4K GAME CHANGER
The new Sony HDC-4300 is the first camera to use three 2⁄3-inch 4K image sensors while mounting B4-mount lenses like Sony’s popular HDC-2000-series cameras. The existing HDLA-1500 series, control and shading systems, viewfinders and master setup units can be swapped between the HD and 4K systems. The HDC-4300 can handle 4K/HD operation, with 2x and 3x super-slo-mo as standard, as well as speeds up to 8x, to capture high-quality replays and specialty program effects. Ultra-high-precision alignment technology is used to implement three 4K sensors on a new prism, allowing the support of next-generation ITU-R BT.2020 broadcast standard’s widening color space. List Price: TBD. Contact: Sony Electronics Inc., store.sony.com.
The Canon XC10 4K digital camcorder contains a 1-inch, 12-megapixel CMOS sensor delivering up to 12 stops of dynamic range and a 10x wide-angle zoom lens (35mm-equivalent zoom ratio of 24.1-241mm for stills and 27.3-273mm for video) that remains compact because of two UD lens elements, two Hi-UD lens elements and two three-sided aspherical lens elements. The XC10 contains the DIGIC DV 5 signal processor in order to perform 4K capture, and provides 5-axis image stabilization (full HD only), as well as slow and fast motion recording. When recording 4K, the XF-AVC Intra codec is employed, and for full HD, an XF-AVC Long GOP is used. Other features include a dedicated mic and headphone jack, a built-in mic for audio recording, a Vari-Angle touch-screen LCD monitor and a rotating handgrip. List Price: $2,499 (includes a San Disk 64 GB CFast 2.0 card and card reader). Contact: Canon U.S.A. Inc., www.usa.canon.com.
EASY 3D TITLES
The major update to Apple‘s Final Cut Pro X and Motion are 3D titles. Perhaps more than any other feature, Final Cut Pro X has excelled at letting users—with no motion-graphics experience—create pro-level titles. Now you can perform titles using animated and customizable 3D text. There are cinematic templates with built-in backgrounds and animations, including the ability to create hundreds of combinations with different materials, lighting and edges, and 2D titles can be converted to 3D as well as opened in Motion to add additional effects. For effects work, masks are a big deal in FCP X 10.2. You can apply a super-ellipse Shape mask and Draw mask to any clip with options for linear, Bezier or B-spline smoothing, and have the ability to save custom effects as presets. And the Color Board is now merged into the new Color Correction effect. Contact: Apple, www.apple.com/final-cut-pro.
Getting professional-looking shots from a moving car can bring a lot of production value to your low-budget indie film. DitoGear, a provider of cutting-edge motion-control equipment, just announced their new VibraFreek, which functions as a supplementary rig for safely mounting and operating gimbal stabilizers like the DJI Ronin or Freefly Systems MoVI on your moving car. The main feature of the VibraFreek is its vibration-dampening arm, which reduces low- and high-frequency vibrations, giving you smooth and safe operation of your mounted gimbal/camera system, even at fast speeds. There’s also an X/Y platform (sold separately) that improves the operation of the system when shooting in rough environments like extreme speeds, wind or rough terrain. The VibraFreek arm can be mounted and adjusted on virtually any moving vehicle. List Price: $2,450 (VibraFreek arm); $2,850 (VibraFreek complete system with Spider Mount); $4,850 (VibraFreek complete system with Pillar Mount). Contact: DitoGear, ditogear.com.
REAL DRAG-N-DROP FX
During the month of June, Rampant Design presented a "30 Days of Design" initiative. Each week, Rampant Design founder and VFX artist Sean Mullen of Charmed, NCIS, Felicity and Nip/Tuck fame released 2K, 4K and 5K custom-designed Style Effects totaling nearly 1,000 effects by the month’s close. Packaged as QuickTime files, the ultra-high-definition Style Effects aren’t platform-dependent, and can be easily dragged and dropped into any timeline. The nine collections include Matte Transitions, Rampant Flare Transitions, Rampant Glitch Transitions, Rampant Paint Strokes and Rampant Paint Stroke Transitions. List Price: $49-$509. Contact: Rampant Design, rampantdesigntools.com.
Utilizing the signature Rotolight "ring light" effect, the Neo is a next-generation on-camera LED light for filmmakers and news shooters. The Neo provides three groundbreaking features. The first is Designer Fade mode for custom fade up/fade down production effects. The True Aperture Dimming accurately calculates the correct F-stop for your subject at a given distance. And CineSFX provides customizable creative visual lighting (for both on set and on location) to simulate Strobe, Lightning, Fire, Cycle, Throb and TV. The Bi-Color LED system uses AccuColor technology to deliver color rendering at a >95+ CRI and tunable location temperature with the accurate color temperature display (CCT). Rotolight has also developed a 10-piece Add on Color FX filter set that includes classic Hollywood go-to filters like Rust, Mist Blue and Hollywood Frost. The Neo is powered by six AA batteries, AC, DC or D-Tap. A belt pouch, power supply and four-piece filter pack, including Diffusion, Skin Tone and Magenta, are part of the package. The Neo is sold as a single light or three-light kit starting at $399. Contact: Rotolight, www.rotolight.com.
COMPACT POWER HOUSES
Sony continues to include high-quality video functioning in small packages with the RX10 II and a7R II. The RX10 II pairs a 1.0-type stacked EXMOR RS CMOS sensor with a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. The DRAM memory chip enables sharp, clear images with a wide-open aperture at brightness levels up to EV19 while minimizing any rolling shutter effect and allows image data to be read 5x faster than its predecessor. The camera provides 40x super-slow-motion video capture at 240 fps, 480 fps and 960 fps at 60/30/24p. The ultrafast anti-distortion shutter has a maximum speed of 1/32,000 seconds. The a7R II interchangeable-lens camera uses a back-illuminated full-frame EXMOR R CMOS sensor with 42.4-effective megapixels, an expanded ISO sensitivity of 102,400 and 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points. The 5-axis stabilization balances for angular shake, shift shake and rotational shake, which equates to a 4.5-step faster shutter speed compensation. The a7R II records 4K video in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame with full-frame mode using the full width of the 35mm sensor. Both cameras use an XAVC S codec and include Picture Profile, S-Log2, S-Gamut and additional pro video features. List Price: $1,300 (RX10 II); $3,200 (a7R II). Contact: Sony Electronics Inc., store.sony.com.