by Fabian Chaundy | 4th November 2016
High Dynamic Range. Heard of it? Canon recently released a white paper on HDR written by Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe, laying down the key concepts and preoccupations regarding this emerging technology. HDR. You’ve probably seen it advertised all over the place: on the latest generation Atomos recorders, on silly smartphone apps that take the High Dynamic Range look way over to the extreme, on new televisions and monitors claiming to be HDR Ready… It seems like its something we should want… but what is it? In his recent white paper about HDR, Senior Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe explains the trends in advancements in imaging technologies, and the main 5 parameters in which there has been particular preoccupation. As you can see, it is clear how improvements in each of these parameters translate to recent technological advancements (i.e higher frame rates and bigger resolutions). When it comes to contrast, it is important to understand that the Human Visual System (HVS) can simultaneously perceive details in both high brightness and shadow portions of the image, while at the same time being capable of perceiving much higher brightness levels than what current display technologies can offer. The Atomos Shogun Flame, one of the many current products offering HDR In an effort to further approximate to the abilities of the HVS, technologies are emerging that do indeed provide a much higher brightness, a clear example of this being the much higher nit count of current top-range recorders and monitors. However, this is not all that High Dynamic Range has to offer. As Larry himself puts it, this increased brightness is accompanied by a significant expansion of dynamic range – where both the brightness of the highlights and all their associated details are elevated to better emulate the real world, while at the same time the display can also portray details in deep dark portions of a scene.” While many people stay away from white papers due to their often very technical nature and language, I truly recommend you take a look at this Canon HDR paper by Larry Thorpe. It is a short, concise and clear effort to establish what HDR means from the viewer’s perspective, with enough tech talk to explain how this feature integrates in the greater scheme of imaging technology. If you have 10 minutes to spare, I’m sure you will find something interesting to take away from it. You can check out the Canon paper here. Also, do check out our talk with Larry earlier this year at NAB 2016, where we discussed the Canon C300 II and the release of the Canon Cine Zoom 18-80mm T4.4.Read more
by Tim Fok | 11th September 2016
SmallHD have added to their new Production Monitor lineup with the new, 13″ 1300 series. The 1303 Studio and 1303 HDR are scaled down versions of the 17″,24″ and 32″ monitors we saw a few months back, boasting the same key features such as daylight view display, full LUT support, power out for accessories and broad range of exposure and focus aids. It was just prior to NAB 2016 when SmallHD announced their new line of Production Monitors. The now Vitec brand were previously known as a linchpin for on-camera monitoring, and took a natural step into production monitors with their 1700, 2400 and 3200 series. Now, as IBC 2016 gets into full swing, we see some new additions to the line up: the SmallHD 1303 HDR and 1303 Studio. Little comes in changes aside from the smaller size. The 1303 monitors are packed full of the features found on the larger Production Monitors. Here they are at a glance: 13″, 1920×1080 Display 170 PPI (Pixel Density) HD-SDI and HDMI Video I/O 1500 NIT display (HDR, Studio 400 NITs) Colorflow 3D LUT Processing 10-Bit Color Intelligence Engine Page Builder OS RapidRail Shoe-Mount System Aluminum Construction Lemo/XLR in/out for Power Besides a solid image, SmallHD has really put focus on their Production Monitors being robust, ease to manoeuvre and expandable with accessories. Their quick RapidRail shoe mount on the back is great for quickly adding accessories like a wireless receiver, as well as offering power out via Lemo/XLR. As the above spec, the brightness output of each panel separates the two 1300 series monitors, the former offering 1500NITs of brightness over the 400 NITs found in the latter. Looks like the 1303 HDR will retail for $3499 and the 1303 Studio will retail for $2799.Read more
by Adam Plowden | 24th August 2016
The Cinemartin VENUS is a recently announced high-brightness slimline monitor that provides a professional solution at a competitive price. For a limited time only, it is available with a very attractive rebate offer. Rated at 1000 NIT, the VENUS‘s high brightness makes monitoring and focusing easier when shooting in sunlight, or in situations that present a wide dynamic range. 10-Bit processing allows for more colour information to be displayed too, with up to 1.07 billion colours. This is achieved by FRC (8+2 Bit) ‘that produces an effect to see cleaner, natural, and a greater range of colours’. The monitor is slimline, with an average depth of only 11mm that makes it thinner and lighter than the Atomos Ninja Flame and the SmallHD 702 Bright. Its aluminium chassis makes for a small and light monitoring package that can be used with many cameras via HDMI. The downside to this monitor would be, as noted by the manufacturer: the Cinemartin VENUS is designed to be slim, durable and affordable, choosing to leave out advanced features such as peaking, waveform, vectorscopes, overlays for framing or LUT support. You would have to look at around the $1000.00 price mark for these features. The controls are accessed via buttons on the rear of the monitor rather than through a touchscreen. The reason is that touchscreen functionality would decrease the monitors brightness by 2 stops. On release, the price is certainly very affordable for a high brightness monitor in comparison to other higher-priced products, such as from SmallHD or Atomos. Whether the quality holds up to the other products available, I’m not sure yet. After using Lilliput monitors for a while, I made the switch to Atomos when seeing the visual quality improvement that they offered. The package includes free shipping, 2 battery plates and software for ProRes and HEVC H.265 encoding (valued at €199.00), with a price tag of only $795.00 (€695.00). As part of a limited offer, if you purchase a monitor and send back a video review, Cinemartin will refund $200.00, making the purchase cost $595.00 (€495.00) in the end. Cinemartin VENUS – Specs: Luminance from 700 to 1000 NIT. Bit Depth: 10 Bit (8+2 FRC). True 1920×1080 resolution. 7 inch screen size. Runs on Sony NP batteries. HDMI input. UI features – brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, flip, stretch (16:9 to 4:3), colour temperature. Power rated at 9W. Includes software for ProRes and HEVC H.265 encoding (valued at €199.00), and two battery plates. Are you looking for a high brightness monitor? Could the Cinemartin VENUS be it? Let us know in the comments.Read more
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