After making the first pre-order at the IBC in Amsterdam in September of 2008, DCS member Nick Paton, ACS, of Brisbane, Australia recently received a prototype which he has been beta testing for the Swedish company best known for their small form factor S16mm film camera. When the fully featured camera is realeased it is said to record 1920x1080p, individual files in uncompressed RAW sequences, DNG format, 12 bit color depth, 3.5 MB/frame in RAW, 12 MB/frame in DNG or TIFF at 1-60 fps with a 10.6mm x 6mm single CCD sensor. It will have both HDMI and USB 2.0 outputs, weighing in at only 1.5kg/3.3 lbs. It will record to solid state 80 GB memory, writing at a maximum of 240 MB/s (60fps), storing up to 15 minutes @ 25 fps in a solid removable aluminum enclosure. Lens mounts will be available in a choice of PL, Leica, IMS, and C-mount, and sound will be via 2 Channels at 48MHz. Production models should be shipping soon after NAB 2010 at a price of 6950 Euros, (over $10KUS), including memory cartridge, electronic viewfinder, battery, and 9mm Kinoptik prime lens. According to Cinematographer Paton, “If you are expecting a RED One in complexity, this camera isn’t it”.
I was looking to find a “digital cinema” replacement for broadcast cameras in documentary and this is the closest I\’ve found to an Aaton…perhaps an a-minima in size and feel. It has framerate, white balance, exposure and roll. While there is much to be tweaked and changed, this camera has promise. From the moment you hold it, it feels solid. The OLPF looks good with a nice balance of sharpness and no aliasing. Skin tones roll off well. Sharpness is certainly there but with more of a S16 look without the grain. For my money I’ll be using it for documentary work as well as inserts on drama. It will also bring a high bit rate uncompressed option to small form factor requirements for television commercials.