October 2011

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Offering the benefits of faster, file-based P2 HD workflows, the AG-HPX250 P2 camcorder is the first handheld camera from Panasonic to feature native 10-bit, 4:2:2, independent-frame, 1920×1080-resolution, AVC-Intra recording for high-quality compression and ease of editing. Weighing only 5.5 pounds, the AG-HPX250 still manages to pack in a number of features, including a 1/3-inch, full-HD, 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS imager and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor. Variable frame rates include 1080p at up to 30 fps (with 17 steps), as well as 720p at up to 60 fps (with 25 steps) for undercranking and overcranking to create fast- or slow-motion effects. The 22x zoom lens offers a wide 28-616mm (35mm-equivalent) focal range with three independently adjustable rings for Zoom, Focus and Iris, and the Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) reduces camera shake. There’s Genlock/timecode input for multicamera operation, plus an HD-SDI output, an HDMI output and an IEEE 1394 I/O. The Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function compensates for wide variations in lighting, and the camcorder is equipped with a waveform monitor and vectorscope display, as well as two focus-assist functions (a picture expanding function and focus bar). There are two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, two RCA audio outputs, +48V phantom power capability and four channels of 48 kHZ/16-bit digital audio. Additional highlights include 4-position ND optical filter controls, autofocus with face detection, white balance, mode display, zebra display, color bar, tally lamps, slow shutter and synchro-scan shutter functions, a multi-language menu and three programmable user buttons. In addition to AVC-Intra 100/50 recording, the HPX250 also supports international HD and SD standards and can capture in DVCPRO HD and standard-definition formats (DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV). List Price: $5,995. Contact: Panasonic Solutions Company, (877) 803-8492, www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

With highlights including a brand-new sensor, improved audio capabilities and support of the new AVCHD 2.0 standard for full HD video capture in 1080 at up to 24 Mb/s, Sony has released the second generation of the NEX-VG10 interchangeable-lens Handycam camcorder, the NEX-VG20. Incorporating a huge 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with roughly 20 times the surface area of a conventional camcorder sensor, the VG20 adds more robust frame rate capture with 24p, 30p and 60p. Other additions include RAW still capability, a faster autofocus system, focus assist and your choice of 2ch stereo or 5.1-channel surround-sound audio capture with control over independent audio levels on the Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Mic. On the exterior, the NEX-VG20 sports a 3.0-inch WIDE Xtra Fine 270º swivel touch-panel LCD with 921K resolution, an EVF and a Manual Control Jog Dial, as well as Cinematone Gamma/Color controls, a Memory Stick Duo/SD card slot and Direct Copy mode for moving files directly to external drives without the need for a computer intermediate. Design improvements on the VG20 include a second record button and a new grip and belt for shooting low to the ground. The new addition to the Handycam line is compatible with the Sony E Mount series of lenses. List Price: $1,599 (body only); $2,199 (with E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-SONY, www.store.sony.com.

Designed to provide camera operators with a cost-effective solution for event coverage, documentaries, ENG news and educational applications, the compact, shoulder-mount GY-HM710U camcorder from JVC includes a 3-CCD imaging system for 1920×1080 resolution in 1080p and 1080i at 25 or 35 Mb/s. JVC’s native file recording technology provides ready-to-edit file formats for Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere (.MOV), as well as other NLE systems (.MP4) and legacy standard-definition footage (480i) in standard DV files (.AVI or .MOV). The GY-HM710U features a standard bayonet lens mount and ships with a Canon 14:1 lens. There are extensive image customization modes, JVC’s patented Focus Assist function and a 20-second Pre Rec retro cache feature that continuously captures footage prior to recording to help prevent missed shots. Other standouts include a 1.22-million-pixel LCOS viewfinder, a 4.3-inch flip-out LCD monitor and two XLR audio inputs with phantom power and manual audio level controls with metering. List Price: $6,995. Contact: JVC Professional Products Company, (800) 582-5825, www.pro.jvc.com.

From broadcast ENG to professional freelance HD shooters, the 2/3-inch Canon KJ20x8.2B portable HD lens is specifically designed as a single low-cost solution for a wide range of applications and uses. The KJ20x8.2B is the widest lens in Canon’s affordable 20x zoom class, with a generous range of focal lengths from 8.2mm to 164mm. When combined with the built-in 2x extender, that focal length translates to an extended range of 16.4-328mm. The KJ20x8.2B exhibits a high MTF (modulation transfer function) at picture center throughout the zoom range, and the new lens features an enhanced macro function that effectively reduces minimum object distance to only 10mm from the front of the lens. Advanced Drive Unit technology includes Shuttle Shot for rapidly zooming back and forth between any two positions for checking focus or shuttling between marks, and the zoom can travel end-to-end in as little as 1 second. The KJ20x8.2B is part of the HDgc Series of lenses, which utilize high-quality optics, multilayer coatings and special elements to minimize and correct axial and lateral chromatic aberrations, coma aberrations and geometric distortion, as well as ghosting, flare and veiling glare. List Price: $7,900. Contact: Canon Broadcast, (800) 321-HDTV, www.canonbroadcast.com.

Delivering soft natural light that’s usable as close as one foot from the source, the Luminys SoftSun fixtures produce diffused 5400K daylight that can be dimmed from 100% to 3% of maximum output with precise color accuracy (C.R.I. +96) and minimal shift in color temperature (at about 100 Kelvin). Built around Luminys’ Enhanced Spectrum Plasma lamps, the SoftSun line is flicker-free up to 25,000 fps and can reach full power and full color temperature without any warm-up time. SoftSun fixtures work from the same common power supply for redundancy, and the lamps are spring-mounted for use during shooting conditions that are prone to vibration or shock. Currently, there are five lamps in the SoftSun line. The 3.3K is small and compact for tight spaces and easy rigging. The 3.5K with parabolic reflector and circular lamp is designed for three-dimensional wrapping of beauty light, and the 3.6K with a long tube design offers more coverage and can be mounted horizontally or vertically. Each includes the fixture, power supply and cables. 50K and 100K fixtures round out the system. List Price: $13,300 (3.3K); $13,500 (3.5K); $13,600 (3.6K). Contact: Luminys, (323) 461-6361, www.luminyscorp.com.

ToolsOnAir offers the just: Broadcast Suite, a complete, Apple-based software suite that allows users to create an entire TV production facility on a Mac. With seamless integration of video, audio and multiformat graphics, the just: Broadcast Suite includes timeline-based automation, asset management and compatibility with Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Server and a variety of multi-I/O cards from AJA, Blackmagic Design and Matrox. The just:in ingest solution offers real-time video and audio preview capability, utilizing MXF4mac to capture multiple video sources. The composition:builder offers an interface and feature set for creating and implementing real-time graphic overlays for news, sports and other broadcast events. The live:cut application records a vision mixer’s EDL for instantly processing a multicamera timeline to review and to perform postproduction, and the just:play software manages automated playout to the Web from Apple-based video servers, studios and live feeds with continuously updating graphics and real-time tickers linked to RSS feeds or remote databases. The just:live program manages on-air videos and graphics in live situations for total control over video playout and graphics. List Price: Begins at $3,999. Contact: Tools On Air USA, (866) 228-8895, www.toolsonair.com.