April 2012

NIKON D800

With a massive 36.3-megapixel FX-full-frame-format CMOS sensor, the Nikon D800 adds a healthy set of video capabilities to its popular predecessor the D700 while offering a similar set of video features as Nikon’s flagship D4 DSLR at roughly half the retail price. With frame rates of 1080/30p/24p and 720/60p/30p, this is the first Nikon DSLR to include full manual control over video settings like exposure, ISO and shutter speed. Image processing and light sensitivity have been improved through large 4.88 micron pixels on the sensor and a new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, as well as 14-bit A/D conversion with a high signal-to-noise ratio, an enhanced optical low-pass filter and a 16-bit image-processing pipeline. The D800 offers B-Frame data compression for high-quality H.264/MPEG-4 AVC-format clips of up to nearly 30 minutes. The HDMI port (8-bit, 4:2:2) outputs simultaneous external monitoring with an uncompressed signal that can be sent to external video capture devices. Comparatively robust audio features include an audio meter display, 30 steps of audio output levels and dedicated jacks for headphones and stereo microphones that can be adjusted for up to 20 steps of sensitivity. The camera’s Advanced Scene Recognition System also sports a 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III System, an improved 51-point AF system and an incredible expandable ISO range of Lo-1 at 50 to Hi-2 at 25,600. There’s both a CF card and an SD card slot, and the lens mount is a standard Nikon F bayonet-type. At $300 more, the otherwise identical Nikon D800E adds further image resolution by removing the anti-aliasing properties of the optical low-pass filter, which is designed to reduce moiré and color fringing in the D800. List Price: $2,999 (D800); $3,299 (D800E). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.

SINGLE-CAMERA STEREOSCOPIC

The fully controllable Meduza TITAN is a single precision 3D filmmaking camera with dual 1080p 2⁄3-inch CMOS sensors and a full range of frame rates from 24 fps to 120 fps in 10-bit. The TITAN features fast and fully motorized interaxial distance between the lenses that’s accurate to one micron, with convergence also accurate to within 1⁄1000 of a degree. Motors are available for iris and focus control, as well, and at 7.5 pounds, the durable, lightweight titanium body is built for portability. All control systems are integrated within the camera for use in adverse weather conditions, and TITAN can be controlled from tether or remote control. The system is available with a C lens mount or a mount for the Meduza Delta 4K S3D matched pair of prime lenses. Frame rates include 1080p in 24/24.97/30/29.97/60/59.97/120, and color sampling is available in 4:4:4 or 4:2:2. List Price: $55,000. Contact: Meduza Sales, +44 7785 378727, www.meduzasales.com.

HANDHELD 4K

Utilizing MPEG-4 technology and a variable bit-rate H.264 codec operating at up to 144 Mb/s, the GY-HMQ10 camcorder from JVC will record up to two hours of 4K video to affordable and readily available SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Delivering 3840×2160 4K resolution video at 24p, 50p or 60p, the system is powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip and a large 1⁄2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 megapixels of active pixels. The camcorder also offers full HD resolution with the AVCHD progressive codec at 60p/60i and 50p/50i. Trimming can be done via postproduction or in real time during camera playback for cropping HD images from the 4K frame. Live 4K can be output through four HDMI terminals, and the built-in F2.8 10x zoom lens (35mm conversion equivalent of 42.5-425mm) includes optical image stabilization. A color viewfinder and 3.5-inch touch LCD monitor provide viewing options, and there are manual level controls, a mic holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power for working with audio. Other features include Focus Assist and manual or auto control of focus, iris, gain, shutter, gamma, color matrix and white balance. List Price: $4,995. Contact: JVC U.S.A., (800) 526-5308, pro.jvc.com.

BIG THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

The HD HERO2 camcorder from GoPro squeezes 1080p video and an 11-megapixel sensor into an incredibly efficient and versatile outer housing. Updating the popular original HD HERO camera, the HD HERO2 features a redesigned wide-angle lens that offers twice the sharpness of the previous model and angles of view at 170º, 127º and a narrower 90º in both 1080p and 720p. Robust wireless capabilities have been added for control over camera functions from smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as GoPro’s optional waterproof Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit, which gives control over up to 50 HD HERO2 cameras and allows you to record one video stream while transmitting a second video stream to compatible smart devices, computers or the web. For working with settings manually, a new LCD interface on the front of the unit simplifies the user interface. The HERO2 will support SD cards up to 32 GB in size. Additional improvements include a battery warmer for extending battery life, a new processor with twice the speed of its predecessor, and LED lights on all sides that are viewable from any angle for remote positioning. Other ins and outs include a 3.5mm stereo mic input and a mini-HDMI port, and frame rates are available in 120 fps WVGA, 60 fps in 720p, 48 fps in 960p and 30 fps in 1080p. The HD HERO2 comes in three bundles with location-specific mounts: the Outdoor Edition, the Motorsports Edition and the Surf Edition. List Price: $299. Contact: GoPro, www.gopro.com.

SWIFT JIB

Quick to set up, easy to carry and affordably priced for independent productions, the SWIFT JIB50 telescopic jib from Libec offers dynamic craning abilities on location and in the studio. When used with the new REMO30 Pan & Tilt Remote Head (which can be mounted upside down for a bird’s-eye view) and ZFC-5HD Zoom and Focus Controls, a single operator will have complete control over focus, zoom, iris and tilt from the base. By turning and adjusting lock levers on the arm, the jib can be retracted at both ends, and there are no extra arms to be attached for minimizing setup. Industry-standard 1⁄4-inch and 3⁄8-inch screw holes are placed strategically on both the left and right side for mounting extras like monitors and audio equipment. The 36.1-pound system folds down to fit into a padded carrying case and supports a payload range of 22 to 44 pounds depending on main arm length, which extends from 39.5 to 75 inches. The Libec system of tripods and dollies are designed to fit together interactively for further panning and tracking abilities, like the T102B tripod and DL-8B dolly, which are available with the SWIFT JIB50 in a specialized kit that includes carrying cases for each item—the jib arm, tripod and dolly. List Price: $2,600 (SWIFT JIB50); $4,280 (SWIFT JIB50 kit). Contact: Libec Sales of America, Inc., (310) 787-9400, www.libecsales.com.

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