Innovation in camera technology is exploding and it's just the beginning. Sony, Canon, and Black Magic have just started to offer their first affordable big sensor 4k cameras. These companies are now competing with the big boys.
WARNING: This tech geek post may not be for most. Do not continue reading if you have no interest in awesome cinema cameras that are going to directly influence the future of filmmaking.
Black Magic is coming out with a 4K camera for $4,000.00. With 12 stops of range, it's the cheapest 4k sensor camera to ever grace to market. It's compatible with EF-mount lenses, has electronic aperture control, and a focus peaking function. It uses a global shutter that prevents rolling shutter which has plagued the DSLR/ prosumer market for quite some time now.
Now here comes the big boys response. Red has unveiled a new and huge 6k sensor. It's not just size thats getting better. The sensor is much more sensitive than its predecessors and now comes with an incredible 15+ stops of dynamic range. Slow-motion is a cinch, shooting up to 120 FPS at 5K. The cost for Epic owners? $6,000.00.
So all these cheaper, large sensor cameras sound great but the component that people might not recognize till its too late is that these files are going to be big. Storing this data means money.
Joe Marine of nofilmschool.com writes, "... uncompressed RAW — especially 4K RAW — can be very unwieldy. For example, Canon's 4K RAW is 1 Terabyte per hour. The forthcoming Aaton Penelope Delta shoots 3.5K RAW CinemaDNGs at a similar data rate as Canon’s RAW implementation. Using the same CinemaDNG codec, 2.5K RAW on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is roughly 512 Gigabytes per hour. RED 5K at 5:1 compression (which is what was used for Prometheus and Spiderman) is a little over 256 Gigabytes per hour."
I'm interested to see what new breakthroughs will come out, not just in sensor size, but also in compression and codecs.