Panasonic and Purple hope to switch pictures with frames of video
In the event you’re frightened about lacking a as soon as-in-a-lifetime photograph op, Panasonic and Pink have a proposition: Why not shoot extremely excessive-res video and simply seize nonetheless photographs? Each corporations had the identical concept at Photokina 2014 (although Purple had it lengthy earlier than that), albeit with wildly totally different ideas about worth and high quality. Panasonic’s system is known as “4K Photograph,” and lets you extract a nonetheless from its 4K, 30 fps, one hundred Mbps video stream, for as little as $900 on the brand new LX100 compact digital camera. Purple, however, has acquired a extra excessive plan: Seize as much as one hundred fps, 19-megapixel RAW stills beginning at $17,000 for its Purple Scarlet Dragon cinema digital camera.
We spoke with each corporations on the bi-annual photograph present about capturing video for nonetheless photographs. Panasonic has carried out the brand new “4K Photograph” function on its new excessive-finish compact, the Lumix LX100, together with the FZ1000 superzoom, CM1 digital camera telephone and the HC-X1000, its newest 4K camcorder. The function can also be now out there on the Lumix GH4 because of a brand new firmware improve. This is the way it works: Merely shoot 4K video and search by way of the ensuing footage to retrieve a desired nonetheless, full with EXIF knowledge. Pictures might be captured at sixteen:9, four:three, three:2 and even 1:1 (howdy, Instagram). With a knowledge fee of one hundred Mbps, that may give a compressed .MP4 nonetheless picture of about four hundred-plus KB, not very a lot for an eight-megapixel photograph, however nonetheless equal to a few 70 % compressed JPEG picture. You would use an exterior recorder to seize higher-high quality stills on the GH4 too.
Panasonic sees it as a approach for the typical Joe to extract that one fleeting, good second. With a 1/sixteen,000th of a second shutter velocity, you possibly can freeze a water splash from Junior’s cannonball, for example. This could all occur when you’re additionally grabbing video, although there’s one disadvantage. With a purpose to seize nonetheless frames, the required greater shutter velocity will remove the traditional (fascinating) movement blur from video. That signifies that occasion videographers who need to seize nonetheless photographs from video might want to select between pure-wanting video or non-blurry nonetheless photographs. Nonetheless, having extra choices is all the time higher, and that is opening up a brand new approach of capturing pictures on a $900 digital camera.
On the opposite finish of the size, skilled photographers have been utilizing Pink cinema cameras to do the identical factor since a Megan Fox photograph unfold appeared in Esquire again in 2009. For Photokina this yr, the corporate has formalized the method with a brand new tethering system that allows you to ship RAW pictures throughout an Ethernet community. On prime of that, the corporate’s RedcineX Professional now helps body tagging, making it simpler to pre-choose nonetheless frames from a video feed of as much as one hundred fps.
The corporate gave me a fast demo of the method. It begins by capturing 6K RAW video at 15 fps on the Purple Epic Scarlet ($sixteen,seven hundred for the physique solely) as much as one hundred fps on the Purple Epic ($31,200). Whereas capturing, the photographer can tag frames to assist the editor discover one of the best photographs. With the brand new Dragon sensor, Pink claims you will get a sixteen.5-cease dynamic vary (DR), with sixteen bits of colour info from its sensor — which is bigger than APS-C, however smaller than full-body. That beats each different DSLR available on the market for DR, although 19 megapixels is half of a Nikon D800’s decision — and lots of photographers want bigger full-body or medium-format sensors. I attempted hefting a stripped-down RED Scarlet Dragon digital camera (above) with a Canon EF mount and it is undoubtedly heavier than any DSLR I’ve hoisted, however definitely possible.
The photographs can immediately be transferred alongside an Ethernet community because of a digital camera tether, although that choice continues to be within the testing levels. However to show its level, Purple was grabbing stills from a swimsuit photograph shoot (sure, it is a commerce present) and printing them out at poster sizes from a big, skilled printer. Judging by the outcomes, the cameras might be equally at house on a Vogue photograph shoot or the set of a Hobbit film.
In fact, all of this was attainable earlier than Purple and Panasonic put a label on it. There is no purpose why you possibly can’t take excessive-high quality stills out of cameras from Sony, Samsung, Blackmagic Design (above, with 4K RAW DPX) or others. What has modified is that 4K video is turning into increasingly widespread — and 4K may give you an eight-megapixel nonetheless, in comparison with solely two megapixels for HD. Since most of us aren’t skilled photographers with good instincts and reflexes, meaning we’ll not want depart it to pure probability to seize the right picture.