Bruce Johnson picks up a Canon XF300.
There’s too much to cover in the time I have available, so I’ll just mention some cameras now, and provide more detailed writeups on them after the show is over.
Canon is showing two new solid-state 1/3″ 3-CMOS camcorders recording 50 Mbit/sec 4:2:2 MPEG-2 on dual CF cards. The XF300 and XF305 are updates of the HDV tape-based XH A1 and XH G1; in addition to the new recording format, the cameras offer a considerable set of pleasing refinements. Look for long-time Canon user Bruce Johnson’s writeup on PVC in the next day or two.
The JVC GY-HM790 in ENG configuration, under purple lights.
JVC is showing the HM790, an HM700 with added features. The 1/3″ 3-CCD camera records 35 Mbit/sec XDCAM EX-compatible clips in QuickTime wrappers on SDHC cards as well as 25- and 19-Mbit/sec HDV-compatible files, and it offers 26-pin remote-control capability as well as genlock and timecode I/O.
The JVC GY-HM790 in studio configuration.
JVC was the first major manufacturer to push 1/3″ camcorders into full, no-excuses studio workflows, and the 790 fits right into this philosophy.
Detail of the right side of the HDAVS HDC-680 2/3″ 3-CCD camcorder.
Ever heard of HDAVS? I hadn’t, having missed last year’s IBC and not having been to mainland China since a brief trip to Hong Kong long ago. Nonetheless, HDAVS has been selling broadcast gear in China for the past five years, and is only now emerging into the wider world. HDAVS has a medium-sized booth showing off their cameras, recorders, and NLEs; stay tuned for more pix and details.
The HD Hero, a tiny HD crash cam with a waterproof housing for about $300.
One unlikely hot spot is GoPro’s booth (as Bruce Johnson observes); folks are lined up dozens deep to buy GoPro’s $300 crash cam, and I saw the things peeking out of people’s show bags all over the place. The booth was filled with and surrounded by monitors showing race car footage, surfing, snowboarding, and stunt biking shot with the “Hero” cam, which shoots 1080p, 960p, and 720p to SD cards. Think of like a ruggedized, compact Flip HD: fixed lens, exposure control via automatic shutter, and a variety of mounting options. It’s a no-brainer for the extreme sports crowd, and at $300 it appears to be the impulse buy of the show.
The Aaton Penelope with a prototype digital back.
From the silly to the sublime: Aaton’s 35mm Penelope camera is being shown with prototype digital backs and “digimags”. The digital back holds a 35mm-sized Dalsa sensor of “better than 4K resolution” right where a frame of file would sit in the gate, allowing this film camera to shoot digitally. The fully-optical front end—rotating mirror shutter, optical viewfinder—is retained, and the camera still handles with the “cat on the shoulder” ergonomics that Aaton is known for.
The Aaton back doesn’t bother to hide its always-on, nearly silent fan.
This prototype back also shows a bulge for the cooling fan and heat exhaust. The Aaton’s low-speed, nearly silent fan continually draws air past the sealed electronics chamber, cooling it without depositing dust on sensitive circuits.
Arri Alexa-EV with Arri/Fujinon “Alura” 18-80mm zoom.
Arri is showing their third-generation digital cine camera (considering the D-20 as the first gen and the D-21 as second-gen). The Alexa-EV (electronic viewfinder) runs about €50,000; there’s an OV (optical viewfinder) version that will come later and cost rather a bit more. New Alura lenses are being shown, too: the 18-80mm T2.6 in the image above and a 45-250mm T2.6 telephoto zoom.
With a prime lens, the Alexa makes a very compact handheld package.
The Alexa made news just before NAB with the announcement that it will be able to record Apple ProRes 422 HQ or ProRes 444 on SxS cards, while still allowing ArriRaw or uncompressed HD output. This capability means that the camera will be suitable for fast-turnaround work with very high quality, while retaining the ability to output as-good-as-it-can-currently-get uncompressed data for more involved post-production workflows on high-end productions.
I also looked at a lot of DSLR accessories, LED lights, camera supports, and so on, but I’m out of time. Look for more postings on these and other topics, along with video clips, later this week: Tuesday I won’t have any time write things up, and I’m traveling Wednesday and Thursday. Stay tuned…
16 CFR Part 255 Disclosure
I’m attending NAB 2010 on a press pass, which saves me the registration fee or the bother of using one of the many free registration codes offered by vendors. I’m paying for my own transport, meals, and hotel.
No material connection exists between myself and the National Association of Broadcasters or the various exhibitors I’ll be visiting (except as noted in my articles, when and if necessary); aside from the press pass, NAB has not influenced me with any compensation to encourage favorable coverage.