Sonyshine: Why don't more camera makers build this into their cameras?
Do you have any evidence they won't be a generation or two behind the external boxes such as this? Or are they just in rather expensive models (e.g. ~$800+)? Any links or details you can provide?
I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just wondering. If they put anything great in them, this would be news indeed! But I'm skeptical because of the past. Perhaps this will be the first time this in-camera feature is actually usable at 360p or above. From what I've read about the specs, there's a reasonable chance the new Broadcasters (even the Mini) will be usable at 480p or 720p - perhaps even higher.
Have you used them, Mike? These "video cameras with it built in" that I've seen are either unusable (low quality, or sometimes don't work at all!) or only stream locally over WiFi to your own phone!
Papi61: "When it arrives, the Broadcaster Pro will be priced at $495 USD."
And it doesn't even work with 4K video? Non-starter.
Actually the problem is the Broadcasters may not even be allowing enough bandwidth for these 1080p connections - 4Mbps is cutting it close. As it is, the video quality may already drop below generally acceptable levels when there's significant motion or panning - we'll have to see when the product comes out.
A 4K connection might require 20Mbps upstream. Allowing for the necessary headroom, that would be about 30-40Mbps required for a wired connection, and about 60Mbps for a cellular connection (would you like to pay that cell bill?)!
If it's a "non-starter" because you can't get 4K live video for $500, you may need to re-adjust your expectations. Personally, I hope they allow 720p at the full 4 or 5Mbps - that would actually be much better than a marginal 1080p broadcast.
Here's an example of how to do it right - don't attempt 4K, but allow 15 or 30Mbps for 1080p: http://www.teradek.com/pages/beam
Oops, forgot the link to the Sony Firmware:
And here's Panasonic's overly optimistic specs on the maximum streaming quality on one of their camcorders, on p. 146 of the manual: http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/HCV720_ADV.PDF
(in other words, you won't be able to maintain a steady 20 fps, even at 640x360 resolution).
RPJG: I'm feeling a bit dumb. Are we just meant to know how this all works, because these devices are common? Or has this article not explained anything at all?
The WiFi is also to connect to the LAN or a mobile hotspot. That connection gives it access to the internet for publicly available streaming.
A WiFi connection to the LAN can also be used to connect it to a computer running Livestream Studio, which can process multiple video inputs and then produce multiple copies of the output (e.g. simultaneously recorded to hard disk, HDMI or SDI output to local TV screens, and streamed across the internet).
Bjorn_L: There are numerous HDMI streamers out there. This is the only one with a monthly fee or advertising. Go to amazon.com and search for HDMI transmitter. Or just look at Actiontec brand as an example.
"In the end the livestream is more costly, less capable and about as pointless a product as I have ever seen."
Sorry, but you're patently wrong about this one. The Livestream is extremely useful within its market.
However, I'm still interested in your application. Sounds like it works well when the viewers are at fixed, known locations. Can you please tell me which Actiontec models you're using? And am I right in believing that it requires Actiontec (or similar) equipment on the receiving/viewing end as well? Finally, does it transmit across the public network without using a VPN?
According to the firmware link toward the bottom of this page, it doesn't even work anymore (requires a website which has been de-activated). But even if it did still work, quality is probably poor. Some Panasonic camcorders (which cost more) have this feature, but they can only stream at up to ~480p with somewhere between 5 and 15 fps (and 15 fps requires a resolution much lower than 480p). The processors in these camcorders simply aren't powerful enough. I gave up on that idea after about two weeks of trying to use it (to stream action).
Streaming is Livestream's entire business. They take streaming seriously. Consumer camera makers who partner with U-stream just want another flashy feature to market.
The Actiontec probably works well for your application. But it requires viewing on TVs or other devices with an HDMI input, right? And it can't transmit across the public internet, can it?
Multiple Broadcasters are often used to feed into a computer running Livestream Studio, for a full multi-camera production which adds graphics, mixes audio, etc - for example, to stream a sporting event. That's why the example photo above shows it connected to some expensive cameras.
Bjorn_L, I think you may be a little confused about the Livestream Broadcaster. It's for a completely different kind of application than anything I can find from Actiontec. I don't think you could even use the Broadcaster to replace an Actiontec, or visa versa. If you think I'm wrong here, could you please be more specific about which models and which application they were used for?
As I said, they have different functions. Perhaps this is why you think it's over-priced, when it's actually under-priced.
For example, the Broadcaster requires NO receivers. One Broadcaster, one $49/mo subscription, and you can broadcast to thousands of computers or mobile devices anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection.
Too expensive to build this into a consumer camera; this device is sold somewhere close to cost. Providing sufficient battery power can be a significant factor too.
With an expensive camera you don't want it built-in - in most cases you want a modular solution where you can choose from a variety of encoder boxes, according to your needs or the particular shooting location.
You can plug a $100 camcorder into one of these and get good results, if your network's adequate.
Lassoni: I don't understand the need for the device.. it compresses the uncompressed HDMI for streaming? Couldn't the tablet or PC on your backpack do the same?
You're right, Azurael - most video input or "capture" devices require a USB 3 or Thunderbolt port, and few tablets have these. In addition, the software hasn't been developed for them. And these tablets might not be able to handle the speeds of a ~raw 1080p HDMI video stream anyway - let alone a 4K one!
They all need a Content Delivery Network - or you have to set up your own, expensive infrastructure. And all worthwhile CDNs cost money or require advertising.
The Livestream Broadcaster has a lower price (minimal markup, I'm sure), which Livestream can afford to do because it only streams in conjunction with their CDN, or with their software (Studio) and another CDN.
But since Livestream has possibly the best overall solution for cost-effective streaming, it's still worth looking at.
Most PCs that have enough power are too bulky, plus they cost more. Few (if any) tablets are powerful enough.
It takes a digital HDMI video stream and converts it into a digital computer network stream - which is not natively designed for constant, steady streams, but rather bursts with various "random" delays. The advantage of this unit is it can monitor the bandwidth and dynamically adjust the quality of the stream, thus avoiding most drop-outs. Any encoder which can't dynamically monitor and adjust the output rate to the network's (often cellular) bandwidth will have trouble providing a watchable stream.
Looking at the samples, looks like a great 15mm lens!
Now, since it's going to be shot at 15mm most of the time, can anyone please remind me why we need the zoom?
"It also has an integrated lens motor allowing for focus, iris and zoom to all be controlled from an ARRI hand unit, wirelessly. This makes the ALEXA Mini 4K an excellent choice for use with a drone."
I find this statement dubious. Only those with very high budgets might do this. The risk of damage using a drone can be reasonably high, so you'd have to be able to afford to rent or buy a number of units and somehow get them insured.
Most independent filmmakers need not apply (at least for drone use).
birdseed007: The truth is that the Pentax 645Z blows this and every other Canon or Nikon camera into the weeds for image quality and weather sealing which is why DpReview haven't reviewed it and nor have DXO Mark because they don't want to upset Canon and Nikon who pay the bulk of their advertising dollars.
The 645Z isn't for everyone (sports shooters) but it has brought the cost of superior image quality into levels that serious enthusiasts and professionals can realistically afford. With a range of 16 lenses covering extreme wide angle to 400mm telephoto it can do pretty much everything.
Canon is facing an onslaught from powerful new upstarts like Samsung and Sony plus a revitalised Pentax who under Ricoh have a turnover twice the size of Nikon.
Canon sales of DSLRs/ILC down 17%Compact cameras down 32%and those numbers got worse in Q4, the Christmas selling quarter.
Canon have been resting on their laurels for too long, fortunately the competition is acting as a spur to innovation
I don't think anyone produces new lenses "quite fast." Canon and Nikon are certainly no exception.
Creating a whole new system is a big deal, no matter who you are. So far Canon, for example, hasn't made much of a big deal out of the M system - which is why they have so little to show for it.
AndyHWC: Good job Olympus! M43 should be dead a few years ago if not because the excellent 16Mp sensor and some great models like EPL2, OM5. I can't wait to see the 40Mp is a hype or another great practical feature. It may actually work with the excellent in-body IS, interesting idea indeed.
It's not a gimmick, although it's more impressive when Hasselblad gets 200MP out of a MF sensor!
Good for applications like reproducing artwork or some types of product photography.
Peiasdf: There is a lot of repetition in Pentax's line up. There are 11 primes covering the 30-55mm range, 6 standard zooms from 16mm-50/85/135, etc. I'd imagine Nikon and Canon might be the same but either company sold ten times more cameras than Pentax.
Most of these lenses were designed (or are based on designs from) before the WR lineup or marketing push. This is especially true of the three FA Limited lenses. Limited lenses are designed for small size, relatively light weight, premium metal build quality, and high to premium image quality (depending on model and price). To help achieve this they have slightly slower apertures and lack in-lens focus motors.
All DA* lenses are newer premium designs which include weather sealing that's actually better than 'WR' lenses, though it's not indicated explicitly in the naming. This makes the DA*55 is the only weather sealed lens within the 30-55mm range. In truth, some of these are actually based on older designs (e.g. DA*200 and DA*300 from previous F* and FA* models) which have now gained in-lens focusing motors, weather sealing, and a little weight along the way!
Neither Canon nor Nikon has a stable of MF lenses, so they'd have to barrow someone else's.
This is likely the biggest barrier to them entering the Digital MF market.
Easier for them to try to convince people that MF isn't necessary. But if we're completely honest, that's an awkward position, because one has to believe that the advantages of larger lenses with larger sensors isn't a general principle. Rather, we must believe that the 35mm size is the holy grail - an arbitrary but somehow magical "sweet spot."
It's not so strange (the 11 primes), since 2 are macros, 3 are "kit-priced" lenses that are sometimes bundled with cameras, and some only work on APS-C (or at least are advertised as such). Of the four FA (FF) lenses at the bottom, two are moderately priced and two are premium.
Also, Pentax is more of a prime-oriented system, once you get into it. Nikon tries to lure you in through their nice f/1.8 G primes, and Canon practically makes you you dive in kicking and screaming with their premium-priced L primes. Many Canon owners never get past the zooms, or don't understand why they should. And perhaps they're right - at least for their uses.
Same with the zooms - if you understand the history of them being APS-C only so far, combined with an understanding of the pricing tiers and kit models. I think Nikon has older (and many more older) lenses in their current catalog. Which could be a strength.
So these primes are simply:
3 premiums3 moderates2 moderate macrosand 3 kit lenses.