New Canon HD + 4K lenses, and PTZ cameras29 June 2011
Canon has introduced a new, cost-effective 20x portable 2/3-inch HD zoom lens, two PL-mount digital cine zoom lenses that meet 4K production standards, and two remote-control HD pan-tilt-zoom cameras, writes David Fox.
The KJ20x8.2B IRSD portable HD lens is the latest in its HDgc range, and is designed for low-cost image acquisition for such applications as broadcast ENG or freelances.
It includes a built-in 2x extender, an option previously seen only on higher-end HD lenses, giving users much greater framing flexibility. At 8.2mm, it is also Canon’s widest lens in the affordable 20x zoom class, and it covers focal lengths from 8.2mm to 328mm, with the extender.
Its optical performance is claimed to be "outstanding", using the same novel optical glass materials, coatings and "extraordinary dispersion glass" that Canon uses for its flagship HDxs series lenses. The lens boasts "minimised axial and lateral chromatic aberrations, coma aberrations and geometric distortion." While its new optical materials and multi-layer coatings "lessen the ghosting, flare and veiling glare that might be stimulated by strong light sources."
It also has an enhanced macro function that effectively reduces the minimum object distance (from the front of the lens) to just 10mm.
Its Advanced Drive Unit includes Shuttle Shot, which allows users to rapidly zoom back and forth between any two positions, and its zoom can travel end-to-end in one second, an improvement over previous models, but without raising noise levels.
The wide angle FK14.5-60 T2.6 cine zoom and FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom use a new optical design that optimises and enhances various imaging qualities while minimising optical aberrations and distortions.
Both lenses are more compact and lightweight than other current PL-mount lenses, while a new design "virtually eliminates focus breathing".
By meeting the emerging 4K production image format standards, both lenses should ensure the highest performance for 2K and HD use.
They are engraved with large, easily visible zoom, iris and focus scales and have a common 136mm front diameter for use with optical accessories. The location, diameter, and rotation angle of the lens gears are also identical, for ease of swapping lenses on set.
Both lenses have precision back-focus adjustments to make set-up quicker and easier, and provide "superb control over geometric distortion", which helps prevent visible anomalies at extreme wide angles on sets with extended straight edges.
Canon’s new remote-control HD pan-tilt-zoom cameras, the BU-46H, for outdoor use, and the BU-51H (pictured), for indoors, include a new 2X digital extender for the camera’s 20x HD zoom lens (4.5mm-90mm).
Both cameras have three 1/3-inch (1.67 million-pixel) CCD sensors (1440×1080), auto focus function and image stabilisation. There is also a newly designed Night Mode, which slows down the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/4 (60i, 30F) or 1/3 (50i, 25F, 24F), allowing frame accumulation to increase camera sensitivity.
The BU-51H also has a built-in microphone, and all its movements are quiet (maximum noise level NC30). It also outputs PTZ and focus position information for integration with virtual studio systems.
The BU-46H has a weatherproof housing that meets IP-45, a remote-control neutral density filter, and a windscreen wiper blade to keep its lens port clear. It can pan through ± 340º and tilt + 30º~ -50º in precise and smoothly choreographed movements. Typical applications will include sports stadia, horse-racing tracks, and broadcast television skycams.
Both cameras have a non-proprietary control option that enables users and system integrators to link the camera with their own control system or to third-party providers. They can be operated in automatic or manual mode and can pan, tilt and zoom simultaneously to up to 32 pre-set coordinates.
Other features include: genlock input for broadcast video system synchronisation; HD-SDI outputs with embedded audio; simultaneous analogue composite output; NTSC or PAL for monitoring; RS-422; optional third-party electrical-to-optical converter for fibre optic connections or to the Canon Canobeam DT-150 HD wireless video transceiver for transmission at distances of up to one kilometre. The BU-46H weighs 17 kg, the BU-51H is 11 kg.