting that with X-OCN or Raw from the camera.

 

10-bit recording may work as a mastering codec for some productions. For commercial & film work going to a grade and/or VFX, I will most likely shoot either ProRes 444 or RAW. Changing the color space and recording codec also complicates the grade if I jump to a gimbal. I think it's an amazing looking camera, but for my use I think there are more nimble & robust options.

 

I think it's been stated that other cameras with much smaller bodies manage to accomplish more impressive data rates. Again, unless I didn't read the tech specs properly, the internal data rates are no more than an FS7 which is an entirely different class of camera.

Edited by Randy Rubin

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