#AJA CION #Sony X180 #Sony PDW850 #Panasonic Varicam
Click here for all the latest NAB2014 camera news from Sony, Canon, AJA, Panasonic and more.
AJA Debuts CION: 4K/UHD/2K/HD Professional Camera
CION embraces a familiar and tested camera form and ergonomic layout. It includes a built-in shoulder mount and standard connectors in logical positions. CION features a PL lens mount for compatibility with industry-standard lenses. When recording in HD or 2K, the image is oversampled from the full 4K sensor, retaining focal length as well as providing a vibrant and detailed image. A built-in filter combines an optical low pass filter (OLPF) to eliminate unwanted aliasing and moiré with an infrared (IR) cut filter to produce appropriate colors. Additionally, a back focus adjustment means the sharpest image possible can be produced. Also included are several 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, which are all simultaneously active and supply signal to a variety of 4K/Ultra HD and 2K/HD monitors. A power output connector is conveniently placed at the front of the unit to make electronic viewfinders easy to use. Professional audio inputs round out an unmatched amount of connectivity.
CION features an uncomplicated user interface that can be easily managed from the operator-side. The camera’s menu parameters are also remotely configurable via a web interface and can be accessed through any web browser via a LAN connection. CION’s sleek chassis is formed of magnesium, which is lightweight yet extremely strong. Integrated steel rosettes allow for mounting of industry-standard accessories such as handgrips and handle extensions directly to the camera body. The open approach to design also includes integrated cheese plates with standard tapped holes. These cheese plates are fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis to provide easy mounting of accessories from both AJA and third parties.
CION is the culmination of years of development; AJA has used a considered process to create a production camera with a feature set and form factor that offers the user a wide variety of options both in the field and the studio. CION is an elegant union of great design and functionality, an engineered aesthetic that AJA is proud to describe as “Science of the Beautiful”.
Sensor: 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter. 12-stops of dynamic range.
Recording Formats and Resolutions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy); 4K (4096×2160), Ultra HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080), HD (1920×1080). 2K and HD are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor for high-quality over-sampled images and retention of field-of-view.
Media: Record to AJA Pak SSD media available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. Transfer via Thunderbolt™ or USB3 with optional AJA Pak Dock; Complete 10-bit and 12-bit workflow from HD to 4K.
Raw Support: Output AJA Raw via 3G-SDI at up to 4K 120 fps or via Thunderbolt™ at up to 4K 30 fps.
Lens Mount: Industry standard PL mount
4x 3G-SDI/HD-SDI outputs (4K/Ultra HD/2K/HD)
2x 3G/HD-SDI monitor outputs with overlay support
1x HDMI output offering support for 4K and Ultra HD or scaled 2K/HD
1x HDMI output for 2K/HD
2x mic/line/48v XLR analog audio inputs
2x LANC control ports
1x LTC input connector
1x reference connector
1x USB connector
1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN connection
1x Mini TRS headphone jack
1x 4-pin XLR power connector
1x input power connector for attaching third-party battery plates
1x output power connector
1x Thunderbolt™ connector
Optical Low Pass Filter and IR cut filter: An integrated OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) reduces unwanted moiré effects while still retaining vital image detail. The infrared (IR) cut filter produces high quality colors within the image by blocking unwanted light wavelengths.
Back Focus Adjustment: The mechanical calibration of the distance between lens and sensor allows finely tuned adjustments to ensure the sharpest image quality possible.
Industrial design: Lightweight magnesium chassis, built-in confidence monitor, standard playback controls and connectors placed to optimize functionality. Integrated “cheese plates” fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis provide easy mounting of accessories. All CION accessory connection points use open standards, including 15mm rods, 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes, and M6 hirth-tooth rosettes.
User interface: Via operator side panel display, control knob and buttons or via LAN connection using a web-browser; no software installation required.
Pricing and Availability
CION will be available Summer 2014 via a worldwide network of AJA resellers at a US MSRP of $8,995. AJA Pak SSD media is available at a US MSRP of $695 (256GB) and $1295 (512GB). AJA Pak Dock is available at a US MSRP of $395. Optional CION accessories will also be available when the camera ships. For more information about AJA products please visit www.aja.com.
Sony boosts XDCAM range with new shoulder-mount camcorder
Sony has announced, the PDW-850 XDCAM HD 422 camcorder. The PDW-850 incorporates newly-developed 2/3-inch CCD image sensors. The multi-use PDW-850 shoulder-mount camcorder combines high performance and low power consumption in a lightweight form factor. High-quality imaging (with a signal-to-noise ratio of 62 dB) and excellent mobility make it ideal for use across a wide range of news reporting, documentary and general production environments. The PDW-850 camcorder will be available from October 2014.
See the video presentation from the Sony You Tube Channel here
Sony launches X180 XDCAM camcorder with XAVC/AVCHD
Sony has launched the PXW-X180 Handheld Solid-State Memory Camcorder, the latest addition to the popular XDCAMTM Series. Ideal for broadcast and professional video production applications, it features three 1/3” Full HD Exmor® CMOS sensors and a newly developed 25x optical zoom Sony G Lens with 26 mm wide angle.
The PXW-X180 records in MPEG HD422 at 50 Mbps, a format widely preferred by broadcasters and production houses, as well as XAVC Intra and Long GOP, which enable 10-bit sampling for high-definition recording of outstanding quality pictures. The camcorder can also capture in MPEG HD420 at 35 Mbps, AVCHDTM and DV formats.
As well as recording on professional SxS memory cards, the camcorder can record on XQD cards, SD cards and Memory Sticks by using optional card adaptors. Providing easy selection of a variety of recording formats and recording media, the camcorder is ready to support a wide range of video production applications.
The PXW-X180 is the first Sony professional camcorder to feature a new variable neutral density (ND) filter. This new device has been developed to electronically control density and enable continuous setting adjustment from 1/4ND to 1/128ND with simple dial operation. Using the filter in conjunction with different iris and shutter speed settings, depth of field and brightness can be adjusted. This allows the use of shooting techniques such as slow shutter shooting in daylight and other bright light conditions.
“The PXW-X180 represents the next step in the deployment of our new XAVC line-up, offering high quality, high bit rate, 10-bit intra-frame HD recording for ultimate picture performance” said Nick Buchner, Senior Product Manager for Content Creation at Sony Australia and New Zealand. “Coupled with a new wide angle 25x Sony G zoom lens, an innovative electronic ND system, plus support for existing MPEG-2, AVCHDTM and DV codecs, this model not only offers the flexibility to respond to today’s varying acquisition requirements, but also provides a future-proof purchase for production demands in the years ahead.”
A wireless LAN module is included to enable the use of wireless functions*. Easy, one-touch operation is all that is required for wireless connection to a smartphone or tablet, which can then be used to confirm the framing of the shot set-up, monitor recording and operate the camcorder by remote (including lens angle setting/white balance adjustment/iris adjustment, etc.). Using separately sold mobile routers and other mobile devices also allows transmission of files after shooting.
Sony continues to develop camcorders that deliver the high image quality and ease of use required by professionals for recording everything from news footage and documentaries to corporate and education productions.
*Wireless operation cannot be guaranteed with all smartphones and tablet computers.
See the presentation from the Sony NAB Booth here
Major features of the PXW-X180
1. Newly developed 25x optical zoom Sony G Lens with 26.0 mm wide angle
The new camcorder’s lens offers Sony G Lens quality, a 26 mm wide-angle view, and a 25x zoom range (35 mm equivalent 26 mm to 650 mm), which make it versatile enough to handle a wide range of shooting situations. Independent manual zoom and focus rings with end-stop and iris control are provided, and a slide mechanism on the focus ring enables easy switching between auto and manual focusing. If desired, the focus indicator can be displayed even when focusing manually.
2. Sony’s proprietary sensor, processor and lens technology for exceptional image quality
Three 1/3” Exmor™ CMOS sensors with a total of about 2.07 million effective pixels (16:9) independently capture red, blue and green light. This combines with the camcorder’s high resolution, high-sensitivity and wide dynamic range, to deliver outstanding colour rendition. Featuring noise reduction and anti-shake to contribute to high image quality, the camera provides fine image quality settings for detailed, beautifully textured results.
3. Compatible with XAVC and a wide range of other recording formats
In addition to XAVC Intra/Long GOP, the PXW-X180 records in MPEG2, AVCHD and DV. When recording in XAVC, it uses the MXF file format, efficiently compressing full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit with Intra-frame compression at 112 Mbps or high-efficiency Long-GOP compression at 50 Mbps, 35 Mbps or 25 Mbps.
4. Compatible with SxS memory cards, XQD cards, SD cards and Memory Sticks
To meet the needs of various workflows, the PXW-X180 features two SxS memory card slots offering high-speed write and read. Using the optional XQD card adaptor also allows recording to XQD memory cards, offering high-speed write and read. Using the SD card adaptor enables recording to SD memory cards, which helps to keep costs down during extended recordings.
Simultaneous recording* onto two memory cards is possible (in the same recording mode only). With two record buttons, the operator can choose which card to record on, so one card can be used for recording while the other card serves as a backup. Continuous relay recording* is also possible from the card in the A slot to the card in the B slot.
*In AVCHD recording mode, simultaneous recording and relay recording between the two memory cards is not possible.
5. Variable ND filter
The PXW-X180 is Sony’s first professional camcorder to feature a variable ND filter. A new filter device has been developed to electronically control density and enable continuous setting adjustment from 1/4ND to 1/128ND with simple dial operation. Using this filter in conjunction with different iris and shutter speed settings to adjust depth of field and brightness allows the use of shooting techniques such as slow shutter shooting in daylight and other bright light conditions.
6. Wireless functions for file transmission and remote control
Near Field Communication (NFC*) functions allow easy, one-touch wireless LAN connection to a smartphone or tablet. Content Browser MobileTM application enables confirmation of the angle of the shot before shooting, monitor recording and operation of the camcorder by remote (field angle setting/white balance adjustment/iris adjustment, etc.). The use of separately sold mobile routers and other mobile devices also allows transmission of files after shooting. In addition, lightweight proxy video files can be generated separately from the main line recording and recorded to SD cards for quick sharing of content over low-bandwidth mobile networks.
*1 Wireless operation cannot be guaranteed with all smartphones and tablet devices.
*2 NFC, or Near Field Communication, allows close-range wireless communication between the PXW-X180 and an NFC-equipped smartphone or tablet devices.
*3 The Content Browser Mobile smartphone application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store. A version upgrade (timing TBA) is required.
7. Multi-Interface shoe
Accessories attached to the camcorder’s Multi-Interface (MI) shoe can be controlled by the PXW-X180. For example, when the new HVL-LBPC video light (also launched at NAB2014) is attached to the MI shoe, video light power can be switched on and off from the camcorder.Furthermore, if an optional UWP-D Series wireless microphone receiver is connected, power supply and cable-free audio signal input are possible, minimising the need for extra batteries and removing the need for additional cabling.
The PXW-X180’s launch date is scheduled for August 2014, with pricing to be confirmed.
* Accessory to be launched simultaneously
HVL-LBPC High Power LED Battery Video Light
Along with PXW-180, the optional HLV-LBPC is a flexible, yet powerful LED lighting solution. It features flexible colour temperature setting from 3,200K to 5,600K maintaining high power 1800lux/1m brightness. A 2100 lux/1m brightness boost mode further enhances its lighting capability. The newly introduced Multi Interface shoe enables light on/off control from a PXW-X180 camcorder.
Launch date (scheduled): August 2014, pricing to be confirmed.
PANASONIC 4K Varicam Supports ProRes Codec
Panasonic today revealed updates to its new VariCam 35 4K camera/recorder, including Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ* support for HD recording,as well as a strategic product development alliance with Codex Digital to deliver a high-speed 4K uncompressed RAW recorder for the VariCam 35 camera.
“Given the prevalence of ProRes as a popular editing format within the production community,its inclusion in the VariCam 35 will position the new camera/recorder solidly within a well-established and widely accepted HD workflow, ” said Steve Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. (The ProRes codec component is licensed from ATOMOS Global Pty. Ltd., which has shipped ProRes recorders for years.)
Codex Digital, an industry leader in RAW recording and workflow, is working closely with Panasonic to develop a dedicated recorder that will capture uncompressed 4K VariCam RAW (V-RAW) at up to 120fps, bolstering the VariCam 35’s suitability for high-end cinema applications. The Codex V-RAW recorder will directly connect with Panasonic’s VariCam35 camera, eliminating cabling completely to facilitate greater efficiency and higher mobility.
VariCam 35 workflow scenarios will be previewed at NAB: Assimilate’s SCRATCH will demonstrate V-RAW debayering and grading workflow at Panasonic booth C3607, and Grass Valley’s EDIUS will show seamless AVC-Intra 4K editing at the Panasonic and Grass Valley (SL206) booths.
The VariCam 35 incorporates a newly-developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs. The new camera’s superb image handling in multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD make it an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials and episodic production, as well as live 4K events.
With its innovative design, the 4K camera module (AU-V35C1) is separate but dockable to the recording module unit (AU-VREC1), which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3” camera module (AU-V23HS1). This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the s35mm 4K camera and the AVC-ULTRA recorder,providing “box” camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other “remote” camera needs. This common recorder module system enables professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3″ camera heads to best suit their creative needs.
“Evoking the VariCam heritage of gorgeous,cinematic image rendition,this VariCam 35 establishes new standards for 4K production,” said Cooperman. “With its expanse of formats ranging from flawless 4K RAW output to more practical 4K, UHD, 2K and HD capture, the VariCam 35 represents a matchless option for premier digital capture.”
The VariCam 35 utilizes a new Panasonic super 35mm MOS sensor for 4096 × 2160 (17:9) 4K image capture; this imager when combined with the AVC-ULTRA codecs for 4K enables very manageable and practical 4K production file sizes. The new imager boasts an impressive 14+ stops of latitude,and faithfully captures high-contrast, wide dynamic range imagery without compromise.
Powerful color management capabilities provide a much extended color gamut for impeccable image fidelity, and permit support for an Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow for full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam 35 also affords in-camera color grading.
To maximize the dynamic range of the recorded images,Panasonic has developed a new log curve (V-Log) which elegantly maps the 14+ stops of image data to the recorded file. The VariCam 35 permits the assignment of various LUTs to individual recording channels and camera outputs. For example,shoot UHD and record non-destructively with the V-Log LUT,but assign a “baked-in” 709 LUT on the HD / proxy recording for editing. The camera’s monitor and EVF outputs have similar selectable LUT capabilities.
Among the camera/recorder’s top-level production features are real-time, high frame rate, variable speed 4K recording up to 120fps, providing the capability for master level 2K/HD recording,and advanced workflows with parallel simultaneous 4K/ UHD, reference 2K/HD and proxy recordings for in-camera on-set color grading and monitoring / editing ease. The camera also features a newly-developed OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality. Lastly, 24-bit LPCM audio is added for in-camera audio master recording.
The VariCam 35 will deliver an unprecedented breadth of recording formats, including 4K and UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K, and 2K and 1080p HD in AVC-Intra 100/200** and ProRes. Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the camera encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with 4K and 2K production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 1.5Mbps. Metadata management will also be available.
The VariCam 35 will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate and 4K recording. The camera is equipped with a total of four memory card slots,two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new 256Gbyte expressP2 card can record up to 130 minutes of 4K/24p content. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD or 2K at more typical production frame rates.
Professional interfaces include: 3G-HD-SDI ×4 for 4K QUAD output; an HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K); and two XLR inputs to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. A multi-connector facilitates docking the camera head to the recording module. In another striking design innovation, the VariCam 35 boasts a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy access when the camera is in a fixed position. The VariCam 35 features a standard 35mm PL mount.
The VariCam 35 will launch fall 2014, with a suggested list price under $60,000, including EVF.
PANASONIC Unveils 2/3″ 240fps VariCam
Panasonic has introduced a third-generation VariCam® camera, the VariCam HS, that incorporates the company’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs and high speed 1080p image capture of up to 240fps to produce extraordinary high-definition imagery for the most demanding documentary, sports or SFX slow-motion applications. It also includes Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ* support for HD recording. (The ProRes codec component is licensed from ATOMOS Global Pty. Ltd., which has shipped ProRes recorders for years.)
Featuring an innovative modular design, the VariCam HS 2/3″ camera head docks with the AVC-ULTRA recording module to provide the full functionality and ergonomics of a conventional production camera/recorder. This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the 2/3″ camera module (AU-V23HS1) and the recording module (AU-VREC1), providing “box” camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other “remote”camera needs. This common recorder module is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new s35mm 4K camera module (AU-V35C1) (see separate news release), enabling professionals to switch between 2/3” and s35mm camera heads to best suit their creative needs.
“Building on the esteemed VariCam legacy of breathtaking image rendition and versatile off-speed effects, this next-generation modular design will deliver unprecedented flexibility to users, who can move between the worlds of sports, documentary, and other content creation with extraordinary ease and efficiencies, In addition, given the prevalence of ProRes as a popular editing format within the production community, its inclusion in the VariCam HS will position the new camera/recorder solidly within a well-established and widely accepted HD workflow,” said Steve Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.
The VariCam HS utilizes three newly-developed, 1920 × 1080p MOS imagers with an extraordinary 14 stops of latitude, providing full control over a wide range of lighting conditions for unparalleled 1080p native recording/operation. The camera/recorder boasts a classical RGB imager/prism system that provides equi-band full resolution color processing for critical applications. Among the camcorder’s key features are real-time high frame rate and off-speed recording to 240fps in 1080p (using AVC-Intra Class100), plus the ability to ramp / change frame rates during record. To complement the impressive video quality, the new VariCam HS boasts 24-bit LPCM audio capabilities. Powerful yet creative image controls such as matrix, detail, gammas and a new Log recording capability allow precise, powerful creative control over image parameters.
The VariCam HS will feature a range of high-quality recording formats including AVC-Intra Class100 (recording as 1080/24p, 30p or 60p format with VFR (up to 240p), AVC-Intra Class200 (up to 30p/60i) and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 (up to 30p). Both AVC-Intra Class200 and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 deliver spectacular performance in applications where image quality is the utmost consideration.
The VariCam HS adds “V-Log” to the well-respected FilmRec and Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) image contrast management controls. The VariCam HS will feature Panasonic’s Emmy® Award-winning Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) technology to minimize lateral chromatic aberrations and dramatically improve the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) of the optical system. VariCam HS also affords in-camera color grading.
AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 supports 12-bit recording for 1080p content, allowing file-based 4:4:4 workflows with the unparalleled ability to handle the finer tonal graduations and color fidelity that the 12-bit format provides. AVC-Intra Class200, at twice the bit rate per frame of AVC-Intra Class100, is visually lossless, delivering studio master quality for recording network-level programming and archiving. AVC-Intra Class200 is ideal for field capture of content for film-outs; the higher quality greatly enhances color correction processes, as well as green screen and compositing applications.
The VariCam HS will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording (frame rates above 60fps: see separate news release). The camera recording module unit is equipped with a total of four memory card slots, two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new 256Gbyte expressP2 card can record about 32 minutes of 240p 1080 HD video. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD at more typical production frame rates.
Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the VariCam HS encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 1.5Mbps.
Professional interfaces include: RGB4:4:4; a 3G-HD-SDI out to support 1080/60p, an HD-SDI out for monitoring; and two XLR inputs to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. A multi-connector facilitates docking the camera head to the recording module. In another innovative design addition, the VariCam HS boasts a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy menu access when the camera is in a fixed or remote position. The camera’s 2/3″ B4 lens mount enables use of a remarkable variety of prime lenses and servo zooms, lensing possibilities simply not available on larger formats.
The VariCam HS will launch fall 2014, with a suggested list price under $55,000, including EVF and shoulder mount module. For further information about Panasonic professional video products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.