Take Our Video Tour and See What You Missed in Las Vegas Last Week
Nobody can see everything at NAB, and there was plenty of innovative new production gear to miss at this year's show. Blackmagic Design grabbed the spotlight with the most new camera introductions, AJA stayed the course with the now-shipping Cion, and Sony, Canon and Panasonic mainly touted upgrades to camera systems that are already popular in the market rather than announcing entirely new products. But there was a lot of innovation going on in the realm of camera accessories and support, lenses, and filters — as well as some looking back to the future and making today's technology work with legacy hardware, like vintage lenses and prematurely obsolete FireWire drives. Thanks to James Mathers and the Digital Cinema Society, who were tearing up the show floor and filing video interviews all week long. Feel free to watch them all — but just in case you only have time for the highlights, we've cherry-picked 10 interesting pieces of gear that haven't gotten a ton of press.
Had your eye on that sexy, lightweight 17–120mm cine-servo lens at the Canon booth? Maybe you haven't pulled the trigger because your torn between the EF- and PL-mount versions? Well, Abel Cine has whipped up a universal mount system that lets you change between EF and PL configurations — without sending the lens in to an authorized Canon service facility. Good idea. NAB Video: Abel Cine.
While we're talking lenses, have you ever despaired over lensing options for the Red Epic Dragon? Do you own or covet vintage 35mm and Super 35mm lenses that almost but not quite cover the full 6K image area? Manios Digital has you covered with a 1.2x image expander that allows the use of cool old lenses like 35mm Cooke and Angenieux zooms to spread their images all the way across Dragon's 6K sensor, with the compromise of a half stop of light loss. NAB Video: Manios Digital.
Still using FireWire drives? Don't hang your head. With a maximum speed limit approaching 800 Mbps, there's no reason to throw out perfectly good FireWire gear—except that vendors are trying hard to move you along to USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Give thanks, then, that OWC has you covered with a brand-new Thunderbolt 2 dock with 12 ports, including FireWire. Plug that in to your late-model MacBook Pro and enjoy sweet, sweet FireWire connectivity again. NAB Video: OWC.
If you're a cinematographer who didn't happen to bump into Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown, ASC, at NAB last week, you owe it to yourself to see what's new in the modular Steadicam M-1 stabilization rig and redesigned Fawcett Exovest. Brown, retired from camera operation since 2004, spotlighted it for us with the help of the very able Steadicam op Katerina Kallergis. NAB Video: Steadicam.
Walking the show floor, it may have seemed like LED lighting is where all the innovation is. But Kino Flo is staying competitive with new flourescent ballasts that only require half the power of its previous generation of products. Kino Flo sells LED lighting too, but the classic flourescent line-up is still alive and kicking—and the extra efficiency will help. NAB Video: Kino Flo.
Speaking of LEDs and innovation, KinoTehnik had a new "smart LED light." Company founder Tonis Liivamagi showed us how it can be controlled from a smartphone. NAB Video: KinoTehnik.
If you like the idea of lots of monitoring goodness in a very small package, make sure you have a look at SmallHD's new Sidefinder, a 1366×768 electronic viewfinder—SmallHD says it's the world's highest-resolution EVF—with a built-in fold-out 1080p monitor. Wes Phillips demonstrates. NAB Video: SmallHD.
Looking for a convenient, inexpensive B camera? Don't underestimate the one you carry around in your pocket. With a little finesse, shots taken with the iPhone 6 can hold up reasonably well, and Schneider Optics has a new rugged case with a set of five lens attachments that, in a design coup, screw into each other to make a convenient handle. You'll also hear about the new Xenon full-frame prime lenses and the new True-Streak Confetti filter. NAB Video: Schneider Optics.
Did you hear something at the show about Panasonic's Lumix GH4 mirrorless having a new anamorphic shooting option? Did you wonder what that was all about? Matt Frazer can fill you in on the new firmware's anamorphic function. It captures at a 4×3 aspect ratio at 3328×2496, which stretches out to 2.66:1 after a 2x anamorphic squeeze. NAB Video: Panasonic (Lumix).
Finally, if it's the little things that make a difference, Lentequip might be on to something. Its new SafeTap D-Tap power connector monitors for reverse polarity, over- and under-voltage and short circuits to help prevent damage to production gear. Lentequip's Emery Soos says it's striking a definite chord with rental houses looking for whatever extra effort they can put into protecting their equipment. NAB Video: Lentequip.
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