What’s Next From Next-Gen Vendors
Leading vendors are heeding broadcasters call for next-gen cameras.
Canon offers a variety of run-and-gun style units under $3,500. Among them is the Canon XA25, a handheld unit weighing less than two pounds. The camera relies on a single 1/2.84-inch CMOS imager with about 2.9 Megapixels.
The XA25 uses MPEG-4-AVC/H.264 to record to two SD/SDHC/SDHX memory cards. It has an HDMI output as well as composite video output on a 3.5mm mini-jack and BNC terminal. The camera comes with a .24-inch LCD viewfinder, optical and electronic image stabilization and a minimum illumination threshold of 1.2 lux.
The company also offers more traditional three-chip ENG cameras with the XF305 at the high end for ENG. The camera records MPEG-2 4:2:2 at 50 Mb/s to compact flash cards. For imaging, it employs three 1920×1080 1/3-inch CMOS sensors.
The XF305 is equipped with the Canon 18x HD L Series zoom lens, has a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000, a half-inch viewfinder, HD/SDI output with embedded audio via BNC connector, genlock input and timecode in and output.
JVC is offering cameras with workflow and image resolution options along with IP connectivity via cell network built right in the camera.
Introduced a year ago, the HD GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 ProHD camcorders allow for IP streaming directly from the camera via a single plug-in modem. An onboard processor from Waltham, Mass.–based Zixi and JVC’s streaming technology monitors connection status, corrects errors and manages available bandwidth.
To receive the streams, JVC also introduced its ProHD Broadcaster, which is available as a server in the form of hardware or as a cloud-based service. Dave Walton, assistant VP marketing communications at JVCKenwood, says that the combination of the cameras’ Zixi processor and the ProHD Broadcaster server can maintain live streams with as much as 30% IP packet loss.
In November, JVCKenwood announced three new 4KCAM HD-4K-switchable cameras: the GY-LS300 Super 35mm camcorder with support for interchangeable lenses; the GY-HM200 camcorder with integrated 12x optical zoom lens; and the GY-HM170.
“The ability to switch between HD and 4K pretty well will be standard on future cameras,” Walton says.
Like the two full-HD models announced in February, the new GY-LS300 and GY-HM200 support live HD streaming. The GY-LS300 relies on a 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor for imaging and offers an MFT (micro four thirds) lens mount. The GY-HM200 uses a 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS chip for imaging. The GY-HM170 is the most compact of the three.
The new 4KCAM HD-switchable cameras range in price from $2,495 to $4,550. The GY-HM200 and GY-HM170 will be available in February, and the GY-LS300 will be available in March.
Panasonic’s ENG camera strategy is to provide powerful, workflow-enhanced ENG cameras for newsgathering at all levels.
“Workflows are now foremost in users’ minds,” says Panasonic senior technologist, North America, Steve Mahrer. “As such, any camera, be it a 1/3-inch low-cost handheld, or a 2/3-inch ENG/EFP camera, must be multiformat, record in a variety of codecs with a particular emphasis on file-based mobile — wireless — workflows.”
Panasonic AVC-ULTRA-based camcorders range from the AJ-PX270, a 1/3-inch handheld that rivals a Panasonic VariCam from just a few years ago in performance to traditional 2/3-inch models.
The ENG cameras also offer a variety of proxy, FTP and wireless 4G LTE streaming options as well as remote control and editing via a Web-based interface.
The new AJ-PX800 2/3-inch three imager camera is almost mode-for-mode identical to the PX270. At the high end of the 2/3-inch ENG/EFP lineup is the AJ-PX5000, Panasonic’s best performing 2/3-inch camera to date, says Mahrer.
The PX800 and PX5000 use the same 1080p MOS imagers that are found in the VariCam HS, the 2/3-inch high-end production camera, he says.
The PX270, PX800 and PX5000 can record high-resolution images with efficient low-bit rate AVC-LongG codecs or can be switched to an AVC-intra format for recording. Proxy and wireless capabilities are the same on the three cameras.
This story originally appeared in TVNewsCheck’s Executive Outlook, a quarterly print publication devoted to the future of broadcasting. Subscribe here. Read the other stories in the Winter 2015 issue here.