Archive for April 14th, 2008

The new cameras

Quite a few announcements at NAB this week. From the worst to the best announcement:

By far, the most disappointing camera news came from Canon. Or, should we say, the lack of them. They simply modified their existing tape-based models. No next-generation stuff. They either working hard for next year, or they are seriously behind the curve.

The second worst news came from Panasonic. The HMC-150 and the HPX-170 are hardly HVX200 replacements. Not bad products, just yawwwwn…

Sony actually has pulled their shit together this year. After the release of the popular EX1, here comes the EX3. Now, that’s a camera! But at $9500 price tag, it’s indeed expensive for most.

And the big guns: the RED EPIC and the Scarlet 3k. The EPIC is a 5k camera, while the Scarlet, is a 3k one. The Scarlet is a marvel. It features a 2/3s sensor which can potentially provide quite some background blur all by its own. It shoots a huge resolution that puts Canon’s 1440×1080 prosumer cameras into shame. And all this, at less than $3000 (plus another $3000 for needed extras). Still, this is the cheapest camera you will ever get with these capabilities. A dream come true for every poor indie filmmaker.

Now, the HV20 ain’t that bad either for the $700 it costs. The other day forum user LordTangent posted some screenshots captured from the HV20’s HDMI port instead via the tape (which would normally exhibit HDV artifacts, plus it would be 1440×1080 instead of 1920×1080). The captures are from the movie he is working on. Quality is extremely good (check this and this). I could say that whatever the Scarlet will be for the prosumer/pro indie market, the HV20 is for the consumer one today. Both ahead of the curve.