Camera design has come a long way. Some things have changed, while others stayed the same. The design of high-end digital cinema cameras such as the ARRI Alexa and the Sony F65 for example carries over the DNA from the classic legacy design of legendary film cameras from ARRI and Panavision. However, the cinema camera landscape overall has changed drastically.
What is a cinema camera? To some it’s a RED Epic, to others, it’s an ARRI Alexa, and to others it’s whatever they can get their hands on – a Canon C300, a C100, a 5D Mark 2, or a GH4, an A7s etc.
The form factor has changed/evolved in the mid and lower-level tiers of digital acquisition. Today’s affordable digital cameras carry the ergonomics, for better or worse, of photographic stills cameras. This can be a benefit and a detriment at the same time, depending on what point of view you take.
On one hand, DSLR’s and derivatives such as the Canon C100/300/500, 1st generation Blackmagic cameras – BMCC, Pocket Cinema Camera, and the BMPC as well as mirrorless cameras such as the GH4 and the A7s are lighter and smaller. However, outfitting them or rigging them for the demanding rigours of field production can be a painful process, which often requires substantial resources (often exceeding the cost of the cameras) and sourcing different bits from multiple manufacturers – such as V-lock/Gold Mount batteries, or other (NP-F, Canon, etc.) battery plates, 15mm rods, Should support, quick release plates, etc.
There’s also an option to get a full rig designed for a specific cameras. The folks at Cinoflex have gone even further. The Cinoflex type-SA7S is a full “cameras system” for the Sony A7s. “More than just a rig” is often mentioned on their Facebook page, and the photos of their custom designed power/wireless/all-in-one professional Cinema Camera solution speaks for itself.
The complete Sony A7S CINOFLEX Type-SA7s Camera System consists of the following:
- Sony A7s
- Designed and manufactured with the operator in mind
- Accepted within the professional camera industry Union – IA 600 ICG
- Perfect for studio/remote operation/handheld work
- Industry standard I/O connections
- Power all you accessories from single/dual battery
- 4 x dedicated HD-SDI Video outputs
- 4:2:2 UHD (3840 x 2160) 4K Output via HDMI Recorder
- Expandable Sensitivity: ISO 100-409600
- Full Pixel Read-Out, S-Log2 Cine Gamma
- Full-Frame Sensor (36x24mm) or Super35
- Available in PANAVISION/PL/Nikon F/Canon EF Mounts
- In-Camera Anamorphic 2.40:1 Guide marker
- Up to 120 fps High Speed Video Recording (1280 x 720p)
- Flexible Timecode Options
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
- Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) Codec OPTION – via external recorder (Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q)
- Monitor with LUT support/Focus Assist/False Colour/Waveform
- 7.7″ OLED capacitive touchscreen with a 1280 x 800 DISPLAY (7Q)
- High-intensity Iris Rods for Follow Focus/FF motors etc.
- Built-in HDMI anchored port
- Built-in HDMI to SDI Converter (to use with Viewfinders or Odyssey 7Q for example)
Pricing is around $10,000 and includes A7s Body, Monitor-recorder (Odyssey 7Q), Anton Bauer batteries x 2, Cinoflex rig, cables.
This beast of a “rig” is a beauty and really transforms a stills/hybrid mirrorless camera into a fully professional motion picture camera with the requisite connectivity to withstand the demands of the modern production environment. For some, and it certainly has been the case for me, constructing a “Franken-rig” by assembling bits and pieces from all sorts of places and trying to come up with the most comfortable and ergonomic solution requires a huge amount of time, effort and resources.
For the DIY’s the Cinoflex type-A7S might not be a good fit, but for those looking to use the A7s on feature films, commercials or documentaries and those who want to get an all-in-one solution – Cinoflex has you covered. We’ll dig around for some more pricing options for those who already own an A7s/monitor-recorder and we’ll update you.
In the meantime, check out some behind the scenes photos of the Cinoflex C300/C500 camera system in action from a shoot they did for Canon Imagination 2013 featuring Eva Longoria.
For more information check out their official Facebook page at Cinoflex. We’ll be updating you with more news bits relating to the development of this professional camera system as it becomes available.