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.
Good news for the video world! JVC Kenwood has recently joined the Micro Four Thirds standard, and is currently developing a new 4K camcorder with a Micro Four Thirds mount at NAB 2014. However, what will set the this camcorder off from all other Micro Four Thirds cameras is its sensor, which will sport the lager Super 35mm form factor. As a reminder, Super 35mm is similar in size to APS-C, which means it is considerably larger than the Four Thirds format.
This is a very interesting development. For one, it brings some extra competition for the Panasonic GH4, which is currently the only Micro Four Thirds camera capable of 4K video recording. Also, this seems to be the first attempt to put a larger sensor into a camera with a Micro Four Thirds mount. It will be interesting to see how this works out, and whether native Micro Four Thirds lenses that were designed for the smaller sensor will work on the camera.
At this time, there are no technical specifications or pictures of the prototype camera available, except that the device will sport a a “large” LCD monitor. It also appears as though the camcorder itself will be separate from the recording device, which reminds us of the Sony A7S. It is uncertain from the machine translated press release whether the prototype device will be shown at NAB in Las Vegas. For those attending the show, shoot us an email if you run across it!
Remember the Borg from Star Trek, those vile half-human half-machine cyborgs that would have a some kind of laser thingie sticking out from their faces instead of a second eyeball? Designed to be worn on your face, Panasonic’s latest action cam, the wearable HX-A500 4K camcorder, will make you look a bit like one of them.
The device comes in two parts connected to each other by a cord. The first part is a small camera unit that you can wear on your cheek, attached over your ear, like a gaming headset. This is the part that makes you look like you’re out of a science-fiction movie. The other part is the actual recorder, including buttons and a display, that you can strap to your arm, for example. Makes you look even more like a futuristic space-farer.
The HX-A500 captures 4K video footage at 30 fps, and can transmit it wirelessly via WiFi and NFC. The lens has an ultra wide angle of view of 160° and sits on top of a 1/2.3″ BSI sensor. When the resolution is reduced, the action cam can even record slow-motion video at 60, 120, and 240 fps. And for your diving adventures, it can withstand water for up to 30 minutes at depths up to 10 feet.
The futuristic device will be available in June, with US retail prices yet to be announced (though dpreview mentions GPB 379.99 for the UK, which equals US-$ 630 at current exchange rates.) And now go pre-order it from B&H Photo because, you know, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!
Taking video footage in the dark can be a problem, especially when you lack an über-fast lens such as the Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95, or a camera with such fantastic low light abilities as the Nikon D4. Usually what you’ll get when recording video at night or in dark places with a regular digital camerea–be it a compact, mirrorless or DSLR–is a lot of noise, little detail and as good as no color information. When using a dedicated night vision device, you might actually be able to make out some detail, but your images will be cast in green or grey and will be covered with luminance noise all over.
But there’s hope, as a new camera from Japan is going to change all that. The Komamura Falcon Eye KC-2000 is the first camcorder that is dedicated a recording night or low light scenes in full color, and it does so in 720p resolution. This means not only will you get images that look like they were taken in daylight, you’ll also get to see a lot more detail than you would get from a digital camera or a dedicated night vision camera.
Pictured above is Canon’s VIXIA Mini X Compact Camcorder which will allow users to record video hands-free. The Mini X sports a 12MP CMOS sensor and an f2.8 fisheye lens, which will produce 160-degree MP4 movies, 170-degree stills, and 150-degree AVCHD movies. The camcorder has two shooting modes – wide and close up – and the Electronic Image Stabilization builtin will help safeguard against any potential shake. The built-in stand has 60 degrees of adjustability, and the tripod thread underneath expands its abilities.
The Mini X also offers Fast and Slow motion modes, which give you greater flexibility in movie making. There’s also a Mirror Image Recording/Playback feature which allows you to view the scene in real-time and make adjustments as it’s happening.
The Mini X also comes with built-in Wi-Fi, which enables quick sharing to your PC, YouTube, Facebook and the like. You can also control the Mini X from your Android or iOS device via the Canon CameraAccess app. Canon also offers a Pan Table accessory which will facilitate shooting from remote locations.
The Mini X is expected to be released in March 2014 for $349.99. The Pan Table accessory will be available in March for $99.
Holy crap! It’s rare that we get this super excited about a video but this latest video from Director Joshua Lipworth is kind of blowing our minds right now. Josh took a RED Epic cinema camera and customized it to shoot in the infrared spectrum–which can often give users some beautiful and trippy results. But what Josh got is something a bit more amazing than the normal blue and white hues that are apparent in infrared shooting. Instead, he hacked it to look a bit like the long gone Kodak Aerochrome film. Though some projects are still done on it, it’s very rare to see them.
To refresh everyone’s minds, Kodak Aerochrome takes the greens in a scene and turns them into purplish reds. The film was invested for military surveillance reasons to sniff out guerilla troops in the Congo. There is a similar concept behind the new Lomochrome Purple film, but it’s not quite there. Granted, this short film isn’t quite there either but it’s quite close and to out knowledge, nothing like this has been tried before in the digital world.
We’re not exactly quite sure as to how Josh did this though–it could be use of on-camera/lens filters or lots of post-production work. Work like that though would really take a toll on the RED Epic’s color range.
Take a look at the video after the jump–and while the video’s concept itself is quite trippy, the added effects of the coloring make it even trippier.
A new Kickstarter is looking to turn your phone into a control for your own personal multi-angle reality TV show–sort of. It’s called the Quebee; and they are little camcorders that are meant to be placed all over to record something so that you don’t really have to. The cameras are all controlled via your smartphone too: which makes multiple angle video coverage super simple. In fact, the app also lets you see the incoming feeds from each camcorder as they record video.
They’re marketing it as a three piece kit: which includes three cameras that can be set up for multi-angle coverage. Plus, they can do timelapse recording.
The company’s Kickstarter video is after the jump; and the product seems really, really cool.
Monopods aren’t just for photographers; they’re also very useful to news videographers as well. Benro recently announced their S6 monopod for folks that need to use larger camcorders. The monopod has legs that sprout under the center column for extra stability when recording. Combined with the special video head to be used with the monopod, te product can support up to 13.2 lbs of weight. The head has all the bells and whistles that shooters want like panning, locking, etc. plus it can also be detached from the monopod and used for other applications.
The new Benro S6 Video Monopod is available now in both flip leg lock (A48FBS6) and twist leg lock (A48TBS6). Suggested retail price for the new Monopod is $249. Specs are after the jump.
No matter how steady you think your hands are, you will only really just how shaky a person you are when you shoot video. Though the handheld look can be very appealing when done correctly (think of The Office) don’t always think that those videographers are shooting totally handheld. Some of them use stabilizers, rails, and some use shoulder rigs. Shoulder rigs, like the DSLR-Pro/PB Camera Shoulder Support are excellent for news shooters because it gives them a balance of stability when shooting and a lightweight solution that can be carried around for long periods of time.
And if that’s all you need, then it gets the job done.
Back in March, we reported on a special 35mm full frame sensor that Canon developed for video applications. And when it was announced, it was turning a lot of heads. As a refresher, the announcement stated that it is a:
“CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in Canon’s top-of-the-line EOS-1D X and other digital SLR cameras. In addition, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects.”
Since March, we have seen no applications for which the sensor was being used. But now, Canon Watch found something on the company’s website. However, they also stated today that, “In addition to astronomical and natural observation, Canon is looking into applying this CMOS sensor to medical research purposes as well as surveillance and crime-prevention equipment.”
That means that we may not ever see it in cinema camcorders. Head on over to their website for a look at the video.
Canon announced a brand new firmware update for their Cinema EOS cameras recently that allows the C100, C300, and C500 to shoot at ISO 80,000. Why? Well, we’re not quite sure why one would want to do that unless they’re shooting in black and white. But besides the ability to shoot at an absurd ISO level, there are loads of other updates that come via firmware updates today.
To us, Sony is the company that often pushes the fold and gives us things before we even believed that it would be time for them to hit the market. And while it was obviously inevitable at some point and time, Sony is announcing today the world’s first camcorder with 4K video recording and a fully automatic mode: FDR AX1. Yes, while many cinematographers are working with really good 1080p video in manual mode, this camcorder is giving the affluent customer the power to shoot their kid’s recital in 4K or the news shooter to shoot breaking news in 4K using all the manual modes that they’re used to.
And they’re packing in a 20x optical zoom lens and a 1/2.3inch 12MP 8MP effective imaging sensor.
Together with the QX10 and QX100 smartphone accessory lenses, Sony today announces a full-fledged 4K camcorder aimed at both amateurs and professionals, as well as two smaller HD camcorders. The FDR-AX1 is Sony’s first consumer 4K camcorder, but at the same time it qualifies for professional work such as news coverage. The HDR-AS30V continues Sony’s series of small action cams and comes with its own underwater casing, while the HDR-MVR1 is aimed at music recording and consequently sports 120° stereo microphones. Details after the break.
Oh man…how would you feel if your camcorder took a major fall? And we’re not talking about a camcorder that two two thousand dollars, but something significantly more. In a recent photoset posted to their Facebook page, Arri told the short story of a camera that took a 26 foot fall onto concrete and continued to function. After it took the massive tumble, the crew charged it up and it kept working. But the Arri team performed a maintenance check and found that there was no serious damage to the camera.
For what it’s worth, the Classic Arri Alexa starter kit is over $80,000.
That poor first AC probably curled up into a ball and cried to himself in the corner. More images are after the jump.
The electronics industry is a odd entity when it comes to pricing and value of the products contained within. It is one of the few markets where there are significant advances in the technology of the products yet a continual decline in the price values of said products. The camera industry niche is no exception.
JVC has a fresh new camera out made for the shooter/run-and-gun news gatherer who needs something small, and realitvely light in weight. The GY-HM650 is a 3-chip 1/3″ 12-bit CMOS sensor camera with dual processors that lets you record two different flavors of video at the same time on seperate SDHC or SDXC cards: MPEG 2 (web friendly compression), AVCHD or SD in H.264. Plus, it records HD or SD in multiple formats, including native XDCAM EX (.MP4), Final Cut Pro friendly (.MOV), AVCHD, .MXF files as well. Other features include a 23x optical Fujinon lens (29-667mm equivalent), 3.5 inch LCD, 1.22MP color viewfinder, two XLR inputs, and HD-SDI and HDMI outputs.
But even those don’t trump the killer feature: it’s WiFi ready. Now here is the interesting thing, say you shot all of your footage and you need to get it back to the station or to your video editor in a hurry–this camera has the ability to send footage with WiFi and FTP ready access. No need for satellite or microwave access that is used in this kind of segment of the industry.
Maybe that will help videographers who are often harassed by cops.
I had no idea that this was up Sony’s sleeve all along, the mount was made with the intention one day to go full-frame. E-mount has come a long way, we have had two NEX-VG cameras already as well as the FS100 and FS700. Today the Sony E-mount stretched it’s arms and legs and came out with the Nex-VG900.
The new VG900 along with its smaller sibling the VG30 have been announced today and they bring some exciting features to the table. For the majority of this write up I will focus on the VG900 and I will get into detail about their differences a bit later. Continue reading…
Today, Sony has finally outed two new NEX camcorders. One is the VG30: an update to their VG20 camcorder with an APS-C sized chip. The other is very special. Rumors have gone around the web with none of them being perfectly correct. The new camcorder is the Sony VG900; and it is a full frame E-Mount camcorder.
Wait, does that make sense? Yes. Attach an APS-C lens onto it, and it will shoot in cropped mode. Attach a full frame lens (we tested a Leica 35mm f2 that Jim from PCMag brought along) and you’ll be able to shoot in full frame mode without any problem.
Sony has just announced their latest NEX-series camcorder, the FS700E. It features a 4k-ready Super 35mm CMOS sensor that is capable of 1080/24p and 1080/50p HD recording and 960 fps super-slow-motion video. Other features are built-in ND filters, a 3G-SDI interface, MemoryStick and SD card slots as well as an interface for an external HXR-FMU128 flash memory unit. The FS700E is “4k-ready” only, which means that 4k recording will only be supported via a future firmware upgrade. The press release states:
Sony is planning a future firmware upgrade that will enable the NEX-FS700 to output 4K bit-stream data over 3G HD-SDI when used with an optional Sony 4K recorder.
The FS700E will be available in June 2012, the price has yet to be announced.
Full technical specs
- E-mount lens mount
- Super 35mm format CMOS sensor with 11.6 million pixels
- 1080/24p and 1080/50p support
- Switchable 50/60 Hz shooting for PAL and NTSC areas
- 120 and 240 fps shooting in 8 and 16 second burst modes respectively
- 480 and 960 fps shooting at reduced resolution
- Built in 1/4, 1/16 and 1/64 ND filters
- Full-HD 50p and 60p and standard HD 60i, 24p and 50p output via HDMI and 3G-SDI
- Native 23.98, 25 and 29.97 fps progressive signal output via 3G-SDI
- MemoryStick and SD card slots
- Interface for HXR-FMU128 external flash memory unit
- Detachable top handle
- Manual focusing aid with 4x and 8x magnification and a moveable area of expansion
- Stores up to 99 customized camera profile settings
Readers of this site have asked for more HDSLR reviews: and so the first one that popped into my mind was the Sony NEX-VG10 and I’m currently working on a review. As another addition to the Sony NEX line of cameras, it’s a powerful camera in a small package: and it makes me want to scream at times. Like the Sony NEX-5 that I reviewed previously, I feel like it is best left in the auto modes and never touched otherwise. But that is only one of my frustrations with the camera. Here’s a list of the seven reasons why I want to throw this camera out the window and the few reasons why I won’t.
With the Flip about to be put out of its misery, Samsung announced the new W200 pocket camcorder that not only sports an F/2.2 lens, but also features waterproofing. The new camcorder also has a back-illuminated 5MP CMOS sensor (BSI), which when combined with the F/2.2 lens should be able to do a great job with the diminished light underwater for up to 3 meters. That F/2.2 lens also has an anti-fog coating to prevent cloudy images. The only drag I see is the 2.3″ 230K LCD screen, which isn’t that great since we’re so used to higher resolution screens these days. Beyond this, it has art filters:
– Vignetting allows users to fade the edges of shots
– The Fish-Eye setting creates an arty, distorted feel for unique and interesting footage.