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CONFIRMED: BBC States That Neither the Nikon D4 or D800 Are Acceptable for Broadcast

by Chris Gampat on 10/08/2012

Not too long ago, everyone on the net was abuzz about how the Nikon D4 and D800 had passed the EBU Technical test, also known as the BBC test for videography capture. Originally, Nikon Australia stated it, but the page is now down though still active as one can tell by the link. Petapixel picked up on the news, and went further.

We looked at the tests and from the vernacular, it all seemed very questionable. So we contacted the EBU and recently got a hold of Andy Quested, the Head of Technology for BBC HD and 3D. Here’s his statement.

In an email, Andy Quested stated:

 

Here are the relevant sections of the test reports:

D4

10 Conclusion

The camera has very limited controls when in video mode, but has reasonable connectivity, allowing full resolution external monitoring and recording. Sound facilities are sparse, the internal microphone is adequate for note-taking or guide sound, and the microphone connector is a 3.5mm jack offering only un-balanced input.

The test procedures were as described and recommended by the EBU, in Tech 3335 (http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335.pdf). Video performance is quite good at 1080p, much less so at 720p.

However, even though the sensor has 16.8 million photo-sites, it achieves only about 1,355×764, only a little better than 1,280×720.

Noise levels are very low, and the camera could be acceptable with ISO settings up to 6,400. Coloured spatial aliasing is present, and is clearly visible even on the camera’s LCD display (921k pixels, about 1,176×784). In theory, meticulous control of the shooting style can minimise this, by using only motivated

pans together with fairly short depth of field, such that detail out of the focused plane is always soft and therefore can never provoke aliasing. Exposure range is, potentially, as high as 13 stops, although this will be limited by the acceptability of the noise levels near black.

800

The test procedures were as described and recommended by the EBU, in Tech 3335 (http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335.pdf). Video performance is not really acceptable at 1080p, much less so at 720p. Even though the sensor has 36.8 million photo-sites, it achieves only about 1,355×764, little better than 1,280×720.

There is no statement other than neither camera is acceptable for HD programmes for any of the UK broadcasters

So there we have it, apparently the company won’t be using the cameras.

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