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Production

Panasonic's 3D Additions

PANASONIC'S ADDITION OF 1080/24P PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES TO THE AK-HC1800 2/3-inch 2.2M 3-CCD CAMERA

Panasonic Solutions Company has made its premier compact, multipurpose camera, the AK-HC1800, a popular choice for 3D rigs and episodic production with the addition of 1080/24p recording. At the CES show, the company is demonstrating two HC1800 cameras delivering 1080/24p in a 3D rig supplied by Bexel, a provider of 3D production gear.

The HC1800 has been deployed in applications ranging from broadcast studios, sports and entertainment venues, and houses of worship. It delivers high-quality HD video available in a compact, multipurpose camera. With its new capabilities, the 2/3-inch 2.2-megapixel 3-CCD camera will deliver high resolution HD output in 1080/59.94i, 1080/24ps, and 1080/23.94psf. Incorporating an advanced single-channel transfer system and spatial offset processing features that reduce aliasing and provide finer resolution, the camera has an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio of 60dB and a high sensitivity of F10 (at 2000 lx).

The HC1800 incorporates a host of innovative Panasonic technologies, including a 14-bit A/D converter with a 38-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for pristine high resolution images, and a 12-axis color correction circuit that allows for fine adjustments of hue and saturation. It offers many advanced picture enhancing functions, including CineGamma™ curve to produce images that match the look of film, and Panasonic's exclusive Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to greatly improve results when shooting scenes with widely varying degrees of illumination.

The 3.3-pound camera unit comes equipped with a standard HD SDI output for flexible operation in remote studio production, sports and tower camera applications. It also features genlock, a mini 15-pin connector for power and control, tally function, iris and zoom/focus controls, motor driven optical filters (Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND, 1/64ND), DC 12V operation and a low power consumption of 17 watts.

The AK-HC1800 with 1080/24p output will be available in Spring 2011 at a suggested list price of $29,900.

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LIGHTING Makes a Splash

LightCol_3Director/Cinematographer Ben Dolphin has plenty of experience working in extreme conditions, such as shooting underwater in limestone caves in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula for Televisa. And although he’s an expert in Unilux lighting, HD cameras and high-speed Photo-Sonics, he ironically faced an extreme challenge while shooting his short film ARISING on a Cine Magic soundstage in his own backyard: New York City. With a premiere on Hulu and iTunes, and screenings at various international festivals, Dolphin’s beautifully lit film features nine near-naked dancers flying, diving and dancing through an 8-foot-wide waterfall.

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Supporting (H)DSLRs

CamSupport_Zacuto_Cross_Fire_Photo_Credit_ZacutoIn keeping with Moore’s law, HD cameras have been getting smaller, better and cheaper at an accelerating rate. Nowhere has this been more apparent than with the blast of interest in DSLR still cameras for HD video acquisition. This sudden change on the camera scene has challenged designers and manufacturers of video support equipment to retool quickly, and it has catapulted some designers and producers of this gear to center stage, giving them a pivotal role in many new acquisition purchases.

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Winter Shooting

CamCol_PortabraceCBA-NX5_kThe winter chill is in the air and snow is on the pumpkin. For me, that means one thing: It’s time to prep my camera to shoot outdoors in snow, sleet, freezing rain and cold, wicked winds. For more than a decade I’ve been a stringer for the Weather Channel, particularly during the wintry months. My peak season is late fall/early winter  because that’s when the notorious “lake effect” snowfalls happen as frigid subarctic weather blows across comparatively warm Lake Erie. This causes condensation which results in snow that can be so wet and heavy, it can make life difficult for you and your camera.

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Desert Sounds

AudioColumnRecording audio while on location when you can’t really control the environment is hard enough –– with all the occasional breezes, traffic, pedestrians and other various noises that come with the territory –– but working in bad weather can wreak havoc for filmmakers and their crew, as an environment that just won’t cooperate can make a difficult shoot more stressful.

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