Magazine article American Cinematographer

Ikegami EC-35

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Ikegami EC-35

Article excerpt

The EC-35 was developed by Ikegami in response to a CBS proposal for a video camera capable of replacing 35mm film cameras in television production. It was designed to accept fixed focal length as well as zoom lenses and to permit filtering and follow focus in the same way as a film camera. It contains special electronic circuitry which produces an image more comparable to a film image than that of any other video camera and which permits it to be used under the same lighting conditions as a film camera. It is also highly automated so that it does not require a video technician to adjust it or control it during production.

There is a microprocessor within the camera which can automatically perform the basic set up functions normally done by a video technician. It can be powered by a 12V battery mounted on the rear of the camera, and it is possible to control the videotape recorder from the camera. All of this makes the EC-35 as self-contained as is possible with a high quality video camera. The net result is that only a few hours of orientation are required to enable a two or three man film camera crew to use the EC-35 just as they would a 35mm film camera.

At the same time the EC-35 permits an extraordinary amount of control over the image for the cameraman who chooses to override the pre-set or automatic controls for the camera. There are gamma and sensitivity controls easily accessible on the camera, and the set-up box used for maintenance and fine tuning can be used to tailor the image for a specific look. Moreover the computerized set-up box is designed so that any knowledgeable cameraman can test and fine tune the camera.

The EC-35 weighs less than 22 pounds and can be easily hand held using the Cinema Products shoulder mount and the hand grip. The hand grip has two switches built into it: a remote stop and start switch for the videotape recorder and a return video switch which causes the viewfinder to display a signal from the recorder instead of the signal directly from the camera. The camera is seen here equipped with a 1.5" electronic viewfinder. A larger "studio" viewfinder is also available from lkegami, and Cinema Products has designed a 3.7" color monitor for the camera. A second viewfinder can be mounted on the camera for use by an assistant.

In addition to the image the viewfinder has four indicator lights which do such things as flash when the battery voltage drops below a certain level or when the videotape recorder malfunctions. Just above the viewfinder there is a digital display indicating the amount of tape remaining in minutes and seconds, and there are a set of controls for adjusting the image in the finder. One of these controls enlarges the image in the finder and enhances the edges in order to facilitate focusing.

The main power switch for the camera is on the side of the camera away from the operator's head. There is also a power save switch with three positions for shutting off just the recorder or both the recorder and everything in the camera except the heater for the pick-up tubes.

Below the main power switch is a connector for the cable used when the camera is hooked up to the set-up box or when the recorder is to be controlled from the camera. For normal operation only the smaller cable connected to the rear of the camera is required to transmit the video signal directly to the recorder. The switch for starting or stopping the recorder when it is controlled from the camera is located on the rear of the camera below the controls for the intercom system. A headset can be plugged into a jack at the rear of the camera when the larger video cable is used.

The AC power supply is about 8" × 8½ × 10½" and weighs 19 pounds. It will accept AC at 110-117/220-240 volts and 50 or 60 cycles and it will accept DC from 12 to 24 volts.

The follow focus system is a Cinema Products accessory for the EC-35 designed to function exactly like the follow focus on a film camera. …

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