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Old June 22nd, 2007, 08:12 PM   #1
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JVC's 4k Camera

I originally posted this to CML, but for those of you not subscribed, I figured the DVinfo community might appreciate reading it as well.

Drew and I popped down to Anaheim today to see if the rumors held water, and indeed there was a 4k camera there displaying live footage. The camera was in a white metal "box" style industrial enclosure, with a custom made zoom lens on the front. The footage was being displayed live on an HD monitor. There was also a 4k projection demo including 10 or 15 seconds of live footage from the camera, plus another 1-2 minutes of demo footage shot in Japan. The demo footage all looked good. Before the demo footage, as they were showing off the capabilities of the projector, they also projected some 4096x2400 DSLR captures, which looked very nice as well. These helped to serve as a gauge for the later demo footage, imo, and for my money I didn't notice any significant resolution differences between them.

I was sitting exactly 6 feet from the screen, which was sized around 15' x 8' (apologies for not knowing the exact dimensions), so I was in a good position to evaluate the footage. The resolution looked great, although I have said many times, with respect to delivery format there is little difference between 2k and 4k; 99% of the general public cannot tell the difference, and even of the professional market very few people will be sitting close enough to critically evaluate. Even then both resolutions are so immersive that unless you are viewing duplicate material butterflied at different resolutions, it can be very difficult. Origination for 4k may be your preference (for roto, etc), but for final digital delivery at 2k or 4k, either will look awesome. My reason for saying this is simply to cover my bases and state that even if it was a native 2k image, I believe I would still say essentially the same thing regarding how the resolution looked. Beyond the resolution, the dynamic range looked very acceptable-- it was hard to evaluate for this, not knowing the conditions it was shot under, but there were a couple wide shots of buildings in exposed sunlight that looked just fine. There were some large groupings of partially "stuck" pixels, either tinted magenta, yellow, or green, if i recall. By "large groupings," I mean they were more than a single pixel.. maybe 8x8 or something along those lines. In static shots they were difficult to find, but on any panning they jumped right out at me. This actually reassures me, since it indicated JVC wasn't particularly trying to dress-up the footage or conceal anything-- this is a proof of concept, and certainly no one would fault them for a test sensor having some minor dead pixels. Motion in the demo material was limited to some cherry blossoms bobbing in the wind gently, and one or two slow tilts in the "building" footage.

We talked to Craig and some of the engineers afterwards, and confirmed the following: The camera concept is 3-cmos, with 3840x2048 per cmos (no pixel shifting), and each cmos is 29x15mm. They were showing a spec sheet that only made mention of 30P/PsF-- but since the tech is cmos, 24p should be just a minor software change. Camera head is 22lbs, and the CCU (which wasn't out on display) is 24lbs. I inquired as to what they recorded the demo footage to, and was told an Astro recorder. Craig made sure to mention that neither the 4k projector nor the 4k camera were retail models, nor was any retail release necessarily planned, nor did they have any indication of retail price.

I snapped some photos, which I've now uploaded to the Colorspace web site gallery -- http://www.colorspaceinc.com (click "GALLERY" and then click "Infocomm" at the bottom)

Quad-link Colorspace field recorder coming next year, I guess ;)

Adam S. Burtle
Los Angeles, CA
Colorspace, Inc.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 08:51 PM   #2
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Much appreciated, Adam -- great timing, too, as I was just about to ask you to share this here. Thanks!

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Old June 23rd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #3
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Hi Adam,

Is this different from the JVC HD camera they were developing around five years ago?


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Old June 23rd, 2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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The connectors on the back would lead me to believe that they are using more than one chip (or block of electronics to process portions thereof).
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Old June 25th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #5
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I was wondering when one of the big four were going to try out 4k. Thanks for showing the pictures. I'm sure the final camera will look a bit different. Great to see, but I still love the RED design. (grin)

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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini View Post
Hi Adam,

Is this different from the JVC HD camera they were developing around five years ago?


Sorry, I meant the 4K SHD camera they had around 4-5 years ago.
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Old June 26th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #7
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Probably you think of the 4K camera JVC demonstrated a few years ago. It used pixel shifting with a prism and 4 2/3" 2MPixel CCDs. This new camera has bigger chips with higher resolution.
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