Post-NAB Equipment Roadmap
By Jeff Lee, Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Now that the dust has settled in Las Vegas and we’ve all had a chance to recuperate from the frenzy of activity known as the NAB show, let’s take a look at some of the recurring themes from this year. While the buzz word on the show floor seemed to be “4K”, other big hits included anamorphic lenses, external recorders, and stabilization systems.
Some the products announced at NAB starting to ship, with others around the corner, so we’ve organized this guide around when you can expect NAB’s stars to hit the market.
Ki Pro Quad
Announced at NAB ’12, the Ki Pro Quad is the natural progression of the popular Ki Pro Mini. Unlike other external recorders, the Quad is capable of receiving Canon raw from the C500 and debayering the stream to 4K ProRes files via AJA data packs. The Canon raw information can be passed to a computer and external hard drive via Thunderbolt, not to mention support for capturing 4K or QFHD video from cameras like the Sony PMW-F55. As you’d expected, the Ki Pro Quad is also able to record 2K and 1080P from a myriad of cameras.
Wooden Camera Quick Base
In the crowded world of camera support accessories, manufacturers must find ways to stand out and differ from the other options. Wooden Camera’s new line of camera accessories features a unique quick release system that makes changing setups a snap. Featuring a low profile base that can attach directly to the new baseplates or standard Arri dovetails, the Quick Base and Quick Cage are available for most camera systems. I was able to speak to Ryan Schorman of Wooden Camera and have him walk me through the system, watch as he demos some of the new accessories.
With over 80 million Canon EF lenses sold, its no wonder we’ve all been looking for a solution to use our Canon lenses on other camera systems. The OptiTek Canon EF to Sony FZ adaptor allows you to use your existing glass on the Sony PMW-F3, F5, and F55 and supports electronic aperture control. While the optional Optritron allows for focus and iris control, you are also able to control the lens directly from the adapter, great for those run & gun situations. Dave Kincaid’s video shows how easy it is to use this adapter on your new Sony camera.
ALEXA XT / XR
Announced right before NAB, the ALEXA family receives an update that features in-camera ARRIRAW recording up to 120fps. The ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT M, ALEXA XT Plus, and ALEXA XT Studio will replace the current crop of cameras, and all include full 4:3 sensors in addition to the internal recording capabilities. You can read more details from Mitch about the various updates to the ALEXA family, and watch his interview with Arri’s Marc-Shipman Mueller.
AbelCine HDx35 Mark II
An updated version of the popular HDx35, the Mark II allows you to mount 2/3″ B4 mount lenses to your Super-35 camera system, but now covers a larger image circle. This means you can use the HDx35 Mark II on the Canon C300 and C500, as well as the RED Epic in 5K mode with your ENG lenses. The Mark II also allows you to use the new UMS option.
The AbelCine HDx2 Mark II and HDx35 Mark II adapters now feature the Universal Mount System (UMS), which allows you to use your optical adapter on multiple camera systems. Available in Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds and PL, the UMS provides a plethora of options and configurations to use your existing 2/3″ lenses.
Schneider Cine-Xenar III
If you’re in the market for a set of cine prime lenses, the new Schneider Cine-Xenar III lenses are an exciting option to have. With a choice between PL and Canon EF mounts, these cine-oriented lenses are identical in size for easy on-set access and accessory configurations. With an 18-blade iris and great color matching to boot, these new primes are a great addition to any lens package. We had the entire set on display at NAB; make sure you check out Ian’s video on these great lenses. AbelCine Rental has the lenses available now, so why not try them out on your next shoot.
Metabones Speed Booster
Metabones has introduced the Speed Booster optical adapter. The unit adapts several DSLR mounts to video mounts. The unit contains optics that increase the over all exposure by one stop. The optics increase resolution by focusing the light from an APS size sensor to the Super 35 sensor size found in numerous compact camcorders. The Speed Booster is on demo in all AbelCine locations, so stop by and check it out.
AbelCine PLx2 Extender
While teleconverters are certainly not a new idea, there was a void for those wanting to use an optical doubler on a digital cinema camera. The AbelCine PLx2 Extender is a optical extender that works with many S35 PL lenses and cameras and is optimized for digital acquisition. The PLx2 was a popular item at our booth this year; watch Mitch’s video tour as he gives an overview of the PLx2 and other IB/E products.
If the foot traffic was any indication, the highlight of our booth this year was most assuredly the Phantom Flex4K. As the name suggests, this is an update to the Phantom Flex with the capability to record 1000 frames at 4K (4096×2160) and 2000 frames at 1080 to the new CineMag IV. With a new control interface built right in the camera, it’s easy to see why the Flex4K was such a crowd pleaser. Our very own Mitch Gross was able to debut the camera at NAB and online, take a look! We’ve also created several extraordinary purchase options for the Flex4K, including a step-up program which gives you 100% credit towards your Flex4K if you purchase a 2K Flex today. Be sure to check out our specials page for more details!
Odyssey 7 / 7Q
Another big pre-NAB announcement came from Convergent Design, with a big update to their external recorder line. Both the Odyssey 7 and 7Q feature a 1280×800 7.7″ OLED capacitive touch screen in a compact 1″ thick magnesium chassis. In addition to the included monitoring features, the 7 and 7Q will record Avid DNxHD and another “industry standard” codec, but the real hat trick comes from the 7Q, which can accept quad HD inputs as well as ARRIRAW and Canon raw. Convergent Design was nice enough to drop off an Odyssey 7Q at our booth, check out my video to learn more.
Blackmagic Design 4K Production Camera
The new Blackmagic Production Camera features a Super-35 size sensor with a global shutter and shoots 4K RAW. The Production Camera has 12 native stops of dynamic range and records to SSD drives.
Blackmagic Design Compact Cinema Camera
Blackmagic has announced their New Pocket Cinema Camera that features a true Super16 size sensor and shoots fully uncompressed RAW. The Pocket cinema camera is compatible with MFT, C-mount, and PL mount lenses.
KinoFlo Celeb 400
Mitch was able to take a look at the new KinoFlo Celeb 400, which is the big brother to the versatile Celeb 200. Both units feature the soft light that KinoFlo is known for with some advanced color controls. Watch his video as he shows off some of the features of the new Celeb 400.
Mole-Richardson QuantumDot LED Fresnels
Mole-Richardson introduced some new LED Fresnels this year that utilize new Quantum Dot LED technology for powerful and efficient output with great color rendition. Available in the classic Tweenie, Baby and Junior sizes, these new lights are an exciting addition to a classic brand. Mitch has a video tour of the new lights, be sure to watch the video to see them for yourself.
Atomos Samurai Blade
In addition to some surprise price drops, Atomos also announced the new Samurai Blade external recorder that builds upon the popular Samurai. Now available with a high-resolution 1280×720 IPS panel with additional monitoring tools, the Blade maintains many of the recording features of the Ninja2 and Samurai. I stopped by the Atomos booth to get a hands on look; check out the video to learn more.
Solid Camera Scatter Box / Sound Swivel
A popular camera on display at the AbelCine booth this year was the Sony PMW-F55 that featured some great accessories, including two new items from our friends at Solid Camera. The Sound Swivel lets you relocate your headphone jack and provides a 7-pin quick connect for an audio harness as well as a 5-pin XLR input for stereo microphones. The Scatter Box is a power distribution box that provides two PTap and two 2-pin Lemo connectors for your high draw accessories. Watch Andy’s video as he details some of the features of these great accessories.
Arri / Zeiss Anamorphic
Announced last NAB as a concept lens, the new Arri / Zeiss Master Anamorphic lenses are a great pairing to your 4:3 sensor ALEXA or Phantom Flex4K. The 35mm, 50mm and 75mm are scheduled to start shipping in May, but the range will be extended to include a 40mm, 60mm, 100mm and 135mm as the year progresses. Mitch spent some time chatting with Thorsten Meywald to discuss these new exciting lenses, so watch the blog video to learn more.
Deity Mira C300 / C500 Loupe
The Canon C300 and C500 cameras come with a high quality LCD screen. But like most on-camera LCDs, it can be hard to see on a bright day and judging focus on can sometimes be difficult. Deity has come up with the perfect product to fix those problems and extend the functionality of this screen. The Deity Mira C300/C500 Loupe snaps on to the Canon LCD screen and quickly turns it into a functional viewfinder. The loupe is designed just for the C300 & C500 so distortion of the LCD screen is very limited. The loupe attaches to the screen, but can also be flipped up for viewing at a distance.
WCU-4 Wireless Control Unit
ARRI’s new WCU-4 Wireless Control Unit is a complete lens control system with unique camera integration. The WCU can control three lens motors (focus, iris zoom) and trigger camera record/stop either using the ARRI UMC-3A receiver or directly interacting with any ALEXA camera with a Plus module (ALEXA Plus, ALEXA Plus 4:3, ALEXA STUDIO, ALEXA M or any of the ALEXA XT models). When used with an ALEXA camera, the WCU-4 can also control camera functions such as Frame Rate, Shutter Angle, Exposure Index and White Balance, plus it can also adjust settings on the Monitor Output, such as Peaking, Surround View, False Color and Framelines. Simple backlit graphical displays with interactive features such as depth of field indicators and preset marks make the system very easy to use.
The new Solo from Steadicam combines the capabilities of a lightwieght monopod with a traditional Steadicam design. The rig can be quick-released from the Steadicam arm and then easily operated via its handle as a monopod. Supporting up to 10 lbs. the Solo is ideal for DSLR and and Canon C-series shooters. The Solo’s design is highly compact and folds up to 24in by 3.5 in. Watch my NAB video to learn more.
Panasonic VariCam 3
Slated for an early 2014 release, the newest addition to the very popular VariCam family is the VariCam 3. With support for the new AVC-Ultra codecs (including Class 200 and Class 4:4:4) and internal 120fps recording, the VariCam 3 will be a welcome update to those needing smaller sensor, ENG style shooting. Andy was eager to check out the newest VariCam for a sneak peak, have a look!
Sony NEX-FS700 4K RAW
When the NEX-FS700 was first released, Sony hinted at a future 4K workflow option that would be unlocked at a future date. Well, that date is fast approaching, as Sony was showing the HXR-IF5 interface box in conjunction with the AXS-R5 recorder for 4K raw recording. Sony also surprised us all with the announcement of 2K raw (up to 240fps continuous recording) and 4K video via the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q. Watch Andy’s video to learn more.
It’s no secret that cloud or internet based storage and distribution is in our near future, so there’s no surprise Sony is exploring this with the new CBK-WA100 wireless adaptor. This box encodes H.264 files on the fly and can upload to a Sony provided cloud service or your own FTP server and embraces the growing trend of “instant” deliverables. Andy breaks it down further from the Sony booth.
The road to new anamorphic lenses doesn’t have to stop at primes, as the new Angenieux Optimo Anamorphic 56-152mm 2S T4 zoom gives you that wide screen image in a comfortable zoom range. Mitch gives a great technical break down from the Angenieux booth, make sure you check out his in-depth video!
Fujinon Cabrio 14-28mm Zoom Lens
The third lens to join the Cabrio family, this T2.9 wide angle PL zoom supports LDS and /i data connections. It has all of the same features that the Cabrio 19-90mm offers, including back focus adjustment, 31.5mm diagonal coverage, and a detachable servo handgrip. Combined with the mid range 19-90mm and telephoto range 85-300mm lenses, this wide-ranged lens perfectly rounds out the family and will be shipping in the 4th quarter. For a good look at the entire Cabrio family, check out Mitch’s NAB video on our blog.
Element Technica Wireless System
Element Technica introduced a new 3 channel (FIZ) system at NAB 2013. The system is designed to accommodate gear you may already own to complete the system. The hand control for the system can use a Preston HU-2 with Element Technica module attached. The other option is to use Element Technica’s hand control. The hand control allows adjustment of the full range of iris, zoom and focus or you can set limits for iris and focus. Ideal for repeated camera moves. Motors for the unit are made by Element Technica and feature swivel cable mounts. Cables for the motors are industry standard 7 pin lemo. Motors brackets available for 15 and 19mm configurations. Motors also have quick change gear design. Ian stopped by Element Technica’s booth to take a look at the system – check out the video here.