While the normal annual cycle of product launches has been muted for obvious reasons during the past two years, this round-up of new cameras and accessories confirms that industry R&D departments have remained highly active, writes David Davies.
Product: EOS R5 C
Description: Designed to help meet the “increasingly broad demands” expected of content creators, with production environments and shooting styles continually evolving, the EOS R5 C is a versatile and compact camera that can capture high-quality 8K images. It has also been designed with ‘solo shooters’ in mind, possessing a 680g chassis that makes it the smallest and lightest Cinema EOS camera to date.
“We have seen the rise of the single user; this will be a continuing trend, so cameras will need to remain lightweight and compact,” Ryuhei (Ryan) Kamata, Canon Europe
Innovative Features: According to Ryuhei (Ryan) Kamata, Product Marketing Manager at Canon Europe: “The EOS R5 C is Canon’s first full frame 8K cinema EOS camera. It is underpinned by a high-resolution, full-frame CMOS sensor, Digic X processor and the R System’s RF mount. When combined, these three elements enable high fidelity 8K capture and 45MP still photo capture at burst speeds of up to 20 frames per second – all in a single body. The EOS R5 C is a high-quality, high-performance hybrid model that combines the video performance and high reliability of the Cinema EOS System and the still image performance of the EOS R5.”
Other features include extensive professional recording format support, such as ‘three new flavours’ of Cinema RAW Light; active cooling for long-form recording; and advanced connectivity and multi-function accessory shoe.
Target Applications: Canon anticipates that the EOS R5 C will be used in a wide range of situations, including broadcasting, documentary production, corporate videos and education applications where mobility and/or a cinema-like look are required.
Market Predictions: “With the diversification of the environment surrounding content creation, there will be a need for products that can capture still images as well as video,” says Kamata. “Additionally, we have seen the rise of the single user; this will be a continuing trend, so cameras will need to remain lightweight and compact enough to be used in a range of demanding shooting scenarios.”
Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC)
Product: Polymotion Chat
Description: An easily deployable automated camera tracking solution that allows an operator to automate up to six presenter and guest camera positions. End-users can shift from one-to-one to one-to-many camera operations without needing to invest in more staff.
Innovative Features: According to MRMC Head of Broadcast Paddy Taylor: “We have been building machine learning in to our solutions for over three years now, which means the Polymotion Chat is a mature technology that is easy to learn and operate – making it easy to adopt into workflows for increased efficiency and consistency of shots, no matter who is operating. The use of automation will allow just one operator to control multiple cameras or robotic PTZ heads, providing increased efficiency and productivity. The system also supports third-party cameras from vendors such as Bird Dog, Panasonic and Sony.”
Target Applications: As a camera-agnostic automated subject tracking system, Polymotion Chat is available for multiple broadcast and capture scenarios with three different solutions to choose from: Pro, Studio and Broadcast.
Market Predictions: The rise in remote production will increase demand for low latency solutions, says Taylor, “especially as this technology is considered more for bigger productions with multiple people and cameras – for example, at large-scale events. Alongside this is the need for auto-reframing across multiple cameras in a way that can further scale and build on the existing capabilities and really deliver benefits to large-scale productions.”
Every film project is different and we need to create the best tools for the creatives to produce the best results in the end,” Christine Ajayi-Scheuring, Arri
Product: Hi-5 hand unit
Description: A sophisticated hand unit designed to provide reliable wireless camera and multi-axis lens control in demanding situations on set.
Innovative Features: According to Arri Product Manager Electronic Control System Christine Ajayi-Scheuring: “The Hi-5 features a new radio system, new intelligent batteries, smart focus rings and an iOS app. It modernises on-set connectivity, simplifying complex tasks for film crews. Proven ergonomics make the Hi-5 a pleasure to hold and operate, while the modern, stylish touchscreen interface – which is based on a camera GUI – will be instantly and intuitively familiar. Furthermore, lens file management and software updates are faster and easier with the new Arri ECS Sync app.”
Target Applications: Arri says that the Hi-5 can be used in any kind of production or environment as it is sealed, dust-proof and weatherproof, and can stand up to any element while shooting. With the innovative feature of a swappable radio module, the focus puller can choose his/her radio module that best suits each shooting situation and location.
Market Predictions: The focus of R&D will continue to be on “lightness, compactness, modularity, versatility. Every film project is different and we need to create the best tools for the creatives to produce the best results in the end,” says Ajayi-Scheuring.
Product: URSA Broadcast G2
Description: Built on a ‘tried and trusted’ camera chain, the URSA Broadcast G2 has been developed for mainstream broadcast and corporate roles. Using a 6K Super 35mm sensor as its imaging platform, the camera can be used across a wide range of field acquisition and live production applications, with the three cameras in one design covering three distinct roles: single-camera for broadcast and corporate production in HD and UHD using traditional 2/3in B4 ENG-style lenses; system camera channel for multi-camera studio and live events/OB work in HD and UHD; and cinematic-style production camera using EF mount lenses.
Innovative Features: According to Blackmagic Design Business Development Manager Stuart Ashton, the URSA Broadcast G2 “fulfils the traditional field and studio acquisition roles of the original URSA Broadcast. At the same time, the introduction of a 6K sensor adds the capability to use EF cine lenses for more stylised production in a broadcast context. Supplied with an interchangeable 2/3in B4 lens, the new sensor can capture images under a wide range of lighting conditions, with enhanced performance in low light and dual ISO for low noise images at high gain.”
Ashton also draws attention to the wide choice of non-proprietary recording options, as well as support for a selection of codec profiles suited to both fast turnaround and crafted post-production workflows (ProRes, H.264, H.265, Blackmagic RAW).
Product: LDX 150
Description: According to Grass Valley, the LDX 150 is its highest-performing live broadcast camera with features including wider dynamic range in HDR mode, JPEG XS high-quality low-latency video compression, and the ability to capture UHD HDR images at 3x speed.
Innovative Features: The use of native IP camera technology means that “a separate base station is not required, meaning greater flexibility for operators”, says Klaus Weber, Principal Camera Solutions & Technology at Grass Valley. The camera serves as a self-contained IP endpoint with up to 100Gb/s IP network connections for audio, video and control directly at the camera. This enables distribution of camera sources wherever they are needed on the network, with obvious benefits in terms of minimising latency. LDX 150 also eliminates the need for traditional SDI interconnects, making it easier to achieve “true REMI integration that requires less bandwidth because only the required signals are transmitted”.
Market Forecasts: From a Grass Valley perspective, more solutions with direct IP connectivity are on the cards as operators seek greater mobility and efficiencies. “Now that we have this [IP connectivity] solution we will look to add the same capability to other cameras in the portfolio,” says Weber.