The cinema-like VariCam line now offers tapeless acquisition as part of the solid-state P2 system
By David Willis
The Panasonic VariCam 2700 (AJ-HPX2700) is the latest iteration in the VariCam line, a workhorse camera designed for use with field productions, thanks to its in-camera production abilities, including a variety of slow- and fast-motion frame rates and AVC-Intra 100 recording in full 10-bit, 4:2:2, as well as the half-compression AVC-Intra 50 codec for... Read more
With the XF300 camcorder, will Canon lure back its own EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D users?
By Neil Matsumoto
Way back in 1997 (light years in the digital video world), Canon released a landmark camera, the XL-1. The three-CCD, standard-def camcorder was wildly popular with indie filmmakers who were drawn to professional features like interchangeable lenses, a high-quality viewfinder and XLR inputs—all in an affordable priced-to-own package. In the... Read more
Sony’s HXR-NX5U is an affordable, tapeless HD camcorder based on AVCHD technology
By Neil Matsumoto
As you probably know, HD DSLRs have been receiving a lot of attention from both low-budget and professional filmmakers, who are buying the compact, inexpensive cameras to shoot their projects. But with 35mm-like, shallow depth of field and low-light shooting ability come a different set of problems, including inadequate onboard audio, a lack of long,... Read more
Vision Research updates its high-speed HD camera system with the Phantom HD GOLD
By Simon Wakelin
In part two of our high-speed cinematography series, we take a more in-depth look at the Phantom HD high-speed camera from Vision Research. Recently, the Phantom HD camera has evolved into the second-generation Phantom HD GOLD, which improves overall handling and image quality.
But first a recap: The Phantom HD camera offers high-definition, high-speed... Read more
With the arrival of file-based capture and 35mm film-sized imagers, Sony updates its SR line
By Kevin H. Martin
Even before the advent of the third millennium, Sony’s entrée into the high-end imaging format, HDCAM, had debuted, along with the HDW-F900 camera. The following decade has brought refinements and innovation. The year 2003 saw the introduction of HDCAM-SR, a Sony tape capable of recording 4:4:4 (RGB) and 4:2:2 (10-bit). The following year, the... Read more
The Panasonic AG-HMC40 is a compact camcorder that packs a professional punch
By Barry Green
The HMC40 is Panasonic’s latest AVCCAM camcorder, an entry-level professional unit that records in the AVCHD format to regular SDHC memory cards. At a suggested retail price of $2,295 ($1,995 estimated street price), it’s even less expensive than the standard-def Panasonic DVX100B, but it’s jam-packed with features. These include a... Read more
In this new era of capturing movies with DSLRs, the Achilles’ heel is definitely sound, with the current crop of video DSLRs all lacking professional sound-recording features. The cameras don’t allow you to manually control sound, nor do they contain XLR inputs for professional microphones. To obtain good sound, many video-DSLR users are... Read more
JVC GY-HM100U and GY-HM700U camcorders capture unique shots for FOX’s 24
By Jeffrey Nielsen
If you were to visit the set of a prime-time network show, you would probably find top-of-the-line digital cinematography cameras or film cameras in use. But some producers and cinematographers find innovative ways to use low-cost equipment, such as on the current season of FOX’s 24, now in production.
The gear in question is JVC’s GY-HM100U... Read more
You’d think that the convergence of still and motion photography has always been inevitable. Up until recently, though, even with the proliferation of digital still cameras and digital HD cameras, the lines between still and motion cameras were still drawn in the sand. Other than the relatively low-quality "movie modes" typically seen... Read more
Organized by the Producers Guild of America and the American Society of Cinematographers, the Camera Assessment Series analyzes top-notch HD cameras
By Simon Wakelin
An unprecedented event occurred a few months ago at the Universal Studios lot in Burbank, Calif. The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) teamed up with the Producers Guild of America (PGA) to test eight professional cameras, together for the first time, to better understand the benefits of today’s digital camera systems.
"The entire... Read more