Well, another IBC over and done with. I can remember the whole weekend, which makes it a far more subdued than previous IBC’s. Forever the professionals, that’s how we declare ourselves at Alias.
On the Sony stand, we had a play with the PMW-300. First impression is that the unit is quite heavy for a handheld camera, and the LCD screen/viewfinder is, err, scary. All in all, it’s a bit cumbersome and is not as sleek as the PMW-200. Unless you really want to attach a different lens onto the PMW-300 I would still recommend the PMW-200 (to be fair, the lens options for the PMW-300 are really good…place on a B4 lens, Canon EF and even Nikon mount options all available).
We also had a play with the PZW-Z100. The 4K-camera-for-everyone-camera. This camera has a “first 4K camera of many to come” feel about it but it ain’t half bad. The zoom on the lens is quite slow but then again it is a x20 zoom lens as opposed to the x14 (or soon to be x16) lenses you find on the PMW-200 and 300. And the iris is as wide as f.1.6 so to complain about the lens may just be me being harsh. Plus it sits in front of a 1/2.3″ sensor, which again is remarkable. Perhaps the biggest plus is the fact that it can record good ol’ 1080p at 25 frames per second with a maximum bit rate of 113mbps. There’s no interlaced shooting mode but really, who is still shooting interlaced? I would guess that shooting in progressive frame is as equal to viewers watching in progressive frame (80%? 90%? Not far off I reckon). Being able to shoot progressive frame just means the users will have to be better shooters, and that can’t be a bad thing!
Other highlights from Sony include their new updated action camera, the HDR-AS30. With a new screen interface and a the ability to view your shots via a smart phone or tablet without the need for an external adapter, it might just give the all conquering Go-Pro a run for it’s money. And finally, the first ever live 4K/UHD test transmission rugby match was, to put it mildly, outstanding. 4K cameras, 4k transmission displayed on a 4K screen was a real treat. Happy to say that “I was there”. And I normally dislike rugby!
Elsewhere, the all new(ish) Arri Amira. We thought, hoped even, that there might be a new offering from Arri. We suspected it might be 4K but alas, it’s a baby version of the Alexa. A baby that’s capable of 200 frames per second and has the same sensor as the Alexa, plus handy features like in-built ND filters and a very clever lens mount system that allows, using adapters, the camera to mount PL, EF and even B4 mounts! It’s also going to be cheaper than the standard Alexa (no price as yet). Nifty right!
Zeiss’ interchangeable new range of ‘Compact Zoom’ lenses are pretty special too. So incredibly light! And with the ability change mounts (PL and EF) that adds a wonderful advantage.
We also saw the latest from NHK for 8K (yes, 8K) aka Super Hi Vision technology. The advancements for 8K have made two major steps; in no particular order I am delighted to report that there is now a 120Mhz shoulder mount 8K camera. Can you believe that?? And it works! Furthermore, NHK have also built an encoder to handle 8K and they plan to start satellite transmission tests across 2015 and 2016 and plan to transmit the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 8K.
Oh, and finally, Alias had a very good meeting with a fantastic manufacturer who want us to help to develop what could be a fantastic product. We can’t say anymore at this stage. And we’re not sure when we can. But if all goes well you’ll want this product.