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We can look forward to some awesome new 4K cameras at NAB 2015 in Las Vegas

by on February 27, 2015

Stephan Jukic – February 27, 2015

At this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, broadcasters can look forward to some interesting new lineups of cameras with support for 4K video. In fact, there is a wide expectation that the show will feature signs of changes on par with those that occurred when the photo/video industry first prepared for a switch to 1080i and 720p HD technology in video.

At this year’s NAB in Vegas, broadcasters from all areas will find themselves surrounded by growing lineups of new cameras with full support for 4K video acquisition. These new models will be coming from a wide variety of brands that include JVC, Blackmagic, Grass Valley, Hitachi and of course, Sony and Panasonic.

And certainly, this entire trend makes sense, not just from a manufacturer point of view but also to both professional and amateur consumers. According to Dave Walton, assistant VP of marketing and communications at JVC “We can deliver four times the resolution in a product that is virtually the same price an HD camera was a year or two ago, Why wouldn’t you want it?”

And speaking of JVC, let’s start by taking a look at what we can expect from the company.

The company will definitely be revealing its new 4KCAM handheld camera line. These were introduced in November of 2014 and altogether the cameras expand the company’s product line considerably. The models available and expected at NAB 2015 include the GY-LS300 Super 35, GY-HM200 4K Ultra HD streaming camera and the smallest, the palm sized GYHM170, all of which we’ve covered here before.

Next up is Blackmagic Design with its own offers in the 4K camera sphere. At this years NAB, the already highly recognized company (as far as 4K video cameras go) will be highlighting their line of 4K UHD broadcast cameras. These include the Blackmagic Studio Camera, which has been called the “world smallest studio camera with the world’s largest viewfinder” by representatives of the company. The Studio Camera is available as a 4K model with high definition output (1080p) and comes with a massive 10-inch viewfinder that completely dwarfs the camera’s head and body.

Hitachi's highly versatile new SK-UHD4000 professional production camera will be on display at NAB 2015

Hitachi’s highly versatile new SK-UHD4000 professional production camera will be on display at NAB 2015

In addition to this compact machine, we can also expect a number of other Blackmagic offerings that at least partly aim at live sports and entertainment production by offering innovative new technologies for the Ultra HD future of videography.

Another player in the camera market who will definitely have a presence at NAB is Hitachi, with its highly interesting SK-UHD4000 professional video production camera, which we’ve also covered at least twice here and here.

The UHD4000 outputs a whole range of video signal formats that include SD, the two types of HD (720P and 1080p) and of course the two grades of 4K, both 3840p 4K UHD and Cinema Grade “true” 4K at 4096 pixels. Another interesting feature of this particular rig is that it’s the only camera on the market which uses four 2/3 inch CMOS 1080-progrssive imaging chip sensors instead of the more usual three or two. Furthermore, the camera is designed for maximal lens attachment flexibility and can handle 2/3 inch Full HD lenses from a variety of existing brands for shooting that doesn’t require the use of 4K lenses or filming. Given that lenses are one of the most expensive parts of the entire camera equipment chain, this flexibility on the part of the UHD4000 goes a long way in production situations that run on a tighter budget.

These cameras are just a small sampling of what we’re going to be seeing at NAB this year and as the opening date of the show draws closer and passes, we’ll take more detailed looks at an assortment of new products from other manufacturers like Canon, Sony, Grass Valley and Panaosnic, which will be present at NAB in April.

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