IBC 2006 – Part 3

Red Digital Cinema
The much-hyped “Red One” camera was on show, though the words “In Development” were plastered all over the booth. For those who are not familiar with it, the Red One camera body is very aesthetic, looking more like a lamp housing than a traditional camera, but the real advantage is it’s touted 4k image capture (4520×2540 at the sensor level). The other interesting feature is that the sensor is the same size as a piece of 35mm film. that means you can use regular lenses with it (it has a PL lens mount), but should also ensure the same sort of depth of field as regular film cameras. However, notably absent from any of Red’s product materials are any details of the color range the camera is capable of. There will be very little point shooting in 4k if you’re stuck with Rec 709 colour and 1-2 stops of latitude. And of course, it’s largely untested (though there are already a large range of mounting accessories). Also on show was something called “RedCine Telecine Software” but details were sketchy as to what exactly this is. As far as I can tell, it’s for pre-processing the camera’s output, but I’m sure that there’s more to it than that. For now, if you want to shoot digital, you’re far better off with the big ugly Viper.

The Matris project aims to create a system to allow camera tracking. But in addition to matching the position and orientation of the camera, it also aims to determine the lens focal length, in real-time, via a sensor attached to a regular camera. This opens up an incredible potential for doing some very interesting effects. There’s a caveat however. As part of their workflow, they require the location to be modelled in 3D, which is done by taking lots of pictures of the scene and then computing depth-maps and tracking points. This alone relegates it more to the realms of stadium or studio shoots. Still, it will be interesting to see how this develops. Also, over on the conference side, there was a very interesting paper on “Depth Acquisition Using Trifocal Cameras”, so maybe depth recording will be available to filmmakers before too long.

Finally, I should also point out that I saw an unsually high number of “wearable displays”, such as LCD goggles. I wonder if this is just a passing fad, or if we are in fact on the brink of a new wave of displlay devices.

Posted: September 21st, 2006
Categories: News
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