SONY PRO AVCHD
Bringing the highly efficient AVCHD codec to Sony’s line of professional camera offerings, the NXCAM family of camcorders offers a tapeless workflow to productions. Featuring a Sony Exmor CMOS sensor with a ClearVid array, the first camera in the NXCAM series will deliver full 1920×1080 HD in both progressive and interlace, including 1080/24p, 720/60p and MPEG-2 SD recording. The NXCAM shares the recently designed G Lens, found in Sony’s popular HVR-Z5U camcorder, and there are HD-SDI and HDMI outputs and two-channel linear PCM audio capability. The NXCAM captures video on Memory Stick PRO Duo media, and the optional 128 GB Flash Memory Unit offers Hybrid Recording. The Flash Memory Unit can be removed and powered from computers through a USB connection for off-camera file downloading and editing. The camcorder also will be able to capture GPS data. List Price: TBD. Contact: Sony, (800) 883-6817, pro.sony.com.
PRIME SHOOTING CONDITIONSFeaturing the P+S Technik Interchangeable Mount System (IMS), the 16Digital prime lens set offers fast glass and shallow depth of field for a wide variety of digital cameras with single 16:9-format, 2⁄3-inch CMOS sensors. There are currently six models in the line, including the 8mm/T1.9, 12mm/T1.9, 16mm/T1.7, 25mm/T1.7, 35mm/T1.7 and 50mm/T1.9. Ideal for use with 3D rigs and other camera setups, the front diameters of the lenses are uniform at 60mm, and each lens includes uniform 0.8 gear rings for focus and iris control, and uniform positioning of the exit pupil. The lenses are compatible with most standard follow-focus and electronic lens-control systems, and floating elements maintain optical performance all the way up to minimum focusing distances. Each lens in the series includes easy-to-read scales in meters or feet. List Price: $5,700 (12mm, 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm); $8,400 (8mm). Contact: ZGC Inc. (P+S Technik), (973) 335-4460, www.zgc.com.
YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED
The ROCKET FUEL bundle from ASSIMILATE ignites your RED camera workflow in uncompressed, fully debayered and demosaiced 4K full resolution. Offering support of RED ROCKET, the ROCKET FUEL bundle provides PC-based workstations with a variety of start-to-finish solutions for productions, from real-time ingest to delivery to output. Taping and previewing of dailies can be performed in a number of NTSC and PAL formats, and there’s accelerated data output to QuickTime and file sequences. A Quality Check (QC) is included for on-set review and posting of dailies; other features include R3D conforming from editorial EDLs, setup for SCRATCH FINISH timeline setup and migration, and setup and transcoding for other DI systems. The ROCKET FUEL bundle includes SCRATCH CINE, a Nvidia Quadro FX 3800 SDI board and RED Digital Camera’s RED ROCKET card. List Price: $10,999. Contact: ASSIMILATE, (408) 484-9001, www.assimilateinc.com.
With new versions of Media Composer 4.0, NewsCutter 8.0 and Symphony 4.0, Avid’s comprehensive editing solutions offer broadcast and postproduction professionals with streamlined productivity and enhanced possibilities. With expanded support of a variety of features, including native support for file-based media like Panasonic’s AVC-Intra and Ikegami’s GFCAM tapeless workflows, other new features include improved stereoscopic 3D editing, monitoring of HD and SD converted formats from 1080/24p masters, Final Cut Pro workflow support, and mixing and matching of different frame rates and resolutions in an open timeline within the same project to eliminate the transcoding process. Support for Wide Area Networks (WAN) is included for nonlocalized interaction, and the features only begin there. Estimated Street Price: $2,495 (Media Composer 4.0); $4,995 (NewsCutter 8.0); $35,995 (Symphony 4.0). Contact: Avid, (800) 949-2843, www.avid.com.
ELEMENT TECHNICA GOES 3D
The Technica 3D Series from Element Technica brings lighter weight and lower cost to stereoscopic video productions. Configurable into beam-splitter or parallel camera platforms, the systems are scaled to best match the specific dimensions of many popular cameras, from the diminutive SI-2K MINI to the full-sized RED ONE. Manufactured with machined aluminum for optimum rigidity, the Technica 3D system also is tool-free for alignment and mounting. Basic rig setup is estimated at 10 minutes, and there are dedicated motors for interocular (IO) and convergence (CONV) control. The Technica 3D Series is available in three models to best accommodate the size of your camera—the Quasar, Pulsar and Neutron. Estimated Street Price: Begins under $70,000. Contact: Element Technica, (323) 641-7327, www.elementtechnica.com.
Designed for large projections in large venues, the Sony SRX-T420 projector provides high-clarity, high-definition video at 4K (4096×2160) resolution. With impressive specs, including 8.8-million pixels delivered at more than 20,000 lumens and a high-contrast ratio of 3000:1, the T420 also features compatibility with lenses from other models in the SRX line for venues that already have invested in the series. The SRX-C Windows-based controller software allows a single workstation to control multiple projectors over an Ethernet connection, and the unit includes a vertical tilt of +/-30 degrees, adequate even for dome configurations. The T420 offers 95-percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and support of ITU-R T.709 and DCDM. The system is configurable, with customizable gamma settings and removable interface boards, including options for DVI compatibility and more. List Price: Starts at $150,000. Contact: Sony, (800) 883-6817, pro.sony.com.
IN A FLASH
With advanced unique LEDs, combined with professional power-drive circuitry, the Flashpoint VL100A is a long-lasting, onboard camera light with approximately 35W output at daylight color temperature, while only requiring 11W of power. The VL100 doesn’t require any safety glass or a dichroic filter, while the LEDs are uniquely configured in a lens holder that will ensure a consistent, uniform light dispersal. A quick and easy setting of exactly the right amount of light is facilitated by the built-in dimmer control that adjusts from 0 to 100%. Based in a stylish molded case, the VL100 allows for optimum strength, yet in a lightweight configuration. Also included are a two-leaf barn door and filter set, XLR and cigarette-type connectors, and a tungsten conversion glass filter. List Price: $244. Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
WILL IT BLEND?
Ideal for adding light to a scene whether in the field or in the studio, the Lowel Blender mixes twin arrays of high-CRI LEDs, tungsten and daylight color temperature until you have the best light source for matching your needs. The lamphead’s compact size of 4x3x3 inches makes it easily portable and small enough to mount to pistol grips or compact light stands. It can be powered by many popular video camera batteries on a belt clip or via its AC supply. The Blender comes with a set of four front diffusers for softening and diffusing light output, and the system provides more than 6,700 lux at two feet and 466 lux at eight feet (without diffuser). List Price: Begins at $745. Contact: Lowel-Light Manufacturing, (800) 645-2522, www.lowel.com.
The Sachtler Artemis EFP HD SE camera-stabilizing system offers RED ONE users and other camera operators a fully modular and ergonomically optimized support system for balancing your camera in order to gain fluid panning and tracking. In addition to a standard 3-pin camera power-out, 3-pin Aux power and 4-pin focus power-out sockets, there’s an extra camera power-out that uses the same Lemo 2B 6-pin socket and wiring scheme as the RED ONE. A HiCap high-capacity power supply allows the Artemis EFP HD SE to handle 14V, 15 Amps at 210 Watts, and when used with 14V and up to 110 Amps/154 Watts, the voltage drop is less than four percent. Dual Dynamic Balance provides flexible positioning for mounting two batteries to your system, and Hot Swap technology allows users to change the batteries of the rig without rebooting the camera. The Artemis EFP HD SE system includes the ACT 2 vest and ACT 2 spring arm. List Price: Begins at $28,990. Contact: Sachtler, (845) 268-0100, www.sachtler.com.
DSLR VIDEO VIEWFINDER
Zacuto’s Z-Finder V2 optical viewfinder brings film and video production tools to video-capable DSLRs. The V2 adds 3x focusable magnification, Schneider optics, a 40mm diameter lens, adjustable left or right eye cup for preventing light leakage and a field of view synchronized to the LCD screen sizes of many popular video-capable DSLRs, including the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 7D, Nikon D300S, Nikon D5000, Panasonic DMC-GH1K and Pentax K-7. The focus wheel is designed for achieving exact focus, and the Z-Finder V2 can adjust to varying levels of vision correction with its diopter. Estimated Street Price: $395. Contact: Zacuto USA, (888) 294-FILM, www.zacuto.com.
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED
The LED LiteRibbon system brings flexible lighting to productions. Available in many color types, including Warm-White, Cool-White, Diffused Silicone, RGB and other colors, the unique, adhesive-backed material allows placement in small areas in a scene or even in costumes. The LiteRibbon can be cut to lengths as short as 1-inch increments, and intensity is available in Standard Output, High Output and Very High Output. The LiteRibbon is flicker-free and dimmable without changes to color cast, and power is supplied through 12-volt DC sources, including batteries and automobile adapters. There’s also a waterproof option. List Price: Begins at $360. Contact: LiteGear Inc., (818) 358-8542, www.litegear.com.
A STARCK DESIGN
Protect and back up your video and other files stylishly and sleekly with LaCie’s Starck Desktop Hard Drive. Available in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities, the chic casing is made of resistant aluminum that also features a touch-sensitive surface for opening and selecting applications. A status LED glows orange or green for indicating activity, and a USB 2.0 interface makes the drive compatible with Macs and PCs. LaCie Backup Assistant and Desktop Manager are included for formatting and customizing the drive. A Starck Mobile Hard Drive (320 GB and 500 GB) with a built-in USB 2.0 cable also is available for transporting and transferring files. List Price: Begins at $129 (Desktop); $99 (Mobile). Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.
Available at nearly the same cost as the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display and nearly the same resolution, the 27-inch Apple iMac also includes a powerful computer for editing and other functions. The 2560×1440-pixel backlit LED display utilizes in-plane switching technology for consistent color and an ultrawide, 178-degree viewing angle. The iMac outputs video in up to 2560×1600 to an external monitor with support of VGA, DVI/HDMI and DisplayPort screens via the Mini DisplayPort. The iMac comes basic with 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM (expandable to a massive 16 GB) and a 1 TB hard drive (which can be upgraded to 2 TB). There’s a variety of options for dual- and quad-core processing. The iMac ships with the Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system, a wireless keyboard and the wireless Magic Mouse, which features Multi-Touch technology. The computer also meets Energy Star 5.0 and other environmental standards. List Price: Begins at $1,699. Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
WESTERN DIGITAL GOES LIVE
Supporting a wide variety of file formats, the WD TV Live media box from Western Digital offers full 1080p resolution from Ethernet networks and other USB sources, including hard drives, camcorders, digital cameras, computers and Internet content from sites like YouTube, Flickr, Live365 and Pandora. An included remote control allows you to navigate through entertainment choices with animated HD menus. Supported video formats include AVI, MPG/MPEG, VOB, MP4/MOV, MKV, WMV9 and more, and the WD TV Live also will play music and photos. The interface includes HDMI, Composite, Composite A/V and Optical audio outputs. List Price: $149. Contact: Western Digital Corp., (877) 934-6972, www.westerndigital.com.
Available in 62mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm threads, 16×9 Inc.’s EXII 0.75X Wide Converter offers 25 percent more coverage over stock lenses. The lens maintains full zoom-through capability for cameras that have autofocus, the optics are designed to reduce barrel distortion and chromatic aberration, and improved off-axis performance offers better flatness of field. Constructed with four glass elements for precision, the EXII 0.75X maintains its compact size at only 47mm in length and 22.5 ounces in weight. It’s compatible with a variety of popular HD and HDV cameras from Canon, Panasonic and Sony. List Price: $780 (Threaded); $850 (Bayonet). Contact: 16×9 Inc., (661) 295-3313, www.16x9inc.com.
REDEFINED RED ONE POWER
IDX is offering RED ONE users a battery solution optimized for the unique properties of the popular HD camera. The IDX REDEFINED system consists of two power packages centered around IDX ELITE batteries. The 136Wh high-capacity, V-Mount battery system uses a unique IDX twin power cartridge construction with multiple safety and protection features. Swapping batteries takes less than 30 seconds, and an ELITE Smart Battery mode allows users to select a standard configuration or the SB mode for tighter integration with the RED ONE system. The included Element Technica/IDX EL-BAPIDXA V-Mount plate has been customized for the RED ONE, enabling operators to view battery life data in the RED ONE viewfinder, and ELITE Li-Ion batteries can be carried on board all domestic and international flights. Charging is provided through either a quad charger VL-4S or a dual charger/AC adaptor VL-2SPLUS. List Price: Begins at $2,375. Contact: IDX System Technology, (310) 891-2800, www.idxtek.com.
A BIGGER POND
Pond5 is turning up the volume for film and video productions with the launch of its new Audio service. Adding 15,000 sound effects and 3,000 music tracks to their library of royalty-free downloadable media, including more than 240,000 video clips, Pond5 Audio provides a fast, efficient interface for searching, previewing, purchasing and downloading media. Free sound effects and clips are updated to the Pond5 site each week, and tracks can be previewed immediately with just a mouse-over. The open marketplace model allows producers with professional-quality stock audio or video content to upload and sell their own content via the site, which currently represents more than 2,000 individuals and companies. Pond5 also is artist-friendly, offering 50 percent in royalties and control over pricing to the creators. Blastwave FX’s esteemed library of more than 30,000 HD sound effects is available through Pond5 Audio, as well. List Price: Begins at $2 (sound effects); $5 (music or video). Contact: Pond5, (646) 233-2155, www.pond5.com.
A REAL GEM
GenArts Inc. is releasing Sapphire 5, and the latest software upgrade is fully GPU-enabled to provide artists with a completely interactive user experience at HD resolutions while accelerating render speeds up to 700 percent. In addition, support for full floating-point workflows will deliver true, photorealistic image quality with the highest possible dynamic range. Sapphire 5 render times have been cut so that batch jobs once requiring overnight processing are now merely “over lunch.” Such performance gains can considerably extend the life of the nodes in a render farm or even reduce the number of nodes required to process a project. Sapphire 5 is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2010 for Autodesk users. List Price: TBD. Contact: GenArts Inc., (617) 492-2888, www.genarts.com/5.
A STUDIO IN A BOX
With HD/SD live switching, integrated, live, full-HD streaming, live HD virtual sets, efficient workflows and multiple effects layers, the NewTek TriCaster™ TCXD300 is bringing portability to live productions. It allows you to preview up to three cameras with shared or dedicated previews, and a single DDR will play back on cue, allowing you to overlay scrolls, crawls, motion titles and more. The TCXD300 supports recording, broadcasting and streaming of either 4:3 or 16:9 productions, and there’s multiformat live-clip playback. iVGA import supports unlimited external network inputs (Macs and PCs), and there’s VC-1 streaming support, Digital BNC video connectors, and four balanced XLR or phone jack audio connectors. You also can record full-screen MPEG-2 files while simultaneously archiving a webcast. The system is lightweight and portable, with dimensions minimal enough to fit into a backpack, and a single user can operate the whole system. List Price: Begins at $14,995. Contact: NewTek Inc., (800) 368-5441, www.newtek.com.
The EDIROL LVS-800 Video Mixer from the Roland Systems Group is an expansion of the popular EDIROL video-mixer lineup, introducing an innovative solution to eight-channel, standard-definition video mixing. The LVS-800 is ideal for any live event or installation demanding stability, ease of use and professional connectivity. With the inclusion of a downstream keyer (DSK), dual computer inputs and innovative options to support multiscreen output, the LVS-800 supports a variety of system design and creative productions options, including a separate output that could be used as an Internet broadcasting feed. Mix camera and video playback sources on one screen while directing presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote from a PC/Mac to the other screen. The LVS-800 Video Mixer is positioned to greatly enhance any live video production in corporate, educational, live-event and house-of-worship applications. List Price: $3,795. Contact: Roland Systems Group, (800) 380-2580, www.rolandsystemsgroup.com.