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Shane Hurlbut Shares and Discusses 'The Ticket' - First Short Shot on Canon's 4K DSLR

04.17.12 @ 7:26PM Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,

Canon had its big NAB screening on Sunday night, showing off both its 4K DSLR, the EOS 1D-C, and the C500.  As part of the presentation they screened “The Ticket”, a short film written/directed by Po Chan, lensed by Shane Hurlbut, and shot on the EOS 1D-C.  Filmed and displayed in 4K, Hurlbut showed just what the camera can do, and now we too can see what it looks like by way of his blog (albeit through the limitations of Vimeo).  Hurlbut goes on to share some interesting behind the scenes tidbits, and praise that might just entice you into giving this camera a whirl:

For the short itself, you’ll have to go here first.  What I find interesting about this project is that it not only suggests the tantalizing possibility of 4K, but also speaks to the present-day limitations with regards to being able to appreciate it.  As Hurlbut points out:

What you are going to see on the web will never do this camera justice. You need to run out, knock down doors and demand screenings of this camera on a 4K Sony or Barco projector. I have walked up to 6 inches from the screen, and you cannot see a pixel.

Which is pretty cool.  But, I wish I could “see” the difference.  Although beautifully shot and rendered, I can’t really tell (certainly not through Vimeo) what all the increased resolution brings to the image, compared to say, 2K.  But this is understandable — these cameras are geared toward content that will be displayed on the big screen at some point during its life-cycle — precisely the place where the increased resolution can be appreciated.  Even if most of us won’t be sitting 6 inches from the screen.

Beyond that, Hurlbut does offer some really big praise for the camera, which might just make folks consider this as a rental item:

When you harness 4K into the small footprint of a 1D, give it the processing power to record to little CF cards with no external recording devices needed, then deliver an image that crushes the F65, Epic, Alexa in one fell swoop. Now that is where the WOW factor comes in. I can blind you with tech specs, wine and dine you with test footage, but this is not what I am about. If this unique device transports you and rivals 35mm film, then my job is done.

I was particularly surprised by his comment on the image quality.  At this point he’s one of the few people who’s probably shot on all four cameras, so that carries some weight.  I guess we’ll see what other folks think in the coming weeks and months.

For the full blog post along with the short film, go here.  What’d you think?  Is 4K really increasing image quality?  Is it going to be a while before we can appreciate those higher resolutions?  Does the image quality justify the price?

[via HurlBlog]


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Description image 61 COMMENTS

  • Even as one of the canon disappointed, I must say that the short looks really good. I know we can’t see the full quality of the 4k picture online, but 4k stands up much better through transcoding to h.264 then Vimeo encoding. It looks as sharp as epic, scarlet, and fs700 online footage. Way sharper then online 5d. And I thought the color would have been way crappier especially the skin tones, but they looked good. It looked like a real movie.

    Damn you canon, if this camera was priced more competitively it would have serious impact. This is the perfect b-cam for serious features though

    • 5d III footage doesn’t look as sharp *because* Canon implemented an OLPF to combat moire/aliasing and because you reduce sharpening in camera when shooting flat. If you add a sharpening effect in post, the images vastly improve. I’ll bet that The Ticket has seen a lot of massaging in post as well – which is fine. All that counts is what the image looks like on screen, all the rest is just tech talk anyway. Like Shane said “Job done”.

      • never said mark iii, I meant dslr footage in general, don’t worry I watch Philip Bloom too. And I understand that whats on the screen matters. I’m saying I can visibly see the difference between higher bitrate or 4k footage and dslr 720 even online with h264 and vimeo compression.

  • Blackmagic Design took the wind out of their sails.

    • I wish this comment had a “like” button. Because yes sir it did! lmao. I love how Andrew over at EOSHD put it. They intentionally hindered the capability of the 5D mark 3 to make way for a camera nobody but Hollywood could afford to own. Sucks for them now because companies are coming out of the wood work with solutions to their price points. I wonder what the GH3 will bring… for far less as well…

    • The price of the thing took the wind out of their sails

    • Agreed!

      Blackmagic’s Camera is one to watch for sure. As long as rolling shutter is moderately more controlled than on the 5D II I’m lovin’ it.

    • I know what your saying, and I agree only because of the 1D-Cs pricing, but the test footage I saw from BM looked like shit honestly, but im sure we’ll see much better stuff once its in the right hands

      • I agree. When cameras are tested on real production. I like how canon shows their cameras with short films by respected filmmakers with credentials. Everybody throws around specs,prices and bs test footage. Show the people what it can really do, put in the hands of those who’s going to push this cameras to their limits, then pop up out of no where and say this the(new camera) it does this that and the third, oh btw here’s a film shot using it. That’s why canon gets the buzz no matter what price tag they put on there eos cinema line.

    • that bad boy will definitely be punching some swiss in the cheese of the DSLR market… I wonder though how it will do with really shallow depths of field. The test video showed some nice deep DOF. Not sure what the sensor specs are but I’d love to see how that tool handles and creates Shallow DOF…

  • john jeffreys on 04.17.12 @ 8:26PM

    15k is the “estimated price”, much like how the C300 “estimated price” was 20k, and now its 16. With that same logic, I expect the 1dc to be 10k when it comes out. At least, I hope. Because this is an awesome camera, actually 3 cameras in one- a super 35 camcorder, a 4k aps-h camera, and a full frame 1d-x all in one.

  • shaun wilson on 04.17.12 @ 8:27PM

    I love how the main players are suddenly abandoning their masses by making cameras we cant afford (and barely can afford to rent), armed with bravado and sensationalism that only a production company can finance, yet Digital Bolex, JVC and BlackMagic are not forgetting who keeps them in business by making quality cinema cameras at 2K and beyond, at affordable prices. Well, we almost got 3K for 3K with BM this week…

  • If only he could have kept anything in Act of Valor in focus like he did in this short…

  • Man the images out of this camera FAR exceeded my expectations, the short looks fucking great. If not for the price tag…

    • that being said, shane’s over enthusiasm is strange, saying it blows alexa, epic, and F65 out of the water seems a bit much at this point.

      • agreed, every time a new camera comes around we start hearing these over enthusiastic claims by the first people to test them. I remember when the 5DII first came out people were saying its as good as 4K Red One. I will wait to see it in person to make judgements.

    • Beautiful times. So many options now. Then someone say RENTING SEASON!!!

  • This my first post ever on nofilmschool and I will like to say I was blown more away by the story that I forgot I was looking at a 1D C film. The footage of the cam was amazing but the story had me. It just really showed me content is king and a camera is just a tool use to capture that content. With that being said, what a great camera, to capture great content.

  • >deliver an image that crushes the F65, Epic, Alexa in one fell swoop

    good luck with that

  • jordan carr on 04.17.12 @ 11:58PM

    I gotta call BS on most of what shane says.

    No way an 8 bit motion jpeg file from this Canon can compete with what the red epic or sony f65 can produce. Shane has a childish habit (i have heard him lecture) of blowing things WAY out of proportion.

    No doubt this new 4k Canon is a fantastic tool but a professional doesn’t bash other brands that he isn’t sponsored by.

    Very very childish comments from shane. It makes for good tabloid headlines but he is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the internet and indifilm industry.

    • Was that before or after Terminator 4?

    • Shane Hurlburt has a much more impressive resume than any other “camera tester” we have seen (not including Peter Jackson on beta red one). Maybe his comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but they certainly should not be taken as if from a child. Frankly I am a little tired of these kinda lame test films, and even though this story wasnt all that original, it was well told and beautifully shot. Have you read the comments left on reduser? its sickening how much brown nosing is going on.

      • Álex Montoya on 04.18.12 @ 3:51AM

        Only things that can be judged with the video at Vimeo are latitude, sensitivity and skin tones.

        Sensitivity doesn’t look to great: my guess is that the F3 and the C300 have both better sensitivity.

        And latitude is not stellar either, certainly looks worse than the one of the Alexa.

        FInally I like the skin tones of the Alexa, the Blackmagic or the Epic with the new color science better. Everything looks a little bit videoish here.

        • I think Shane is a really talented cinematographer and I’m always impressed with what he brings to the story-telling table. That being said, I agree that his comments always seem to come off a ‘little’ biased to me. I don’t blame him for getting REALLY excited about his gear but come on… “crushes F65, Epic, and Alexa”? If he didn’t have such an impressive resume I’d peg him as a shill for Canon. At the level of quality most of these new cameras are producing images, doesn’t it get pretty subjective at a certain point? If Shane thinks the compression from the 1D-C really does look like film grain, who am I to argue with that if I haven’t used the camera yet. He’s certainly making it work for him which is all that counts I guess.

          • Well he did say on his blog that he is going to show comparison test, etc.

            Also his model of the camera had a limited ISO range that the final (or this stage) camera doesn’t have.

            It’s all subjective at the end of the day.

    • Jordan – I was attempting to compare your IMDB credits alongside Shane’s and couldn’t find you? That said, I saw The Ticket in the 4k Canon Theater and EVERYTHING Shane says is true – this camera is insane. I didn’t even want to go to the booth I was so pissed at the 1D C price – but the short in 4k freaked me out. Later I met Shane and chatted with him because I couldn’t believe this was recorded on board. Simply put it’s the best digital camera footage I’ve ever seen… ever.

      As a side note, I also saw the FS700 demo in the Sony 4k theater and it looks like a real winner too – there is no way you’d ever think the 240fps footage was created on a $10k AVCHD camera – stunning. A great specialty camera to have on set for my 1D C shoots :)

      • Compared to the C500 short that was shown on the screen, the 1D-C short looked muddy to me, very muddy. Details weren’t clean, and that has nothing to do with the fake grain that they added for no reason, which doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to show how clean a camera can be.

        Yeah skin tones looked good and it does a good job at reproducing many colors, but in no way should that be a $15,000 camera. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about that whole situation and the short in an upcoming post.

  • mizanul nasim on 04.18.12 @ 12:39AM

    15000 dollars??? i guess this camera worth it…
    a full production scarlet would cost around 22000-25000 dollars for 4k
    1DC offers you 4k for 15000-17000 dollars for everything! it is also the best in market DSLR for stills!
    if i had money, i wouldn’t mind spending on this camera…
    we get more, we want more…
    i love red… they are capable of some serious stuffs but with more money…
    black magic… sounds great for us as indie film makers… i am gonna have one for myself.
    we need to work as per our(not camera’s) capabilities… only a great camera with great specs cant make you a better film maker.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.18.12 @ 1:16AM

      And if street price gets down to $12k then Canon will have something special – I don’t agree with Shane that “this looks 100% like film” and “I love its 8 bit color BS” but FF does make wides “very wide” and I have little doubt that the low light performance of the 1DC will top current Red products.

      The lack of peaking and 8 bit color is annoying however. You have to REALLY want the still abilities of this camera because Sony’s price of the FS700 is aggressive as well.

      • mizanul nasim on 04.18.12 @ 1:57AM

        you have to consider form factor… it would be a great camera for steadicam use…
        internal recording… i think much better for a camera that will be used mostly as a “B” cam…
        FF is something most people like…
        the image definitely does not look like film… it has some other feel… which is nice i think…
        oh god!!! if it had RAW in this form factor and specs… that could be an “oh my god” camera..,

        • if it had raw holy shit can you imagine how many they’d sell? but they gotta try and sell C500s for twice the price instead…. sigh…

        • How would a light camera be good for steadicam?

        • Daniel Mimura on 04.21.12 @ 6:43PM

          I hate light cameras with steadicam. I usually power the Bartech thru a v-mount plate attached to the rods just for extra mass and fore and aft inertia (so it’s shaped like something that flies well like an Alexa, a 16SRIII or a professional video camera). Too light can be harder to fly, and the shape is all wrong.

          Even an F3 or Epic is so light (5lbs), if they’re not using heavy lenses, I have to strap on a 5lb kettlebell or some angle weights to get it to behave.

    • What are you adding to the scarlet to make it $20000+ that you don’t have to add to the 1dc?

      • mizanul nasim on 04.18.12 @ 3:26AM

        storage and powers are costly for scarlet… 19265 $ is the price for their lightweight collection that barely fulfill storage and power for long time shooting… you have to spend more…

        on the other hand, street price can be reduced for 1DC…

        • Four batteries and four redmags seems fine to me. It is a bit more of a pain, but it’s also a pain to shoot on a dslr without a rig, and those aren’t cheap either. Not to mention what a pain motion jpeg is. If you’re on a budget I can’t imagine 4k is a primary concern, it seems like 16bit redraw vs 8bit motion jpeg is a more relevant concern. If I’m going to stick to an 8bit codec there are cheaper options like the fs700 that at least offer something else instead like higher framerates.

  • I thought I saw some issues with strobing light at 5:21 …anyone see that?

  • As per Micha Schmidt’s suggestion, I’m getting a “4k is so 2014″ t-shirt

    I do believe that 4k has its time and place. I too can see the benefits of being able to reframe in post. However, for my screens (web, blu-ray, maybe TV), I just don’t *need* the extra resolution right now. Although Shane Hurlbut has embraced 8-bit, I would rather have an extra camera that allows for more latitude in post (i.e. Raw, 12-bit).

    • Ha… 2014 is probably about right. If you’re starting production on something that’s going to be shown in multiplexes, you probably want to shoot 4k now. The post industry will probably have caught up by the time you’re finishing.

      Most of us are not shooting blockbusters or anything that’s likely to be picked up for mainstream theatrical distribution on 40 ft screens, we should be concentrating on getting the best 2k image we can.

    • Daniel Mimura on 04.21.12 @ 6:50PM

      Ha ha!

      Yeah, I think for most indie filmmakers…instead of spending an extra $10k or whatever on a 4k camera…rent a decent lighting package and your work is gonna look a hell of a lot better than having more 4x the number of poorly light pixels.

      No one wants to buy more lighting and grip equipment though, there’s no glamour in that.

      • Daniel Mimura on 04.21.12 @ 6:51PM

        “lit”, not “light”.

        Damn, I wish there was an edit button. Yet another tyypo.

  • Saw it today at the Canon booth. Honestly? I was way more blown away by the stuff they were showing on the way out– the 4K prototype monitors. At one point, they were showing scenes/footage from a movie Jeff Cronenweth shot with the C500, and that looked absolutely spectacular.

    I know Shane is really excited for these little cams, and this one in particular, but I gotta be honest– it didn’t look 4K to me. It looked OK, like HD resolution, better-than-average 5DM2 footage. In fact, that’s what I thought it was: 5DM2. Only after when they showed the BTS footage did I see what it was shot on, and how.

    Still, it’s remarkable that such a tiny camera can make such great images. But if you asked me if I’d rather have something shot with one of those or a C300… I think the C300 would probably win every time.

  • That all being said– the short film still looks amazing. Hurlbut is a fantastic DP.

  • 4K is all well and good but almost no-one (talking about London) is finishing in 4k. If you shoot 4K RAW you render out to 2K DPX LOG for grading in Baselight. You can always go back to the RAW if need be (for punching in or problem exposures etc) but no-one seems to be finishing at 4k. Yet. I’m sure it’s all gonna happen soon but as things stand it’s time and money versus quality that won’t yet be seen considering the vast majority of projectors are 2K. Also, Drive was shot in 1080p and looked better in the cinema (and on Blu-ray) than anything I’ve yet seen shot on Red.

  • I was at NAB and saw this film projected TWICE in 4K, and I can tell you that it looked every bit as incredible as everyone is raging about. I don’t think 4K is anything that is necessary at the moment for delivery, but for future-proofing, well that’s a different story.

    • This “future” is not happening in the next 5 years at least , hence once it happens all the cameras from today will be obsolete anyway.

      • Álex Montoya on 04.18.12 @ 11:54AM

        I guess he means ‘future-proofing’ the footage, You know, like when you shoot on film vs. say HDCAM.

  • Yeah, yeah, it crushes Epic, F65, Alexa, film, whatever you say, Shane.

    This is really a great camera plagued by insane price tag. Canon should’ve priced it at 7,000.

  • I realize we are not looking at a 4K projection here and it’s compressed and re-sized and all but, to say it rivals film? If he’s referring to 16MM, maybe? It looks grainy (noisy) and not very sharp to me… like some old 16MM films I’ve seen. The latitude looks to be OK but, “crushes Epic, F65, Alexa AND film? And with only 8bits. Hmmm, if Canon had given me a camera and asked me to shoot a short, I know I would feel a certain pressure to say something good and this may be what’s going on here. I’m sure it’s a very nice imaging tool but, to say it crushes these cameras… that’s a very big statement, indeed.


    • Jordan Carr on 04.18.12 @ 2:57PM

      It is still there – but if you can’t find it, you are not missing much. Vimeo is compressing it and streaming it at 720p resolution. The short film is cheezy with poor acting and the audio is aweful in a few spots. Difficult to tell how it was lit but I do think the low light performance of this new 1DC might be worth it for those willing to live with poor 8 bit color and horrible skin tone.

      If you watch the 2011 Zacuto shootout, you can clearly see that all of the 8 bit DSLRs were beyond horrible for actors skin / faces when compared to the Red, Alexa, Sony cinema tools.

      Perhaps Canon has improved their algorithms – but 8 bit is still 8 bit and skin tone doesn’t film well with such a limited access to information.

      • Lance Bachelder on 04.20.12 @ 5:16PM

        Skin tones on the 4k version are fantastic. There is no way anyone could tell this is 8 bit. Remember this is 500mbit per sec. 4:2:2 MJPEG not some hamstrung hybrid web codec like all other DSLR’s. Unless you’re doing high-end FX, green screen etc. at ILM you do not need 12 bit RAW.

        It wasn’t that long ago we were all shooting 3:1:1 DV at 720×480 with our DVX100′s and loving life! Now everyone thinks they need RAW – doesn’t matter what you shoot on if your project sucks.

  • I wish the price was around 8k-10k… then this would be something worth considering… :(