When Image Quality Is 100% The Priority - What Camera To Use?

I work for Raytec. We are a lighting manufacturer. For promotional footage we want to show our lights helping cameras to produce fantastic images. For that purpose we need to use camera that products the very, very best image to show what is possible with our lights. We are not concerned about compression, integration, additional features, etc etc. For this purpose we are only interested in video quality.

It raises an interesting question. A lot of cameras DSP messes the video quality up slightly as its a compromise to help the camera handle many scenarios and requirements. I see a lot of "blurring" of edges even when our camera set-up should negate it.

Raw video would probably yield better results

Any thoughts?

Good question, tough one.

Is this for white light or IR light? I ask because color fidelity of cameras is an issue (and varies) for white light but obviously not for IR.

Is your promotional footage going to be live only? I ask because if it's recorded, compression levels are a factor / issue (though one that most any camera can be adjusted).

Beyond that, my general experience is that the 'best' camera quality can vary somewhat depending on the scene or the tweaking. For a demo video like you are doing, that might matter more than what camera is general best out of the box.

John is right. It's not the camera, it's the recorder.

Maybe you should use something like the Ninja 2 from Atamos. It'll record straight uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 / 220Mbps ProRes, and takes 2.5" hard drives (1.6GB a minute, to give you an idea of how much data is actually being captured). You can then dump that video into professional NLE software and take it from there.

This camera has HDMI input only, so use a camera with native HDMI out like the Marshall CV-335-CS.

If you'd rather use HD-SDI, get the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle 2. It'll record QuickTime or Avid files. Use the Samsung SCB-6001 or something. The HyoerDeck Shuttle only does 10 bit, not 8 bit, so you must use a fast and reliable SSD for it. Luckily, the Samsung Evo 840 series keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.

John - Primarily for IR. Also, our footage will not be live, it will be recorded. It's not so much that I want the camera to be awesome out of the box, it's that I feel there seems to be alot of pre-processing or background DSP going on in the chip before I can even control the output image or compression.

Ari, thanks.

There are alot of variables here and we are finding the recording and playing of the footage (and the screen viewed on) are having a big influence.