We don’t cover a lot of tech announcements over here in Flixistan (official name of our imaginary country), but this one seemed notable for a number of reasons. GoPro, the makers of fine action cameras, announced an update to their line of HERO cameras, dubbed the HERO3. This little camera, lens and all, is about the size of a point and shoot digital camera, but shoots 4K video. You know, the same resolution big boys RED and Arri shoot with their digital cinematography cameras.
RED and Arri are professional level cameras aimed at total image control, and produce incredible images in the right hands. The trade off is that you pay several arms and legs for just the camera sensor; no lenses are included. The HERO3 shoots 4K Cinema H.264 compressed video at 12 fps, 2.7K at 24 fps, and every other resolution you could think of at framerates of 30, 48, 60, 120, and even 240fps. The cost of all of this? $400.
Thing is? This little $400 toy could change the way movies are made.
When Crank came out in 2006, Nevildine/Taylor’s vision was chaotic, brutal, hilarious, and a nice fresh breath of air for action filmmaking. Using prosumer cameras, and makeshift camera dollies (usually camera operators on rollerblades), the look of the film was the most striking aspect. And as prosumer camera technology advanced, so did the look of independent movies. Used to be, you had to shell out for loads of expensive equipment just to shoot a basic indie comedy (I’m looking at you, Clerks). Now, you can shoot something that looks pretty damn good on your pocket telephone. Think about what you could do with a device that’s as small as that, but a dedicated camera.
While the HERO3’s 4K performance isn’t usable by anyone’s standard, the fact it’s there is a triumph in itself, and paves the way for the inevitable HERO4 in the next year or so. 4K Cinema @ 24fps in your pocket is the future. Movies are going to look even more incredible, and cheaper to produce, meaning studios could potentially take on a risky project. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some test footage.
I’ve never seen a camera that shoots as impressive footage as that, and still be incredibly portable. Because of how cheap they are in nature, you could mount a bunch of these guys on cars and get some incredible car chase footage. Oh, and if 3D is more up your alley, strap two HERO3’s side-by-side, and you have an impressive 2K 3D camera for $800. I, for one, will be picking up one of these to replace my dSLR for videography as soon as they’re released.
GoPro, you’ve potentially revolutionized cinema without even knowing it. Now let’s just hope the camera doesn’t suck.[via Engadget]