When the pandemic began shutting down TV stations in the spring of this year, journalists and producers were left to figure out how to work from home and set up technical systems they were very unfamiliar with. In many cases panic set in.
The increasing use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) acquisition has not only improved signal quality on live sports and other telecasts, it has also helped the bottom line of those that make professional 4K lenses. Both visual and lab tests have shown that the superior quality of a 4K UHD lens helps even HD cameras look better, and that’s helping lens sales in a Broadcast market that—with the emergence of handheld, fixed lens (with 1/3 and ¼-inch sensors) camera models now used extensively in newsgathering—gets harder every day.
Last month the popular PBS evening news program NewsHour went on air with a new West Coast edition, live from Arizona State University (ASU)’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix. The school’s facilities are now considered the Western bureau for “PBS NewsHour West,” serving as a reporting hub for breaking news and feature stories.
At the recent IBC conference, vendors were showing ST2110 compatible products. The IP pavilion was there to demonstrate how it all works nicely together, all interoperable, etc. There were sessions to introduce and provide the information and knowledge to implement ST2110. And a few announcements about new facilities and mobile units all IP based on ST2110.
The ever-increasing use of small broadcast quality HD cameras with wide angle or fisheye lenses have become increasingly prevalent. Their use can be found in live broadcast applications such as sport, ENG, wildlife programming, and reality TV, with non-broadcast use in medical, forensics/security and online gaming.
NASCAR Productions, based in Charlotte NC, prides itself on maintaining one of the most technically advanced content creation organizations in the country. It’s responsible for providing content, graphics and other show elements to broadcasters (mainly Fox and NBC), as well as NASCAR’s digital and social platforms and other shoulder programming on the broadcast networks. And that’s in addition to a wide range of international broadcasters that it supports.
Atomos is targeting aspiring filmmakers using the new generation of full frame mirrorless cameras with its Ninja V 4K HDR monitor/recorder, which now supports Apple’s ProRes RAW video format. Until now, RAW video has been the domain of dedicated cinema cameras that are either limited in features or priced far beyond the reach of most consumers.
As accomplished DoPs striving to do our best work, we can all achieve a lot more creatively if we insist less on perfect lenses. Veteran cinematographers have long understood that lenses have distinct personalities, with a very specific look and feel. In the same way an actor imparts his or her own interpretation on a film’s story, the camera lens contributes its own unique character and flare towards the most compelling visual story possible.