The Ikegami HDK-97ARRI: Digital Cinema Meets Broadcast Production

The thought of having digital cinema qualities such as natural color rendering, exceptional dynamic range and progressive frame rates like 23.98p for the broadcaster seemed technologically “worlds apart” in the not so distance past.  The Ikegami HDK-97ARRI large-format CMOS camera now bridges the digital cinema Super 35mm sensor attributes of the film industry to the new evolution of ENG style  broadcast camera. This “pure cutting edge technology” and winner of the 2013 IABM for Design and Innovation Award, showcases the exceptional engineering teams of Ikegami and ARRI’s collaborative  innovation. Simply put, this design is a one of a kind  ENG style broadcast camera all centered around the  Super 35mm sensor!

NAB 2013 had so many highlights- but it will certainly be remembered as a  major mile marker in the ever-evolving camera technology design history for the television industry. The announcement of the  HDK-97ARRI,  had people knowing it was going to be a heavy hitter, because of the simple fact it was Ikegami and ARRI engineered. So enter, August 25th, 2013-  the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards which provided history in the making, in that, it was the  first live, multi-camera HDTV broadcast to use the Ikegami HDK-97ARRI large-format CMOS camera, as well as, it being paired with the digital cinema style FUJINON PL19-90 Cabrio Premier PL Mount zoom lens! Just remember- when you see this trivia referenced on Final Jeopardy! QUE-Alex: “On the contrary, the 2013 VMAs will most likely be remembered for..” Well, let’s NOT go there…(And also, YES- this camera and lens package was on my extremely long list to Santa, in the All I Want for XMAS article written by our ever-knowledgeable  founder Ryan Salazar!!)

The technical features of the HDK-97ARRI are: the Super 35mm ALEV III CMOS sensor, the ability to transmit 3G through the CCU and 3G digital processing with real time camera control, the signal to noise ratio is at an exceptional 60dB at HDTV, the modulation depth is 50% at 27.5MHz, and the camera sensitivity being at f10/ 2000lux. The Unicam HD is Ikegami‘s ultimate line of technology, in which the HDK-97ARRI joins the rich family of broadcast cameras (which respectively include the HDK-97A and HDK-97C), but, with a “twist of film making properties” in the mix. The color separation and just the organic look of the signal processing compared to  a 2/3 conventional camera signal is so very noticeable (soft vs. hard) and depending on the vision and the movement of our industry, this 35mm incorporated design could (quite possibly) evolve in being the latest breakthrough standard in the world of broadcast EFP and ENG camera acquisition!

For more information on the family of cutting edge Ikegami  products, visit: ; Research, Fact finding, and footage of the  HDK-97ARRI camera shoot out can be found at:  ; ALSO- Please see ARRI- one of  film’s ultimate camera technology providers at:

Matt Harchick
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