Update on 4K Cameras from CCW

Several manufacturers of 4K cameras were at CCW 2014 and I was able to get updates on cameras I had written about before, after the presentation for SMPTE.

The JVC representative said the GY-LS300 camera, a compact 4k camera with a Super 35mm-sized 13.6MP 4K CMOS image sensor originally announced at NAB, will be available next March at a price of $4,995 without a lens. Coincidentally, this is just in time for NAB 2015. Other new 4K cameras JVC showed at CCW included the GY-HM200 and the GY-HM170. These cameras will both be available in February 2015, at prices of $2,995 and $2,495 respectively. These two cameras are identical to each other except that the GY-HM200 allows live streaming of HD content via Wi-Fi or 4G LTE connectivity. While streaming the HD content live, the camera can continue to record 4:2:2 4K content on SDHC media. In addition to 4K, the cameras can record HD, SD or web-friendly proxy formats.

Optically the GY-HM200 and the GY-HM170 are the same, with 1/2.3” CMOS sensors with 12.76 Mpixels. They include a 12x f/1.2 – f/3.5 zoom lens. When recording or streaming HD content, they have a lossless electronic zoom of an additional 2x, leading to a total zoom of 24x. The 4K output can also be output in real time via HDMI. The cameras include a two position ND filter and a 3.5” color LCD monitor with 920K pixels with focus assist to aid the camera operator.

JVC was also showing the upgraded GY-HM650 HD camcorder. While the GY-HM650 is not new, version 3.0 has several new features making it more usable for many applications. It can now record 1080/60P files and has a 50Mbps H264 extreme high quality (XHQ) recording mode. It can also be used for live streaming and can record larger files with SDXC cards. An additional CODEC was added, .MOV files for Final Cut Pro users.

Sony was showing the PXW-FS7 camera at CCW. In fact, I had a chance to talk to Juan Martinez who gave the earlier presentation on the camera for SMPTE. The FS-7 is a 4K resolution camera with a Super 35 sized Exmor CMOS sensor, intended mostly for long-form TV productions such as reality TV shows. It can also be used by independent film makers and corporate applications. According to Martinez, these reality shows typically record 500 minutes of video for every minute shown in the final program. Like the JVC GY-HM200 and GY-HM170, it also has a built-in ND filter set, only the Sony version is 3 position rather than the 2 position used by JVC. He says the camera is now shipping at a price of $8,000. This price does not include the camera lens.

In addition to being shown in the Sony booth, the PXW-FS7 was in the Atomos booth with a Shogun WUXGA (1920 x 1200) viewfinder/4K recorder mounted.

Panasonic was showing the VariCam 35 and the VariCam HS and Hitachi was showing the SK-UHD4000 at CCW. While it was fun to actually get a chance to play with these cameras, there was no significant new information. – Matthew Brennesholtz