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New HD cams raise the bar

Barely a decade ago, a portable hd camera which recorded 'true 1080i' was a major breakthrough. Today, with so many flavors of hd and hd cameras around, the breakthrough bar is set much higher. Nevertheless, many camera manufacturers will be showing their newest breakthrough cameras at NAB 2007, raising the bar that much higher.
April 1, 2007

Barely a decade ago, a portable HD camera which recorded ‘true 1080i’ was a major breakthrough. Today, with so many flavors of HD and HD cameras around, the breakthrough bar is set much higher. Nevertheless, many camera manufacturers will be showing their newest breakthrough cameras at NAB 2007, raising the bar that much higher.

Panasonic introduces a hybrid of its high-end VariCam and its economical, solid state HVX 200. The AG-HPX500 uses progressive 2/3′ CCDs and its P2 flash technology to record in 32 high-def and SD formats. It can capture up to 64 minutes of DVCPRO 100 HD on four new 16 Gb P2 flash cards, and can record in discrete frame rates from 12fps to 60fps – for about US$14,000.

P+S Technik will unveil the ultimate high-speed digital video camera. Its Weisscam records at frame rates from one frame per four seconds to 1,000fps, and outputs uncompressed TIFF or AVI files at a max size of 1280 x 1024 pixels (HD). It also accepts PL and Nikon F mount lenses.

Sony will add the 2/3′ CCD(3) F23 to its prestigious Cine Alta camera line. The F23 has 2/3′ CCDs, 1920 x 1080, with 4:4:4 (and 4:2:2) RGB sampling. It also supports a wide range of formats and speeds. Sony will also show its smallest (3.6lbs) cinematic camcorder, the HVR-V1U, with three cmos sensors that capture ‘true 24p’ video. Unlike many products at NAB, the V1 is already shipping at just under $5,000.

Canon USA will showcase two new hdv camcorders, the XH A1 and the XH G1. Both use the same 1/3′ 1440 x 1080 pixel CCDs as the XL H1. Their fixed-mount 20X Canon hd lenses are slightly wider than in Canon’s original HDV camcorder, the XL H1. Another improvement is more control of picture quality via the menu and Canon’s Console software.

JVC takes progressive hdv to a new level with its GY-HD 250/200 camcorders which scan and record native 720p at 60, 50, 25 and 24fps, with a new codec which curbs motion artifacts. The GY-HD 250 can also output 720p 60 live or cross-converted 1080i via HD SDI. Fujinon 16X HD (1/3′) lenses are packaged with all JVC’s HDV camcorders but other lenses and accessories are available.

Grass Valley will introduce a single format version of its multi-format LDK 4000. The LDK 400 MK II will be available either as a 1080i or a 720p camera, switchable (by a trained engineer) between 50 Hz and 59.94 Hz.

The company will also introduce its new 2.4 million pixel CMOS Xensium sensor, which captures progressive or interlaced HD natively for higher signal-to-noise performance and wider dynamic range. The 2/3′ 1920 x 1080 active pixel Xensium HD sensors will first be used in production models of the Grass Valley Infinity Digital Media Camcorder, and in all future Grass Valley cameras.

Hitachi, meanwhile, will accent digital cinema at NAB 2007 with their 3200 series cameras. The SK and DK 3200 cameras with 1080i CCD imagers will now offer 24, 25 and 30 frame progressive capture modes. The five cameras in this series will scan either 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720. The SK-3200 and SK-3020P can output either 1080/60i or 720/60p while the two piece DK-H32S10 excels in tight spaces.

Iconix will demonstrate ‘the world’s smallest HD camera’ – its HD-RH1 POV camera system: a 2.5oz POV camera head with a 3.5lb universal HDTV controller plus power supply.

The Red team will unveil progress on its revolutionary 2K/4K Red One camera. Red One promises 4K quality for under $17,000 – far cheaper than any 4K camera yet developed.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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