February 2016

TWIN STARS

Optimized for the wide-ranging needs of field work, the economical Canon XA35 and XA30 HD camcorders weigh only 2.6 pounds with battery, while also housing a 20x optical zoom, built-in WiFi, detachable handles and a new HD CMOS PRO imaging sensor with low-luminance noise of only +3 dB for working in minimal light. With 60p/24p in AVCHD at 28 Mbps or MP4 files at 35 Mbps, the two cams feature Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization and a Highlight Priority mode to hone exposure for working in brightness or extreme contrast. A Wide DR mode also works to expand dynamic range. The higher-end XA35 adds an HD/SD-SDI output for feeding directly to transmission systems. List Price: $2,999 (XA35); $2,499 (XA30). Contact: Canon, usa.canon.com.

 

HEAVY ROTATION

The 360º OZO camera from Nokia is a high-end virtual-reality system that works by capturing stereoscopic 3D video via eight synchronized progressive-scan, global-shutter, 2Kx2K-resolution sensors in addition to 360×360 spatial audio signals through eight integrated microphones. Newly designed correlative software then previews capture with real-time playback that stitches the footage together into a panoramic image automatically. Dynamic range measures in at 10 stops in a .MOV-wrapped, 8-channel raw video file (captured at 30 fps), while audio capture has a 64 dB S/N ratio with a maximum clipping point of 120 dB SPL. Recording duration on the 500 GB solid-state media will intake 45 minutes of footage per module. Each ƒ/2.4 affixed lens offers a 195º viewing angle with a 20” minimum imaging distance. List Price: $60,000. Contact: Nokia, ozo.nokia.com.

 

4K PTZ

Offering 3840×2160-resolution images at 29.97p/25p, 4K IP streaming possibilities, in-camera capture at 2160/29.97p and output via HDMI or 3G-SDI, the diminutive tilt-and-zoom AW-UE70 is the first PTZ camera from Panasonic to feature 4K video. Ideal for use in reality TV productions or live events, the UE70 includes genlock, remotely switchable ND filtration and a 20x zoom lens with O.I.S. Optical Image Stabilization, as well as a 1/2.3-type MOS sensor. A High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode is provided for extreme contrast or poor lighting situations alongside a Night Mode that will capture monochrome video in total darkness when used with an optional IR illumination source. Panning is ±175°, and tilt ranges from -30° to 90°. List Price: $5,850. Contact: Panasonic, shop.panasonic.com.

 

KI PRO ULTRA

With a built-in, 4.8-inch, 720p LCD monitor, the latest update to AJA’s reliable Ki Pro family is capable of capture, downconvert and playback of edit-ready 4K (4096×2160 at up to 60p), UltraHD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080) and HD (1920×1080) Apple ProRes in up to ProRes 4444. The Ki Pro Ultra can capture up to two hours of 4K 60p ProRes HQ when using two 1 TB cards, and video is recorded to AJA Pak SSD media (starting at $495) for fast media swapping and rollover capture through twin media drive bays. In a unit the size of 2RU in height and half a rack in width, analog and digital connectivity includes 3G-SDI, HDMI, SFP Fiber, XLR audio, AES and more. Control with transparent overlay is provided through rotary knob, keyboard or browsers using LAN connection. List Price: $3,995. Contact: AJA, aja.com/en/products/ki-pro-ultra.

 

AVID FANS

After merging with Imagineer Systems, pioneers of the mocha planar motion-tracking software tools, Boris FX has released the Boris Continuum Complete 10 suite of plug-ins for Avid-based timeline edits. Updating the software with integrated mocha tracking and masking, as well as new tools for visual effects, title design, beauty retouching and image restoration, several new modes are provided, like BCC Beauty Studio, a skin smoothing and retouching plug-in, or the BCC Title Studio module for next-generation 3D titling and motion graphics. Several other new effects include BCC Remover for pixel cloning, BCC Dropout Fixer for restoration options, BCC Reframe for reformatting of footage, BCC Light Leaks for exposure effects and BCC Video Glitch for “distressed look” filter overlays. With a new annual subscription option, as well as multiple host licensing, BCC 10 is planned to be available for Adobe, Apple, Resolve and other NLE systems. List Price: $1,695 (full license). Contact: Boris FX, borisfx.com/products/continuum-complete.

 

PALM-SIZED PRODUCTION

At only one inch in thickness, Convergent Design’s Apollo recorder and switcher is roughly the dimensions of a small tablet computer. Capable of display and capture of four simultaneous HD signals, its size makes it a good choice for multicamera situations where cabling and footprint become a problem, such as reality TV and live events. A fifth channel also can be run for live-switching, live venue displays or quad-split reference, with media from all channels being captured to single or dual 2.5-inch SSD drives from Convergent Design or several third-party manufacturers. Cameras are synced via timecode, and a new Apollo Media Manager app can export files as separate ProRes streams or via a single multicamera QuickTime file that can be dropped into supporting NLE programs like Final Cut Pro X. Touch-screen controls, in-unit analysis tools and custom 3D LUTs provide camera control and matching during setup. Two-channel 4K/UHD and DNxHD capture is planned for a future update alongside interconnect between three Apollo devices for up to 12 HD or six 4K channels of simultaneous capture. Odyssey7Q/7Q+ owners will have an upgrade option. List Price: $3,995. Contact: Convergent Design, odyssey7q.com/introducing-apollo.html.

 

STREAMING STAR

Streamstar Live Production Software converts a PC desktop into a single-operator multi-camera live production and streaming studio. With its intuitive touch-screen interface, the system is incredibly simple to use for mixing, switching, instant replays, graphics additions and slow-motion effects, as well as remote production capabilities and streaming. Inputs for live camera feeds HD-SDI or HDMI (PAL or NTSC), IP video streams, streaming cameras, smartphone or action cameras are provided, as well as support for a wide range of I/O solutions from AJA, Blackmagic, Bluefish, DekTec, Deltacast, Magewell and Matrox. For those without an I/O card or device, Streamstar also offers bundled software and hardware with HDMI or HD-SDI capture cards that can be purchased as DIY self-install kits. Portable all-in-one production studio systems are also available for four- and six-camera setups. A free 30-day trial software is offered for download (Windows OS only). List Price: SW begins at $55/month; $995 (perpetual license). Contact: Streamstar, streamstar.com.

 

SMOOTH MOVE

The Sirui VTJ-1.8 Travel Jib portable motion system from Argraph is capable of supporting 9.9 pounds of gear on extendable carbon-fiber arms that are also designed to dampen vibrations. With a 50- to 71.6-inch reach, the jib includes a 75mm bowl with auto-leveling mechanism for keeping the camera equalized, as well as a monitor platform to view footage as it’s captured. An included donut-shaped plastic weight bag can be filled with water or sand for counterbalance. Estimated Street Price: $799. Contact: Argraph,argraph.com/SiruiVTJ1.8Accessory.html.

 

DRONING ON

The D1 Drone Backpack from Manfrotto is fitted for the new strain of quadcopter cameras like the DJI Phantom, which it will accommodate alongside a DSLR and lens via the top compartment. Drones can be carried in the D1 with propellers removed for extra protection during transit, or they can be attached to the bag securely to protect the camera even with propellers affixed for faster access. The D1 also will house a laptop and media, as well as a tripod. List Price: $199. Contact: Manfrotto, manfrotto.com/d1-backpack-for-dji-phantom.

 

MOBILE HOMES

A new Universal Smartphone Mount for the Steadicam Smoothee stabilizer brings the trademark floating effect shot to small-solution cameras like smartphones, iPads and the GoPro Hero. The adjustable unit fits devices that range from 4.53-6.26×2.32-3.27 inches, with the Tiffen quick-release attachment and built-in 1/4”-20 thread for work with tripods. It also can be used as a tabletop stand. Price: $149. Contact: Tiffen, tiffen.com/steadicamsmoothee.

 

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT

The LM-Correct 2 loudness quick-fix plug-in from NUGEN Audio is now compatible with Adobe Premiere. The fully integrated CEP panel allows two-click loudness management and analysis directly from the Premiere editing suite. With support of mono through 5.1 surround sound, the program includes presets for loudness standards, short-term loudness, overall program equalization and maximum true-peak level targeting, as well as control over loudness normalization and conformance to the CALM Act EBU R128/ATSC A/85 broadcast audio standards. List Price: $399. Contact: NUGEN Audio, nugenaudio.com.

 

EXTENDED RUNTIME

Hot on the heels of Panasonic’s release of the new AG-DVX200 camcorder, IDX has announced availability of the 7.2V SL-VBD64 (6400mAh/47Wh) and SL-VBD96 (9600mAh/70Wh) batteries to provide estimated runtimes of 130 minutes and 193 minutes, respectively. With additional support for the AJ-PX- and HC-X-series camcorders, an X-Tap and USB power port are included on each for powering the camera and accessories. List Price: $150 (SL-VBD96); $135 (SL-VBD64). Contact: IDX, idxtek.com.

 

LOCK AND KEY

Designed for the popular Sony a7R III and a7S II mirrorless cameras, the LockCircle LockPort A7M2 is a protection mount with FLEX port that protects the fragile micro-HDMI port while converting the cable to a much more secure full-sized 4-inch HDMI output. A fast-attachment titanium screw-in knob allows the cable to face in any direction—rear, front, top and bottom—in order to achieve the best ergonomics for use with drones, gimbal systems and rigs. The reversible baseplate is “ultra-thin” to use with bigger cages, and a Side Plate has 20 1/4”-20 threads for mics, tripods and other accessories. LockCircle also offers a T-Riser Baseplate upgrade option with two camera threads for a more secure lockdown during heavy-duty situations like car mounts, also providing 19 additional 1/4”-20 attachment points for a total of 39 mounting threads. The LockPort A7M2 is compatible with a vertical mount, the LockPort A7M2 FLEX, plus the BIRDCAGE PRO and PRO-S cages for Sony systems. Metabones and other interchangeable-mount adapters are also available. List Price: Begins at $199. Contact: LockCircle, lockcircle.com/store/?p=lockport/a7/lockport_a72.

 

HOME MOVIES

Recently used for dramatic effect in films like Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and television series like The Walking Dead, the 16mm film look has been making a resurgence in popular media for its retro appeal. The limited-edition Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 16mm Film from Lomography utilizes C41 color-negative processing for an almost infrared color shift that produces soft purples and blues while enhancing green saturation, simulating a vintage home-movie feel. The color-negative film comes in rolls of 100 feet with one-sided perforation (KS 1R-2994) for use with Standard 16 and Super 16 film cameras. List Price: $79. Contact: Lomography, shop.lomography.com/en/lomochrome-purple-16mm.

 

MAC MINI ACCELERATOR

Activating full GPU performance to reduce choppy video output and lag time, the NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator will trick most Mac mini computer systems into believing that a display is attached. Because of their Apple TV-esque size, minimized operation and low price point, Mac mini computers are frequently used without displays or keyboards for screen sharing, networking and storage, plus home theater and media needs. With support of 1080p, as well as UHD via the Mac mini Late 2014 model, the HDMI Headless Video Accelerator engages the GPU by plugging into the HDMI port for much cleaner video streaming. List Price: $19.50. Contact: Other World Computing, eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/ADP4KHEAD.

 

SOUND SYSTEM

Weighing less than a pound of additional weight, the Stingray Audio Bag from K-Tek is sized for the popular Tascam DR-70D audio-capture system with a form-fitting vertical frame, holding strap, kickstand and two Molle straps for mounting external receivers and accessories. The bag features easy access to the inputs and outputs on both sides of the DR-70D with extra space for large XLR, TRS and other connectors. Price: $100. Contact: K-Tek, ktekpro.com.

 

LOCATION SCOUTING

The Fripito iOS and Android app acts as a local travel guide with prime scenic locations that have been catalogued by nearby photographers. Offering exact GPS and EXIF information, as well as tips for best light, prime locations, lodging and food, the app also downloads maps and information for use offline when WiFi isn’t available. Fripito is free, with in-app purchases for each curated location that vary in price from $3.99 to $8.99, depending on content. Contact: Fripito, fripito.com.

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