“Cameras have far too many variables to be meaningfully described by a single number. Naturally, this doesn’t stop people trying to do so. For a long time — since the days of entirely analogue cameras — performance was boiled down into resolution, which was far from the whole story even then. Now, that measure has lost more or less all its meaning. It’s possible to make sensors of essentially any desired resolution, trading off size, sensitivity and sharpness into something that’s almost a zero-sum game by the time that image hits the viewer’s screen. So, broadcasters are grabbing for other numbers by which to judge a camera and one of the most easily grabbed is how much data the camera records. As evidence of this, notice that several cameras released in recent years have implemented 50-megabit recording options for HD pictures, probably because several broadcasters mandated that as a rather arbitrary minimum. There are, however, more than a few problems with this.”Source: Phil Rhodes, RedShark News
AT A GLANCE:
Cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with an abundance of variables ranging from sensor size to compression technique, leaving broadcasters struggling to define their equipment standards in a way that’s truly meaningful. While camera performance has traditionally been measured primarily in terms of image resolution, now the trend is to focus on how much data the camera records, and many manufacturers have followed suit. But there’s no one simple single variable that can define camera performance, Phil Rhodes argues in RedShark News, least of all bitrates. Variables in compression and frame rates, and the lack of a reliable way to measure perceived image quality all mean that there’s no easy answer to ensuring a minimal picture quality through the broadcast chain. In the end, the only reliable approach is to test things out.
Head over to RedShark News to read the full story.