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Looking BeyondHD to 4K

Complete Coverage: NAB 2012

Product Slates for camera manufacturers at this year’s NAB were increasingly schizophrenic, with the launch of a growing number of 4K cameras competing for attention alongside the ongoing push to offer smaller, less-expensive camcorders.

Even though it will probably be years before 4K signals make their way into homes, a number of camera and lens makers were demoing 4K equipment, an emerging digital standard which offers four times the resolution of 1080p high-definition.

Much of the early demand for these highend cameras and lenses is coming from theatrical films, primetime production and sports. ESPN is already experimenting with the Sony F65 4K camera with 4K Fujinon lenses.

“We are seeing a lot more interest in 4K lenses,” noted Thom Calabro, director of marketing and product development, broadcast and communication products at Fujinon.

Joseph Facchini, VP of media and production services at Panasonic System Communications Co. of North America, said the company is working to develop solutions for a full 4K workflow. “We will be offering more than just a camera,” Facchini said.

Meanwhile, Canon launched Cinema EOS C500, which produces 4K video; a number of new 4K lenses; and the EOS- 1DC Digital SLR. which records 4K video.

“Theatrical film production is an obvious use, but we are seeing a lot of interest in high-end network and HBOtype production for episodic television,” noted Chuck Westfall, technical advisor, Pro Engineering & Solutions Division, Canon U.S.A.

At the other end of the spectrum, Panasonic, Sony and JVC all brought new smaller camcorders to market at NAB.

Sony, for example, introduced the PMW-100 handheld camcorder, which is the smallest and lightest camera in the XDCAM family at only 7 pounds, as well as a new palm-sized HXRNX30U high-definition camcorder.

Panasonic also unveiled a number of other cameras and products, including the new AG-HPX600, which will be the lightest of its P2 HD camcorders, as well as the AG-AC160A and AG-AC130A camcorders in its AVCCAM high-definition line.