Digital Motion Picture Cameras

ARRI  |  Sony CineAlta  |  Panavision  |  RED  |  Viper FilmStream  |  Other Digital Cameras

Phantom  |  Silicon Imaging  |  Canon  |  AATON Penelope Delta

Page 1: Classic Motion Picture Cameras
Page 2: Modern Motion Picture Cameras
Page 3: Digital Motion Picture Cameras


In 2000 George Lucas announced that 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones/Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones/Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience' [ph: David Tattersall] would be the first major motion picture to be shot 100% digitally. Sony and Panavision had teamed up to develop the High Definition 24P camera that Lucas would use to accomplish this and thus the first CineAlta camera was born: the Sony HDW-F900.

The HDW-F900 camcorder has now been refined into the next-generation HDW-F900R, offering a variety of further enhanced functionalities. The HDW-F900R camcorder records images in accordance with the CIF (Common Image Format) standard, which specifies a sampling structure of 1920 x 1080 active pixels (horizontal x vertical). Plus, as well as recording at 24P, the HDW-F900R camcorder is switchable to record at 25P, 29.97P progressive scan, and also at 50 or 59.94 Hz interlaced scan.



The F23 camera system is the pinnacle of Sony's 2/3" CineAlta line of 24P acquisition products for digital television and motion picture content creation. With cinematographers in mind, the F23 was designed to provide the highest picture quality with a wide color gamut and over 12 stops of exposure latitude. The F23 also features cinema camera style controls, a robust B4 lens mount, and a ergonomic chassis design that accepts traditional film camera accessories. In addition, the SRW-1 HDCAM SR recorder can be directly docked on either the top or tail of the camera system, or tethered by dual link HD-SDI cabling for mounting flexibility. When the SRW-1 is equipped with the optional HKSR102 board, the F23 can record overcranking, undercranking, slow shutter, and interval recording. The F23 also captures in full 1920 x 1080 progressive in either 4:4:4 RGB color, or 4:2:2 YCbCr.



In addition to the F23, Sony has introduced [in November 2008] the new CineAlta F35, a Sony version of Panavision's Genesis, which was equipped with 3 pieces of 35mm CCD and PL lens mount. The 35 refers to the size of the sensor as in the F23 [2/3 inch]. The new F35 shares the same body as the F23 but features a single Super 35mm size CCD sensor and will enable cinematographers to use 35mm PL-mount optics. The F35 will be a 1920 x 1080p HD camera and will deliver 4:4:4 picture quality, variable frame rates of 1-50fps and an extraordinary dynamic range between the highlights and shadows. Like the F23, the F35 is also designed to record on to an HDCAM SR recorder, which can be docked directly on to the back or top of the camera, or connected remotely via cable. The F35 is designed to extend Sony's CineAlta line up not to replace the F23. The F23 and F35 will address distinct production environments and both will co-exist together. Some cinematographers are committed to 2/3 inch lenses while others prefer 35mm.



In 2011/12, Sony introduced the CineAlta F65. The F65 fulfills every DPs dream by providing higher resolution than any previous digital motion picture camera, with greater exposure latitude, dynamic range and wider color gamut than ever before. Its file-based SR Codec recording enables fast, efficient episodic TV production workflow, while 16-bit linear RAW supports the most demanding feature films. The F65 uses a 20 million photosite Super-35 sensor to capture unsurpassed high-resolution images with 14 stops of Dynamic Range. It records them in 4K RAW from 1-60fps and in 2K RAW up to 120fps. The F65 can also output 1080p in Sony's robust SR recording codec. A spinning mechanical shutter eliminates rolling shutter artifacts inherent with CMOS sensors.


The first major Hollywood motion picture to be shot with the F65 was M. Night Shyamalan's 'After Earth' [2012], photographed by Peter Suschitzky.



The SRW9000 inherits many of the excellent qualities of the HDW-F900/F900R. In standard configuration, the SRW9000 is capable of top-quality 4:2:2 Y/Cb/Cr 10-bit recording at 1080/23.98P/24P/25P and 29.97P/1080/50i and 59.94i. The SRW9000 can also record 4:2:2 720/50P and 59.94P signals, for users who require further creative performance, a variety of option cards can be added. This allows for users to benefit from full-bandwidth 1080 RGB 4:4:4 capturing, SR Motionvariable frame rate capturing, as well as S-LOG gamma, and additional signal inputs and outputs.



The PMW-F3 inherits DNA from the F35, as well as most of the features and file-based workflow capabilities of the PMW-EX1R and EX3 XDCAM EX solid-state memory camcorders. The PMW-F3 is equipped with the newly developed Exmor Super 35 CMOS image sensor, PL lens mount, and SxS card for 1920 x 1080 full-HD recording. The PMW-F3 features future expandability, including RGB 4:4:4 baseband output with S-LOG gamma for external recording which means it can be used in an HDCAM-SR workflow. It also offers a 3D-LINK option, which allows two camcorders to be controlled simultaneously for 3-D stereoscopic shooting. The PMW-F3K is an affordable and 'ready-to-use' solution with three Sony fixed focal length PL lenses [35/50/85mm, T2.0].



In 2017, Sony introduced the CineAlta VENICE camera. The VENICE is equipped with a 36 x 24 mm full-frame image sensor, designed specifically for the demands and performance of high end cinematography, and can capture images up to a maximum resolution of 6048 x 4032. By switching imager modes, VENICE can natively support Super35 24.9×18.7 mm, 4096 x 3024 resolution [equivalent to 4-perforation motion picture film] and Super35 24.9×14.0 mm 4096 x 2160 resolution [equivalent to 3-perforation motion picture film]. In other words, VENICE's new full-frame sensor can capture in almost any format, including full 18 mm-height Super35 anamorphic and spherical and full-frame 24 mm-height anamorphic and spherical. Almost any aspect ratio can be conjured up: 1.85:1, 2.39:1, 17:9, the list goes on in full-frame or Super35. With VENICE, Sony is giving users the option to customize their camera by only enabling the features needed, according to their individual production requirements.

The first [short] film shot with the CineAlta VENICE was 'The Dig' [d: Joseph Kosinski; ph: Claudio Miranda].


Go to the SONY website.



The Viper FilmStream Camera, with three 9.2-million pixel Frame Transfer CCDs, captures a 1920 × 1080 pixel image. In addition to uncompressed RGB output, the Viper is also capable of outputting RAW sensor data, which allows for more control in post-production. The camera has a unique feature known as Dynamic Pixel Management, which allows the camera to change its aspect ratio by vertically ganging pixels. This allows the cinematographer to shoot at different aspect ratios without cropping the image [thus losing resolution] or using anamorphic lenses. The Viper lacks on-board recording. The signals from the camera may be recorded to either tape or disk, depending on what mode the camera is used in.



The Viper is a product of Thomson S.A. Thomson was founded in 1879 by Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston. In 1893 their French subsidiary, Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston, was founded. From this French company the modern Thomson S.A. evolved. In 2000, Thomson acquired Technicolor and the Dutch Philips Professional Broadcast, followed, in 2002, by the American company Grass Valley Group [founded in 1959]. Philips Professional Broadcast and Grass Valley, under the brand name Grass Valley, produced the Viper FilmStream. In 2010, Thomson [now named Technicolor] sold Grass Valley. Grass Valley continued producing the LDK HD Production cameras. The production of the Viper was discontinued.


The Viper was first used on the short movie 'Indoor Fireworks' [2003, Rudolf Buitendach; ph: Marc Felperlaan], though the first feature shot entirely with the Viper was 'Silence Becomes You' [2004-05, Stephanie Sinclaire; ph: Arturo Smith]. Other Viper films: 'Collateral' [2003; Viper + CineAlta HDW-F900 + film; dir: Michael Mann; ph: Paul Cameron & Dion Beebe; One of the Viper's strengths is its ability to shoot with extremely low light levels, which allowed much of 'Collateral' to be shot on the streets of Los Angeles at night without the need for substantial supplemental lighting equipment], 'Miami Vice' [2005; Viper + CineAlta HDW-F900 + film; dir: Michael Mann; ph: Dion Beebe], 'Zodiac' [2005, David Fincher; ph: Harris Savides], 'Killer Pad' [2006, Robert Englund; ph: David Stump; 'Killer Pad' is being shot with two Viper Digital Cinematography cameras in FilmStream mode, which provides the greatest available latitudes and image quality available in today's digital equipment. The FilmStream signal is being recorded to the S.two DFR [Digital Field Recorder] digital disk recorder. This allows for the use of digital look up tables on set and for immediate playback and review of each take during the production], 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' [2006-07, David Fincher; ph: Claudio Miranda], etc.



After aborted attempts to create a film-style video camera in the 1970s and 1980s, Panavision joined the digital revolution in July 2000, establishing DHD Ventures in partnership with Sony. The new company's objective was to raise the quality of high definition digital video to the standards of top-level Hollywood motion-picture production. This cooperative venture was established largely at the instigation of George Lucas to serve his designs for the 'Star Wars' prequels.
The collaboration resulted in the Sony HDW-F900 CineAlta HDCAM high definition video camera [also called the Panavision HD-900F after being 'Panavised'].


'In 1997, Panavision and Sony announced their collaboration on the development of a 24 frame, progressive capture digital high definition camera suitable for use by filmmakers to create images for the motion picture screen. Panavising the Sony HDW-F900 camera required a disassembly of the stock camera and replacement of the top cover, carrying handle, bottom supports and mounts with more robust and flexible mounts and handles. Also, a complete new faceplate, lens lock and iris rod support system have been installed. A newly designed Ultraview Viewfinder with enhanced optical performance and easier to use controls replaces the standard viewfinder. These changes and more were made in order to produce a film friendly system that utilizes many of the standard Panavision accessories, such as the follow focus, matte box, heads, etc.
In addition to the mechanical modifications to the camera, a unique optical pre-filter gives you better color matching with film emulsions and enhanced resolution for blue screen effects cinematography.
Historically, 525 and 625 line video systems were constrained in their performance by almost everything but optics. However, with the introduction of the first progressive output 2/3", 2 million pixel [per color] CCD camera it was immediately apparent that optics were going to be critical to maximizing the performance of a Digital Cinematography System.
The 2/3" CCD imager is actually only 11mm in diagonal [as compared to the 27.5 mm diagonal of a 35mm motion picture film frame]. Therefore, for any given screen size, the 2/3" CCD will require 2.5 times more horizontal magnification than a 35mm film frame. This required that our new Primo Digital lens series be designed to have 2.5 times the performance of our best cine lenses. All Primo Digital lenses are optimized for maximum image quality at fast maximum apertures of T1.6-1.9 [F1.45-1.75], thus enabling depths of field similar to 35mm cine formats.' [From the Panavision website.]



The new system was used in the making of Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones/Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones/Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience', described as 'the first digital major feature film'.



The next step in the evolution of the digital cinema camera also involved collaboration between Sony and Panavision; this time, Panavision participated in all stages of development. The aim was to create a system that could use the entire range of the company's 35mm spherical lenses. This led to the 2004 introduction of the Genesis HD camera. Its Super 35mm film–sized recording area made it focally compatible with regular 35mm lenses, giving it a true 35mm depth of field. The electronics were manufactured by Sony. The chassis and mechanics were designed by Panavision.


'For the cinematographer, shooting with Genesis means no compromise on depth of field control, portability, sensitivity, dynamic range or color. Genesis was designed as a Panavision camera. It uses the same Primo lenses and the same accessories as our film cameras. The Genesis Super 35mm sensor is a 12.4 mega pixel, true RGB sensor, with the same number of pixels for each of the three primaries, unlike Bayer pattern cameras that have half as many red or blue pixels as green ones. Genesis was designed with digital intermediates in mind. It offers a unique gamma and colorimetry that enables seamless intercutting with all 35mm film emulsions. Genesis shutter angles range from 3.8° to 360° and frame rates from 1-50fps. The 360° shutter is new territory for film cinematographers, yielding one more stop of exposure, with increased motion blur. Genesis can record either to the new Panavision Solid State Recorder SSR-1 [uncompressed 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 recording - 21 minute capacity in 23.98 fps 4:4:4 SP mode - 43 minute capacity in 23.98 fps 4:2:2 LP mode], or to the Sony HDCAM-SR videotape recorder [4:4:4 RGB recording - maximum 50 minutes recording per cassette at 24fps]. Both units dock directly [top or rear] to Genesis, ensuring a totally portable package without cables to external recording devices.' [From the Panavision website.]


The Genesis was first used on 'Superman Returns' [2005; Genesis + film; dir: Bryan Singer; ph: Newton Thomas Sigel] and 'Flyboys' [2005, Tony Bill; ph: Henry Braham].



In 2017, Panavision introduced the Millennium DXL digital camera. Developed through an unprecedented collaboration of three companies, the camera brings together large-format optics and modular accessories from Panavision; an 8K sensor from RED Digital Cinema; and new color science and optimized workflow from Light Iron.


See also: Modern Motion Picture Cameras - Panavision

See also: Film Formats - Panavision



Arriflex D-21

The Film Style Digital Camera



The Arriflex D-21 [successor to the D-20] combines leading edge digital technology with film camera features that have been refined over ARRI's 90-year history. It allows directors and cinematographers to shoot in the same way as they would with 35mm film, while taking advantage of the immediacy and economy of digital acquisition.

Through ARRI Imaging Technology, the D-21 produces brilliant images with a cinematic look and feel. D-21 images have a high dynamic range, high contrast and the most film-like color reproduction of any digital motion picture camera.

Incorporating a rotating mirror shutter, optical viewfinder and compatibility with existing film accessories, the D-21 is immediately recognizable as an ARRI camera and film crews feel comfortable operating it. Further film style features include variable frame rate and robust construction.

The D-21's single, Super 35-size CMOS sensor exhibits the same cinematic depth of field as 35mm film and the camera's industry standard PL lens mount accepts the same unequalled variety of spherical lenses as used on 35mm film cameras. Since the D-21 is the only digital high-end camera with a 4 x 3 aspect ratio sensor, it can make full use of anamorphic lenses.

The ARRIRAW format enables the D-21 to output RAW uncompressed data. Alternatively - or simultaneously - the camera can output an uncompressed HD signal that works perfectly in the established HD infrastructure.

While most digital cameras use electronic viewfinders, the D-21 is equipped with the same optical viewfinder as all other ARRI cameras. Thus the D-21 viewfinder always shows an image area larger than the image being recorded, and it can be used even when the camera is not powered up.

Light entering the taking lens is diverted by a spinning mirror shutter and generates a bright, magnified full color image in the viewfinder. This direct light path, free of any electronic image processing, ensures fatigue-free viewing as well as zero delay, a crucial feature when shooting fast action, where a delay of even a few frames can be very confusing.

Most crucial of all is the fact that an optical viewfinder shows an image larger than that being recorded and therefore allows the operator to see not just what is in frame, but also what is just outside the frame. This safety area permits meticulous composition and helps the operator prevent unwanted objects from entering a shot.





'The ALEXA is unique in that it can simultaneously record Apple QuickTime/ProRes files, output uncompressed HD video or uncompressed ARRIRAW data. This output versatility makes it ideal for a myriad of productions and workflows from telenovellas to feature films.

As the best recording media for the QuickTime/ProRes files, ARRI has chosen SxS cards because of their high data throughput. Two SxS cards fit into a module on the camera's left side for convenient on-board recording and are hot swappable.

Two outputs which can be configured to 3G or 1.5G HD-SDI deliver an uncompressed high definition video stream with various options such as recording in 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 and ITU Rec709 or Log C tone mapping and color matrixes.

The two recording links can alternatively be used to output the ARRIRAW T-link signal, which can be recorded by a number of certified third party on-board recorders.

ARRIRAW is the only way to access the full potential of ALEXA's sensor [ALEV III CMOS] which has color and dynamic range capabilities far beyond standard HD. ARRI's own ARRIRAW Image Converter [ARC] provides image reconstruction features for the Windows, LINUX and Mac OS platforms. As a result of long term corporate initiatives with key development partners within the ARRIRAW Partner Program, a number of post production tools can now natively work with ARRIRAW files. These output formats are well established standards that integrate the cameras seamlessly into the existing HD infrastructure.' [From the ARRI website.]


In 2011, ARRI introduced 2 new ALEXA models: the ALEXA Studio with an optical viewfinder and a 4:3 sensor, and the ALEXA M with a separate camera head and body. The ALEXA Plus is an upgrade to the ALEXA camera, adding built-in wireless remote control, the ARRI Lens Data System [LDS], additional MON OUT video and RS power outputs, lens synchronization for 3D and built-in position and motion sensors.


In 2013, ARRI introduced the ALEXA XT. With the ALEXA XT cameras [Xtended Technology] ARRI is refreshing its ALEXA product line, incorporating new features inspired by feedback from professional users. The ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT M, ALEXA XT Plus and ALEXA XT Studio cameras will replace all previous models except for the original ALEXA. All ALEXA XT models come with the new XR Module, a side panel that was co-developed with Codex to replace the previous SxS Module. The result is a smaller, lighter, more affordable and cable-free camera package that records ARRIRAW, ALEXA's highest quality image output, inside the camera. For the most effective use of anamorphic lenses, each ALEXA XT model is equipped with a 4:3 sensor, the same size and shape as a Super 35mm film frame. This is crucial for delivering the unique and cinematic widescreen look that can trace its origins back to the CinemaScope films of the 1950s.





In 2013, ARRI introduced the AMIRA, a versatile documentary-style camera that combines exceptional image quality and affordable CFast 2.0 workflows with an ergonomic design optimized for single-operator use and extended shoulder-mounted operation. Ready to pick up and shoot straight out of the camera bag, AMIRA is hardy enough to take anywhere and features in-camera grading with preloaded 3D LUTs, as well as 200 fps slow motion. It is suitable for a great variety of production types, from reportages, documentaries and corporate films to TV drama and low-budget movies.





In 2015 ARRI introduced the ALEXA Mini, 'a versatile additional tool in the ARRI ALEXA camera range that combines a compact and lightweight form factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ALEXA system a gold standard for the industry. Designed for specialized shot-making, the ALEXA Mini perfectly complements a full ALEXA shooting kit and allows crews to eliminate the complications of working with third-party cameras by keeping everything within a single system that is trusted all over the world. The ALEXA Mini can be operated in a number of ways: by wireless remote control, as a normal camera with the ARRI MVF-1 multi viewfinder attached, or with an on-board monitor and controlled via the user button interface on the camera body. Light enough to be comfortably held at arm's length in a hand rig, its compact size and extremely quiet operation also make it ideal for tight shooting conditions.' [From the ARRI website.]



2005    Arriflex D-20

2008    Arriflex D-21

2009    ALEXA [now ALEXA Classic; 1st generation ALEXA]

2011    ALEXA M, Studio, Plus & Plus 4:3 [now ALEXA Classic]

2013    AMIRA

2013    ALEXA XT, XT M, XT Studio & XT Plus [2nd generation ALEXA]

2014    ALEXA 65

2015    ALEXA IMAX [version of the ALEXA 65 built in collaboration with IMAX]

2015    ALEXA Mini

2016    ALEXA SXT [Super Extended Technology], SXT Plus & SXT Studio [3rd generation ALEXA]

2017    ALEXA SXT W [Wireless]

2018    ALEXA LF [Large-Format]


See also: Darius Khondji

See also: Modern Motion Picture Cameras - ARRI



The RED Digital Cinema Camera Company was founded in 2005 by Jim Jannard. In 2006, the company announced its first digital cinematography camera, the RED One. The camera is capable of recording compressed image data at resolutions up to 4096 x 2304, directly to flash or hard disk based digital storage. The camera was released in 2007.



The RED One body is designed for flexibility and functionality. Weighing in at 10 lbs, this is a streamlined package specifically designed to maximize your shooting options. Matched with a 35mm PL lens mount, it allows you to take advantage of the world’s finest optics. Red One's modular design means you can upgrade as we add new features and accessories, as well as benefiting from performance improvements with each new free firmware upgrade.


Typical high-end HD camcorders have 2.1M pixel sensors and record with 3:1:1 color sub-sampled video at up to 30fps. RED One offers the Mysterium, a 12 megapixel Super 35mm cine sized [24.4 x 13.7mm] CMOS sensor [later the 14 megapixel Mysterium-X], which provides 4K [later 4.5K] [up to 30 fps], 3K [up to 60 fps] and 2K [up to 120 fps] capture, and all this with wide dynamic range and color space in 12 bit native RAW. In addition, you get the same breathtaking depth of field and selective focus as found in film cameras using equivalent 35mm PL mount lenses. Mysterium boasts greater than 66db Dynamic Range thanks to its large 29 sq. micron pixels. And 12,065,000 pixels deliver resolution that can only be called Ultra High Definition.



Shoot lightweight EFP style or load it up to shoot a feature film. Options include RED-Rail mounting accessories that 'grow' the camera body. The RED One body and RED-Rail components provide numerous mounting points to allow hundreds of optional RED and third party accessories. Choose between the convenience and durability of recording directly to Compact Flash, in-camera, or outputting signal to RED Flash Drive or RED Drive [RAID] for even longer recording options.


In 2011, RED released the RED Epic [-M & -X] and the Scarlet-X.


'Epic ushers in the next generation of digital cinema, featuring a 14 megapixel Mysterium-X sensor [720p to 5K] capable of capturing 1 to 120 frames per second at full resolution. From fashion spreads to 3D IMAX features, Epic has crossbred elite photography with unrivaled cinema capability - all in a camera the size of a DSLR. In challenging lighting conditions, Epic makes it easy to adapt with its ability to reach up to 18 stops of dynamic range with HDRx. Remarkable technology packed into a 4lb body - with Epic, less is more. Scarlet-X: With the ability to capture 5K stills and 4K motion, resolution sustains itself as a dominant gene in the RED family. Scarlet-X functions as a flexible device, utilizing HDRx and interchangeable lens mounts to provide you with options in a world that's always changing. Capture every perfect moment with 5K burst modes that snap up to 12 frames per second and 4K reaching up to 30 frames per second. Call it 'cinephotography' - all of the finest qualities of cinema and photography now aligned in Scarlet-X.' [From the company website.]


In 2013, RED introduced the Epic Dragon [2K-6K; 19 megapixel Dragon sensor] and the Scarlet Dragon [2K-6K; 19 megapixel Dragon sensor].


Go to the RED website.


Other Digital Cameras


Phantom high-speed


Vision Research in Wayne, New Jersey, USA, is the producer of the Phantom Digital high-speed camera. The forerunner of the company was founded in 1950.


Phantom HD GOLD - maximum speed at full resolution [2048x2048 pixels] is 555 fps; max speed at reduced resolution [256x256] is 4,410 fps

Phantom Flex - depending on the shooting mode and resolution,

the Flex is capable of shooting from 5 fps to over 10,750 fps [640x480]

Silicon Imaging


Silicon Imaging, Inc. in Niskayuna, New York, USA, was founded in 2000. The company produces digital cameras for industrial use and digital cinematography. The full-featured, all-in-one portable design of the Silicon Imaging SI-2K combines a digital cinema class 2048x1152 resolution camera head, IRIDAS color-management technology, and the power of CineForm RAW™, to deliver a direct-to-disk raw recording platform with unprecedented image quality and shooting flexibility.


Among the films [partly] shot with the SI-2K are 'Slumdog Millionaire' [2007; the SI-2K Mini; ph: Anthony Dod Mantle], 'Sherlock Holmes' [2008; ph: Philippe Rousselot] and '127 Hours' [2010; with SI-2K Mini; ph: Enrique Chediak & Anthony Dod Mantle].


The SI-3D is the world's first integrated 3D Cinema quality camera and stereo visualization system. It shoots uncompressed raw 2K or HD footage from two synchronized cameras, outputs dual video streams for independent Left/Right or Stereo Mixed displays and records directly to a single stereo QuickTime file along with 3D LUT color and convergence metadata. The 3D content can be instantly edited, without the need for proxy conversion or ingestion. SI-3D streamlines the entire stereo-3D content acquisition and post production workflow.


Among the films [partly] shot with the SI-3D system is 'Saw 3D' [2010; ph: Brian Gedge].



SI-3D [= 2x SI-2K Mini]




The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a 21.1 Megapixel full-frame CMOS Sensor digital single-lens reflex [DSLR] camera. The 5D Mark II is the first digital EOS to offer recording of Full HD video in Live View Mode. Capable of shooting clips almost half an hour long at full 1080 resolution, the EOS 5D Mark II does amazing double duty, making it possible to shoot broadcast quality video by simply changing settings. For the first eighteen months of its release, the camera only had a 30 fps [30p] video mode. In March 2010, Canon released a firmware upgrade to add a 25p mode for PAL format compatibility and a 24p mode for compatibility with motion picture film cameras. Third parties also produce firmware for the 5D Mark II adding many additional video and cinematography related functionalities.



The Canon EOS 7D is an 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor digital single-lens reflex camera. The 7D was the first Canon camera with a dedicated movie mode switch. The advanced movie mode makes manual exposure control and selectable frame rates possible. Full HD Video is captured at 1920x1080 resolution at 30p [29.97], 24p [23.976] or 25p frames per second, for up to 4GB per clip. Movies are saved as .MOV files and can be viewed in Full HD with HDMI output. Other recording sizes include HD at 1280x720 [50p/60p (59.94) fps] or SD/VGA at 640x480 [50p/60p (59.94) fps]. Boasting the most advanced EOS movie capturing features to date, the EOS 7D does not just shoot video clips, it offers the enhanced image quality, smooth frame rates and adaptive exposure compensation necessary in a professional movie-making tool. [Using quotes from the CANON website.]



'The Canon Cinema EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera capitalizes on the groundbreaking ergonomic design of the EOS C300 camera, and offers a Super 35mm, 8.85-megapixel CMOS image sensor, DIGIC DV III Image Processor and an expansive range of recording and output options specifically for 4K and 2K image acquisition. Addressing the discrete needs of cinema and TV, the EOS C500 offers two forms of 4K origination - productions can dynamically select DCI or the alternative television-centric Quad-HD source image formats.

The EOS C500 features uncompressed Canon RAW output for both 4K and 2K recording. The Canon RAW output is delivered to external recording systems via built-in dual 3G-SDI ports. Dual uncompressed HD-SDI out ports supports external live monitoring. HD content can be written to dual onboard CF cards simultaneously to provide proxy video for offline NLE systems.' [From the CANON website.]


Go to the CANON website.

See also: Robert Primes & Nancy Schreiber

Aaton Penelope Delta



The Aaton Penelope Delta was announced in 2010. The front of the Penelope Delta is from the 35mm 2-perf/3-perf Penelope camera. The back is the new Delta digital 'magazine' with a slide-in DeltaPack SSD [Solid-State Drive] recorder for full rez CinemaDNG [Digital Negative] uncompressed RAW [the Adobe archival format based on open standards]. The camera has an optical viewfinder with large peripheral coverage. The camera is switchable from 35mm to digital in less than half an hour.


In 2013, problems with the Super35 Dalsa® CCD sensor of the Penelope Delta resulted in a cash shortage and the company had to resort to bankruptcy proceedings. The production of the Delta was discontinued.

Other manufacturers of [professional] digital video cameras are, e.g. Panasonic, Sony, JVC and GoPro.