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

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

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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.

#2
chulx1001

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:27 PM

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it's still quite expensive compared to Blackmagic. I like the look and ergonomics though
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#3
galenb

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

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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:

Posted Image

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.

#4
Bruno

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:04 PM

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

#5
OzNimbus

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

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What's the maximum frame rate?

#6
ipcmlr

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:15 AM

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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
Funny stuff.
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#7
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:54 AM

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Funny yes. Useful or educational no. But the colour IS nice :)

#8
ipcmlr

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:11 AM

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Funny yes. Useful or educational no. But the colour IS nice :)/>

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.

#9
TAC Digital

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:27 AM

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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

#10
markm

Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:51 AM

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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.

#11
nickname

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:19 PM

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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!

#12
TAC Digital

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

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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

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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#13
TAC Digital

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

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What's the maximum frame rate?


Currently 30fps

#14
simonfilm

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

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

#15
cameraboy

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

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

#16
TJB

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:35 PM

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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:

Posted Image

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.


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.

#17
galenb

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

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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. :-)

#18
Marco

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:07 AM

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

#19
Kev

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

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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.

#20
Ross Wilson

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

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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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