To help maintain acceptable levels of quality in European HDTV programme making, the EBU has specified a series of measurements that will reveal a camera's ability to produce high definition television pictures.
The measurements and advice on how they may best be performed are published in EBU Tech 3335. This document augments previous EBU publications concerning camera quality measurements.
Knowing the performance of your HD cameras is one thing, but understanding how this performance relates to a camera's suitability for a given programme genre is quite another. This is where tiering comes in.
EBU Recommendation R 118 is an innovative document in that it uses the published technical specifications and measured performances (according to Tech 3335) of HDTV cameras to categorize them into a set of levels, or tiers, as follows.
|LS||Large single sensor cameras|
|SP||Specialist or special effects cameras|
|1||Shoulder mounted professional 1/2” or 2/3” sensors|
|2L||(Long-form) professional cameras with 50 Mbit/s minimum recording codec and full resolution sensor|
|2J||(Journalism) professional with 35 Mbit/s minimum recording codec and full resolution sensors|
|3||Small, high quality semi-professional for production use|
|4||Approved small consumer HD cameras|
Once a camera has been allocated to a tier, its suitability for a HDTV production may quickly be determined, which will simplify production budgeting and facilities procurement.
Technically, the criteria used to identify which tier a camera falls into concern its:
- Exposure Range
- Codec used (see EBU R 132)