While cameras are just tools to facilitate a vision, very often we forget that usability can be just as important as image quality. Well-designed cameras let you forget about the tool and focus on making beautiful imagery. Unfortunately, that seems to have been lost in the current age of digital cinema, and we have plenty of designs that leave a lot to be desired, often requiring all sorts of gadgets to make them useful. Tomorrow we're going to unveil a brand new digital cinema camera that was designed with all of this in mind, marrying form and function to get out of your way and let you make images. You can check out the first sneak peek below.
Here is just a teaser to get you started:
Image quality is great for a vast majority of cinema cameras, but plenty of them are just simply not very usable right out of the box. One of the major trends right now is to make cameras smaller and lighter and copy a shape that was never designed for video (I'm speaking about DSLRs, of course). What happened to the last 30 or 40 years of camera design? Is it gone forever? We have made our cameras miniscule, but more often than not we are building them right back up and adding all sorts of counterweights and shoulder supports.
There is a reason this camera is currently the most popular in high-end cinema:
It's not just because of the image quality. That's part of the discussion, but it is also thoughtfully designed. It is well-balanced and simple to operate. A camera that is functional without needing a ton of accessories is going to give you the least amount of headaches on set. For some reason only cameras above a certain price threshold even consider these things. What was wrong with this kind of design?:
It's easily mountable, well-balanced, and you can throw it on your shoulder without even thinking about it. That's not to say either of these designs are perfect or that they are right for every job (like 3D), but how did we start getting cameras that look like this?:
This new cinema camera being unveiled tomorrow combines thoughtful design and a functional form factor with solid image quality. It may not be flashy, but it does the job, and gets out of your way to let you fulfill your vision.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the unveiling and an exclusive No Film School interview with the creators.
In the meantime, if you could improve any camera on the market right now, which one would it be, and how would you do it? It can be literally anything you would do to any camera -- but it should focus on usability. Which cameras do you love for their functionality and which do you loathe?