Blog

Musings by Snehal aka Fearless, a filmmaker with a hankering for technology and science.  

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you

Ikonoskop sent me a A-Cam dII camera to outfit with Arri accessories and try out in a real-world situation.  I was impressed by the image quality of this digital-16mm camera that has a lot of potential for professional use.  The size is tiny compared to tech that is simlar but it definitely holds up to the bigger cameras in a lot of ways.  Here is a sample vid I shot with the camera - I tested in both indoor and outdoor lighting conditions:

I didn't have any external connectors or cables so I used the onboard viewfinder.  Since it is a very light camera but solid camera, I made good use of the accesories like mini-follow focus, shoulder pad and mini matte box with handgrips attached while filming handheld outdoors:

The super-16 lens by Arri gave me perfectly sharp images with a nice triangle-shaped flair in sunny conditions. 

I used the following Adobe CS5 workflow to convert and edit the footage: 

1.  Copy footage from digital mags onto 2 separate harddrives over USB (slow but Ikonoskop is developing a faster transfer solution.)  The second harddrive was for a backup in case the first failed.  All harddrives fail, so backup backup backup.

2. Open After Effects project and check general preferences to make sure your sequence footage defaults to 24fps.  This is important because every time you edit a sequence, it reimports itself using this setting to determine the frame rate.  Since the camera films at a true 24 fps, make sure this setting is correct otherwise you will see a strobe in some of your footage later.

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you

3. Import one of the sequence folders (footage is in Photoshop RAW image sequences and not in video files).

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you
4. Use RAW editor that pops up automatically within AfterEffects to color grade the footage (there is a great video online about these settings.)  I got the help of Michael Britt of Samy's Education who saw the RAW settings and was happy to be messing with the controls since it's the same interface as editing RAW images in Photoshop.

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you
5. Place the color-corrected clip into a timeline and send to the render que so that video clips are created.  I was able to put muliple clips in the render que so that I could batch convert a bunch of footage.

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you
6. The compression ouput that I chose for the video files was ProRes 422.  I then imported these video clips into Adobe Premiere Pro and started editing.

Testing the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII - the camera that loves you
7. Finish editing and then output master ProRes422 video file which can be compressed into other formats like H264 Quicktime for BluRay or online distribution.

Hope this helps!  Great camera.  Check it out if you have a chance.

Snehal Patel
Director/Cinematographer