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“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”

Let me ask a silly but timely question:  Pretend you were a race car driver in NASCAR. You were in the middle of a race, flying around the track at 190 MPH, and a message popped up on your dashboard that told you that new firmware for your fuel system was available and ready to install, would you click OK?

Historically, meaning as little as a few years ago, editing and post production suites were built and deployed as a completely designed system not unlike a race car.  Under it’s branded and packaged “system” exterior, it was made up of components that, when described individually, were familiar to us.  It had one or many CPUs, operating system, memory, storage and I/O and several specific software applications, waveform/vector scopes and video source/record decks.  In addition, you would certainly have accurate monitoring of audio and video signals, ideally, in an acoustically-treated suite with appropriate lighting and wall color that would not confuse or deceive your visual cortex.

This turnkey package was very tight, in large part because the bits and pieces worked only in a small but specific “compatibility matrix”.  As a result, it was always understood and firmly communicated that you NEVER update software in the middle of a production, you disable Auto-Update (to satisfy the previous requirement) and that you work with and depend upon capable experts before and during planned upgrades. Upgrades, in truth, need to be considered full re-designs in the sense that there is a delicate inter-dependency between all components and interrupting this “matrix” will have a series of consequences, and unless your name is Neo, you may not even realize that the matrix exists! (Sorry, had to throw that in there.) Consequences come in many sizes and shapes.  Some, you may never even notice or feel and some may only effect you if a second or third seemingly unrelated event interacts with the dormant first consequence.  If the majority of customers work only on a stand-alone computer with the most common of add-on devices, then the lowest common denominator challenges or conflicts get addressed and corrected early, often during beta test cycles. Companies like Apple and others have also done a great job intentionally or unintentionally inducing Pavlovian Conditioning with frequent and ever-improving app updates that have taught us that Updates = Good.  Many of us treat these update requests like a new message from a friend, a gift or a present that randomly appears and, best of all, is free!  Why wouldn’t you do it?  Often it corrects and patches flaws and security risks that we didn’t even know existed (until the update told us).  After all, who doesn’t want to keep up with the latest and greatest? But beware, the editing and graphics ecosystem that you have built, however streamlined it appears, is more fragile and requires more planning than a typical computer or smart phone.  Major operating system updates – like Apple Mavericks 10.9 – change a multitude of things, for reasons that have nothing to do with you or your business. Here is an example advisory for some high speed, external media readers that came out upon the release of Apple Mavericks: WARNING Qio E3 is not currently compatible with OS X 10.8.5 and 10.9 (Mavericks). Sonnet is working on a fix for this issue. Qio E3 is compatible with OS X 10.8.0 through 10.8.4 when using Qio E3 software v1.2.1c and later. Until a new driver is ready (1.2.2), do not upgrade your computer’s OS to 10.8.5 or 10.9.” Personally, I do not blame 3rd party board and hardware manufacturers for this.  A computer is a complex beast, designed for many markets and many uses.  In our high performance, time sensitive, video production world, we depend on our computers to connect with dozens of speciality devices.  Somehow, we have collectively come to expect that all parties involved have been handed a rule book that defines accurately and immediately, all use cases and all code corrections.  In truth, companies like Apple are famous for not providing detailed information about code or methodology changes that may break or change the way pieces or components behave.  There is limited access for developers to beta OS releases and it is next to impossible for a hardware company to run structured quality control tests on all possible configurations. So, in summary, I offer a few polite words of caution: • DO NOT be tempted to hit that Upgrade, Update or Download button without first KNOWING why you need it and what it might affect. • PLAN for upgrades with production and business calendars in mind.

• SCHEDULE downtime and testing as part of the upgrade.

• BACKUP the current system before an upgrade.

• TEST all of the devices and software after the upgrade.

Thanks for listening.  I hope it helps. Tom Talbot, t.talbot@rule.com

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CANON U.S.A. ADDS TWO NEW CAMERAS TO THE CINEMA EOS SYSTEM: THE EOS C500 4K DIGITAL CINEMA CAMERA AND THE EOS C100 DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERA

Two New Camera Models Fill Out a Well-Rounded Cinema EOS Line-up with High-End 4K and Entry-Level HD Camera Solutions Canon issued a press release this morning. The full text of the press release can be found here. Here is a quick bullet list of highlights from the release: Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera Estimated list price of $30,000. Available October 2012 C500 is Canon’s high-end professional 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) cinema camera capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording C500 and C500 PL cameras output 4K resolution to external recorders as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream as well as output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. When shooting in 2K, the C500 and C500 PL cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) For high-speed shooting and slow motion capture the cameras can be set to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, and can output 4K or 2K video up to 120 fps. Simultaneously record a 50 Mbps Full HD video file in-camera to the user’s choice of one or two CF cards. Canon EOS C100 Digital Video Camera Estimated list price of $7,999. Available November 2012 Compact, affordable entry-level model delivering full 1920×1080 HD video AVCHD codec -24Mbps in full HD 1920 x 1080 and 4:2:0 color space Records to dual SD cards EF mount ONLY 85% of the size of the EOS C300 Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS ISO range of from 320 to 20,000 includes a push auto iris function, one-shot auto focus (or full manual focus and exposure control), a multi-angle 3.5-inch LCD control panel, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF), built-in ND filters, dual XLR inputs, locking HDMI output. We look forward to talking in more detail about these two new cameras and will no doubt be featuring a future Learning Lab as soon as demo units become available. Tom Talbot Director of Technology

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Observations from NAB 2012

Each year that I attend NAB I usually end up having two or three words that sum up the most popular or most discussed trends at the show. This year I would have to say Thunderbolt and 4K were the buzzword winners.  It was also interesting to see companies suddenly dive into market segments that used to be “reserved”.  Blackmagic Design is suddenly a camera manufacturer and Canon is suddenly a production monitor company.  Go Pro offers WiFi and high speed goes handheld with the TS3Cine. was everywhere this year. The AJA Ki Pro QUAD, Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera, and of course drives of all sorts.  There was even a 30 meter optical Thunderbolt cable from Sumitomo. The term “4K Capable” means that external 4K recorders can be attached to such cameras as the Canon EOS C500 and 1D C, Sony FS700, F65 and others.  Canon showed a prototype of a 4K production monitor that looked remarkable. LED lighting is now ready for production use. Notably absent this year – 3D! Fujinon showed a lightweight 19mm-90mm PL cine zoom lens with a detachable servo drive unit Angenieux also showed a Servo unit compatible with thei lightweight Optimo line : Optimo 45-120, Optimo 28-76, Optimo 15-40 for Film and Digital cinema, Optimo DP 16-42 and Optimo DP 30-80 for Digital Cinema.

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A Note for our Existing Sony Anycast Owners…

Sony has recently announced that their AWSG500E Anycast Station Live Content Producer will be discontinued.  For many years the Anycast has been a “go to” portable video switcher, audio mixer, PTZ camera controller & more in a self-contained, briefcase sized package. Many of our customers over the years have used it and continue to rely on it for day-to-day use in events, public access, education, houses of worship, and a whole range of productions.  For most of our customers, once they have used the Anycast they continue to use and rely on it. Normally, our instinct is to jump right into the latest and greatest technology, especially when we receive news of a discontinuation.  I am not saying that there are not alternative replacements on the market right now but I will say that the form factor and capability of the Sony Anycast are not easily matched. If you have used and enjoyed the Sony Anycast and/or if you have established environments that already rely on the Anycast then it is not too late to purchase one.  Our sales team can still quote and sell you an Anycast including any optional boards needed.  Please reach out to them at rulesales@rule.com for more info and to request a quote before it is too late! Sony has a excellent track record for servicing and supporting products long after they have ceased to exist as a sales product.  Our Rental Department owns many of these systems and we are not planning on removing them from rotation anytime soon. I hope this helps! Tom Talbot – Director of Technology

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First Impressions of the Canon CinemaEOS C300

Coming off of our hugely successful Pub Night here at Rule Boston Camera last Thursday night, I finally have a few minutes to sit down and pass along my initial observations of the Canon C300 and C300PL cameras.

MODULAR DESIGN & ERGONOMICS

When I first got to handle the C300 in November, I did not know if a modular design would be better than a single integrated design.  The first thing that comes to mind is that the bits and pieces, or modules as I have been calling them, could easily get misplaced if you were spending too much time setting up and breaking down “stuff” for any given shot.   I have started to reconsider this opinion thinking that different users and different productions might configure the camera to satisfy the shooting style rather than to satisfy the  shot.  That said, I tried adding some modules onto the camera and throwing it into a camera bag to see how much stuff could be left on without much fuss.  It is a bit tall rather than long (depending on the lens) but with a simple tripod plate screwed onto the camera I found that I could move from tripod to handheld to and then to camera bag just by removing the LCD module.

We will have to look into camera bag options that are a bit more “bowling ball bag” shaped…

I know that we will see lots of 3rd party accessories shortly so stay tuned!

In its most stripped down state, you simply pop in a Canon 955 battery, side grip and a lens and you can shoot using the small EVF and no microphone.

From there you can attach the LCD module which also gives you 2 XLR connections and media playback controls.  There is a shotgun mic holder on this module as well.  The module connects via two 20 pin limo connectors that appear to be totally unique.  These connectors provide signals for the LCD and controls as well as to the XLR mic/line audio inputs.  This is a small 1/8th mini mic connector on the camera body as well but I suspect that may be limited in quality.

Additionally Canon provides a handle which can be used with or without the LCD module.

LENS MOUNTS

Very simply, when you purchase or rent the Canon C300 you have to commit to either the EF lens mount version, called the C300, OR you have to commit to the PL lens mount version called the C300PL.  Canon deliberated this for quite some time before concluding that a super-accurate and mechanically sound lens mount was more important and beneficial to the user than in interchangeable adapter solution.  I agree with this when you consider that sacrificing tight design for flexibility and a broader audience may reduce the camera’s performance.

XF CODEC

Factoids on paper sometimes appear more powerful and important than they actually are.  Since 100 is a larger number than 35, 100 must be “better”, right?   Of course, the word “better” has no context and is very misleading.  This was often first sentence in a much more in-depth video signal compression discussion (but I digress). The Canon 4K imager does a fantastic job delivering a full 1920×1080 resolution for the Red and Blue components and actually delivers 2 channels of 1920×1080 Green in such a way to minimize moire and retain a super sampled luminance signal.   This full 4:4:4 signal is offered to the signal processing engine.  Ultimately from there the signal is fed to both the HDSDI and HDMI outputs as well as to the compression engine packaged as 8-bit.  In-camera recording to CF cards is up to 50Mbits/sec 4:2:2 wrapped in MXF. Some people are concerned that 8-bit is not as good a 10-bit and, in a vacuum, this is true.  Most of the current in-camera recorders out there encode an 8-bit signal of some type.  Some external records can be setup to record a 10bit signal but it depends on the CODEC. While demoing the C300 to a large group at WGBH the other day it was wisely pointed out that HDCAM is also an 8-bit recording format and HDCAM is the delivery format of choice for what we see every day for PBS broadcasting. Like most things, you be the judge of what is objectionable and what is water cooler speculation.

MENUS

I will devote a future blog entry  to the C300 menu structure but I can say that the interface was very intuitive and familiar.  The menu can be superimposed on the EVF, the LCD or the external outputs.   In the case of the external connectors you do not get all superimposed info such as  WFM, VECT or some other items.  There is also a very handy rear display below the EVF that gives you access to ISO/Gain, White Balance, and shutter angle.  I found this to be the place where I would quickly choose the Function button and toggle between and change these core settings.

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Multiple Canon C300 (and C300PL) in our Shop for New England’s big unveiling Thursday night!

Picture this… I am sitting in a staff meeting and I see, through the glass door, a cart with 4 cardboard boxes from Fed Ex roll by headed my way. I know that I am expecting a delivery of 4 Canon C300 cameras for our Special January Pub Night with Larry Thorpe. For those of you not aware, Larry is Senior Director of Professional Engineering and Solutions at Canon.  He will be presenting  an overview of the C300 followed by Q&A.  By the way, if you are interested in joining us, it goes from 6-8pm. and you can RSVP to events@rule.com Just like a kid on Christmas day, I rush to open these boxes.  I was fortunate to be invited by Canon to attend their grand unveiling in Hollywood on Nov. 3rd so I already had my hands on the camera but I knew that today, I would be able to spend some real time tinkering with these and in quantity! We received two EF mount and two PL.  We will be showing them in various configurations – from bare bones DSLR-like handheld configs to fully built-up studio style cinema rigs with Optimo zoom cinema lenses. Very shortly I will follow this up with a more detailed blog about my observations, but in summary, the C300 is a winner for sure!  It is elegant, logical, sturdy and tight.  Its modular design does not feel like you are taking apart a child’s toy and the more I played with it the more I understood that a lot of consideration was given to each module. The pistol grip side handle has a 4 pin electronic connector cable that plugs in before you set your angle for mounting. The mount itself is a very sturdy metal thread which gives you confidence in its reliability. The menu and controls are straightforward in intuitive.  You have options to label in ISO or Gain, Shutter in Degrees or fractions, White balance  presets displayed in iconic sun or light bulb form or in kelvin (K) The base sensitivity is shown at [850], for use when utilizing Canon Log, and as most of you have already heard it goes up to an astounding 20,000 ISO!  This of course doesn’t mean that you should always shoot this way nor does it mean that there is no amplifier noise but when the judgement of “acceptable”  is yours to make for some shots, its is nice to know you’ve got it when you need it. The EF mount with one of our 24-70 EF lenses looked great and of course an Optimo on the PL version looks stunning. –  Tom Talbot Director of Technology

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The Canon EOS C300 and Project Imagin8ion’s WHEN YOU FIND ME really had an impact on me..

– How do I begin… I just watched When You Find Me, which made its debeut a few days ago as part of Canon’s Project Imagin8ion.

Described as a Hollywood short film inspired by 8 winning photographs chosen by Ron Howard and Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, When You Find Me was shot with Canon’s soon to be released Cinema EOS C300 camera. As a father of two daughters, similar in age to the girls in this film, and husband to a wife who I would never want to be without, I will publicly admit, it moved me -tears and all!  And, I think, for all the right reasons. Within one minute, I totally forgot why I was actually watching it (which was to study how the Canon EOS C300 actually performed ) and I was completely enshrouded in the story, the characters, the mood – everything.  I felt so much, for what the girls were feeling, for what parents feel for their children, and how each of us carries our own fear, hope, regret, and ultimately, relief.  I was quickly overwhelmed by simultaneous emotions… it was powerful, I didn’t expect it at all. This short film simply reminded me why I went into this business in the first place! My apologies for being sappy on this post.  That said – Thank you Ron Howard, thank you Bryce, and thank you to everyone involved in this project – especially our friends at Canon! – Tom Talbot Director of Technology Rule Boston Camera

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Early Sneak Peak at the Panasonic AG-HPX250

Over the last few days we at Rule Boston Camera have been evaluating the forthcoming Panasonic AG-HPX250. As a matter of fact, I think we may be among the very first in the country to get our hands on it and we are happy to pass along our first impressions. Working with Jason Potz, one of our engineers here at Rule, we setup the camera at one of our camera test stations.  We decided to throw the HPX170 camera next to it for comparison. For those who may not be aware, the HPX170 essentially an HVX200A but without the DV tape mechanism.  The 170 / 200  share a lower effective resolution imager of 1.1 million active pixels with a spatial offset but the new HPX250 offers what is often called a Full HD imager of 2.2 million pixels! It is also worth noting that packed inside this Compact HD styled camcorder is the very impressive 4:2:2 10-bit sampled  AVC-Intra 100 codec.   To date, this higher quality recording has been reserved for “full sized” ENG type camera bodies costing thousands of dollars more. On the surface, you could consider the AG-HPX250 a replacement for the very successful and respected HVX200A but with several important improvements that I have outlined below. Here are some of the key improvements over the HVX200A or HPX170:

  • Longer 22x lens but with the same 3.9mm wide angle as the HPX170

  • Full HD 1920×1080 1/3” 3-MOS 2.2 Million pixel (times three) imager

  • Timecode and Genlock connectors via BNC useful for multicam studio shooting

  • 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra 100, AVC-Intra 50, DVCPro HD & Standard Definition record options

  • 720p or 1080i

  • HD-SDI and HDMI outputs

  • 2x P2 Card Slots

  • Separate control connectors for remote Zoom and Focus

  • Smaller form factor and lower cost battery system than HPX-370 but with many of the same capabilities

  • List price of $5,995

After looking at the body size, lens, menu system, external connectivity and price, it seems to me that this is a very smart camera choice for Public Access, Education, and Government customers that desire a fairly low cost solution that can easily perform dual duty as both a studio camera by day and a roving compact HD camcorder by night. Tom Talbot – Director of Technology

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Apple Predictions for NAB 2011

We all give Apple credit for keeping the lid on information regarding new products or even new announcements. So since I don’t have any direct knowledge to NOT pass along I thought I would do what everyone likes to do – guess! I suspect that Apple may offer a new paradigm for media collection, assembly, and dispersion. I don’t know if all of us will like it but I suspect that Apple is about to make media social. I also wonder if Thunderbolt will electrocute the need for larger workhorse desktop computers or if Apple does still enjoy being in the traditional “heavy iron” computer business.  My hope is that a Mac Pro ergonomic redesign is in the works that will become the next must have Media Manipulator. Native camera formats will trivially exist outside the sphere of QuickTime and I suspect that H.264, AVCHD and many others will just play and edit with the right computer and graphics cards. We will continue to discuss the emotion and feel of anything new that Apple brings us.  Bits and bytes are part of the equation but if Apple continues to value and respect the creation community (which I suspect they do) I hope to see some real tactile interfaces that leverage the other consumer technologies such as the iPad and iPhone. Finally, I  predict that many of these predictions will be predictably preposterous unless they are perfectly punctilious. Tom Talbot

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Anticipating another big year at NAB 2011

It is always nice to have an annual event that allows manufacturers to step up and focus their energy on bringing new and innovative products to light.  It is also great that so many of us – the users and evangelists of these products – get to participate in this process.  NAB is an opportunity for all of us to offer opinions and insights relative to our own spheres of expertise and influence.  I have seen over the years that we do impact in a positive way how this collective system adapts and changes. The devastation in Japan has such sad human consequences that I hope that we don’t get too selfish and just talk about how hard tape is to get or how to capitalize on “market fluctuations”. At the same time I must be on the lookout for ways to overcome the impending media drought which we have not yet seen truly strike us. I am enthused about new releases from Adobe and Avid and I expect Apple rumors and facts to preoccupy much of our time. Storage continues to be an important part of what we do and I hope to meet up with many innovators that have figured out how to make the digital asset laundrymat a cool place to hang out. It is becoming more important for all of us to not put off safekeeping of our growing file-based camera originals along with all of the iterations for the edit process and for delivery.  I sometimes feel like Chicken Little warning of impending doom if you don’t invest in smart and safe storage.  If we undervalue how to access and restore valuable content along with intelligent searching and tagging we will someday learn the hard way that the current way was often too risky and shortsighted. I would like to say that I am interested in seeing the latest in 3D (including recent announcements by GoPro 3D and Cineform) but I can’t say that I will be preoccupied with it. Not all production markets are demanding 3D and I think New England has been hesitant to jump in – although we at Rule are well prepared to assist and deliver 3D solutions for anyone interested! As always, much of NAB is meeting with people and I hope to meet many new faces along with good friends that reemerge year after year. By the way, here’s a hint – Be on the lookout for some exciting new announcements from Rule that may take some by surprise! Hope to see you on the show floor! Tom Talbot

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Come see the ONLY Sony PMW-500 in the country on Wednesday Sept. 15th here in our Learning Lab!

This Wednesday September 15th we are excited to showcase (and to experiment with) a newly announced 2/3″ SxS camcorder called the PMW-500 which combines XDCAM Optical Disc performance with solid-state memory workflow.

pmw500
Sony's new PMW-500 full shoulder camcorder.
You could say that it blends many of the best features of the XDCAM HD Professional Disc cameras such as the PDW-700 or PDW-F800 with the SxS solid state recording technology of the XDCAM-EX lineup.   This camera was just announced the other day at IBC 2010 and we are happy to have Sony’s Kaori Uno and local DP Doug Jensen with us for a hands-on, practical and informative introduction to the latest in the XDCAM line-up. Please join us at 10:00 am.  We look forward to seeing you!

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Hot off the presses from IBC 2010

AJA Announces Ki Pro Mini, Portable File-Based Recorder at IBC 2010

kipromini

Miniature 10-bit 4:2:2 flash disk recorder mounts easily on digital cameras and accessories

Amsterdam, Netherlands, IBC Conference Stand 7.F11 (September 10, 2010)–AJA Video Systems brought production and post one step closer together today with the introduction of Ki Pro Mini, a smaller, lighter version of its breakthrough portable tapeless recorder that captures to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera. The highly portable Ki Pro Mini flash disk recorder mounts easily to digital cameras and accessories, enabling it to fit unobtrusively in small spaces for on-set capture of 10-bit 4:2:2 files that are immediately ready for editing. Ki Pro Mini offers a small form factor, support for SDI & HDMI cameras and key features including:

  • 10-bit full-raster recording to Apple ProRes 422 SD and HD formats (including HQ, LT and Proxy)
  • Recording of SD/HD files from digital video cameras to Compact Flash (CF) cards
  • Mac OS X friendly media and native QuickTime files–no log-and-capture required
  • Professional video connectivity through SD/HD SDI and HDMI I/O
  • 2 channels of balanced XLR audio with switch selectable line/mic levels
  • 8 channels of embedded digital audio over SDI and HDMI
  • Flexible control options including familiar front panel and web browser interfaces
  • Optional Ki Pro Mini Mounting Plates that attach to hot shoes, battery plates and virtually any other accessory bracket
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction that delivers light weight and maximum ruggedness

Ki Pro Mini supports a streamlined Apple file-based production-to-post workflow, recording native Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto CF cards, which are formatted as HFS+ volumes that are instantly connected to a Mac computer via off-the-shelf CF card readers. “Anywhere a camera can go, Ki Pro Mini can follow,” said AJA President Nick Rashby. “It’s smaller than some battery packs and mounts to virtually everything. We designed Ki Pro Mini for any sized production that needs seamless 10-bit file-based acquisition– it’s about extreme portability and going from lens to post in a flash.” Ki Pro Mini is planned for availability in October and US MSRP is $1995. For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit www.aja.com. About AJA Video Systems, Inc. Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website www.aja.com.

Sony Professional strengthens XDCAM line-up

with PMW-500
 and XDCAM Station

Sep 10, 2010 pmw500 New 2/3-inch XDCAM HD422 memory shoulder camcorder and XDCAM Professional Media Station reinforces commitment to choice and innovation

IBC, Amsterdam, 10th September 2010 – Sony Professional today announced the latest additions to its hugely popular XDCAM HD422 line-up. The new products, which re-emphasise Sony’s continued commitment to the thousands of XDCAM users around the world, include a new XDCAM HD422 memory camcorder – the 
PMW-500.

The PMW-500 combines the exceptional picture quality of the PDW-700 with the operational flexibility of recording onto solid state SxS memory card. The PMW-500 is equipped with three 2/3” Power HAD FX CCD image sensors and can record both 1080 and 720 HD pictures at 50 Mb/s. It is ideal for broadcasters, rental companies and freelancers looking for a versatile memory based camcorder. Major broadcasters, including RTL TVI in Belgium and WDR in Germany are amongst the first to already have placed large orders ahead of product 
ex-factory.

“The PMW-500 represents the next step in the evolution of the XDCAM product range,” said Richard Brooking, of Sony Professional. “Since 2003, XDCAM has become an industry standard with over 150,000 units sold worldwide. Customers have been requesting an XDCAM HD422 memory camcorder for some time to sit alongside the phenomenally popular PDW-700 Professional Disc camcorder. So we are very happy to be launching the PMW-500 at IBC.” The PMW-500 has two slots for recording onto SxS Memory Card*. First introduced to the XDCAM EX range in 2007, SxS memory card provides an extremely high level of reliability and fast access to recorded data, both critical in demanding professional operations. At IBC, Sony is also adding a new higher capacity 64GB (SBS-64G1A) card which can record 2 hours of material at HD422 50Mbps MXF mode, or more than 4 hours of material and has an increased transfer speed of 1.2Gbps (SBS-32G1A & SBS-64G1A). The PMW-500 ex-factory will be within October 2010.

Other key features of the PMW-500 camcorder include:

  • XDCAM HD422 codec for exceptional picture quality at low data rate.
  • Switchable between MXF and MP4 for recording in XDCAM HD422, XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX modes.
  • Option to record MPEG IMX and DVCAM material allowing users to migrate to HD at their own pace.
  • Interoperability with major NLE systems enabling smooth workflow migration.
  • Lower power consumption for extended record time during shooting.
  • Four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz digital audio.

Another major introduction at IBC is XDCAM Station, a family of professional media recorders that bridge the worlds of SxS Memory card and Professional Disc. There will be three models in the line-up:

  • XDS-1000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot and internal HDD storage
  • XDS-PD1000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot, a Professional Disc drive and internal HDD storage
  • XDS-PD2000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot, a Professional Disc drive and internal SSD storage

Depending upon the model chosen, customers can copy material from SxS memory card or Professional Disc onto the Hard Disc or Solid State storage within the XDCAM Station. The material can then be accessed for non linear editing or can be replayed under slow motion control. SDI input and output and network capability allows the device to function as an MXF gateway linking XDCAM media, baseband video and networked operation. The Professional Disc based models will also be able to record and read Sony’s new higher capacity 128GB Quad Layer Professional Discs, PFD128QLW. “These are extremely flexible devices offering yet more creative options for XDCAM users,” explained Richard Brooking. “We see applications within broadcast centres where customers can use XDCAM Station as an ingest gateway for their SxS memory card and Professional Disc media, and also on location for live applications and material sharing between camera operators and production staff.” The XDS-1000 will be available from March 2011, with the XDS-PD1000 and PD2000 available in summer 2011 along with PFD128QLW. *Recommended media for PMW-500 and XDCAM Station series are: SxS PRO: SBP-32, SBP-16, SBP-8 SxS-1: SBS-64G1A, SBS-32G1A, SBS-32G1 (**only SBS-32G1 needs firmware upgrade in the memory media itself.)

AJA Introduces Hi5-3D Mini-Converter For Stereo 3D Monitoring

September 10, 2010

3G/HD-SDI to HDMI 1.4a and SDI converter enables simple 3D playback on monitors and projectors

Amsterdam, Netherlands, IBC Conference Stand 7.F11 (September 10, 2010)–AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, announced the availability of Hi5-3D, a new mini-converter that combines dual 3G SDI inputs into various multiplexed 3D formats for output on true 3D HDMI 1.4a and SDI to enable simple, flexible stereoscopic viewing on 3D monitors and projection systems. The Hi5-3D’s true HDMI 1.4a output supports EDID transactions that automatically configure 2D/3D functions according to the HDMI monitor’s capabilities. Input SDI 2 is frame-synchronized to input SDI 1 in 3D modes and SDI input audio is embedded in both the HDMI and SDI outputs. Hi5-3D also supports 2-channel RCA audio output with user control of channel selection, along with AJA’s Mini-Config application for user configuration and firmware download. Other key features include:

  • Side-by-side, top-bottom and frame-packing modes
  • Complete H and V image flip control in any combination
  • Easy user control via dipswitch or USB
  • Support for both 2D and 3D inputs

“3D has brought a new level of complexity to post-production workflows, and our goal is to help simplify that,” said AJA President Nick Rashby. “The Hi5-3D converter automatically combines SDI input into stereo output and enables video pros to quickly and easily view 3D on a monitor or projector without making major changes to the workflows they already have in place.” Hi5-3D is available In October, and US MSRP is $495. For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit www.aja.com.

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New Test Post

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Rule Tech Expo is just around the corner

I am really looking forward to next week’s Rule Tech Expo.  To see a formal description go to http://www.rule.com/TechExpo For those of you that are not aware, Rule is hosting its first annual mini tradeshow along with several 1 hour presentations in our Learning Lab. Our entire office will be filled with several dozen “booths” featuring many of the manufacturers that we work with every day.  You will be able to see their latest offerings and ask lots of questions.  Additionally Rule’s sales and rental teams will be out in force with equipment set up for you to poke and prod as well. Many of the items that you may be interested in purchasing will be in stock for purchase at the show – just visit our Showroom or Production Outfitters areas during your visit if you are interested in carrying home a goody or two. This year presentations in the Learning Lab will include: Panasonic’s Michael Bergeron will be in to show and talk about their upcoming 3D camera along with professional 3d monitoring, switching and more! AJA and Gary Adcock will be in to discuss how the Kona3 can work in 3D and show some examples of 3D with Cineform. Cinematographer Brian Heller and and our own Tim Coughlan will be showing off our BRAND NEW Phantom HD Gold high speed camera. If you are worried that you didn’t RSVP in time, there is still time and we are happy to have you! We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday June 22nd from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at our facility in Brighton or on Thursday June 24th from 10:00am to 3:00pm in Manchester, NH. Tom Talbot Director of Technology