Dalsa goes wide with 4k camera, lens


Dalsa Digital Cinema is set to announce the development of a new 4k digital-cinematography camera and portable recorder along with the industry's first 4k anamorphic lenses, designed by lens design veteran Dan Sasaki, to enable cinematographers to shoot anamorphic widescreen digitally using the full resolution capability of Dalsa's image sensor.

"We believe many cinematographers will be thrilled that we're unveiling the opportunity to shoot digitally at 4k resolution at 16-bit, uncompressed, untethered, using the highest-quality anamorphic lenses designed by the legendary Dan Sasaki," said Rob Hummel, president of Dalsa Digital Cinema L.A. "This will be the first time that a CinemaScope 2.40 composition will be captured using the entire sensor area of a digital camera. Now you can capture 2.40 without any compromise in resolution."

Added director of photography Stephen Burum, who previewed Dalsa's news: "I think this is a big jump forward. It has the potential for quality like we've never seen before in the digital domain. We are going to be able to use, for the first time in the 2.40 form, the entire chip. Nobody's done that before. ... (Sasaki is) considered to be the best (lens designer) around. He has a tremendous instinctive talent for lens design."

Dalsa is extending its camera line with the introduction of the Evolution 4k digital-cinematography camera, which is said to be about 7 pounds lighter than the company's currently available Origin digital camera; the lighter-weight model was developed with an eye toward shoots that require hand-held or Steadicam shots. The new camera incorporates Dalsa's Palomar CCD image sensor, uses cine-lenses and includes a new live HD/SDI output feature for on-set monitoring.

The new Flashmag on-board recorder is being designed to accommodate raw, uncompressed 4k data from the Origin II and Evolution 4k cameras. Based on solid-state memory, the recorder is being designed to capture 20 minutes of raw, uncompressed data or 40 minutes of raw, mathematically-lossless data.

For the lens development, Dalsa commissioned A&S Precision to build the models. Longtime Panavision employee Sasaki recently joined A&S and designed the anamorphic models.

All of this will be unveiled for the first time publicly at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, which opens this weekend in Las Vegas. The developing Evolution camera and Flashmag, scheduled for availability in 2008, will be featured in the Dalsa exhibit along with the company's currently available Origin II 4k camera, which is expected to have some updated features. The lenses are expected to be available in late 2007.

"I think it's really great that a company is pushing the envelope and making these systems better than what we currently have," Burum said.