Camera companies have often used fuzzy math to market cameras and it can be terribly confusing when trying to understand what makes competing cameras tick. Up until now the actual resolution of a camera’s sensor has been a fairly reliable metric. A RED Epic sensor actually has 5120 active horizontal photosites and an Alexa has 2880 active horizontal photosites.
Sony’s F65 is the latest camera to join the fray with what Sony claims is an ultra hi-res 8K sensor. 8k sounds mighty impressive, but when you start looking at Sony’s specifications things don’t add up. Right there in the F65 manual, Sony lists the sensor dimensions as 8192 x 2160. Good, there are the 8 thousand horizontal pixels but why are there only 2 thousand vertical pixels?? Does the F65 have an ultra ultra 4:1 widescreen sensor? No, right in the manual it says the aspect ratio is 17:9, right around 2:1 where we would expect it. Sony must have figured out a way to break the space/time continuum!
It turns out the 8k number means absolutely nothing in terms of the sensor’s actual resolution. Here is how they get that number: they take a 6k x 3k sensor and flip it 45 degrees. Then, instead of counting photosites in a horizontal straight line, they stair step up to the line above it. Stair stepping gives them the 8192 horizontal pixels but since they’ve used 2 horizontal rows to achieve this they can’t stair step on the vertical and they only get 2160 pixels. This is an absolutely bonkers way of counting photosites and tells us nothing useful about the actual resolution of the sensor. This means I can tilt my Epic 45 degrees and suddenly it is a 7k camera (hopefully no one will notice the diamond shaped frame)!
So what IS the actual resolution of the F65 sensor? If we multiply 8192 by 2160 that gives us 17,694,720 million active photosites. In the F65 manual Sony says the aspect ratio is 17:9 which means the F65 has a 5782 x 3060 sensor. That is plenty of resolution for a nice 4k debayer but it is definitely not 8k.
Why does this matter? RED’s Dragon sensor coming in late 2012 will be 6,000 x 3,160 (rightly marketed as a 6k camera). That is 1.3 million MORE photosites than the F65′s “8k” sensor, but on paper one would be lead to believe the F65 is the higher resolution camera.
Sony F65 manual www.talamas.com/Sony%20F65%20Operation%20Manual.pdf
Blackmagic design has announced a RAW, 2.5k cinema camera with a sensor size that falls somewhere between S16mm and Micro 4/3. Blackmagic has really created a lot of buzz for this camera by pricing it at $3,000. It has a unique form factor with the battery and touchscreen LCD built right in.
RAW, small, super affordable
Rolling shutter, small sensor, can’t change lens mount
Here is a quick list of the details:
- Price: US$2995
- Perks: comes with a free copy of DaVinci Resolve
- Resolution: 2432 x 1366
- Sensor size: 15.6mm x 8.8mm
- Recording format: 12-bit DNG RAW or Log ProRes on 2.5″ SSD drives
- Lens mount: EF Canon mount
- FF35mm Crop factor: x2.3
- Form factor: built in touchscreen LCD and battery
- Rolling shutter: a bit better than the 5D MkII
- Low light performance: not as good as 5D MkII
Here is how the Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s sensor size stacks up against other cinema cameras. It is the bright blue rectangle labeled BMD:
If you are used to shooting on a FF35mm camera (5D MkII etc.) this is what the sensor crop will be on your full frame lenses:
Redrock has just announced the microEVF electronic viewfinder for HDSLR cameras. From their site:
The microEVF is the first electronic viewfinder designed from the ground up specifically for HDSLR cameras. The microEVF is not just a bulky repurposed LCD monitor: It is designed specifically for the needs of HDSLR emphasizing compact lightweight design, superior power consumption, and incredible affordability.
Here are the specifications:
- Adjustable focusing diopter
- Built-in HDMI passthrough for supporting additional monitors
- Oversized soft rubber cinema-style eyecup
- standard HDMI input connector
- Industry-standard 15mm rod pin: Viewfinder positioning infinitely configurable with Redrock support accessories
- Lightweight design requires minimal support – can be mounted from lower rails, top rails, or shoe-mounted rails
- Compatible with any HDSLR or videocamera that provides HDMI out (5D MKII, 7D, T2i, 1D MKIV, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3100, Nikon D7000, Panasonic AF100, etc.)
microEVF Advanced Electronic Assist Features
- additional features to be announced
microEVF Technical Specifications
- HDMI connection with pass-through
- 1.2m total dots
- Backlit LED, very low power requirements
- Internal battery lasts 10+ continuous hours of operation
- Weight: less than 6 ounces
Pricing and availability
- Estimated $595 for the complete EVF – unlike other solutions with hidden costs, does not require additional viewfinder loupe.
- Availability to be announced
11.19.2010 RED Epic Vs 5D MkII
Ivan Kovax has posted some pics comparing RED’s Epic and the Canon 5D Mark II. The camera on the far right is the Nikon D90.
08.16.2009 Scarlet Vs 5D MkII
just posted some pictures on www.reduser.net
from the Local 695′s RED Day comparing the Canon 5D Mark II and the Scarlet prototype. Keep in mind RED only shows prototypes 2 generations behind what they are currently working on so the final shape will likely be somewhat different.
The general size is probably pretty close to the final design, though. The RED Pro Prime is at the large end of what you would most likely using with the Scarlet.
Here is a nice picture of the Scarlet without a lens attached:
And one of the Scarlet from the back: