Top Cameras

An interesting part of any show is to have a look at the people and surroundings, and the whole lot of new tools used. I would prefer to highlight cameras based on their importance among consumers, rather than starting with my best picks.

Panasonic’s AG-3DA1 camera was widely used in the Panasonic booth, and additional models are not seen elsewhere on the show area. It has limited controls to make inter-axial adjustments as well as convergence. Starters will probably shoot some bad 3D, unless they learn the controls well. If you have less control during the shooting process, then you must plan well about the control to be applied in post production. Understanding this will help a lot.

The latest Sony HDCAM SRW-9000, an update to CineAlta line is available with a sensor size of 35mm and PL lens mounts. It is a grand addition to the increasing trend of the tapeless world. In fact, it is a replacement for the 16mm, used for plenty of episodic shows, shot at the eastern coast. I expect this camera to remain a mainstay for television episodes, for a good length of time, allowing productions to go on with familiar workflows of HDCAM SR. It can also maintain a shallow depth of the field, using film-style lenses as well as production techniques.

The Vision Research Phantom Flex that is newly added to the line of best cameras provides a frame raster of 2560×1600 at the maximum level. It gives a capture of 2800fps at 1080, and 6100fps at 720p. This is also the top among my favorite cameras, and it happens to be the first of Phantom line to feature a mechanical shutter, automatic black balancing, and 4:4:4 Dual Link Video and the Timecode outs from camera. The Auto Black Balance is a notable feature, giving Phantom users freedom from the tiresome task of having to continually set the black balance, prior to every shot. Further, the disturbing static pattern noise is eliminated from the footage.

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