What do short films about a chase through southern California, an elephant rescue in Sri Lanka and a sci-fi spaghetti western have in common?
Nothing, except they were all shot with Sony Electronics’ newest CineAlta™ 4K cameras. All three were screened last week at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, Calif., the first time any public audiences saw footage shot with the new cameras.
Some big names in the production business were behind the cameras for these shoots: Tribeca Enterprises, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Stargate Studios. And each had people on hand to break down their footage.
Doug Wellman, assistant dean at the USC School, said it best: “these pieces that we shot really highlight the full gamut of the cameras’ capabilities, and the flexibility and performance they can offer on location.”
The goal with these new cameras is pretty straightforward: drive more professional 4K production, which will lead to more true 4K content that consumers can see in movie theaters and eventually at home.
Movie theaters aren’t a problem, with more than 13,500 Sony 4K projectors worldwide, and counting. The home theater is a different story, since there’s no easy transmission or broadcast pipeline to consumers. But that’s in the works, and should be a reality in the near future, especially now that 4K TVs are on the market, including Sony’s 84-inch set. And Sony is making progress on getting 4K content to the home. (link here to the 4K video player?)
For now, if nothing else, these new cameras produce better-looking HD content. Fox Sports is doing that, for example, shooting NFL games in 4K with Sony’s F65 camera, just to produce more detailed replays in HD.
So, there is a value to shooting 4K now for HD and keeping that “4K Negative” on the shelf for later. It’ s all about future-proofing, and when the 4K pipeline is in place, the 4K master footage shot with these cameras will be ready for primetime. As the tools become more refined and less expensive, it allows another bite of the production apple. It’s not about 4K for 4K’s sake. It’s about image preservation and using the maximum creation canvas available in digital.
For a photo album of the Culver City event, check our Sony Pro USA Facebook page, and stay tuned to Sony for more 4K news.