Saturday, 21 April 2012

So what's about this tiny overlooked little brick of a camera and why should you use it? It is of course all about the money. If you work in Hollywood, or run an extensive production concern with a multi $million turnover, or have a very successful company producing 2D and 3D product, then go hire RED 3D rigs or even at the lowest edge, buy the  Panny Z10K - it is cheap, and has pretty good macro facilities ( min focal distance is 30cm! ) but also costs £3K (but also has XLR audio) or the Sony NX 3D which also has XLR's for audio but uses the same light channels as the far cheaper TD10, as well as the same encoding.
Unless you step up to the Panny AG 3D at £12K, it's really all much of a muchness -the playing field is pretty flat at this price point, although the Z10K WILL shoot 1080 at 23.976 - very important if your final target is 3D Blu Ray - this is the only frame rate officially supported at full HD 1080 raster.

Back to the TD10. It is currently being superceeded by the newer TD20 (which has higher resolution chips, producing higher spec stills, but maybe has moire issues as a result, the TD10,is amazingly free from these problems) - and is therefore being sold off at lower and lower prices. I bought a "second" from Amazon Warehouse Deals for £650 - new and guaranteed - what a ridiculous price! 

I love the chunky weight and shape of this camera, it feels solid, is well built with an automatic "shutter" which protects the two lens' The viewfinder is big and produces excellent quality detailed images - I'm used to my EX1 and found the TD10 an ideal stable mate - the Exmoor chips in both cameras and the similarity in viewfinder quality make them ghoulishly similar.

Invest in a couple of FV100 batteries, they will drive the camera for more than 3 hours in 3D and about 7 hours in 2D - this coupled with the internal 64GB of flash and an SDHC card of 32GB results in 7 hours 45 minutes of recording, without changing anything - this is bonkers - I shoot a lot of "Live" music, not having to worry about batteries and media takes out much of the stress.

So what do the pictures look like? Like I said, I shoot with EX cameras, and other broadcast equipment - Digi Betacam - XDCam and all that, so with 30 years experience as a shooter, editor and compositor, I'm not too easily impressed.

AVCHD - I'm not really a fan, the pulsing changes on slow moving images and still shots, related to I frames is really awful. OK, so you pay for what you get, great battery life, endless recording time = huge compression, this is the downside even at 28mbs, however, using the NEAT plugin for noise reduction removes most of the artifacts - pretty slow on a well appointed machine though.

Fortunately the TD10 has a clean HDMI output, 3D frame packed, so it IS possible to record directly through a capture card to your laptop for quality - at a price - at least avoiding the AVCHD encoding - for example the Black Magic Extreme Ultra Studio 3D (you need a Mac as there are almost no PC systems available with "Thunderbolt" except a single MSI board the Z77A-GD80 with Thunderbolt connectivity - supposed to show up in April this year)

Are there any other HDMI 3D frame packed recording devices out there? not as far as I can see, at least not in the kind of price bracket you would want - so a Macbook and an UltraStudio 3D is still a pretty cheap way of being mobile, and capturing direct to Quicktime left and right or DPX, avoiding AVCHD all together.

The typical industry standard NanoFlash is available in a 3D model, essentially 2 units screwed together on a kind of gate hinge - two seperate HDSDI inputs or HDMI by the look - pixel locked recording to 2 seperate L and R CF cards, monitor output with SbS etc, etc for viewing. A snip at $5250.

No comments:

Post a Comment