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High-end video maker Astrodesign joins Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Jan 26, 2012 at 19:05 GMT

Astrodesign, a high-end Japanese video manufacturer has signed-up to the Micro Four Thirds system. It offers a 4K camera system (including separate camera head, processor and control unit) that captures 3840×2160 4K video at 60p. The company suggests its use for movie and broadcast shooting, live monitoring of medical operations and other applications requiring super-high resolution video. While the move is unlikely to directly affect most Micro Four Thirds camera users, it could boost the system's position within the video industry, encouraging the creation of an eco-system of accessories for video makers using the system.

Comments

Total comments: 31
kff
By kff (Jan 27, 2012)

I want to see these possibilities in the Ricoh GXR system ...

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Jan 27, 2012)

I think the movie industry will start move to use Sony's 8K (not 4K) camera F65; The real professional cameras like Arri's Alexa and Panavision may also adopt Sony's 8K technology too. Since both Arri and Panavision are not using 4/3 format (they have their own formats and technologies); 4/3 is still not in the professional field.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 27, 2012)

AF100 is not a pro camera?

0 upvotes
digifan
By digifan (Jan 27, 2012)

>>>>4/3 is still not in the professional field.<<<<
ROTFLMFAO.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 30, 2012)

You have no idea what your talking about. Most pro video cameras have sensors much smaller than m4/3. The AF100 was a camera made for the pro video community. The full frame SLR cameras are not for pro video use. They have to almost hack them in order to make them work for video. They don't have the codacs or outputs and other functions needed for the pro market. This includes all SLRs. All sports events BTW are shot with small sensor cameras (much smaller than 4/3) Would you call those non pro cameras?

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Feb 6, 2012)

I think when we talk about "Real" pro camera, we are talking the cameras like ARRI and PANAVISION but not the others. Of course, the most recently released SONY F65 is also a "Real" pro camera. Those "Real" pro cameras are usually very expensive, like the SONY F65, the camera alone (excluding lenses and memory module) already costs you US$ 80,000+.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 22, 2012)

It is also known that professional video makers tend to use higher speeds than the common 24/25/30 fps... to maintain a high frame quality these individual frames cannot be 24x36mm. That is not needed. Four Thirds resolution at 10 mp is by far enough for professionals to even use cropping by times and yield highest quality. The trend is to use RAW film quality as every pro knows that the possibilities are hugely extended. The time is not yet to use full frame. The time is not any more to use the 1/3". Those who speak of the actual professional cameras are running behind the crowd.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 26, 2012)

4k is for big screen theater. Some movies were make in 1080 but it does not look very good.
4/3 sensors are the same size of 35mm movie film (or half frame) The orientation is different. I believe someone adapted 35mm film to be used for stills. They turned it sideways so achieve a larger image circle.
In other words, 4/3 is the closest format to old 35mm film (correct me if I'm wrong)
Since its the same size, it has the same feel as far as DOF and Bokeh.
The u4/3 mount also has the flexibility to mount almost any lens mount format used for movie and still. Up till now, broadcast digital industry has been stuck with very small sensors. 1/3" broadcasting cameras still sell for about 10k

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Thomas22
By Thomas22 (Jan 27, 2012)

This isn't correct.

4/3 sensor is approximately 13x17.3 mm, compared to 18x24 for 35 mm movie film. It gets closer if you compare the sensor size in 16x9 aspect ratio with 3 perf 35 mm -- then it becomes 10.5x18.7 mm for 4/3 versus 13.5x24 mm for 35 mm.

The 14.7x23.6 mm sensor in Nikon APS-C cameras would come closest in size to 35 mm movie film, with almost exactly the same frame width. While I'm partial the M4/3 format and very happy with my DMC-GH1, it is fair to note that it's frame size really isn't as close to that of 35 mm movie film as is the case for the competing cameras based around APS-C sensors.

As for the $10k broadcast cameras -- are those using 1/3" or 2/3" sensors? I know that the larger 2/3" sensors are a standard for professional gear -- and still only have 1/4 of the sensor area of a 4/3 sensor. So in that regard, the advantage goes to M4/3.

1 upvote
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Jan 27, 2012)

Sort of correct. APS-C is very closer to S35 (super 35) motion film, whereas m43 is close, but still a touch smaller than academy 35mm motion film.

S35 is the more popular choice though, but when the AF100 was announced and marketed they always compared it to academy 35mm.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 27, 2012)

Micro 4/3 really does not have any particular advantage, it is still a pretty odd format.

All the world's professional, broadcast quality shoulder-mount video camcorders have 2/3-inch sensors. That is the same exact sensor found in the $600 Fujifilm X10 and $800 Fujifilm X-S1 digital cameras, BTW.

And like you had said, Thomas, 35mm motion picture film's frame size is closest to Nikon-type APS-C, although the Super 35mm digital sensors are a bit larger.

So, the odd man out here is still M4/3. And since film and video is primarily shot today in the 1.78:1, 1.85:1, and 2.39:1 aspect ratio, a digital sensor in the old school 1.33:1 AR makes previous little sense.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 27, 2012)

"i believe someone adapted 35mm film to be used for stills"

are you fu**ing KIDDING ME??? ^^

i cant take any of your post serious now, sorry hehe

btw that someone was oskar barnack with the leitz camera (leica) 1

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

"someone adapted 35mm film to be used for stills."

Yeah, that happened after over 3 decades of using 35mm film stock exclusively in motion picture cameras. Then the clever photo camera makers and crafty photographers "suddenly" got the idea.

Not to mention that analog and later digital video cameras have been out for many decades -- before anyone had the clue of coming out with a digital still camera.

0 upvotes
Charles King
By Charles King (Jan 29, 2012)

@inevitable: Actually, arranging the long axis of the frame parallel to the film's length and using it for stills predates Barnack by almost a decade. The first camera to do this was built in Denmark in 1905. The first 24x36 stills camera was made in Missouri in 1912.

0 upvotes
D-Man67
By D-Man67 (Jan 26, 2012)

Looks just like the Westinghouse lunar camera.
So I guess well be seeing 4K video on the next moon mission? ;-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_12_TV_Camera.jpg

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jan 27, 2012)

^ Being filmed in the Nevada desert with a CineAlta as we speak.

2 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Jan 26, 2012)

Seems strange why would someone spending 10's if not 100's of thousands of dollars on a camera (from what I gather these are priced in the market of arri and such) for a camera body just to put consumer grade lens' on it? Seems strange. C-mount, PL-mount, even EOS seem more in relavant.

While I welcome them to the fold, it just seems odd.

Oh well, hopefully panasonic's new x series lens' offer something worthy of thier cameras.

1 upvote
Klarno
By Klarno (Jan 26, 2012)

Nothing's going to stop anyone from putting C mount or PL mount lenses on, those are easy to adapt to a Micro Four Thirds mount and don't have anything to worry about for electronic aperture or focus controls, as they're totally manual anyway. It sounds like this is targeted at a market that needs to control some aspects of a lens remotely, and that's where Micro Four Thirds seems to be the better choice (even over EOS because of the AF motor tech).

And consumer lenses are fine for video. The best cine lenses don't necessarily have great resolution, because it's simply not needed once you add the motion factor (I think this push toward 4K consumer display is absurd in a video context). Cine lenses need really great bokeh, decent sharpness across the frame, and no distortion or chromatic aberration. Everything else is fit and finish, smooth focus and zoom rings, and having lenses calibrated to a T-stop, neither of which seems important with the target market of this Astrodesign camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
CommanderSpike
By CommanderSpike (Jan 26, 2012)

This camera has nothing to do with cinema.

It is for industry, medical application and video conferencing.

You only have to read one link deeper to grasp that.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 26, 2012)

Power zoom and AF. You can still use adapters for those other lenses. Best of both worlds, why would you limit yourself?

0 upvotes
Jon Stock
By Jon Stock (Jan 26, 2012)

The SHG 4/3 lenses are good lenses for video. 14-35mm, 35-100mm 150mm are all up to it.

0 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Jan 27, 2012)

They produce good imagery, but they're not good lens' for video for many reasons.
- electronic focus, is not good for follow focus systems as there are no hard stops, and the accelleration means you can't have repeatable movements
- aperture iris only moves in 1/3rd stops
- aperture's are flaky, and brightness varies as you zoom (the lens's are constant aperture, but the lens has to re-adjust after zooming, which is noticible in video)
- the lens' shift focus while zooming
- no stabalization
- No usable autofocus (too slow, and no continuous)

People are working around the issues, or just living with the problems and using them as variable primes with locked off exposure.

As I said, they produce great images, sharp, contrasty and beautiful bokeh, but they're not good video lens', too many compromises

1 upvote
draschan
By draschan (Jan 29, 2012)

micro 43 lenses are great, the 20mmpana, the 25panaleica, the 45olympus (amazing lens!) all deliver superb sharpness and colour. more than good enough for low budget, documentaries, TV and other fields to be used satisfactory and professionally.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 22, 2012)

@Joesiv: I cannot agree to your comment as this is all about the camera, based on a micro 4/3 system. As many know, you can - now these days - mount a wide variety of lenses to that system, not only the 'focus-by-wire' lenses in the consumer-category.
The Zuiko's in the pro-series focus mechanically and so do the C-mount lenses of loads of manufacturers (cfr the fabulous Schneider-Kreuznach jewels).

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jan 26, 2012)

WOW it looks like a computer from the 80's !!! :)

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 26, 2012)

This is a device few people will ever "see." It will be mounted on brackets or tripods that are not visible to an audience or (if on a drone) target. As such, it need be only very functional. The control interface will be remote or entirely "virtual." When used as a security cam, the mere sight of the camera must deter a trouble-maker, so all the better to have it look unmistakably like a security camera. After all, better to deter a trouble-maker than simply use the camera to watch arson or assault in UD.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 27, 2012)

@cy cheze, but you got that his comment was just a joke ^^

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (Feb 22, 2012)

@FTH: you mean the Tandy TRS-series?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 26, 2012)

This could have commercial applications for large screens used for conferences or sales conventions. It would allow people at the back of the auditorium, or in the back rows of the stadium, to see the details of a product on a mega-screen. Or maybe it would give rear-row concert patrons a front row "view" of performers. The costs would be recouped by the admissions fees or sales generated. But we are talking about big productions. The target clients are obviously big organizations.

Some may rebuke, "But why list this stuff as "news' at Dpreview?" Well, the obvious answer is that some large sensor system cameras will begin to offer 4k later this year. JVC is first "out of the box" with a $5k prosumer device. Later entrés, by JVC, Canon, and others, may feature larger sensors and sell in the sub-RED range and border on the affordable.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 26, 2012)

Of course, we are still four or five years away from seeing any large numbers of 4k displays besides at theaters or welathy mansions. But the ability to crop 4k video would be a tool for still photography and an unprecedented treat for video that involves sports, nature subjects, or even public events. It may be "irrelevant" to the typical consumer needs, but could that not also be said of mere HD? Wasn't VHS just fine?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Jan 26, 2012)

So the 4k camcorder is being offered glad to hear spec wise seems promising

0 upvotes
Total comments: 31