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Cineform, Red and Workflow Thoughts

In a nutshell this post is me primarily working through some thoughts and decision-making process. None of it is urgent so that plays a small role. I’m over here in Bangladesh working on the second part of documentary. This is the final bit of filming, the first of which took place in February from Malaysia. Upcoming projects included a potential week in Africa in February and a documentary in pre-production now that will be in the middle east.

I’ve been eyeing the development of the new Red products and watching VDSLR’s hitting the market like hotcakes. Large sensors and small form factors doing pretty dances in my eyes. As an independent producer and camera guy, the low-impact, lower-weight of these things is highly appealing. However, both have limitations. The VDSLRs are crippled in a few areas and the Scarlet is yet to exist. And quite frankly, after being over here in Bangladesh filming again, I’m seriously re-thinking shooting with a DSLR shape cam. My Z7u is small, but I’ve been paying attention to how I shoot, and I quite often prop the camera against my shoulder like a gun…the LCD being right at eye-level.

So as much as the lemmings were all jumping off the cliff with the 7D. I refrained. This is where you might be able to help my thinking process. I have a good camera. It’s only downside is HDV and 1/3″ sensor. I can get out of HDV in two different flavors (HDMI uncompressed at 1920 in 4:2:2): the first being XDCam with the NanoFlash and the second being the Cineform Intermediate via the CinedeckHD. My thinking is that getting a better recording medium will go a lot farther than a larger sensor. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

My camera also has interchangeable lenses, I can get Fujinon or more Ziess lenses for the cam if I want as well. After looking at the proposed Scarlet dimensions, I realize it’s not any lighter than my Z7u. Slightly small in brain only form, but once you attach everything, it’s going to be heavier and probably larger than my current camera.

Having a new record medium would prep me for any HDMI or HDI output sources down the road, VDSLRs, Scarlets, other cameras. My workflow would remain the same. Currently, I love the Cineform workflow, it looks great, plays back great, metadata support, First Light (which I’ve yet to use, but plan to) and support with every major NLE.

Granted there are a few issues, like mobile power and being tethered to something in my backpack, but I’d take that for way better looking footage. So those are my thoughts. What are yours on the subject?


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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