CSI: New York and CSI: Miami will create new episodes using digital cameras, but CSI: Crime Scene Investigation continues to use 35mm film.
Traditionally, television series were created using 35mm film. However, many new and returning shows are opting to switch to digital camera systems. The shift to all-digital production is one way for networks to cut costs. Of the three CSI series, only Miami and New York have opted to make the change. CSI considered switching but ultimately decided to stick with 35mm film. “This is really the season that will flesh it all out,” New York cinematographer Marshall Adams told Millimeter. “It all depends on how things go this year with shows like ours, about whether or not producers of up-and-coming shows will lean toward digital acquisition going forward or fight to stay with film.”
The decision for CSI: NY to switch to digital was up in the air until July 1 of this year, Adams revealed. Miami did some tests for an episode last season, but Adams thought there was a chance New York would stick with 35mm. “For whatever reason, the trigger was given to switch, and we had done lots of research by then,” Adams explained. “It became clear to me that the [Arriflex D-21] and the F35 were the most filmlike cameras available.” Using the F35 allowed the show to continue filming with 35mm lenses.
“But what really helped a lot was incorporating new wireless [IDX CW-5HD] transmitters, which allow us to [view imagery] wirelessly all the time on set,” the director of photography continued. “We can record on board the camera and have the [digital imaging technician (DIT)] monitor the wireless signal and send it to us so that we can all watch it on beautiful HD monitors without a bunch of wires. Shooting in S-LOG format, we can really tell color and exposure range, and maybe push the limit a little more than on REC709, a linear digital recording format.”
“There was also an issue getting our camera operators used to the camera’s viewfinder and not being able to rely on them to see the image detail as well as they used to in the eyepiece,” Adams added. “They had to relinquish a little bit of responsibility for focus and small things in the frame. We had to deal with that ourselves on the HD monitor, but we’re getting used to that.”
The original article is from Millimeter.