To help maintain acceptable levels of quality in European (U)HDTV programme making, the EBU has specified a series of measurements that will reveal a camera's ability to produce high quality 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 (U)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.
Camera Test Reports
We host an extenstive collection of Camera Tests that have been performed by the BBC and Alan Roberts:
- Camera Test Reports (the tests were performed by Alan Roberts from 2012 - 2018, using EBU Tech 3335)
- Legacy Camera Test Reports (BBC WHP series, based on the same assessment methodology as EBU Tech 3335)
EBU Video Systems
Maintenance of the specs referred above and other work related to Camera systems, UHD, monitors, etc. is performed in the EBU Video Systems group. You are welcome to join the EBU Video Systems group with questions, proposals and other input here.
EBU Recommendation EBU R 118 uses the published technical specifications and measured performances (according to EBU Tech 3335) of cameras to categorize them into a set of levels, or tiers.
Once a camera has been allocated to a tier, its suitability for a 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)
It is commonplace to see mobile phones used to shoot video whilst held in a portrait configuration (long axis vertical), which results in aspect ratios such as 9:16, rather than the conventional 16:9. Nevertheless, the importance of user-generated content to broadcasters has created the need to handle and archive images with non-traditional aspect ratios.
EBU R 118 recommends that (U)HD cameras be graded or tiered according to their technical specifications and measured quality (see EBU Tech 3335).