Camera Head Technology
November 14, 2002
JVC: Expanding Expression
Today, camera operators, directors, producers, and clients are using the camera tool to deliver programs not only in traditional venues, but also in streaming, Internet, and print.
Through this revolution, camera head technology has made great advancements. This new technology enhances the camera's performance and empowers the user's creative strength significantly. For instance, in a digital camera, the user cannot only change the usual range of parameters such as white balance, chroma, and gamma, but can actually select different underlying algorithms of the cameraâs central processing unit, altering the process to change the true ãlookä with a high degree of accuracy and consistency.
JVC Professional Products has made breakthrough improvements in image acquisition, giving today's camera user the ability to expand his range of graphic expression. In addition, the ability to lock in any collection of parameters within this wider range of settings leads to productivity enhancements. The number of bits used for analog to digital conversion (A/D) greatly influences the performance of any digital camera. The higher the bit rate of A/D conversion, the higher the quality of recorded video. Typically, handheld cameras, which are designed for consumer and lower levels of event videography, employ 8-bit A/D conversion. The next level of cameras, for industrial and low-end broadcast, employ 10-bit A/D algorithms. High-end camcorders, for broadcast and other professional clients, employ 12-bit algorithms.
JVC adopted a linear 12-bit A/D conversion process for its new industrial and professional camcorders, thereby introducing a higher level of quality to more people. Twelve-bit A/D conversion permits the camera operator to faithfully follow the subtlest changes in the image, while providing an immense improvement in color dynamic range.
Another criterion in digital camera quality is the ability to process all the digital information received from the A/D converter by the digital signal processor (DSP) and finally output the recording medium. To handle the immense amount of data produced by the 12-bit A/D, a high-speed dual pipeline DSP running at 54MHz processes the JVC camera. This high processing speed allows the DSP to process a great deal of high-resolution information at a rapid pace, with high accuracy. High processing speeds also offer a more precise and accurate gamma curve, yielding extraordinary image control and superior artistic results.
Yet another criterion in digital camera quality derives from the expanded uses for which a camera may be employed. For instance, the expansion of the Internet into streaming video creates a demand for digital video content in such formats as MPEG-4. Recent advances in camera design allow for the creation of such MPEG-4 files within the camera in realtime, simultaneous to videotape recording. Not stopping there, JVC developers took the streaming camera concept further, to a Web server, with automatic log-on, high quality MPEG-4 streaming, and online camera control from anywhere in the world through a standard Internet browser with the DV5000.