Eagerly awaited almost as long as Penelope herself, Aaton showed a working prototype of the Penelope-Delta Digital 4K “Magazine” at NAB. Expect working models at IBC 2010, and delivery probably this time next year. The large nautilus-looking sculpture where the film take-up inching knob used to be is a large silent fan—needed, as on most things digital, to cool the internal electronics. At 19 dBA, it’s even quieter than her film cousin’s 400′ 35mm magazine. The digital back fits all Aaton Penelope film cameras, providing optical, mirror reflex viewing.
The astounding thing about Jean-Pierre Beauviala and company’s latest camera is how they were able to do what Dalsa could not: harness a greater-than-4K Dalsa CCD sensor into a small, hand-holdable 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) cat-on-shoulder one-piece design. You’ll remember the original Dalsa and its storage were almost the size of a refrigerator, and the last version was almost Mitchell BNC in shape. Behind the upper battery, there’s a slot for an SDHC card that records DNxHD–36 (Avid) compressed files for immediate editing. These “offline proxy” files can be recorded at the same time as high-rez onboard files. The camera-right side screen displays essential information: timecode, ISO, battery voltage, fps and remaining ‘footage’ (also visible on Operator’s side).
DNxHD files can be recorded onto the onboard, slide-in 2.5” SSD DeltaPacks.
The lightweight (360gr) Aaton DeltaPacks are Codex Lab compatible.
Very fast boot-up: from no-power to REC-ready in less than 4 sec. The two onboard Li-Ion batteries run the camera from 3 to 6 hours. You can hot-swap batteries.
You can switch from Super 35mm to the DPX recording digiback in less than half an hour. With the rotating mirror shutter, there are no rolling shutter artifacts. The bright and sharp optical viewfinder has extra peripheral coverage. The Dalsa CCD sensor has 13 stops dynamic range, with an 800 ISO basic sensitivity that can be reduced to 100 ISO (to help avoid having to use ND filters in bright sunlight.) There is very low noise at 3200 ISO equivalent.
There are two videos online: starring Martine Bianco of Aaton