Advanced, custom-designed 4/3″ sensor delivers depth of field and field of view similar to a 35 mm movie camera. The camcorder uses low-cost still camera and film-style lenses.
In the modern TV operation, manufacturers of end-to-end systems are now focusing on a process that involves all aspects of the story. The portable tools of the multimedia reporter working in the field are integral to that process. All the story elements — including video, audio, text, graphics, Web links and metadata — are brought together in the field and sent back to the station via an expanding range of options, including microwave, satellite, aircards, Wi-Fi and even 3G smartphones.
While the market for microwave and satellite trucks that allow stations to send stories from the field to the studio has decreased, the manufacturers continue to innovate to answer the market’s changing needs. That means offering smaller, less expensive and more fuel efficient unts that can be outfitted with a range of technology, including IP connectivity and switchable directional or omnidirectional antennas..
With all video moving toward the Web, there is demand for new hybrid video camera designs. Canon, Sony and RED Camera are all introducing units that offer the ability to simultaneously record both full-motion video and high-resolution still images. This flexibility, it’s hoped, will appeal to journalists shooting for TV, newspapers, magazines, websites and mobile applications.
With TV stations more concerned than ever with their bottom lines at the same time their news needs have expanded to include 24/7 Web coverage, the demand for low-cost camcorders is skyrocketing. Canon is the latest equipment maker to take on incumbents Sony, Panasonic and JVC with two new ENG camcorders. The XF305 and XF300 (right) are now available for less than $8,000.
Video over IP technology is much cheaper and faster than microwave or satellite trucks in returning video from the field, even if most of it usually takes a hit in image quality and reliability isn’t yet what it should be. As compression algorithms and the equipment keep getting better, it looks to transform TV newsgathering over the next four or five years. The photo shows Jeff Liebman, of WDIV Detroit, in his IP-enabled vehicle, which includes a Sony camera linked to a Dell laptop with Streambox encoding and Aircard for broadband connections.
“The whole focus of the Next-Generation Newsroom is to change the mindset of our news staff, to get them away from the thinking that we only publish to broadcast at 5, 6 and 11,” says Hearst’s Joe Addalia.”We are always on the Web. We don’t sit on our news.”