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Andrew Reid

How Blackmagic can add anamorphic recording mode to their Cinema Camera the easy way

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[img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/blackmagic-cinema-camera.jpg[/img]

[url="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.398258513557700.106898.118532781530276&type=1"]Above: the BMD Cinema Camera pictured in a photo from PhotoCineRent in France. I have pre-ordered mine.[/url]

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is nearing release and final sensor calibration / firmware adjustments are taking place. When I last spoke to beta shooter John Brawley about his involvement with the camera, he had this to say on an anamorphic mode…

“We have discussed the possibility of doing anamorphic. They’re aware that it’s a potential market. I don’t think you’ll see it on this version.”

This feature would increase vertical resolution by nearly 800 lines and allow for the wider, more cinematic aspect ratios of 2.39:1 and 2.66:1 aspect ratios when used with an anamorphic lens.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/8265/how-blackmagic-can-add-anamorphic-recording-mode-to-their-cinema-camera-the-easy-way/"]Read full article[/url]

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The aspect ratio of 2,560 x 2,160 is 1.185:1 -- which is very close to 1.2:1, ideal for 2.4:1 anamorphic. Also, the 16.64 x 14.04-mm area of the BAE/Fairchild CIS2051 yields a diagonal of 21.8 mm, which is almost exactly the diagonal of the m4/3 format. Cropping the sensor's "area of interest" would reduce the effective sensor size and wring even more tears out of all the big-sensor fetishists.

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Fantastic!
How can we be heard by Black Magic?
If we can write to Black Magic and ask for these anamorphic feature will be great.
On these forum we are a lot of people that can ask for these aspect on Black Magic.
Best regards.
Francisco.

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Well, 16:9 may be "TV rubbish" to Andrew, but not to a lot of us. 
Come come, the numbers who go to a cinema continue to drop - TV is where most viewing if done, and what most video is shot for.  16:9 video is all I am interested in shooting with a camera of the DSLR genre or a competing camcorder like the Black Magic.

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[quote author=Tzedekh link=topic=895.msg6490#msg6490 date=1340644899]
The aspect ratio of 2,560 x 2,160 is 1.185:1 -- which is very close to 1.2:1, ideal for 2.4:1 anamorphic. Also, the 16.64 x 14.04-mm area of the BAE/Fairchild CIS2051 yields a diagonal of 21.8 mm, which is almost exactly the diagonal of the m4/3 format. Cropping the sensor's "area of interest" would reduce the effective sensor size and wring even more tears out of all the big-sensor fetishists.
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Ideally yes this would be wonderful. But it would be a significantly greater data rate to handle and probably not just a firmware tweak at this late stage. V2 - yes would love to see this. Or even a V1.5 'Studio' version aka Alexa Studio.

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[quote author=Andrew Reid link=topic=895.msg6496#msg6496 date=1340656413]
My comment about TV was tongue in cheek. Regardless, it is a Cinema Camera not a TV camera so it should shoot in the cinema aspect ratio!

I prefer the wider look.
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But it's a digital cinema camera that will probably be used on TV episodics and Web videos more than on theatrical films.

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The resolution of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera sensor has always been 2592 x 2192, I'm not sure where these other resolutions have come from (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/blackmagic-design/announcements/beautiful-new-blackmagic-cinema-camera). Whether they can actually use that pixel area is another story, but I'm not quite sure where this resolution of 2560 x 2160 is coming from.

As for doing an internal crop to 1820 x 1366, that's a really great idea, and something Blackmagic might be able to implement in a firmware update. But you'd have to take it a little further for many of the 2X anamorphic elements in existence, because most of those were made for an aspect ratio of 1.2, and not 1.33 (or 4:3). That's why the frameline of the Alexa 4:3 sensor is 1.195:1 (and RED's is also 1.2).  (http://resources.abelcine.com/files/2012/02/faq_s_16_ALEXA-sensor-surround-view-and-framelines.jpeg)

I know there are anamorphic elements that are made for 4:3 (like the Panasonic Anamorphic adapter), but most of the 2X anamorphic lenses were made with that 1.2 aspect ratio in mind. It would be be great if they had crops for all of the different types of anamorphics out there - 1.33, 1.5, 1.6 - and then we could get correct aspect ratios with all of them.

For a 2X anamorphic, we need a resolution of 1632 x 1366, which after debayering - say a somewhat worst case scenario of 70% - that would be resolved detail of 1142 x 956. That's going to be about as sharp as those Canon DSLRs we complain about. What would really be exciting though, is if we can get the full resolution of the sensor at some point in the future, because the full resolution of 2592 x 2192 is very close to 1.2, we could use almost the entire sensor for anamorphic, which I know you've stated before.

Either way, cropping internally will reduce resolution greatly, and no anamorphic element can create pixels (unlike film which is an entirely different animal). At 1820 x 1366 (which would work great with the Panasonic LA7200) - let's say 70% after debayering again - you've got 1,274 x 956, which is going to be very soft after scaling up to 1080. It would work great as a nice and sharp 720 image, but it's going to be similar to the Canon DSLRs at 1080 in terms of sharpness, which is not really something a lot of us want.

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All sensible requests, but I suspect it is too late for some of them.  If they plan to release next month, the camera is probably already in production.  Only firmware changes possible now. 

Despite the battery and mount issues, I can't wait to collect mine.  Pre-ordered on announcement day.  5D mark II will go on eBay shortly afterwards.

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4:3 mode and iso50 is a must, the rest i can live with. 4:3 would increase the file size so i am not sure they have leftovers of processing power, maybe some firmware smarts can fix this... really, nobody knows:)

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For me these cam will be used more on independent Theatrical films than TV , series or documentals...
For TV you got the splendid Canon 5d...But independent of the use ,we need features for anamorphic cinema's aspects and these cam has the potencial power...just a firmware please for that.

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