Thursday, April 27, 2006

Digital cinema cameras for everyone

Thursday is the last exposition day at NAB. As the floor is open for two hour less, the attendence drops dramatically. So it is on this day that the busiest of booth employees take a break and get to check out what the competition is doing. As I knew was coming home a day earlier, so a had already taken a good peak at all the other digital cinema camera vendors. These companies are not so much CineForm competition, more comparing those cameras that have licensed CineForm RAW to those that should. :) There are some pretty neat cameras in the bunch, all have a compelling stories, from those announcing cameras of the future such as the huge media buzz of Red and the understated annoucements from Colorspace, to the cameras almost shipping like the : Arri D20, Silicon Imaging's SI1920-HDVR and Vision Research's 65mm monster (4k at 125 fps with a IMAX sized sensor -- Wow!), all these have a home and they do displace film (some 16mm and some 65mm), with price ranging from a little above $10k to under $200k (and worth every penny.) I spent a lot of time at all of these camera booths, and everyone I spoke to really knows their stuff. This will be a very exciting 12 months.

As Silicon Imaging is the current vendor licensing CineForm RAW, you may have expected we knew everything about it, not so. I fact I had only meet one of the team members before at a previous NAB, all other business was done via internet and phone, plus a few test clips. We had never seen the camera until the weekend of NAB and I had just seen a picture of it a few days before. Now that I've back from NAB, I've had a little time to review the footage taken of the shoot using my borrowed Sony HC1. You can see some of the highlights in this Windows Media clip with the camera being put through its shooting tests. The the resulting clips from the SI1920 where on display at the Adobe and AMD booths, and I believe some of this data will be uploaded to the Silicon Imaging's samples gallery.

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