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Canon intros 4K EOS

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Canon Europe has unveiled the EOS C200, a 4K compact digital cinema that joins the Cinema EOS range. 

As the first Cinema EOS camera to support the new RAW recording format – Cinema RAW Light – the EOS C200 provides the same flexibility in colour grading as Cinema RAW in a smaller file size, enabling filmmakers to record internally to a CFast 2.0 card.

Canon provided the following information:

Newly developed Canon Dual DIGIC DV6 processors provide the ability to record internally 4K UHD/50P MP4, 4K DCI RAW and continuous 120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) in Full HD without crop. At the same time, advances in Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus (AF) technology and a new touch screen LCD monitor provide smooth AF operation and effective tracking.

The EOS C200 features Canon’s 4K Super 35mm CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 8.85MP, along with the newly developed Dual DIGIC DV6 image processors. As a result, it can deliver Cinema RAW Light recording at 4K DCI 50P internally to a CFast 2.0 card. It can also deliver 4K UHD recording at 150Mbps, and 2K or Full HD at 35Mbps to SD cards in MP4 format.

Supporting up to 15-stops of dynamic range with Cinema RAW Light and up to 13-stops of dynamic range in MP4 (Canon Log / Log 3), the camera is perfect for capturing highlight and shadow details.

The EOS C200 is also capable of delivering both slow and fast motion recording at up to 120fps with no crop in Full HD/MP4, ideal for those wanting creative slow motion capture.

An ISO range of 100 to 102,400 guarantees excellent performance, even in difficult lighting conditions, such as when quickly switching between locations. The built-in optical ND filters of up to 10 stops provide further flexibility and convenience, allowing filmmakers to shoot in bright light and expand the depth of field control.

Advanced operability and ergonomic design

Built for professionals and ideal for single shooters, the EOS C200 features an advanced AF system that provides reliability and accuracy when shooting 4K, as well as a touch screen LCD panel for filmmakers to easily select their subject.  For those who need to switch effortlessly between several subjects in a single shot, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF enables smooth AF operation whilst the Manual Focus Assist Function, Face Detection with Face Priority and Face-Only options provide greater creative focus control.

The EOS C200’s lightweight body of just 1.4kg is designed for comfortable hand-held shooting and will benefit those who are filming for long periods. The compact size also makes the camera suitable for mounting onto a drone or gimbal.

Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity allows for browser remote control and the ability to transfer files via FTP, whilst the camera’s compatibility options mean new and existing accessories can be used, including Canon’s electronic viewfinder – the EVF-V70.

Cinema RAW Light for next generation workflows

Canon has worked with several partners to ensure Cinema RAW Light is integrated with various software programs. As a result, editing and grading of the Cinema RAW Light video format will be supported in DaVinci Resolve of Blackmagic Design. Editing will be possible in Media Composer from Avid Technology, using Canon RAW Plugin for Avid Media Access. This format can also be processed using a Canon application, Cinema RAW Development.

Support for Cinema RAW Light is also scheduled for EDIUS Pro, Grass Valley’s editing software, during 2017. Additionally, a future version of Final Cut Pro X from Apple Inc. will support Canon’s Cinema RAW Light, using Canon RAW Plugin for Final Cut Pro X.

Future Firmware upgrade

Canon’s XF-AVC video format will be available with a future firmware upgrade. This upgrade is free of charge and is planned to be available from 1H 2018.

EOS C200 key features:

·       Internal 4K recording with Cinema RAW Light and MP4 format

·       Continuous 120fps (maximum) High Frame Rate with no cropping at Full HD

·       Up to 15-stops dynamic range (Cinema RAW Light)

·       Professional High Quality image and audio

·       Dual Pixel CMOS AF with touch control and extensive shooting functions

·       Easy operation and flexible configuration

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Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

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Matrics must prepare for AI

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students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

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