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Broadcast Equipment Blog | 3D Broadcast Sales

  • Here’s why mobile phones won't ever replace professional cameras

    We all know of the ever popular iPhone 6 and its big brother the 6 Plus. It’s impressive to say the least, as are most other flagship phones on the market. The iPhone has a backside illuminated sensor, an f/2.2 lens, and optical image stabilization, but all of that is wasted if Apple or any other firm put these features in, in an attempt to encroach on the DSLR market.

    Professional Cameras

    These flagship phone cameras are fast, quick to respond, it takes usually good images, and most significantly, allows me to share them rapidly and effortlessly.

    Most professional photographers these days will have something like a 5D Mark III or it’s Nikon equivalent. It’s a very decent professional camera, it’s adaptable, can deal with any lighting (or lack of) that’s thrown at it, and you can count on it to get the shot you want if handled correctly.

    With the increase of smartphones, many have lamented or cheered for the death of the DSLR, banishing it to antiquity with its celluloid brothers. It’s difficult to remember the last time a professional photographer was seen using just a smartphone in the field though. That doesn’t mean there weren’t a ton of more smartphones outnumbering the DSLRs in London’s parks or museums, but great quantity does not indicate superiority.

    No matter how astonishing technology gets, there are some ultimate restrictions that will always be in the way for smartphones, and that is sensor size.

    Larger sensors are generally superior sensors. They can collect more light and give more control over the depth of field. The sensor in a 5D Mark III is 50x times than the iPhone too. That large sensor lets you capture images that are physically impossible with a phone.

    DSLRs also feature interchangeable lenses. Phone producers have to find the balance between wide-angle and telephoto and often, the telephoto side loses. On top of this, the autofocus capabilities of modern high-level professional cameras are simply unparalleled by smartphones.

    One often ignored aspect is the ergonomics of professional cameras against smartphones. The modern smartphone is destined to cover countless of jobs that used to be set aside for separate devices. It’s problematic and slightly cumbersome to hold a smartphone in front of you, and frame your shot via a live view through a screen. A well-designed professional camera fits into your hand. Inside of a few snaps, the buttons are instinctively at your fingertips and you can fine-tune almost any function minus the need to ever take your eye away from the viewfinder. It allows for uninterrupted creative flow.

  • How To Buy Camera Adapters to make your camera system more flexible

    Whether you want to try lenses from another producer or want to put your old trusted glass to good use, lens adapters come to the rescue.

    Want to buy camera adapters to make your camera system even more flexible? Buying a lens adapter can open your world to an array of alternatives—whether the glass you crave is bizarre, classic, or simply no longer made. These magic rings can make many lenses fit on cameras they weren’t made for.

    ag-ca300gLens adapters allow you to use a variety of wonderful alternative lenses—including some truly exotic optics and some classics that are so exceptional that you may wonder why they aren’t still made. Although the lenses made for your camera may be great, having options is nice.

    If you are planning to buy camera adapters, you have to know that Camera lens adapters are usually quite basic, comprising of nothing more than a deliberately constructed ring that sits between your lens and your camera. One end is intended to accept a precise form of lens, and the other end is intended to fit the camera. Usually, there is no communications function to permit the lens to send data to the camera, so lenses with electronic chips, which notably control autofocus and auto aperture, will not work when the lens is mounted onto the camera adapter. You will have to focus the lens manually and physically stop down the aperture before shooting to get the correct aperture. The lens adapter will also disable EXIF data from getting to the camera as well via the same means.

    Some slightly more expensive adapters include a focus validation chip that allows the camera lens to signal when a subject is in focus, usually using a distinct beep or sometimes an icon displayed in the viewfinder itself.

    Regrettably, not every lens is adjustable to fit every camera system obviously. If you want to buy camera adapters you have to be aware that they are made for use with older lenses that have manual aperture, which must be attuned precisely by the operator. Many modern day cheaper lenses only have electronic aperture control instead in order to reduce cost to the customer, which means that the lens sadly cannot ever work on other cameras. The good news is that adapter producers have worked around this problem by counting on new a physical actuator for the lens aperture built into the adapter. You still have to physically set the aperture, but only by adjusting the adapter now, and not the lens itself.

    Since adapted lenses terminate many of your camera’s automatic features, they may slow down your overall workflow in the field, and consequently may not be suitable for certain uses, such as sporting events or wildlife photography which require a sharp mind and event sharper index fingers. However, landscapes, construction, and other subjects that don’t rely profoundly on autofocus are well-suited to camera lens adapters.

  • The blackmagic camera helps capture the action for the new Rush Hour TV series

    Cinematographer Christian Sebaldt, ASC, DP is using the Blackmagic PL-mount Cinema Cameras to capture action, stunt and car sections for the new Rush Hour TV show, which is a remake of the Rush Hour film licence. The series charts an L.A. cop teamed up with an investigator from Hong Kong.

    Blackmagic CameraSebaldt, who has filmed shows and films such as CSI, and Resident Evil: Apocalypse, swaps episodes with another DP, Marshall Adams, ASC on throughout the series.

    We shoot a bunch of up close action scenes – acts with the performers moving, fighting, getting thrown around and jumping on and off moving vehicles. So we need a good quality camera that can get us lively shots, but that also is undersized and light enough to be equipped in cars or close to the actors.” Every episode has fight arrangements and stunts and the Blackmagic camera is used in most of them.

    One of the fresh scenes filmed with the Blackmagic Camera was an extreme car action scene taking place inside a car park in Los Angeles. Numerous stuntmen, as well as the show’s lead performer, were flung into a nerve-wracking scene that involved one of the heroes jumping onto the bonnet of a moving vehicle with two bad guys trying their best to shake him off.

    The crew built a combination of hand-held rigs and also mounted the cameras to numerous points on the exterior of the cars. The cameras were really right on top of the actors, very close range. As they are so solid and yet compact, and very high quality, the camera crew were able to get right up close to the action. One particular scene took almost four hours to film and there’s no simple way for it to have been done with cameras which were bigger and heavier than the blackmagic camera. It would have been any other camera a lot longer to deem safe to work with and implement into the sequences, if at all.

    Beyond the fighting scenes, the rush hour DP also made use of the Blackmagic cameras frequently for interior car shooting, as well as with any takes done in very tight spaces where a bigger camera could never fit.

    “The Blackmagic camera gave us astonishing images, and our grips and rigging guys love that they can set them up wherever without getting in the way of the acting,” the DP added. “Based on our early camera tests and the use on the series, we now have the self-assurance to use the cameras where desired.”

  • Will the new professional cameras be pocket-sized devices?

    This new strange looking camera is a whole new take on taking professional quality images.

    Professional Cameras

    You’ll probably never see professional cameras that looks like this. Its flat black appearance is like the face of some those insects from a David Attenborough documentary. It’s called the Light L16, and it may not look the part as a photographic tool, but it plans to achieve the impossible, which is professional quality in an (nearly) pocket-sized device.

    With most cameras, in order to increase image superiority, you have to also increase the size of the digital sensor. The best professional cameras have the largest sensors, approximately the size of a 35mm film frame. The tricky thing is that large sensors are very costly. Furthermore, they require huge lenses too, which make for very large and heavy professional cameras.

    The Light L16 works in an unusual way. Inspired by the slight and cheap smartphone sensors we all have in our pockets, the device includes 16 completely separate sensor and lens modules. They each take separate images at various different focal lengths, and are joined together to create one big image consisting of 52 megapixels. The lenses range from 35-150mm in focal length.

    The team behind the bug eyed camera are claiming that in addition to resolution, the camera performs astonishingly in low light, and yields detail that is even sharper than professional DSLRs. While it’s unfeasible to draw any deductions from an incomplete set of pre-picked photos, impressions seem to be that image quality is certainly tremendous.

    Image quality is only part of the package though. With so much info being picked up by multiple lenses, Light L16 gives you the choice of controlling depth of field after you capture your photo. A touchscreen on the back of the camera will let you pick what parts of your image are in focus, in a similar fashion to the witchcraft technology of the Lytro camera from a while ago now.

    Photographers are particular about their workflow though. It has to be fast, and it has to be supple. If a device like the L16 restricts the way you can capture images, whether because of limitations in shutter speed, processing period, or output setup, it will be a hard sell for individuals accustomed to their traditional workflows.

    It’s incredibly cool to see people reinvent a gadget that has remained unusually static for so many long years though. This fascinating piece of kit will no doubt be one of many such efforts to ever change our idea of photography.

  • Panasonic announces 4K large-sensor handheld camcorder

    Panasonic has publicised that its new AG-DVX200PJ 4K large-sensor, 4/3-inch handheld camcorder will commence deliveries in October/ November of this year, with an RRP of just over £3,000. This is the first of Panasonic’s new wave of large sensor, multi-format professional handheld camcorders which are capable of capturing 4K/UHD, HD and SD.

    Handheld Camcorders

    Contributing a range of features that contain 4K/24p and 1080/60p footage, a V-Log L gamma curve and included 13x optical zoom lens, the DVX200PJ will shine in documentary, reality television and event production, and offer a reasonably priced second-unit camera in 4K film cinematography too.

    The handheld 4K camcorder gives you an array of expert features including a newly made Leica Dicomar 4K f 2.8/4.5 zoom lens with shallow depth-of-field, time-code in/out, 3G HD-SDI and HDMI 2.0 (4K) video outs (4:2:2 10-bit video), dual XLR audio ports and 10 customisable user buttons.

    The handheld camcorder will record 4K (4096 x 2160)/24p, UHD (3840 x 2160)/HD (1920x 1080) 59.94p/50p/30p/25p/23.98p in both MP4 or MOV formats too. With two SD card slots, the camcorder enables relay, concurrent, background and dual codec recording. Dual codec recording permits real-time capture of UHD 30p and FHD, or FHD and FHD low bit rates, which basically yields master and offline/proxy versions of the footage.

    The new Leica Dicomar 4K zoom lens with an f 2.8 aperture is an ideal choice for 4K video, with the capacity to produce brilliant imagery and subtle bokeh too. Leica’s lens is intended to keep the amount of ghosting and flare to a minimum. Since the DVX200PJ is an incorporated lens camcorder, there is no need to do flange back adjustments or shading alterations when shifting lenses. The camcorder will work in flexible shooting uses that necessitate mounting on today’s prevalent steadied camera rigs too.

    The camcorder includes an improved Optical Image Stabilizer with a five-axis hybrid Image Stabilizer and 4x expansion of the correction accurateness, producing clear images without distorting. The Intelligent Auto Focus system features a new micro-drive focus unit that increases focus speed, tracking and capture function, and enables smooth, fast focus tracking for 4K video and shallow depth-of-field. The Intelligent AF system, with touch area selection, can be modified for speed, sensitivity and object scope.

    Three manual operation lens rings which control the zoom, focus, and iris, provide a comfortable manual control comparable to an interchangeable lens camera, but minus the need for actual lens changes. The zoom ring’s solid feel and smooth stroke allow subtle, slow zooming. In addition, the camcorder’s multi-step zoom controller delivers fast response and smooth zoom action. The zoom controller on the handle allows adjustable speed zoom, allowing fine zoom control even for low angle shots.

    The DVX200PJ works straight out of the box its integrated lens, viewfinder and included battery, the only thing it needs is the optional SD cards.

  • Tips on how to buy a cinematic camera and camera equipment

    Persistence of the Fittest There’s a huge gap between the work the vast bulk of us do to pay the rent, and the work of those cinematographers in Hollywood that motivate us so much to do what we love doing. This difference is a multifaceted combination of knowledge, experience, imagination, industry contacts, and also equipment advancement. When it comes to determining where to invest when you need to buy cinematic camera equipment, it’s vital to see beyond the glossy box and technical feats inside. It’s not enough to place your confidence innocently in the realms of public opinion either. Buy Cinematic Camera Not all professional cameras are created equal. The fact is, these camera producers are making tools for us to use, so our labour, and our needs define the setting that determines their destiny. Those best equipped to survive in the cinematic environment are more likely to endure and evolve. Beyond remaining, those who show true improvement can flourish, and in fact exert their own force on the industry itself. Workflow If you are planning to buy cinematic camera equipment, you have to consider that a camera cannot be measured alone, it’s part of a larger picture that wields influence over, and is at times restricted by post production methods, and so post workflow must also be taken into consideration. Makers who recognise, and accept this fact are by this time, one step a step ahead of the competition. So who’s at the head of the pack? Quite often the solution is apparent, what are the main TV shows and films being shot with? The response is Arri and Red, and to a certain degree 35mm film is still sustaining a spot at the top. 4K and elsewhere. The age of 4K and beyond has well and truly landed. It’s been coming very slowly but surely for many years now. Even if you are still providing HD 1080p footage, it could be argued that your new purchase should be 4K at least, and there are feasible options that fit all but the lowest budgets. RAW While RAW is surely not needed for every job, it’s something you would want at your disposal. Once more, money is not a reason for buying a camera that doesn’t have RAW functionality, or at least accommodate RAW in an external recorder. There are no one-size fits all answers. We all have diverse needs, and it’s a blessing actually, that no two cameras are the same. Each has exclusive pros and cons, but the significant thing is that it’s not just about what’s hot right now. The next time you find yourself carelessly comparing specs, or being converted by opinion on camera forums, try to keep in mind a clear depiction of where the tools are headed, and which manufacturers are truly, decently innovating, moving in a forward course to bring you better tools in the long term.

  • Panasonic offers the best stress-free broadcasting equipment for any application

    Adapt broadcasting equipment such as the capable HPX255 camcorder into an ergonomic, studio adjusted system camera, centrally operated in the gallery with repeated communication. This bundle includes the core basics to upgrade a reasonably priced hand-held HD camcorder for use as a traditional, committed studio system.

    Broadcasting Equipment

    The NiPros arrangement is a cost-effective means to obtaining and assimilating studio cameras without the old-fashioned expense. Based around the 10-bit HPX255, the camcorder controls will be recognisable to the crew but the ergonomics are all original. With a large viewfinder and a more considerable feel, delivering smooth panning images and operating the system for lengthy periods becomes significantly easier.

    This is a handheld camcorder built by Panasonic that has numerous high performance features and is very cutting-edge. Ideal for broadcasting, there is a high sensitivity 1/3” 2.2 MP 3-MOS image sensor that utilises Ultra Luminance Technology (ULT) and an AVC-Intra codec which allows very robust quality recording of images. Weighing just under 2.5 kg, this camcorder has a 22x zoom lens for a wide 28mm to 616m with 3 separate and adjustable rings for the zoom, focus, and iris respectively.

    There is a remote terminal which is no doubt an excellent add-on to this broadcasting equipment. It makes the camcorder compatible with Panasonic’s AG-EC4 Paint Box remote control and will permit control of nearly every menu option, set-up control, and gamma function. This comprises control of shutter, iris, gain, filter points, and detail. This non-compulsory remote also comes with a 10 metre cable which will send the menu to an external monitor. It also combines with Genlock input, TC input and output, and HD SDI output to allow for multi-camera action with camera control.

    This camcorder has Optical Image Stabilization that preserves the picture’s steadiness when shooting without a tripod or other stabilisation equipment. Furthermore, it’s pleasing to see progressive focusing utilities like Focus in Red and Expand. With an adjustable frame rate from 1 to 30 fps (in 1080p) you’re able to control performance to a point that comes close to shoulder-type P2 models.

    Panasonic has been circulating a number of professional standard broadcasting equipment such as camcorders that are stress-free to use and perfect for many applications - this model is no exception. Useful for any form of image production as well as broadcasting, there is an overabundance of features that will enable you to modify the captured image. With its low power consumption, this is an outstanding piece of broadcasting equipment.

  • Blackmagic ATEM 6.6 Upgrade

    Tech Bulletin ATEM 6.6

    ATEM 6.6 is available to download now from the Blackmagic Design website at the following link;

    DOWNLOAD

    This update adds support for Visca compatible PTZ remote control cameras to ATEM hardware control panels and ATEM switchers that have RS-422. You also get enhanced customized labels, and support for native Chinese and Japanese user interfaces.

    What's new in ATEM 6.6
    • Added localization support, can currently support English, Simplified Chinese and Japanese. Users can select their language in preferences. As part of localization support, all source names are now customizable.
    • PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) camera control: Controlled by the joystick on both the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel.
    • Enhanced chroma key on all 4K Switchers
    • General performance and stability updates
    Minimum System Requirements for Mac OS X
    • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
    • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later
    • Display resolution of at least 1366 by 768 or larger
    • A suitable USB 2.0 port for software updates
    • An Ethernet connection for switcher control
    Minimum System Requirements for Windows
    • Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
    • Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit
    • A suitable USB 2.0 port for software updates
    • An Ethernet connection for switcher control
    Installing ATEM Software
    Before installing the software, we recommend that you run
    "Uninstall ATEM" first.
    The ATEM installer package installs:
    • ATEM Software Control
    • ATEM Setup Utility
    • Blackmagic Media Express
    Please update the internal software in your ATEM Switcher and ATEM Broadcast Panel after installing this software. Simply connect the ATEM Switcher with a USB cable and run the included ATEM Setup Utility software. Then repeat for the ATEM Broadcast Panel. After this update, check your switcher chassis IP address in the ATEM Setup Utility.

    Additional Information
    Please check www.blackmagicdesign.com for additional information on third party software compatibility and minimum system requirements.
    Some applications may use third party code under license. For details please refer to the included "Third Party Licenses.rtf" document.
    © 2015 Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved. Blackmagic Design, Blackmagic, DeckLink, Multibridge, HDLink, Videohub, and "Leading the creative video revolution" are trademarks of Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd., registered in the U.S.A and other countries.

  • How audio broadcast equipment is evolving to deliver 3D sound

    Original 3D audio, for broadcast needs, lets you get sound from everywhere, and no it’s not surround sound as you know it.

    The International Telecommunication Union has decided upon a new standard for audio broadcast equipment that's planned to sit together with Ultra HD video. If the name by itself doesn't get you eager for yet one more standard that'll take years to really come into practice, then check out its even more shaky description: a "long-form file format for the international exchange of audio programme materials with metadata."

    The new standard is basically a 3D sound arrangement intended to deliver audio above and below listeners, as well as around them like in current surround system equipment does. It's built on the current RIFF and WAV file formats, which have been altered so that a solitary file can transmit a complete audio plan containing audio samples as well as metadata for any mixture of object, channel and scene-based sound.

    Audio Broadcast Equipment

    There's also the potential of users being able to customise their experience by altering individual intensities of 3D sound in their living rooms. The ITU says audiophiles will have something called "object based coding" to express their thanks to, which seems like something that may be too demanding for broadcast to actually implement with it’s current equipment. Still, if they do, the ITU is assuring that language choices, dialogue levels, and other pieces of a programme can be attuned, potentially being of benefit to those with hearing problems, too.

    Dolby Atmos uses object-based sound as well, and necessitates distinctive and quite costly audio broadcast equipment to process the object coding into an arrangement that can truly be interpreted by your usual channel-based speakers.

    The new audio broadcast equipment should be backwards compatible with older equipment and formats, thanks to flags that emphasise more common stereo audio. That said, there's a big cost to this 3D sound glory. The current 4GB file limit from the older specification has been lifted in order to pack all that new data in, and wrapped in a new-fangled WAV-based 64-bit arrangement called BW64. Given that broadcasters are unenthusiastic to move to 4K video, mostly due to due to bandwidth concerns, don't expect to be treating your ears to the bandwidth-heavy treat of 3D audio any time soon. At least not in most places.

  • Discover the new Canon's professional camera sensor.

    Canon's latest professional camera sensor is ridiculously strong.

    How powerful you ask? Well according to the Japanese professional camera company, "when fitted into our camera equipment, the recently developed sensor was able to capture images allowing the differentiating of lettering on the side of a plane flying at a distance of roughly 18 km away."

    Professional Camera Equipment

    On Monday, Canon announced its latest camera sensor. It clocks in at an astounding 250 megapixels, which is five times higher than its next most powerful sensor.

    That's the 50.6 megapixel one found in the EOS 5DS; the 250 megapixel sensor is also smaller in size than the one in the 5DS camera.

    The new sensor, which is APS-H size (29.2 by 20.2 millimetre), is also capable of shooting video at five frames per second. The company say its resolution is 125 times that of Full HD, and 30 times that of 4K video.

    The resolution of uncropped photos shot on the sensor is 19,580 by 12,600 pixels. For reference, the resolution of the iPhone 6's 8 megapixel camera is 3,264 by 2,448 pixels.

    When discussing cameras, especially professional ones, it's important to note that megapixels aren't everything. There are numerous other factors at play that determine image quality, from the size of the sensor to the quality of the lens in front of it, and the on-board software for processing the raw data. It's why modern smartphone cameras will be significantly worse than professional DSLR cameras from a few years ago, despite having a higher megapixel count.

    Canon produces world-class professional camera equipment, hardware and lens glass, however: While the company hasn't provided any example shots, the images the sensor captures are likely to be very, very high quality.

    It doesn't look like Canon intends to use the sensor in consumer camera equipment. In a statement, the company said it is "considering the application of this technology in specialized surveillance and crime prevention tools, ultra-high-resolution measuring instruments and other industrial equipment, and the field of visual expression."

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