More HDR Video from Spheron

Spheron already had an early HDR video camera for Siggraph 2009. Unfortunately, the prototype got stuck in customs.

For Siggraph 2010 Spheron was better prepared. They shot this demo video, showing impressive handling of low-light and high contrast footage.

Spheron HDR video – footage from SpheronVR AG on Vimeo.

Unlike the rig with two cameras we talked about earlier, this is a single-device video camera shooting 20 EVs of dynamic range in full HD, with up to 50 fps. The prototype is outfitted with a PL-mount, so they shot this demo video on ARRI Master Prime lenses. But the inofficial word is that it could just as well be outfitted with Canon or Nikon mounts for photo lenses.

There is a big mystery about the sensor, which is claimed to prevent the dreaded rolling shutter effect by doing a true full-frame simultaneous capture. The footage is recorded as uncompressed EXR sequence via fiber channel connection on a RAID. For this demo the footage was treated in Nuke; it would also load right into After Effects, Fusion, or any 3d app.

This high-speed data pipe from sensor to storage is where Spheron has put in most of the innovation. Considering the huge amount of data in an uncompressed HDR video stream, bandwidth is a real bottleneck. There's still some work to do to make a marketable product out of this working prototype. Spheron mentions portability as the next thing to be solved, but I say: Just go for it! As long as it fits in a rugged stage box that can be wheeled off a truck, it's certainly just as portable as most other high-end system found on a movie set.

Further reading: Spheron Press Release and on FXGuide (halfway down the page)

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