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It finally happened. Film camera taps are going HD


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:10 AM

I just heard that Arri will be showing a new HD video tap for the Arricams and 435 at NAB. Soon you might need that downconverter for film jobs too if your sled doesn't do HD....

~Jess
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:28 AM

I just heard that Arri will be showing a new HD video tap for the Arricams and 435 at NAB. Soon you might need that downconverter for film jobs too if your sled doesn't do HD


Actually the Arri tap will have a NTSC downconverter
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#3 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:56 AM

NEWS

08.04.09
HD-IVS High Definition Video Assist
Why not put the huge advances being made in digital imaging to use on 35 mm film sets? ARRI is now introducing high definition video assist units for its ARRICAM and ARRIFLEX 435 film cameras.



The HD-IVS features significantly increased resolution, which facilitates better judgment of focus, improved dynamic range and more visible detail, especially in shadow and highlight areas. All the well-known features of the existing IVS have been retained, such as optimized mechanical and optical integration into the camera system. Existing standard definition IVS units can be replaced with the new HD-IVS on ARRICAM cameras within a few minutes. Only on the ARRIFLEX 435 is it necessary to re-wire a few cables in the camera body, which can be done by all authorized ARRI service centers, or by trained electronic technicians.



The advantages of the new ARRI HD-IVS in detail:



Improved definition & dynamic range

The new sensor has 1920 x 1080 pixels and the resolution is always full sensor size, even while the film camera is running. This improvement is an extremely visible one, since the existing IVS has 768 x 494 pixels (NTSC version), with only 50% vertical resolution in camera run mode. With the new CCD sensor, the HD-IVS will deliver an improved dynamic range of approximately three additional f-stops, compared to the old SD-IVS.



Ground glass cancellation (GGC)

The video assist records its images from the ground glass in the film camera; this ensures that framing and the impression of depth of field are identical between the film and video assist images. An electronic compensation reduces the grain structure of the ground glass in the live HD-IVS video assist image, generating a noticeably cleaner image. To create a reference, it is necessary to record a few images of neutral grey whenever a new ground glass is put into the camera; this teaches the grain structure to the system.



Motorized iris

Ideal video assist image quality is always a result of a perfect combination of the aperture setting of the video assist lens and the electronic amplification of the video signal (gain). Fully motorized setting of the video assist aperture allows for minimum gain, thereby reducing noise and image artifacts. Image brightness can be controlled with the gain keys on the panel of the IVS or by using the on-screen display (OSD) software.



Software add-ons

The HD-IVS comes with a powerful image processing unit. Software-based image processing such as anamorphic de-squeezing, dead pixel correction and ground glass structure compensation are possible. User-friendly software update procedures ensure that the system remains up-to-date as new features become available.



4:3 and 16:9 lenses

Two different, dedicated prime lenses can be used with the HD-IVS video assist camera. The 4:3 lens is optimized for taller aspect ratios such as 4:3 and anamorphic formats, and permits the entire 4:3 ground glass image to be displayed at 1440 x 1080 pixel resolution on an HD monitor, leaving black vertical bars to the left and right of a “pillar box” image. These black bars optionally display metadata or the OSD menu.



The 16:9 lens is optimized for aspect ratios of 16:9 or wider. A 16:9 aspect ratio image from the ground glass is displayed at 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution on an appropriate monitor. The use of two prime lenses ensures maximum aperture is maintained at all times, which would not be possible with a zoom lens. Prime lenses can be exchanged quickly and easily at a camera rental house.



Image store on USB stick

Selected images can be transferred and stored as standard files on a USB stick via a USB interface on the HD-IVS. Images from a previous take may be loaded back into the system and used for the ‘compare function’, well known by users of the SD-IVS. This function means that stored images can be superimposed over live images to show the differences, which is extremely useful for table-top and stop-motion cinematography.



Versatile HD-SDI modes & outputs

A wide range of standard display and recording devices can be used with the HD-IVS, offering great flexibility in outputting signals. The system supports 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps interlaced, segmented and progressive. Two output methods are available, as with the existing IVS. One BNC socket feeds plain video, which is just the image, not overlaid by any kind of metadata. The other BNC socket feeds video overlaid by metadata, such as camera speed, footage counter etc. The new, third BNC socket can be switched between the two systems, providing much greater flexibility and meaning different mini monitors can be used.





Main Features:



* HD Video Assist for
o ARRICAM Studio and Lite
o 435 ES/Advanced/Xtreme
* Unprecedented Image Quality
o 1920 x 1080 high resolution output
o 3 stops more dynamic range
o Ground Glass Cancellation (GGC) for a clean image
o less noise through optimized exposure control
o sharp, high contrast image
o excellent color reproduction
* Screen Capture
o capture of individual HD images onto a USB stick
o load captured images back into HD-IVS for compare function
* 3x HD-SDI outputs
o with overlay, without overlay and switchable
o 4:2:2 HD progressive, progressive segmented frame or interlaced
o 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 or 30 fps
* Retains Most IVS Features
o simple user interface
o flicker free operation
o design and optics closely integrated into film camera
o integrated frame line inserter
o integrated text inserter
o compare life to stored image
o automatic and manual gain control
o white balance: indoor, outdoor, manual and one-push-white
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#4 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:11 PM

Actually the Arri tap will have a NTSC downconverter

I figured it would. I guess I was just feeling dramatic last night.

~Jess
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#5 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:49 PM

Impressive. Lookout Panavision.
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#6 RobVanGelder

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:18 AM

Price? the original SD version cost around 14.000 Euro, what will this be? Rental for the full camera set is now probably lower price than the HD video assist alone....
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#7 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:44 PM

I just heard that Arri will be showing a new HD video tap for the Arricams and 435 at NAB. Soon you might need that downconverter for film jobs too if your sled doesn't do HD


Actually the Arri tap will have a NTSC downconverter



correction:

The new ARRI HD-video assist will not have a build in downconverter, which means no SD NTSC output.


time to buy a downconverter.......
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#8 William Demeritt

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:16 AM

I briefly chatted with someone from Arri about the new HD tap. The Ground Glass Cancellation feature was pretty impressive to see in motion, and can be easily reset with a piece of paper. You can turn the feature off, and you'll see the grain of the glass quite obviously.

Also, they confirmed for me that the tap won't have a downconverter, as Eric indicated in the other NAB thread because of power consumption issues. The gentleman hinted that Arri expected the video to run to village and into a monitor, or if appropriate, through a downconverter and into an SD monitor. Perhaps not thought through for Steadicam operators.

Moreso, watching the tap in action at NAB, I had the thought: OK, so it's HD now, so no more SD field monitors for village. You're now expected to have HD monitors or SD monitors with a downconverter? The image looked high definition in that it was the resolution of an HD image, but is that really the only perk?

Just curious, but now you have an HD image in an HD monitor for your client/director, but you're still left reminding them: it's just a framing reference. Not a representation of color or exposure, nothing but a framing reference of the final product.
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#9 RobVanGelder

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:42 AM

So I can already imagine producers thinking: HD video assist....... can record that on HDD recorder..... no need to shoot film....... with a plain ground glass (no cross and max. size S35) in combination with the GG-canceling......... Good Enough for my project !!!

Personally I do not see good reasons for HD-video assist as on the Set we normally do not carry full HD monitors for viewing.
It is useless for focus pullers and steadicam or remote head operators, whose monitors are best around 7"-9" for portability and battery use and these screens can not show the full resolution anyway.

It's useless for almost all video-assist RECORDING options, unless you have money to burn for extreme expensive HDD recorders (portable) or full size Mac-Pro or other systems that are only hindering the workflow on the set!
So at the end you have so push it through some converter to make it workable..... loosing al the HD advantages.....

Just because it is possible, doesn't mean it improves the way of working!

I wonder who requested this option and why Arri thought it is a good item to make.... can't be anyone from the camera crew imho.
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#10 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:27 AM

Personally I do not see good reasons for HD-video assist as on the Set we normally do not carry full HD monitors for viewing.
It is useless for focus pullers and steadicam or remote head operators, whose monitors are best around 7"-9" for portability and battery use and these screens can not show the full resolution anyway.

advantages.....

Just because it is possible, doesn't mean it improves the way of working!


Wow, do I disagree! I think HD would be fantastic for remote head use. Much better for seeing things in the frame that don't belong and so much better for confirming focus. So now you need an HD monitor, big deal. The current Panasonic 17" HD monitor is easily portable and there's almost always AC available.
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#11 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:55 AM

So I can already imagine producers thinking: HD video assist....... can record that on HDD recorder..... no need to shoot film....... with a plain ground glass (no cross and max. size S35) in combination with the GG-canceling......... Good Enough for my project !!!

Personally I do not see good reasons for HD-video assist as on the Set we normally do not carry full HD monitors for viewing.
It is useless for focus pullers and steadicam or remote head operators, whose monitors are best around 7"-9" for portability and battery use and these screens can not show the full resolution anyway.

It's useless for almost all video-assist RECORDING options, unless you have money to burn for extreme expensive HDD recorders (portable) or full size Mac-Pro or other systems that are only hindering the workflow on the set!
So at the end you have so push it through some converter to make it workable..... loosing al the HD advantages.....

Just because it is possible, doesn't mean it improves the way of working!

I wonder who requested this option and why Arri thought it is a good item to make.... can't be anyone from the camera crew imho.



I totally disagree. Crane work would be fantastic with a HD tap. Hell Steadicam would be awesome with a HD tap. There are now 7" HD pixel for pixel monitors and it's no big deal to have a 15" or 17" monitor for the AC. Right now there are several HD compact flash recorders, so HD DVR's are no issue. Since commercials and music videos edit on the go off of video assist this will be huge for them.

And yes in October when I was doing a show that lived on the remote head I was asking our equipment supplier for a HD tap, so yes the camera crew is asking for it. The only thing Arri did wrong is to not provide a onboard Downconverter.
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#12 RobVanGelder

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:15 PM

Hmm, we have not been able to get HD SDI out of our remote heads..... the wiring and connectors are not up to it, so back to the downconverter again on the 3-axis Power Pod 2000 or Cam-remote.
(I know you can tape another cable to it, restricting the possible moves)

But yes, if money is no object..... go for it. I know that where I work (not USA) we are still on 7-9" screens, NO rental house is equipped to do HD on film shootings , besides the RED ONE sets that are available..... which do have the 17" Panasonic of course, but have to record to mini DV or DVD recorder.

Just shows the big differences in working practices worldwide.
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#13 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:33 PM

Hmm, we have not been able to get HD SDI out of our remote heads..... the wiring and connectors are not up to it, so back to the downconverter again on the 3-axis Power Pod 2000 or Cam-remote.
(I know you can tape another cable to it, restricting the possible moves)

But yes, if money is no object..... go for it. I know that where I work (not USA) we are still on 7-9" screens, NO rental house is equipped to do HD on film shootings , besides the RED ONE sets that are available..... which do have the 17" Panasonic of course, but have to record to mini DV or DVD recorder.

Just shows the big differences in working practices worldwide.



Revolver Remotes has all their heads set up for HD-SDI. They also have OLED HD monitors.

And money is an object. If the HD tap saves one or two takes a day it will more than pay for it's self.

The fact that working practices are different worldwide is precisely why you can't make blanket statements like you did. Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean that it won't work for me.
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#14 RobVanGelder

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 02:56 AM

Erik, I understand you, but I voiced my opinion, not a statement.

I do not see anything from RevolveR, except a system that connects to an Arrihead, not the same type as the Powerpod or Scorpio.
Please link to them, as I cannot find it on Google.

I still think it is a luxury item that means much more issues and requirements than just changing the tap. And for something that you still have to use with caution, as a reference. As William Demeritt mentioned very accurate.
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#15 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 03:17 AM

Erik, I understand you, but I voiced my opinion, not a statement.

I do not see anything from RevolveR, except a system that connects to an Arrihead, not the same type as the Powerpod or Scorpio.
Please link to them, as I cannot find it on Google.

I still think it is a luxury item that means much more issues and requirements than just changing the tap. And for something that you still have to use with caution, as a reference. As William Demeritt mentioned very accurate.


No it's Revolver Remotes. Not RevolveR. It's a full remote head not a head that hooks up to a arrihead.

I think it's a great tool and will make the operator and Focus pullers job easier.
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