In past articles, I have praised the benefits of WorldCams, especially for independent producers and camera operators. Unlike with a segregated camera, which is limited either to only NTSC-derived framerates (like ≈29.97 and ≈59.94), or to only PAL-derived framerates (like 25 and 50), a WorldCam allows you to accept work for all worldwide framerates, rather than having to reject them or rent a camera for a “foreign” project. Now, I will cover the newer category CineCam, which includes both the television 16:9 aspect ratio used in HD and 4K UHD and the wider DCI 4K 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratio along with the exact 24.00p framerate. The latter is required to produce for digital cinema distribution at 4096×2160 without resorting to cropping in post or retiming. This is important not only to create a feature film, but also to create short commercial spots and promos for DCI digital theaters. Ahead, I’ll clarify these differences in greater detail and give you examples of cameras that are both WorldCam and CineCam (DCI 4K and beyond), including some very recent models and some oldies but goodies.
Related prior articles
- Articles where I used the word WorldCam
- When exact 24 fps beats 23.976… and when it doesn’t
4K DCI versus 4K UHD
DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC, and is a joint venture of major motion picture studios, formed to establish a standard architecture for digital cinema systems. DCI was born in the palindromic year of 2002 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Although in television and most consumer media production distribution, 16:9 is the dominant aspect ratio for 4K UHD (3840×2160) and HD, the movie projection industry uses 4K DCI, whose resolution is 4096×2160 (with a wider aspect ratio of 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1. It should also be noted that although most “24 fps style” DTV for broadcast in the US uses the ≈ 23.976 framerate to mathematically fit into our NTSC-derived framerates (albeit disguised as ≈29.97 or 59.94 as explained ahead), the 4K DCI exclusively uses the exact 24.000 framerate.
NTSC originally used ≈ 59.94 fields per second or ≈ 29.97 frames per second, and the number 23.976 fits into the original 59.94 field rate with a convenient 2.5x, and it is done with a pulldown. Most —if not all— US television stations that use 1080i use the 59.94 fields per second container, even though some of the material is actually progressive material (i.e. ≈29.97p or ≈23.976) which is segmented and then disguised as it if it were interlaced. In the case of ≈29.97p in 1080i59.94 regions (and 25p in 1080i50 regions), the segmenting process is simple (see my ≈ 15 articles about PSF, Progressive Segmented Frame), where the even lines where placed in one artificial video field, and the even lines in the other artificial field, although they both contain the same temporal (time) information. In the case of ≈23.976 a more complex pulldown is used (2:3, aka 3:2). I covered the pulldown process in When 25p beats 24 (illustrated below), which was my inaugural article in ProVideo Coalition magazine back in 2008 (11 years ago). Thanks to Chris Meyer and Scott Gentry for accepting it, and Adam Wilt for connecting me to them at that time.
Sidebar: What do pulldown and Twister have in common?
Full disclosure: I have no stock or other financial interest in the Twister game or in its owner, Hasbro Inc. However, I have often seen a distinct similarity between the pulldown used with 23.976p over 59.94i and the Twister game. I think you will see the similarity in the above alternating graphics. The instructions for the pulldown (i.e. “Put the first progressive frame in both fields of the first video frame. Now, put the second progressive frame in both fields of the second video frame in the first field of the third video frame, then…”) seem as twisted as the Twister game.
Prior to 2008, my tech video articles were published in a Castilian-language group of magazines.
Camera examples that are both WorldCam and CineCam
All camera/camcorder examples listed below offer both 16:9 and DCI 4K 256∶135 or ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratios, as well as WorldCam and CinemaCam framerates including:
- ≈ 23.976p
- 24.000p (In some cameras, exact 24.000p is only available in DCI mode, despite what I clarified in When exact 24 fps beats 23.976… and when it doesn’t.)
- ≈ 29.97p
- Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (US$2495, Amazon link — B&H link) Offers internal recording with 10‑bit Apple ProRes HQ files or even better 12‑bit Blackmagic RAW in all formats up to 6K.
- Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (US$1295, Amazon link — B&H link) Offers internal recording on 10‑bit Apple ProRes HQ files or even better 12‑bit Blackmagic RAW in all formats up to 4K.
Canon (models that offer internal 4K recording beyond 8-bit)
- C200 (US$6499, Amazon link — B&H link) Includes Canon RAW Light 12-bit.
- C500 Mark II (US$15999, B&H link) Includes Canon Cinema RAW Light 12-bit or 10-bit.
Canon (models that are limited to 4K 8-bit internal recording)
- 5D Mark IV without C-LOG (US$2779, Amazon link — B&H link)
- 5D Mark IV with C-LOG pre-installed (US$2899, B&H link)
JVC (limited to 8-bit, inboard and out)
Panasonic Lumix (models that offer internal recording beyond 8-bit)
- GH5 (US$1498, Amazon link — B&H link) Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG. It offers 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording in both types of 4K.
- GH5s (US$1998, Amazon link — B&H link) Includes V-LOG already installed. It offers 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording in both types of 4K.
- S1H (US$3,998, Amazon link — B&H link) Includes V-LOG already installed. Offers 10-bit up to 6K internal recording at 10-bit.
Panasonic Lumix (older models that are limited to 8-bit internal 4K recording)
- DVX200 (US$2563, Amazon link — B&H link, includes V-Log L already installed, although it’s limited to 8-bit internal recording.
- FZ2500 (US$998, Amazon link — B&H link) Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG.
- GH4, Requires paying US$97 extra for V-LOG.
- FS7 (US$6497, Amazon link — B&H link) Includes S-Log 3.
- FS7M2 (US$8998 palindromic price, Amazon link — B&H link) Includes S-Log 3.
How to upgrade a camera that’s limited to 4K at 8-bit internal recordings
Many of the camera models that are limited to 8-bit recording in 4K modes indeed offer 10-bit output for use with an external recorder, like those sold by AJA, Átomos, Blackmagic and Video Devices (a devision of Sound Devices).
With a WorldCam that’s also a CineCam, you can say YES to any type of production: domestic, foreign or digital cinema with the same 4K (or higher resolution) camera. This can cost you as low as US$998 including a lens if 8-bit is okay, or a minimum of US$1498 if you need greater than 8-bit internal recording. I hope this article clarified the differences and benefits, and even helped you pick a camera.
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