Experts Pick the Hottest Cameras and Accessories

StudioDaily polled some of the industry's top dealers for their read on what cameras and accessories are in the highest demand, or coming on strong later this year. Here's a look at trending products.

Brett Gillespie
Marketing Manager
Band Pro Film & Digital, Burbank, CA
Fill-Lite LED Lighting System. Launching at Cine Gear Expo, 2013, the Fill-Lite system was invented by cinematographer Owen Stephens, SOC, to answer the shortcomings of existing LED lighting technology. Here’s what our own Jeff Cree said about these highly consistent lights: “The Fill-Lite system provides the most versatile and uniform soft light source that I have seen in all my years in the industry. The only way to duplicate what this system of thin 2’ x 2’ panels can accomplish requires 100 times more power and more room than you have in most practical locations to accomplish.”
Fujinon – Cabrio 14-28mm Zoom. The 14-28mm is the latest lens in the Cabrio set, which will provide focal range coverage from 14mm to 300mm. These ranges, along with the many versatile control features of the compact zoom series, represent a breakthrough and are exclusive to Fujinon. In many cases, the compact Cabrio Series zooms have already dramatically changed the nature of large-sensor camera productions by alllowing crews to shoot quicker and easier and save money in the process. This one ships in the fall.
Solid Grip Systems – Slider Dolly System. Solid Grip Systems (SGS) manufactures aluminum precision tracks for both the film and television industries. SGS also manufactures the Truss-Dolly-System, along with all of its accompanying accessories. These precision track profiles are not adapted from the printing or manufacturing industry, but were specifically designed for the weight of film equipment.

Michael Condon, SOC
VP, Digital Division
Clairmont Camera, North Hollywood

My must-have list would have to include the CODEX Vault. Its ease of use makes it possible for just about anyone on the crew to operate with a minimal amount of training. It comes with support for ARRIRAW from CODEX M or S data packs, CODEX XR Capture Drives, 2K or HD Video from ARRI SxS — and, soon, RED r3d and F65/F55 support. The Vault allows quick turnaround of digital media of all types with verified copying of files to internal storage, LTO backups if needed, and making deliverables of all types per individual production and post requirements and needs.

Michael Mansouri

Radiant Images, Los Angeles

Novo Digital Cinema Camera. The Novo is a new small-form factor digital cinema camera that Radiant Images co-created with View Factor Studios and introduced in late February. Developed for professional filmmakers, the Novo removes the cinematic limitations of the GoPro Hero3: Black Edition, adding interchangeable lenses, back-focus adjustment and exposure-control capabilities while also retaining the GoPro’s key functionality. It’s simple and easy to use and enables cinematographers to get shots that were not possible before, which has created great demand for this tiny camera. Already, the Novo is being used on the sets of two major motion pictures — Transformers 4 and Need for Speed — and won an award for technical innovation at NAB 2013.
OVIDE Smart Assist HD2. The Smart Assist is a compact, self-contained 22-inch touchscreen video-assist software system that is quite impressive — almost revolutionary. Traditionally, you need a big, cumbersome cart to hold all the accessories contained in the Smart Assist. The interface is like an iPad, very simple to work with, and it’s battery powered and works with all cameras. Files are converted automatically, on the fly, in real time. And it supports 3D. I can’t say enough good things about the Smart Assist.
CC3D Gen-2 Rig. We are most impressed with gear that focuses on simplicity and ease of use, and the CC3D Rig fits the bill. Designed by leading 3D innovator Marty Mueller of Converging Concepts, the CC3D is smart and lightweight and is enabling IMAX filmmakers to do things that could never be done before. Working with Marty, we used the CC3D rig to mount twin Sony F65s with all the accessories — lens, lens control, motors, brackets — on a Steadicam, which was used for the first time ever in an IMAX 3D project recently in Panama. The CC3D rig is another revolutionary piece of equipment leading the movement toward small and simple.

Brent Boles
Camera Department Manager

Sim Digital, Los Angeles

Canon EOS C300. This small, lightweight camera has recently been a workhorse in the industry. At its low price point, this camera is a great value for the beautiful images it produces.  
Fujinon Premier Series Lenses. All of the lenses in this set provide excellent color and optical quality. They have to be seen to be believed. They are essential for almost any shoot. The most popular one lately is the compact, lightweight 19-90mm Cabrio T2.9 cinema zoom. Anyone who has shot with it has fallen in love. The detachable handgrip converts it from an ENG/EFP handheld zoom to a cinema zoom, only adding to its versatility.  
Sony F55. The highly anticipated new kid on the block is here and does 4K. The camera has an electronic global shutter, wide color gamut, and an amazingly crisp viewfinder. It is capable of shooting up to 240 fps in 2k. It is another powerful tool for any DP.