When motion cameras moved from CCD to CMOS sensor technology, we got much better low-light performance, but gained an unfortunate side effect we affectionately refer to as jello, also called image skew. While CCDs are normally global shutters, CMOS technology can run in either rolling or global shutter. Unfortunately up until recently, running a CMOS sensor in global shutter mode meant lower performance, including less dynamic range. This means we've been stuck with rolling shutters and the jello effect, and high end cameras have only gotten rid of the effect by putting actual spinning mirrors in front of the sensor. Now RED has introduced a brand new mount called the Motion Mount, which turns their CMOS MX or DRAGON sensors into global shutters, without any dynamic range or noise penalties. We also have new DRAGON footage -- check it out below.
As a quick demonstration if you don't already know, here is Global Shutter vs. Rolling Shutter:
Originally unveiled at NAB, these Motion Mounts are now officially on sale. Here is Ted from RED showing off the mount:
Another look at the effect:
The Motion Mount is really an all-in-one solution, acting as both a global shutter and an ND filter (and it also gets rid of IR pollution). The best part about this solution is that it's going to work with both EPIC and SCARLET, MX and DRAGON -- it won't matter which camera or sensor you have. Even though the DRAGON sensor readout is about twice as fast as MX (which doesn't suffer from jello that much anyway), this new Motion Mount solves global shutter however you want it to. The mount can be ND only or ND and global shutter, and can do 8 stops of ND in the first mode but only 4 stops in global shutter mode.
The most interesting aspect of the new mount is the Soft Shutter mode, but here is an explanation of everything this mount does:
The mount does take away about 1.5 stops of light even when you're not using it, so it may be something you take off the camera when you're indoors. While the mount can run in either ND Only or ND + Global Shutter mode, there is a catch about shooting wide open when you're in ND only mode:
Other than that bit, this mount is extremely exciting. You can read more about the motion mount in the official guide here. The mount comes in both Canon EF and PL, titanium only. Originally going to retail for over $4,000, RED is releasing the new mount at just $3,900. While that might be a lot, it's important to consider everything this mount does, and when it's paired with DRAGON, it has all of the benefits of a rolling shutter (better noise performance and dynamic range), plus the everything that's great about global shutters.
Blackmagic's new 4K camera has a global shutter, but it will have lower performance as far as dynamic range and ISO range are concerned. While having a global shutter can be nice, it's good that companies like Blackmagic and RED are now giving options to get rid of that miserable jello effect.
We've also got some brand new DRAGON footage from Gunleik Groven. Check it out here, but head on over to Vimeo if you want the best quality (NSFW):
What do you think about the Motion Mount?