The AJ-PX230PJ AVC-ULTRA camcorder from Panasonic builds on its popular, but much more expensive predecessor, the $5,750 AJ-PX270, to offer 10-bit, 4:2:2 HD capture in AVC-Intra or AVC-LongG codecs only at a much more affordable price point. The camera cuts on costs by removing the networking capabilities, proxy and Genlock/TC interface of its bigger brother while still packing in a high-sensitivity, low-noise, 1/3-inch 3MOS sensor and a wide range of compression modes, including 100 Mbps AVC-Intra100, 200 Mbps AVC-Intra200, AVC-LongG50, AVC-LongG25 and AVC-LongG12. (DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV formats are also available.) With a 28-616mm 22x zoom lens and an OLED viewfinder, the PX230 is a versatile solution for everything from live events to broadcast and documentary or ENG work. Other features include multi-step zoom control, seven-mode gamma selections, extensive digital image settings, dual microP2 card slots and three manual operation rings for zoom, focus and iris on the lens. List Price: $4,495. Contact: Panasonic, panasonic.com/broadcast.
Expanding the capabilities of the extremely compact ALEXA Mini camera system, ARRI is offering two new Pro Camera Accessories—a broadcast plate and a low bracket. For shoulder-mounted operation, the ARRI Broadcast Plate’s shoulder pad is adjustable for finding best balance. It’s compatible with VCT-style tripod adapters like the ARRI Quick Release Plate QRP-1 for quickly switching from documentary-style handholding to a tripod, as well. Similarly, the ARRI Low Bracket for CSP-1 (Camera Shoulder Pad) is designed specifically for the MAP-2 Mini Adapter Plate to accommodate handheld operation by lowering the ALEXA Mini by 15mm for more comfortable ergonomics. List Price: TBD. Contact: ARRI, arri.com.
TWICE THE FUN
Available as an attachment magnification system for PL-mount optics, the 2x Tele-Extender from Duclos Lenses extends the reach of Super 35 and APS-C lens solutions to double the effective reach and narrow the field of view. Like many other extenders, there’s a 2-stop loss to light transmission, but Duclos claims there’s no sacrifice to imaging quality thanks to an optical construction designed to maintain corner-to-corner image quality. The 2x Tele-Extender also includes integrated back focus for field adjustments without the need for shimming. The 2-inch body is anodized aluminum with a stainless-steel PL mount. A 2x Extender Check Gauge is available at a cost of only a dollar to ensure lenses are compatible. List Price: $4,995. Contact: Duclos Lenses, ducloslenses.com.
Sharing characteristics found in the high-end CW Sonderoptic Summilux-C line of cinema lenses, sister company Leica has released the L-mount Summilux-TL 35mm ƒ/1.4 ASPH with fast ƒ/1.4 aperture, internal focusing and aspherical elements to reduce image aberrations. The “TL” name refers to compatibility with both the bayonet mount of the APS-C-based mirrorless T-series of Leica cameras, as well as the new L-mount of the Leica SL, which offers very sophisticated 4K capture. (The 35mm ƒ/1.4 is equivalent to a 52.5mm on the 1.5x APS-C sensor of both systems.) Available in black or silver, minimum focus on the lens is as close as 1.3 feet. A 60mm ƒ/2.8 ASPH APO-MACRO-ELMARIT-TL lens also has been announced for release in the fall. List Price: $2,395. Contact: Leica, us.leica-camera.com.
Available in lengths of 1, 2, 3 or 4 feet, the Pipeline Remote Phosphor LED system of 1-inch-diameter LED bank lights from BBS Lighting is a multiple lamp lighting configuration with built-in reflector and a high TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) rating of 95+. With 3200K, 4300K or 5600K options, the replaceable bulbs are dimmable without color shift via 8/16-bit DMX 512 in/out or through 48-volt power supply (down to 1%). With a top output of 16,000 lumens on the 4-foot banks and 12,000 lumens with the 3-foot banks, these two systems draw only 160 watts and 120 watts, respectively. Light dispersion is cast at a wide 180º from the rugged aluminum frame. A Bi-Color system is also available with two 3200K and two 5600K bulbs. The silent-running system will power on Gold Mount or V-Lock batteries. List Price: $2,495 (Pipeline Remote Phosphor LED System 4-foot 4-Bank); $1,995 (Pipeline Remote Phosphor LED System 3-foot 4-Bank). Contact: BBS Lighting, bbslighting.com.
POINT AND SHOOT
Rushworks’ 6.25×5.75×8.75-inch PTX Universal PanTilt head gives a new spin to remote control and PTZ camera systems, as it’s compatible with the diminutive Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K, as well as other LANC-capable cameras from Sony, Canon, Panasonic and JVC. Ideal for use with reality television or live broadcast, the PTX can be used with action cams like GoPro models, as well, and because there’s full support of DMX control, cameras can be swapped out with appropriate lighting equipment for live events and other venues. Video and lighting motion presets even can be combined through dozens of available DMX software controller systems, as well as the VDESK, REMO and CTRL R software available separately from Rushworks. Controls are provided for 360º of pan and +45°/-45° of tilt (for a total of 90º), as well as zoom, focus, iris and record. Several systems can be run by a single operator. List Price: $995 (PTX Universal PanTilt head); $795 (CTRL R software). Contact: Rushworks, rushworks.tv.
SUPPORTING THE SONY FS5
Zacuto has released several new accessories for converting the compact Sony FS5 camcorder into a stable and fully fleshed-out shoulder-mount camera solution with several viewfinder options. The more cost-effective FS5 Z-Finder with included FS5 Mounting Bracket is a high-quality loupe that quickly affixes to the Sony LCD screen to convert it into a manual viewfinder system with anti-fog protector, extensive diopter adjustments and 2x magnification. The FS5 Z-Finder Recoil shoulder-mount rig adds the FS5 Top Plate, VCT Universal baseplate with shoulder pad and the fully articulating FS5 Grip Relocator with 13.5-inch LANC extension cable for camera controls. To use Zacuto’s electronic Gratical HD OLED viewfinder (available separately as a bundled purchase) or Sony monitor, the FS5 EVF Recoil version offers the same kit components with adjustable Axis Mini 15mm rod attachment. Many other options are available. List Price: $1,500 (FS5 Z-Finder Recoil); $1,350 (FS5 EVF Recoil); $595 (FS5 Z-Finder). Contact: Zacuto, store.zacuto.com.
The bendable, water-resistant Westcott Flex LED mat is now available in larger sizes and with adjustable color temperatures, including 10”x3”, 1’x1’, 1’x2’, 1’x3’ and 2’x2’ daylight Flex LED models, as well as 10”x3”, 1’x1’ and 1’x2’ bicolor Flex LED mats. Weighing between 3 ounces and 3 pounds, the 5600K Flex Daylight solutions rate at 95 CRI with an output of between 500 and 9100 lux at 1 meter. At similar weight, the Flex Bi-Color models have an adjustable color temperature of between 2800K and 6000K. The Flex lights also can be purchased as kits with the Scrim Jim Cine system in sizes up to 8’x8’ for a modular light control frame with exchangeable bounce, block, diffusion and net fabrics. A lithium-ion D-Tap-style battery is available for the 10”x3”, 10”x10” and 1’x1’ Flex mats. Estimated Street Price: Begins at $289. Contact: F.J. Westcott, fjwestcott.com.
THE 700 CLUB
Joining the SmallHD 700 Series of 7-inch on-camera monitors, the 450-nit, 720p 701 Lite and 702 Lite screens aim for an affordable price point while also offering professional monitoring tools like HDMI in/out, built-in De-Log 3D LUTs, Focus Assist, Exposure Assist, Waveform, RGB Parade and audio metering. Available as a free collection from SmallHD, configurable LUTs can be transferred to and from the devices through SD cards. With a low 10-watt power draw, the systems are powered through AC adapter or commonly available Canon LP-E6 or Sony L/NPF-style batteries. For $200 extra, the 702 Lite also houses an SDI in/out with cross conversion between HDMI to SDI, and vice versa. List Price: $699 (701 Lite); $899 (702 Lite). Contact: SmallHD, smallhd.com.
Redrock Micro’s retroFlex-S is a stylish rig housing a viewfinder and handle with trigger record button to use the Sony a5000, NEX-3 and a5100 mirrorless cameras as if handholding a vintage 8mm camera. There are plans to accommodate other Sony Alpha-series cameras, and the retroFlex is available for the Blackmagic Pocket, as well. List Price: $545 (Complete Rig). Contact: store.redrockmicro.com/Retroflex-sony.html.
MSE, aka Matthews Studio Equipment, has released two versatile camera-mounting solutions—The Wedge and The CAM Tank. At less than $300, The Wedge is a configurable triangular stand with an extremely short profile for stable low-to-the-ground shots. Cameras can be mounted to it through a ballhead, fluid head or 100mm bowl head. The heavy-duty CAM Tank is a secure mounting system with a 30º tilt range from side to side for Dutch angles and compatibility with fluid heads for shots where the camera needs to be pointed straight down. List Price: $245 (The Wedge); $1,450 (The CAM Tank). Contact: Matthews Studio Equipment, msegrip.com.
Offering SD/HD video server, switcher, subtitling, captioning, content management and channel branding, Orca software from Pebble Beach Systems acts as a broadcast-in-a-box virtual IP channel. Aimed at sports broadcasters, centralcast hubs and multimedia corporations, the system replaces the need for dedicated rack-mount servers and other specialized broadcast equipment by acting as a remote IP-based private cloud virtual channel that can support an extensive range of compression and file formats with up- and down-conversion during ingest and playout. With single-operator control of multiple channels, Orca can be used to mix SD footage into HD material through the same browser-based timeline. Several flexible configurations are available, as are templates for fast deployment of content. List Price: TBD. Contact: Pebble Beach Systems, pebble.tv.
NOTES ON THE SCRIPT
Designed for the iPad, the LockitScript App is a comprehensive tool that accommodates the daily role of a script supervisor. With the ability to automatically generate progress reports, editor logs, clip logs and facing pages in Excel or PDF formats, the LockitScript application works in concert with a LockitWebTools account for networkable upload of scripts, call sheets, scene setups and more. Lined scripts can be created with on- and off-passages and notes alongside customizable abbreviations and clearly arranged time tracking for departments. Multi-camera support includes automatic synchronization through the included cloud-based LockitWebTools account, and the app is designed as an all-in-one solution for timecode logging, stopwatch, photo functions, scene breakdowns, clip folders and more. More advanced services are available for larger productions. List Price: $44.99. Contact: LockitNetwork, lockitnetwork.com/apps.
THE DRIVE TO SUCCEED
G-Technology has released several new hard drive solutions recently, including the large-capacity G-SPEED Shuttle XL 8-bay RAID systems, targeted squarely at video and multimedia production, as well as the portable G-DRIVE mobile USB-C, which features the latest iteration of USB for transfer rates of up to 136 MB/s in a pocket-sized drive. USB-C promises a throughput of two times the speed of USB 3.0, and it’s backwards-compatible with USB 2.0/3.0, so if you’re considering a USB-C computer in the near future, the portable drive will be compatible with both computer inputs. The capacities of the G-DRIVE mobile USB series have been bumped up, as well, to 2 TB and 3 TB. List Price: Begins at $129. Contact: G-Technology, g-technology.com.