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Inter BEE 2010

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hiroyuki

Low center of gravity camera recorder created by incorporating professional wisdom

Inter BEE 2010

Let me introduce the latest P2HD camera recorder, AJ-HPX3100G, from the Panasonic Technological Suite, where a wide range of broadcasting equipment is on showcase. The AJ-HPX3100G is a compact shoulder mounted HD camera recorder, which can record onto a professional solid-state memory, the "P2 card." It comes with 2.2 megapixel, 2/3 type CCD image sensor and supports "AVC-Intra," a video codex for broadcasting use. It has been developed to offer enhanced mobility to the broadcasting industry, and reflects the wisdom and feedback of many professional cameramen. The design has been greatly improved from the traditional model, especially in the areas of weight balance and operability.

First of all, it has become much lighter and now only weighs 3.9kg. The center of gravity has been lowered, and so it offers even greater stability when you carry it on your shoulder. Because camera recorders become much heavier when accessories such as batteries are added on, cameramen look for the lightest body. A low-body design has resulted in more space available for the handgrip, and opened up the peripheral vision even on the cameraman's right side. I tried carrying it on my shoulders. It was the first time for me carrying a camera recorder on my shoulder, but it felt stable even to me, so I didn't lose my balance. Also, it didn't feel like my field of vision was being restricted. Changes in the layout to improve overall operability, such as bringing the P2 card slot from the opposite side (where it had been placed traditionally) to the camera side, have also been implemented.

Moreover, in comparison to traditional models, the power consumption has been reduced by approximately 32%, which has in turn improved running time. This has also helped reduce heat given off by the AJ-HPX3100G. When I carried it on my shoulder, I realized that the camera gives off heat right next to the cameraman's face, so in environments like the scorching temperatures we experienced in Japan this summer, it must be very uncomfortable. I was told that cameramen from major broadcasting stations in Tokyo have come to check out the AJ-HPX3100G and were very intrigued by the camera recorder; They asked many in-depth questions about it.

The 103-inch 3D plasma display you see immediate when you enter the suite features 3D images of the London 2012 Olympic Games and 3D footage of the sublime nature such as sea turtles and insects in Costa Rica. They were very impressive and I felt they communicate about Panasonic's activities around the world and its commitment to nature conservation.

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hiroyuki

Control numerous full HD cameras over the IP network with the 50 series

Inter BEE 2010

In the 3D studio, where female dancer put on an exciting dance performance, you will find an HD camera, camera controller, and switcher on display.

Inter BEE 2010

Let's start with the HD camera. This compact, integrated pan-tilt HD camera is the AW-HE50 embedded with a 1/3-inch Full-HD MOS image sensor. It also is equipped with an optical 18x zoom lens and 10x digital zoom. You can control the movement of the camera head with a wireless remote or operate it with the AW-RP50 camera control via the IP network or using serial control. Four AW-HE50s were set up in the 3D studio - on the floor or ceiling - and these capture the dancers' movements from front, back, left, right, and above.

Inter BEE 2010

As mentioned above, the AW-RP50 lets you remotely control numerous AW-HE50. You can pan and tilt the AW-HE50 cameras very easily using the lever, and you can also zoom in and out, and adjust the iris and gain. If you use a HUB and IP network, you can control up to 100 AW-HE50 cameras. The AW-RP50 automatically assigns an IP address to each AW-HE50, so you can easily build a system and also add more cameras afterwards.

And what is used to switch between the video inputs from the numerous AW-HE50 cameras is the compact, live switcher, AW-HS50. It is compatible to 5 channel inputs and 3 channel outputs, and it can split a single monitor into up to 10 sections to show images from numerous cameras and preview images simultaneously.

The HD camera AW-HE50, remote camera controller AW-RP50, and the live switcher AW-HS50 are collectively referred to as the "50 series."

Since August this year, the 50 series have been implemented at various locations - mainly companies, schools, local governments' chambers, and event venues. Often in these facilities, request for creating a video are often made afterwards, as an additional request, so there isn't enough space to put in place a large-scale installation. The person who is often put in charge of creating the video archive is not really too well versed in video equipment, and there aren't usually that many people available to help. So there are many constraints, but the compact 50 series doesn't require much space. And because the speakers at schools and local government chambers usually stand in a predetermined location, if you set the camera in advance, one person can act as cameraman and switcher. For these reasons, the series has been very well received.

Moreover, the lighting in the 3D studio uses LED broad lights, which have an excellent energy-saving performance. In the studio, a digital display shows how much electricity the lighting in the studio is using at any given moment, so you can see the energy-saving effect for yourself. Green efforts are also beginning to be implemented in the shooting environment, which consumes large amounts of electricity with all the AV equipment, lighting, air conditioning, etc.

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hiroyuki

Switcher, digital AV mixer, and 3D video monitor - fantastic trio that support 3D production

Inter BEE 2010

Let me introduce the multi-format live switcher, the AV-HS450, from among the professional broadcasting equipment on display at the Panasonic Technological Suite. The AV-HS450 is compatible to 16 channels of SDI video input without having to add any options, and it is also equipped with 2 channels of multi view display function. It was released and made available to the market in 2009, but it may already have been adopted and playing a key part in the forefront of broadcasting production. What is new about the AV-HS450 is that it is now 3D compatible; all you have to do is use it in combination with the optional 3D SDI output board, AV-HS04M7D. With the 3D mode, you can switch 2 channels simultaneously and also use various effects such as dissolve and wipe. And it also comes with various other functions - one, which corrects the horizontal/vertical levels and rotation, and another, which allows you to adjust convergence points, so that it will also be compatible with rig cameras. At the suite, you can watch a demonstration, which combines the integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, AG-3DA1, and the AV-HS450 switcher equipped with the AV-HS04M7D.

Inter BEE 2010

Another 3D compatible equipment with a switching function is the digital AV mixer, AG-HMX100. This is an all-in-one, compact unit, which has combined functions of an HD/SD multi-format video switcher and audio mixer. The AG-HMX100, which can be implemented at low cost, can switch video and audio inputs, add effects, and transmit feeds. It can only perform switching functions when it comes to 3D, but if you connect 2 AG-HMX100 together, you can switch from between a maximum of four 3D inputs. Currently the AG-HMX100 has been adopted by many mainly for 2D use, but its low cost and its 3D compatible feature, which is great for people who are thinking of making the 3D shift in the future, has been well received.

Inter BEE 2010

What will become essential onsite when producing 3D images is a 3D compatible video monitor. In many areas around the 3D studio within the booth, you will find 3D LCD video monitors, BT-3DL2550. This is the 25.5-inch professional LCD video monitor that is compatible to 3 types of video inputs - simultaneous/line-by-line/side-by-side. The panel is covered by a polarization filter, so you can use 3D Polarized Eyewear to monitor the 3D effect accurately. The 3D LCD video monitors in and around the 3D studio showcase images direct from the AG-3DA1, live images via the AG-HMX100, and images from a demonstration of the 3D image nonlinear editing.

hiroyuki

152-inch 3D plasma display reproduces 3D imagery on the super large size screen in extremely high resolution

Panasonic's plasma displays have evolved in size together with the phrase, "world's largest." At the Inter BEE 2010, there is once again the world's largest plasma display, which is even 3D compatible, the 152-inch 3D plasma display on showcase. It is located on the Main Stage I wrote about yesterday. It was also on display at "IFA 2010" and "CEATEC JAPAN 2010" as well, so many of you may already be familiar with it.

Inter BEE 2010

The panel of the 152-inch 3D plasma display is 3,600mm wide, 1,980mm tall, and as you can see in the photograph, it can depict the MC in life-size. It is the same size as nine 50-inch plasma displays, so it is truly humongous. But as screens get bigger, pixel count becomes a concern. But not to worry; the 152-inch plasma display offers a high resolution of the "4K2K (4,096 x 2,160 pixels)! I saw the 150-inch plasma display last year at "IFA" and "GITEX," but in just 1 year it has become 3D compatible and has even higher resolution. I am very much looking forward to how plasma displays will continue to evolve in the future.

The presentation on the Main Stage is held 4 times each hour, but it is very crowded each time so people have to stand and watch. The 3D images showcased aren't like the dizzying, very fast motion scenes you might see in the movie theater; rather the images shown such as sports, space, and computer graphics let you relax and enjoy the great depth and pop out effect of 3D. Due to the space available, there is a limit to how many people can watch each show, so if you are planning to stop by the Panasonic booth, I would make the Main Stage the first stop.

hiroyuki

The world's first! Micro Four Thirds standard HD camera recorder

Inter BEE 2010

What is also just as popular as the integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, AG-3DA1, is the professional HD camera recorder, AG-AF105, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds standard. It was just unveiled in September, and Inter BEE 2010 is the first time the public can reach out and touch it.

The AG-AF105 is the world's first professional HD camera recorder, which adopted the Micro Four Thirds standard used for the digital interchangeable lens camera, LUMIX G series. The movement to shoot HD footage with a digital interchangeable lens camera that can shoot in HD has drawn quite a following over the last 2, 3 years. There have been special features in magazines and these cameras have been used to shoot dramas and commercials. But shooting HD with digital interchangeable lens cameras can be a bit inconvenient in certain situations. The AG-AF105 has alleviated these issues and optimized the specifications to meet professional shooting needs, while offering a shallower depth of field and film-like blurriness.

Inter BEE 2010AF-AG105 uses a Four Thirds MOS image sensor and offers the nearly the same image pickup area as a 35mm film.

The AG-AF105, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds standard, can also use the Micro Four Thirds lenses offered as a line-up for the LUMIX G series. And if you use the mount adaptor, you can also use the Four Thirds lenses as well. Moreover, with the PL mount adaptor, you can apply the prime lens used to shooting movies, too. When the digital interchangeable lens LUMIX GH1 was introduced to the market, many people talked about the unique shots with unique blur-effect the lenses made possible or the shooting with the vintage lens, but a similar movement might happen with the AG-AF105.

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I asked the person in charge about what kind of visitors he had seen so far, but he was surprised that people who aren't in the movie industry, such as students who shoot their own movies or skilled amateurs, who shoot movies for fun, were very interested in the product. He was quite impressed that there were more people interested in the camera recorder who wanted to shoot an original movie than he had expected.

Inter BEE 2010The lighting in the studio has been adjusted by a professional light technician using a board reflector, so that there will be soft shadows, like those we see in movies.
hiroyuki

The most popular presence in the Panasonic booth - integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder

Inter BEE 2010

Today is the second day of Inter BEE 2010. Let me tell you about the integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, AG-3DA1, in detail. As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, a dance performance takes place here. In this shooting corner, female dancers clad in ethnic clothing puts on a dance performance, which is shot by the AG-3DA1. This is the most popular corner of the Panasonic booth, and you will find four AG-3DA1 on tripods and one on a steady cam, that is carried by a cameraman.

Inter BEE 2010

Traditionally, when shooting in 3D, 2 cameras were placed on a rig, but it was very laborious to make adjustments to accommodate for the parallax difference, composition, brightness, etc. But the AG-3DA1 has 2 HD lenses and all of these elements are synchronized. I had a go on it myself, but even when changing the convergence points (base levels for 3D imagery) that control the depth or the pop-out effect, all you have to do is turn the dial on the side of the unit. It was very interesting to see the depth of the 3D image displayed on the monitor change in real-time just by a turn of a dial.

The AG-3DA1 has been well received. One reason why is the price range that makes it more accessible. When you think of professional cameras, you think they would cost couple hundred thousand dollars, but because the AG-3DA1 is much more within reach services that use the AG-3DA1 have already begun to be launched. For example, companies that shoot weddings have begun to offer 3D services. In this area, still photos have been replaced by videos, and now there are high expectations for a shift to 3D. Shooting videos introducing the couple in 3D, and with the great mobility the AG-3DA1 offers the very special day could also be shot in 3D. It may not be so far off in the future when you attend a friend's wedding and watch the introductory video about the bride and groom through 3D Eyewear.

hiroyuki

Photo digest: A realistic reproduction of the production flow from shooting to editing - Panasonic Technical Suite

This is the Panasonic Technical Suite where you will find professional broadcasting solutions. It is located in the International Conference Hall, which is a little ways from Hall 7, where the main Panasonic booth is located. Here you will find on exhibit the P2HD series, AVCCAM series, 3D projection system, and the 3D video communication system. What is a particular eye-catcher is the camera studio. There is a great line-up of camera recorders on exhibit. And in the back, you will find an exhibit that reproduces a broadcasting workflow based on the P2HD, which reflects various aspects of production from "reporting," "editing materials," "archiving," to "transmission."

Inter BEE 2010 Inter BEE 2010
hiroyuki

Photo digest: Smoothly editing 3D images - 3D editing system

Inter BEE 2010

In this corner you will find an editing system, which lets you edit the 3D footage shot very smoothly. The 3D footage being edited on the computer is displayed on the 3D compatible LCD video monitor, BT-3DL2550, and you can check to see the 3D effect with the compatible Polarized Eyewear. When editing 3D, in addition to the tradition editing processes, you also need to check to see whether the scenes have been truly captured in 3D and if the proper effect is present, but with this system, you can edit and check at the same time, so you can work very efficiently.

hiroyuki

Photo digest: Shooting the dynamic dance performance! - the 3D studio

Inter BEE 2010

What was being relayed live onto the displays on the Main Stage was what was happening in the 3D studio. The studio is decorated glamorously, and dancers put on a very dynamic dance performance. The shooting corner here is comprised of the integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, AG-3DA1, and the AW-HE50, AW-HS50, and AW-RP50, which lets you connect to the IP network, shoot, switch and control. The 3D live relay incorporated into the presentation that takes place on the Main Stage was shot with the AG-3DA1 in the 3D studio.

hiroyuki

Photo digest: 3D imagery is coming closer and closer - the Main Stage

November 17th, 10:00 a.m. – Inter BEE 2010 has begun. It is a little drizzly in Makuhari, where Makuhari Messe is located, but there are already many visitors in the Panasonic booth.

Inter BEE 2010

So let me begin by telling you what the presentation on the Main Stage, which just took place, was like. Here, you will see the world's largest, 152-inch 3D plasma display and 15 FULL HD 3D plasma displays, which introduce products on exhibit and relays the dance performance taking place at the 3D studio in front of the stage live in 3D. I borrowed a pair of 3D Eyewear and watched the presentation as well, but the images shown on the gigantic 152-inch screen was not only very dynamic and over-whelming, it was also very immersive due to the superb depth.

Inter BEE 2010The dance performance taking place on the 3D studio is being relayed live and shown on the FULL HD 3D plasma displays. I know I was watching a screen, but for a second it seemed as though I was looking through a window.
Inter BEE 2010On the stage, images of products shot in 3D with the integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, AG-3DA1, were shown on the displays. Although the space on stage is limited, AG-3DA1 offers such great mobility, it makes it possible to move around on stage and shoot without constraints.
hiroyuki

The Inter BEE 2010 is about to begin!

Hello! This is hiroyuki, one of the writers of this blog. It has been almost a year since my last entry, but I will be reporting about the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition 2010 (Inter BEE), which will be held at Makuhari Messe starting from November 17th.

Inter BEE 2010

Inter BEE is an exhibition that showcases various broadcasting, video, audio, and lighting equipment as well as peripheral applications and solutions for professional use. Last year, the exhibition saw the greatest number of exhibitors in its history. Of the total 816 exhibitors, 466 were from overseas, which is indicative that the scope of this exhibition is as international as the broadcasting exhibitions held globally, namely the NAB in the U.S. and IBC in Europe.

It just so happened that Panasonic issued a press release about its participation in Inter BEE today. This year's concept is "Evolving Panasonic AVC World – Professional 3D ideas," so the spotlight even in the professional arena is on 3D. This year has been referred to as the opening year of 3D and 3D has become a familiar presence in the consumer world as a great line-up of 3D products have become available starting with the 3D VIERA, DIGA, and now 3D compatible camcorders and the 3D compatible digital interchangeable lens camera. Having said that, 3D broadcast and video content is limited to satellite broadcasting and Blu-ray(TM) software, so 3D has not become as widespread yet. In the Panasonic booth at Inter BEE, you will find the fully integrated twin-lens 3D camera recorder, "AG-3DA1," on display, as well as various other equipment that will help accelerate the 3D content production. There will be expensive, professional devices you cannot usually find in ordinary home appliance or electronics stores, so I am looking very much forward to checking the exhibition out.

Some of you may think, "The professional arena doesn't really have much to do with us," but it is not rare that technology cultivated in the professional arena is developed into consumer products a few years later. I hope to discover ideas that have such potential, so please look forward to my entries!

Inter BEE 2010 (International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition 2010)
Period: November 17 (Wed) - November 19 (Fri), 2010
Venue: Makuhari Messe (Chiba, Japan)
Sponsor: Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industry Association (JEITA)
Official site: http://www.inter-bee.com/en/