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Ikonoskop A-Cam dll vs Blackmagic Cinema Camera - first impressions

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[url="http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/P1020070.jpg"][img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/P1020070.jpg[/img][/url]

The Ikonoskop A-Cam is a 12bit uncompressed raw digital cinema camera that shoots in Cinema DNG format, much like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

In many ways though this is a different animal.

The Ikonoskop addresses some of what the Blackmagic Cinema Camera lacks in that it features a global shutter (it uses a CCD sensor rather than CMOS) and uses interchangeable Sony batteries (NP-F770, the same ones the FS100 uses). The only other digital cinema camera currently to feature a global shutter is the Sony F55 (likely over $25,000 when it hits the market). The Ikonoskop is 7700 Euros.

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it's still quite expensive compared to Blackmagic. I like the look and ergonomics though

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I don't know how I feel about 16mm sized sensor. It's not just a little but smaller, it's a LOT smaller. Here's my GH1 compared to my Beaulieu. It's like point and shoot size:

[img]http://www.eoshd.com/comments/uploads/inline/20711/50afdc9aa8687_16mmvsmft.jpg[/img]

Note too that the Beaulieu body is being propped up in front of the GH1 and as a result, is closer to the lens. So, it's actually even a tiny bit smaller in comparison.

Most of my first jobs in the film industry where shot in 16mm. I own a Beaulieu and a Bolex but they haven't seen film running through them in over 15 years. I sold all my C-mount lenses too so they are really just completely useless to me at this point. Anyway, I remember the first time I shot 35mm film. It was a stop-motion animated shot for commercial. It was stunning. Even though it had been transferred to SD video, you could easily see the difference between 16mm. There was just so much more detail and color. Even on video! Now a days 16mm stock is so much more advanced. A friend of mine shot a bright eyes video with some of this newer stock and I really couldn't tell that it was shot on 16mm. So, I don't know. I mean, obviously possible to get amazing looking footage out of smaller cameras ("Beast of the Souther Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom" just recently) but I just don't know...

[edit] Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo.

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This camera uses the same Kodak sensor as the Digital Bolex, right?

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What's the maximum frame rate?

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I was checking out the ikonoskop a few months ago but did see it used expensive media.
I also saw this from Jonathan Yi a few months ago comparing the RED vs Ikonoskop http://vimeo.com/40504149
Funny stuff.
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Funny yes. Useful or educational no. But the colour IS nice :)

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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1353729285' post='22223']
Funny yes. Useful or educational no. But the colour IS nice :)/>
[/quote]
Yup. Color is nice. He also has an outdoor test which shows some smearing. A bit more useful but still not educational. Looking forward to your test though. Thanks in advance.

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We've got an a-cam for demo and rent in LA, this review nails every single reason we got one. If you need data, RED and other super35mm digital cinema cameras are fantastic at capturing it. If you want to shoot on a quirky camera with an incredible response to colors that makes everything you point it at look like a dreamy indie film, shoot Ikonoskop ;)

"Gus" is shooting on our camera, if you want more info on it or the filmmakers let us know: www.tacdigitalcinema.com

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If the ikonoskop has three chips each recording colour information at 1920x1080 then you will get better colour reproduction and can make it more film like in post which is what I think you are seeing here. Maybe an Ikonoskop really is the best way to go. Just a shame about the price.

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i have graded some ikonoskop shots last year and was deeply impressed by its 16mm film like quality. there was only something strange with red tones, a magenta hue that was difficult to deal with. it´s visible in the red vs ikonoskop clip posted above. slightly exaggerated reds. but otherwise very close to a filmic tonal response. closer than anything i´ve seen from bmcc so far.

looking forward to your test footage!

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[quote name='markm' timestamp='1353754291' post='22235']
If the ikonoskop has three chips each recording colour information at 1920x1080 then you will get better colour reproduction and can make it more film like
[/quote]
The a-cam is a single chip camera. The sensor (and A/D electronics that interpret and convert its signal to 1s and 0s) has a very unusual response to light- primary colors 'pop' a lot but so do unexpected colors like purple, and the blue channel is VERY strong. As a big RED user this was the most unexpected thing I saw when we first tried it out- I'm so used to anemic blue channels full of noise. Overall we've found that skin tones are reproduced much more accurately and there is more data in those ranges for delicate color correction- RED can be a beast to correct sometimes. It's not a RED or Arri or Canon or Sony killer- it's something else, it's an indie film silver bullet, some new class of camera where there is a definite 'look' to the data it captures.
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[quote name='OzNimbus' timestamp='1353705907' post='22202']
What's the maximum frame rate?
[/quote]

Currently 30fps

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What is the shoulder mount on the photo? It is pretty.

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KODAK really put same kind of magic in that sensor ...
they manage to make sensor with KODAK vision stock aesthetic ...

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[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1353702898' post='22198']
I don't know how I feel about 16mm sized sensor. It's not just a little but smaller, it's a LOT smaller. Here's my GH1 compared to my Beaulieu. It's like point and shoot size:

[img]http://www.eoshd.com/comments/uploads/inline/20711/50afdc9aa8687_16mmvsmft.jpg[/img]

Note too that the Beaulieu body is being propped up in front of the GH1 and as a result, is closer to the lens. So, it's actually even a tiny bit smaller in comparison.

Most of my first jobs in the film industry where shot in 16mm. I own a Beaulieu and a Bolex but they haven't seen film running through them in over 15 years. I sold all my C-mount lenses too so they are really just completely useless to me at this point. Anyway, I remember the first time I shot 35mm film. It was a stop-motion animated shot for commercial. It was stunning. Even though it had been transferred to SD video, you could easily see the difference between 16mm. There was just so much more detail and color. Even on video! Now a days 16mm stock is so much more advanced. A friend of mine shot a bright eyes video with some of this newer stock and I really couldn't tell that it was shot on 16mm. So, I don't know. I mean, obviously possible to get amazing looking footage out of smaller cameras ("Beast of the Souther Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom" just recently) but I just don't know...

[edit] Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo.
[/quote]

I agree. I started out shooting 16mm film for TV News broadcasts in 1979. When video tape came along in the mid 80's I shot 2/3 inch chip cameras until recently. Now that the film making world has access to larger sensors, I'm never going back to struggling to achieve even marginal depth of field on small sensor cameras even if they don't look "filmic" or "cinematic". For me Super 35mm is the sweet spot and m4/3 is the smallest I'll go. Full frame is just too damned big chasing focus even at f4. Each to their own.

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Yeah, I think you're right. Super 35 is the sweet spot. Hope we see a BMCC like s35 camera for indy filmmakers soon. :-)

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The Ikonoskop is expensive, it has a smaller sensor and records just at 1080p

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StFSGnz0SSs&feature=plcp

some interesting info coming from the digital bolex guys, apparently they're making fixed aperture, fixed focal length lenses that will be attached to a turret mounting system so you can use 3 lenses at once! mad and wonderful. 45 lines of resolution from sub €300 lenses being the advantage.

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I've been using the A-Cam for the last year and am currently in the middle of editing a 20minute short. Your summary at the end of the article sums up all the reasons I went for it. I really wanted to shoot film but couldn't afford it for the projects I had lined up and in my humble opinion the A-Cam is the best alternative.

What is astonishing is what you can do to the image in post and how magic it all looks and feels and hey ain't that what movies are all about. You do not get the crazy sharp hyper real image you do from a lot of other larger sensor cameras but you do get a very dreamy organic textural feel.

The fact it is so small is a boon too. I have a set of MkIi Zeiss t1.2 lenses for it too and a canon s16 zoom. They weren't expensive at all and they're super fast.. Also working with lenses with stepless aperture proper focus rings and same size front ends is something I never want to go back from.

Check out my blog for some stills, the movie will be out before Christmas. www.reactfilms.com

Please feel free to email me any questions, I've got some good experience with the camera now and am happy to help.

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ikonoskop is example that camera is more than just tech numbers ...
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Is it possible to get some DNG files from both cameras? I want to send them through my self developed DNG transcoder to see the quality differences. Transcoding software is here: vimeo.com/48886514

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You have mail Roald :)

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Andrew,

 

Did you also shoot a short film (narrative) with the Ikonoskop?

 

If so, would love to see it! This cam may be a better solution for filmmakers then anything 15k and below period (still need to see more from the 1DC)

 

Narrative tells so much more about a camera then 99% of 'test' footage. Documentery (ex: phillip bloom) just doesn't cut it. Most want to purchase these cams to shoot (narrative) movies. If the camera manus would deliver that, it would be extremely helpful. That being said, have to congratulate Nikon and what their doing on the brand new D800 horror film. This will be their 2nd, after the nighttime motorcycle short photographed in Chicago nearly a year ago.

 

Cheers my friend

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No we only had it for one day and a few hours at that. The aim was purely to see what the performance and handling was like. We shot some nice footage and I'll post it soon.

 

I actually think test footage if done right tells you more than a narrative film, it is essential to have a reference camera and compare the two. Sometimes it even helps to compare 4 or 5 cameras at once. A narrative film is my artistic goal, you need a mixture of both. Tests have their place, it would not be practical or scientific to only show creative work. I loved watching Moonrise Kingdom lately but it really doesn't tell me which camera I should buy out of Super 16mm and the Alexa.

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