‘Buzz’ Limited at NAB Over 4K Cameras

The levels of excitement over those cameras is linked to which market the producers are pursuing.
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The levels of excitement over those cameras is linked to which market the producers are pursuing.

The “buzz” over 4K cameras is limited at the NAB Show in Las Vegas with levels of excitement over those cameras is linked to which market the producers are pursuing.

Dave Walton, JVC’s assistant vice president of marketing and communications, said because the NAB show is the “National Association of Broadcasters” the broadcast market is really not interested in 4K, because broadcaster “are very solidly into HD.”

“It’s taken 20 years to get to HD and most people in the broadcast business would shun it (4K) off as being ‘wild, futuristic technology,’ having said that through, the production side of the market is very, very interested in it, because it’s what they’ve been doing,” Walton said.

However, George Palmer, a key account manager for Thales’ Angenieux Division, said, there “absolutely” is “a buzz” about 4K cameras. In addition, Thales is “introducing the possibility for very high levels of resolution using large format sensor images,” he said. The cameras use “the kinds of very-high end resolution film type lenses on those (4K) cameras at a price broadcasters and television producers can afford, as well as motion picture producers.”

The output of cameras that use 4K sensors “can be scaled to the 1920 x 1080 format that is broadcast,” Palmer said. “Up to this point, many of the cameras that were produced were very expensive, high-end cameras, and that’s why they were dedicated to digital film acquisition,” he said. “There are two or three cameras” in which 4K outputs can be either be scaled to the HD 1920 x 1080, or those cameras natively putout 1920 x 1080.”

However, Walton has a different view saying the large amount of data recorded by those cameras needs to worked out for the broadcast market. JVC has developed “high-resolution imagers that are being found in more and more cameras,” he said adding, “It’s not uncommon to see and 8K imager, or an 8-megapixal imager in a camera, but what to do with all that data.

“Recording an 8K image, which is four times the resolution of HD, recording it at 60 frames per second is quite a feat. JVC has now developed the chip technology that makes that possible and we’re demonstrating it with a couple of small, consumer type camcorders,” he said. However, it is not JVC’s “intention to bring that in that form factor to the production market, but over the next few months we’re going to be meeting with market leaders in production and try to develop meaning full products that will utilize the technology and allow the production community to take advantage of this new chip technology JVC developed,” he said.

JVC is scheduling forums on those cameras in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla., and Vancouver, Wash., Walton said. “The idea is to meet with leaders in production and post production and come up with some ways to implement this technology into products they would buy,” he said.

-- J. J. Smith