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HOT NEWSROOM SOLUTION III - ENG CAMERAS FOR NEWS PRODUCTION

ENG (Electronic News Gathering) cameras are an essential part of a newsroom and an indispensable one indeed. There’s a whole lot of buffet out there for one to select but few of these cameras manages to stand out from the rest. Broadcast Video Producer would tell you what makes these top picks the perfect ones!

Canon XF300 – Light Weight Eng

The XF300 Professional Camcorder of Canon can go from being a run-and-gun shooting device to a shoulder-mount camera in a matter of seconds. Following on the heels of its widely respected XH line of tape-based camcorders, the XF300 takes advantage of the latest HD technology--along with Canon's newly developed MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec--to record Full HD video to affordable Compact Flash cards.
Nearly everything you'd want in a handheld, pro-level camcorder is here in one sleek package: three 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensors, multiple bit rates (up to 50Mbps), variable resolution and frame rates, industry-standard MXF file wrappers, a newly developed L-Series 18x zoom lens, HDMI/Component/Composite outputs, and full image customization. With its exceptional levels of image quality, ergonomics, and control, the XF300 is the perfect tool for applications such as ENG, documentaries, independent features, and event videography.
The XF300 features Canon's powerful DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which provides enhanced shading, lifelike tonal gradations, new custom picture settings and lower power consumption. DIGIC DV III is also the high-speed engine which powers Genuine Canon Face Detection. On-the-go videographers will appreciate the ability to track one subject in a crowd of people. Inspired by the same high level of optical precision used in Canon broadcast and photographic lenses, the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder incorporates a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-Series lens that features a wide and impressive zoom range of 29.3 - 527.4mm (35mm equivalent). The lens incorporates High Index - Ultra-low Dispersion (HI-UD), Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and aspherical elements to minimize chromatic aberration while delivering a resolution of 1,000 TV lines.
When shooting high definition video, sharp focus becomes more critical than ever. Canon's proprietary Instant AF system combines an external AF sensor with Canon's legendary auto focus system for fast and accurate focus. Together, the two sensors reduce focusing time--even in low-light, low contrast, or high brightness situations--and improve focusing performance on difficult subjects.
You can manually set an extensive variety of image quality adjustments and store them as 9 different presets. The adjustments include Gamma, Black Level, Black Gamma, Low Key Saturation, Knee, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Skin Detail, Selective Noise Reduction, Color Matrix, White Balance, Color Correction and Setup Level.
The XF300's operation can be further fine-tuned through the use of custom functions. This allows the camcorder to truly match your shooting style. A total of 12 unique items can be adjusted, including Shockless Gain, Shockless White Balance, AE Response, Iris Limit, Iris Ring Direction, Focus Ring Control and Character Record. And for quick access to commonly used functions, the XF300 features 13 customizable control buttons.
This camera meets the BBC’s standard for broadcast quality and is used by them with the HM650 from JVC.

Sony PMW-300K1 XDCAM

The PMW-300K1 XDCAM HD Camcorder from Sony is designed to meet the demands of field video productions and professional studio applications. It is Sony's first semi-shoulder mount camcorder to combine the low-light capabilities of three, 1/2" Exmor Full HD CMOS sensors with the broadcast-quality, Full HD MPEG HD422 codec. The camcorder features the same rugged metal construction, interchangeable EX lens mount, and 14x Fujinon HD lens as the PMW-EX3, but introduces advanced signal processing technology for low-noise and clearer images. Three, 1/2"-sized Full HD Exmor CMOS sensors provide good low-light performance with low image noise. The camcorder also includes Sony's 3Dimensional Noise Reducer technology (3DNR) to further reduce noise between frames.
A 3.5" 960 x 540 color LCD viewfinder enables precision focusing for HD-resolution footage. The viewfinder cover can be flipped up for easier viewing of the LCD screen when the camera is on set or mounted on a tripod. It also features built-in ND filters and 8 assignable function buttons. Built-in Neutral Density filters allow you to cut down on the amount of light hitting the camcorder's sensor. This gives you greater iris and depth of field control when shooting in bright/sunny conditions. Neutral Density filters are available in four stages - Clear, 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64.
The camcorder is equipped with dual ExpressCard/34 SxS memory card slots that support SxS Pro and SxS-1 cards. A variety of recording formats is available. The camcorder records Full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 50i, and 59.94i frame rates in the MPEG-2 HD 422 codec. At 1280 x 720, the camcorder can shoot at frame rates of 23.28p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p, and 59.94p. Slow motion shooting is possible with up to 60 frames per second recording in 720p or 30 fps recording in 1080p, when used with a SxS Pro or SxS-1 memory card. Quick motion can be obtained by slowing the frame rate down to 1 fps.
The camcorder supports both UDF and FAT file format modes. SD recording is available in DVCAM and MPEG IMX formats, in both NTSC and PAL. The camcorder is upgradeable to support Sony's XAVC codec when it becomes available.The camcorder offers two HD/SD-SDI and one HDMI inputs, as well as i.LINK, USB 2.0, timecode, and genlock connections for use with a wide range of AV and IT interfaces. The USB 2.0 port enables the use of the optional CBK-WA100 Wireless Adapter. Included with the camcorder is the Fujinon 14x zoom lens with lens hood and cap, 3.5" LCD viewfinder, BP-U30 battery and charger, infrared remote commander, shoulder strap, cold shoe kit, and a USB cable. Enable wireless remote control, video streaming, and high-resolution proxy file transfer capabilities by attaching the optional CBK-WA01 Wi-Fi adapter to the USB 2.0 port. This allows Apple iPads or Android devices to be used to control zoom, focus, iris, and white balance, as well as functions such as start/stop recording.

Panasonic AJ-PX270 microP2 Handheld AVC-ULTRA HD Camcorder

The Panasonic AJ-PX270 microP2 Handheld AVC-ULTRA HD Camcorder is a compact camcorder that draws many of its design features from Panasonic's shoulder-mounted line of camcorders. It features a 1/3" MOS imager that captures 1920 x 1080 at up to 60p and a 22x optical zoom lens, with optical image stabilization. The 22x optical zoom lens has a 35mm focal length equivalent of 28 to 616mm, so you have the focal range from wide to long covered. It features Optical image Stabilization (OIS), which is necessary when handholding with a long lens. The lens also features individual lens control rings for zoom, focus, and iris. This enables manual control of your lens (in addition to servo), that is similar to the control you get on full sized shoulder mount cameras.
The AJ-PX270 features slots for available P2, micro P2, and SD cards. This provides you a wide choice of media to choose from. If you already have P2 cards, the AJ-PX270 is compatible with available P2 media cards. It features 2 x micro P2 slots that allow you a variety of recording functions. You can also record to SDHC/SDXC cards in the microP2 slots using reduced data rates. The camera detects the type of card you are recording to and will display an error message if the card is not capable of recording the selected codec to that card.
The AJ-PX270 features AVC Ultra recording, which allows expanded recording options. In addition to the standard frame rates, the camera will also record in variable frame rates at 1080p, from 1 to 60 fps in 25 steps. The camcorder features both an OLED viewfinder, and a 3.5" IPS LCD view screen. The lens has built-in manual focus, zoom, and iris rings, providing manual control in addition to the servo control of zoom, and auto focus and iris functions. Taking a page from the larger shoulder mount rigs, the camera features a front mounted audio input, for a camera-mounted mic, and a rear mounted audio XLR input for a second microphone. Audio level controls are at the rear of the camera, however, a second audio level control for the front XLR input is located towards the front of the camera, making it easy to adjust the level on that mic while shooting handheld.
Even though it is designed as a compact handheld camcorder, the AJ-PX270 features connections that let you easily integrated it into multi-camera shoots with large shoulder mounted cameras. First, it features Timecode in and out, and a Genlock in the connector, so it can connect to a switcher for live multi-camera shoots. It features a 3G-SDI output for integrating into an SDI infrastructure, and output 1920 x 1080p 60 videos from the camera. The HDMI output allows you to monitor on lower cost consumer monitors. The camera features a USB 3.0 connector, with USB Host capabilities, a USB 2.0, and a LAN port. It also features built-in networking protocols that allow you to wirelessly transfer your files when using optional USB dongles.

The JVC GY-HM620 ProHD Mobile News Camera

The JVC GY-HM620 ProHD Mobile News Camera features a lightweight user-friendly design providing capacity for fast, efficient mobile newsgathering. The GY-HM620 offers Dual media card slots that allow you to record virtually endlessly by swapping out media cards as they fill up.
The camera's imaging system consists of three 1/3" 12-bit CMOS sensors with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The camera records NTSC broadcast compatible frame rates up to 59.94p and integrates a 23x Fujinon autofocus zoom lens with manual focus and zoom capability with a built-in 3-position ND filter. Connections include HD-SDI and HDMI. Comprehensive recording options consist of MPEG-2, AVCHD 2.0, and SD and Proxy H.264. Two SDXC/SDHC slots are available for simultaneous dual codec recording or relay recording. A viewfinder, LCD display, and built-in microphone provide additional flexibility in on-the-go shooting.
In pre-record mode, the camera continually records up to 15 seconds in cache memory. When the trigger is pressed, the live signal is appended to the cached recording. This feature is useful for situations when you don't know when the action will start, and allows you to press record after the event has happened, and still capture it, without worrying about wasting recording time or overwriting your media cards.