As I mentioned during my brief video recap yesterday, there haven’t been a lot of notable cinema camera announcements made at NAB this year. Usually new cameras releases generate the most buzz at the show, but this year things have fallen a bit flat in that regard. That said, there was in fact one interesting “cinema camera” announcement made, but it wasn’t from a vendor at NAB…
For a while now, Craft Digital Systems (a new camera brand) has been teasing their brand new cinema camera by releasing some ambiguous looking ads online. The ads had certainly caught my attention as the company alluded to a $1000 cinema camera, but for a while I wasn’t even sure the camera was a real product – and in fact I’m still not sure what will come of it. At the very least though, we do finally have an official announcement from Craft, and this camera is certainly one of the most uniquely designed products I have seen to date.
THE CRAFT CAMERA
Unlike any camera I have ever seen, the Craft Camera is completely modular and allows the user to build it up or doing using various components, or “elements”. The pictures below will give you an idea of how those elements come together to form the camera body:
The modular elements offered by Craft cover everything your camera body needs: The image sensor, audio inputs, power, ND filters, monitoring, and more. The idea is obviously to allow users to configure the camera however they see fit, and upgrade/swap out components as their needs change. The cool thing about this design is that the camera can be stripped down to a very small size to be used as an action-cam, or built up with all the elements to feel like a more traditional cinema camera.
The pricing of the elements is quite competitive too –
Here are the basic tech specs released so far:
Depending on your budget and how much you are willing to fork over up front, this camera can be setup for under $1000 for the HD “Studio” version and under $3000 for the 4K “Cinema” version. The pricing is definitely competitive, and the specs seem to be competitive too, but what will really matter is how this camera performs.
There has been no test footage released from the camera yet, and even though the camera looks exciting, this is the type of product that is a bit of a gamble to invest in, at least at this stage. For all we know this camera will never actually get released, and if it does, it could have sub-par performance and image quality.
On the other hand, it could knock it out of the park and prove to be one of the most disruptive new cameras on the market. There’s no way of knowing until it’s released, but for now it’s a camera I’m sure many filmmakers will keep an eye on.
Until these cameras start shipping (or not) later in the year, there’s no way of knowing where this will go… But for now, if nothing else it’s a very cool concept and is highly innovative, so I hope that we see this come to life in the near future.
For additional info on the camera, check out www.craftcamera.com
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Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!