Archive for May 19th, 2011

I have a dream…

As much as the dSLRs have redefined indie filmmaking and democratized it even more, I feel that paying $800, plus the cost of lenses, is still prohibiting for many people. What I envision is a Canon S95-type P&S camera, specifically made for filmmaking students & film enthusiasts, and as a “test” camera for professionals, that costs no more than $300:

Video recording properties:
– 3072×1728 (3k, windowed): 12p fps, up to 30 secs of recording
– 2048×1152 (2k): 25p, 24p
– 1920×1080: 30p, 25p, 24p
– 1280×720: 48p[->24p], 50p[->25p], 60p[->30p] (option for unlimited real-time recording, or slow motion with up to 30 secs of recording)
– 960×540: 72p->24, 75p->25, 90->30p, 96->24p, 100p->25/50, 120p->60/30/24 (slow motion only, up to 30 secs of recording)

Other features:
– Full manual control (shutter, aperture, ISO), P, Tv, Av, auto modes
– 50 mbps VBR bitrate h.264, 4:2:0, with optimized h.264 encoder compared to the current Canon cams.
– 192 kbps VBR AAC or PCM, stereo. No mic input (size restrictions, let people buy external recorders, as they should anyway)
– Customizable colors (ability to get very low contrast, saturation, sharpness if desired, also skin tone/R/G/B), movie look profiles, including a port of Technicolor
– f/1.4-2.2 IS lens, 28mm-105mm (~4x zoom), physically large aperture. The Olympus XZ-1 is today the closest P&S camera with a similar lens (examples: 1, 2, 3).
– 2/3s 10MP CMOS sensor with vastly improved rolling shutter, high quality internal resizer
– 3.5″ 24bit touchscreen at 640×360 or higher resolution
– Option to turn off the touchscreen after recording started if an external monitor is connected (to save battery in-camera)
– mini-HDMI out, live, uncompressed RAW output up to 2k (“4:2:0 makes the most sense with a single-plate sensor, since that’s fundamentally what the sensor sees, and anything beyond that is interpolated“, my husband says)
– mini-USB connector & charger
– USB-to-USB cable to provide 3D support with genlock
– 37mm or 43mm filter thread
– standard tripod mount
– SDXC slot
– manual focus with ejectable mini-wheel that also supports a larger follow-focus wheel addon. Hidden when not ejected.
– autofocus in macro/std/wide modesl & focus lock
– smooth continuous autofocus, smooth exposure jumps when in auto
– Touch-focus, and touch-exposure in addition to a traditional exposure scale and possibly zebras
– miniature timelapse support as in current Canon cams
– some timelapse options
– gridlines and crops for various sizes including 2:35:1