December 2012


For visual effects, time-lapse, live action and stop motion, the Kessler CineDrive with multi-axis control includes a modular design for extensive motion-control options over camera movements, as well as future-proof upgrades and weather-resistant, long-lasting construction. You can build the kit as you go with available options that include motion-control cranes, pan and tilt heads, turntables, focus/iris/zoom control, sliders, dolly tracks and more. The system is compatible with any computer or mobile device with WiFi or Internet connectivity, including Windows 7/8, iOS, Android and Macs. The user interface is customizable, and it offers keyframe smoothing, recording and playback modes, exposure intervals and several time-lapse options, including Bulb mode. Motors are digitally encoded for precise, repeatable movements down to 0.000045 degrees. More than the basic three-axis design of pan, tilt and zoom, the Kessler CineDrive system can be configured with up to 256 separate axes. List Price: Begins at under $6,000 (3-axis configuration). Contact: Kessler Crane, (574) 936-3341,


For Super 35mm- and large-format-sensor cameras, Thales Angénieux has added two new long-lens zooms to its line of PL-mount lenses: the Optimo 19.5-94mm T2.6 and Optimo 28-340mm T3.2. With minimal breathing throughout the zoom range and superior optical performance, image coverage supports up to 31.4mm sensors in diagonal, making the lenses ideal zooming solutions for S35 film, DSLR sensors and full-frame sensors like the 5K RED EPIC. The 12x zoom 28-340mm offers 327º of focus rotation with more than 70 focus witness marks. It weighs 24.4 pounds. The 19.5-94mm with 4.7x zoom includes 329º of rotation and over 50 witness marks with a weight of only 12.3 pounds. A PV mount for Panavision cameras is available on request, and focus marks are available in feet or meters. List Price: TBD. Contact: Thales Angénieux, (973) 812-3858,


The Steadicam Pilot 2nd Unit System kit configuration bundles a Steadicam Pilot (or Pilot HD) and Merlin2 camera-stabilizing system with Arm Pin Kit in a discounted package. With the Steadicam Pilot 2nd Unit System, shooters can perform handheld shots as well as longer takes thanks to the arm and vest support. A single pin change accommodates the Pilot Sled or the Merlin2 stabilizer for smaller cameras and DSLRs. The Standard Definition Version provides space in the PILOT backpack for carrying all components, while the High Definition Version includes a 7-inch HD monitor. The PILOT system supports cameras from 2 to 10 pounds, while the PILOT HD covers cameras from 2 to 9 pounds. The Merlin2 supports cameras from 0.5 to 5 pounds. Power supply options and accessory configurations are available. List Price: Begins at $4,595 (Steadicam Pilot 2nd Unit System); $6,595 (with 7-inch HD/SDI Monitor). Contact: Steadicam (Tiffen Company), (631) 273-2500,


Offered as an energy-efficient, low-heat alternative to traditional 2K incandescent Fresnels, the Litepanels Sola 12 and Inca 12 Fresnel fixtures provide efficient daylight and tungsten output, respectively. The wide 12-inch fixtures feature a collimated beam with 0 to 100% dimming and a beam focus range of 15º to 50º. Settings can be adjusted manually through the rear of the lights or through the industry-standard DMX512 protocol. (A Litepanels DMX module is built in.) Both fixtures draw 350 watts, less than 18% of equivalent traditional fixtures, which translates to six fixtures that can be run on a single 20-amp circuit. Several smaller fixtures are also available in both the Sola and Inca lines. List Price: $4,500 each. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009,


With an extended payload range of 0 to 13 pounds, the Sachtler 75mm Ace L fluid head is versatile for use whether employing a lightweight DSLR system or heavier rigs and camcorders. There are seven steps of counterbalance alongside the Synchronized Actuated Drag (SA drag) damping system with three vertical and three horizontal grades of drag for precise panning and tilting. The Ace L is available with two carbon-fiber tripod setups: the TT 75/2 CF three-segment telescopic leg set with a height range of 17 to 73 inches or the Ace 75/2 CF midlevel spreader system with Sachtler rubber feet for use on uneven ground. Other features include an illuminated bubble level, a tilt range of +90º to -75º, a carrying bag and a long camera plate with a sliding range of 4.1 inches. List Price: Begins at $1,140. Contact: Sachtler, (845) 268-0100,


Used on everything from the Super Bowl to The Avengers, the Autodesk Flame Premium 2013 software suite integrates the 20th anniversary edition of the high-end 3D visual-effects and color-grading software with the streamlined editorial toolset of Autodesk Smoke Advanced 2013. Flame Premium 2013 brings core postproduction tools into a task-based workflow with a full editorial timeline and improved access to media. Flame Premium features a reengineered GPC/CPU processing pipeline for faster compositing and development of visual effects in Batch and Action modes. The software also adds native support of the 16-bit, 4K-capable Sony F65 digital camera with color transforms for bringing the RAW format into an ACES-compliant color space. Autodesk Flame Premium 2013 20th Anniversary Edition is an extension release available exclusively for current Autodesk Subscription customers. List Price: TBD. Contact: Autodesk, (800) 869-3504,