Hollywood’s Digital Age

Canon 1D MK IVThe market has spoken as digital camera technology has replaced any remaining elements of physical film for consumer grade cameras. Even the typical smart phone cameras now have equal (if not far better) quality as analog models. The same shift from reels to digitized information is happening in movie studios around the world and the shift to digital has made almost all aspects of the production process considerably easier.

In 2002, the BBC acted as a pioneer for the new era of digital cameras when they opted to shoot the entirety nature documentary series Planet Earth entirely on HD film. Initially, BBC, as well as many others, actually saw this as a bit of a risk, worrying that the technology’s lack of field tests, as well as fears that cameramen may have significant troubles adapting to the new equipment, but the gambit paid off. Their land based Panasonic VariCams were made to imitate motion picture cameras, but have special features including a variation of 1 frame per second to 60 frames per second. The VariCams have since also been incredibly useful in Hollywood filmmaking, considering they are far cheaper to use due to digitized memory rather than use of film reels.

Possibly the best digital movie making camera on the market today however is the RED, which has been used to film Pacific Rim, This is the End, the new Hobbit trilogy, and even the famous Ted Talks. Carrying many of the same frame rates and high definition abilities as VariCam, RED however has taken these new digital cameras a step further with a few new amazing features. When shooting with RED, it isn’t necessary to focus, because the camera is actually able to analyze all possible focuses, allowing editors to pick and choose from a variety of focuses, which all come from the same shot. Also, because of the high frame rate of digital cameras, RED uses an anamorphic lens, which is a vertical oval that allows far better cropping abilities.

Now if you’re ready to go out and pick up one of these bad boys, keep in mind that the current model of the RED camera costs nearly twelve thousand dollars, while the VariCam isn’t going to be too far behind that. On top of that, one of our own cameramen pointed out that the camera’s instruction manual was about the size of War and Peace. Regardless, movie studios are willing to research and pay hat hefty extra bit for the new equipment, as the future of filming lies with the new digital cameras.

For more information on VariCam or RED cameras check out http://www.red.com/ and http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/varicam/ , and don’t forget to check us out for more movie tips and videos at http://cnsinc.tv/

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"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward de Bono