Categories
News Production Uncategorised

Panasonic AW-HE42 PTZ for recording or live streaming is now available

Panasonic AW-HE42 for recording or live streaming is now available

With advances in lensing, stabilization and interfacing, the new Panasonic AW-HE42 camera is ideal for anything from recording and broadcast of lectures, to live streaming at concerts and other events.

Available in either pearl white or black metallic finishes, the new AW-HE42 integrated HD pan/tilt/zoom camera offers significant improvements in lensing, stabilization and interfacing versus prior Panasonic models in this class, says the company. The AW-HE42 is a 1080p integrated HD camera equipped with output connectors for 3G-SDI, HDMI, SDI, USB and LAN. These output interfaces and genlock function support smooth large-scale shooting with multiple cameras, making the camera ideal for a wide range of environments, from recording and broadcast of lectures, to live streaming at concerts and other events.

Panasonic released complete information enumerating the features of the new model, which you may want to read, to better understand if this specific model fits in your workflow. This is what Panasonic says about the AW-HE42 Full-HD Professional PTZ Camera with 3G-SDI:

The camera is equipped with a Four Drive Lens System, where three zoom lenses and one focus lens are driven independently but simultaneously. Driving each of the four lenses individually enables reduction in lens size and drive range to achieve a reduced-size body that still delivers a high image quality and high magnification zoom–an optical 20x zoom and high-performance, ultra-high-resolution 30x zoom.

It offers a1080p 60/50p video output and incorporates an external sync signal input connector as well as BBS (Black Burst Sync) and tri-level sync, facilitating flexible system construction ready to handle virtually any application or venue.

Panasonic AW-HE42 for recording or live streaming is now available

Control the AW-HE42 with a mobile device

The AW-HE42 is equipped with a 1/2.3-type MOS sensor and DSP (Digital Signal Processor) for high sensitivity and high resolution. In addition to the optical 20x and 30x zoom, the camera can also be set with a 12x digital zoom, or a 1.4, 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 or 8.0 digital extender zoom. The camera has a range of Pan ±175° and Tilt -30° to 90°, with a maximum speed of 90°/s.

Beyond Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) and Digital Noise Reduction (DNR), the AW-HE42 is equipped with High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. Potential image shake is reduced with both optical and digital four-axis automatic stabilization that detects mounting surface vibration caused by audio equipment and opening/closing doors.

IP transmission is supported to enable IP video output of up to 60 frames per second. Multi-streaming output (H.264 streaming) of up to four channels per camera and video transmission to up to 14 terminals are supported, permitting a variety of system layouts as needed for the application.

Using an IP browser, the camera can be controlled from a remote location, and IP video monitoring and remote camera control can be performed from a PC, Mac or mobile terminal such as an iPhone, iPad or Android device for streamlined operation.

Audio, Night Mode and more

The AW-HE42 can be upgraded to an NDI | HX compatible model by purchasing a license from the Panasonic website. Highly efficient NDI | HX compatibility enables excellent broadcast streaming by encoding and transmitting high-quality video in real time. This technology eliminates the need for IP decoders, allowing input to be sent directly to the switcher.

The AW-HE42 supports audio input, embedding and encoding. Audio output to IP is also supported. The ALC (Audio Automatic Level Control) in the AW-HE42 can be switched ON/OFF and an equalizer function can be used. By reducing low-frequency sound from air conditioners, projectors, and other devices, it is possible to emphasize and increase the clarity of the spoken words.

Other features include: a Night Mode for shooting with low light levels; an optical ND filter; USB Audio Class 1.0 support; PoE+ enabled for charging via a LAN cable; a Freeze during Preset function; MicroSD card recording; Preset memory that holds up to 100 positions; color temperature settings, digital extender and other functions can be set to user assignable buttons of the Panasonic controller; and a turn lock mechanism for easy installation.

Instant savings in PTZ cameras

Up to100 AW-HE42 units can be controlled from a single Remote Camera Controller via IP connection, and control of up to five Remote Camera Controllers is enabled for a single camera. When equipped with a RS422 remote terminal, serial control of up to five AW-HE42 units is enabled from the controller. With a RS232C remote terminal, daisy chain connection enables control of up to seven cameras. Up to four units can be controlled via wireless remote control (AW-RM50G, sold separately).

Several optional software upgrades are planned for the AW-HE42, including the AW-SF100/AW-SF200 Auto Tracking Software Key for high-performance facial recognition and high-accuracy human body detection, a PTZ Control Center affording intuitive GUI with the capability to control multiple cameras, and a PTZ Virtual USB Driver enabling use of a PTZ camera on a network as a USB camera to deliver high-quality video ideal for web conferencing.

That’s all the information available from Panasonic regarding the new AW-HE42. If you’re interested in this type of camera,  you may want to look at Panasonic’s special promotion, running until the end of September 2019. The AW-HE42 is not included in the list of cameras available through this promotion, but maybe one of the other models interests you. Panasonic offers up to $450 instant savings on PTZ cameras. Follow the link to know more.

Categories
News Production

RT Software uses AJA solutions for fast, reliable graphics playout in broadcast

AJA I/O solutions for fast, reliable graphics playout in broadcast

Dynamic, interactive graphics are now an essential part of many broadcast and sports productions, so RT Software standardized on AJA I/O solutions for fast, reliable graphics playout.

As Augmented Reality becomes more widely used to visualize information like weather patterns, athletic performance, match plays and more, transforming the way audiences see their favorite programs,  companies as RT Software, that helps broadcasters and sports production professionals meet these expectations, looked for solutions that would fit its needs.

RT Software is an award-winning provider of innovative and industry leading broadcast graphics solutions. The product set spans CG, template driven 2D and 3D graphic overlays, election and news room graphics, specialist sports graphics and virtual studios. From its beginnings as an off shoot of the BBC 3D Graphics Department in 2004, it now has installs from Iceland to New Zealand and includes the BBC, BT Sport, Fox Sports, NBC, and many other Tier 1 broadcasters in its growing customer base.

AJA I/O solutions for fast, reliable graphics playout in broadcast

AJA Korvid and KONA

Audiences expect high quality visuals across broadcast and OTT content whether tuning into the local news or catching a football match on a mobile phone, and the bar continues to rise with the introduction of augmented reality (AR), which offers an extra layer of information, with dynamic, interactive graphics. Since flexible video and audio I/O is a must for these visuals, AJA Corvid and KONA products have become RT Software’s go-to technology. Its AJA-powered solutions have been used since 2014 to drive AR graphics and 4K telestrations for coverage of several major sporting events from Wimbledon to cricket, a world-leading sailing competition and more.

For BBC Studio’s Wimbledon coverage earlier this summer, three of RT Software’s 3d-Live engines, each supported by an AJA Corvid 88 high density I/O card, enabled graphics templates created in RT Software’s Edit-3d to be rendered and composited live onto the broadcast feed. Graphics operators were able to call up and display individual graphics on demand, augmenting the viewing experience for tennis fans.

Support up to 4K/UltraHD

In addition to 3d-Live, a number of other RT Software solutions rely on AJA solutions for capture/playback such as the Swift Overlay Graphic Editor, which includes a Corvid or KONA card depending on the exact video I/O requirements. RT Software’s Tactic family of telestration tools for broadcasters also relies on AJA I/O cards, supporting any broadcast format, up to and including 4K/UltraHD for simultaneous playback/recording.

“AJA technology brings affordable, portable and reliable capture and playout functionality to our solutions and is backed by an incredible reputation for reliability and support, which gives our customers peace of mind in the field, especially when working on high profile events like Wimbledon,” shared Mike Fredriksen, Commercial Director of RT Software. “Working though AJA’s Developer program has been nothing shy of amazing, and we look forward to building out our products as they release new technology for Developer Partners in the future.”

Categories
Distribution Post Production Production

VR experience: Wolves in the Walls and Lucy, a Virtual Being, win Emmy Award

VR experience: Wolves in the Walls and Lucy win Emmy Award

Lucy, the star of Wolves in the Walls VR experience, from Fable, is a fully realized virtual being who addresses you directly and interacts with you as a visitor in her world. Lucy just won an Emmy Award!

Wolves in the Walls earned a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media, an award that recognizes exceptional distinctiveness, inventiveness and relevance in expanding and redefining the conventions of interactive media experiences. The VR experience is, in fact, more than an adaptation of a book story to the world of Virtual Reality, as it serves to introduce Lucy, Fable’s first Virtual Being, to the world.

The award now received by Lucy and Wolves in the Walls is the culmination of a four year journey that saw Fable Studios change name to just Fable and move from its initial goal, Virtual Reality, to the exploration of the concept of Virtual Beings, characters that creators see as a fully realized virtual beings who addresses you directly and interacts with you as a visitor in their world. Lucy has been a passion project for so many, says Edward Saatchi, part of the founding team of Oculus Story Studio, in 2014, and currently the CEO of Fable. He adds that “we are incredibly grateful for all of the magic and technical prowess that has enabled this journey”.

The VR experience is based on Wolves in the Walls, a book by Neil Gaiman (story) and Dave McKean (illustration), published in 2003, in the United States. The book was highly praised on release, winning three awards for that year. Neil Gaiman has said the story was inspired by a nightmare his daughter Maddy, then aged 4, had that there were wolves in the walls. In the story the protagonist, Lucy, hears wolves in the walls of her family’s house, but her family does not believe her until one day when the wolves come out of the walls.

Interacting with Lucy

The book is considered notable, both because of Neil Gaiman narrative and Dave McKean’s art. The illustrator, utilises many different techniques, including photography, computer-generated imagery and drawing to achieve its effect, an experimentation that makes Wolves in the Walls a story asking for other ways to be explored. In 2006, it was made into a musical which toured the UK and visited the US in 2007. Then Fable picked the story and decided to transform Lucy into a Virtual Being.

According to Fable, a Virtual Being is a character that you know isn’t real but with whom you can build a 2-way emotional relationship. Virtual beings range from digital influencers like Lil Miquela to artificially intelligent agents like Mica from Magic Leap. Fable also says that a Virtual Being’s life can be experienced through Instagram, augmented reality headsets, your iPad or iPhone, chat, Alexa, virtual reality glasses and more. Just like us virtual beings exist across many different media.

While that may be true, I find it hard to get in other media the same level of immersion you experience in Virtual Reality. From the moment you step into Lucy’s universe, you’re there, and you can almost feel the wolves around you. It’s a unique sensation that, as far as I see, no other medium can give you. The whole experience takes a whole new dimension when Lucy talks to you and draws your virtual hands, so you can pick the Polaroid camera to photograph the wolves coming out from the walls…

Whispers in the Night is next

Wolves in the Walls is a unique experience that, as someone commented on the Oculus Store, “is art and replenishes any faith in VR movies in case needed”. The ability to “interact and become part of the story is awesome” is also noted, and the general reception is very positive. You do need a powerful computer to get the most of the graphics – a NVIDIA GTX 1080 is recommended – but on an Oculus Rift S headset, the visual experience is brilliant.

With Pete Billington as director and creator, Jessica Yaffa Shamash as creative producer and creator and Edward Saatchi as executive producer, Wolves in the Walls is now on Early Access at the Oculus Store, and is a FREE experience that clearly demonstrates how VR and AI can be used to bring to new audiences classic book narratives. The team behind the project said, when receiving the Emmy, that “we have always believed that the work on this project was significant to the future of interactive media and that was just cemented in history.”

Lucy will return, with another story being developed, Whispers in the Night, which is part of a collection of interwoven chapters. Audiences will discover and grow alongside Lucy as she shares her deepest thoughts and imaginations, completely unique to their personal exchange. With the ability to share objects with the audience, Lucy and interactive characters represent, according to Fable, the future for AR/VR storytelling for the company.

The Virtual Beings Summit

Artificial Intelligence plays a big part in the creation of those Virtual Beings. According to Fable, “the rise of Machine learning since Geoffrey Hinton’s team’s Imagenet victory in 2012 has, for the first time given humans a new tool to bring characters to life. But machine learning and AI alone aren’t enough. We need artists working alongside engineers. The virtual beings of the future might one day be the UI for our next Operating Systems; and if the next operating system is a character, then it will be a work of art as much as a feat of engineering.”

The second Virtual Beings Summit, organized by Fable, takes place November 19 in Los Angeles. It’s the place to be to hear from industry professionals who are specializing in the new world of Virtual Beings, and where they see the future of AI going. Virtual beings startups, investors, real-time engine creators, AI academics and CEOs all join efforts toe explore the new world of Virtual Beings and their involvement in our day to day lives.

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

Sony Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100: two new APS-C mirrorless cameras

Sony Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100: a new APS-C mirrorless pair

Sony’s new Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 offer internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format with full pixel readout without pixel binning.  Is that enough for Sony users to upgrade their cameras?

The new Alpha 6600 has been designed to address the needs of the most demanding photographers and videographers with its versatility making it suitable for multiple types of shooting scenarios and users. The Alpha 6100 is targeted at users who are looking to make the step-up to shooting with interchangeable lens cameras and wish to shoot high-quality photos and videos in a variety of different situations. Two cameras to choose from, make it difficult, sometimes, to decide which is better. Two cameras, announced right after Canon shows its new APS-C pair, make you think about coincidences.

Canon’s announcement of the new EOS 90D, which marries the EOS 7D and the EOS 80D in a new DSLR, had a note about the importance of having options, with the phrase ““It is often said that in life, having two options is generally considered a good thing”. Well, it seems Sony was listening, as the company announced today not one but two new APS-C models, the Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100. There might be a problem, though: according to comments online, the specifications of these models sound very much like taken from a 2015 camera.

Sony Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100: a new APS-C mirrorless pair

New features, according to Sony

The two new models appear to be very much like the Alpha 6500 and Alpha 6400, with some new features added… or removed. According to some people, the Alpha 6100 looks like a stripped down version of the Alpha 6400, so many Sony users feel there is no reason to upgrade. The discussions and opinions about these different aspects continue, but the truth is that the Alpha 6xxx series has been a popular choice, so the sales number may be very different from the picture painted by the first comments.

Sony, obviously, says these models bring the best of the company’s technology to everybody. Based upon feedback from users of existing Sony APS-C camera users, further features have been added to the Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 to fine tune the user experience. These include:

  • Improved colour reproduction; Algorithms inherited from full-frame models deliver natural colour reproduction, particularly in skin tones
  • Hi-resolution internal 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm format with easy smartphone transfers via the Imaging Edge Mobile application
  • Interval shooting for stunning time-lapse videos
  • 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type 921k-dot (approx.) LCD touch screen
  • Integrated Microphone input for clear and crisp audio on video recordings

As usual, there is a lot of fine print associated with the specifications listed for both cameras, so users should read that detailed information completely before buying any of these models. One note on the Alpha 6600: it is the first APS-C model to use Sony Z Battery, promising long battery life. Sony numbers point to extended power performance, with approximately 720 still images using the viewfinder, and approximately 810 images using the LCD monitor.

New lenses for the E-mount

In terms of video, the Alpha 6600 boasts internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format with full pixel readout without pixel binning, to capture approximately 2.4x the amount of information required for 4K movies (this is also available in Alpha 6100). This oversampling results, according to Sony, in stunning footage, delivered in the XAVC S format with unparalleled resolution.

The Alpha 6600 equips an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile that supports an instant HDR workflow. Recorded movies played back on an HDR (HLG) compatible TV will appear true-to-life, with no blocked shadows or blown highlights, without the need for colour grading. For users who want to colour grade their footage in post-production, S-Log3 and S-Log2 Gamma profiles are provided.

The Sony APS-C range has been further strengthened by the launch of two new lenses, the E 16-55mm F2.8 G standard zoom lens and the E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS super-telephoto zoom lens. With this announcement, Sony’s versatile E-mount system now features a total of 54 lenses.

New Alphas in time for Christmas

“Our ‘One Mount’ strategy to continually expand the E-mount system, cameras and lenses with complete inter-compatibility between full-frame and APS-C, means that we want to offer the widest range of exciting products that customers can select from when choosing the right tool for their needs,” said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “The APS-C market is extremely important to Sony and the Alpha 6600 and Alpha 6100 are both cameras that pack-in the very latest technology breakthroughs and whether you shoot stills, video or a combination of the two, we are confident that users will be very happy with the results.”

The Alpha 6100 will be available in October with the following prices: camera body for $750, camera kit with kit with Sony 16-50mm lens for $850 US. Camera kit with Sony 16-50mm and 55-210mm lenses for $1,100.

The Alpha 6600 will be available in November with the following prices: camera body for $1,400, camera kit with Sony 18-135mm lens for $1,800.

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

Canon EOS 90D: contracting market “marries” EOS 7D with the EOS 80D

EOS 90D: contracting market made Canon marry the EOS7D with the EOSD 80D

Canon introduced the new EOS 90D, a marriage between the EOS XD and EOS XXD lines, putting an end, apparently, to years of segmentation. Is this another nail in the DSLR’s coffin?

The two new cameras usher in the next generation of Canon APS-C sensor cameras and share many similar characteristics, as Canon says, featuring a 32.5 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, high-speed continuous shooting, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and uncropped 4K UHD video recording capability. One note here, though: none of the cameras shoots 4K at 24p, a clear indication that Canon keeps protecting – even here Canon? – its professional line. Unless it is something else…

Following a trend we’ve seen Canon using in recent years, since the introduction of the M line, the EOS 90D DSLR and the EOS M6 Mark II share many characteristics, an import decision in a contracting market.  There are differences, though. For example, if you’re a video shooter, the EOS 90D is the better camera, because it has a headphone port and because it’s LCD rotates all the way, something you can not attain with the LCD on the EOS M6 Mark II. The EOS 90D also has 4K crop video, a feature missing on the mirrorless model. This somehow contradicts the general idea that mirrorless are better for video, because in this case the EOS 90D seems to be the one to choose, even for vloggers.

EOS 90D: contracting market made Canon marry the EOS7D with the EOSD 80D

Canon says two options are better than one

There is one aspect I want to mention, because it is really important: the EOS 90D mixes elements from both the EOS 7D Mark II and the EOS 80D, two of the most popular APS-C models from Canon. In doing so, it confirms what everyone expected but did not want: the EOS 7D Mark III will never be, and Canon puts and end to the segmentation between the EOS XD and EOS XXD lines, in terms of APS-C, so there will not be a new EOS XD. Is this a way to slowly end the production of DSLRs?

It’s funny, though, that at the exact moment Canon mixes the two lines into one, the company’s wording for presenting the new cameras says this: “It is often said that in life, having two options is generally considered a good thing”. I know the company means the EOS 90D and EOS M6 Mark II, but I could not stop smiling at the irony. Was this done on purpose? Anyways, maybe we will see the EOS 7 come back, maybe in a EOS 7R model, if Canon ever decides to use numbers for its new full frame mirrorless models. Then those who always dreamt of a full frame EOS 7 will have their dream camera, only not a DSLR.

The shared features

Enough of these side notes. Let’s look at the core features shared by the EOS 90D and EOS M6 Mark II:

  •  32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
  •  DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  •  4K UHD up 30p and 1080p FHD up 120p video recording with no crop
  •  Dual Pixel CMOS AF in Live View with 5,481 manually selectable AF positions
  •  Electronic shutter with a minimum of up to 1/16000th
  •  Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Technology

EOS 90D: contracting market made Canon marry the EOS7D with the EOSD 80D

The EOS 90D DSLR

The EOS 90D DSLR camera is presented as ideal for the advanced-amateur photographer who values the look-and-feel of the DSLR body and benefits such as an optical viewfinder, 3.0-inch vari-angle touch screen LCD, addition of the multi-controller and a shutter button feel of professional EOS cameras. Now capable of shooting up to 10 frames-per-second (fps), a drastic increase from the 7.0 fps with the EOS 80D, users can capture all of the action on the sidelines of a football game or wildlife while on safari.

Assisting in a photographer’s ability to capture the action is the 45-point all-cross type AF system, 100 percent viewfinder coverage and now supports up to 27 points in f/8 metering. In addition, the new AE sensor boasts an impressive 220,000 pixels and utilizes EOS iTR AF (face priority) detection. Together, these two features allow for the detection and tracking of faces in various environments and shooting situations while using the viewfinder.

The EOS M6 Mark II mirrorless

If you prefer a more compact and lightweight way, the EOS M6 Mark II is your camera. Bringing the controls and functionality of a Canon EOS DSLR into a compact mirrorless camera,  the EOS M6 Mark II is capable of shooting up to 14fps with AF and AE tracking as well as capturing a remarkable 30fps when using RAW Burst Mode with pre-shooting capabilities. The camera also features touch-and-drag AF when using the optional EVF-DC2 electronic viewfinder. A popular and notable benefit of Canon mirrorless cameras allows photographers to select AF positions with the touch of a finger. The EOS M6 Mark II also includes Canon’s Dual Pixel AF with Eye AF Servo to help ensure images are in sharp focus and a 3.0-inch, touch-panel LCD screen with tilt-option to help ensure a user’s portrait or selfie game is and stays on point.

The Canon EOS 90D is scheduled to be available mid-September 2019 for an estimated retail price of $1199.00 for body only, $1349.00 for EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit and $1599.00 for EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM kit. The EOS M6 Mark II is scheduled to be available late September 2019 in both black and silver for an estimated retail price of $849.99 for body only, $1099.00 for EF-M 15-45mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM and EVF-DC2 kit and $1349.00 for EF-M 18-150mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM and EVF-DC2 kit.

An important reminder: browse through all the information available at Canon’s website to find more about what these cameras can and can not do. Also read the fine print, because there are multiple notes  explaining aspects that the marketing team tends to forget. There is also a pdf file available, with all the specifications, which you can download here.

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

LUMIX S1H: Panasonic says this camera offers the best possible performance

Panasonic LUMIX S1H: this camera offers the best possible performance

With a price tag of $3999.99, the new LUMIX S1H makes it to the market with a lens that fits it like a glove: the Lumix S Pro 24-70mm F2.8, priced at $2199.99. That’s your base kit for shooting.

The streaming of the official announcement gave you all the key details about the LUMIX S1H, but here are a few extra notes for those readers who like to have some text to go through. Most important now, are the availability dates for both the camera and the lens announced. The S1H (body) will be available for $3999.99 at the end of September, while the  LUMIX S PRO 24-70mm lens will be available in October for $2199.99.

Most of the features of the new model are already known. Now Panasonic says that the camera uses a newly developed 24.2-megapixel full-frame image sensor that complies with the new Dual Native ISO. In combination with the optimum signal processing by Venus Engine, it achieves high sensitivity while minimizing noise. The LUMIX S1H provides more than 14 stops of dynamic range, comparable to those found in cinema cameras, and V-Log / V-Gamut compatible with popular colorimetry called “VariCam Look.”

Panasonic LUMIX S1H: this camera offers the best possible performance

Unlimited recording time

Maximizing the use of the pixels in the full-frame image sensor, the LUMIX S1H, as a digital camera, achieves for the first time ever a 6K/24p, 5.4K/30p (3:2 aspect ratio) or 5.9K/30p (16:9 aspect ratio) high-resolution, smooth video recording. It is also the world’s first full-frame digital interchangeable lens system camera to enable 10-bit 60p 4K/C4K HEVC video recording when using the image area equivalent to Super 35mm. The 4:2:2 10-bit 4K30p can record in H.264 at its full area. Its high-resolution data can also be used for creating 4K videos with higher image quality or for cropping images in 4K. Please visit Panasonic’s website for detailed information on these features, as there are some aspects that have to be considered when using them.

One important new feature is the unlimited recording time in all recording modes thanks to Panasonic’s unique heat dispersion technologies. To achieve stable, continuous video recording, heat dispersion is crucial. Based on the accumulated study of heat simulation through the development of both professional cinema cameras and digital still cameras, Panasonic designed a cooling fan with an innovative structure that efficiently disperses heat exclusively for the LUMIX S1H to support its limitless video recording capability.

Panasonic LUMIX S1H: this camera offers the best possible performance

Body I.S. plus O.I.S.

The LUMIX S1H incorporates a Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) to compensate for hand-shake movement. Combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lenses, the Dual I.S. 2 is even better positioned to compensate for virtually any type of blurring, allowing the use of a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed. The new rear monitor, Real View Finder and Status LCD boast a large size, high resolution and high visibility. The rugged design creates an additional layer of attractive features, providing professional photographers with highly desired reliability and longevity.

https://youtu.be/rOmMsmB4vq8

HDR (High Dynamic Range) in HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output and Anamorphic 4:3 modes are also available with a variety of practical tools for filmmaking, such as tally lights, a waveform monitor and a V-Log View Assist function.

A new Status LCD

Users will also find a new Status LCD on top, that boasts the largest-in-class level of 1.8-inch size and high resolution. Adopting MIP (Memory In Pixel technology), it consumes minimum power and is ideal for always-on use, even when the camera power is off. It shows the recordable time for video, number of images and remaining battery with a black/white switchable background. It assures high visibility both in bright outdoor and in dark situations thanks to the reflective type of LCD with a backlight. Major settings for photo shooting or video recording are displayed. The response of the LCD is also fast enough for time code counting and audio monitoring.

These notes should give you an idea of what Panasonic brings to the table with the new LUMIX S1H, but do yourself a favor and visit the company’s website for complete information about the new model, a truly videocentric Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera.

Suppressing focus breathing

Introduced with the new camera, the LUMIX S PRO 24-70mm F2.8 (S-E2470) is a large-aperture standard zoom lens that boasts high descriptive performance across the entire zoom range. Optical performance is remarkably high, passing stringent LEICA standards, and Panasonic says the lens features a double focus system combining linear and stepping motors that achieves sensor drive at a maximum speed of 480 fps. This realizes fast, high-precision AF, ensuring the user never misses a photo opportunity.

Photographers will appreciate this new lens, the fourth L-mount lens from Panasonic, but so will videographers. The company says the LUMIX S PRO 24-70mm F2.8 also excels in video recording performance with a mechanism that suppresses focus breathing, a common problem in all interchangeable lenses designed for still image photography.

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

MindShift PhotoCross 13 backpack: protection in a compact size

MindShift PhotoCross 13 backpack: protection in a compact size

Delivering both protection and comfort in a new compact size, the MindShift PhotoCross 13 backpack expands a family of backpacks that started with the larger PhotoCross 15.

Photographers never seem to get tired of solutions to carry their gear, and that explains why companies continue to release new models. I’ve amassed an ample collection of backpacks, shoulder bags, hip or belt packs, and I continue to be excited with some new models, even if, sometimes, I don’t know why or how I would use them. Not this MindShift PhotoCross 13, which from where I see it fits the bill as an ideal solution for those who want to travel extremely light, or anyone who needs a backpack for a day trip.

While I will use a big backpack if I am going to a workshop – I’ve used a large StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 which I nicknamed “Little School”, to carry gear needed for those sessions – or will pick the MindShift Rotation 180 if I want to “move and shoot”, I love small backpacks for many of my scouting trips, because they are easier to carry and make you pack the minimum gear to get the job done. Now, it is not always easy to get smaller backpacks that are both comfortable, easy to access and offer just the space needed for a day trip. The MindShift PhotoCross 13, with 12 liters capacity – the PhotoCross 15 has 20 liters – seems just adequate and the kind of backpack I would not mind using for one day journeys.

MindShift PhotoCross 13 backpack: protection in a compact size

A compact solution that will help you carry less

Think Tank Photo has two other models in the PhotoCross family that offer similar or even less capacity, but they are sling bags, a solution that I do not like. The PhotoCross 13 (the number reflects the laptop size it can hold) is, as far as I can see browsing through Think Tank Photo collections, the first 12 liters capacity backpack, and a welcome solution, I believe, for those who have waited for a small backpack to protect their gear on outdoor adventures. It will also help you “learn” how to carry less, an important discipline when you carry all your gear on your back.

According to the information from Think Tank Photo, the MindShift PhotoCross 13 fits an ungripped DSLR or Mirrorless body, 3–5 lenses including a 70–200mm f/2.8 detached and up to a 13” laptop. Fully-customizable interior dividers for photo or personal gear allow users to configure the available space the way that better fits their needs. With internal zippered pockets for batteries, memory cards, and other accessories, and a front pocket perfectly suited for filters, snacks or a light layer, the PhotoCross 13 offers plenty of storage options. And of course there’s the ability to carry a tripod or larger jacket with the included straps.

Extra large access point

Available in two colorways, Orange Ember and Carbon Grey, the PhotoCross 13 features waterproof zippers and is constructed from durable, abrasion-resistant materials, including a heavy-duty tarpaulin bottom panel. Wide, body-conforming shoulder straps give superior support for long days on the trail, and the wide, removable waist belt and breathable 320G air-mesh back panel will keep you comfortable and cool, says Think Tank Photo.

“The PhotoCross 13 backpack delivers uncompromising protection and comfort, while offering fast and intuitive gear access,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank CEO and Lead Designer. “As with the larger PhotoCross 15 backpack and PhotoCross slings before it, the incorporation of a waterproof, tarpaulin base and weatherproof zippers and materials demonstrates how Think Tank continues to offer the protection, comfort, and innovation that our customers require.”

Priced at $ 149.99, the MindShift PhotoCross 13 backpack is the solution I would pick if I was buying gear for the Fall and Winter coming next. It’s always important to get a carrying solution that protects your gear when out braving the elements. The PhotoCross 13 is built to withstand the elements, yet comfortable enough to wear on long days in the field, says Think Tank Photo. Another aspect I appreciate is that the extra large side access point gives you complete access to your gear when you’re ready to take the shot.  Backpacks have come a long way since I first started using them.

 

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

Nikon Z 6 and Z7 get a new 3D LUT, RAW video output update comes later

Nikon Z gets a new LUT, RAW video output updates comes later

Nikon continues to expand the potential of its new mirrorless full frame Z cameras, with the introduction of a dedicated 3D LUT for N-Log. An update to RAW video output is next!

The most recent news from Nikon for its Z6 and Z7 comes in the form of a dedicated LUT (lookup table), introduced now for both cameras. While Nikon’s legacy in color science delivers, says the company, “an appealing palette and tones”, this free upgrade takes color control to the next level,allowing greater creative control in post-production.

For even more flexibility, the dedicated LUT available for Nikon’s N-Log is compatible with the Rec. 709 color space and is available in several versions, allowing users to easily apply different looks to their content. This 3D LUT is a preset of RGB color values, used to transform the appearance of video footage in post-production color grading, and enables adjustment of brightness, saturation and hue.

The Nikon Z 7 and Z 6’s N-Log HDMI output is optimized for 10-bit recording, bringing out the image sensor’s full dynamic range. It records rich gradation information in highlights and shadows to allow for more flexible color grading. To download the LUT free of charge, please visit the following links:

Further adding to the Z series’ capabilities for professional and advanced video creators, Nikon also announced that a new update will be available for the Z series cameras, which will enable the support of RAW video output from the camera when using a compatible ATOMOS Ninja V digital recorder.

Nikon Z gets a new LUT, RAW video output updates comes later

Update to RAW video output

Scheduled to arrive later this year, the output RAW data stream will enable recording in ProRes RAW video format on the Ninja V 4K HDR monitor/recorder made by ATOMOS, Nikon’s collaborator in developing RAW video output technology. RAW video files provide the richest information, just like still image RAW data.

By bringing even more flexibility to post-production color grading, RAW video output support firmly places the Nikon Z series as an affordable contender for professional-level production and filmmaking of any scale. This feature will require an additional internal upgrade that will need to be performed at a local Nikon service center, which will incur a service charge.

For more information about 3D LUT and ProRes RAW and the advanced video capabilities of the Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras, visit Nikon’s website.

Categories
News Pro Photo Production

Panasonic LUMIX S1H videocentric camera: live announcement today

anasonic LUMIX S1H: live announcement today

The new Panasonic LUMIX S1H,  the world’s first camera capable of video recording at 6K/24p, offers professional cinema quality with mirrorless mobility. Panasonic reveals the complete list of specifications today.

Panasonic’s livestream to announce the new Panasonic LUMIX S1H happens today at 10 a.m. PDT, and if you want to  have a front-row seat, just follow the link to the YouTube presentation.  While it is not known if Panasonic will have other products to announce, the LUMIX S1H will, no doubt, be the highlight of the presentation streamed directly from the Dolby Vine Theater, in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

This is a LUMIX Live event, and it will be the moment for Panasonic to reveal the complete list of specifications of the new camera. We’ve revealed before some of the key features of the camera, but there is still some mystery surrounding the final specifications of this model. While forums online go wild with comments about where this model fits, with the recent announcements from Blackmagic Design Pocket 6K camera, the Sigma fp and others, and some suggest this is nothing more than a full frame GH5, only Panasonic’s presentation will let the world know what the S1H really is.

anasonic LUMIX S1H: live announcement today

Waiting for the LUMIX S1H

As we wrote before, the LUMIX S1H appears to be the sum of all the ideas previously suggested by rumors: it is not a GH6, but it does bring back the H that seems to be a sign of its “hybrid” qualities; it is not a true cinema camera, but it does borrow from Panasonic’s professional line enough features for its footage to be, as the company says, compatible with V-Log footage from VariCam and, on the other end, the LUMIX GH5/GH5S. It’s as if Panasonic is pointing the way to those used to the MFT models who may want to step up to a full frame sensor. It will be interesting to see how the market answers to this video-centric model, as Panasonic reveals mode detail about the camera.

Categories
Post Production

VideoGorillas’ Bigfoot super resolution converts films from native 480p to 4K

Bigfoot super resolution converts films from native 480p to 4K

A new production-assisted AI technique called Bigfoot super resolution, from VideoGorillas, converts films from native 480p to 4K by using neural networks to predict missing pixels.

While the industry is moving forward in terms of resolution used in films produced, with 4K and 8K, following the evolution of film and video standards, there continues to be an interest in revisiting older content, which does not meet today’s visual industry standards or the expectations of audiences. To offer those audiences a more immersive viewing experience, the industry has used the only tool available to revitalize older content to the resolutions now in use: remastering. The remastering process has become a common practice, allowing audiences to revisit older favorites and enjoy them in a modern viewing experience.

 

As resolution increases, though, remastering has a problem: artifacts. This means that studios have to apply additional resources and manage longer lead times to produce reasonable quality content. That costs both money and time. Lots of money! Now, there is a new solution promising a viable alternative: to meet the growing pace of innovation,  a company, VideoGorillas, is developing a new AI-enhanced solution to exceed visual expectations at lower costs.

A new solution: Bigfoot Frame Compare

Los Angeles-based VideoGorillas, a developer of state-of-the-art media technology incorporating machine learning, neural networks, visual analysis, object recognition, and live streaming, are no strangers to the industry, having worked with major Hollywood studios. The company announced, September 2018, the availability of its Bigfoot Frame Compare product, which is set to redefine the way film, television, and post-production companies manage assets, finishing, and remastering and preservation projects.

Bigfoot is a scalable, lightweight proprietary technology that leverages VideoGorillas’ patented computer vision/visual analysis, Frequency Domain Descriptor (FDD), and machine learning technology. It is designed to automate the manual-labor intensive conform process (which matches an original frame of film to the final edited work) and the compare process (which compares unique or common frames between different film cuts) by finding like “interest points” common across a series of images or frames of film.

On November 2018, VideoGorillas announced that Netflix’s November 2, 2018 theatrical and online release of “The Other Side of the Wind,” the final, previously unfinished film by iconic filmmaker Orson Welles, utilized VideoGorillas’ artificial intelligence (AI) powered Bigfoot Frame Compare technology in post.

Analyzing 12 million frames per second

“The Other Side of the Wind” presented an unusual challenge to the filmmakers and VideoGorillas, because it was in many ways a hybrid of a film restoration and new release project. This resulted in Bigfoot being used by the producers in an equally unusual way: as a business intelligence tool. With more than 100 hours of 40-year-old footage in a range of formats, it was essential that the producers and editors quickly gain an understanding of what footage they had before kicking off the editing process.

“During the completion of ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ we were faced with a very unique challenge,” said producer Filip Jan Rymsza. “We had a 3.5-hour reference cut assembled from various sources, which had to be conformed back to 100 hours of scans, which consisted of 16mm and 35mm negatives and 35mm prints. Traditionally, an assistant editor would have over-cut the reference picture, but some of it was blown up from 16mm to 35mm, or blown up and repositioned, or flopped, or printed in black-and-white from color negative, which made it very difficult to match by eye. Without VideoGorillas’ AI technology finding these precise matches this would’ve taken a team of assistant editors several months. VideoGorillas completed this massive task in two weeks. They were a crucial partner in this extraordinary effort.”

Scanning the amassed film footage from “The Other Side of the Wind” resulted in more than 9 million frames. Since Bigfoot was initially CPU-based software, VideoGorillas developed an experimental GPU-version to enable one local machine in its Los Angeles office to do the job that would normally take 200-300 servers. After two days of ingesting the footage it took only three days of GPU time to analyze the film, and at peak load Bigfoot was analyzing 12 million frames per second.

Bigfoot super resolution

Now VideoGorillas has another technology that incorporates AI techniques built on NVIDIA CUDA-X  and Studio Stack. By integrating GPU-accelerated machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision, their techniques allow studios to achieve higher visual fidelity and increased productivity when it comes to remastering. The innovation they’re developing is a new production-assisted AI technique called Bigfoot super resolution. This technique converts films from native 480p to 4K by using neural networks to predict missing pixels that are incredibly high quality, so the original content almost appears as it was filmed in 4K.

“Bigfoot Super Resolution is an entirely new approach to upscaling powered by NVIDIA RTX technology with a focus on delivering levels of video quality and operational efficiencies currently not achievable using traditional methods. We are very excited to bring this solution to market and look forward to helping our studio and broadcast partners unlock incremental value from their content libraries” says Jason Brahms, CEO VideoGorillas.

As VideoGorillas continues to refine this technique for release, they aim to provide broadcasters and major film studios a superior way to remaster their content libraries while preserving original artistic intent.

Bigfoot super resolution converts films from native 480p to 4K

Remastering while preserving artistic intent

“We are creating a new visual vocabulary for film and television material that’s based on AI techniques. We’re working to train neural networks to remove a variety of visual artifacts, as well as understand the era, genre, and medium of what we are remastering. Using these neural networks allows us to increase perceptual quality and preserve the original look and feel of the material”, says Alex Zhukov, CTO at VideoGorillas.

The research team at VideoGorillas trains a unique recurrent neural network (RNN) for each project, accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs. The network learns the characteristics of titles created during the same era, in the same genre, using the same method of production. New content that is then passed through this network maintains the look and feel of that era/genre thus preserving artistic intent.

A generative adversarial network (GAN) is used to remove unwanted noise and artifacts in low resolution areas while replacing them with new image synthesis and upscaling.  The outcome is a model that can identify when visual loss is occurring.

The networks are trained with Pytorch using CUDA and cuDNN with millions of images per film. However, loading thousands of images is creating a bottleneck in their pipeline. VideoGorillas is thus integrating DALI (NVIDIA Data Loading Library) to accelerate training times.

NVIDIA RTX powered AI technologies

A cornerstone of video is the aggregation of visual information across adjacent frames. VideoGorillas uses Optical Flow to compute the relative motion of pixels between images. It provides frame consistency and minimizes any contextual or style loss within the image.

This new level of visual fidelity augmented by AI is only possible with NVIDIA RTX, which delivers 200x performance gains vs CPUs for their mixed precision and distributed training workflows. Video Gorillas trains super resolution networks with RTX 2080, and NVIDIA Quadro for larger-scale projects.

The extra power offered by NVIDIA Quadro enables VideoGorillas to apply super-res to HDR, high bit depth videos to up to 8K resolution, as well as achieve faster optical flow performance. The Tensor cores from the RTX GPUs provide a major boost in computing performance over CPUs, making them ideal for the mixed-precision training involved in VideoGorillas’ models.

“With CPUs, super resolution of videos to 4k and 8k is really not feasible – it’s just too slow to perform. NVIDIA GPUs are really the only option to achieve super resolution with higher image qualities” says Alex Zhukov, CTO VideoGorillas.

And while on-prem solutions work perfectly for their training needs, they also expand their workloads to the cloud using NVIDIA Kubernetes, running both in local data centers as well as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform to orchestrate Super Res inference jobs accelerated by NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.