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IMAX debuts digital 3D camera

16 May 2011
IMAX debuts digital 3D camera

IMAX’s prototype digital 3D camera has been used for the first time on IMAX and Warner Bros’ recently released nature documentary Born to be Wild. It uses a pair of Phantom 65 cameras and custom IMAX 3D optics.

IMAX EMEA general manager, theatre development, Julian Stanford says, “This is our first generation prototype camera and its performance, particularly given it was a prototype, exceeded both ours and those of the film makers. We are presently completing the build of the first full production camera system that will be available for use very shortly.”

The 40-minute feature, which was shot on location in Borneo and Kenya, also used footage from the more conventional IMAX 3D 15/65mm film camera. DoP David Douglas reportedly helped design the camera which weighs around 70lb, or a quarter of the weight of the IMAX 3D film camera.

“The new digital camera is not intended to replace our high resolution film based cameras, rather its intent is to complement our camera offerings,” says Stanford. “There are 3D scenes that require a very lightweight or relatively small camera in order to make the shoot work. Our digital camera responds to these needs. It’s simply an addition to our portfolio of cameras in order to provide the film maker with the greatest number of options of available tools to make his film. Being the first fully integrated 3D camera system, (not requiring the use of bulky mirrors) it responds to a clear need in the filmmaking community.”

Rental firm and digital cinema specialist AbelCine supported the prototype in the field. AbelCine’s Jamie Alac says that the camera has been used on several additional projects since the production of Born to be Wild
 Alac says, “IMAX and Vision Research, with the help of AbelCine, are taking what was learned on these projects and applying it to the next generation IMAX 3D digital camera system, which will integrate two Phantom 65 engines in a unique, proprietary way that’s exclusive to IMAX. The production camera is nearing completion and will be put into service by IMAX later this year.
 “Many of the IMAX crew, along with myself, are excited to use the new production model IMAX 3D digital camera. Not only will it be able to shoot up to 140fps, but it will also be the smallest and lightest large format 3D digital camera system in the world.”
 More from AbelCine: http://blog.abelcine.com/2011/05/05/phantom-65-in-the-wild-for-imax-3d-shoot/
 Julian Stanford is a speaker at 3D Masters 2011 www.3d-tvmasters.com/

www.imax.com

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