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A Detailed Look - Blackmagic URSA and CFast Cards

Blackmagic-URSA-4K-image

Recently, at NAB, Blackmagic Design stunned the production world with a revolutionary new 4K camera. Called the URSA, this new production camera from Blackmagic has features never seen before features on a camera with a price point under $7,000 US (Blackmagic URSA at B&H). First of all, the URSA has a 10-inch fold out monitor attached to the body of the camera on the DOP side via a heavy-duty hinge—this should last years of heavy production usage. Not only does the camera come with a large 10.1-inch monitor, it’s 1920×1200 resolution—a first for any production camera in terms of size and resolution. Thus, saving two-grand on a Marshall 9 inch or similar 3GSDI monitor. Next, the URSA comes with an interchangeable mount and sensor via the removal of four screws. This allows the user to change from EF to PL to B4 mount in a matter of minutes. Lastly, this leads us to our final item—the use of a new standard, the CFast media card—a blazing fast storage device based on a Compact Flash lineage.

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The new CFast cards are based on their predecessor, the CF card. The CF card has been used in a variety of storage applications, most recently the majority of all DSLR cameras. CF, which stands for Compact Flash was the standard for all DSLR cameras up till 2005. According to the Compact Flash Wiki page, “A variant of CompactFlash known as CFast is based on the Serial ATA bus, rather than the Parallel ATA/IDE bus for which all previous versions of CompactFlash are designed. “

After 2005, SD cards gained more traction—especially with the Panasonic GH1 in March of 2009 and then latter with the GH2 and GH3. Prior to the introduction of the GH1, by 2005 SD cards had achieved 40% of the market with manufacturers such as Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Kodak, Leica, Olympus, Pentax and Samsung using SD cards in many of their consumer product lines.

Flash forward to 2014. Due to the need for faster data transfer speeds with today’s data intensive cinema cameras, the need for faster cards has been part of the explosion in 2K and 4K cinema cameras that have hit the market in recent years. As of the article, there are two cameras, which currently use the new CFast cards: The Arri ALEXA and Blackmagic’s new URSA. Arri states on their website the their reasoning regarding their preference for CFast cards over the older SxS cards originally designed and manufactured by Sony, “Because of their high data rate, CFast 2.0 cards support higher frame rates than SxS PRO cards, enabling recording of ProRes 4444 up to 120 fps. The 120 GB CFast 2.0 cards have about twice the recording capacity of 64 GB SxS PRO cards.”

However, the New CFast cards come with a mixed blessing. On one hand the new cards are fast, fast enough for uncompressed video and the demands of high-speed 4K frame rates. On the other hand, the new CFast cards are not backwards compatible with Compact Flash cards of previous generations, and quite expensive—a 120mb SanDisk CFast card retails for around $1,200. Another item of note is that a 120mb CFast cad can only record 6 minutes of raw data in the new URSA camera and 20 minutes of ProRes, 10-bit 422. Lexar has a 256mb CFast card due out on the market soon, which should double the recording rates of SanDisk’s 120mb CFast card to 40 minutes and 12 minutes respectively. With the advent of a new camera, which gives you so many new features such as a 10.1-inch HD monitor, interchangeable, mounts and upgradeable sensors for future proofing your investment, there is always a give and take. The new CFast media may not be cheap, but as companies like Blackmagic Design and others continue to put affordable kit into the hands of indie filmmakers, the democratizations of cinema production continues to evolve in new and interesting ways.

About the Author: Thomas Cznarty is a lecturer at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Currently, he teaches in the Communication and Media department. He writes poetry, short fiction and screenplays. Thomas Cznarty is also a filmmaker and media producer with a strong background in film and television production.

HX A500 - Wearable 4K Camcorder from Panasonic

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Panasonic announced a wearable 4K camcorder HX-A500, the camcorder is divided into two parts, first part is camera records 4K videos at 30 fps with a 1/2.3″ BSI sensor, Full HD recording is also available at 60 /30 fps and high-speed recording can be done upto 240 fps at lower resolution.

The other part connected via wire is a recorder, the recorder have very few buttons for fast and easy operation and comes with built in WiFi and NFC.

The system is waterproof up to 10 feet so you can also record pain free 4K video during  your diving adventures.

HX A500 available for pre-order at B&H Store

HX A500 Sample Video

Sony FDR-AX1 - First Consumer 4K Video Vamera from Sony

Sony-4K-camcorderBuy Sony  FDR-AX1 from Amazon | B&H

Sony announced world first consumer 4K camcorder that features 1/2.3″ Exmor R 8.3MP CMOS Image Sensor and records 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps, it comes with a 20x optical zoom lens / 31.5 – 630mm (35mm equivalent), FDR-AX1′s image processor is identical to those in 4K camcorders used by professionals, take a look at the major features below

Sony FDR-AX1 Major features

  • Record 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps
  • 1/2.3″ Exmor R 8.3MP CMOS Image Sensor
  • Sony G Lens with 20x Optical Zoom
  • Built-In Microphone & Dual Pro XLR Jacks
  • Dual XQD Card Slots for 4K Recording
  • XAVC-S Format for 150 Mbps 4K Recording
  • Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions
  • Independent Zoom, Focus & Iris Rings
  • Seven Assignable Buttons & HDMI Output
  • Supports TRILUMINOS Color Technology

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In addition to a high-performance internal microphone, the FDR-AX1 features two external XLR jacks for connecting external microphones, the camera comes with three ND filters for adjusting the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. There are also four filter settings: Clear, 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter and 1/64 filter. These filters and settings give users the ability to match shooting conditions, as well as adjust the shutter speed and aperture even on bright, sunny days.

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder - Captures High-Quality Video and Audio

Sony-WiFi-Full-HD-Camcorder

 

Buy Sony HDR-MV1 from Amazon | B&H

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder – Captures High-Quality Video and Audio, the Sony HDR-MV1 records Full HD 1920 x 1080p video at 30 fps and record stereo sound with 120 Degree X/Y mic, 44.1kHz/16-bit LPCM format or the 48kHz/128kbps AAC format,

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

  • Full HD 1920 x 1080p Video at 30 fps
  • Record Audio Using LPCM or AAC Formats
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with One Touch NFC
  • 120° Stereo Microphone Array
  • 120° Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens
  • HDMI Output & Multi Terminal USB Port
  • Clear Photo 2.7″ Widescreen LCD Monitor
  • Microphone Input & Headphone Jack
  • Manual or Auto Audio Level Control
  • On-Screen Meter for Monitoring Levels

Sony HDR-MV1 comes with HDR-MV1′s 2.7″ widescreen LCD monitor, it also features built-in it also features wireless connectivity, the HDR-MV1 features built-in Wi-Fi with One Touch NFC smartphone or tablet pairing..

Canon announces VIXIA mini - The Ultra-Compact Full HD Camcorder

Canon-VIXIA-mini-imageCanon today announces new ultra-thin Pocket Full HD camcorder, the Super slim camcorder weighing approximately 5.6 ounces (body only), the camcorder’s innovative design is perfect for bloggers and anyone who likes to share online in creative ways. The camcorder all shoot still images of 12.8 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and Canon DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor. VIXIA mini Capture Full HD video in MP4 format and also features A high-quality built-in stereo microphone. The camcorder also comes with a 2.7-inch capacitive, tilt, touch panel LCD and a Built in Mini tripod socket allow flexible positioning of the camcorder.

Canon-VIXIA-mini-image-3

Other features include Live Streaming function enabled by the VIXIA mini camcorder’s built-in Wi-Fi® allows you to receive the live video and sound that your camcorder is recording from a remote location on your iOS® or Android™ device using the free Canon CameraAccess2 app† (Works on selected devices only).

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Pricing & Availability
The VIXIA mini compact personal camcorder will be available in black and white and is scheduled to be available September 2013 for an estimated retail price of $299.99.1 An optional VIXIA mini carrying case and strap are scheduled to also be available September 2013 in black or white for an estimated retail price of $14.99.1

We will update you soon when VIXIA min arrives at Amazon and B&H

Continue reading Canon announces VIXIA mini – The Ultra-Compact Full HD Camcorder

New Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders - Wireless Transfer And Remote Operation

XA25 HD professional Canon at NAB 2013 announced two new Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders – The Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders are equipped with a new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor.

Both features a 20x HD Zoom Lens, Simultaneous MP4 and AVCHD Recording, a 3.5-Inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display, and Wireless Connectivity for Digital Content Uploading or Remote Operation Via Tablet or Smartphone, read the full press release below

Continue reading New Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders – Wireless Transfer And Remote Operation

GoPro launched new action camera: the Hero3

GoPro Hero3The Hero3 announced by GoPro today, the Hero3 camera is 30% smaller and 25% lighter compared to Hero2, the latest Black edition aka professional grade camera features Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 – 6 element aspherical glass lens, captures still images @ 12 Megapixel and can record 4K videos @ 15fps, at 2.7K at 30fps, Full HD videos can be recorded at 60fps and if you drop all the way down to 720p, frame rate is increased to 120fps.

The silver edition Hero3 features same lens as professional grade Hero3, specification says Full HD at 30, 25, 24 fps and HD capture at 60, 50, 30, 25 fps, you can also capture 11 megapixel images with the Prosumer Grade camera.

The Hero3 White edition is a Consumer Grade camcorder, features Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 – 6 element lens (missing aspherical glass ) captures 11 Megapixel still, 1080p video at 30, 25 fps and 720p at 60, 50, 30, 25 fps.

The Black, Silver, and White editions are priced at $400, $300, and $200, respectively.