Canon 5D Mark III = $90,000 Rig
When editing with DSLR-generated video, it’s long been an essential first step of the post-production workflow to transcode the source footage to more non-linear-editor friendly Apple ProRes, or AVID DNX-HD formats.
At Capitola Media, we often shoot with the Canon 5D MK III. The Mark III and most cameras like it, encode video to the H.264 codec. While beautiful to look at, H.264 is highly compressed and yields a color space of 4:2:0, and can fall apart with aggressive color grading, or when pulling a key from a green screen.
But the days of transcoding may be coming to an end. Earlier this year, Nikon released its D800 with uncompressed HD-SDI out. Suddenly the long coveted idea of recording to the “uncompressed box-of-your-choice” was a reality. Canon, long afraid of cannibalizing sales of its higher end cameras, felt the heat of competition, and this April will release a firmware update to enable “clean” HDMI out from the 5D MK III.
There’s been a long list of vendors waiting in the wings that make external boxes to record this type of data. You’ll be able to pick from AJA, Blackmagic Design and ATOMOS among others.
The end result of all this? A smokin’ rig under $7,000 that stands to rival the venerable ARRI Alexa — a $90,000 digital cinema camera and a favorite among highend DPs. Talk about a game changer! All that, and the fact that the D800 and the 5D MK III have full-frame 35mm sensors, as opposed to the smaller Super-35 sized sensor on the Alexa.
Welcome (again) to the brave new world.