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Imaging


Images have delighted people for centuries. Improvements in technology have been a blessing and sometimes a curse. Digital imaging is immediate, transportable and malleable. The size of the imaging element has made cameras small but often lost depth of field characteristics that we use to tell our story. Limited dynamic range and artifacts introduced by the processing of bazier screens all conspire to reduce the our ability to create a perfect image. Not all disruptive technologies achieve the critical mass to make a difference in the marketplace. Some will change the way we portray the world to others.

Note: Updates to this article will appear periodically.



Digital Cinema Cameras

Wikipedia: Digital Cinematography Red Digital Cinema 3K,4K and 5K Cameras:
"We decided to skp several generations of evolution and jump right to building the camera you have been dreaming about. Big Image, Small Package, All Options … S35 size Mysterium CMOS sensory 4520 x 2540 active pixels. 2540p, 1080i/1080p, 720p. 24p,30p, 60p and variable."

  • Red One - 4K camera $17,500USD Shipping Now.
  • Scarlet - 3K camera with a 2/3rds inch chip Mysterium sensor and will be capable of shooting from 1 - 120 FPS $3000USD ( available early 2009 ).
  • Epic - a 5K camera $40,000USD ( available early 2009 ).
  • Red Ray - a playback device for 4K content which will sell for less that $1000USD ( available early 2009 ).

Dalsa: Technology with Vision:
"DALSA offers powerful imaging components in four strategic markets: Vision for Machines, Professional Imaging, Life Sciences, and Digital Cinema. The supply of processed semiconductor wafers is provided by DALSA Semiconductor."
Professional Imaging: Fidelity Beyond Film:
"From professional still photography to fluoroscopy to aerial photogrammetry, our products define the top end of performance in the world's most demanding digital imaging applications. … Our new FTF4052 is the world's first commercially available 22-megapixel sensor. Its combination of very low noise, very high dynamic range, and very high uniformity provide the very highest imaging performance possible--until we build its successor."

Digital Cinema:
"Leveraging our 20 years of experience designing the world's best image sensors, DALSA followed a cinematographer's wishlist to design the next generation digital cinema camera from the ground up. …the digital cinema camera the way it should be." Designed for cinematography (at least 12 stops of linear response), Film-sized sensor (4096 x 2048 pixels), Real cinema lenses (35mm PL mount), Optical viewfinder " Dalsa Digital Cinema Center ( previously Broadcast Plus ) opens in Woodland Hills, CA in January 2005.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and design groups in Waterloo, Ontario, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Eindhoven the Netherlands

Kinetta: Digital Cinema Camera:
"What's most important about the kinetta camera is that is design is based on film-camera concepts. It's not loaded with dozens of controls, since like film, raw image capture permits you to defer color and gamma decisions until post. Shoots go faster and don't require extra technicians or equipment. " 1920 x 1080 @ 24-60P, Uses PL-mount lenses: the 2/3-inch HD chip makes it compatible with 16mm camera lenses, 12 tracks of 24bit, 96k audio. The camera will not ship until October and will initially include AltaSens ProCamHD 2meg CMOS sensors. This camera is sensor-agnostic and will accept a sensor upto 35mm in size. Download The brochure and read the articles linked from the Kinetta web page for more detail.
Principle Jeff Kreines

Arriflex D-20: A Film Style Digital Camera:
"The ARRIFLEX D-20 is film style digital camera. Because of its single, Super 35 sized CMOS sensor, the D-20 uses the same lenses as 35 mm film cameras and has the same depth of field as 35 mm film. It has an optical viewfinder, is capable of variable frame rates and is compatible with ARRI film camera accessories. It outputs either an HDTV signal in Video Mode or the raw sensor data in Film Mode." The company is placing pre-production units for trial productions, and are being made available through ARRI rental houses.
Based in Blauvelt, New York, USA


Imaging Elements

Research: Chip Delivers Better Digital Pictures For Less Power:
"…a prototype chip that can digitize an image right at each pixel, and they are working now to incorporate a second technology that will compress the image with far fewer computations than the best current compression techniques.… Focal Plane Image Compression… to arrange photodiodes on an imaging chip so that compressing the resulting image demands as little as 1 percent of the computing power usually needed."
Based at University of Rochester, Mark Bocko and Zeljko Ignjatovic

Foveon: The power of digital, The essance of film:
"Foveon was founded in 1997 by Dr. Carver Mead.… The revolutionary design of Foveon X3 direct image sensors features three layers of pixels. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green, and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths - forming the world's first direct image sensor. …Several neighboring pixels can be grouped together on-chip to obtain the effect of a larger pixel. …On-Chip A/D Conversion. Minimal external control logic required. Ultra Low Power (CMOS). …Extremely low-noise readout and high dynamic range."

Sigma Digital Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) Cameras:
"10.2 million pixels (2268 columns x 1512 rows x 3 layers) (3.4 Mp Red + 3.4 MP Green + 3.4 Mp Blue)"
Professional class digital camera.

Polaroid x530:
"4.5 million pixels (1420 columns x 1060 rows x 3 layers) (1.5 Mp Red + 1.5 MP Green + 1.5 Mp Blue)"
Affordable full-featured point-and-shoot digital camera.
Based in Santa Clara, CA, USA

Kodak: LEAF Digital Photography:
"Digital camera backs for professional photographers to shoot in studio and on location. Up to twenty-two mega pixel CCD sensor for medium and large format photography. "


HD Distribution Media

Mempile: Terabyte Storage:
"With capacity exceeding 1000 GB on a single removable disc, Mempile enables simple, cost-effective, permanent archiving of all your content. ... Using a red laser on Mempile?s current media, the TeraDisc can record 200 DVD-like virtual layers resulting in close to 1 TB of data. With the refinements expected over time, the number of data layers will be substantially increased and other attributes like mark size and spacing decreased. Capacities of 5 TB can be expected. " 300GB is tyically require for theatrical distribution. This technology provides a read and write capability.
Based in Neve Ilan, Israel

Fuji Film: Blue Ray & HD-DVD Media:
"The company also continues to conduct significant research and development in the area of holographic storage technologies that will bring future generation, multiple terabyte optical storage capacity to consumer, entertainment and commercial applications. A single terabyte of holographic disc storage is roughly the equivalent of 16 days of continuously running DVD movies, or 8,000 times more data than a human brain retains in a lifetime."

InPhase Technologies: Holographic Disc:
Inphase Technologies, is a spin-off of Bell Labs. Hitachi Maxell, is an InPhase partner and investor. "InPhase Technologies was founded in December 2000 as a Lucent Technologies venture, spun out of Bell Labs research, with the objective of becoming the first company to bring holographic data storage technology to market. … The Tapestry holographic system can store more than 26 hours of broadcast-quality high-definition video on a single 300 gigabyte (GB) disk, recorded at a 160 megabit per second (Mb/s) data rate. … Customer shipments of the 300 GB InPhase Tapestry product will commence in 2006, representing the initial offering in the family of InPhase holographic drives and media, which have capacities ranging up to 1.6 terabytes (TB) and data rates of 960 Mb/s. "
Based in Longmont, Colorado 80501 USA

Optware: Holographic Disc:
"Known as the Collinear Holographic Data Storage System, the disc has a one terabyte storage capacity and one gigabyte transfer speed. The disc size is 12cm, comparable to that of a DVD and a CD."
Based in Yokohama, Japan

Blu-ray Disc:
"The performance of Blu-ray Disc will meet the market demand for the coming High Definition TV world. The Blu-ray Disc can store and distribute more than 4 hours of high definition quality video, on a dual-layered rewritable, write-once and read-only disc.… providing a storage capacity of 25 GB on a single-layered disc or 50 GB on a dual-layered disc with a 12 cm diameter (same size as CD and DVD). The data transfer rate reaches 36 Mbps (bit per second)." Blu-ray Disc BD-ROM specification includes support for the MPEG-4 AVC ( see below ), Microsofts VC-1 and the older MPEG-2 video codec. This means that these codecs must be included in Blu-Ray disc players. VC-1 is based on Microsoft's Windows Media 9 codec, and was previously called VC9. The MPEG-4 AVC is based on the H.264 codec.
Consortium including more than a dozen major electronics manufacturers.

DVD Forum: HD-DVD:
The DVD Forum steering committee has approved version 1.0 of the physical specifications for HD-DVD read-only discs and voted to require that makers of HD-DVD video playback devices build in three video codecs, including the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and Microsoft's VC-9 ( now called VC-1 ).
Consortium with ten founding member companies with more than 230 members. Based in Tokyo 105-0012 Japan

New Medium Enterprises: MVD:
20 GB Red Laser, High-Definition Versatile MultiLayer Disc (VMD) bringing razor sharp HD IMAGE QUALITY to mass market consumers, priced in the range of current standard definition discs & players. NMEN anticipates that by spring 2005 it will achieve pre-production 30GB of storage capacity with bit rates up to 60 Mbs, capable of playing even higher quality High-Definition content for HDTV and Digital Cinema on a single pre-recorded VMD. In 2006, the company will start manufacturing cost-effective 50 GB VMD's on Red Laser, for HDTV and Digital Cinema. With minimal changes of its technology, the company can manufacture recordable VMD as well. With future applications in sight, the company has begun developing Blue Laser VMD systems with up to 1 Terabyte capacity for high-end Digital Cinema and Video-On-Demand (VOD) applications.
Based in Brooklyn, NY 11219 and Tel Aviv 69860 Israel

Vividas: Full Screen Broadcast Quality Video Over Internet:
" Vividas was founded as eGenie Australia Pty. Ltd., in August 2000. The purpose of the company was to develop technology to enable computer users to access full screen broadcast quality video without the need to install software. … In 2003, a London based investment group, Sigma Technology Fund, became significant investors in the company and a London based holding company was formed. Three wholly owned subsidiary companies now service USA, Europe and Australasia.


Recording Media

Ambarella: HD H.264 System On A Chip
"… store one hour of true high definition video (720P60 or 1080i60) and four hours of standard definition video on a 4 GB flash device. This ability to store large amounts of content on a smaller device makes the high definition experience a reality for the mainstream user. … the first commercial low power HD H.264/AVC system-on-chip (SoC) that enables the development of true hybrid cameras with HD video and high-resolution still pictures at the highest image quality. Ambarella's breakthrough A1 digital camera platform combines an HD H.264/AVC codec, video processor, still image processor, audio compression and all other critical system functions on one chip. The Ambarella SoC has an extremely low operating power of less than one watt and a price-point that makes the high-definition experience a reality for mainstream consumers. " Ambarella is expecting its customers to release products around the Q2 2006 timeframe.
Ambarella is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA with offices in Hsinchu, Taiwan

P2 Partners
"Called P2 ("Professional Plug-in"), these solid-state cards are neither tape nor disc and require no moving parts. P2 cards fit neatly in the slots of P2 Series equipment and record DVCPRO HD/… Compliant with PC Card standards (Type II)"
Based in Japan

iGrid 2005: What Media? Realtime 4k tranfer via fibre optic
"The 4K footage was compressed with a prototype JPEG 2000 encoder from NTT, then transmitted 9,000 miles from Keio University in Japan to the Calit2 facility over 1-GB optical-fiber networks."
Based in Japan


Standards

AVC-Intra (H.264 Intra) Compression Technical Overview (pdf)
" Provide ENG and Production Quality CODECs to Satisfy Users demands using the latest compression technology. ... Video compression may be divided into two basic schemes; INTRA-only compression that completes the compression processing within one frame, and INTER or (Long GOP) compression in which the processing is completed over multiple frames. "
Panasonic, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. 2007 Based in Japan

AVCHD
"The AVCHD is a brand new high definition (HD) digital video camera recorder format recording 1080i*1 and 720p*2 signals onto certain media by using highly efficient codec technologies. The "AVCHD" is jointly established by Panasonic, the brand name for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known and Sony Corporation."
Based in Japan

Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)
"Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC (DCI) was created in March, 2002, and is a joint venture of Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros. Studios. DCI's primary purpose is to establish and document voluntary specifications for an open architecture for digital cinema that ensures a uniform and high level of technical performance, reliability and quality control."

JPEG 2000
"JPEG 2000 is a new image coding system that uses state-of-the-art compression techniques based on wavelet technology. Its architecture should lend itself to a wide range of uses from portable digital cameras through to advanced pre-press, medical imaging and other key sectors."
See also Open JPEG
Based in Japan


Software

Apple:
Apple Computer has continually increased its presence in imaging and sound production. In addition to tuned hardware and system level software and excellent display technology, Apple provides a suite of professional software which brings everything together. Apple Pro Applications include:

Based in San Jose, California, USA

Displays

Sanyo: PLC-XL50 Short Throw Projector
"Fixed ultra-short focus lens and proprietary optical engine facilitates the projection of images up to 80-inches from a distance of only 3-inches" Based in Redmond, Washington, 98052 USA.

Evans and Sutherland: Digistar 3 Laser
"The world?s leading digital planetarium features a fully integrated display system that fills a planetarium dome with spectacular images and sounds."
Based in Salt Lake City, UT 84108 USA.

ILJIN: LCD Laser Nano-Projector
"LJIN Display developed a coin-size laser video projector module that can fit into portable gadgets such as mobile phones and digital cameras"
Based in Korea.

Microvison: Laser Pico-Projector
"Explay specializes in the development of ultra small, full color, nano-projector engines" Based in Redmond, Washington, 98052 USA.

Explay: Laser Nano-Projector
"The image is projected to the users eye, wall, or any other surface. Since the PicoP display engine uses a single beam of light and a small scanning mirror to create an image, we can create a large image from a small package." The nano-projector engine is powered by a "laser-based diffractive diffractive optical technology" and can project an image size from 7 to 35 inches.
Based in Israel.

Light Blue Optics: Miniature Laser Projector
"holographic laser projection technology creates large, full-colour, high-quality video images that remain in focus at all distances" The nano-projector engine is powered by a "laser-based diffractive diffractive optical technology" and can project an image size from 7 to 35 inches.
Based in Cambridge, UK CB4 0WS.

Sony: SXRD 4K Projector
"SXRD Device Offers Advantages over Existing Projection Technologies with 4096 x 2160 Pixel Resolution, High Contrast Ratio and the Brightness Required for Large Venues? The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specification for distribution and display defines a 4K "container" that is 4096 x 2160 pixels.? the 10,000 ANSI lumen model SRX-R110 is recommended for screens up to 40 feet (12 meters) wide. The 5,000 ANSI lumen SRX-R105 is for screens up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide, using either 1.85 or 2.39 Cinema aspect ratios."
Based in Japan

Light Blue Optics
"Laser projection using computer-generated holograms (CGHs) represents a compelling alternative to conventional image projection. Video projectors based on this CGH technology are efficient and require only a very few components, which means they can be made very small - and the smaller the CGH, the bigger the image that results. So a tiny projector producing large images could, for the first time, be integrated into a laptop, a PDA, or even a mobile phone."
based in Cambridge, UK

Samsung OLED HD TV:
At 21-inches, this OLED features the highest resolution at 6.22 million pixels (WUXGA: wide ultra-extended graphics array). In addition, the company adopted AM-based technology for its low power consumption and high-resolution qualities. Samsung's new OLED offers brightness of 400 nit, contrast ratio of 5000:1, color gamut of 75 percent and fast response times, making the product ideal for viewing HD-resolution video images. Moreover, the OLED uses Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) technology; thus can be mass-produced within Samsung's existing TFT-LCD lines. Samsung Electronics has now applied the a-Si technology to produce large-sized OLED panels within 4 th and 5 th generation production lines.
Based in Seoul, 100-742, Korea

NEC MultiSync 2180WG-LED (pdf):
" The first desktop display in the market to feature a light emitting diode (LED) backlight, the professional-grade monitor delivers unprecedented levels of image detail and color scale to demanding users in such fields as graphic design, pre-press, digital animation, medical imaging, and film, video and photo editing production. …Allowing for 3200x1200 resolution requirements which can be used for HDTV editing at 1920x1080 "
This monitor is currently available for purchase.


Theater Management Systems

Kodak Cinema and Television:
The MN2000 is intended for use with major studio content, drives 2K projectors, and has SMPTE292 (HD-SDI) output only. It offers networking capability in the booth (for automation/projector connectivity) and through KODAK Digital Cinema Services.

AccessIT:
Software and services for the digital cinema transition.


Commentary

Who needs Blu-ray or HD DVD anyway?: -- Economist Feb 1st 2008
The human eye can discern over 500 pixels per inch horizontally and vertically (say, 26,000 by 14,500 pixels on a 60-inch screen). To achieve true immersive reality?the ?killer app? that consumer electronics makers see on the horizon?requires displays a dozen times sharper than today?s HDTV sets.

Digital Photography Review:
One of many excellent sites which provide uptodate information and reviews of digital still cameras. Phil Askey, Editor

Best Picture Quality With 6 Megapixels!:
The best compromise for a compact camera is a sensor with 6 million pixels or better a sensor with a pixel size of >3Ám.

Buyer's Guide 2008: Hi-Def Camcorders: Consumer level reviews of HD digital video cameras.
Note: iLife 08 and AVCHD require an Intel Mac.

Sony SXRD 4K Projector: Installation Profile:
"We figure the total equipment package for a 35mm installation costs about $35,000, just for the projector and film platter. A digital installation with a Sony 4K projector and server costs around $85,000 per screen. But we feel we are on the cusp of this becoming the quality of presentation that the audience is going to expect."

MPEG Industry Forum - H.264/AVC:
Because H.264 is up to twice as efficient as MPEG-4 Part 2 (natural video) encoding, it has recently been welcomed into the MPEG-4 standard as Part 10 - Advanced Video Coding. Many established encoder and decoder vendors are moving directly to h.264 and skipping the intermediate step of MPEG-4 Part 2. "The next generation of video coding: MPEG-4 AVC" highlights the key features and benefits of H.264/AVC while "H.264/AVC The emerging standard" (pdf) provides a much more detail.

FCC: DTV:
Provides definitions and a wide range of uptodate information about the evoloution of Digital Television.


Support

Ken Stone: Final Cut Pro:
"This web site is specific to Apple's Final Cut Pro Editing software. It includes a Basic section for beginners, a White Paper section for Intermediate and Advanced uses. There are Review sections for Hardware, Software and FCP Tutorial products as well as a FCP Discussion Board."

Creative Planet: 2-pop:
"Founded in 1997, the Creative Planet Communities, a division of United Entertainment Media, offers online resources for the film and television production professional. Updated daily, the CPC sites offer news, articles and discussions forums for the creative community."

Vancouver Final Cut Pro User Group:
"Training and resources for DV creators."

Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group:
"The Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group acknowledges the powerful influence Final Cut Pro has made on the digital filmmaking process and it's impact on the future of the entire entertainment industry, and intends to be at, and stay on top of, the digital filmmaking revolution."

DV Creators:
"Training and resources for DV creators."


Video

Ad-Awards: International Advertising Awards TV:
"Ad-Awards is an independent group who selects the best ads on a monthly basis. In November 2005, an award will be given to each of the categories selected on our DIRECTORY page."


dmoz: Open Directory Project

dmoz: Open Directory Project:
Category: Top: Business: Business Services: AudioVisual: Production: Video and Film
Description: video production companies which are principally engaged in business-to-business / corporate video productions.



The information presented here has been gathered from the manufacturers' press releases and other news sources and is believed to be true but no warranty is made as to the general suitability or performance of these products. We do not personally endorse any company or product described here. All trademarks, registered trademarks, and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Folkstone Haron Photo


Updated: May 13, 2008 12:35 PM - V0N 1V1
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