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May 2011
P+S Technik Develops Weisscam Upgrade Modules
P+S Technik has developed three software-based Application Upgrade Modules for the multi-purpose Weisscam HS-2 MKII high-speed camera system, which can capture from 1 to 70,000 fps.
Canon Introduces Ultra-Compact XA10
Canon U.S.A., Inc, has introduced the ultra-compact XA10 Professional Camcorder, ideal for situations that demand mobility. The XA10 records Full HD 1080p video using an AVCHD codec. 
Sony's PMW-F3 Takes Pro Line Handheld
Sony has unveiled the PMW-F3, its first professional handheld digital-production camera with a Super 35mm imager.
Panasonic Expands P2 Camcorder Line
Panasonic Solutions Company has introduced the AJ-HPX3100 master-quality 1080p P2 HD camcorder, its most compact and lowest-price 2⁄3" 1080p 3-CCD camcorder.
Arri Updates Alexa Software
Arri has released Software Update Packet 3.0 for its Alexa digital camera system. SUP 3.0 enables a host of new and updated features. 
JVC Offers Shoulder-Mount ProHD Camcorder  Online
JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., has introduced the GY-HM750U ProHD compact, shoulder-mount camcorder. The camcorder records native HD or SD footage in ready-to-edit file formats on low-cost SDHC memory cards.
I-Movix Unveils Latest SprintCam  Online
I-Movix has introduced the latest version of its Phantom-powered SprintCam Vvs HD ultra-slow-motion system for live HD broadcast production. 
V.I.O. Offers HD POV Camera Online
V.I.O. has introduced the POV.HD, a flexible, rugged and easy-to-use point-of-view HD camera system.
MTI Film's PixelStax Traces History Online
MTI Film has developed PixelStax, a new History format for its Correct DRS digital restoration software. 
Image Metrics Updates Faceware Online
Image Metrics Inc. has announced the availability of Faceware 3.0, its video performance and artist-driven facial animation software for the film, visual effects and videogame industries. 
PowerProduction Software Mixes Martini QuickShot Creator Online
PowerProduction Software has announced the release of Martini QuickShot Creator for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and CS4 on Windows.

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P+S Technik Develops Weisscam Upgrade Modules

P+S Technik has developed three software-based Application Upgrade Modules for the multi-purpose Weisscam HS-2 MKII high-speed camera system, which can capture from 1 to 70,000 fps.

The Film Mode Module provides enhanced image quality for recording at any frame rate. This mode optimizes the camera settings, significantly enhancing and stabilizing blacks and low-light areas. The result is 30-percent better performance on the signal, especially at lower frame rates; reduced readout noise; and increased dynamic range.

The Studio Mode Module allows for the integration of the Weisscam HS-2 MKII directly into studio environments. It provides RAW support for external IT recording devices via GigE, and RAM HD-SDI preview is available from the camera during recording and playback. The Studio Mode also enables easy setup and control of the camera via a Hand Unit.

The Rental Mode Module offers the possibility to modify the Weisscam HS-2 MKII to the needs of rental customers. Customers can choose from three different presets tailored for different applications, and all feature sets can be changed and unlocked on set by entering a PIN code. The three presets currently available are Commercial, Fiction and TV Drama.

contact info:  
www.pstechnik.de
Canon Introduces Ultra-Compact XA10

Canon U.S.A., Inc, has introduced the ultra-compact XA10 Professional Camcorder, ideal for situations that demand mobility. The XA10 records Full HD 1080p video using an AVCHD codec. 

The compact XA10 includes a detachable handle for low-angle shooting and portability; with the handle attached, the XA10’s functionality is further enhanced with the addition of XLR inputs and an external microphone holder. The camcorder also boasts infrared video capture, as well as the option of recording to a 64GB internal flash drive or two SDXC-compatible card slots, as well as Relay Recording and the ability to record simultaneously to two cards for instant backup.

The XA10 features a Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom lens, Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor and a Canon 1⁄3" native 1920x1080 CMOS image sensor, which delivers outstanding resolution and quality. The zoom boasts a 35mm equivalent range of 30.4mm–304mm with an eight-blade iris capable of rendering natural, smooth background blur with reduced lens diffraction. The lens also features Canon’s SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system with standard, Dynamic and Powered IS modes for steady video in almost any shooting situation. Autofocus speeds can be selected from Instant, Medium and Normal to match the shooter’s preference, and a focus ring on the lens allows for manual focus as well. 

For extreme low-light shooting the XA10 includes an infrared feature. The camcorder also includes an infrared emitter with a diffuser as well as a Green or White color option to shoot pleasing high-definition infrared imagery even in complete darkness.

The XA10 provides users with complete manual control of various functions including frame rates, zooming speed, focus, shutter speed, white balance and gain control. Various frame rates can be selected to match the user’s preference — 60i, PF30, PF24 and native 24p. Through internal menus, users can adjust zoom-speed settings for High, Middle and Low in 16 one-step increments for both the body lever as well as the handle control. The focus ring on the lens can be customized for manual focus control and users can set the direction of rotation, as well as three levels of response control. Auto-focus speed can be adjusted for smooth auto-focus transitions, and a Face-Only AF mode allows for a blurred image as a person walks offscreen. The camcorder’s white balance is adjustable from 2,000°K to 15,000°K in 100°K increments.

The XA10 camcorder also incorporates a waveform monitor into the camera body for accurate exposure and detailed analysis of image brightness. Checking critical focus is also extremely easy with the high-resolution LCD screen and peaking, magnify and Canon’s Edge Monitor Focus Assist system.

For in-camera cinematic effects, the XA10 provides nine customizable cinema filters, which can be adjusted in three levels — Low, Medium and High. Additionally, the Standard Cinema Filter function is further customizable through Color Depth, Contrast, Soft Filter and Key adjustments.

The camcorder’s overall design is intended for comfortable operation whether gripped in the operator’s palm or by the handle for low-angle shooting. Compact and lightweight, the entire camcorder weighs only 1.7 lbs. and measures only 3.7"x8.1"x7.0", including the lens hood and handle. The 3.5" high-resolution (922,000 dot) touch-panel LCD screen provides a large, vibrant display and can be flipped for solo shooting with the LCD screen facing the subject. The camcorder also includes an electronic viewfinder for use in bright conditions where it would be difficult to use the LCD panel.

The XA10 features dual XLR inputs for external audio sources as well as a built-in stereo microphone. The camcorder supports Dolby Digital 2ch (AC-3 2ch) with automatic and manual audio-level adjustment.

Embedded in the detachable handle are the camcorder’s XLR terminal inputs, audio switches, infrared light, tally lamp, removable microphone holder, zoom and record switches, and a “cold” shoe. For easy connection to both Canon and third-party wired remote controllers, the XA10 has a built-in remote-control terminal (compatible with LANC protocol). A custom key and dial allow for more convenient, one-touch access to various functions such as focus or exposure.

The Canon XA10 Professional camcorder is available for a suggested price of $1,999.99.

contact info:  
www.usa.canon.com
Sony's PMW-F3 Takes Pro Line Handheld

Sony has unveiled the PMW-F3, its first professional handheld digital-production camera with a Super 35mm imager.

The F3 camcorder is based on Sony’s XDCam EX workflow and uses Sony’s SxS ExpressCard-based recording media format. Its Super 35mm CMOS imager delivers shallow depth of field with high sensitivity, low noise levels and wide dynamic range. Through the use of an HD-SDI dual-link output for external recording (4:2:2 1080 50/59.94P as standard and RGB 1080 23.98/25/29.97PsF as an option), footage shot with the F3 can be seamlessly intercut with content shot on Sony’s F35 or SRW-9000PL cameras. The F3’s PL-mount adapter can accommodate both PL and upcoming Sony zoom lenses, and offers compatibility with a variety of cine lenses such as Cooke, Fujinon and Zeiss.

Users can select S-Log and Hyper Gamma to increase the F3’s dynamic-range performance. S-Log represents Sony’s approach to the raw “digital negative,” allowing access to the full dynamic range of the Super 35mm imager for maximum flexibility in image manipulation during postproduction. This capability, combined with the widely used SxS format, lets user take advantage of already well-established XDCam EX and HDCam SR workflows.

Recording formats include 1920x1080, 1440x1080 and 1280x720 at 23.98/25/29.97p, 50/59.94i and, in DVCam mode, 25/29.97PsF and 50/59.94i. Users can also take advantage of “slow” and “quick” recording, from 1 to 30 fps at 1920x1080 (17 to 30 fps in dual-link mode) and 1 to 60 fps at 1280x720 (17 to 60 fps in dual-link mode).

The F3 supports look-up tables for dailies and on-set color management. Up to four LUTs can be stored in the camera and stamped onto the footage on the SxS card, simultaneously using the camera’s dual-link output with S-Log for the unprocessed image.

Sony is also planning to introduce a compatible SR Memory Portable Recorder for the F3 camcorder. SR Memory, Sony’s high-speed, high-capacity card format, will give users the ability to record directly to the industry-standard HDCam SR codec using the SR Memory Portable Recorder connected to the F3’s single-link and dual-link output.

The PMW-F3 has a basic list price of $16,000 without lenses. The camera is also available with a lens kit (comprising 35mm, 50mm and 85mm T2.0 prime lenses) for a suggested price of $23,000. 

contact info:  
www.sony.com/cinealta
Panasonic Expands P2 Camcorder Line

Panasonic Solutions Company has introduced the AJ-HPX3100 master-quality 1080p P2 HD camcorder, its most compact and lowest-price 2⁄3" 1080p 3-CCD camcorder.

Featuring three 2⁄3" high-density 2.2-million-pixel CCDs, the HPX3100 captures full-raster 1920x1080-resolution imaging with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling using the advanced AVC-Intra codec. The camcorder records in multiple worldwide formats, in HD in AVC-Intra and in DVCPro HD at 1080 in 24p, 25p, 30p, 50i and 60i, and in SD (480i/586i) in DVCPro50, DVCPro and DV.

New features in the HPX3100 include 24-bit audio in AVC-Intra 100/50, wireless metadata input capability via wireless LAN and high-quality proxy recording. The proxy board also provides uncompressed audio, which can enhance editing, especially for projects with a large amount of content, like reality TV and long-form projects.

The camcorder is equipped with seven advanced gamma settings, including Film-Rec 600-percent mode (made popular by the VariCam) for capturing increased dynamic range. It also features a built-in reverse scan that allows unique setups such as mounting the camera upside down or the use of a prime lens or an anamorphic lens adapter to create a 2.35:1 image.

Offering a new slim-line size for added mobility, the HPX3100 sports a low center of gravity and weighs only 8.6 pounds. The P2 HD camcorder’s superb performance is enhanced with advanced 14-bit A/D conversion and a 12-pole matrix color-correction function. Additional high-end features include a Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) function that corrects for lateral chromatic aberration in lenses, and a three-level Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function that reduces blocked shadows and blown highlights in scenes where bright and dark objects coexist. The HPX3100 has a high sensitivity of F11 at 2,000 lux in 1080i, and an S/N ratio of 59 dB (with Digital

The camcorder records on high data transfer speed E-Series P2 cards (capacity up to 64GB). The HPX3100 has dual optical filter wheels for separate control of ND and CC, and a flip-out, 3.5" color LCD monitor for easy viewing. There is an option for a color or black-and-white type viewfinder. Standard interfaces include an HD-SDI input for external line recording, IEEE 1394A in/out, USB 2.0 in/out, genlock in with HD Tri-Level Sync or VBS in, and SMPTE time code in/out.

The HPX3100 supports full 48-kHz/24-bit audio recording on all four channels (in AVC-Intra 100/50), and supports the optional AJ-RC10G and AJ-EC4 remote control units for image and control adjustment. Other features include Digital Zoom and Digital Super Gain, and a One-clip REC function that records up to 99 consecutive cuts as a single clip, greatly facilitating editing.

The AJ-HPX3100 is available at a suggested price of $19,950. To lower total ownership costs, Panasonic offers a five-year limited warranty (the company’s normal 1-year basic warranty plus an extended warranty for years two through five upon registration). 

contact info:  
Arri Updates Alexa Software

Arri has released Software Update Packet 3.0 for its Alexa digital camera system. SUP 3.0 enables a host of new and updated features. 

For low-light situations, SUP 3.0 extends Alexa’s sensitivity to EI 3,200; the new lineup of exposure indices is EI 160, EI 200, EI 400, EI 800, EI 1,600 and EI 3,200. Alexa’s color-processing engine has also been significantly enhanced, providing higher color saturation in highlights as well as improved skin tones under tungsten light. Two new gamma options have also been added: Log C delivers a signal similar to negative film scanned on an Arriscan, and DCI P3 is the color space used for digital cinema projectors.

The false color exposure check changes the image to black-and-white, and uses color to indicate specific signal levels such as clipping, skin tones and 18-percent medium grey. SUP 3.0 also introduces the ability to superimpose two frame lines, two user rectangles, a center mark and a surround view mask over the viewfinder and output images, all at the same time, which is especially useful for productions with deliverables of different aspect ratios.

SUP 3.0 enables in-camera playback of QuickTime clips from on-board SxS Pro cards, so takes can be played back on the camera viewfinder or via different camera outputs, allowing for an instant image check; frame lines as well as information about each clip can optionally be seen in the viewfinder or superimposed on the image output.

The optional smooth mode, for any frame rate up to 30 fps and any shutter angle up to 180 degrees, eliminates shuttering in the viewfinder image, making camera operating easier for shots involving fast pans or fast action within the frame.

SUP 3.0 allows still images for continuity, lighting or grading references to be grabbed and stored on the camera’s SD card at any time during standby, recording or playback; images can be stored as JPEG, TIFF or DPX files. Audio can now be recorded at various frame rates and embedded into the image output, providing a useful guide track that significantly streamlines the audio workflow. Additionally, an HD-SDI 3G Single Link allows a 4:2:2 signal at 48, 50, 59.94 or 60 fps to be sent over just one BNC cable. SUP 3.0 also introduces the ability to include a Variflag signal

All new ALEXAs will have SUP 3.0 installed, and all existing cameras can be upgraded to SUP 3.0.

contact info:  
www.arri.com
JVC Offers Shoulder-Mount ProHD Camcorder

JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., has introduced the GY-HM750U ProHD compact, shoulder-mount camcorder. The camcorder records native HD or SD footage in ready-to-edit file formats on low-cost SDHC memory cards.

Equipped with the same 3-CCD imaging system found in the GY-HM790U, the GY-HM750U delivers 1920x1080 images in a small, lightweight form factor. It records at selectable data rates up to 35 Mbps and can record HD footage in 720p, 1080p and 1080i, as well as SD footage (480i).

Using JVC’s native file-based workflow, the GY-HM750U includes a dual-card-slot design that records to non-proprietary SDHC cards and/or an optional SxS recorder. JVC’s native file recording technology allows recording in ready-to-edit file formats for Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere (.MOV), as well as other major NLE systems that are compatible with Sony XDCam EX files (.MP4). For legacy SD applications, the camcorder can also record standard DV files (.AVI or .MOV). In response to customer requests, the GY-HM750U also introduces simultaneous recording to both SDHS cards for instant backup.

Building on the modular approach of the GY-HM790U, the GY-HM750U includes a 68-pin chassis connector that creates a clean, direct interface with various modules without requiring external cables. The new KA-AS790 ASI output module, for example, provides a direct feed from the camera to a satellite uplink or microwave transmitter via BNC. Not only can the camera be connected to the transmitter or uplink with a single BNC cable, thereby eliminating the need for additional interfaces, the GY-HM750U automatically switches to low-latency mode (less than 300ms delay) when the module is in use.

JVC has also improved its Pre Rec (retro cache) feature, which continuously records and stores footage in cache memory and helps prevent missed shots of breaking events. (The GY-HM750U stores 20 seconds of footage in its cache.) Other features include variable frame rate recording, extensive image customization, a high-resolution (1.22 million pixel) LCOS viewfinder and 4.3" flip-out LCD monitor, and JVC’s patented Focus Assist functionality. The GY-HM750U also features two XLR audio inputs with phantom power, plus manual audio-level controls with audio meter.

The GY-HM750U is priced at $7,450, including a Canon 14:1 zoom lens, though it accommodates a variety of lenses with its 1/3" bayonet lens mount. JVC offers 10 lenses from Canon and Fujinon, as well as a broad line of studio and field accessories. A LoLux version of the camera specially designed for ENG use, the GY-HM750LL, is also available to direct broadcast customers. Developed to assist television journalists when external lighting cannot be used, JVC’s exclusive LoLux feature goes beyond the normal gain boost to produce broadcast-acceptable imagery in extremely low-light environments.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
http://pro.jvc.com
I-Movix Unveils Latest SprintCam

I-Movix has introduced the latest version of its Phantom-powered SprintCam Vvs HD ultra-slow-motion system for live HD broadcast production. SprintCam Vvs HD now operates at frame rates up to 2,700 fps in 1080i50 or up to 5,800 fps in 720p60 and provides instant replay at native HD resolution and image quality.

New features include segmented memory, speed ramping within a replay, dual output of live action and replay sequences, and integration of both live- and replay-view on the viewfinder. Operational enhancements include compatibility with EVS server ultra-motion mode, a digital lens interface for better iris and lens-switch control, improved replay controls, support for synchronization of two cameras in 3-D ultra-slow-motion capture and a new joystick-equipped control panel.
    SprintCam Vvs HD also offers easy integration into broadcast operations, with a range of features and ease of use optimized for the rigors of demanding broadcast schedules. Specially designed for live broadcast use, SprintCam Vvs HD can be specified in a standard camera version or optimized for shoulder-mounted portable shooting, providing convenience and creativity in ultra-slow-motion action.
    The SprintCam Vvs HD system comprises the latest generation Vision Research high-speed HD camera; an operational control panel that provides a real broadcast-quality color matrix and control of frame-rate choice; a slow-motion remote that allows the user to select a video sequence and instantly replay it with an HD-SDI output for live broadcast or storage on any HD-SDI recorder for a later use; and the camera control unit, which provides control of the slow-motion instant replay, camera control, and data interface between a camera, EVS server, or SDI recorder. 
Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.i-movix.com
V.I.O. Offers HD POV Camera

V.I.O. has introduced the POV.HD, a flexible, rugged and easy-to-use point-of-view HD camera system.

Behind a six-element f2.0 glass lens, the POV.HD boasts a native 1080p CMOS sensor that captures vibrant color and enhanced resolution. The system incorporates advanced software processing for real-time video enhancements such as lens-distortion correction, vignette correction and lens-softness correction. The system is shock proof, water proof (at 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) and dust proof, and offers modular mounting options and wireless remote control.

In-field editing capabilities include the ability to tag scenes while recording from either the recorder or the wireless remote control; tagged scenes can then automatically be compiled into highlight clips. Video brightness control improves color saturation and contrast in especially bright or gray shooting conditions, and exposure metering lets the user set the automatic exposure control sampling area.

The POV.HD can capture 1080p resolution at 30 fps, 720p at 60 fps, 480p at 30 fps or 1080p at 24 fps, all in the H.264 video codec in the MPEG-4 format. The user interface features a 2” LCD screen with 640x320 resolution. The recording unit measures 40mm x 60mm x 167mm, and the camera head weighs only 58 grams. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.vio-pov.com
MTI Film's PixelStax Traces History

MTI Film has developed PixelStax, a new History format for its Correct DRS digital restoration software. The PixelStax feature, which allows for better collaboration among artists across the room or across the globe, will be included in Correct DRS Version 10, which will be released this summer.

PixelStax was born out of the need for facilities to share work among artists and operators of varying skill levels or in multiple locations. With this history format, entry-level operators can complete an initial round of dust-busting, then pass on the work for review by an expert artist or by Quality Control, along with the full history and metadata from the original work. This gives the user completing the second pass complete access to the history undo functions within Correct DRS, even if their station is not on the same SAN or network as the original user. This model can be extended to cover work sub-contracted to another facility or even outsourced overseas.

PixelStax also offers benefits for installations already using a shared work environment. Multiple users can access the same clips concurrently, so expert artists can review sections as they are being completed and take on more difficult problems as they are found.

“Work can now be easily divided and re-divided among a varying number of artists as needed,” says Bridgid O’Donnell, MTI Film’s production manager for Restoration Services. “This allows work to be passed around more efficiently when different skills are required or when certain sections of a reel just require more hands.” Larry Chernoff, MTI Film’s CEO, adds, “Not only are administrative tasks reduced, but it really offers the freedom to adapt to the workflow requirements of any given project.”

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.mtifilm.com
Image Metrics Updates Faceware

Image Metrics Inc. has announced the availability of Faceware 3.0, its video performance and artist-driven facial animation software for the film, visual effects and videogame industries. Faceware 3.0 incorporates several new features to ensure creative consistency within animation teams, and to increase productivity and ease of use.

Faceware 3.0 is the result of more than a decade of animation production experience. The software utilizes a marker-less video-analysis technology and artist-driven performance-transfer toolset to deliver ultra-high-fidelity, believable facial animation in a fraction of the time of traditional methods. Faceware offers studios full creative flexibility, empowering them to handle all creative decisions and iterations in-house.

New features in version 3.0 include automatic pose suggestion, which quickly shows artists the most extreme and physically different video performance frames that should be added as relationship poses; a shared pose database, which allows lead animators to establish a character’s “feel” prior to the animation process; and curve-refinement tools, which allow animators to take results output from the retargeting stage and adjust them to suit the intended usage.

For additional information or to download Faceware 3.0, visit www.image-metrics.com.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.image-metrics.com
PowerProduction Software Mixes Martini QuickShot Creator

PowerProduction Software has announced the release of Martini QuickShot Creator for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and CS4 on Windows. Martini is a plug-in for postproduction visualization that makes it easy for editors to direct additional shots and sequences. With Martini’s dynamic power, editors no longer need to use black slugs with text explaining what “shot goes here.” 

Loaded with hundreds of classic and unique shots styles, Martini’s easy-to-use interface guides editors through the quick creation of composite shots. Editors can select a style — such as basic over-the-shoulder shots, two and three shots, and close-ups — as well as fight scenes, chase scenes and other pre-composed multiple-shot sequences. Then, editors can choose a location from hundreds of pre-loaded interiors, exteriors and custom digital location photos.

“With new support for Adobe Premiere Pro, we’re excited to be allowing even more directors and editors to visualize their final product quickly and effectively, without having to leave their editing environment,” says Paul Clatworthy, CTO of PowerProduction Software. “We know that when projects go from concept to production and on to post that there may still be missing pieces that need to be included to perfect the project. Perfectly integrated with the editor, Martini reduces the time it takes to conceive and generate new shots and sequences and allows for a seamless workflow and a better end result.”

Martini QuickShot Creator is available for $199 and is compatible with all PowerProduction Software products, including StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.martiniquickshot.com