NAB 2012: 4K emerged as the dominant theme of this year’s NAB trade show.
Many of the major manufacturers’ announcements centred on the high-resolution technology, with 4K cameras, displays and recording formats at the heart of Sony, Panasonic and Canon’s displays in Las Vegas.
Following on from the November launch of Canon’s C300 camera, the manufacturer unveiled its C500 device, which will output 4K RAW and is expected to be priced at around £20,000.
It also showed off its latest DSLR, the EOS-1D C, which offers in-camera 4K, together with a 30-inch 4K-resolution video monitor. Although it is just a prototype, Canon said it “aims to commercialise the display before the end of 2012”.
Panasonic announced its AVC Ultra codec for 4K workflows and unveiled a prototype of a 4K Varicam. The manufacturer was unable to say when the camera would be launched, but business development manager Michael Bergeron said the technology had been in development for “a couple of years”.
He said: “We don’t have a lot of data we can share at this point, but we can say that we want it to have expandable architecture, and it will record to AVC Ultra and have a variable frame rate.”
Sony kicked off its NAB press conference with a reminder of its 3D offerings, but it was the manufacturer’s NEX-FS700 device, details of which were released a week ahead of the show, that generated most interest.
The Super 35mm NEX FS700 can capture footage at up to 960fps, and with a planned firmware upgrade, it will be able to output 4K over 3G HD-SDI to a 4K recorder. It has a list price of $7,900 (£6,560).
Not to be outdone, Red, a long-term advocate of 4K, released details of a 6K sensor on Monday. The Dragon sensor offers “15+” stops of native dynamic range and 120fps at full 5K. An upgrade for Epic users will cost $6,000 (£3,770), with the Scarlet upgrade yet to be confirmed.