January 19, 2012

HyperDeck Shuttle 2 records DNxHD

Blackmagic Design's latest version of its HyperDeck Shuttle solid-state disk recorder adds broadcast-quality 10-bit recording and playback to Avid's DNxHD format, but still costs the same, at about £250/$345.

The HyperDeck Shuttle 2 can run the HyperDeck 2.0 software (currently downloadable as a public beta), which adds DNxHD for five-times longer compressed recording than the existing uncompressed option. DNxHD recording is already available for the HyperDeck Studio recorder.

The HyperDeck Shuttle is small, affordable and battery powered for field recording, and can be camera mounted using an additional HyperDeck Shuttle Mounting Plate, which provides multiple pre drilled 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch mounting holes.

Users can record via 3Gbps SDI or HDMI directly to 10-bit uncompressed QuickTime or Avid DNxHD MXF formats. It uses SSDs, which are cheaper per gigabyte than other solid-state recording media, much faster and more stable than hard disk drives, completely silent and energy efficient. The 2.5-inch SSD can be plugged into an eSATA or USB dock for instant access to the media files by a computer.

DNxHD will provide full file format compatibility with Avid Media Composer systems. All media is recorded in MXF and immediately available to Avid Media Composer systems and many other video applications including Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve.

The HyperDeck Shuttle can also be used as a video playback source for digital signage systems or connected to a live production switcher for recording events and then used for live playback.

“Recording DNxHD files straight to disk now costs less per minute than recording to professional tape, plus it’s the most efficient workflow possible,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.

“A 64GB SSD is less than $100 and will record 50 minutes of the highest quality DNxHD video. This update means that both HyperDeck Studio and HyperDeck Shuttle customers can record broadcast-quality DNxHD files for less than $2 a minute.”

By David Fox

January 10, 2012

JVC HMQ10 handheld 4K camera

JVC has launched the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder, this week, at CES in Las Vegas. The GY-HMQ10, which captures, records and plays back video at four times the resolution of HD, will have a list price [Updated] of £5,090/€5,850 and is expected to ship in March [the price had originally been given as $/€4,995, but prices have since been revised (I've only been sent UK and EU prices so far), although the street price is likely to be under $5,000].

Its small size, about the same as JVC’s GY-HM150 ProHD camcorder, and relatively low price means it will not only appeal as a B camera for users of larger 4K cameras, but also as set and forget camera for HD use, where the ability to crop and pan full HD images from the 4K image could be very useful.

The camera is powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration chip for high-speed signal processing and has a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor with 8.3 million active pixels, which delivers realtime 3840x2160 footage at 24p and 50p or 60p.

“We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production,” said JVC Professional Europe product manager, Gustav Emrich. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn't have considered it.”

Falconbrid processing takes the raw image data from the sensor and deBayers it in real time. Unlike many high-end 4K cameras, the GY-HMQ10 can output 4K images to a monitor or projector in real time with virtually no latency.

It records using MPEG-4/H.264 compression, with a variable bit rate of up to 144Mbps, and can record up to two hours of 4K video to low-cost SDHC or SDXC memory cards (it uses four cards at a time to capture the four HD images that combine to create the 4K version). It can deliver live 4K output via four HDMI terminals.

It also records 1080i or 1080/50p HD, on a single card in a format compatible with most editing systems. Cropping an HD image from a 4K frame can be done in post, or in real time during camera playback, using a trimming feature on the camera's 3.5-inch touch screen LCD.

The GY-HMQ10 has an F2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabiliser, plus a colour viewfinder, manual level controls for audio, with audio metering in the LCD and viewfinder displays. A microphone holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power are located on the handle. The camera also has a built-in stereo mic for ambient sound.

Other features include JVC’s patented Focus Assist, as well as manual and auto control of focus, iris, gain, shutter, gamma, colour matrix and white balance.

“It's part of a larger move at JVC to bring 4K technology to a wide range of customers," explained Emrich. JVC already has an affordable line of 4K projectors for the home theatre market, while its high-end 4K projectors are widely used in commercial flight simulators and planetariums. “4K is the logical step beyond HD,” he added, “and JVC is uniquely positioned to lead the industry in this new direction.”

See related posts: JVC HMZ1 ProHD 3D camcorder + JVC HD LSI offers cost + speed gains

By David Fox

Linked battery charging from PAG

PAG has released what it claims is an industry first, a compact new PAGlink charger that can do linked battery charging. The £416 PAGlink PL16 Charger can charge up to 16 PAGlink V-Mount Li-Ion batteries at once - eight per channel, on the compact, two-position charger.

PAGlink batteries can be linked together in multiples - up to eight, to combine capacities for longer camera run time, and provide up to 12A current for power hungry broadcast, digital cinematography, high-definition and 3D camera set-ups.

The linked batteries form a high-speed serial network that controls discharging and allows charging to take place while the batteries are linked.

The high-power PL16 can supply 6A at 16.8v (approximately 100W), and is able to fully charge all of the batteries regardless of the differences in their state of charge. PAG’s Intelligent Parallel Charging software allows both positions to charge simultaneously.

During charging, the percentage state-of-charge of each PAGlink battery is indicated on its individual five-LED display, to show which batteries are ready to use. The stages of the charging process for each channel are shown on the charger’s large backlit LCD screen. The most-discharged batteries are given a higher charge priority. Fully charged batteries will stop accepting charge automatically and independently of other batteries. It should fast-charge four fully-discharged PL96e batteries in 6.5 hours.

The PL16 can also charge PAG’s other V-Mount Li-Ion and Ni-MH batteries, as well as those from Sony and IDX, although only one of those batteries per channel.

The PL16 can also power a camera from any AC supply worldwide, using the its 100W camera power supply, which has an XLR4 output.

The 1.4kg PL16 Charger has a metal case, fits easily in a camera bag, and is quiet and cool running. A recovery feature is included, to recover Li-Ion batteries if their cutout has been tripped.

By David Fox