Computer Graphics World

May / June 2015

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m ay . j u n e 2 0 1 5 c g w 2 9 sor for its high-end URSA cam- eras. Blackmagic further offers a free copy of DaVinci Resolve with its cameras, which enables color grading and editing. Canon showed off the talents of its new EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera. It's the second stab Canon took at building a movie camera on top of its beloved Mark II model DSLR, and Canon has taken customer direction to heart as it builds the new camera. The EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera has a different sensor: an 8.85-megapixel Canon Super 35mm 16:0 CMOS sensor that supports up to 4 k recording at 4096 x 2160. Canon answered its customers' prayers with auto focus and threw in Face Detec- tion (with Canon EF lenses). On another front, Arri, which is the grandfather of profes- sional movie cameras – well respected and still at the top of the game – introduced a small mobile camera for mounted applications. The Arri Alexa mini is a sibling of the popular Arri Alexa, and it goes head to head with the Red Epic (Dragon) camera. The Alexa mini sup- ports 4 k HFR technology up to 60p and has HDR capture. Red's new camera is being sold as an upgrade, and it is ap- propriately named The Weapon. It's available as a camera body upgrade for all Red Dragon sen- sors. The Red Weapon is based on the 19-megapixel Red Dragon sensor with a 6144 x 3160-pixel area. It supports acquisition formats from 6k, to 5k RAW, to 720p RGB. The bottom line is, AJA, Blackmagic, Red, and Canon with its Mark IIs are pushing at the boundaries of filmmaking and fostering the community of independent filmmakers that's growing up around affordable tools. The difference these cameras make is that they're part of a line of tools, from Canon's DSLRs (and Nikon and Sony) and up to professional movie cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars. Young people can train themselves, and fledgling filmmakers can make a movie on budgets that were im- possible just 10 years ago. There is nothing bad about that. D I S P L A Y S F O R C O N T E N T C R E A T I O N The coming HDR content will require displays to be capable of presenting the expanded imag- es, even as the transition to 4 k is happening. The real transition will come when HDR-capable TVs are in the home and the content developers seek to differentiate their material. They were first rolled out at this year's CES, and the earliest and expensive models are just now entering the market, so they won't be a standard feature in most people's houses for a couple of years yet. What's striking about the trend to HDR, however, is how enthusiastic content creators are about the technology. The ever-increasing resolutions are good – yeah, more pixels! – but it's an incremental change that brings its own challenges, as well. More pixels mean more stor- age, more demands on soware and hardware, bigger loads to schlep around the network, and so forth. But, bring along high dynamic range, which fills out the cinematographers' palette with more light and more colors, and now you have justification for the increased system demands. And cinematographers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. Broadcasters Amazon, Net- flix, and Vudu have committed to HDR content, and they claim the increased bandwidth requirements are incremental and doable with the upgrades RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE CAMERAS ARE PAVING THE WAY FOR HDR CONTENT. FROM TOP: BLACKMAGIC'S URSA, AJA'S CION, AND RED'S WEAPON.

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