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New Fairchild Sensor - Same DR of the Pocket and Cinema, but in 4.5k

Caleb Rasak

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Found this post on BMCuser and wanted to bring it here. Hopefully BM will introduce this sensor tech into new cameras down the road the specs look incredible. 


"Fairchild Imaging, the maker of the sensors in both the Pocket and Cinema Camera, just announced a new sensor on the front page of their website, the LTN4625A. Preliminary data was found here:http://www.atdelectronique.com/our-offer/bae-systems

It looks like it will have the same dynamic range of the Pocket (14.5 stops), but it does so using a smaller pixel size of 5.5um (the Pocket and Cinema have a 6.5um pixel diagonal.)

This is huge. The CMOSIS CMV12000 sensor in the Production and Ursa cameras also have a pixel size of 5.5um, but can only do about 9.9 stops. This Fairchild sensor would be sucking up over 4.5 times the amount of light. 

The Fairchild sensor is also bigger, and arguably much more usable resolution-wise than the CMOSIS. The Fairchild maxes out at 4608 x 2592, which is a 16x9 ratio. The CMV12000 maxes out at 4096 x 3072, a 4x3 ratio (although only 4000 x 2160 is currently being used in the Production and URSA in raw).

The new Fairchild sensor would be a true Super 35mm size, with a 29.08mm diagonal at its maximum resolution.

The Fairchild is also speedier. The CMV12000 can only do a maximum of 90fps with full image quality (URSA currently tops out at 80fps.) The Fairchild is listed at 240fps.

I have no idea when Blackmagic will implement this and in what final form it would take, but I would wager a guess that it is only a matter of time. This is a very attractive video sensor, and something I've definitely been waiting for from the company."

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

​this Fairchild LTN sensor is a dream for a camera manufacturer, with its 4608x2592 pixel count,
it scans images from which you can extract  4096x2304  Super35  16x9 images for 4K delivery
while you send to the viewfinder the entire non cropped image displaying the standard +12%
out of frame field of view that all professionnal filmmakers request.

When designing the Aaton Delta Penelope, to clearly differentiate the extra field image
from the recorded one we were showing it in +/- bright b&w as shown in the attached image.
It would be good if a manufacturer could offer that option which better emulates a film camera OVF.


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I'd prefer to record the entire sensor and do my cropping later, with frame guidelines on the LCD or EVF. 

​In the feature film world, all directors and camera operators are adamant : "don't touch our framing
carefully performed on stage".
But  if you are the man of all hats (camera operator / editor / colorist) on a documentary film,
recording these extra pixels can help you reframe or stabilize your images on some occasions.

Whatever the situation, the out-of-frame grayed area is a good alternative
to the standard white or black  lines that in the fire of action your eye no longer sees...
letting you frame onto the full viewing screen.



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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

What I think is that recording the entire sensor window is a superior option to choose in a camera, rather than recording a center portion and wasting the outer area for the viewfinder lookaround. Since we've gone digital, when you record the entire area you can draw the crop lines in the EVF, grey them out, brighte them, anything, which will give the operator the exact same lookaround area, but with the full record option, you habe the chance to use the larger sensor shall you need it. 


I find that digital cropping is not relevant in cameras that record their full pixel readout, because it can be performed in post with a single click. I guess the only reason one might still want to crop in-camera is if someone is handing off the footage straight off the card, and they have absolutely no communication with the post-production area, can't leave a note, a metadata flag, or simply tell them to crop to 16:9 4K without changing framing. 


This reminds me of the Log-Gamma debate of whether to get things in-camera or shooting Log for post correction. Turns out the answer is: for most people who have communication with the post production process LOG is superior, gives more options, but for those handing off the footage straight of the camera for a viewer or without having communic. with post production at all, then shooting baked-in is the way to go. 


So I guess for a camera manufacturer, it's best to give all the options. Give the option for shooting LOG and for shooting Rec.709, give the option to record entire sensor, and option to record crop. 


but if the manufacturer has to choose between the two (which seems to be common for all manufacturers for some reason I cant quite understand) then for a cinema/film camera sticking with LOG+full sensor is the better option as this area shooters are seeking the absolute highest image quality, while with a documentary, news camera it's better to choose the Rec.709 + in-camera cropping option as their users deliver immediately any care less about getting the ultimate quality/DR/flexibility in post, just want to get things done. 


All companies should just offer both options, why not? If a small hacking team like Magic Lantern can simply give control on every single little function and add EVERY possible feature with full user cusgomizability, sometimes it makes me wonder how these huge corporations still can't give us similarly powerful software (as good as one created by a punch of reverse engineering hackers online), where are the internationally-recognised engineers, highest-end academic developers and professional software design teams within these companies? what are they doing? maybe they can do it and exceed it but forced to stop by the marketing departments (which is sadly the most logical explanation) that would be honestly just non-respectful behaviour to everyone, just being able to offer something usefull for other people and not doing it on purpose is a shamefull thing to do' or at least that's how I was raised as a ''good'' human being! 

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This is amazing news. I'm very excited to see what BMD will say during NAB and hopefully it will be something about some M2's for their existing lineup. I love the pocket for quick and seamless shoots and small low budget productions. BUT when it comes to use in commercial (in my experience) the FPS is a problem,  as almost 99% of all places I've worked for asks for some kind of slowmotion in their ads. 

A Pocket M2 with at least 60 would rock my world. No need to change anything else (already have a rig so don't want to sell and re-buy). Global shutter would be amazing, but I've actually just learned how to not be needing it. (only problem I've had so far was shooting a party commercial with a stroboscope and yeah, y'all know how that looks.

Anyhow, very excited about this news!

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