BC-200 & BC-80 studio cameras: Datavideo answers 3 key questions

I asked Datavideo 3 key questions about its new PTZ cameras, and I got responses for you.

Datavideo recently started shipping the US$2199 BC-200 (up to 4K UHD) and US$1599 BC-80 (up to 1080p) remote-controlled PTZ cameras it announced back in April at NAB 2017. These are not camcorders, but studio cameras designed to connect to your digital video mixer (aka “switcher”) for live multicam shoots. The company had already clarified most of the specs, but after studying the manual of each, I was concerned about the lack of certain shutter speeds to achieve 180 degrees, one particular framerate, and whether they offer genlock (external sync) or not. I am happy that Datavideo answered all three answers, as you’ll see ahead, together with demonstration videos from the company.

Demonstration videos about each camera, by Datavideo

US$2199 BC-200 above (up to 4K UHD) (B&H link)

Note: This video is only published at 720p.

US$1599 BC-80 below (up to 1080p) (B&H link)

My three comments/questions

  1. I am glad to see that both cameras support the most popular broadcast framerates for 1080, including 25p, 29.97p, 50p, 59.94p as well as the interlaced 50i and 59.94i. However, I am surprised not to see the closest 180 degree speeds for each. As you must know, to achieve a 180 degree shutter with 25p, the corresponding shutter speed is 1/50. To achieve a 180 degree shutter with 29.97p, the corresponding shutter speed is 1/60. To achieve a 180 degree shutter with 50p, the corresponding shutter speed is 1/100. To achieve a 180 degree shutter with 59.94p, the corresponding shutter speed is 1/120. Three of those shutter speeds (1/50, 1/60 and 1/120) are not listed in the manual I downloaded for each. Only the 1/100 (perfect 180 degree shutter for 50p) is listed. Are those three those shutter speeds omitted in the actual cameras, or only in the documentation? If the are missing from the cameras, will the be added via a future firmware update?
  2. Does Datavideo ever plan to add the 23.976p framerate via a future firmware update (or is it already available, but simply missing from the documentation)? If you ever add it, the 180 degree shutter speed for 23.976p is 1/48.
  3. I just want to clarify whether either or these cameras has a genlock feature. I realize that many modern video mixers (“switchers”) don’t require it, although some indicate that if cameras are genlocked, there will be much less delay in the video mixer, since their internal synchronizers can be disabled when the cameras are genlocked.

Three responses

  1. (With the current firmware), we didn’t separate shutter speed setting by video format framerate. The next firmware release will separate them.  The shutter speed setup will be:</li

    a).for 29.97/59.94 system: 1/30,1/60,1/90,1/100,1/125,1/180,1/250,1/350,1/500,1/725,1/1000,1/1500. The normal 180 degree shutter are 1/60 & 1/125(close to 1/120).

    b). for 25/50 system:1/25,1/50,1/75,1/100,1/120,1/150,1/215,1/300,1/425,1/600,1/1000,1/1250. The normal 180 degree shutter are 1/50  & 1/100.

  2. Because the Sony camera module we are using now doesn’t support 23.976p frame rate, we will not support 23.976 or 24 fps.
  3. Same reason Sony camera module doesn’t support external SYNC. Function, we will not support external SYNC.

Datavideo doesn’t yet have an exact date for the firmware update mentioned in answer 1, but they’ll let me know, and I’ll let you know. Sign up for my mailing list to be sure.

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FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

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Allan Tépper

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.

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