Designed as a versatile and high-performance solution for broadcasters, live-event productions, documentaries, rental companies and other video professionals, the shoulder-mount PMW-500 expands on the XDCAM line of tapeless acquisition technologies from Sony. The PMW-500 is equipped with three 2/3-inch Power HAD FX CCD image sensors that can record both 1080 and 720 HD video at 50 Mb/s. The camera captures in the XDCAM HD422 codec for optimum picture quality at a low data rate, and is switchable between MXF and MP4 for recording in XDCAM HD422, XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX modes, as well as MPEG IMX or DVCAM for matching older workflows. The PMW-500 includes two slots for recording to SxS memory cards and four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz digital audio. Power consumption is economic for extended recording times while shooting. The PMW-500 will be available in a studio configuration using an HD camera adaptor (XDCA-55) and camera extension unit (XDCU-50). List Price: $27,900. Contact: Sony, (800) 883-6817, pro.sony.com.
PLUS ONEThe ARRI ALEXA Plus features the first offered updates to the modular high-end imaging camera system with expanded remote-control capabilities, wireless networking and 3D options. The upgrade enhances the setup with built-in wireless remote control, the LDS ARRI Lens Data System, additional MON OUT video and RS power outputs, lens synchronization for 3D, and internal position and motion sensors. A variety of accessories are available, including the WNA-1 wireless network adapter for WiFi communication with devices, an ALEXA 3D cable set, an ALEXA LS-3 low mode set plate for mounting accoutrements, and the RCU-4 wireless remote-control unit, a compact and cabled remote that features the same settings, layout, display and other interface elements as the ALEXA cameras for a fast learning curve. Estimated Street Price: Begins at $79,000. Contact: ARRI, (818) 841-7070, www.arridigital.com.
MICRO FOUR THIRDS CAMCORDER
Bringing the benefits of HD DSLRs to a video-dedicated system, the Panasonic AG-AF100 incorporates a large imager and interchangeable-lens system. Coupled with compatible lenses, filters and adapters, the 4/3-inch, 16:9 Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor delivers the shallow depth of field and field of view that video-capable DSLRs are noted for. With variable frame rates, including full HD 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p, as well as 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p, the AG-AF100 employs an AVCHD H.264 codec that’s compatible with most editing tools and video players. There’s built-in ND filtering, and standard professional interfaces include HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code, a stereo microphone and USB 2.0. The AF100 captures to SDHC and high-capacity SDXC media cards, and includes two XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability, 48 kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio recording and support of LPCM/Dolby-AC3. Estimated Street Price: $6,000. Contact: Panasonic Solutions Company, (800) 211-PANA, www.panasonic.com.
CANON XF CAMS
Featuring the latest Canon XF codec, an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50 Mb/s format with an MXF file wrapper for compatibility with existing industry infrastructures, metadata and nonlinear editing systems, there are two new compact additions to the Canon XF family, the XF105 and XF100. With twice the color resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 formats, the 4:2:2 color sampling offers subtle transitions in tone and color with compression for saving on file sizes. A 10x zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent range of 30.4-304mm features a SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system with Dynamic and Powered IS modes. A DIGIC DV III Image Processor and full HD 1920×1080 CMOS imaging sensor offer frame rates of 60i/30p/24p in full 1080 and 60p/30p/24p in 720p. (There’s also 60i/30p/24p at 1440×1080 in 25 Mb/s 4:2:0 mode.) The cameras weigh less than three pounds and have a 3.5-inch, 920K-dot LCD monitor with approximately 100% field coverage. Both cameras offer 3D capabilities when used in tandem, including OIS Lens Shift for optical alignment and a Focal Length Guide for calibrating zoom distance. The infrared low-light feature enables video capture in total darkness, and both models record to CF cards with hot-swappable slots for switching out full memory cards during recording. The XF105 also includes HD-SDI output and genlock in/SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals. List Price: TBA. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Designed around 16:9-format, full-sized sensors, the OConnor O-Box WM two-stage, wide-angle mattebox accommodates lenses up to 18mm (and in some cases wider). The O-Box can accept up to three filters with two 4×4-inch and two 4×5.656-inch included top-loading frames. The rear frame can be rotated 360º, and a third 138mm round filter also fits in the bellows. The O-Box is the first commercially produced to feature an integrated handgrip interface for attachment of OConnor’s O-Grips to the support cage on camera left, right or bottom center (particularly useful as a pistol-grip setup for smaller systems like HD DSLRs). The sunshade features construction of lightweight, impact-resistant composite material. The O-Box can be clamped directly onto lenses with outer diameters of 150mm or less and can be supported by the removable 15mm LWS rod bracket. Studio 15mm and 19mm mounting options are also possible through industry-standard adapters. List Price: $1,400. Contact: OConnor, (818) 847-8666, www.ocon.com.
With the ability to capture the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera, the highly portable tapeless AJA Ki Pro Mini flash disk recorder mounts directly to digital cameras and accessories for fitting the tapeless acquisition solution in small spaces on set. In the small form factor, the Ki Pro Mini supports SDI and HDMI cameras with 10-bit full-raster recording to Apple ProRes 422 SD and HD formats, including HQ, LT and Proxy, recording of SD/HD files to CF cards and Mac OS X-friendly media and native QuickTime files with no log and capture required. There’s professional video connectivity through SD/HD SDI and HDMI I/O, as well as two channels of balanced XLR audio with switch-selectable line/mic levels and eight channels of embedded digital audio over SDI and HDMI. Flexible control options are included in the familiar AJA front panel and web browser interfaces. Optional Ki Pro Mini Mounting Plates will attach hot shoes, battery plates and other accessory brackets, and aircraft-grade aluminum construction delivers ruggedness and an efficient weight of one and a half pounds. List Price: $1,995. Contact: AJA, (800) 251-4224, www.aja.com.
The competitively priced Vision blue pan/tilt head and tripod system is ideal for lightweight camcorders and HD DSLRs, with a low center of gravity of approximately 55mm and payload support of between 4.6 and 11 pounds. The Vision blue head incorporates Vinten’s Perfect Balance technology that enables consistent movement and easy positioning of the camera at extreme angles. There’s infinitely adjustable Vision LF drag technology for smooth movement and precise framing, unusual in this class of lightweight supports. A high-contrast blue LED-illuminated leveling bubble provides quick and accurate setup even in dim lighting conditions. The Vision blue is available as a pan and tilt head or as a complete system with a two-stage aluminum tripod and a choice of floor or mid-level spreader. List Price: Begins at $1,375. Contact: Vinten, (888) 2-VINTEN, www.vinten.com.
Available in versions that support Final Cut Pro, Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro, Singular PluralEyes automatically synchronizes audio and video clips without the need for timecode, clappers or other processes even with multicamera video, including 3D, dual-system audio or multi-take productions like weddings, live events, indie films, commercials, music videos and DSLR video projects. PluralEyes analyzes the audio content of media files for frame-accurate synchronization, and it’s compatible with most audio and video formats. List Price: $149. Contact: Singular Software, www.singularsoftware.com, [email protected].
The Steadicam SCOUT camera stabilizer system offers a five- to 18-pound camera payload capacity and features a newly designed sled assembly for mounting the camera with a robust carbon-fiber, no-tools, Iso-Elastic stabilizer arm. A safety system inside the post protects it from separating, and the index system keeps all of the parts in alignment. The proprietary friction-free gimbal assembly with large knurled extended handle is designed to fit securely in an operator’s hand, and precision stage adjustment will exact balance of the camera to the rig. The sled is compatible with 12-volt cameras. The SCOUT vest is fit ergonomically with a breast plate and solid metal shoulder fasteners. The arm has a two-section design for transport and storage. Different setups are available that include a standard or compact vest with options like a seven-inch SCOUT Steadicam color LCD NTSC/PAL standard-definition monitor, sled, and AB or V-Mount battery system. There’s a soft case with pouch for the trolley. List Price: Begins at $6,995. Contact: Tiffen Company, (631) 273-2500, www.tiffen.com.
GAIN SOME PERSPECTIVE
The PC-Super-Angulon 28mm ƒ/2.8 wide-angle lens from Schneider Optics offers perspective control for video-capable DSLRs. Similar to tilt-shift lenses, the PC-Super-Angulon’s mechanical design allows the optical axis to be displaced by 9.5mm diagonally and 11mm horizontally and vertically. This makes it possible to alter unwanted visual effects from converging vertical and parallel viewpoints, similar to straightening the perspective of a building when standing at the base. The 12-element design enhances optical quality throughout the displacement plane, and a Floating Element System enhances quality over the complete focusing range down to 11 inches. A multi-layer reflective coating is included for minimizing optical aberrations. Estimated Street Price: $1,950. Contact: Schneider Optics, (800) 645-7239, www.schneideroptics.com.
The Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid is the all-in-one lighting solution for video and still image capture. With the ability to produce both continuous and flash lighting in a single fixture, the MicroPro Hybrid’s Continuous Mode utilizes low-energy LED output for a constant, flicker-free, soft directional lighting that can be dimmed from 100% to 0 with minimal color shift. The Flash Mode provides a 400% brighter burst than the Continuous Mode, ideal for freezing action when capturing still photos. An integrated filter holder on the face of the light works with three included color/diffusion gels, and additional filters can be stored on the back of the fixture. The light runs for up to 1.5 hours on AA batteries and up to 6 hours on Energizer e2 Lithium cells and, optionally, the unit can be powered through a 5-16V input jack on the rear. The MicroPro Hybrid weighs only 10.5 ounces. List Price: $525. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-2437, www.litepanels.com.
GO GO VFGADGETS
Optimized for the video-capable Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D and EOS-1D Mark IV, the DSLR SwissCage Kit securely supports HD DSLRs with lens configurations and accessories. The camera is locked between the threaded bottom mount and the top hot-shoe for minimizing twist when using follow-focus units. There are grip arm-friendly stud pickups for multiple-point mounting stability, and 15mm rods are supported. The entire unit is covered in 1⁄4-20 and 3⁄8 industry-standard holes for adding attachments and fastening the kit to objects, ideal for mounted use on cars, helicopters and other transport. There are three HD-DSLR kits, ranging from below $600 for the basic unit to under $1,000 for the complete unit, which includes 15mm lens support brackets. List Price: Begins at $560. Contact: VFGadgets, (877) 686-1452, www.vfgadgets.com.
THAT OLD iPAD BLACKMAGIC
The Videohub Control application for the Apple iPad allows the ubiquitous device to be used as an XY control panel for any of the Blackmagic Design Videohub series of routing switchers. Once downloaded and set up, the application will connect to the Videohub router over the local network. The Videohub Control runs full screen over the iPad interface, and buttons can be assigned to sources and destinations with icons for intuitive router control. The application can be downloaded directly to the iPad from the iTunes App store free of charge. Contact: Blackmagic Design, (408) 954-0500, www.blackmagic-design.com.
YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION
The CB-25A Revolution Camera Backpack from CineBags is designed for comfortably holding larger cameras like the EX1, the HVX200 and smaller cameras like the Z1U, DVX, G1 and FX1, as well as HD DSLRs with multiple lenses and accessories. The Thermo layer, interior dust cover, waterproof material and pullout rain cover keep equipment protected and insolated from the elements. There’s space for a 17-inch laptop, and the interior is customizable for fitting gear snugly. The CB-25A includes an earphone outlet, a heavy-duty shoulder harness and the popular CineBags “Remove Before Filming” keychain. List Price: $239. Contact: CineBags, (818) 662-0605, www.cinebags.com.
For long travels, the weatherproof and watertight WSA-84 hard case from Flashpoint keeps your video gear from getting all wet. The case is built with an Ultra High Impact structural polymer exterior for durability, and inside, high-density foam can be tailored to best fit your equipment in the large 21.2×12.6×7.56-inch chamber. For traveling by air, the purge valve equalizes atmospheric pressure changes while inline wheels make the case easier to carry on the ground. The case can be locked via two padlock clasps, and the weight is only about 15 pounds to save on check-in costs. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
ON THE CUTTING EDGE
Spun off of high-end independent postproduction house Media Distributors, CET is a leading reseller and developer of next-generation storage and asset-management products for video professionals. Focusing primarily on the asset-management needs of video, CET develops, sells and services an array of innovative file-based workflow systems tailored to the needs of media and business. Amongst its roster of hardware and software products are a variety of systems. The Fusion Drive hybrid recorder and asset-management system enable cost-effective HD video editing and effects processing. A Remote Station offers a remote editing facility in a box solution, with clients that have included the X Games, the Ironman Triathlon and the Grammy® Awards. CET’s Archive Station system was most recently used on David Fincher’s The Social Network. Services can be customized as needed. Contact: CET, (818) 980-9916, www.cuttingedgetechnology.us.
PNY’s Active HDMI Cables enable high-speed 1080p HD picture and sound with certification at the latest High-Speed HDMI 1.4a standard, delivering a guaranteed 10.2 Gb/s bandwidth stream for maximum throughput, 3D compatibility and Blu-ray 3D support. Active HDMI Cables feature built-in chip technology that controls audio and video signals to enable digital surround sound and an optimal HD experience, including support of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio with 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems. The cables are thinner than other HDMI cables at 3.6mm in diameter, making them more pliable for ease of use, with a reduction in the space required for installation. They’re also lighter and more easily portable, and can fit in the palm of your hand when rolled up. The Active HDMI Cables are available in two connection models—standard HDMI to HDMI (Type A to A) and mini HDMI to HDMI (Type A to C). A to A cables connect cable boxes, Blu-ray players, HD DVD players, laptops/PCs, AV receivers and video game consoles to an HDTV. A to C cables connect small portable devices like digital cameras, DSLRs and camcorders. List Price: $79 (6 feet—A to A); $99 (10 feet—A to C); $129 (16 feet—A to C). Contact: PNY Technologies, (973) 515-9700, www.PNY.com.