Why Aren’t More Cameras Optimized for Anamorphic?

The popularity of anamorphic lenses seems to be skyrocketing now that affordable sets from the likes of Atlas, Sirui, Venus Optics and Great Joy are becoming plentiful and receiving excellent reviews. Unfortunately for anamorphic shooters, it would appear that most camera sensors aren’t optimized for the lenses, with Panasonic, the Kinefinity Mavo LF and ARRI cameras being notable exceptions. Blackmagic’s Pocket 6K anamorphic mode crops heavily into the sensor, resulting in an area equal to micro four thirds, while the RED Komodo 6K s35 sensor has a pretty huge 30% crop in 4:3 anamorphic mode.

So it was with great interest that we read this article from 2020 about Netflix’s puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal, shot on modified REDs specially designed with a 1:1 ratio square extraction mode (4320 x 4320) from which to de-squeeze the anamorphic image shot on Cooke glass. It’s also quite likely that more filmmakers would be interested in a Komodo with a sensor optimized for anamorphic than in a monochrome version of the same camera.

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