As The Oppenheimer Effect has well and truly taken hold of cinema-goers wanting an actual movie experience of 70mm film questions have started to emerge about what is Imax? and how prosumer cameras can be used to give an Imax experience.
A big question mark has come over the Imax experience as the new Hollywood blockbuster The Creator has been entirely shot on the Sony FX3 but it's being shown on Imax screens as lead cinematographer Oren Sofer opted to shoot the film in the classic 2.76:1 ultra-wide aspect ratio and offer an IMAX ratio as well.
While the Sony FX3 is one of our best-Netflix-approved cameras and has been used to shoot many Netflix documentaries what makes it good for Imax?
Well, in 2020 Imax launched a new "filmed in Imax" programme that teamed up with the likes of Sony to produce films for The Imax Experience. The Sony FX3 belongs to Sony’s acclaimed Cinema Line, together with the pro-grade Venice cameras. However, as far as I'm aware the FX3 is not an IMAX-certified camera, yet here it is being shown on digital Imax experience theaters.
While this can be a great thing for those keen filmmakers looking at the Sony FX3 as their new best cinema camera it does beg the question, what really makes cameras Imax-Certified, back in 2020 it defined that Imax would tell cinematographers which cameras were the best for Imax - much like Netflix do with the company's certified list.
But on inspecting the Imax 2020 document the only mention to Sony certified products is the Venice series... While this could have changed it still makes me scratch my head that a prosumer camera is now considered "Imax quality" but Sony encourages pro filmmakers to use the Venice... you can see where I am going with this can't you?
It certainly makes for an interesting discussion and honestly, while the Sony FX3 is a brilliant camera for producing client work or documentaries, I'm not convinced that it should be classed for an Imax Experience, after all the other cameras on the Imax list run upwards of $58,000 - not $4,000. As you can imagine you pay for what you get, and I just can't see it being on-par with an Arri Mini LF camera - but that's just my opinion.