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A Decade of Vanguards, #6

Jan 27, 2010 12:00 PM, By Barry Braverman

HDSLRs.


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Nikon D90

Nikon D90

Like the inadvertent inventions of penicillin, the Slinky, and Kellogg's Corn Flakes, the development of the HDSLR as a serious video-capture device seems no more intentional. The major manufacturers—Nikon, Canon, and Panasonic, with their respective D90, EOS 5D Mark II, and DMC-GH1 camera models—ushered in a new era of converged image-acquisition tools, capturing video at 1920x1080 (or 1280x720), along with super-high-resolution still images up to 25 megapixels at sky-high ISO ratings.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Leveraging this low-light sensitivity and the extensive R&D afforded by still camera manufacturers, the newest generation of HDSLRs is now addressing the performance shortcomings that were apparent in the first generation of video-enabled models: specifically, the copious picture noise and shutter artifacts, the lack of timecode, the substandard audio, and the lack of a standard and straightforward workflow. The Red Digital Cinema Red One may have changed the writing on the wall for the world of oversized imagers, but the major still-camera manufacturers are fighting back with a ferocious mass-market vengeance, exploiting their own high-density CMOS imagers to create worthy HD cameras of extreme resolution and versatility.

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Look for a slew of new generation HDSLRs cameras from a variety of makers at NAB Show 2010. In the meantime, feel free to dust off those Leica and Carl Zeiss RF and SLR lenses sitting idle on your shelf. You may just find these lenses to be a valuable asset as you contemplate your purchase of the latest and greatest HDSLR.

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