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Canon’s 3 NAB Biggies: 4K Cine Zoom PL, 2/3″ Glass & 3D:

Canon drop a few goodies for NAB 2011. Read on for their press releases that have all the info on two 4K PL-mount lenses, the Canon FK14.5-60 wide-angle cine zoom lens and the Canon FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom lens:

Canon FK30-300 4K Lens

Canon introduced two advanced-design PL-mount lenses that address the emerging 4K production standards. Designated as the Canon FK14.5-60 wide-angle cine zoom and the Canon FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom, these precision-matched lenses incorporate breakthrough Canon optical designs that simultaneously optimize and enhance multiple imaging attributes while minimizing optical aberrations and distortions. Both lenses are also more compact and lightweight than contemporary PL-mount lenses and both feature a totally new Canon optical design that virtually eliminates focus breathing. As digital cinematography continues to accelerate for theatrical motion pictures, TV movies, episodic dramas, commercials, and other forms of digital high-resolution production, professionals will require the very best in performance and image quality. By already performing in accordance with emerging 4K production image format standards, both of the new Canon PL-mount cine zoom lenses inherently ensure the very highest performance in contemporary 2K and HD digital motion imaging.

Canon FK14.5-60 4K PL Lens

“Both the Canon FK14.5-60 wide-angle cine zoom lens and the FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom lens are engineered to meet the most demanding overall imaging requirements of the latest large-format single-sensor digital cinematography cameras, and the creative requirements of the most discerning cinematographers, producers, and directors. Canon’s new wide-angle FK14.5-60 and telephoto FK30-300 PL-mount lenses will be on display at the 2011 NAB Show along with many other Canon HD lenses and advanced imaging products in booth # C-4325 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 11-14.

“The 2K and HD digital production formats are firmly established in the global marketplace today, while 4K resolution is poised to further propel the imaging quality of digital cine production. Anticipating this exciting evolution in digital acquisition guided Canon’s developments of a new optical platform in recent years to meet the current and future imaging needs of high-resolution camera sensors,” explained Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “Canon has extrapolated a new optical platform – first seen during NAB 2009 on a working prototype 8K lens – to bring to market these two new PL-mount lenses. Advanced glass materials, exotic new optical coatings, and new computer-design techniques were all employed to achieve significant overall optical performance in these two lenses.”

Digital Cinematography for Feature Films

Canon’s new FK14.5-60 wide-angle cine zoom lens and FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom lens are both engraved with large, highly visible focus scales for convenient film-style operation. Both also have a common 136 mm front diameter for use with industry-standard optical accessories. The location, diameter, and rotation angle of the lens gears are also identical, which further facilitates convenience in exchanging lenses on-set.

The wide-angle FK14.5-60 maintains its T2.6 maximum aperture over the entire focal range, and with the virtual absence of focus breathing offers new freedom in exploring novel picture creation. The lens preserves a high MTF (modulation transfer function) at wide-open apertures, exhibits well-controlled light distribution across the image plane, and greatly curtails ghosting and veiling glare artifacts from strong light sources. These attributes combine to help ensure superb contrast under a wide range of scene-lighting conditions, help maximize the image-creation capabilities of the current top-of-the-line single-sensor digital cinematography cameras. The telephoto FK30-300 complements the wide-angle FK14.5-60 in larger studios while also servicing many outdoor shots with exceptionally vivid imagery.

TV Movies, Episodic Series, and Commercial Production

The focal ranges offered by the wide-angle FK14.5-60 and the telephoto FK30-300 cine zoom lenses are designed to flexibly address most of the needs of contemporary HDTV episodic program production. The short depth of field, high sensitivity, superb contrast ratio, and excellent picture sharpness of both lenses are designed to provide producers of TV movies, episodic (drama) series, commercials, and music videos with the creative imaging flexibility needed to fulfill a myriad of potential story-telling objectives. Both lenses are equipped with precision back-focus adjustments to expedite lens-camera set-up, which is especially useful in multi-camera TV production environments. The mechanism is concealed beneath a cover plate. In addition, both lenses provide superb control over geometric distortion to prevent visible anomalies when shooting at extreme wide angles on large studio sets that contain extended straight edges.

Canon KJ20x8.2B

Cost-Effective 20x Portable 2/3-Inch HD Zoom Lens With Built-In 2x Extender Introduced by Canon U.S.A.

Utilizing the latest optical technologies to deliver high performance at an attractive price point, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, has introduced the newest member in its cost-effective HDgc Series of portable HD zoom lenses. The new KJ20x8.2B portable HD lens is specifically designed to support low-cost image acquisition systems for a wide range of applications and users, from broadcast ENG to professional freelance HD shooters. Leading the list of advanced features of the new lens is its built-in 2x extender, an important imaging feature previously seen on higher-end HD lenses. As a result, the KJ20x8.2B offers ENG shooters and other camera operators greatly improved subject-framing flexibility. The new KJ20x8.2B is also Canon’s widest (8.2 mm) lens in the affordable 20x zoom class, and it covers a generous range of focal lengths, particularly when combined with its built-in 2x extender expanding its 8.2mm-164mm focal length to 16.4mm-328mm. The new KJ20x8.2B portable HD zoom lens will be on display at the 2011 NAB Show along with many other Canon HD lenses and advanced imaging products in booth # C-4325 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 11-14.

““Given its remarkable affordability, great flexibility, and innovative operational features, the new KJ20x8.2B is set to become the next generation’s standard 2/3-inch portable HD zoom lens,” noted Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “Canon first introduced its HDgc series of HD portable lenses five years ago to provide high optical performance at competitive prices for the then-emerging generation of lower-cost portable HD video cameras designed for ENG and other types of programming. The HDgc product line has since grown into a broad range of portable HD lenses engineered to meet a wide range of production applications for lower-cost HD cameras and camcorders having either 2/3-inch, 1/2-inch, or 1/3-inch imagers. Now at NAB 2011, the introduction of the KJ20x8.2B marks a price-performance breakthrough for the many production applications seeking cost-effective HD acquisition systems based upon a new generation of low-cost 2/3-inch camcorders.”

The outstanding optical performance of Canon’s new KJ20x8.2B portable HD lens is the result of Canon’s world-leading design tools, including cutting-edge optical-simulation and 3D-design technologies, novel optical glass materials and coatings, and extraordinary dispersion glass (which Canon also uses for its flagship HDxs series lenses). Collectively these technologies and materials have facilitated an unusually high degree of optimization of the cost-performance ratio of the new KJ20x8.2B. The lens has minimized axial and lateral chromatic aberrations, coma aberrations, and geometric distortion. The new optical materials and multilayer optical coatings used for the KJ20x8.2B effectively attenuate optical artifacts such as ghosting, flare, and veiling glare that might be stimulated by strong light sources (for example, sun in daytime and car headlights at nighttime). The KJ20x8.2B exhibits a high MTF (modulation transfer function) at picture center that is also well controlled out to picture extremities. This high MTF is well sustained even with operational adjustments of focal length and object distance. The KJ20x8.2B’s optical performance is well-balanced for both near and distant subjects, and its rendering of distant subjects at wide angles – frequently required for landscape and cityscape shots – surpasses previously available lenses in this price range.

The new lens features an enhanced macro function that effectively reduces the minimum object distance (from the front of the lens) to only 10mm.

In addition to its optical sophistication, the new KJ20x8.2B portable HD zoom lens also features Canon’s latest improvements in Advanced Drive Unit technology. This technology is famous for the convenience and control it affords to camera operators using Canon portable HD lenses. On the new KJ20x8.2B, Advanced Drive Unit technology includes Shuttle Shot, a Canon-exclusive technology that enhances production capabilities. At the touch of a button, Shuttle Shot allows the operator to rapidly zoom back and forth between any two positions. Shuttle Shot can be used to zoom to the telephoto position to check focus and almost instantly return to the original position, or users can “shuttle” between any two zoom-positions at any time. Users can set specific Shuttle Shot zoom positions using a simple “Memo” push switch; the switch enables more reliable Shuttle Shot set-up in the field, where more consistent functioning of the controls is required. The KJ20x8.2B’s zoom can travel end-to-end in as little as 1.0 second, an improvement over the speed of previous models; although faster, new noise suppression on the servomotor inside the Advanced Drive Unit ensures very quiet operation.

The new Advanced Drive Unit also features an ergonomically re-designed, tilted shape for user comfort, convenience, and balance. The operator’s tactile connection with the lens is enhanced by a ribbed surface on the bottom of the Drive Unit to ensure a firmer grip and better overall operational control. A new grip support allows users to securely grasp the drive Unit without inadvertently pressing on the VTR or Shuttle Shot buttons.

Various companies have recently introduced portable HD cameras with lens-aberration correction functions. The KJ20x8.2B portable HD zoom lens is fitted with a camera-communication interface to support these separate aberration correction functions.*

* Check with the specific camera manufacturer to determine whether their camera is compatible with KJ20x8.2B lens-aberration-correction functions.

Canon XF305 Camera

Canon Enhances The XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders With New 3D Capabilities
New Firmware Enables 3D HD Video Capture Assist and a Host of New Features

Canon a leader in digital imaging, today announced significant enhancements to the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders, including the ability to configure two units for 3D HD video capture. Canon’s new firmware upgrades the XF300-series camcorders to include Canon’s 3D Assist Function that allows two units to be easily set up for 3D HD video, as well as an updated Scan Reverse function, Double Slot Recording for instantaneous backup, and the option to disable Relay Recording. Canon will be demonstrating a range of professional applications for the Canon XF305 and XF300, including 3D image recording, at the Company’s booth # C4325, at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 11th-14th.

“Our professional imaging equipment continues to offer cutting-edge features and capabilities that professionals need in the field and helps open new doorways to endless possibilities for creative expression,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technology and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
3D Shooting Capability

Canon’s 3D Assist Function facilitates the setup of two XF305 or XF300 Professional Camcorders when used together to capture 3D HD video. The new firmware includes the ability to perform OIS Lens Shift to aid in optically aligning two XF305 or XF300 camcorders and a Focal Length Guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and help calibrate zoom settings. This adjustment can be done through the menu system while the camcorders are mounted to a rig or tripod. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment. This is similar to the 3D shooting functionality found in the Company’s XF105 and XF100 model professional camcorders.
Scan Reverse

The new firmware updates the Scan Reverse functionality of XF300-series camcorders to allow for recorded images to be flipped on the horizontal axis, vertical axis, or both simultaneously to facilitate recording with 3D mirror rigs.
Double-Slot Recording

This new function allows the camcorders to record footage simultaneously to both card slots for instant backup of important footage and files. Ideal for use in production environments to ensure multiple copies are secured for each take.
Relay Recording On/Off

Relay Recording, an innovative feature where footage is seamlessly recorded to the second CF card as the first fills up, can now be turned off to prevent capture data from automatically being recorded to the second card. This allows the second card to be protected from recording and used only when designated or to allow the user to only copy or back up select takes to the card.
Professional Feature Set

The Company’s XF300-series camcorders employ Canon’s XF Codec, an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec for native 1920 x 1080 HD video recording onto affordable, universally available Compact Flash (CF) cards. Uniting video, audio and metadata into a single file, the Canon XF305 and XF300 use an MXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open-source format, to maximize compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) systems.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders include a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens, three Canon developed and designed native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, and Canon’s own XF Codec that delivers the extreme color detail required for accurate chroma-keying, color-grading and compositing for digital filmmaking. In addition, Canon’s XF305 model features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera, broadcasting or 3D production.

Priced under $8,000 and $6,700 per model respectively, the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders are designed for multiple production applications including broadcast news, documentary and independent filmmaking and event videography.

See Canon for more information.

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