New IMAX digital 3D Cameras Look Like Our Cameras - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-03-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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New Portable IMAX Digital 3D Camera



New all in one digital IMAX camera, looks like a cross between the Panasonic 3DA1 and a portable projector. There's several different 3D rigs, all in ones like the Z10k, TD20, professional mirror rigs with dual 2D cameras and then IMAX 3D which has traditionally been SbS rigs in 70mm and now with their digital portable camera, it too is SbS.



The lenses also appear to be fixed, meaning not adjustable for different I.A. distances. And if you'll also notice while the camera is 4K, the lenses don't appear to be that much bigger than the 3DA1. The faceplate looks similar too. Likely this is for more portability but since they're shooting blockbusters with these like the new Transformers, it will be interesting to see the quality.


Panasonic AG-3DA1

No idea on cost but since it's IMAX it's likely somewhere in the xxx,xxx range. Getting back to the SbS format of this rig it's interesting that IMAX still hasn't moved to a beam splitter/mirror format. I've watched plenty of IMAX 3D releases and then ones shot with mirror rigs. My preference is actually with the mirror rig as the 3D looks better. With IMAX releases I notice a lot of ghosting or crosstalk which I don't see in releases with beam splitter rigs.

Because the lenses are fixed and SbS, this limits the range of shooting of the camera. You can't shoot closeups or distance with good results.

Here's a crude drawing I made for a portable mirror rig. I'm not sure on zoom functionality and how compact it could be which might add some size and weight to the front. 50/50 mirror in front approx. size 4"x6", depending on lens sizes and alignment. Just need a manufacturer to step up and build it.
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-03-2014, 12:58 PM
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Tom- IMAX cameras are a compromise IA for the very reason you describe. Therefore when they shoot a scene that should be optimized for different IA and convergence point, the resultant image will be a compromised stereo effect as well. UI agree with you that a SbS rig is the best and when needing to shoot in small scenes up close, the mirror system can solve the need for very close IA with large lenses and camera bodies. There is no reason to not use the IMAX fixed IA for scenes that dictate that camera design.


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post #3 of 3 Old 07-03-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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From what I've seen in most IMAX scenes, the way they get around it is by not doing zoom thru shots or long distance shots, thinking about Space Station, Hubble, To the Arctic, Grand Canyon, a few that I've noticed this where no zoom shots are included. It's more like they set up a shot, usually wide angle and do panning or tilts, but not much with distance variance, unless they change the location of the rig. With beam splitter setup, the same problems arise with zooming but if they're genlocked right and a motor is applied to the horizontal I.A. adjustment, zooming is possible, it just has to be controlled correctly. And depending on how large the mirror is.

I don't know if the IMAX systems are capable of zooming or not. I'll have to pay more attention, but thinking back I don't remember seeing any. Lens replacements don't seem like a possibility with the close proximity of the lenses just like on the 3DA1, there's not much for lens adapters out there. Looking at the digital IMAX rig it appears those are the actual lenses and not the sensors.

Another big advantage with mirror setup is that different lenses can be used, here it seems like you're stuck with the integrated lenses just like consumer rigs. Not that I have a problem with that, since it adds portability and hopefully ease of use and cost, just a limitation, although in a big production environment like Transformers I would think that'd be a major limitation.

Really hope this opens the door for more production of all in one units (consumer versions) for us that don't have a large crew running a 3D rig. I haven't heard of any new units being released, hopefully they're not yesterdays news. Maybe the all in one mirror rig is far from thought right now from manufacturers but I think it would work and really open the range of 3D filming.
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