The studio team got very excited when the latest addition to our camera family arrived at the studios!
Recently we have had an increase in the number of people contacting us about projects where they want footage that could be used by regional and national broadcasters across Europe or give them optimum quality on large displays at trade shows and events.
We already have cameras that can produce HD video but we wanted to ensure we could provide optimum quality now and in the future. This meant we needed to look at the emerging Ultra HD 4k standard. There are a number of video cameras available on the market and having carefully considered them all we selected the Sony FDR-AX1 (also known as the new SONY 4k or Ultra-HD) to join our current Sony AX2000 and N50.
So what does it Ultra HD mean in video production terms FDR-AX1?
The BBC says HD delivers ‘exceptionally clear, crisp pictures with vivid colours and up to five times more detail than standard definition.‘ The BBC’s web site also says its HD channels currently ‘transmit programmes using the 1080/50i standard and 1080/25p depending on how the content is captured.’
What this usually means is that central BBC services like the national news produce content at 1080/50i and their regional TV and news programs produces content at 1080/25p.
By having a family of videos we can now shoot to suit the highest quality standards. In fact the new FDR-AX1 can shoot at up to 3 times the current highest quality required by the BBC.
The BBC has started to trial broadcasting content in 4k. They have focused on big sporting events so far such as the football world cup matches and the Commonwealth Games. This is being managed by their R&D team. As of yet most people do not have 4k enabled TV’s in their homes but the latest models from Samsung, LG and Sony are reaching a price point (sub £2k) that makes them a more likely consumer purchase in the near future.
It means that now we are not only able to meet the BBC and other European broadcasters HD and UltraHD needs now and in the foreseeable future but we also get stunning quality images and can work in HD even with 200% zoom. The post-production opportunities for editing are greatly increased.
There is one major downside – we have had to upgrade our edit suit and storage capacity. Such a large increase in quality means the file sizes are massive so editing and rendering needs a very powerful workstation. The studio team are happy of course!
Below is our first cruise video with the new camera, choose 4k on quality to see it in it’s full glory. Other cruise videos available, click here