August 26, 2008

Breakthrough digital video camera to replace 35mm film

Hi-res digital camera can match 35 mm film at a fraction of the price.

See the Red digital cinema camera company site for the Red One and other cameras.

The new camera has 4,096(h) x 2,304(v) of resolution and will only cost $17,500. A Panavision Millennium XL-2 35 mm video camera costs $25,000 per month to rent. A Sony F23 digital video camera with 2000 X 1080 resolution costs $150,000.

The camera can output in realtime like other DV cameras.(wikipedia has a very informative entry

They have a 3K digital camera Scarlet with an under $3,000 price point that should be available in 2009. This is the price of current 1000X1000 pixel video cameras. It is 50 times cheaper than 2,000 X 1080 pixel digital video cameras now. The 3,000 line camera will bust open high quality movie production to legions of amateurs.

The Red One is being used on at least 40 features. Steven Soderbergh, the Oscar-winning director, borrowed two prototypes to shoot his Che Guevara biopics, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and later purchased three for his film The Informant. Peter Jackson, the Lord of the Rings himself, bought four. Director Doug Liman used a Red on Jumper. Peter Hyams used one on his upcoming Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Digital cinema that's all but indistinguishable from film is finally coming to a theater near you.

Jim Jannard, 59, is the billionaire founder of Red. In 1975 he spent $300 to make a batch of custom motocross handlebar grips, which he sold from the back of a van. He named his company Oakley, after his English setter, and eventually expanded into sci-fi-style sunglasses, bags, and shoes. In November of last year he sold the business to Luxottica, the owner of Ray-Ban, for a reported $2.1 billion.

Analog projection seems to be on the way out. In March, four big Hollywood studios announced plans to retrofit 10,000 screens—about a quarter of the US total—for digital projection at 2K. Movies shot with Red's 4K camera will look every bit as good as those shot on film, and they'll all be ads for the company's next camera, the Epic, with more than 5,000 lines of resolution.

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