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October 03, 2005

Table of Contents

HD & HDV at IBC
Book Review: Marketing with Digital Video by Hal Landen (Oak Tree Press, 2005)
Roxio Launches Easy Media Creator 8
RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases Twixtor 4.5 and ReelSmart Motion Blur 3.0 for Avid Systems
Dupliquote.com Serves Up a Competitive Online Bidding Environment Where Duplication Services Compete for Jobs
New Console Software Remotely Controls Canon's XL H1 High-Definition Camcorder
TMPG's New Media Editor Designed to Make Video Editing Easy Even in HD
Panasonic Premieres High-Performance Vision System Cameras

HD & HDV at IBC

As I write this, IBC in Europe has just passed and the number of HDV choices has grown significantly. HDV started in 2003 as a two-horse race that barely got out of the gate, with two camcorders from the same manufacturer, JVC, that failed to make a significant impact in the market. Late 2004 brought the prosumer Sony HDR-FX1, which ushered in the real HDV market, and NAB 2005 brought a more professional Sony HDV model, the HVR-Z1U, and the promise of a few more options later this year.

Now that we have a genuinely reshaped HDV landscape, with most of the major manufacturers accounted for, here's an updated look at the various HDV—and accessibly priced "true" HD--camcorder options that are currently available.

Sony HVR-Z1U
Sony's Z1U, now listed at $4,600, has three 1/3" CCDs in 16:9 Wide Aspect Ratio. If you delve into the details, you'll find out that each chip only has 960x1080 pixels and it offsets the chips (like Canon's "Pixel Shift" technology) to get the detail needed to record HDV's 1440x1080i spec. The Z1U has good low light capability but no longer has the variable prism technology for image stabilization that the PD-150/170 had. Sony's specs are notably quiet on the issue. It has good low-light capability. The Pro version adds a XLR adapter, audio and image controls and more menu options.

Panasonic HVX-200
Panasonic's HVX-200 was introduced at NAB 2005 and is slated to ship by year's end. It offers multiple flavors of SD and HD including 720p (24 or 60), 1080p24, and 1080i30, as well as DV and DVCPro 50. This camcorder also uses pixel-shift technology and three lower-resolution CCD imagers to give us HD. As far as I can discern, Panasonic is positioning this camera as a "true" HD camcorder and will record true 24p HD onto the P2 cards, whereas the tape mechanism is limited to DV.

This is not an actual HDV camcorder, but it's worth noting here because Panasonic has promised a price point ("sub-$10,000") that makes it competitive at the high end of the HDV space. Also worth noting here is that Panasonic has partnered with Focus Enhancements for direct-to-hard disk recording. DV goes to tape, and everything else to P2 cards or direct to disk via a FireStore DDR. Panasonic says to get a few P2 cards and offload them to a portable hard drive device Panasonic makes, but this can be expensive. John Baisley, president of Panasonic Broadcast, said, "We have selected the FOCUS FireStore `Direct To Edit' solution as a way of offering economical long-duration DVCPro, DVCPro 50, or DVCPro HD recording to the event production market."

Currently, hard drives are more economical than P2 cards/readers. At 40-80GB, DDRs also allow far longer record times than the two 8GB P2 cards in the HVX-200.

Sony HVR-A1U
Sony's new A1U is an unusual bird. It is a CMOS-based, 1/3", 3MP, single-chip camcorder that records 1440x1080i HDV, DVCAM, and DV for less than $3,000. Sony's HVR-A1U is the "prosumer" version of the Sony HDR-HC1, a single-chip model that goes for about $1,800. As with the FX1 and the Z1U, the main difference between the consumer and prosumer models is the XLR adapter and some menu changes.

 This is a very small, bottom-loading, consumer camcorder that produces good pictures and may have decent low-light capability. Possibly a good "B" camera for HDV shooters who already have an FX1 or Z1U. The camera's CMOS imager does not "tear" vertically on a very bright light. So candles, the reflection of the sun, etc., do not affect the CMOS image they way they affect a CCD. However, there has not been a mass-production CMOS-based camcorder for the pro market yet so it remains to be seen what the limitations are.

We look forward to getting our hands on one of these to test. Given that the A1U is one of the smallest camcorders in today's prosumer HD/HDV market, you'll need some sort of shoulder harness or brace to attach most anything to it--wireless, light battery, etc. This limits the A1U's size advantages if you intended to use it as an "A" camera. It also uses a touch screen to access almost every function of the camera, which tends to yield more camera-shake than dedicated buttons.

JVC GY-HD100
The GY-HD100, for about $5,400, is JVC's newest "ProHD" Camcorder. It uses three 1/3" CCDs, has a 1280x720-pixel resolution, and a professional, interchangeable lens. I still call this a prosumer camcorder because of its small size, but it does offer a lot of true pro-camera feel. For instance, it has a speaker you can hear while you shoot, which no other prosumer camcorder (except the DSR-250) has. It was clearly designed from the ground up to be what it is: a hybrid of consumer-based HDV technology and professional lenses, viewfinder, on-shoulder style, and capability. There is no consumer version.

We look forward to testing one of these, as it may prove to be the wedding and event shooter's affordable HDV dream camera. It's also the only camcorder at this price point to offer both a professional viewfinder which makes it easy to focus, and a color LCD which many like to have as a color confidence monitor. When it ships, it will likely duke it out with the Canon XL-H1 (see below) for the event videographer's dollar.

In 2004, JVC also teased us with an HDV version of their GY-DV5000U pro camcorder. At the time they indicated that it was one of the many directions they were going with HDV, but it had no model number or price. It may still be in the works, with bigger chips, better image processing and true, pro functionality. Only time will tell. Just don't hold your breath.

Canon XL-H1
The Canon XL-H1 is a direct descendant of the XL2. It maintains almost all the same features while delivering 1080i HD resolution (with pixel shift), along with selectable frame rates of 60i, 30F, and 24F. It comes with a very nice 20x optically stabilized lens and a long enough body that by adding a plate over the XLR inputs and a big battery for camera/light power, you can begin to pull the weight of the camcorder back over your shoulder.

It also uses the improved Canon LCD viewfinder from the XL-2 It looks to ship in November for about $9,000, a price that seems a bit high compared to JVC's offering and current XL2 prices. It gives us 1080i resolution with three native 16:9 CCD's recording at 60i, 30F, and 24F. We'll need to wait and see what method they use for 24fps before rendering any judgments on that. It also records DV.

Canon offers straight (pre-compression) HD-SDI and SD-SDI output which is unique at this price point. This enables shooters to use a pro HD deck or go right to the computer with an uncompressed HD signal. This feature is sure to affect the sales of higher-end camcorders.

Grass Valley Infinity
Grass Valley, through a partnership with Iomega, has shown their "Infinity" Digital Media Camcorder offering both HD and SD multi-format support for under $20,000. This is a true professional camcorder. Here are the manufacturer's specs: 1080i50/60, 720p50/60 , 625i50 (PAL), 525i60 (NTSC), DV25, JPEG 2000, and MPEG-2 compression. It will record to, and play back from, Iomega's integrated REV PRO and professional-grade CompactFlash media. This is the latest hard drive-based camcorder. As long as it's compatible with systems without undue hassle, hard drive recording can really speed up the post production process.

If it follows the FireStore FS-3's ease of use, they may have a hit on their hands. Other special features include internal Gigabit Ethernet. We'll see how useful they make that when the camera and decks are scheduled to ship, sometime in 2006.

Sony XDCAM SR
Though it is not slated for an official introduction until NAB 2006, Sony has already started showing their XDCAM HD and SR. This Blu-ray optical disc-based XDCAM camcorder may go for about $16,000. It will likely support 1080i 50 and 60, as well as 1080p 24, 25, and 30, which pretty much covers all the bases. It is also supposed to offer four channels of audio, though I have yet to see a camcorder offer four full-quality channels of audio since broadcast Betacam.

The CCD's are 1/2" with a 1440x1080 resolution. Images I have seen showed an autofocus lens as well as a very nice color LCD below the probably standard B & W CRT viewfinder. If anything, this is a very high-end--and expensive--DSR-250 replacement. This camcorder uses standard XDCAM discs and there are already decks available. Footage can be transferred via FireWire or built-in Ethernet. XDCAM also touts simultaneous recording of "offline" proxies and picture frames for super-fast "offlining" of your work. The discs can also be used to hold edit files and more. The ability to archive an entire wedding--from source to edited master--on a single Blu-ray disc would be a very useful capability of the XDCAM system. The camera has analog component and composite video out.

The long-GOP MPEG recording has a bit rate of 35Mbps max, but has the same structure as HDV. This is a nice revision to the HDV concept, offering more data for the heavily compressed HDV video at a rate that's still heavily compressed. However, who knows which edit systems will support this new and unique Sony standard. Can anyone say Memory Stick or MicroMV?

So these are the choices that I see now. I see the main competition between the stock Canon XL-H1 and the JVC HD-100. Many videographers have already chosen Sony's FX1 or Z1U but really, that was because Sony had no real—i.e., shipping--competition. By the time you read this, that will have changed. I think both the Grass Valley Infinity and the Sony XDCAM SR offer some real production-speed boosts compared to tape-based systems. They also offer far more HD recording capability than Panasonic's limited P2 recording in the HVX-200. As always, assess what is important to you and make your decision accordingly. Decide based on true usability rather than any "wow" factor and you'll have a camcorder that will serve you for many years to come.

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Book Review: Marketing with Digital Video by Hal Landen (Oak Tree Press, 2005)

Marketing with Digital Video, Hal Landen
Oak Tree Press, 2005, $19.95

It's not too often that a book written for the absolute beginner in a subject also turns out to be a useful text for the seasoned professional, but VideoUniversity.com creator and director Hal Landen pulls off this trick with the second edition of Marketing with Digital Video.

This small paperback is aimed primarily at the business owner or manager who wants to produce a video for his business, and would like to do some or all of the work herself. Or perhaps she is unable to hire a professional producer because of budget limitations and has to do a lot of the work herself.

Because his target audience knows little or nothing about video, Landen starts with the basics, and describes the steps in the production process in rich detail and in plain language.

He also takes some pains to describe the huge changes that have taken place in the low-budget video world in the last decade, particularly the advent of the DV format and the computer-based nonlinear editing system. These are the changes that allow the newcomer to the field a fighting chance to produce a successful video on a shoestring budget, and Landen demystifies them by cutting through the jargon and the marketing hype to explain the hows and whys in ways that anyone can understand.

Perhaps most importantly, the book doesn't get lost in technical details. It emphasizes the basics, starting with the importance of a good script, and some techniques to use to write one. In fact, Landen gives great weight to the entire preproduction process; six of the book's 12 chapters are focused on this area. In my view, this is the right mix, since the preproduction phase will affect the final outcome more than any other part of the process. Most importantly, it is the phase in which the least amount of money is spent, but which will have the greatest effect on the overall cost of the finished product.

True to its title, the book focuses on the production of a marketing video, and discusses various outlets for such projects such as their use by sales personnel, at trade shows and conventions, on cable television, on the Web, and distributed on CD-ROM or DVD. However, it also touches on other forms of corporate video, such as training videos for employees or customers, or the corporate "family history" video.

So, how is a book intended for the non-video savvy reader useful for those of us who have been doing videos for years? In four ways: First, it's a great introduction to corporate video for the wedding and event videographer looking to expand her horizons. It's easy to "read between the lines" and see what would be important to a potential corporate client. Second, since the book stresses the need to hire a professional camera operator to do the actual shooting, it gives the videographer looking for this sort of work a good idea of what fledgling producers will need in a Director of Photography. Third, it's an excellent refresher for the experienced corporate producer who may need to step back from the day-to-day details and take a look at the Big Picture. There was a lot in here that was familiar to me, but I also found lots of tips and angles that I hadn't considered. And finally, you may want to give a copy to your new clients to bring them up to speed on the whole process of creating a video.

Landen is well-qualified to write this book; he's worked as a professional cameraman in broadcast and corporate video, and is a successful independent producer. He's also been responsible for teaching the ropes to hundreds of other producers through his books, courses, and Web site at www.videouniversity.com. Put a copy on your bookshelf!

To purchase Marketing with Digital Video by Hal Landen, click here.

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Roxio Launches Easy Media Creator 8

Roxio, a division of Sonic Solutions, has introduced Easy Media Creator 8, a significant upgrade to its Editor's Choice-winning digital media suite. Easy Media Creator 8 merges advanced technologies from Roxio and Sonic into a comprehensive suite of CD and DVD authoring, burning, photo, video, and music applications available. The software is scheduled to be available globally in retail and online beginning later this month

Consumers' new digital media experience begins at Media Creator Home, the central hub for navigating to any of the suite's 25 applications, launching specialized features or completing common tasks in just a few mouse clicks using Home's embedded functionality. From Home, users can quickly appreciate the tremendous depth and breadth of digital media functionality Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 delivers. Those seeking guidance, or with little time to invest, will appreciate the new Task Assistants that lead them through the creation of stunning personalized projects. It is here that consumers will also discover new functionality such as instantly sharing photos over the Internet with friends and family or accessing digital media anywhere on a home network.

Headlining the new music capabilities of Easy Media Creator 8 is DVD Music Disc, which turns any DVD player into a virtual music jukebox with up to 50 hours of Dolby Digital quality music. With enough room for approximately 65 albums, DVD Music Discs play back in standard set-top DVD players and feature attractive DVD menus and navigation by track, artist, genre, album or year, accessed via remote control. Another industry first in Easy Media Creator 8 is MusicID, which acoustically fingerprints unknown music files to automatically fix or add the correct ID3 tag information such as title, artist, and genre. MusicID is a tremendous time saver for consumers using Easy Media Creator 8's feature for digitizing classic LPs and tapes. Other new audio features enable users to burn a long audio compilation across multiple audio CDs simultaneously, and specify a play back order of MP3 and WMA files even if their player only supports alphabetical playback. Another Easy Media Creator 8 innovation makes it easy to extract audio from DVDs to create audio CDs or MP3/WMA music tracks for use on portable players.

Easy Media Creator 8 uses Sonic Solutions' advanced DVD authoring technology with the integration of the newest version of MyDVD. The popular authoring application, already renowned for its ease of use, now makes it easier than ever for consumers to create personalized DVDs with custom designs and full-motion multi-chapter menus that enable advanced navigation. VideoWave, the suite's rich video editing application which includes automated video creation options as well as advanced hands-on controls, has been architected to work in real-time with HD video streams. Easy Media Creator 8 now includes DivX 6 support to enable the creation, editing and playback of high-definition DivX media files. In addition, TiVo Series 2 subscribers can now use Easy Media Creator 8 to transfer, preview, and burn to DVD the shows they record on their home-networked TiVo Digital Video Recorders.

Easy Media Creator 8's recording and backup components enable consumers to burn, copy, and archive all types of digital media and data on CD and DVD, including double layer DVD media. Large files can now be automatically spanned across multiple discs and burned in multiple drives simultaneously, which is ideal for the many consumers with both a built-in CD recorder as well as external DVD burner. DVD movies can be easily compressed and copied from 9GB to 4.7GB discs, with options for removing unwanted extras to optimize recording quality. In a similar fashion to compiling a mixed music CD, consumers can now create compilation DVDs of movies from different sources such as DVD-Video, DivX or WMV. Easy Media Creator 8 also allows consumers to complete the most popular data burning and disc copying functions in fewer clicks by embedding common functions directly within the suite's new Home application and component launcher.

Media Creator 8 makes photo creativity and sharing a snap for digital camera owners. Ideal for new users or those with little time to invest, Easy Media Creator 8 now includes a series of Task Assistants that guide users quickly through the creation of stunning photo projects such as greeting cards, panoramas, calendars, and slideshows. The ingenious slideshow task assistant enables users to produce slideshows with pan & zoom, title slides, background music, and voice over narration in a matter of minutes. The resulting slideshows can be exported to Video CD or DVD in standard or Widescreen (16:9) format and even as DivX HD in 720p or 1080p files. Easy Media Creator 8 makes photo sharing effortless with the new LiveShare feature. LiveShare establishes a private peer-to-peer connection so users can permit friends and family, via an email web link, to directly browse and download photos on their PC using any web browser. Using LiveShare is as easy as sending an email without the need for large attachments or long upload times. Another innovative sharing option is My MediaSpace, which allows consumers to use their home network and UPnP-compliant living room devices to access and view media. Using My MediaSpace, consumers can share and access photo, music, and video files between home computers as if they reside locally and even view the content on their TV via a network connected set-top box.

Easy Media Creator 8 will be available beginning later this month in over 12,000 store fronts throughout North America, directly from Roxio at (http://www.roxio.com/go/emc8) and available shortly thereafter in Europe and Asia Pacific regions. It will be priced at $99.99 SRP and at equivalent value in regions around the world. Registered owners of Roxio and Sonic products, as well as owners of select competitive products, may be eligible for special upgrade offers. For more information on Easy Media Creator 8 or to pre-order in North America visit (http://www.roxio.com/go/emc8).

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RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases Twixtor 4.5 and ReelSmart Motion Blur 3.0 for Avid Systems

RE:Vision Effects has announces major upgrades of their Avid compatible versions of Twixtor, their retiming solution and ReelSmart Motion Blur, which adds and removes motion blur based on per-pixel calculated motion.

Twixtor 4.5 introduces a complete rewrite of its tracking. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene, according to RE: Vision Effects. This means less tearing and stretching of objects as they cross or go out of the frame. Twixtor now includes a smart blending method for pans and zooms to prevent inappropriate streaking or weird artifacts at frame borders. Twixtor also adds an option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. For a comparison of the previous versions of Twixtor and Twixtor 4.5, visit RE: Vision Effects' comparison page.

ReelSmart Motion Blur 3 adds the new tracking found in Twixtor 4.5. Both plug-ins now support the Mac versions of Xpress Pro 4.8 and Adrenaline 1.8. Twixtor AVX 1.5 plugin priced at $329.99, while ReelSmart Motion Blur AVX 1.5 plugin has an MSRP of $134.95. Upgrades from previous versions are free. AVX 1.5 support required. Supported Windows applications include the following Symphony 2.0 and later, Media Composer 9.0 and later, XPress 3.0 and later, XPress DV 1.5 and later, and Media Composer Adrenaline. Supported Macintosh OS X include Media Composer 12.0 and later, Symphony 5.0 and later, Xpress Pro 4.0 and later and Xpress DV 4.0, and Media Composer Adrenaline. Volume pricing available.

www.revisionfx.com

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Dupliquote.com Serves Up a Competitive Online Bidding Environment Where Duplication Services Compete for Jobs

CCE Holdings, Inc. has launched DupliQuote.com, a competitive online bidding environment where duplicators compete for jobs posted by producers. Producers log on, anonymously submit the details of their job for free, and receive bids.

A producer pays nothing to submit an RFQ on DupliQuote.com. And vendors never pay a percentage or commission to DupliQuote, just a nominal fee of up to $3.00 to bid on jobs that fit their capabilities and schedule. Chief Software Architect Carl W. Hoerth explained the basics of using DupliQuote.com. "A producer requests a quote by filling out an online form detailing their job," he said. "Vendors browse these jobs and bid on those that fit their available resources. The producer reviews the bids for things like price and the vendors' customer service ratings. The producer then selects the best bid, contacts the vendor and awards the job. After the job is completed and delivered, the producer will leave quality ratings and feedback."

DupliQuote.com helps vendors plug gaps in their business cycles, according to DupliQuote. Duplicators and producers interested in using DupliQuote.com simply need to log on to http://www.dupliquote.com to get started, or call 1-877-DUPLIQUOTE (387-5478).

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New Console Software Remotely Controls Canon's XL H1 High-Definition Camcorder

As a complement to the new Canon XL H1 High Definition camcorder, Canon has introduced a new PC-based software program that provides extensive control over a wide variety of camera features and settings as well as recording operations.

Designed for broadcast and filmmaking applications, Canon's Console software program can be helpful in virtually any production environment, reducing set-up time and maximizing the productivity of crew members, according to Canon. Canon's Console software, named for the large video control boards commonly found in television studios, provides control over four key XL H1 camera functions: image control, camera operation, video recording in HDV or SD and playback. This allows users to remain in command of the XL H1 camcorder remotely, such as when mounted on a camera crane or jib arm, between a studio and control room or even an inaccessible or risky location.

Professionals can control many XL H1 camcorder features and settings with Canon's Console software; including the Gamma, Master Pedestal, Color Phase, Custom Presets and AE Metering. Also changeable is zoom, focus, shooting mode and frame rate. The program permits a PC monitor to show a split-screen view of the record and playback control panels and viewing windows. Operators may use the playback viewer to watch video recorded to the hard drive while, at the same time, adjusting camera settings for the next shot using the recording panel.

Additionally, the Console software includes a Wave Form and Vector display for measuring and adjusting video and phase parameters. These features can add convenience on film locations or in TV studios when time or crew is restricted. Commands and responses are exchanged between the XL H1 camcorder and a PC through a single IEEE1394 cable, making it efficient to set up and remotely control the camera using an elegant and intuitive user interface. Canon's Console software is also fully compatible with the Canon XL2 MiniDV camcorder while recording standard definition video. In SD mode, users can benefit from the individual Frame Recording feature for animation and simulation videos. System requirements include Windows XP OS (Home or Professional) and Service pack 2 (SP2), a Pentium 4 2.5GHz CPU or better, 512MB memory or better and IEEE 1394 connector.

Users may receive a trial version of Canon's Console software, which allows them to examine and access the program for a period of 14 days or 20 trials. Once satisfied, trial users may purchase a license key to the program for $599. Trial versions and the license key to Canon's Console software will be available in November. To obtain a trail version of Canon's Console software people should visit the company's Web site at www.canondv.com.

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TMPG's New Media Editor Designed to Make Video Editing Easy Even in HD

TMPG, Inc. has announced the release of its TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor. Now supporting High Definition (HD) video, TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor enables fast and easy video editing that retains original image quality, even in HD, according to TMPG.

TMPG's TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor will be available in stores across North America beginning in mid-October at a suggested retail price of $49.95. Users can download a free trial version from the company's Website at www.tmpg-inc.com or from www.download.com beginning in early October.

The new TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor features frame-level cut-editing, audio filters, integrated DolbyR Digital (2ch AC-3) support, a batch encoder for rendering multiple files simultaneously, and tools for multiplexing and de-multiplexing capabilities. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor supports both standard (SD) and High Definition (HD) video with Dolby Digital (2ch AC-3) sound support. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor also feature high-speed thumbnail viewing and scrolling along with Smart Rendering makes for extremely smooth and fast cut-editing.

Media Editor's HD-ready video editing supports Microsoft Media Center Edition (DVR-MS), XDVD (eXtended DVD), MPEG-1 and 2, and also supports files from standalone DVD recorders. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor runs on a Pentium III 1GHz, Athlon MP, XP or higher, and is also optimized for multicore CPUs. It requires a PC-compatible computer running WindowsR 2000, XP, or Media Center Edition, with at least 256MB RAM. For HD video editing and processing, a display with a 1600x1200 resolution on a Pentium 4 3GHz or Opteron 246 or higher (with more than two logical processors) and 1GB or more of RAM is recommended.

TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor will be available at retail stores across North America beginning in mid-October, 2005, at an MSRP of $49.95.

www.tmpg-inc.com

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Panasonic Premieres High-Performance Vision System Cameras

Panasonic Vision Systems, a division of Panasonic System Solutions Company (PSSA) has introduced a new line of 3CCD cameras, including its first remote head progressive/interlace switchable camera system.

The slim and compact cameras feature highly accurate color reproduction, outstanding image technology and increased sensitivity. The new units are designed for low light applications in the medical and industrial field, as well as special event applications such as aerial videography or sporting events for point-of-view applications.

The GP-US732H 1/3" 3CCD Camera captures sharp, almost flicker-free images in the progressive scan mode (60 frames per second). Where extra sensitivity is required or there is little or no motion, the cameras can be switched to interlace scanning mode (60 fields per second) easily and quickly. High image quality is achieved with a signal to noise (S/N) ratio of 62 dB and 750 lines of resolution.

The camera is well-suited for use in low light conditions such as production line monitoring and features a minimum illumination of 7 lux at F2.8. The GP-US522HB camera employs three ½" super high sensitivity CCDs producing 800 lines of resolution and a 62 dB S/N ratio. With a sensitivity of F16 (2,000 lux), the GP-US522HB also performs extremely well in low light conditions and can capture a scene with minimum illumination reduced to 5 lux.

Both new cameras provide life-like color reproduction with the 6-axis color matrix control function. Each color can be adjusted separately without changing the white balance of the entire image. Additional enhancements can be made to red colors only, which is particularly useful for biological research. For dark and bright area correction, the set-up menu includes a gamma correction function to help prevent blurring. Further adjustments can be made to horizontal and vertical contours using the high-band aperture function.

The fully featured and easy to use Camera Control Unit (CCU), model GP-US742CU features an on-screen menu to facilitate simple and efficient adjustments. Lists of camera functions are displayed on the monitor screen and include color matrix control, red enhancement and gamma correction among others. In addition, the scene file function can store up to two different scene files containing the settings established in the on-screen menu.

To ensure correct exposure in microscopy or other situations when the subject cannot be illuminated uniformly, the CCU offers five presets, including all, center, circle (small), circle (medium) and circle (large) when AGC or ELC is selected. The unit also offers automatic or manual operation. Additional adjustments to enhance image clarity and prevent moiré can be made on the set-up menu by activating the two-dimensional low-pass filter. Supplementary functions include the following:

  • Syncro-Scan, which adjusts the shutter timing for synchronization with a computer display
  • Electronic Shutter--seven steps between 1/100 sec and 1/10,000 sec
  • Auto ELC Freeze image capture 2.5x electronic zoom

For more information contact Panasonic Vision Systems Group, call 1-888-880-VISION (1-888-880-8474) or visit http://www.panasonic.com/visionsystems.

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