Tom Fletcher’s annual camera & technology update

Tom Fletcher

Tom Fletcher, HD visionary and local film industry icon, has released the 2015 Fletcher Camera Comparison Chart, an annual reminder of the continuing evolution of the cameras and technologies that drive the production side of Media and Entertainment.

In the earliest days of the Comparison hart, compiled by the former Fletcher Cameras company and now over a decade old, there were contentious discussions on how information should be presented. Back then, the information glut as we find it on the internet currently did not exist yet.

Camera manufacturers tightly controlled a good deal of the information available and Tom’s relentless work at building the budding HD community through education. Information as contained in the annual release did not come without pitfalls and controversy.

While those who complain has changed nearly annually, the issues from the first version to the current are actually remarkable similar.

Many had issue when the Fletcher Camera Charts identified that the Sony HDCam recording format was 8bit, 3:1:1 DCT compressed recording at 1440x1080px (just the luma mind you; the chroma is compressed at 480x1080px) 

The 2015 chart will be no different. More than one manufacturer complained loudly, while the others will try to get one thing or another changed or modified. Add to that the online and private outrage from all the owner-operators, incensed that their camera is somewhow not listed. (How could you POSSIBLY leave it out?)

Or, when it was one of the 15 cameras listed, the estimated rental price indicated is so far off from what they can actually charge for rental.

The Fletcher Camera Comparison Chart was designed as a guide for producers and production managers to help them through the complicated issue of budget management at the dawning of the digital age and developed to help the Fletchers increase their then-rental business.

Over the last decade the Chart has become a industry wide phenomenon.  It is accepted around the world as the guide for the best in production caliber tools used to create cinematic content for features, television or commercial use.

It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to produce this “simple” document. While I am incredibly honored to be credited as co-author and to have been able to add my two cents to a discussion that includes the likes of Mike Sippel, Dhanendra Patel, Marc Shipman-Mueller, Michael Jonas, Matt Kolze, Judy Doherty, Andrew Wedhe, Lawrence Daufenbach, Geoff Boyle, David Stump ASC, Peter Crithary, Kazuo Endo, Aaron Latham-James, Erik Schietinger, Sarah Priestnall, Brandon Heaslip and James Mathers.

Updates and corrections to Tom Fletcher’s Camera Chart will be posted on Tom’s LinkedIn page.

Feel free to post the chart to your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of media.  Here’s the direct link to the PDF file.