Among the many cool opportunities I had this week at NAB 2011 (btw, if you don’t know what NAB is, it is the largest convention of video professionals in the world), was a chance to meet the one and only Philip Bloom (basically we DSLR filmmakers worship the ground he walks on, see my previous post where I attempt to explain the Philip Bloom effect). Immediately when I walked up to Philip, he recognized me, and without looking at my NAB badge, said “Hi Daniel.” Wow! Talk about a photographic memory. For someone who has over 25,000 followers on Twitter, it’s pretty impressive for him to remember by name someone he’s only met online.
Apart from being in awe at his memory and how down to earth he was, I also had the opportunity to pick Mr. Bloom’s brain whilst being being streamed live to viewers all over the world on Teradek’s web site at a Q & A with Philip Bloom. (One of the Teradek people told me that I could view it in the archives on their site, but I haven’t had any luck finding it yet. If you do, let me know!)
The question I asked him was “What features would you like to see in the Canon 5D Mark 3?” He came back right away with two features he would love to see in the next iteration of the camera that started it all.
1. No line-skipping.
2. Clean, full HDMI out.
So there you have it.
I agree with Philip–if the only new features implemented in the 5D3 were these two, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Why? Line-skipping is one of those things that drives me crazy. Although on a lot of shots, it may not be as noticeable, it’s impossible for it not to be affecting the image somehow. But on shots that it is noticeable, for me it’s the visual equivalent of someone scratching their fingernails across a chalkboard. On my 30 minute documentary, Salt to Saint (about a 410-mile, 24 hour bike race), there were a couple of shots where the lines on the street got pretty crunchy. (The trailer for my film is here, although none of the shots in the trailer are the ones I’m referring to.) Basically any shot with straight, diagonal lines can end up looking pretty whacky.
And as for clean HDMI-out, if this feature does come to fruition, it means that we filmmakers can hook the camera up to a Ki-PRO and basically have the equivalent of what photographers have with RAW images. In other words, we can get a clean, uncompressed (well, for the most part…it would still probably be 4:2:2 but that is WAY better than what we have now with the H.264 compressed video files). This makes for a really good image to work with in post. When I started using RAW in my still photography years ago, I was blown away by how much of a difference it makes over shooting JPEG. So having clean 1080P HDMI out would do the same for video. This would be an enormous boon to me, as I am a perfectionist when it comes to image quality and the “look” of a film.
So yes, Canon, please give us these two Philip Bloom-condoned features, and usher in a new era of DSLR filmmaking taken to the next level.