2013 Forecast: Bigger, Faster, Stronger: Plan for Higher Resolution and More Robust Systems

creative PLANET network by Oliver Peters

The largest movement this year in the film and video sector has to be in cameras. There are more than ever to choose from, with a strong push into 4K products. HD-video-enabled digital still photography cameras continue to attract users and that movement shows no sign of dropping off. One common design trait in both types of products is the incorporation of large-format, single-sensor chips instead of the traditional 2/3” 3-CCD video camera design. This is a significant change that is driving software development in post and enabling the production of content for 4K delivery systems, including consumer TV sets.

Acquisition and the Push for Higher Resolution

Canon C500

Sony rounded out 2012 with a roar, introducing the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 cameras. The F5 is positioned as the bigger brother to the F3, with the F55 the smaller sibling to the F65. These use a Super 35mm-equivalent CMOS sensor, with the F5 capable of up to 2K output and the F55 of 4K. (There’s a lot of disagreement among camera manufacturers about what “4K” really means. The term is generally a number based on horizontal pixel width and not actual resolution, but for ease I’ll stick with the 4K shorthand. It means the sensor or the frame size of the video is 4096 or 3840 pixels wide.) The F5 and F55 add more codec (XAVC) and storage options (AXS memory card), which, of course, will make life more confusing for post houses.

Sony’s offerings seem in direct response to the Canon’s Cinema EOS C100, C300 and C500. The C300 in particular has become quite popular, but it’s now time for the 4K-capable C500 to hit the streets. These cameras share a common sensor design, but the C500 will output 4K camera raw images to an external recorder like a Codex S, Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4 or AJA Ki Pro Quad. The C300 and C500 come in PL or EF lens mount configurations. read more...

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