This is seriously exciting. After looking at output from the current 1080 cameras, and finding them too sharp and not quite right looking, the new Sonys and of course the Red cameras, give me hope that we can really make video which looks like really good film now - and for "cheap." And with control of depth of field, and with still grabs which rival current dslr and MF back image quality for prints, WOW.
I have often thought, I could really relax in a shoot if I didn't have to constantly be deciding when to fire the shutter. To be able to direct the models/actors and know that every instant is being captured and I can choose from them later - well that makes things a while lot less stressful, IMO.
P.S. Why is a 16gb memory card for those new Sonys $900?? I just bought some Sandisk 16gb CF cards from B&H which were $99 after rebate. Sheesh.
Re the memory card prices: Sony seems to have had some issues with their OEM, Sandisk. The OEM agreement is expiring and we can expect to see major price drops on the 16 gig, as well as the the long awaited 32 gig SyS cards. By the way, dumping a 16gig card via the PCI-X slot on a MacBookPro takes NO TIME at all. There is a new hard drive that attached to the "cold" shoe that has a SyS connector on it, so you can record to the drive directly, then to the PCI-X port on your Mac.
It also has an automated backfocus tool that adjusts the rear element for optimum focus. Just aim it at a resolution chart and KABOOM you have optimal focus. With the H cameras you have to have it calibrated at the factory.
The MFDB makers better step up. The EX3 has so many of the benefits of "integration" ala Hassie H yet allows for open lens selection. Also, the EX3 takes integration really far with the adjustable element etc. The IS really works as well. I mean really works well. The example given was the EX1 on a tripod in the back of a van driving down the autobahn. It was rock steady w/o any push in etc. It just works.
Why can't we have this in a MFDB body/lens? Hassie is probably on the right track with integration, but its really only implemented to be restrictive, for the most part. I know, hyper Phocus or whatever its called is real, but why not a moving element like the Sony? Fiji makes the Sony lens as well as the H glass, so why are half assed integration?
The AF is really, really good, as is the LCD. The EX1 is about $6k, about $10k less than I paid for my P30+. The color and tonal gradation is just amazing, especially with faces.
I think its a matter of time before Red or Sony breaks bad with a hybrid larger than 35mm still/cine 35mm cam.
By the way, have you guys seen Build 16 Red images? I was shown some low light stuff shot on a Build 16 Red and my god, amazing! As someone who looks at images and not pixels, I prefer the Red and Sony images to any dslr. They are slightly better than unprocessed MFDB images. I know my P30 with some work in C1 4 and CS3 can beat it and have the res, but Phuk Me, why deal with the hassle and the EXTRA expense? Come on Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Blad, start the revolution before Sony or Red run you over! Reduce prices, get some real integration going, make it all faster, make pricing transparent, sell a package with value added Macs and storage etc.
I do think that frame grabs are kind of stupid, but real still shots from a higher res version of these cams could be great! Shoot your video, then shoot stills with the same camera . . . use HMI's to light the entire thing. The best part about providing video is that you may be able to benefit from video's high price structure that clients accept. What I mean is that day rates and equipment rentals are all more with video than with stills, yet our rates are unchanged in 20 years and we meet resistance for every 1% price increase.
Now might be a good time to buy a lightly used EX1 from a dealer. I saw at least seven people putting a deposit on a an EX3 and trading in EX1's.