Friday, November 29, 2013

Sony RX10 with Atomos ProRes Recorder - Pocket Cinema Camera Killer?

The biggest challenge with the new Sony DSC-RX10 still/video hybrid camera for serious video projects has been its relatively low bitrate AVCHD codec. Despite this limitation, with a good grade, this camera can produce decent results (see Andrew Reid's RX10 test video, Run and Gun).

But what if you could combine the RX10's downscaling algorithms with a decent codec?  Last night, Atomos posted this tutorial on how to use their Ninja 2 external monitor/recorder with the RX10:

The Atomos Ninja 2 gives the RX10 the ability to record 233mbps ProRes 422, the same codec available on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera when it was first released.

This codec takes up less space on cards and drives than RAW, and some shooters prefer it as a good compromise between the limitations of 8 bit and the complexity of dealing with RAW.

If you're planning to buy the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for ProRes only, don't need a lens faster than f2.8 or longer than 200mm, and don't want to deal with RAW, you might want to look at the $1298 RX10 plus a $675 Ninja 2 instead (and don't forget the $6.99 micro-HDMI to HDMI Cable).

Add the fact that the RX10 is a 20.2MP still camera; has a bright OLED viewfinder; a great de-clicked Zeiss constant f2.8, an 8x power zoom; a built-in ND filter; 1080/60p; usable onboard sound plus audio level meters (not to mention little niceties such as a recording time remaining indicator, the ability to delete files in camera and a battery that lasts more than a few minutes) - all features the Blackmagic lacks - and buying a finicky $995 BMPCC plus some kind of viewfinder or LCD shade, an expensive constant f2.8 lens, a superfast SanDisk Extreme Pro card, extra batteries and a screw on ND filter just to shoot gradeable ProRes 422 doesn't make a lot of sense.

If you're a low budget RAW shooter (or want to be), the BMPCC continues to be the absolute best straight out-of-the-box solution.

ProRes shooters, however, now have another, very usable, option.  I'll say it again, it's a great time to be a hybrid photographer/filmmaker!

As usual, if anything here has helped you reach a buying decision, please click on one of the links above or the display ads below to order your RX10, Ninja 2 or BMPCC.

If you don't need a camera or external recorder right now, please shop with our other sponsors, Adorama, Amazon, BorrowLenses, CoolLCD, DigitalRev, uBid, Vimeo, the the Warner Brothers Shop and others whose display ads you see in the margins.  It won't cost you anything extra, and it will help to keep these blog posts coming.  Thanks so much!

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