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Grass Valley XDR camera extends dynamic range to 15 fstops

September 11th, 2015 By Ken Kerschbaumer

Many professionals are taking a closer look at high dynamic range (HDR) technology as a more immediate and significant solution for delivering the most realistic and vibrant HD or 4K content possible to their viewers. At IBC2015, Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, is unveiling its new Extended Dynamic Range (XDR) software upgrade option for all LDX 86 series cameras working in single-speed formats (HD/3G/4K).

Only Grass Valley’s LDX 86 series cameras with Xensium-FT CMOS imagers can deliver the visual quality of better pixels and an outstanding dynamic range of 15 f-stops with this new XDR capability.

The display of XDR capture at the Grass Valley booth features two 1080p monitors with the one below displaying the XDR images.

The display of XDR capture at the Grass Valley booth features two 1080p monitors with the one below displaying the XDR images.

“It is not just simply a little more dynamic range but instead a lot more dynamic range,” says Klause Weber, Grass Valley, senior product marketing manager for cameras. “As we know there are cameras out there that claim to be HDR ready but they just have one extra fstop than a regular camera which is 200% more dynamic range. But ours supports 15 fstops of dynamic range which is 4 to 5 additional fstops meaning at least 800% additional dynamic range than other HDR cameras or more than a 1,000% more than a regular camera.”

XDR benefits live productions, with the ability to capture action in extreme lighting conditions and shadow without compromise, and recorded productions where a colorist has a much more precise light palette to work from—helping to tell a more visually engaging story. The XDR option is available through Grass Valley’s perpetual GV-eLicense software upgrade path.

Weber says the camera can run at any format (at IBC it is running at 1080p) but it can only be used for single speed capture. It is also available an a e-License meaning a user can pay for the capability only when needed.

“XDR is an exciting new option for our LDX 86 series cameras that will help our customers continue to deliver stunning imagery for any type of production,” says Mike Cronk, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Grass Valley. “It’s not just about higher resolution, but the quality and depth of each individual pixel as well. With XDR support in our LDX 86 series cameras, our customers’ can be ‘Future-Ready’ to deliver incredible imagery, even as UHD and high dynamic range programming moves to the mainstream.”

XDR sets a new standard for compelling image acquisition with the highest dynamic range available to the industry. In addition to lifelike highlights and better color rendition in low-lit areas, XDR enhances the effective resolution of highlights, which can be seen easily from large viewing distances. Rental houses, studios, truck companies and other facility providers will be able to take advantage of this enhanced image capability — even telenovelas and sitcoms will have a new look with XDR, capturing more life-like scenes without additional efforts.

To achieve XDR operation, the camera must be equipped with an XF Fiber transmission system to deliver XDR outputs as well as simultaneous standard dynamic range (SDR) outputs in parallel. Several parameters of both signals can be adjusted independently from each other to achieve the best possible results for both signals, at the same time, with no need to change out equipment.

“The LDX 86 series with the XDR option represents the first true HDR camera system for broadcast applications and the first 2/3-inch camera system with available high dynamic range for HD and 4K,” added Cronk.