Last Updated on 04/08/2014 by Felix Esser
Everyone wants a piece of the 4K cake at this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, it seems. Yesterday, we saw the amazing new Sony A7S, which is not only 4K-capable but also sports an interesting sensor that might just become the new king of low light. Then we heard of a new 4K Micro Four Thirds camera from JVC, and now even more news started trickling in. So we though it was time for a little NAB 4K roundup.
Blackmagic Studio Camera
More Micro Four Thirds stuff comes from Blackmagic, who unveiled the Studio Camera featuring an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount and a Super 16mm sensor. As the name suggests, the camera is aimed at studio use, more specifically live broadcasting, which es evident from the huge, 10″ shielded display at its back. Instead of an internal recorder (which makes no sense for broadcasting,) the Blackmagic Studio Camera has optical fibre and SDI outputs through which it can be connected to a live production switcher (of which the company of course has their own.)
The Studio Camera will be made available in two versions, one featuring Full-HD and one featuring 4K recording. Both cameras will support framerates of 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p each, with the Full-HD model also supporting 60p video. The Full-HD model is available now at a retail price of US-$ 1,995, and the 4K model will be available in June at a retail price of US-$ 2,995.
The other major announcement from Blackmagic at this year’s NAB was the professional 4K camera called URSA, which besides interchangeable mounts also features an interchangeable sensor unit. In essence, this means that you can easily upgrade to a more capable sensor in the future without having to buy a complete new camera. Equally intriguing is the alternative URSA model which instead of a mount and sensor features an HDMI input and a cradle at the front that can take up a recording device such as the new Sony A7S.
Unlike previous Blackmagic offerings, the URSA is clearly aimed at large-scale productions, as it requires more than one person to operate it. That is unless you have multiple sets of ars. Weighing in at 7.5 kgs (16.5 lbs) including the 4K sensor module, the URSA sports an enormous 10″ Full-HD main screen, plus two more 5″ secondary screens that are touch-enabled. Speaking of sensors, the one inside the URSA has Super 35 size, sports a global shutter and delivers 12 stops of dynamic range.
It comes with either a PL-mount or an EF-mount for Canon lenses, with a B4-mount model sporting a different sensor aimed at broadcasting. The EF and PL models will be shipping in July, and come in at US-$ 5,995 (EF) and US-$ 6,495 (PL) respectively. Pricing and availability for the B4 and HDMI versions have yet to be announced.
The Blackmagic URSA can be pre-ordered at B&H Photo.
More 4K from JVC
Yesterday, we reported about JVC’s upcoming Micro Four Thirds 4K camera with a Super 35 sensor in it. Well, as it appears JVC is actually going to bring not one but two 4K MFT cameras. The first, which we reported on yesterday, will be a full-fledged camcorder, while the second is simply a sensor+mount module that needs to be hooked up to a monitor and recorder. On top of these two, JVC also showed off a shoulder-mounted 4K camera with PL-mount.
In terms of specs, NoFilmSchool informs us that the PL-mount camera records true 4K (i.e. 4096×2160) at up to 60p, and can record high-speed video at 240p in HD mode. Video can either be recorded to SDHC and SDXC cards, or it can be output via quad HD-SDI or HDMI 2.0. When recording Full-HD video, only a portion of the sensor equivalent to a 2/3″ format sensor is actually read out.
The Micro Four Thirds camcorder records 4K video at 24p or 30p onto SDHC and SDXC cards. As an extra feature, it can record both HD and SD video at the same time. The mini 4K module that we mentioned, which is basically a Micro Four Thirds mount and a Super 35 sensor, comes with its own accessory gimbal that it can be mounted to. An accessory recorder with 7″ monitor will also be provided for the camera module, which can record video to SDHC and SDXC media.
Pricing and availability on these new items have not been disclosed yet. Pictures of the JVC cameras can be seen over at dpreview.
Atomos 4K Recorders
With the Sony A7S and the JVC 4K Micro Four Thirds camera module, we’ve seen two devices that need external recorders to work with. This is where Atomos comes in, who presented two 4K-capable recorders at this year’s NAB show.
The Shogun is the one compatible with the A7S, and it sports an integrated 7″ monitor. It is capable of recording 4K video at framerates of up to 120p in ProRes 4:2:2 and RAW Cinema DNG, and can be equipped with two raided HDD or SSD drives. Its smaller sibling is called the Ninja, and despite being much smaller and lacking a built-in monitor, it is still quite capable. It, too, supports ProRes video, and writes to convenient CFast cards with up to 256 GB capacity.
The Atomos Shogun will cost “under $2000”, while the smaller Ninja will be yours for just under $300. The Shogun will be available in late Q3 or early Q4 2014, while the Ninja will start shipping in May already.
HP DreamColor Z27x
For those of us that edit 4K video at their desktop computers, or who need lots of monitor real estate for their photo retouching work, HP has a new DreamColor display called the Z27x. At a size of 27″, the Z27x supports over a billion colors, and supports the full Adobe RGB color spectrum. And of course, the Z27x sports a 4K resolution. While more details lack so far, we can already tell you that the monitor isn’t quite cheap, coming in at almost $1.5k.