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Solid State Dominates New Camera Choices at NAB Show

When Panasonic diverted from the pack a half dozen years ago to deliver a camcorder that recorded to solid-state media, competitors said it was just too early—the memory recording media was just too expensive at the time. Judging by new solid-state recording entries at NAB last year and this year, solid-state recording's time has come. Here's a sampling of what you will find on the show floor:

Camera Corps will introduce the new Q-Ball HD remote camera system, designed for outside broadcasting, reality shows and studio productions. Q-Ball HD provides full HD quality with a 10x zoom (5.1 to 51 mm), and smooth-accelerating pan/tilt motors in a sturdy fully weatherproof aluminum 4.5 inch sphere.

JVC GY-HM100 JVC Professional Products' GY-HM100 Pro HD camcorder is the industry's first professional handheld model to record files directly to solid-state media in the native format of Apple's Final Cut Pro editing system (.mov). The 3-CCD camera features a new 1080p digital signal processing circuit, and JVC's 35 Mbps MPEG-2 encoder. It records in 1080p, 1080i and 720p onto SDHC Class 5 memory cards, providing up to 64 GB of onboard storage, and has an integrated HD Fujinon 10:1 lens.

JVC's GY-HM700 compact shoulder mount camcorder also records directly to SDHC memory cards in the QuickTime (.mov) format. The camera provides two memory card slots for a total of up to 64 GB of onboard storage or to an optional KA-MR100 dockable media recorder to record Sony XDCAM EX compatible .MP4 files onto high-speed SxS memory cards. It features 1/3-inch progressive scan full HD CCDs.

Grass Valley will debut K2 Dyno replay controller and K2 Summit production server, designed to be coupled to the Grass Valley LDK8300 3X HD super slo-mo camera to provide variable speed playout for production crews covering sports and other live events. The LDK8300 operates in 3X speed, but is switchable among 1X, 2X and 3X. The camera can be natively switched between 1080i and 720p formats, and its AnyLight feature eliminates flicker caused by artificial lighting.

Grass Valley will also spotlight its LDK8000 SportElite, 2X HD slo-mo camera, capable of capturing progressive HD images, natively, in multiple formats and frame rates; and the LDK4000 Elite single format HD cameras. The company will also unveil a new integration between GV's Infinity Digital Media Camcorder and the Telecast Fiber Systems Copperhead transmission system.

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America will show its SK-HD1000 HDTV Studio and Field production camera, featuring the company's latest in digital signal processing technology. The system is offered with hybrid fiber-optic cable or fully digital triax cable transmission. Through its 2-piece camera body design, the unit converts into a solid-state field recorder and wireless configuration.

The company will also showcase its HV-HD30 HDTV Digital Color Camera, incorporating three newly developed HDTV 1/3-inch, 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensors. The multiformat output provides both 1080i and 720p camera outputs.

Ikegami GFCam HDS-V10 Ikegami returns with new additions to its GFSeries of tapeless HD Flash memory production tools, including the GFCam HDS-V10 tapeless camcorder, (this year with Bluetooth connectivity for instant export of thumbnail clips instantly to a laptop application for fast logging, metadata insertion and other workflow advantages), and the GFCam HD Flash-memory media. Ikegami will introduce additions to the line this year that will increase HD production convenience and functionality.

Also new is the HDK-77EC, an economical, portable multiformat HD CMOS camera (dockable to triax or fiber) that targets government, house of worship, education and other production applications. Featuring CMOS sensors for 1080i/720p HD format flexibility, lower power consumption and reduced operating temperature, the HDK-77EC is an economical docking-style camera that comes packaged with the new CCU-890T camera control unit for triax connectivity.

Also being introduced is the new CCU-890M with built-in triax and fiber for convenient, lightweight mobile flexibility. Intended for use with the HDK-79EC, as well as Ikegami's new HDK-77EC, the user's choice of camera cable type is determined by a simple switch at the CCU, combined with mounting the docking TA Triax Adaptor or FA Fiber Adaptor to the camera head.

Ikegami is also bringing the HDL-F25 camera for aerial operations. The HDL-F25 is a separate optics 1080i HD camera featuring a compact optical block (80mm in physical depth) designed to mate with long telephoto lenses inside a gyro-stabilized mount (e.g. for helicopter or blimp applications).

Iconix will showcase its Studio2K high-performance multiformat small-sized camera, designed for both digital cinema and stereoscopic 3D applications. The camera provides 45 format and frame rate conversions, and captures and outputs video for 2K Digital.

Panasonic HPX300 Panasonic's HPX300 shoulder mounted camcorder features full native 1920x1080 HD resolution through its new 1/3-inch 3-MOS imagers, recording in the AVC-intra or DVCPRO HD format on solid-state P2 cards. The HPX300 is equipped with two P2 card slots that can record to the new 64 GB P2 cards. The HPX300 acquires in 1080i, 1080 30P, 720P and the 1080/480 24pA mode. The camcorder mounts interchangeable lenses.

Panasonic will also introduce the AW-HE870N, a 2/3-inch HD/SD convertible camera that supports 1080i/720p/480i image acquisition. It is compatible with most 2/3-inch motor drive zoom lenses and all current Panasonic Broadcast pan/tilts and controllers as well as many third-party systems. Also new from Panasonic is the AG-HCK10 compact, multipurpose camera head, featuring 1/4-inch 3-MOS sensors, and the AG-HMR10 handheld, battery-operated field recorder/player. It records to SD memory cards.

I-Movix's SprintCam Live ultra slow-motion camera system allows capture from 500 to 10,000 fps with instant replay. Version 2.1 features include algorithms that improve image quality, new user-friendly remote controls that enable fine-tuned settings, and a slow-motion remote with a new cueing system that allows for quick and easy selection of the sequence to replay.

Sony HVR-Z5 camera with the HVR-MRC1K recording unit Sony's HVR-Z5U camcorder, an HDV, 20x zoom lens model, provides native 24P recording and other professional features including balanced audio, XLR inputs and timecode. It incorporates Sony's ClearVid 1/3-inch CMOS sensor chips, which capture full HD 1920x1080 resolution. The HVR-Z5U can record the native 24P/30P signal on to MiniDV videotape used in the camcorder or to CompactFlash cards, simultaneously or separately, using the optional HVR-MRC1K recording unit that attaches directly to the back of the camcorder.

Also new from Sony is the HXR-MC1 full HD, compact, point-of-view camera and solid-state recorder combination. By separating the camera head from the control unit/recorder, the system provides the flexibility to capture shots. The system records onto Memory Stick PRO Duo media using AVCHD compression.