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New Infinity HD camera from Grass Valley


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#1 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 07:41 PM

I am so excited about this that I have posted this twice. I am usually a Sony fan working in television but I feel like sony has dropped the ball on the low to mid level HD category. Though I feel like the Sony HDV cams are great cams they still have limitations and from what I have seen of the HD XDCAM the 1/2 inch version is a joke to mid range production companies like mine. It has an servo auto focus lens!

This http://www.grassvall...nity/camcorder/ is what I feel like should take over the market for everything except the very high end. It will use media that consumers can buy which will drive down the cost and make it more affordable to us producers. It has 2/3rds inch chips and shoots 720p 1080i and all SD formats using either mpeg or the new JPEG2000 codecs(the motion picture industry will use JPEG2000 for distirbution) upto like 110mbps on IOMEGAs new REV DISKS (removable hd) or Pro Compact Flash cards . The JPEG2000 codec instead of going blocky when it can't record enough info it goes soft which I feel like is a more natural look.

If people could get by the proprioritary media formats and the Sony name we could force all of the manufactuers to make better equipment offered at a cheaper price tag. We all know the Thomson Viper cam is a great cam and hopefully this will take off. I assume you won't have to buy a expensive deck to be able to edit your footage. The only drawback to that is as with dv some clients may want to just edit themselves if there isn't a huge investment in equipment required. Maybe a few years from now I could afford to buy one of these cams used.

Edited by johnhollywood, 05 October 2005 - 07:44 PM.

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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 12:46 AM

Hi,

It was the most exciting concept I saw at IBC

Stephen
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#3 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 01:38 AM

dont look that exciting to me... I think Grass Valley is trying to steal Panasonic...

But REV PRO is not the only recording media we offer.
We realize that certain workflows require another option.
Therefore we incorporate into the Infinity Series products
professional grade CompactFlash solid-state memory.
Pro CompactFlash media delivers the required level of
performance needed for demanding video applications.
It is superior to other proprietary solid-state solutions and
far less expensive. Pro CompactFlash cards now hold up to
8 GB with sufficient throughput for both SD and HD recording.
And trends indicate that CompactFlash media will continue
to increase in storage capacity while decreasing in cost?
making it an excellent open-solution for solid-state recording.
Both REV PRO and CompactFlash media have decisively
greater advantages than the proprietary media choices currently
available for use in our industry. Both can dramatically enhance
your workflow and both are supported by the Infinity Series.
The Infinity Series offers a choice in compression as well.

There you go folks, a new version of P2 :unsure: :blink:
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 07:07 AM

Hi,

Exactly.

This is what P2 should have been.

Phil
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 09:40 AM

dont look that exciting to me... :unsure: :blink:



Landon,

Don't worry it's not intended for you its too expensive!

What so cool are the outputs:-

Traditional inputs/outputs include BNC connectors for (HD-)SDI, CVBS, TC, AES audio, and XLRs for analog audio

IT-based interfaces

Three USB 2.0 connectors (two hosts and one device)

One FireWire (IEEE 1394) connector

HDMI display connector

Gigabit Ethernet

Cheers,

Stephen
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#6 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 03:59 PM

P2 is only made by Panasonic for use in the professional video realm. These REV disks and compact flash cards on the other hand will become alot cheaper because of all the consumers who will buy them will drive down the cost of R and D.

No expensive editng decks required. This is like getting a Varicam and HDCAM combined that records on cheap removeable hard disks or flash cards for $20,000! instead of $50-70,000 for a comparable camera and then $25-60,000 for a deck.

And this is a 14bit 2/3rds inch camera head from Grass Valley the same company that has switchers in all the top tv stations and networks across the country. I have no doubt this is one hell of a camera and its images will probably be just as good if not better than the 10 bit offerings from sony and panna.

And as was pointed out earlier it has almost every output imaginable.


WHATS NOT TO LIKE? THIS IS HUGE FOLKS HUGE!

I am not saying that the P2 camera is in the same category as this, rather that if you have more than 10,000 to spend probably more like 30,000 and you want something that shoots 1080i and 720p that is professional this is the ticket.

Screw sony and panna for trying to protect their high end. Thank you capitalism for driving Grass Valley to make something better and alot cheaper. :)
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 02:28 AM

These REV disks and compact flash cards on the other hand will become alot cheaper because of all the consumers who will buy them will drive down the cost of R and D.



Hi,

You don't have to wait! 35MB REV Drives around USD50

Stephen
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#8 Mike Brennan

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:22 AM

I am so excited about this that I have posted this twice. I am usually a Sony fan working in television but I feel like sony has dropped the ball on the low to mid level HD category.

...It has 2/3rds inch chips and shoots 720p 1080i and all SD formats using either mpeg or the new JPEG2000 codecs(the motion picture industry will use JPEG2000 for distirbution) upto like 110mbps on IOMEGAs new REV DISKS (removable hd) or Pro Compact Flash cards . The JPEG2000 codec instead of going blocky when it can't record enough info it goes soft which I feel like is a more natural look.


Another company dumbing down true HD quality, which you ain't gonna get at 110mbs.
Your comment that Sony has dropped the ball on mid range HD needs clarification?
HDV low end,
XDCAM HD pro/educational
HDCAM broadcast
SR for High end

Isn't that enough choice from Sony?

The infinity has a 110mbs rate (lets say thats lower than HDCAM)
35GB storage is a pointer that they don't expect you to go uncompressed with it.
So where do you think it will fit?

It doesn't exist, if they can deliver all the ins and outputs that would be great, but don't expect a high end camera head in a camera that can't record 4:2:2 1920 x 1080. 2/3 inch chips and blocks are far more expensive than 1/2 inch chips. Sure they can do it but it would the price well beyond XDCAM HD with 1/2 inch chips and cheapo HD lenses.


Low cost removable media capable of even what HDCAM can deliver 144mbs and does not exist at the moment.


Mid range HD will settle on very lackluster "HD" quality built for education and industry a much bigger market than broadcast (and identified as such by Thomson CEO).
I fear infinity will be built to satisfy the lowest common denominator of *that* market, unless they take notice of some of the postings on this list:)

By the time infinity comes out (2 years to have a reliable model my best guess based on Kinetta and Sony f900 blues) There will be a 2/3 inch XDCAM HD and a SR camcorder capable of 1920x1080 50p/60p in that time.

SR tape records approx 300GB(?) on a £50 tape (vs 35GB from the rev pro disk)
Ok a SR tape currently needs at least a £50k machine to play it. (but expect a £20k SR player once they have relieved post houses of £80k for SR 5000 decks or if their is any competition) .

Low cost removable storage with 400mbs transfer rate is the key to getting the prices of tape machines down.
Anyone see that on the horizon?

I don't see any amazing breakthroughs apart from the new M2 media that has 160mps transfer rate and is 1.2mmx 7mm x15mm with 32GB potential capacity. Designed for mobile phones.
It will enable the nimble fingered Japanese to make stuff smaller but not record higher quality....

Mass produced hard drives like the Kinetta is aiming for will be a mid ground for short form work or inhouse camera to edit workflows.



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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:37 AM

Sure they can do it but it would the price well beyond XDCAM HD with 1/2 inch chips and cheapo HD lenses.

Mike Brennan



Mike,

At IBC the were talking in terms of 20,000 Euro for the body.

Stephen
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#10 Michael Most

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:53 AM

And this is a 14bit 2/3rds inch camera head from Grass Valley the same company that has switchers in all the top tv stations and networks across the country. I have no doubt this is one hell of a camera and its images will probably be just as good if not better than the 10 bit offerings from sony and panna.

And as was pointed out earlier it has almost every output imaginable.
WHATS NOT TO LIKE? THIS IS HUGE FOLKS HUGE!



You seem to be getting awfully excited about a product that at the moment doesn't exist. Not only that, but Thomson has made clear that the intended market for this product is the news market, not entertainment production.

A removable hard drive is just one of many choices for high speed, high density storage. Iomega is not a company with a great track record for products with long shelf life, and unless numerous other manufacturers license their technology and manufacture compatible drives, the Rev will likely suffer the same fate. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, but using words like "HUGE" and getting overly excited about something that is a) yet another format and B) nonexistent as of yet is a bit over the top and premature.
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#11 Michael Collier

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 03:35 PM

I might try and get the TV station to switch formats to the infinity. Mostly because instead of buying a 50k deck like you would for any HD or SD format, you can buy a $300 rev reader. Every reporter can have their own and I can have edit bays wide open.

we use old beta SPs right now and I have a suspicion that all 8 decks we have in the newsroom will need replacing within 2 years (2 decks have gone bad in the last month) and switching to the infinity would actually save money, though we would still finish in SD for broadcast (no HD pcr yet)

Sure they can do it but it would the price well beyond XDCAM HD with 1/2 inch chips and cheapo HD lenses.



the standard infinity will ship for 20k, the XDCAM, in its cheapest setup will be 19,200
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#12 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 04:11 PM

You seem to be getting awfully excited about a product that at the moment doesn't exist. Not only that, but Thomson has made clear that the intended market for this product is the news market, not entertainment production.

A removable hard drive is just one of many choices for high speed, high density storage. Iomega is not a company with a great track record for products with long shelf life, and unless numerous other manufacturers license their technology and manufacture compatible drives, the Rev will likely suffer the same fate. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, but using words like "HUGE" and getting overly excited about something that is a) yet another format and B) nonexistent as of yet is a bit over the top and premature.

Thinking like this is why I am afraid Sony will have a strangle hold on the market for some time to come.

First who cares who they are marketing it to but the fact is Thompson is marketing this towards both broadcast and production houses. And I quote from the website :
"Our Infinity? Digital Media Camcorder combines the best of our Emmy® award-winning camera engineering capabilities with leading IT recording and connectivity technologies. The result is a solution designed from the ground up to deliver all the benefits of advanced technologies to the broadcast and production industries."

I don't know if you can call this a specific format since it can record multiple codecs onto both compact flash and removeable hard disks. If anything this camera records multiple formats. It has the capabilities to do NTSC,PAL, 720p HD at different frame rates,1080i HD, using either the JPEG2000 ,MPEG-2, or DV codecs, at varible bitrates, onto compact flash and rev disks at the same time. No this isn't a F900 cinealta camera with 24p. But I do feel it will give the Varicam and the 1080i HDCAMs a run for their money since this is only $20,000. If you want to tell your clients your camera only shoots 720p or 1080i then fine but I like the options of shooting both since half the market demands 1080i and the other half demand 720p. Of course 24p is missing but they could always add that in a future software upgrade.

It is just sad that people are so critical of a product before they even learn about it. :(
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#13 Mike Brennan

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 04:30 PM

the standard infinity will ship for 20k, the XDCAM, in its cheapest setup will be 19,200


Lets not get ahead of ourselves:) as far as I know the infinity camera has not yet produced a picture that mere mortals can see Red rag to GV:)

If it has 1920x1080 progressive ccd with 4:2:2 HDSDI output for the price then it will be a fantastic achievement and it will be the cheapest HD camera let alone HD camcorder.


For comparison,
XDCAM HD is 1/2 inch 1440x1080 interlace chip.



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#14 Michael Most

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:31 AM

It is just sad that people are so critical of a product before they even learn about it. :(


I don't think I criticized it at all. I merely pointed out some facts, like the fact that it doesn't exist yet and the fact that Iomega has not been very successful at establishing standards that have a particularly long shelf life. Personally, I don't get overly excited about things until they are real. Then one can do a fair evaluation. Until then, one can't.
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#15 Michael Collier

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 01:40 PM

This camera seems to be aimed at the television market. ENG style most likely. I would like to see my TV station switch over, just as a cost saving measure. Almost all of our beta decks are close to dead and a $300 rev drive is much more appealing than a 8K beta SP deck

No, its not teh Best of HD, it will be compressed. Though the 110Mb is far better than the 19.4M/s of HDV. The rev disks will provide quick edit time (no ingest, just plug and edit)

Though it is more compressed than HDCAM or SR its no slouch. The MPEG compression is a much more effecient codec than in the SR or HDCAM. not to say better quality, they just result in less data while maintaining some level of qualtiy. Look at it like this: a DVD MPEG stream is 8Mbaud. thats in standard def, so multiply by six to get the same quality stream in HD. at 110Mbaud these cams are outputting MPEG streams more than 4 times the quality of DVD or HDV.

and no its not for everyone. But for a television station that may have to move away from antiquated formats, why not spend the same money you would on an XDCAM and get a HD camera instead. Not to mention the HUGE savings you get from not buying expensive decks.

Those who arent burdened by quick turn arounds and zero-based budgets should look to a better HD solution, but for ENG and people looking to move out of beta it seems like an affordable option (plus I think those rev disks are nifty. amillion cycles wow. XD has a cycle rate of 1000. Both are about the same cost per minute
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#16 Mike Brennan

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:26 AM

Those who arent burdened by quick turn arounds and zero-based budgets should look to a better HD solution, but for ENG and people looking to move out of beta it seems like an affordable option (plus I think those rev disks are nifty. amillion cycles wow. XD has a cycle rate of 1000. Both are about the same cost per minute


We agree that a low cost removable format that does not need digitising is the way to go.


But the Infinity camera from what I can tell, is going to be the highest value ticket item of the infinity infrastructure.
I don't see how they can sell a 2/3 inch 3 chip progressive camera with HDSDI output and inbuilt recorder for under $20k and make any money? Don't forget it will need a $20k lens

If they are savvy they'll sell the camera at cost to kick start the format :) something Sony hasn't done when it introduces new cameras, instead making users pay a high premium.

The 35gb capacity is on the low side.
Uncompressed HD is 8GB a minute so it isn't a step forward in quality at all.
XDCAM HD falls into the same category, Sonys initial HD disc cam offering very low HD quality!

News is an area where high resolution adds impact to the audience (not always the case with drama)
As usual the manufacturers are trying to bend the market to fit into what they can make a buck out of.

Cameramena and DPs should be reminding the bean counters that with HD the "vision" in Television is more important than ever before...


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#17 Patrick Casey

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:46 AM

I like the JPEG2000 standard since it is completely open and I'm sure that developers can come up with some really cool stuff for it, but on the other hand it is MUCH more computationally demanding than the other formats in the mid-HD range. I don't have the exact numbers for it, but when I last tried it you couldn't do anything even remotely close to real-time even on a Dual 2,7 Ghz Mac.

Hope that they (or someone else) can sort something out!
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