April 14, 2015

Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K

The “world’s smallest Ultra HD live studio camera”, the Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K, has been launched by Blackmagic Design. The tiny Ultra HD and HD camera will be available in July for $1,295/£929/€1,545.

Although it will work at no more than 30 frames per second in Ultra HD, which would make it rather poor at capturing sports action (which is where Ultra HD will inevitably make its initial impact for live production), it would be useful for studio programmes, such as chat shows, and its combination of size, facilities and price will make it a great buy for HD production, particularly as its UHD capability should give it a longer life.

Panasonic AG-DVX200 4K camcorder

The new Panasonic AG-DVX200 is a sub-$5,000 4K compact camcorder that offers up to Ultra HD 50/60p recording, and a V-Log L gamma curve (with 12-stops of dynamic range - which doesn’t compare favourably to the new Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K, which has 15 stops for about the same price - or even the cheaper 4K Ursa Mini, which has 13 stops).

Atomos cuts costs to Bare Bones

Anyone buying a recorder from Atomos has always got a lot for their money - including various accessories, such as a case, batteries, etc. For the $1,995 Shogun, there are more than $500 of accessories included (HPRC hard case, AC adapter, SSD media cases, D-Tap adapter, 5200mAh battery, battery charger, XLR breakout cable and SSD docking station).

If you already have an Atomos system, you may not need all of these items, which is why Atomos is adding a complete range (in May) of “Bare Bones” models, which reduces the price of the Shogun (with just an SSD media case, AC power supply and a soft case) to $1,695, the Ninja 2 to $395, and both the Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade to $795. The complete suite of Shogun accessories will also be available for $395, and $195 for Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade.

Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K camera

Blackmagic Design’s new Ursa Mini is a much more compact and lighter weight version of its large Ursa Super 35 digital film camera, and should appeal to a wider range of users, with prices starting at $2,995/£2,149/€3,519 for the 4K EF-mount model. It can also come with a 4.6K image sensor, with either EF or PL lens mounts, switchable global or rolling shutter, up to 15 stops of dynamic range, a 5-inch fold out viewfinder and dual Raw and Apple ProRes recorders.

April 13, 2015

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Design has announced what it claims is “the world’s smallest digital film action camera.” It also boasts an “innovative remote control”. The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera has a Super 16mm-size sensor (12.48mm x 7.02mm) with 13 stops of dynamic range plus a new expansion port that provides access to many of the camera’s functions via widely-used wireless remote control systems, such as those for model aircraft. It will be available in July for $995/£709/€1179.

The expansion port features PWM and S.Bus connections that are used on model aircraft remote control gear for connecting to servos to control the aircraft. Such systems cost little as they are consumer hobby products and feature multiple “channels” that can be connected direct to the camera itself. These channels can be mapped to any camera or lens setting (such as iris, focus, audio levels, and start and stop recording) and then remote controlled via the radio controller. Because a standard, easy-to-solder DB-HD15 connector is used, even simple wire cables and switches can be created for controlling the cameras.

Sony HDC-4300 Ultra HD camera

Sony's new HDC-4300 system camera, aimed at sports and events broadcasting, is touted as “the world’s first camera to use three 2/3-inch 4K image sensors” [the Hitachi SK-UHD4000, which is already in use, has four sensors: one red, one blue and two green for extra sensitivity].

The HDC-4300 also offers up to 8x Super-Slow Motion in HD (at frame rates up to 479.52/400fps), which will make it a useful HD camera to have for today’s mainstream productions. It can do 50/60p in Ultra HD. Both the 4K and 8x capabilities are on a paid-for license (which can be bought on a weekly, monthly or permanent basis), so if you don’t need them from the start, you don’t need to pay for them until you do. It comes standard with 2x and 3x HD recording.

April 08, 2015

New Canon EOS C300 Mark II + XC10 4K/Ultra HD cameras

Canon has announced two new cameras, the EOS C300 Mark II 4K (4096x2160) and Ultra HD (3840x2160) camera (pictured above), and the XC10 compact UHD model (pictured below). Both use Canon’s new XF-AVC recording format.

The £11,299 + VAT (almost $17,000) C300 MkII will boast up to 15 stops of dynamic range, when it ships in September.

For the full story, head over to our Canon XF Notebook blog...

February 28, 2015

Shogun records 4K in Avid DNxHR

The Atomos Shogun has become the first recorder to implement Avid’s new DNxHR 4K recording format, which is included in AtomOS 6.2 (available as a free download).

The 4K $1,995/£1,299 Shogun has been phenomenally successful, with more than 10,000 sold in just two months. “That was my six-month forecast. 4K is really taking off,” said CEO, Jeromy Young (pictured above), at BVE2015.

November 12, 2014

JVC's 4K GY-LS300 + GW-SP100

JVC has launched two new large sensor (Super 35mm) Ultra HD cameras with interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lens mounts. The GY-LS300 camcorder (pictured below), and the GW-SP100 miniature camera (above) and separate recording system, are part of its new range of 4Kcam camcorders. The other two (the live streaming GY-HM200 and compact GY-HM170) use smaller 1/2.3-inch sensors.

JVC's GY-HM200 + GY-HM170 4Kcam compact UHD camcorders

JVC Professional has launched its new 4Kcam (Ultra HD) product line, including two new large sensor cameras (the GY-LS300 and GW-SP100 - dealt with elsewhere), and two smaller models: the GY-HM200, which includes HD streaming and an SDI output; and the compact GY-HM170. All four should arrive early in 2015.

The GY-HM200 (pictured above) and GY-HM170 are essentially the same, but the HM200 will be the one to choose if you need to deliver breaking stories for broadcast or the web via WiFi, internet or mobile (3G or 4G) connections, or if you are working with other (SDI-based) broadcast equipment.

September 12, 2014

Sony launches PXW-FS7 4K camera

Sony held its press conference this morning at IBC, and announced two new cameras: the PXW-X200 and the PXW-FS7. While the X200 looks interesting, the big buzz was around the FS7, a 4K XDCAM camera with a Super35 CMOS sensor.

September 11, 2014

Atomos Power Station

The new Atomos Power Station is designed to solve the problem of running out of power in the middle of a shoot and having to change batteries on cameras, lights and other equipment. It can also be used for anything that can be powered using a USB port (it has two), such as iPhones or even iPads.

It can deliver up to 48W of power, which limits the size of lights or complex camera rigs that it can be used with, but for 80-90% users this should be more than enough.

September 08, 2014

Canon upgrades firmware for 4K

Canon is introducing several firmware upgrades for its EOS C500 and EOS C300  cameras, DP-V3010 4K reference display and its Cinema Raw Development software, mainly aimed at improved 4K performance, particularly support for the new BT.2020 colour space, although the C300 (and C500) will also get simpler colour temperature setting. 

All will be on show at IBC in Amsterdam (12-16 September), where Canon will also have lots of presentations by filmmakers - read the full story on our Canon XF Notebook site.

September 07, 2014

Panasonic HC-X1000 4K camcorder

Panasonic’s new HC-X1000 Ultra HD 4K camcorder is its first prosumer model that can record 4K 60p/50p video on an SD card.

It can record both UHD (3840x2160) at 50/60p and Cinema 4K (4096x2160) at 24p in MP4 at up to 150Mbps (50/60p) or 100Mbps (24p), plus .mov or MP4 in HD, which can use all-Intra compression for a maximum bit rate of 200Mbps, as well as AVCHD (1080p) at up to 28Mbps. Even if you are shooting for HD, recording in Ultra HD can be useful during editing, as you can then zoom in to a one-quarter crop without losing any HD resolution, or pan across the picture to follow movement.

Arri shoots for Ultra HD + 4K

Users of Arri’s Alexa and Amira cameras will be able to deliver Ultra HD and 4K despite the cameras not having UHD sensors, thanks to up-sampling.

The documentary-style Amira will be upgraded to recording Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second, in real time, via a paid firmware update due later this year, while ProRes 3.2K, a new recording format that allows easy up sampling in post to Ultra HD, will be available for the Alexa in a software update early next year. The Arriraw Open Gate format already allows this up sampling for 4K cinema.