Eye to Eye: Acquisition and Production


Back in the days of the Audio Fair which annually graced London's Russell Hotel, my co-hack Frank Jones of Hi-Fi News put his head into the KEF Electronics demonstration room and bellowed the time-honoured question "What's new?"

KEF was showing established products that year so its founder, the avuncular Raymond Cooke, responded with his own question: "Why don't you ask 'What's good?'"

"Because 'What's good' doesn't sell magazines."

My first story in this summary of new acquisition and production kit is very new indeed but may be far from good: JVC's IF-2D3D1 'stereoscopic image processor' (sic) is claimed to convert 2D content to 3D in real time, offering no fewer than four 3D mixed formats for stereo video output on a compatible device: line-by-line, side-by-side-half, above-below, and checkerboard. I have great respect for JVC as a company but, if the demonstrations they gave at NAB and SATIS last year are any guide, this product is worth seeing at BVE 2010 only to confirm the futility of the concept.

The 3D bandwagon is certainly gathering momentum, and rightly so. Television will obviously go 3D at some point in the future. It is just a question of when. The fact that a significant proportion of the population cannot sense 3D for one reason or another is irrelevant provided the end product remains 2D compatible.
In January, Study Group 6 of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) released a report outlining the likely direction of future 3D TV implementation. This would see 3D TV technology rolled out in three successive generations:
"The first generation — 'plano-stereoscopic television' — calls for two views to be delivered to viewers’ TV sets. Wearing special glasses similar to those used to watch 3D cinema, viewers will be able to see depth in the picture although the view will remain the same when they move their heads (in real life, our view changes when we move our heads).
"The second generation will provide for multiple views, with head movement changing the view, for a viewing experience that more closely mimics real life.
"The third generation will feature systems that record the amplitude, frequency, and phase of light waves, to reproduce almost completely human beings’ natural viewing environment. These kinds of highly advanced systems are technically some 15-20 years away."
At CES 2010 in January, Panasonic previewed a prototype twin-lens 1080-line 3D camcorder designed for broadcast applications. Price is expected to be around $21,000. Optics, camera head and a dual SDHC/SD memory card recorder are integrated into a single body. The twin-lens system allows the convergence point to be adjusted by the operator in mid-shoot. Functions for automatically correcting horizontal and vertical displacement are also provided. The camcorder automatically recalibrates without need for external equipment, allowing immediate 3D image capture. Panasonic also plans to offer a compact 3D HD LCD monitor.
Sony's single-lens prototype 3D camera has already been reported in TV-Bay and, so far as I know, has yet to be seen outside Japan. For the 2D market, the new HXR-NX5U is the first professional-quality solid-state camcorder to use the AVCHD format. Part of Sony’s NXCAM product family, it has a CMOS sensor and records at up to 24 Mbit/s, delivering 1920 x 1080 HD in interlaced and progressive modes as well as 1080/24p, 720/60p and MPEG-2 SD.
The NX5U camcorder includes HD-SDI and HDMI outputs as well as two-channel linear PCM audio capabilities. Other features unique to the NX5U include 720/60p recording, built-in GPS function, SMPTE timecode I/O and an upgrade option allowing switching between 60i/50i.
Canon’s new HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V HDTV 15x zoom lens combines HD with an optical image stabiliser. It is claimed to handle a wide range of vibration frequencies from the ultra-low frequency movement of an operator’s shoulder to the higher frequency vibration generated by motor vehicles. The lens was used by SFP to cover the Tour de France.
Gekko Technology is expanding its range of high-efficiency film and video lighting equipment with the introduction of the karesslite 606. Based on the 6 x 12 emitter 600 x 300 mm karesslite 6012, the karesslite 606 incorporates a 6 x 6 emitter array measuring 300 x 300 mm. Power consumption is correspondingly halved to 45 W, allowing more than three hours of continuous operation from a single rear-mountable V-Lock battery. An integral diffusion grating modifies the beam without the light restriction caused by traditional egg-crate light diffusers. The karesslite 606 can be used as a single soft light source or combined with additional karesslites into a larger multiple light source. Available as daylight or tungsten, the fixture has on-board dimming as well as built in DMX.
Ikegami has introduced a memory adapter allowing its GFCAM recording system to capture on Compact Flash as an alternative to the company's proprietary solid state packs. The adapter includes enhanced error protection and supports high-speed random access.
Polecam will be demonstrating at BVE 2010 the new Panasonic AG-HCK10 1080i camera and AGHMR10 ultra-compact solid state recorder as part of a cost-efficient package for applications such as corporate video production and medical training. Attaching straight to a Polecam jib, the camera incorporates a 12x optical zoom lens, optical image stabiliser and 1/4-inch 3-CMOS sensors. Iris, focus and zoom can be remotely controlled from the front panel of the AGHMR10 via up to 10 m of cable. Recording is to SD/SDHC memory cards now available at relatively low cost in 32 gigabyte capacity (approximately three hours at 1920 x 1080), 21 to 24 Mbit/s. Price of the camera and recorder is around £3,800.
Vinten's Fusion FBH175 robotic head is designed for use with manual pedestals from Vinten and Sachtler such as the Vinten Osprey Elite and Sachtler Vario Pedestal which do not have a fully skirted base. By combining the Fusion Bolt on Height Drive with the Fusion FH100, the FBH175 is claimed to achieve smooth and rapid height movement matching the performance of the FP145 robotic pedestal under full manual control, enabling on shot movement as well as high speed repositioning. The FBH175 has a maximum payload of 80 kg.

Tags: iss038 | acquisition | production | itu-r | ces 2010 | panasonic | sony | gekko | ikegami | polecam | ag-hck10 | vinten | karesslite | gfcam | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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