Codex at IBC 2012
The Campaign, Hope Springs and parts of The Bourne Legacy were just three recent films that relied on Codex digital media recorders to record footage captured by digital cameras. The company's range of digital media recorders and media management systems have become widespread, used on a slew of other recent and upcoming movies, including Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Skyfall, Maleficent, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Last Stand, Wolverine and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
But Codex is not resting on its laurels, but instead is bringing more new technology to its IBC Stand 11.F41. In addition to its other products, Codex will be showing the Onboard S for the first time at a European tradeshow and newly unveiling its capacity to support Canon Cinema RAW at up to 120fps at 4K. For customers who have already bought the Onboard S or the Onboard M, Codex offers a software update to record Cinema RAW, available immediately.
One of those is cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, who has used the combination of the Canon C500, recording Cinema RAW, onto the Onboard S, for a few commercials as well as an upcoming feature in which a base jumper in the Alps wears a backpack mount with the recorder. He has plenty to say about the experience.
"Taking my images to extremes is what inspires me as a cinematographer," Hurlbut says. "The last time I used the Codex S recorder, it was traveling at 160 mph at 12,000 feet, falling from the skies in the Swiss Alps. Compact, lightweight and obviously built like a brick house."
"Moving from film to digital has been a wonderful exploration, a new frontier, with new tools to help in your creation," he adds. "The secret science of taking a series of photographic images and converting them into zeros and ones is what sets one recorder apart from the others. The Codex S recorder is my new digital negative. What you see on set is what I see in post."
The impetus behind the Onboard S was coming up with a recorder that was small and lightweight. "We worked very hard to get it as small as we could," says Priestnall. "We continue to engineer it to get the size and weight down. And the capture drives are about the size of an iPhone, less than a quarter of the size of our original data packs." The weight of the Onboard S is 2.6 pounds (or 1.1 KG).
It's likely that Codex will continue to shave away weight and size going forward. "As always with a camera crew, they want to get the size down as much as possible," she says. "For handheld, Steadicam and 3D rigs, the smaller the better. Technology has advanced in the last couple of years, from when we built our original onboard recorder. You can get more capacity and everything has gotten faster and smaller, so we take advantage of that."
Codex Onboard S Recorder. The Onboard S is ideal for smaller cameras like the Canon EOS C500 and C300 and the Sony PMW-F3. Click image for larger view.
Smaller and lighter are definitely pluses in an industry that likes to get into tight spots and dangerous situations. But nobody wants to sacrifice high quality. The winning aspect of technology is not simply that a recording device such as the Onboard S can be smaller and lighter, but that it can keep up with the latest in camera output, in this case Canon Cinema RAW. Just how small and light can the technology get? Who knows what Codex will be showing at NAB 2013.
Click image for larger view.