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UNRIVALLED HIGH-END CAMERAS


Each camera is unique and distinctive in its own way making a mark in the industry and setting a trend. Broadcast Video Producer takes a look at the list of hotshot high-end movie cameras which demonstrate these trends and stands out from the rest!


The Canon EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera


2nd generation Cinema EOS 4K camera system is a revolution in itself with a wide range of new and improved features over the previous models of Canon. Specially designed for filmmakers, this comes in a compact and modular design which gives an added advantage to it being used in locations where space is a factor. Moreover, being modeled on the Super 35mm 3-perf motion picture film standard,the Canon Super 35mm CMOS sensor has an active image size of 24.4 x 13.5mm. It delivers Cine 4K images of 4096 x 2160 resolution and additionally supports Ultra HD (3840 x 2160), and Full HD (1920 x 1080).
This outstanding new camera also features an expanded dynamic range of 15 stops and DIGIC DV5 image processors which in turn help to filter visual noise and enable high-sensitivity shooting at a maximum speed of ISO 102,400 (+54dB) for crisp and clear image capture using only ambient lighting. The camera delivers extremely high image quality with its XF AVC Codec - an H.264 format wrapped in the widely-supported MXF wrapper which aids in creating files robust enough for major post-production.
With operation made as simple and user-friendly as possible, it can be conveniently handheld (weighs just over 3lb) and comes with a removable handgrip (with a control dial and other function buttons). The rugged dust-proof and splash-proof design comes with a discrete pathway which keeps dust particles away from the sensitive components as well as a heat-dissipating duct in the center of the body ensuring that your precious is safe and runs smooth, cool and clean.
The audio aspect of the camera is also taken care of provides two XLR audio inputs with +48V phantom power. A 3.5mm microphone terminal is also built into the camera. Audio is recorded uncompressed in 16-bit PCM format at 48 kHz for high fidelity sound. A 3.5mm headphone terminal with 16 volume settings offers accurate audio monitoring.
The C300 Mark II features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and timecode terminals, plus audio terminals with linear PCM recording. Offering a wide range of creative possibilities (including slo mo, time-lapse, high-speed and stop motion), this camera is one of the smartest in town!


Panasonic's Cinema VariCam LT


The newest addition to the family of cinema camera line, the Panasonic VariCam LT 4K S35 delivers highest image quality and a dynamic range of 14+ stops when using V-Log plus recording up to 60 fps at 4K, and up to 240 fps at 2K. When shooting in 2K (2048 x 1080) and HD (1920x1080) resolution, high-speed 240 fps recording can be used to produce an extreme slow-motion effect. Variable frame rates are available from 1 to 120 fps in AVC-Intra 2K422 and from 120 to 240 fps in AVC-Intra 2K-LT. The frame rate is variable in-shot while recording.
One of the biggest advantage of this new camera over its other family members is the EF lens mount which opens it up to a whole new range of camera lenses. The EF mount can also be replaced with a PL mount which adds up to this feature.
This single Super 35-sized sensor digital cinema camera comes with a sensor same as Varicam 35 which features dual native ISO ratings of 800 and 5000 and also shares a very similar workflow. The camera features selectable gamma curves, allowing you to get the most out of the sensor. Both cameras have a dual codec recording function that allows the user to record a primary or "main" codec as well as a smaller proxy file. Each camera also offers an in-camera color grading function and support for AVC-Intra 4K and Apple ProRes codec. The VariCam LT is equipped with the Super 35mm, single-chip MOS that offers 4K (4096 x 2160) and UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution. The sensor's size delivers the classic cinematic depth of field as it is the same size as the film frame in motion picture cameras.
The VariCam LT allows down conversion to Full HD via two 3G HDSDI outputs and one VF output (BNC) while shooting in 4K. It can record approximately 90 minutes of 23.98p 4K video with AVC-Intra 4K422 given to the 256 GByte expressP2 card and simultaneously record proxy-quality footage to an SD card.
The camera is an intriguing combination of rugged and lightweight owing to its strong magnesium body and lens mount made of stainless steel. Its versatility and flexibility are ensured by features like its top and bottom panel being flattened for easy installation of various plates and accessories and availability of mounting holes on both sides as well as on the handle for convenient mounting of accessories.


ALEXA 65mm 6K Cinema Camera


Perfect for high-end theatrical motion pictures, this 65mm digital cinema camera comes with custom-designed prime and zoom lenses. It is a scaled-up version of ALEXA XT which can capture an uncompressed ARRIRAW 65mm image of flawless intensity and stunning definition. With a resolution of 6560 x 3100 photosites, this revolutionary camera offers the same incredible sensitivity, high dynamic range and natural colorimetry as ALEXA, but far greater spatial resolution which results in images that are unbelievably life-like on large screens.
The ALEXA 65's sensor is around 3x bigger than that of a Super35. This A3X sensor is by far the largest high-performance motion picture sensor in the market available today which has a 54.12 mm x 25.59 mm active imaging area, which is even larger than the film gate of ARRI’s 765 65 mm film camera. The maximum recordable resolution from the A3X sensor is 6560 x 3102 photosites, with a dynamic range of more than 14 stops.
As a part of the ALEXA 65 system is a range of high-performance 65 mm prime and zoom lenses to match up to the exceptional detailing that can be captured with the product. The 50-110 mm Zoom 65 and the eight Prime 65 lenses, ranging from 24 mm to 300 mm do complete justice by exploring its capabilities to the fullest. The Prime 65 and Zoom 65 lenses feature an XPL mount equipped with the ARRI Lens Data System (LDS), allowing frame-accurate metadata about focus, iris and zoom settings to be recorded with the image stream. This data can be used on set for wireless remote lens control, but it can also be used to help match a virtual lens with the recorded image in postproduction, reducing the time and cost involved in generating complex visual effects shots
ALEXA 65mm is a complete system which is similar to 65mm celluloid and the experimental feel of the ALEXA 65 images can be explored by filmmakers based on the requirements if each individual production. This makes the camera inherently flexible.formats can be used for sweeping vistas and wide landscape shots as well as extreme close-ups. The overall performance, its ergonomic design, and cost-efficiency make this one of the choicest camera opted by filmmakers all across the world.

URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera


Reformed into a form factor which is smaller and handheld friendly, the URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design records cinematic images with its Super-35mm 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range and offers EF lens mount option. The built-in sensor can capture an image with an effective resolution of 4608 x 2592 which is greater than 4K.The URSA Mini can record the entire sensor at up to 60 fps to fit a television or other workflows which require higher frame rates. Using a smaller portion of the sensor, the URSA Mini can also record slow-motion footage at up to 120 fps in 1080p resolution.
It features a perfect blend of traditional handheld buttons for operating on menus as well as a fold-out 5 inch 1920 x 1080 resolution capacitive touchscreen LCD monitor which displays all camera settings, view timecode, histograms, audio levels and focus peaking.
The camera features numerous connections namely 12G-SDI out, HD-SDI monitoring out, 2 LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, timecode-in, and reference input. On the front right side of the camera, the 4 pin XLR DC and HD-SDI monitoring output are located in the perfect position for connecting to an optional viewfinder or on the set monitor. The 12G-SDI output handles up to 2160p60 using a single BNC cable and also switches to 6G-SDI or HD-SDI depending on the shooting format.
The model comes with a built-in professional and high-quality microphone which eliminates the need to carry extra sound equipment. One can either use the stereo microphone to record the natural location sound or connect professional microphones using the two XLR mic inputs having 48V of switchable phantom power.
The camera is unbelievably flexible and easy to adjust with. With the use of optional shoulder mount with a built-in quick-release plate, the URSA Mini can go from handheld to shoulder to tripod in a matter of seconds. Despite its small size, the URSA Mini still fits essential I/O for professional workflows. It is extremely lightweight owing to its body made of magnesium alloys (weighs merely 5 pounds. For a more convenient handheld usage, a side handle is provided. All these features inevitably make this camera one of the most sought-after and ‘friendly’ camera.