Hello from NAB land.

Hi all. I’ve been a little “off-the-air” the last few days while shooting a bunch of video blogs for Sony from NAB. Now that’s out of the way I’m going to get a bit of time to check out the show. If you want to learn about the basics of shooting in 3D, why not drop by the Manfrotto booth today at 4pm where I will be giving a brief into talk.

Some of the things that I have seen so fat that have caught my eye are of course the sexy Sony FS100 35mm camcorder, the teeny tiny NX3D1E 3D camcorder, again from Sony. looking at XDCAM HD422 there is a Sony Jukebox machine that can store and retrieve large numbers of XDCAM discs, the new PDW-U2 which is much like the U1 (which will still be sold) but accepts the new 4 layer write only discs plus the new 100Gb 3 layer discs. In addition the read speed is about 2.4x faster than the U1, so a big performance boost there.

There are a couple of new PL mount lenses for the F3, a 1.5 x ultra wide zoom (11-16mm I think)  plus a prototype of the monster 18-252 servo zoom with auto iris: Make no mistake.. this is a BIG lens…. I also guess it won’t come cheap, but it would be an amazing lens to have. Talking of the F3, most of the F3′s here have a beta of the S-Log firmware.  Sony have a working pre-production XDCAM 3D camcorder (PMW-TD300), like the one shown at IBC this looks like a twin lens PMW-350, I’ll try and grab some photos today.

Of course the really big Sony news is the F65. An 8k camcorder recording onto SR Memory. It records 16bit raw form which you can derive 4k, 2k and HD images plus “higher resolution” images. All of this at up to 120fps. When you watch the 4k film shot with the F65 in the theatre on the sony booth, at first you wonder what the fuss is about, the picture look gorgeous but they don’t leap out as being 4k. It’s not until you start looking at deeper into the image that you really start to see the incredible subtle detail and textures captured in the image, very nice indeed.

Of course it’s all very well having all these wonderful cameras but you also need a way to record the material. Sony have a range of SR Master records, the R1, R3 and R4. I’m not completely clued up on the differences between them, but they are capable of recording using the HDCAM SR codecs on to solid state memory sticks about the size of a small mobile phone. While these are excellent devices, they are a little overshadowed (for me at least) by the Convergent Design Gemini which can record 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 uncompressed on to low cost SSD’s. There is also the new BlackMagic designs recorder with a target price of just $345 USD for an uncompressed recorder. Wow.. how times are changing. More tomorrow, hopefully with pictures!

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