Panasonic Starts NAB 2010 Discussion With Early Press Conference And Frank Talk Of Their Single Lens 3D Camera

Panasonic's $9900 BT-3DL2550 monitor uses passive cross-polarized glasses

It appears Panasonic had a press conference last Friday in the New York City area that revealed some of their plans for the upcoming NAB 2010 conference in Las Vegas.

AG-MHC150 Prosumer HD Camcorder

Described as ” intimate” the press conference showed a few of the forthcoming products that Panasonic plans to show this April. The company introduced the AG-HMC150, described as an AVCHD SD card-based addition to its pro HD options which includes their DVCProHD-based AG-HVX200. While borrowing the design of Panasonic’s  standard def AG-DVX100, the HMC150 incorporates three new 1/3-inch CCDs with native 16:9 aspect ratios while supporting all the various 1080 and 720 progressive and interlaced options. It uses a 28mm Leica lens which is optically stabilized and the camera provides for XLR audio inputs, an HDMI output connection and remote capability for the camera’s iris and record controls. It’s doesn’t appear to be clear yet exactly what bit rates the camera will suport. Current Panasonic maxes AVCHD to 13 megabits per second and the HMC150 will support the 13Mbps rate but Panasonic has left the door open for it to support a higher bandwidth option.

Panasonic AG-HMC70

Panasonic also focused on another new camera the AG-HMC70 that targets institutional and event videography. It is an SD card-based AVCHD shoulder-mount model that incorporates three 1/4-inch CCDs and a 38.5mm-to-462mm-equivalent 12X zoom optically stabilized Leica lens. The camera can record 1080i video and comes with standard pro audio connectors and BNC outputs.

AG-3DA1 With Integrated Dual Lenses

The company also provided more information on its one-piece 3D camcorder shown under glass at NAB 2009 and demonstrated at CES 2010. The six-CMOS, dual-stream SD-recording camcorder has been dubbed the  AG-3DA1. After receiving thousands of calls about the camcorder following CES, Panasonic announced that it has started taking pre-orders for the camcorder by way of a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. The camera will cost $21,000 and will be built to order starting in the fall.

The AG-3DA1 has integrated dual lenses but Panasonic was not ready to give details such as the supplier of the glass or the zoom ratio. The convergence range was not divulged and there was discussion about the fixed interocular distance — the distance from lens center to lens center– which appeared to be about 57 mm. The camera will weigh about 6 pounds, will use two sets of three 1/4in. CMOS imagers and will records dual streams of AVCHD to SD/SDHC cards. Outputs are dual HD-SDI and HDMI version 1.4 which will support dual channels of 1080i.

Given the small size of the cameras imagers, its fixed lenses and the fixed interocular distance, Panasonic was clear that the 3DA1 is not positioned to challenge beam-splitter rigs. They warned that due to the limited interocular distance, wide vistas will flatten out. They feel the pitcher in a baseball game would likely stand too far from the camera for there to be a noticeable stereo effect. Also its 1/4″ sensors means it will not be the most sensitive camcorder on the market.

The AW-HS50 HD Switcher That Includes a Multiviewer

Panasonic’s also showed a $9900 BT-3DL2550 3D monitor uses passive cross-polarized glasses to playback 3D material. There was also news about an inexpensive P2-to-USB adaptor, two tiny HD switchers that includes built in multiviewers and a small HD pan-tilt-zoom camera that was optimized for operation over IP networks. For customers with P2 HD cameras, the P2-to-USB adaptor is welcome news as the company announced that it is going to ship a 64GB P2 card this fall.

Sources for this blog post include…

Panasonic 3D Camcorder: Show Us the Money – Mark Schubin, Schubin Cafe

Panasonic Plans NAB in 3D – Trevor Boyer, Penton Media, Inc.

Panasonic shows off a pair of pro-level HD camcorders – Nilay Patel, Engadget

New Panasonic pro AVCHD camcorders – Lori Grunin, CNET

Video Highlights From InfoComm 2009

I didn’t make the trek this year to InfoComm 2009 but as luck would have it I came across a stash of videos produced by rAVe [Publications]. It looks like high quality Laser Projection, lampless LED projectors, cheap 3D projection, LCOS projection, and low latency IP based H.264 could be part of the future. Here are the technologies that caught my eye;

ESLP 8K Laser Projector – Wow an 8K Projector… And It’s Laser!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “ESLP 8K Laser Projector“, posted with vodpod

ClearONE’s Titan Media Cart – Portable Dual Monitor Workstation

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BenQ’s Complete Cart Solution for 3D Projection – Rollaround 3D!

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DLP’s 3D Ready Projector – Wow! More 3D….

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more about “DLP goes 3D with the Ready Projector“, posted with vodpod

Projection Design F22 SX 3D Projector

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more about “Projection Design introduces F22 SX -…“, posted with vodpod

3D LED Scalable Displays – Forget The Projector……

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more about “3D LED Scalable Displays“, posted with vodpod

Canon Talks About Differences between LCD and LCOS Displays – Hmmm! What Is The Difference?

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Panasonics 65″, 85″, and 103″ Displays – New 85″ Display!

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DLP’s Lamp Free Projector – Look Ma No Lamps!

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more about “DLP’s lamp free projector“, posted with vodpod

DPI’s M-Vision LED Projector – No Lamps Again!!

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more about “DPI’s M-vision LED lit projector“, posted with vodpod

Coolux Media System – Solid Drive Speaker System – Look Ma No Speakers!

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more about “Coolux Media System“, posted with vodpod

Ovea: 3D Mouse – The Amazing Floating Mouse

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more about “ovea: 3D Mouse“, posted with vodpod

Pantel’s Outdoor Weather-Proof  TV – For When The Rain Comes

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more about “Pantel’s outdoor weather-proof TV“, posted with vodpod

3M Ten Finger Touch Screen System Developer Kit – For Those Of Us Who Have Ten Fingers.

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Uber Pan Multi-resolution Green Hippo Hippotizer – Best Product Name and Yes! It’s a Revolution in Multi-resolution.

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Electrosonic’s New JPEG2000 Player – Yes It Is DCI Compliant

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more about “Electrosonic launches their new JPEG2…“, posted with vodpod

HaiVision Demonstrates Its MPEG4 AVC (H.264) Low Latency VideoFurnace – Finally Live 1080p Video Over A Network

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more about “HaiVision Demonstrates the VideoFurnace“, posted with vodpod

HaiVision Custom Bi-Directional Multistreem Codecs That Enable Two-Way Video over IP with Super Low Latency – Two Way Low Latency Video…. That Rocks….

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Kramer Electronic’s HDMI Switching System

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The complete collection of video’s (over 100) can be found at rAVe [Publications] rAVe Video site if you have a need for more video….


Next Generation Storage Technologies Abound At NAB 2009

Like cameras at this years NAB there was a ton of recording technologies. Almost extinct are VTR’s as file base recording has become mainstream across the board. This blog post looks at some of the storage technologies that I came across at NAB 2009.


Fraunhofer was showing their MicroStorage device in combination with their microHDTV camera. This new small HD broadcast storage device employs commercial Compact Flash Cards and is suited for point-of-view cameras. The MicroStorage device records HD or SD image data in H.264 high profile L4.0 format and has a power consumption of 5 watts.

HDTV MicroStorage System

HDTV MicroStorage System




The AJA Ki Pro is a new tapeless video recording device that records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly media. The unit features SD/HD-SDI, HDMI, and analog inputs so one can interface with virtually any type of camera one might own or rent.

AJA Video recorder has removable solid-state media that captures QuickTime files using Apple’s10-bit ProRes 422 compression schemenatively in hardware. This makes the files instantly recognized within a Final Cut Pro timeline so editing can begin immediately with no transcoding.

The Ki Pro records hours of media to a removable a storage module, has a built in FireWire 800 interface or to a 34mm ExpressCard Flash. The Ki Pro Features;

  • Record hours of pristine ProRes media to a removable storage module with built-in FireWire 800, or to 34mm Expresscard Flash, for immediate editing and file access.
  • Record natively to Apple ProRes 422 for full raster 10-bit 4:2:2 HD and SD.
  • Bridge proprietary compression schemes by recording to Apple ProRes 422.
  • Connect any digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or any analog camera with multiple input options
  • Convert in real time from SD to HD, or 720 to/from 1080, in full 10-bit quality.
  • Extend client review capabilities with simultaneous recording to camera and to Ki Pro.
  • Extend productive life of existing cameras and embrace future workflows with powerful conversion capabilities.
  • Built-in WiFi and Ethernet for complete control via a web-browser, or iPhone.

Video below from AJA’s product manager;

Hoodman RAW SxSxSDHC (Secure Digital) Memory Adapter For Express Port

Hoodman RAW SxSxSDHC Memory Adapter

Hoodman RAW SxSxSDHC Memory Adapter

This is another useful product. The RAW SxSxSDHCtm Alternative Memory Adapter for Sony® SxS Applications allows one to use SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory cards to store data. Download data through express card port or eject SDHC card and place in SDHC to USB reader.

Panasonic – Low-Priced ‘E Series’ P2 Cards

Lower Cost P2 Media from Panasonic

Lower Cost P2 Media from Panasonic - Fast But Lower Life Expectancy

Low-priced P2 media was introduced by Panasonic at NAB. Called the P2 E Series a 64 GB will list for just $998 when it ships in August. Compare that to the $1650 fetched by current 32 GB P2 cards. A 32 GB and a 16 GB E-Series P2 card are expected to ship next month, with $625 and $420 price tags, respectively.

While the newer cards are very fast they are rated for a shorter lifetime of about five years of daily use. As the cards approach the end of their reliable life cycle, a warning will appear on the screen of the P2 camera or card reader. Panasonic’s P2 formatter software will also track an E-series card’s life expectancy.

Avid – Qualifies Final Cut Pro

In another move towoards interoperability Avid, who returned to NAB this year, announced that it has  qualified Apples Final Cut Pro Editing tool to operate on its Unity MediaNetwork and ISIS [Infinitely Scalable Intelligent Storage] shared storage systems.

Flash Memory Recorders At NAB

Below are a number of Flash Memory Recorders that I saw at NAB.

Solid State Drives – iodrive from fusion I/O

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This solid state drive uses NAND flash and boast speeds hundreds of times faster that of hard drives. The video above shows how much throughput can occur with Solid State Drives using Fusion I/O. The video shows how they have the ability to playback 256 simultaneous DVD streams. The video below is a promo and demonstrates how they can be ganged together to increase SSD’s throughput.

Toshiba - On-Air Max

Toshiba - On-Air Max

Convergent Design - Flash XDR

Convergent Design - Flash XDR

Ikegami GFSeries of Tapeless HD Flash Memory Production Tools

Ikegami GFSeries of Tapeless HD Flash Memory Production Tools

Nexto Video Storage

Nexto Video Storage

Hard Drive Storage

Even with all of the Flash based recorders, hard drives are still the workhorse of storage. With the emergence of inexpensive SATA drives, RAID recoding schemes have become mainstream technology. The next few posts look at hard drive based systems and LTO based data archive systems that I saw at NAB.

Cal Digit – VR Mini

The CalDigit VR mini

The CalDigit VR mini

The CalDigit VR mini is a compact two drive RAID system, supporting a quadruple interface –FireWire 400/800, USB 2.0 and eSATA– for easy connectivity for video professionals. The CalDigit VR mini’s modular design provides two removable drive modules and an easy to read frontside LCD. Users can set their system as RAID 0, 1, and JBOD the VR mini can reach speeds fast enough for high definition video editing. It includes easy to use software allowing for firmware updates, configuration, and monitoring which even supports email notification.

Lacie Eithernet Drives

LaCie 5big Network

LaCie 5big Network

If you want a bigger network based system Lacie’s 5big Network is a five-bay RAID solution for small and medium workgroups or offices that need large storage and backup capacity. It offers capacities up to 7.5TB (7500GB) and employs a versatile hot-swap feature. Users can set the 5big to seven different RAID modes including RAID 5 and RAID 6.




CitiDISK™ HD is a recorder that connects directly to camcorders and captures footage to its miniature high-capacity hard drive and to tape simultaneously. This interconnect is from the camera’s FireWire port and it converst the files into Quicktime or AVI files of your choice. It handles DVCPRO HD®, DVCPRO50® and DV footage. Through its “QPLAY” feature it can playback the last scenes on a cameras viewfinder.

Fast Forward Video

Elete HD

Elete HD

FFV introduced five DVR products at NAB this year. The Elite HD camera-mounted DVR and player accepts an incoming HD-SDI video signal with eight channels of embedded audio and records at data rates up to 100Mb/s with 4:2:2 sampling and 10-bit quantization with near-lossless J2K compression. Elite HD records video on hot-swappable 2.5″ SATA drives. Once the camera input is captured, the drive can be removed and footage imported into any editing system via USB. Other introductions included the Omega HD DVR and portable Mini DVR Pro, NDT200 and eClips DVRs.

Focus Enhancements FS5 Direct-to-edit Recorder


Focus Enhancements introduced a Version 2.0 upgrade for their FS-5 Direct To Edit™ Recorder. New features include – Video file playback, proxy and thumbnail feature, metadata support for Avid users and extensive multi-camera functionality.

Cache-a – LTO Network Archive Appliance

Cache-a LTO Network Archive Appliance

NAB also saw the introduction of a new  LTO-4 A-Series drive that will  provide fast file transfers over Gigabit Ethernet. The speed of those file transfers are at estimated data rates up to 50MB/s or more.

BRU Producer’s Edition

I also got a glimpse of the BRU Producer’s Edition™ from TOLIS Group. It allows for drag and drop archiving to networked based LTO archiving systems.

HP StorageWorks Ultrium 960 Tape Drive

HP LTO System

HP LTO System

HP Was also showing their LTO StorageWorks Ultrium 960 tape drives. The product is their third generation LTO technology which delivers a capacity of 800 GB of compressed data on a single cartridge and has a data transfer rate of 576 GB per hour in compressed mode.




One other product I saw was PoolIT from Tiger Technology. It’s a software overlay that consolidates storage by aggregating multiple volumes into one.

NAB 2009 To Feature Less Expensive HD Cameras

According to an article posted by TVNEWSDAY, this year’s NAB Show will showcase a variety of cost-effective cameras that feature IT efficiency and fit downsized budgets.

In something that has been historically uncharacteristic JVC, Panasonic and SONY have released a lot of information about their product offerings long in advance of NAB.

GY-HM100  hand-held 3-CCD camcorder

GY-HM100 hand-held 3-CCD camcorder

In January, JVC introduced new Final-Cut-Pro 6™-ready solid state camcorders that feature their ProHD camcorders that can natively record Quicktime for Apple’s Final Cut Pro directly onto SDHC memory cards.

The GY-HM100  hand-held 3-CCD camcorder was introduced in January and on February 10, JVC introduced the GY-HM700 shoulder camera. Both camcorders record 35Mbps high definition video and uncompressed audio directly to SDHC media cards in the Quicktime format used by Apple Final Cut Pro™. The camera’s also inroduced solid state recording into JVC’s professsional line.

HPX-300 - World’s first affordable 10-bit, 4:2:2 camera

HPX-300 - World’s first affordable 10-bit, 4:2:2 camera

One day later on February 11, Panasonic announced a huge slate of products including the AG-HPX300 which is a shoulder mount P2 HD camcorder. Panasonic is billing it as the “world’s first affordable 10-bit, 4:2:2 camera”. According to the TVNEWSDAY article the HPX-300 will cost $10,700 U.S. and comes with a 17x Fujinon lens. The camera employs one-third-inch CMOS native HD imagers and according to Panasonic the imagers overcome the physics of small chips and deliver low light sensitivity.

AJ-HRW10 Rapid Write

AJ-HRW10 Rapid Writer

Just in case your interested in Panasonic’s other announcemnts you can find them here. In a nutshell they’ve announced a new 17” BT-LH1710 HD LCD Production Monitor, an AJ-CVF100G color viewfinder for higher end P2 HD and DVCPRO HD camcorders, an AJ-PCD35 P2 memory drive with PCI Express interface for fast transfers,an AW-HE870 2/3-inch 3-CCD HD convertible camera, a free AVCHD-to-DV transcoder update, the AJ-HRW10 Rapid Writer P2 workflow tool, an AG-HPG20 P2 HD portable Recorder/Player that features AVC-Intra recording and an expansion to their professional AVCCAM product line with a compact HD Recorder and multi-purpose camera head.

SONY HVR-Z5U - compact point-of-view camcorder

SONY HVR-Z5U - compact point-of-view camcorder

According to Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable, SONY surfaced last week. According to his post,   Sony is saving most of its major product announcements for NAB 2009 but last week it previewed a handful of new products. They included an HDV-format high-definition camcorder, the HVR-Z5U, which is a compact point-of-view camcorder, the HXR-MC1; and two new LCD monitors, the BVM-170 and PVM-L2300.

According to Dickson’s post SONY also announced a new field recorder for the XDCAM HD optical-disc format, the PDW-HR1, which supports legacy formats including MPEG IMX, DVCAM and 4:2:0 HD 24P content.

Looking forward to NAB.


NAB 2008 – Storage Report

Holographic Media

Once again on the floor of NAB was next generation of write-once Holographic media in the Maxell booth. On display was the tapestry™300r, the world’s first commercial holographic drive and media that will be released this August. The drive has a 300GB capacity –20MB/s, 160 Mb/s transfer rate– using a WORM recording format using a 405 nm laser wavelength. Below is a video on the unit and the technology.


Maxell’s iVDR 160GB HDD also made an appearance at NAB. This year it was being shown connected to a Panasonic P2 recorder for offloading P2 data. iVDR units were created to pass military toughness specifications and the media is reasonably priced. Below are two videos that outline how iVDR is used in video applications from NAB 2008.

Shining Technology CitiDISK SSD

Shining Technology unveiled the world’s first ultra-portable tapeless video recorder with its 32GB CitiDISK SSD. SSD stands for Solid State drive and it represents the next generation of field recording. The battery-operated SSD drive attaches most FireWire-enabled DV or HDV video cameras. The drive features no moving parts, its eco-friendly using 80% less power than conventional hard drives, it’s optimized for extreme, hostile, rugged conditions and it performs well in high altitudes. The unit is shipping with a MSRP of $1800.00.

Convergent Design Flash XDR

Flash XDR has been designed to break-through the limitations of low bit-rate 3:1:1 / 4:2:0 sub-sampled (1440×1080) recording. Unlike Firewire recording drives, Flash XDR captures the never-compressed HD-SDI output using a 4:2:2 full-raster (1920x1080i/p) MPEG2 CODEC at bit-rates up to 160 Mbps. –that’s 4 to 6 times that of HDV–. The camera-mountable, low-power solid-state design utilizes affordable Compact Flash media to provide 2.4 hours recording time (160 Mbps) using four 48 GB cards! It records standard MXF file format ensures easy transfer to most NLE programs with all the benefits of a tapeless workflow. Additional features include 24p pulldown removal, time-lapse recording and automatic backups at RAID1 level .By fall 2008 the unit will allow for uncompressed 4:2:2 10-bit recording with an optional software upgrade.

NAB 2008 – “TV Studio’s In A Box” Solutions Report

TV Studio In A Box Solutions At NAB

This year NAB featured a number of manufacturers showing “TV Studio’s in a Box” type hardware. Amongst them the Grass Valley™ Indigo audio/video (AV) mixer, the REMO from Rushworks Media Systems, Vaddio’s Quick-Connect CCU system and Panasonic’s AV-HS400 Multi-Format HD/SD Switcher with MultiViewer. Below is a video of Panasoics AV-HS400 at NAB 2008.

One last device of note is the XENO Total Internet Broadcasting System. XENO is an All-in-one portable Internet broadcasting device that can act as both a live Internet and local broadcast device. It has a broadcast scheduling program , remotly controls devices –Camera, Video Player– and even has DRM capability.

NAB 2008 – Camera Report

Supacam DVD Streaming Camcorder

Over the past few years NAB has become the ultimate show to look at video and film related cameras. Judging by the lineup at the B+H Photo booth this year the market appears hot. While the “big iron” cameras often get the lions share of press at NAB, there appeared to be a brisk business at the $299 Supacam DVD Streaming Camcorder at their booth. Although they could not well them on the floor, (they delivered orders directly to your Las Vegas hotel) as the show went on more people showed up on-site with these cameras. The camera’s are a little hard to explain but the video below will give you the lowdown on this popular NAB item.

3D Cameras

Silicon Imaging

Over the past few years NAB has been showing more and more 3D cameras. While some have been for special theatrical purposes, Hollywood’s recent appetite for 3D movies has spawned a variety of approaches to record 3D. While not a new camera Silicon Imaging, manufacturers of the SI-2K line of 2K resolution cameras, announced some new features in their full-sized cameras. Employing P+S Technik’s Professional 3D Mirror Rig, (covered in my camera mounts blog post) they added a frame-accurate start-and-stop feature for 3D shooting and announced it as a new product for 3D shooting. However Silicon Imaging added a surprise! They introduced a new developmental SI-2K Micro camera that they added to the 3D Mirror Rig, making 2K 3D film making truly portable. Heath McKnight covered this better on his blog and you can find his posting at

Below is some test footage of the SI-2K Mini camera shot last year. (Note: This is obviously not a 3D movie)

Below is a video from NAB 2008 that explains how one 3D system actually works.

Red Digital

Red’s new top of the line camera is the Epic 5K digital cinema camera. It “ups” the quality from the 4K Red One released in 2007. Its smaller than the Red One, features a new S35mm Mysterium full frame X sensor, shoots at 1 – 100 FPS, has 2 XLR inputs, HD-SDI, HDMI, FireWire 800/USB2 and is slated to weigh 6 pounds. Expected price for Epic is $40 000 USD. For those Red One owners who wish to trade up, they will receive the full cost of their original Red One –$17,500– deducted from the $40 000 price of the Epic 5K.

Scarlet is a new low cost camera that will beat 2K cameras in terms of capability. It features a 2/3 inch 3K Mysterium sensor and comes equipped win a non-interchangable 8 x 2.8 zoom lens, auto and manual modes of operation, FireWire 800/USB 2 as well as a still image capture mode. It will produce images suitable for cinema projection and will sell for $3000. Below is a video that features an interview with Ted Schilowitz of Red Digital on the Scarlet camera.

And finally Red Digital announced Red Ray. Red Ray is a playback unit which enables one to play 4K, 2K, 1080P, 720P AND SD direct from DVD or from an SD card. The Red Ray unit will interface to viewing devices such as a 4K projector. one simply chooses the playback standard.


SONY was showing the F35 CineAlta Camera. Given RED Digitals announcements it seemed odd that this high-end camera which is more advanced than the current F23 was rated as a 2K camera. The F35 promises to deliver more features and functionality for cinematographers through its larger 35mm Single CCD Imager and it accepts 35mm PL mount lenses. Announcement video below;

Given the F-35’s price tag, SONY’s new PMW-EX3 camera caught my eye. It has a shape similar to Canon’s XL-H1, has three 1/2 inch CCDs and records 1920 x 1080 resolution. Lenses can be interchanged on this camera and it can shoot native 24p (23.98 fps)at the more affordable price of $13,000. Click Here For A Review Of The PMW-EX3 Done At NAB 2008

Promotional video below.

PMW-EX3 announcement video below;

The other camera that caught my eye was the Sony HVR-S270U. It’s form factor is “old school” being a of a big, professional style camcorder. It can record in 1080i or 1080p HDV, DVCAM and DV. The 1080p can record at 24p or 30p frame rates and can be recorded to tape in a progressive format. It has 3 – 1/3″ CMOS sensors, an interchangeable lens system, an HD-SDI output and hasthe ability to capture up to 4.5 hours on select Sony tapes. Its price is approx 12K Canadian.


At first Panasonic’s offerings at NAB 2008 appeared to be very confusing. That’s because it now offers two new compression formats in its camera that take a little getting used to. They are AVCHD and AVC-Intra. AVCHD was built as the successor to HDV, a format that Panasonic never adopted. AVCHD was built around MPEG4 compression where HDV was built around older MPEG compression. AVCHD has been built to record on to SD memory cards. AVCHD can record 1080i and 720p at PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), HG mode (approx.13 Mbps) and HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps) It’s only drawback is that not all versions of editing software support this new codec. It requires more computing power to edit this codec so there is a requirement for more modern hardware and software packages. Despite this AVCHD has one other advantages. It’s codec is supported by all Blu-ray players so when one writes content out to that media no transcoding is required and burns will occur much faster. Below is a video from NAB 2008 that outlines AVCHD from the Panasonic booth;

AVC-Intra was built by Panasonic to improve the compression capabilities of its DV-50 and DV-100 camera’s that record to more expensive P2 media. AVC-Intra records data for each individual frame making it much easier in the editing cycle. Below is a video of the presentation at the Panasonic booth that explains AVC-Intra.

Again, because of price, I was checking out the AVCHD line. Panasonic was focusing on the HMC150 which uses HVCHD and comes with a 28mm Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom and has built-in optical image stabilization. The camera supports the same HD formats as the AG-HVX200 including 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/30p, 1080/25p, 1080/24p native, 720/60p, 720/50p, 720/30p, 720/25p, 720/24p native. The camcorder is also 50Hz/59.94Hz switchable. One drawback of these HVCHD camera’s is that they are not DV centric. As such they lack firewire outputs and use USB to transfer out of the camera or employ HDMI as the live output should they lack an HDSDI output. Below is a first look video of this camera where many of the features are highlighted.

Also in the AVCHD line is the AG-HMC70 shoulder-mount AVCHD camcorder. Like all other AVCHD camcorders it records 1080i images onto SD/SDHC memory cards. No comment on how it looks….. Below is a video on Panasonics AG-HMC70.

In P2 Panasonic announced the AG-HPX170 1080p camcorder. The camera has two P2 slots and records in twenty HD and SD formats including a variety of 1080i and 720p formats in DVCPRO HD, in 480i in DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO, and in 480i in DV. It has switchable aspect ratios and offers 720p variable-speed shooting in the 12fps to 60fps range to acquire fast- or slow-motion. No word if it will be able to record employing AVC-Intra to increase recording times. Announcement video below;

Other Manufacturers

ARRI introduced a D21 camera, CANON introduced HF100, HF10, XL H1s & XL H1A cameras.

Video on ARRI D21 Below

Video on Cannon HF 10 Below

Good Wrap Up Video Of Items Discussed In This Post (below)

Red Will Reveal SCARLET! Will SONY Release the F35 4K Camera? Cooke Has Packaged RED Lenses. But What is Panasonic Going To Do? Will All Be Revealed At NAB 2008????

CINE ALTAI’ve been spend time over the last two weeks preparing my annual trip to the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB). For those who have never been to the show it’s where all the latest and greatest technology surfaces related to the various aspects of broadcasting. Over the past few years the show has become much more production oriented from a content creation perspective. With the emergence of 4K digital Cinema camera’s (aka RED Digital One, DALSA etc.) over the past year and a growing interest from the broadcast community on mobile media these will be the two area’s I’ll be focusing on at NAB. Don’t be surprised if you see a deluge of postings on this blog about NAB over the next week as I prepare for my annual sojourn.

Since Digital Cinema (4K) is on my list I’ve discovered that last November SONY announced an agreement with OMNIBUS JAPAN Inc. to supply Sony’s high-end “F23” line of “CineAlta” digital cinema cameras, as well as the “F35” newly launched in Japan. I’ve found a number of obscure references to it on the Internet and it appears that this new member of SONY’s CineAlta family will shoot on an imager that matches a 35mm film frame….

On another front the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, another Digital Cinema camera manufacturer, has posted that it plans to reveal details about “Scarlet”, a pocket professional digital cinema camera.

Red continues to garner a lot of “community” interest around their technology. Since the technology hit the street some months ago in Toronto everybody has been talking about the camera. I see that Cooke Optics has joined the revolution as it now offers The Cooke RED Set which is a special package of four S4/i lenses that offers a range of focal lengths from 15 to 100mm.

In reviewing the list of 2 and 4K camera manufacturers I don’t see Panasonic! I expect NAB will reveal more of the Digital Cinema story….


Digital Filmmakers Are On “Cusp of a Whole New Industry”, Printer Ink Profits, 3D Printing, Blu-ray, MIX08, Windows On ASUS Eee, and Dell in Tough(book)

Intel Believes Digital Filmmakers Are On “Cusp of a Whole New Industry” – Don MacDonald speaking on a panel at the Cinequest Film Festival indicated that he believes digital filmmakers are on “Cusp of a Whole New Industry”. In the video available at, MacDonald outlines historical data relating to the birth of the Radio and Television mediums, the penetration rate of the technology and how the Inernet may have reached the point where Digital Filmmakers have a distribution medium that Intel beleives will be a whole new industry.

Making 3D Printing Mainstream

Here is a strange one. In hopes of jump-starting the 3-D printing revolution, OpenMoko, a maker of open source mobile devices, is offering its phone case CAD files to anyone who wants them. The CAD files have been made available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license. The hope is that by making use of those files, individuals having access to 3D printers will be able to create their own flesh for their phones.

Dell Introduces Competition For Panasonic Toughbook

It was great to learn that Dell has introduced a Latitude XFR D630 laptop. We’ve used the Panasonic Tougbooks in our Virtual Audio Lab at Ryerson and purchased the Toughbooks because we actually hand out the laptops for field recording purposes and we’ve found them to be excellent. Event though the Toughbook versions we purchased are considered semi-rugged, after two years of operation we’ve yet to have one go in for service despite constant use by student.

Like the Toughbook, Dell’s has a 1394 connector which makes it ideal for streming video from the field. The D630 laptop is designed for reliable performance and it meets the strict military standard, MIL-STD 810F, for extreme temperatures, shock/drop, moisture, altitude and more. In looking up the information for this blog I came across It has a number of other rugged components including printers and PDA”s.

ASUS Officially Launches Eee PC with Microsoft Windows Operating System

The ASUS Eee PC has made quite an impression since it was launched a few months ago. Originally launched with Linux Asus has announced it now works with the Windows Operating system. In addition ASUS is building upon the product with its ASUS’ 9-inch Eee PC ( and that was announced at Cebit 2008 a couple of days ago. These new technologies will bring about a brand new concept for Internet access with 1G of memory, larger storage of up to 12GB.

Between the ASUS Eee PC’s and the One Laptop Per Child computer, there currently is a revolution in smaller lighter computers and I’m not referring to Apple’s MacBook Air. HP might be moving into the arena with an HP Compaq 2133 UMPC Laptop that Gizmotto describes as “a laptop looks like the Asus Eee PC’s cooler cousin.” ( The GeCube Genie small form-factor low-cost system has 10.2” screen ( Elonex is launching a £99 student laptop in the UK, while the MSI Wind, a subnotebook very much in the style of the Eee.

Steve Ballmer and Guy Kawasaki Keynote at MIX08

After mentioning in my last blogpost that I don’t get how Steve Balmer of Microsoft always seems to be the last person to come to the party, I watched his keynote address at MIX08. It’s not really a keynote per-say it’s more like an interview and in watching it I thought his sense of humour was great. In my opinion he didn’t address the Vista rollout even all that well adn wouldn’t talk about the Seattle Supersonics but he did mention “Monkey Boy”. ( And for those who don’t think that a conference can’t survive by putting its content on-line for free, think again. Balmer mentions how conferences have changed during his keynote and you;ll find all MIX08 sessions –actually 07 and 06 as well– online at

While on the subject of Microsoft this article tilted “Your Windows XP computer is more safe if you don’t set any password at all.” provides some food for thought. . Rumours spread this weekend that Google and Microsoft are bidding for

Blu-ray/Optical Media Watch

Well since I started a rant on Blue-ray a few posts ago it appears Cinram is eying growth in the Blu-ray market after the demise of the HD DVD format. This announcement almost coincided with another couple of announcement including Canada’s Future Shop offering and HD DVD deal where they will give current HD-DVD owners a chance to trade in their unit for an upgrade to a dual HD DVD / Blu-ray player (, while Amazon cuts the price of Blu-ray titles to $14.95 (

TB Optical Disk Recording

In other optical media items I came across TeraDisk. It’s a one TB optical disk that employs 200 layer recording to achieve the density.

Printer Ink Profits

When I was a kid growing up in downtown Toronto in the mid-1960’s a company called Duncan marketed Yo-Yo’s and Spin Tops to children. These toys were marketed primarily by other kids (14ish) who would show up after school and run competitions using the toys in front of the stores that sold the toys as the kids walked home from school. These were the days long before video games and even television had caused the cocooning effect that we see today. It was also still an era where most schoolchildren walked to and from school instead of being driven which seems to be the norm today. Often these tournements would result in an occasional spin top or Yo-Yo given away, usually to children who did not own one of the toys.

It was in those early days that I learned one of the tricks of marketing and it remains to this day. Those old spin-tops required strings and tips that would quickly wear out and even with a free toy one would quickly become a consumer of Duncan’s products. While HP is not the only company who engages in this market philosophy it’s almost bizzare to realize that HP derived 42 percent of its $2.63 billion total operating profit in the latest quarter from printer ink. It did this despite commanding approx. 20 percent of the worldwide PC market –Dell has 15 percent–.

While there are some great reports on the Internet about the cost of HP ink, (HP Ink Costs More Than Human Blood, Booze – ), (HP finds formula to turn ink to gold – , (Ever Wonder Why Ink Costs So Much? what I cant figure out is why I can’t seem to make my HP printer drivers remain set in “draft print” 0r mono mode. Up until a few years ago I was able to set any HP printers I owned to draft b&w mode at the printer driver level. That way anyone who printed a document from anywhere on the network the default printer setting would be set to black ink only and in “draft” mode that would save on ink. Today, all printers come with colour and black ink cartidges and I have yet to figure out how to set the printer setting permanently to black only so the printer won’t come back with an errror message that it’s out of colour ink. I have an HP 920c printer and if anyone knows the secret to the printers setting(s) please leave me a comment. I’d sure appreciate it.

Random Thoughts

TV Sets In Third Graders Bedrooms One study of third graders put the number of TV sets in their bedroom at 70 percent.

Help In Finding Meteorites

University of Western Ontario Astronomers are asking Parry Sound residents to help find meteorites.


LucidTouch overcomes ‘fat fingers on the touch screen’ problem.

Orchestrating More Online Profits

A panel of experts at the Canadian Music Week (most American from what I could tell by the article) concluded that file-sharers should get ready to payfor online music, television and movies. I ask with tariff’s on Optical Media in Canada, that’s supposed to artists, money collected by BDU’s to support Canadian media production, and the fact that I have to pay for a basic cable service that covers channels I don’t want and can get for free, how many more way’s are we going to be expected to pay for media in Canada? The silence from the “experts” is deafening.