Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

So far NAB 2017 has not been the show we have come to expect form previous years, firstly with Panasonic keeping an interchangeable cinema camcorder under raps, some people speculating a 10bit 4:2:2 super 35mm 4K camcorder in keeping with the new GH5 but in a conventional camera body.

Sony on the other hand have decided to stop bringing out camcorders, probably because they have far too many as it is and decided to revamp the F5/55 with a new updated viewfinder the DVF-EL200.

Atomos  have decided to enter the video monitor market with the SUMO 19″ monitor witch is a monitor, recorder and a switcher. £2394 incl vat


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “NAB 2017 so far a big disappointment

  1. You are spot on, I guess we wait for Cinegear or look to the photo side or these VR/Drone companies for innovation

  2. A few years ago I’d eagerly await new video camera announcements because when you looked at the market, it was pretty easy to see “flaws” with virtually all that was out there.

    It took a while for cameras to reach true HD resolution (as opposed to making a 1920×1080 recording), solid state took a while to become viable, colour space issues, etc etc. You could always say “if xxx, that will be so much better…..”

    Now, you get the feeling of “where to from here”? In the broadcast world, if you’ve got a Sony F5, what would tempt you to change? What’s the killer new thing that would be a must-have? Errr, exactly….!

    And FS7’s are being heavily used for broadcast productions, no doubt even FS5’s costing a fraction of what entry level broadcast cost only a few years ago. So if it ain’t broke…. why bring out new cameras for the sake of it?

    And regarding your first comment, then please, please can we see the death of 4:2:2 in the world of 4k! It’s an anachronism. It only ever had a point in the world of INTERLACE, same as 4:1:1. Move to progressive (and 4k is solely progressive) and it loses it’s point. Either go for 4:2:0 – or 4:4:4.

    4:2:2 is not a “nice half-way point” between those two – it’s assymetical, which is the whole point of why it was necessary for interlace formats.

  3. David Heath, I read somewhere that the reason for 422 and 4K is simply storage of massive files and SDXC card write speeds. Panasonic is planning another firmware update in a few months increasing sample rates from 150Mbps to 400Mbps. This is apparently the minimum required to capture all the 422 data in All-I 4K . Imagine 444 in 4K – imagine 444 in 8K. Huge files created and very fast cards required.
    Anyway – the industry often upgrades in baby steps to exploit the market model. I’m happy with 422 as it’s a standard observed by broadcasters.

  4. Tim – you have to think first exactly what “4:2:2” is, and then why it came about (in the earliest days of digital video).

    It denotes (as I’m sure you know) a system capable of recording the same colour resolution vertically as luminance, but only half horizontally.

    So… why the asymmetry? Reducing colour resolution relative to luminance goes back a long way, and is exploiting the way the human eye works. (As do all analogue TV systems, for that matter.) But – the human eye responds symmetrically. Less aware of colour resolution than luminance – but equally in all directions. So why then record more chroma detail vertically than horizontally, as in 4:2:2?

    The answer goes back to it being engineered to digitise analogue signals, NTSC and PAL. Which by the very nature of the line scanning system are very definitely asymmetric. It made a lot of sense to simply have a colour sample for each analogue TV line – hence 4:2:2. Same applies in the HD world for 1080i/25. It’s fundamentally still an interlace system, hence 4:2:2 still makes sense.

    But progressive systems are symmetrical, and then it DOESN’T make sense to have an asymmetric subsampling system, that’s the point. If you need to subsample, do it symmetrically – halve the chroma resolution vertically AND horizontally. In other words 4:2:0. Yes, for certain applications and post processes, that may not be good enough – but then it makes more sense to jump to 4:4:4. And yes – file sizes and write speeds will be high, but if you are in the market to be needing 4K 4:4:4, you’re not likely to be using SDXC cards….. 🙂

    You may argue that “OK, but surely 4:2:2 gives more chroma samples than 4:2:0, and more must be better, right?”

    A good point – but when the bitrate is fixed, more samples means a higher compression ratio. So – *for a fixed bitrate* – the results may actually be better OVERALL, with fewer chroma samples – and less compression.

    Regarding your last comment, then look at current standards required by broadcasters ( page 10). They are clearly specifying that normally 4:2:2 is a requirement for interlace systems, but 4:2:0 is acceptable for progressive, incl HD.

    Unfortunately, “4:2:2” has just become seen as a “must have” in it’s own right, thanks to marketing. In the progressive world, that’s simply not the case.

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