The Semi-Occasional Nerd Report – May, 2009

The Semi-Occasional Nerd Report – May, 2009

By New York City based Cinematographer, Ed David

The Sony EX1 is a godsend.  True 1080p.  1hr recording on 16gb cards.  It makes awesome images.

The problem with the sony ex1 and sony ex3 is that it's xdcam - 35mps long-gop recording.  it struggles with motion.  it's also 4:2:0 color space.  So you can't color correct it as nicely as one would want.

Here comes the Nanoflash.  It works because the HD-SDI out of the EX1 camera, like almost all cameras with HD-SDI - is 10-bit 4:2:2 uncompressed.  So pans are sharp and should be easier to color correct.
100mps long-gop or  i-frame recording.  4:2:2 color space.  Records to compact flash cards as either mxf sony xdcam 422 files (the big boi file format) or quicktime xdcam 422 files.

You can download and play with the files on that link.

The question is - will the thing be reliable in the field?  Or will it be as crap-tastcular as the Firestore thing for the hvx camera?  You can record to the device and go to the camera at the same time as a backup.

I'm going to get one.  it just came down in price to $3000 from $4000.  Why?  Because AJA is about to release the KI Pro - which can record Pro Res 422 out of a camera's HD-SDI port - but that is bulky and is 220mps i-frame recording - and that will just take up tons of space.

Anyway, I'll let you know how the thing is.  Being an early adopter (the thing comes out end of June) is risky - but maybe it will pay off.

In unrelated news, the DSLR revolution looks like it may take a while longer.  There is a cineform program that makes the Canon 5D Mark II look pretty good but it's still not the best looking video - also the Panasonic GH1 - well it's good but still isn't looking quite like a Scarlet killer.

Also the JVC HD700 - well I was thinking that may be a sweet camera but doesn't look that sweet now I see it's 1/3 CCD.

Speaking of which Panasonic I think blew it with the HPX300 - their new "varicam-looking" camera - by making it a 1/3 chip CMOS.  Bad light performance, also a shitty stock lens and bad skew - maybe they'll fix the skew.

Finally we anxiously await the relay lens for the sony ex3 - according to Phillip Bloom it saves 2 stops of light - but since it's letus - may it not be the best quality as all their devices are pretty wonky.  it is worth $4500 to save 2 stops of light?  Good question.

And really finally when will the Scarlet come out - and will it be as ridden with bugs as the Red One was for the first year of its existence? 

Only time will tell, friends.

until next time,
The Nerd Report

addendum: Decided to go with the Aja Ki Pro instead of the Nano Flash because of the more robust 10-bit bit depth.