NAB 2012 - PART TWO he stories concerning what good things are to come continue with more interviews from the NAB show in Las Vegas. In the “great leap forward” section, another technology that has been hyped out of sight has been “cloud computing”. This year, a number of vendors in our space were somewhat quieter with their cloud visions which, told to me by a number of respected journalists ( don’t bother commenting ) and engineers, is due to these realisations and more –
Who actually owns the data you put in the cloud?
What happens to it if you don’t keep paying your subscription?
Can the FBI look in anytime they want?
Who is responsible for replacing the data if the system fails?
What if your local telco has a problem with their part of the pipeline?
For us, this last one is the biggie. We don’t have the pipe size necessary except in a very few places and I for one certainly don’t trust our telcos to deliver 100% any time soon. Don’t despair, there are other options. You read about Apace last month and now a deep archive solution from Sony.
Sony - Part Two Scott Webster continues the story for Sony. Ed: A display area that I’ve been looking forward to seeing covers Sony’s Optical Disc Archive solutions. Scott: We’re showing a little application that is being developed to go with the Optical Disc Archive and shows the power of metadata search. What we’re doing here is when the video comes in, the audio has actually been transcribed to text, so you can then do a search for any audio cues based on a text word that you type in. What we’re demonstrating here is the word “Washington”. It’s searching for that word on the video files within the Optical Disc Archive. Ed: Is this an automatic transcribe – the words? Scott:
“I’m holding in my hand …” says Scott.
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Ed: So it recognises all these different languages and converts it to a text document … six languages, even with an Australian accent? Scott: Yes, so then it finds the clips and gives you in and out points to where that word is used in the video. Ed: That is seriously cool and that’s the difference between a dumb archive and a clever archive. Scott: We also have other search categories. Ed: I guess of course you can search for clip names and dates and things like that?
Count them - 12 discs in one.
Scott: But we’ve also got face recognition. Ed: Nooo! Type in “Scott Webster” – see what we get … okay, so you have a little bin of faces and it finds all the matches. So the roadmap … this is really clever now, but it’s going to get even more clever when there can be a subset search or you can put in for a particular face at a particular date range? Scott: That’s right. I think the important thing when we start getting into very large volumes of data, is actually the ability to find the clip that we want or the material that we want and we need easy tools to do that and this is just a preview of what Sony’s doing with this technology, for Optical Disc Archive … very exciting. Ed: Nick, you remember a few months ago I did a story about archiving and how clouds and spinning hard discs are not necessarily the way to go. They still have issues and it seemed to be that Optical Disc was the most stable, but it’s always been a little bit hard to handle because you haven’t got too much data on one disc. Sony have come up with a solution Nick? Nick: Well this is something that we’re putting forward as a future deep archive solution. I suppose if you want to think of the alternative currently, something like LTO tape storage would be the current format that some would use. One of the issues with LTO is that it’s a magnetic format, a magnetic tape and it’s only backward compatible across two generations, so when LTO-3 came along, you weren’t able to play LTO-1 tapes and, as each successive generation comes along, you need to migrate your data from your older generations across, every 5 or 6 years. So what we’re proposing here is not strictly an XDCAM product but it derives from the XDCAM optical disc technology, so it’s an optical disc archive system using a cartridge of up to 1.5 terabytes capacity. That cartridge has 12 optical discs in it. Now just like the XDCAM system, we have always stated that it’s extremely archivally stable – a 50 year shelf life – plus, being an optical disc read by a laser, if the disc is flooded or full of mud or something, it’s possible to clean
it off and read it. The other thing is that, as we know with other disc formats, they’re backward compatible. You’ve got a Blu-ray player today that can play a DVD and it can play a CD, so what we’re saying here is that, all you need is a laser mechanism to read this back and we believe that’s a lot more future-proof than some sort of complex spinning head, magnetic mechanism with a complicated tape transport. So we think Optical Disc Archive is a very real alternative. Ed: I think there’ll be many people who would agree with you Nick. Nick: What we’ve announced as the base product is the drive unit plus the cartridge itself which holds 12 optical discs. We’ll release these towards the end of this year and so at its simplest form, you could use this drive with a cartridge in a desktop situation where you have data to store. It doesn’t matter what the data is, it could be XDCAM files, it could be XDCAM EX files, it could be PowerPoint, it could be other video format files, it could be anything. Ed: It’s just a data disc isn’t it, and it’s got to be separated from a video format … it’s totally format independent? Nick: That’s right, but we are consciously pitching this at entertainment production type applications. In fact, Sony has established an advisory group of major broadcasters and postproduction organisations around the world, to work on trying to establish this as a format for the future. We’re also working with various third-party manufacturers as to how we could integrate this into robotic systems. Whilst I’ve shown you just a simple drive here, sitting on the desktop, conceptually, we could use these to build a scalable library with robotic access, right up to a massive storage system of say 30,000 hours of 50 megabits per second video as an example. Ed: And to me, for the smaller producer, the really good thing is that you can record stuff onto this, take it out of the cart and stick it on your shelf and you can leave it there for 20 years, not use it, and know that when you put it back in it will spin up and read the data? Nick: As long as you’ve got an application that can read the files, the data should be able to be recoverable, yes. So this is quite an interesting step forward for Sony. Ed:
I see there’s already an XDCAM Juke application?
Nick: Well that’s something different. XDCAM Juke is this product here … XDCAM Juke is already a product, basically it’s a juke box with two XDCAM disc drives and it can hold up to 30 XDCAM discs. So this is designed for facilities that have a lot of throughput, that need to ingest or write back a lot of content. So, for example, rather than having an operator standing there, moving
discs in and out of decks for hours, they can load the discs up, set it to work, walk away and come back next morning … Ed: I imagine there will be similar software available for this disc system? Nick: Juke is more hardware than software. It’s a storage solution and we’re working with various third party providers as to how it could be integrated; you obviously need a management system to sit over the top of it. So we’re working with a bunch of well respected partners. Ed: Now of course, Sony seems to be making the clearest, best colour, most beautiful monitors that I’ve
to be a backlight there. That means that, unless you turn off that backlight, black is not black, black is grey, whereas on an OLED, there is no backlight – each pixel generates its own light. So when there’s no signal there, or in the black areas, there is no backlight shining through, so black is black and that’s really the line we use to promote the OLED. They have fantastic blacks – people have not been used to seeing true black since the CRT days. There are some very high grade LCD monitors around purporting to have excellent blacks, but they’re generally very high cost, very low volume monitors that you just don’t commonly see. We’re talking about a 17 inch monitor that starts at around NZ$5,400 for the PVM version – it’s very pricecompetitive against LCD and putting them side by side is just chalk and cheese. You really want accurate colour in a production monitor and the OLED delivers. Ed: When are we going to see them in the home? Nick: OLEDs … well that’s a good question. There are some technical challenges in making large ones. Currently, we make three sizes, 25 inch is the largest, 17 inch, and a 7 inch for portable applications. Ed: Because people at home want 50 inch?
seen in the OLED format. This is doing well in the world? Nick: Absolutely. We fully unveiled the OLED range at last year’s NAB and we’ve now been shipping them over the past 12 months. As with many hot new technologies, demand has tended to outstrip supply, but we were told just a few days ago over 10,000 have now been shipped around the world. In Australia and New Zealand there is demand particularly for the PVM OLED source monitors which are so brilliantly priced. A number of the big outside broadcast companies have bought reasonable quantities to use as CCU position monitors, which is a great affirmation of the quality, and really there is nothing to match them. We’ve seen quite a number of postproduction houses and also some broadcasters start to adopt the higher grade OLEDs, the BVM-E and BVM-F. We have two high grade series within the range, BVM-E is the top of the tree, for the postproduction houses, and BVM-F is aimed at the broadcasters who don’t need all the bells and whistles that are used in postproduction, but still need a grade reference monitor for a technical director’s position, maybe a lighting director’s position, that type of thing. Ed: What sort of things are they telling you that they find as improvements in these monitors, over what they were using before? Nick: I think the “blacks” is probably the first thing that everyone sees. They deliver true black – “black” is “black” on an OLED. Ed: And that’s the thing, they can tell when they’re looking at it that that picture is not a true black and we need some adjustments? Nick: Well in simple terms, an LCD is essentially a backlight shining through an LCD panel, so there is always going to be a backlight – whether it’s an LED backlight or a fluorescent tube backlight, there is going
Nick: Well that’s right, the demand in the home is for bigger and bigger sets and it’s possible that OLED is not the right technology for that, because there are some challenges to make very large panels and there are other technologies under development, which we can’t talk too much about, for the consumer market. I’m not talking about professional, so larger screens might be the answer, but for now, the home screens are LCD or plasmas. We don’t make plasmas at Sony, so we won’t talk about plasma thank you! Okay, this product here is the NXL-IP55. It doesn’t sound very exciting and it doesn’t even look very exciting but to be honest … Ed: It’s a box, come on? Nick: It’s a box, and this, in my rounds of talking to people about what we’re showing here, excited a lot of people more than just about anything else, and there’s been a lot of people here looking at it. It’s all about video over IP. Now video over IP is not necessarily new, there are boxes on the market that take a regular SDI video signal and transmit it via a network, that’s great … Ed:
But it doesn’t always work very well?
Nick: Well maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But that’s also rather simplistic if you’re looking at setting up a system. So what we’re talking about here is a system that is capable of taking four video channels, take it as three cameras and a return video feed, or two cameras and two return video feeds, but it’s a total of four channels, over a network, with full genlock which is what’s required in a multi-camera system, with camera control signals being able to be incorporated over that network as well as audio, both on the embedded SDI inputs and separate audio input, with tallies going back to the cameras, with intercom going back to the cameras. All the facilities that you expect of a studio camera, but without needing to install triax or fibre infrastructure, so you can have about 100 metres between the box and
the network switch on your gigabit Ethernet LAN and then here, represented by the pink cable, that’s your network, that could be a few kilometres, depending on the performance of your switch, or it could even be a fibre link which could be many kilometres. Ed:
You can have a remote studio?
Nick: You can essentially have a remote studio over Cat6 network infrastructure – and we’re talking about full 1920x1080 HD quality; also ultra low latency, I mean you can see on this monitor, any latency you’re observing is more likely from the monitor. Latency is less than one field, so less than half a frame. It’s really quite something unique and the possibilities it represents are what’s got people excited. Ed:
I can well imagine …
Nick: And this allows very affordable systems to be put together, you’ve got two boxes, there’s not a “send” and “receive” box, they’re both the same, you simply have the two boxes … Ed:
Well you say “affordable”, so what’s the ballpark?
Nick: Well a final price hasn’t been announced, but we expect it will be in the order of around US$10,000 per box. Ed: That’s a bargain when you’re setting up a studio or two? Nick: We think so and it even has applications in the higher studio or outside broadcast environment. As an example, our HDC-2000 series cameras which are being adopted by the major broadcasters and OB providers,
have a 3G fibre connection back to the van; but within that fibre connection is an Ethernet LAN trunk, so there is an Ethernet trunk running out to the camera. So for example, in a golf outside broadcast, you might run fibre a kilometre or something out to a camera at a distant hole, but there’s a fibre trunk incorporated in that, so you could also use one of these boxes to feed up to an additional three cameras back to that camera head, down the fibre trunk, pick it off at the other end and you’ve got three more cameras … so that might be other angles on that hole, or there might be a pole camera up above, or maybe even another hole. You know it adds all sorts of possibilities even to high level broadcast systems. Ed: And it’s going to carry a much more stable signal and I guess at a higher bandwidth signal than any wireless option? Nick: Well, yes, while wireless systems can do many of the functions we’ve just talked about, they become quite pricey and, as you say, not necessarily as stable. It’s more about situations or venues where the traditional broadcast infrastructure’s just not in place or might not be commercially viable. Ed: And of course you’re not limited by the camera or any of the other infrastructure around it are you – it’s just you plug it in and away you go? Nick: Well that’s right, and this whole area here is about putting together lower cost live production systems. Of course we offer vision switchers from
under $10,000 up to half a million dollars, but here we’re talking about lower end production systems, so we have a small switcher – it’s not a brand new product, it’s been out for a while, the MCS8, a very capable small switcher which is around NZ$8,500.
Nick: Well audio is 90% of any video programme and very important. No one watches television with the sound down!
We also have a new remote camera, the BRC-H900, which we just announced for NAB and this is now the highest performance remote pan / tilt / zoom camera on the market. It sits at the top of our range of what is now four models and it’s a half inch 3 chip design, so it has very good low light capability, very high picture
Nick: So what we’ve introduced here are a number of new microphones – for example, the ECS-MS2 which is a single point stereo mic designed to be used oncamera, for small cameras like those that we’ve just looked at such as the PMW-100, to get higher quality stereo ambient sounds or atmosphere. We’ve also added to our range of lavalier mics. Some of our lavalier mics are just totally industry standard, like the ECM-77. It’s been around a long time and it’s still an industry standard in television and ENG. However, we do have a number of mics in the range and what we’ve just introduced is this ECM-FT5 which is a flat lavalier mic rather than the traditional cylindrical design. Other manufacturers have produced flat mics over the years – however this is our first. These are quite easy to hide, in fact, the mic has been designed with a bit of a high frequency boost so that, if it is taped under clothing, it still gives good intelligibility. So that’s a very high quality lapel mic that’s very well priced and that’s available with a number of different plug fittings for our various radio mic systems … which takes us to radio mics. Ed: Wireless mics, this is a big topic and it continues to be?
quality, a high degree of control over picture, HD-SDI output, remote control of course, and a very quiet and smooth mechanism so it can be used in situations where you don’t necessarily want it to draw too much attention to itself.
Nick: Well Australia and New Zealand are both going through the same thing that other countries have, and that is they’re clearing the existing spectrum that has been used for wireless mics for many years, clearing that spectrum off, removing the television services from that spectrum and restacking them into other parts of the spectrum and clearing ( in our case ) the 800 MHz area so that it can be sold off for other purposes – data casting, whatever.
Like a very small studio?
Nick: Possible applications are a small studio or a courtroom or a conference room or a boardroom or any situation where you want a high quality … of course we have other options like our HDC-P1 if you want to go even further into a small camera on a pan / tilt / zoom but that’s a higher cost example for full-on broadcast. One area of growth we’re seeing, for example, is radio stations wanting to put one or more cameras into their radio studios, because they’re streaming live … as well as broadcasting radio to air they’re streaming live video coverage ( as if you’d want to watch it ) of the radio announcers. Ed:
The jocks doing their thing?
Nick: And some radio stations are actually doing live music, so they bring a live band in to do a live performance, they want to actually stream video of that as well, so they’re putting in one or more of these types of cameras which can be centrally controlled from a joystick type control panel through a simple switcher, and you’re talking about a multi-camera system that can be put together for the cost of one high end broadcast camera. Ed:
Now, moving on, into the audio side of Sony?
Ed: Oh I can tell what part of the industry you came from.
Ed: Yes, we know the government’s selling it to the Telcos. Nick: It’s something along those lines. So as a result, we’re faced with having to move all the wireless microphones to other areas and the problem ( and I’m really speaking mainly from the Australian perspective here ) is that the government has not come out hard and fast and said “this is the frequency block that you can use.” However, there are various lobby groups including Free TV, who represent the commercial broadcasters, who have been working with the relevant government authority, the ACMA ( Australian Communications and Media Authority ) to establish that there is a block down in the 520 to 694 MHz range that will be used for radio microphones and so that’s where we expect to go. I believe the situation is very similar in New Zealand and we’ve always sold the same “AU” versions in Australia and New Zealand – that’s the only place in the world that particular version has been sold. So what will happen in the future is we will not have an AU version; we will use blocks that fit into that
frequency range that I mentioned earlier, probably in common with the UK. It means the television c h a n ne l s d o n ’ t n e c e s s a r i l y correspond, but that doesn’t really matter, it’s the frequencies that matter and sound recordists, TV audio guys and camera people can tune the gear over whatever frequencies they need to work with that are clear of local television services. We’ve had our DWX digital wireless system on the market globally for some time now, that has never been introduced in Australia and New Zealand because of the uncertainty over what was going to happen. I think we’re going to benefit from that, because we’re now into the second generation of the digital wireless, and when we introduce this later across Australia and New Zealand, users will benefit from this amazing digital system, which is very high quality. So this is for the higher end, for the broadcast users, basically replacing the higher end analogue systems that we’ve sold for many years.
head, that’s the industry standard for rock singers and vocalists etc. That’s not made by Sony, that’s a Shure head, but of course the fitting is universal. That Shure head can be fitted onto our wonderful digital handheld wireless mic.
We’ve got a digital slot-in two channel receiver that can fit straight into the XDCAM camcorder’s slot. We’ve got a bodypack transmitter of course; also we’ll have a plug -on transmitter that can be plugged onto an existing microphone which is great – we haven’t had one of those before. By using these overseas blocks rather than AU ones, there will be new products available to us that we haven’t had before, like a plugon transmitter that can be used with e x i s ti ng hand microphones.
We’ve also got capsules on show here, for example a Neumann condenser head, that’s a very venerable German company, and they also make capsules using the same fitting, so that could be fitted to those who prefer that sound. This then makes the system usable for musical applications, vocals … we have also rack mount receivers, so it’s not just about slot-in camera based receivers, we also have rack mount receivers – in this case six channels – for use in studios and small venues.
We’ve also got a new range of handheld digital wireless mics, which have interchangeable capsules and Sony has a range of capsules such as dynamic in various pickup patterns, also condenser, but impor -tantly, the head ( which is interchangeable ) is an industry standard thread. Here we’ve got a microphone with a Shure SM58
The other thing you can do – I showed you the slot-in receiver earlier, that drops into the back of the XDCAMs … we also have this device which allows that receiver to be fitted into this box which can then be used by a sound recordist separately from the camera. He can take the output of that to his recorder or to his mixer and use the slot-in. So we will no longer produce a separate standalone portable receiver, simply use this to take the slot-in receiver. And these slot-in receivers and also the rack mount receivers have a very wide tuning range now – about 72 MHz which gives versatility, gives the sound people a wider range of frequencies that they can access and try and find the sweet spot where they’re not going to be interfered with by anybody. Because wireless mics are regarded as a secondary service you know, we have to find somewhere to slot in. If there’s a television station nearby or someone else using those frequencies, we’ve got to move to find a clear space.
We’re not trying to compete with the huge multi channel systems from other manufacturers that are used in theatres at this stage, but for a studio or a conference centre, a small stage, a church … you know, this is a fully digital system, very high quality audio and really quite unique. Nobody else has got anything like it.
Is there any big new technology on the horizon?
Nick: Yes always, but not that I can talk about!
Fujinon for Gencom For Gencom, we are here at Fujinon with Lawrie Hitchens and Ray Sanders. Ed: Lawrie, this year we are fortunate that you do have some new products? Lawrie: We have quite a few new products this year. There’s some new PL mount lenses with servo packages on them that, in seven days, we’ve managed to sell in excess of 250 lenses at US$38K each. Ed: So you’ve been manufacturing PL mounts for quite a while? Lawrie: Yes, we’ve been manufacturing for around five years now and there’s a full range of 4K plus lenses there, going from 14.5mm up to 400mm, ranging around the $80,000-odd US or Aussie each, so that’s the high end of the market. They’re eminently suitable for the Sony F65 and other 4K cameras. The one that has been taking this by storm is the Cabrio and that’s Cabrio as in convertible car. It has a removable servo package on it, so you can operate it like an existing PL mount film style shoot, or you can have it on the shoulder with a servo package, or interface it to the Prestons or other controllers there having to add your own motors. So quite a few advantages.
Ed: Does that have the potential to have one servo and a range of lenses that would fit that servo? Lawrie: That’s a good question. I don’t anticipate that it’s possible at the moment because of calibration issues. In the cabinet here, we have the one to be released at IBC which is the 85-300mm servo and so that servo will have its model and serial number and data held within that servo package. So it’s unlikely to be changeable, but who knows in the future. Ed: Right, that’s for the big boys, anything for the traditional television market? Lawrie: There’s a 19x7.4 mini box lens. That’s available in a mini box, but also in an ENG lens, so
we’ve taken an ENG lens and put it into a box and then added a few extra bits that you’d expect in a box lens. In comparison, we have a 22x that is a full box lens that’s been made small. So we’ve attacked this from both angles, obviously one’s cheaper than the other, but one has a much better performance than the other. Ed: Now tell me, I remember in the days when we went from standard definition to high definition, a whole new lens range came out because the … well let’s call them “errors” that could occur in a lens, that weren’t visible in the standard definition, would be in high definition, so the precision had to go up. Has the same step happened in going to lenses suitable for 4K? Lawrie: Absolutely, yes. If you put a 2K lens on a 4K camera then you’re starting to see the errors again. Ed: So you’re defeating the purpose of going to 4K? Lawrie: With a 2K lens – yes, absolutely. It’s a sliding scale, so the cameras get better the lenses need to get better … Ed: And therefore more expensive? Lawrie: And more expensive. But, having said that, you mentioned that we went to the new lenses for HD; because the price of HD cameras has come down so much, there’s now a range that we call Exceed – an Exceed range of lenses – and now we’re starting to add extenders to those lenses, so there’s a 20x lens with extender, plus ALAC. Did we talk about ALAC before? Ed: Remind me again Lawrie, ALAC? Lawrie: Well we may not have discussed it …
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It’s nothing to do with alcoholics is it?
Lawrie: No, ALAC is the Automatic Lens Aberration Compensation – basically, automatic correction for chromatic errors. You’re able to re-time horizontal lines red, green and blue to line them up, based on the known errors on that lens at particular focal lengths and focus points. Ed: Isn’t that a function of the camera software and not the lens? Lawrie: Yes it is, but then the lens needs to feed the camera the data in the form that it wants. Panasonic’s taken one approach in that they have a CAC and that will allow a similar thing, just under a different name, except that the look-up table is in the camera. So if you want to put a new lens on, you need to
download; whereas in the Sony one, the look-up table’s in the lens and the lens sends the data to the camera. Ed: So that’s a software solution for a more cost effective lens that will still give you good results? Lawrie: Yes, so it allows you to use your less expensive lenses in HD applications and still get great results. Ed: Now, of course, with this sort of rush to large format sensors and shallow depth of field, people are rushing out and finding old lenses that grandfather used to use on his Hasselblad and they’re putting them on their video cameras. Is this a good thing, or are there issues? Lawrie: The main issue about that is the fact that it’s a fixed focal length lens, rather than a zoom, so stills cameras don’t hold focus while you zoom. We make zoom lenses, we’re not making primes, and we’re not making fixed focal length lenses, we’re only making zooms. Zooms of course hold focus while you zoom. So to get around the lack of movement, you see people buy sliding rigs where they sit on a tripod and they move the camera backwards and forwards because there’s no movement in the picture. And so to get around the fact that they’re using a fixed focal length lens, they’re doing that rather than using a zoom, which is what they might have traditionally done. So there’s all sorts of merits and all sorts of quality in lenses. It’s hard to comment on that, but certainly the Zeiss primes are very popular at the moment I think for primes, but if wanted zoom now we have a really good alternative. Ed: Right now Lawrie, can we clarify the Fujinon lens supply situation in New Zealand going forward please? Lawrie: We’ve made some changes recently. We’ve decided to broaden our lens distribution strategies throughout New Zealand, but Gencom still remains very significant in forming part of our distribution strategy inside New Zealand and we’re looking forward to continuing the good relationships that we’ve had in the past. Ed: Your comment Ray? Ray: Yes, Fujinon has been a large part of Gencom’s history and we’ve worked with the market for many, many years with lenses from the very early ones right through till now. Distribution strategies change, but our commitment is just the same in terms of the lenses and seeing the market looked after in terms of support. We’ve always done support as well as sales and we’re NZVN happy to continue that.
JVC for Gencom We are now at JVC and having a well-earned drink of Perrier water with Noel Oakes and Ray Sanders. Ed: Ray, Gencom is now the sole distributor of JVC projectors and professional products for Australia and New Zealand – this is a good thing? Ray: Absolutely. We had the opportunity to take JVC on in Australia after Hagemeyer was sold and the result has been that it gives us a broader scope across the JVC range and has allowed us to take on some of the ex -Hagemeyer staff and a few others as well, giving us much more bandwidth to address that area of the market. In doing so, we’ve brought Noel Oakes on to manage that area of the business. He obviously resides in Australia, and is assisting the New Zealand team in their sales efforts as well. So it’s been a real bonus for us to have that team on board and they are also addressing other non-JVC products where necessary.
Ed: So they can integrate their JVC products and product knowledge with other products that Gencom offers? Ray: Right, yes, and particularly where we have other products that suit the same people who buy cameras and other JVC equipment, so it makes sense if they have a broader portfolio to discuss when they’re out in the field as well. Ed: So Noel, of the JVC range that you’re now offering across the Ditch, both sides, what would be your biggest range that you’d be selling … would it be the monitors? Noel: Well for the professional products it would be probably neck and neck cameras and monitors to be honest, but we also are exclusively doing the JVC projector business now for both the professional and consumer channels, so that’s a big chunk of the business overall. Again, JVC professional would be – yes, cameras, monitors and, soon HD-SDI Blu-ray recorders.
Ed: And I guess releasing a 4K camera, 4K projectors in the past, that 4K is going to be big for JVC? Noel: Yes, that’s creating a lot of talk at the show here. The 4K camera we have here is a very cost effective entry level unit. It could be used as a high quality fill or POV camera in 4K productions, in education for training students on 4K shooting and post workflows, etc, so we’re very excited about that. A lot of people have also expressed interest in using the camera to shoot their current projects in 4K, keep the files as a native 4K archive while delivering to their clients requirements as down converted 2K files only. We’re also very excited about the latest evolution of the JVC Blu-ray recorders which have done very well too. At the show here we have a unit called the SR-HD2500. What differentiates this from the past models is that it takes a direct HD-SDI feed in, can burn that feed directly to Blu-ray disc and plays HD-SDI back out again. So that will make an excellent ISO recorder for a lot of broadcast and professional applications, which customers have been really screaming for, for a long time … and it will be unique as a one-piece standalone Blu ray disc recorder for original content. Ed: Is that a desktop model? Noel: Yes it is, very much so. It can sit on your desk or will fit in a rack mount if required, but looks very much like a traditional VCR from the old days, yes. Ed: Now what about in the camera area, what are the plans there? Noel: Aside from the 4K camera, JVC are announcing two new cameras here which are the GYHM 600 and a
Noel has a life size one for you.
GYHM 650. Now, in somewhat of a departure for JVC with these new cameras, is that they are 1/3” 3CCD CMOS units. They have a newly developed 23x Fujinon lens as standard with separate lens rings to control focus, iris and zoom. A key feature of the GYHM 650 is that it has its own IP address which allows you to put scene metadata into the camera as the operator is shooting, or load it up onto the SD cards beforehand. But the killer feature is that you can send recorded files immediately from this camera back to your base station over the internet or upload them to an FTP site out in the field. So, whether it’s for broadcast use, events, ENG or any other purpose you can have peace of mind knowing that your footage exists in places other than just the camera’s HDD or SDHC cards. We see this inbuilt wireless capability, FTP upload and metadata ability as key features for the unit. Also, the 650 camera will support most codecs and file formats known to man including MXF, AVCHD, .MOV, XDCAM-EX, MP4, H.264 and even AVI for people who may still want to shoot and deliver in standard def. So, really, these new cameras have some awesome credentials, 3 x 1/3” CMOS sensors delivering extraordinarily low light capability at F11, and a very wideangle, 23x lens, from a trusted name in Fujinon. I think they will really be killer products for JVC going forward and we expect them to be released around October this year. Ed:
But the 700 will continue in its present form?
Noel: Yes, the 700 will continue, or the 750 series as it is now. These two new cameras, the 600 series are smaller, more handheld type cameras, but going forward, the 750’s have been around now for close to two years. Traditionally, JVC have shown a three year cycle with camera series so I’d say that many of the same features announced in the new 600 series – at least the wireless capability, wireless transmission ability etc, will feature in the next generation of JVC’s larger shoulder mount cameras which will be announced around IBC time this year. Ed: Because people do like to have that choice of handheld or shoulder mount. It seems to be a preference that is hard to change? Page 14
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Noel: Yes, 100%. Here in America they really are pitching these little cameras very hard at the News gathering area and they’re being successful. I think things are changing very fast on this front with the shift to content delivery over the internet as the driving force. We are undoubtedly seeing a move away from larger cameras for many applications, but for truly critical shooting you will always want a fully featured, shoulder mount camera with lens interchange ability etc.
and also have front of plane capability which it didn’t have in its first release. However, whilst that’s still available for the broadcast and post markets as a rack mount unit, Fox Studios recently approached JVC to produce a specific software based solution, using the algorithms that JVC proprietarily have, to allow them to convert their existing archive of 2D films for repurposing and release as true 3D productions. The current example of what’s happened with this product is that the movie I, Robot, which was originally shot as a two dimensional feature, has now been repurposed using the JVC technology and is going to be released to the Blu-ray market in a 3D version. So Fox Studios have obviously seen the opportunity there and chose JVC’s technology as the best suited to them, and will continue to repurpose their archive materials for 3D release on Blu-ray. So we’re very, very excited about that and I anticipate that that should get us a lot of interest in the product, especially with the New Zealand and Australia film and production markets.
Ed: And in the monitor stakes, any major changes, or just different sizes … 4K monitor?
Ed: So Noel, the whole invigoration of the market that Gencom is going to bring to JVC throughout Australia and New Zealand, you can only see this getting better and hopefully we can look forward to some big announcements soon? Noel: Look it is a very, very good blending of the products from JVC with Gencom’s expertise – especially the technical expertise. It gives it a whole new lift I think for this market, whilst the previous distribution was perhaps quite …
Noel: 4K monitor from JVC … they are working on a 4K monitor. We might see, again, a prototype of it at IBC but there aren’t any plans probably for the next 6-12 months for a 4K monitor display.
Ed: Patchy? Noel: Patchy – patchy’s the word, the experience of the staff, the technical level that the Gencom staffs bring is a real lift …
Ed: Does that mean that it’s got to be really big, or can you pack a lot of pixels into a small area. How small could you make a 4K monitor?
Noel: Well at this point in time, the smallest 4K monitor I’ve seen has probably been about a 32 inch. Now there’s not a lot of 4K monitors around – Toshiba have made some, there’s a couple of specialist companies. The Toshiba ones are larger than 32 … it’s an area that I’m not an expert in, but at this point in time, because of the resolution that’s required, I’d imagine the Grail will be to get to 24” – that will be the next step. And I know JVC and other companies are working on those technologies. Ed: Now JVC have been known as innovators and I know I was very impressed a year or so ago when I saw the 2D to 3D converter. I thought initially it was a bit of a gimmick, but I’m warming to it, because some of the constructed TV programmes I’ve seen in 3D really haven’t got it right; there’s some bad jumps which seem to affect my brain. JVC seem to have made a clever little piece of software which actually produces a nice result. I mean, it’s not a perfect 3D, but it’s a damn site better than 2D. And somebody else has seen this and has had a good idea? Noel: Yes, well about 18 months ago, JVC introduced a device called an IF-2D3D that was specifically for converting existing 2D material to 3D and that box is still being marketed. In fact, it has been improved recently to have a lot more functionality and features
And the all-round niceness?
Noel: And the all-round niceness, we’ll certainly bring that … but I think that the additional products that Gencom have in their portfolio are going to be very complementary and will assist to move more of the JVC products because we can offer some complete solutions to markets. I think it’s going to be very good. Gencom people I think understand – they’ve been around for a very long time, they’re extremely well respected. Ed: And Gencom is a solutions company? Noel: And it is a solutions company. So the great reputation Gencom have in the broadcast, telco, post production and Pro AV markets can only go to enhance the sales and profile for JVC in Australia and New Zealand. Now, a lesson for young journalists – never let your subject loose with the transcription, but if you do, check it before it goes to print. I hereby disclaim the remainder of this story as ever being penned by me. Ed Ed: Noel, finally I’d like to unreservedly apologise to the people of Australia for the underhanded way in which we Kiwis cheated the mighty Wallabies out of the last Rugby World Cup. You undoubtedly have the greatest Rugby team on earth and we are very sorry to have treated you so badly. Noel: That’s okay Grant – we take it as payback for that cricket incident in days of yore. As long as the cup stays here in the Antipodes we are good. NZVN
Autodesk for DVT We are now at the home of effects, Autodesk with Stuart Barnaby. Ed: Stuart, you’ve got a grin from ear to ear, because something obviously has tickled you immensely – and her name wasn’t Sin-dy? Stuart: No, some very exciting announcements from Autodesk this year around Smoke on the Mac. Three years ago they brought out a new product “Smoke on the Mac” the first time they’ve got one of their high end visual effects packages and brought it across to the Apple platform, and they launched that at an amazing new price point so we were very excited about that. We had a great run with that in New Zealand in terms of providing it to high end customers who understood what Smoke was and knew how to drive it, most of them coming from the Autodesk Flame background. So Smoke was a very high end effects compositing application and its point of differentiation from other products is that it has a timeline that you can use for editing, but beneath that timeline it has extremely deep powerful compositing capabilities – and particularly using action in a 3D environment, that is a true real 3D such as you’d use in something like Maya. In fact you can bring models directly from Maya into that 3D compositing environment with lights and move and spin around and do wonderful effects that just can’t be done on other platforms. And so this year what they’ve basically done is three key things with Smoke on the Mac. Smoke on the Mac’s user interface was the Discreet user interface which was completely foreign to anyone who has come from Avid or Final Cut or Premiere or … Ed: So that’s the timeline and the tools and the bins and all that sort of thing? Stuart: Yes, that’s right, there’s no menu on the top, you can’t just go “File” “Open” like you can in just about every other mainstream package on the planet – it was quite a different user interface. And so from that perspective it was quite a difficult product for people coming from that background to try and learn. The second aspect of Smoke on the Mac was that it was quite a complex product. It came from a Linux heritage, it was highly reliant on the network setup of your environment being set up correctly, the way in which you brought in your media was done through a complex process. And then the third aspect, of course, was the price and the hardware requirements wrapped around that. So you had the software cost plus a 12 core MacPro, Quadro 4000, Kona 3G, storage that’s capable of pushing around at least 400MB/sec if not faster so it was really a NZ$80-90,000 solution. Ed: So it was a specialised operators?
Stuart: Yes it was, and we’ve had great success with that over the last three years, so we’re very excited about what that product enabled us to do. Ed: Because even then it did things that other products couldn’t do and therefore it paid for itself? Stuart: Absolutely. For what it has been over the last three years, absolutely phenomenal, but obviously Autodesk are looking at growing the number of seats for this product and although they’ve penetrated the market that it went into very well, they realise that there’s a bigger market out there for Smoke on the Mac and so they wanted to address those three areas. They wanted to first of all change the user interface so that it was more like a Mac environment, more like After Effects, more like Final Cut, more like Premiere and Media Composer, to make it easier for those editors to be able to come across to the product. The second thing they wanted to do is reduce the hardware requirements, and obviously in the last 12-18 months we’ve seen the advent of very high performance Thunderbolt storage become available; we’ve seen the Sandy Bridge architecture go into MacBook Pros and iMacs, making them extremely capable. We can now put up to 32 gigabytes of RAM in an iMac, so this is not a desktop anymore; these MacBook Pros and iMacs are actually performing like workstation machines – they’ve got the hardware, the GPU grunt, the CPU power, the RAM, the storage and now with things like the AJA Io XT you’ve got very inexpensive Thunderbolt Video I/Os. So all of the elements have fallen into place, to enable the hardware cost to come down dramatically. That’s the second thing that Autodesk have done with Smoke on the Mac, dramatically reduced the complexity of how it works in terms of the hardware requirement. So that’s much simpler; it’s no more heavily reliant on having your network set up all correctly and all that sort of stuff. Ed: So it sounds like it’s becoming more like an “Edit”-ing product? Stuart: Yes, absolutely. The user interface is … if you know Final Cut you can sit down … Ed:
Well I remember Edit.
Stuart: Well look, if you know Final Cut, Premiere or Media Composer, the time that it would take you to actually get reasonably good at editing inside Smoke, you could do it within one day. It’s not that hard any more. You know, if you want to open a file, you go “File” “Open” or go into their media browser which is similar to other products as well. And the third key element they’ve done with Smoke on the Mac is to dramatically reduce the price of the software. So it’s gone down to $8,900+GST for a floating licence so it’s a dramatic improvement at the price point as well. This floating licence is the one that will additionally allow you to use a burn node for rendering on another system while you keep working on the Smoke system. Ed: And it’s not lost anything, it’s gained? Stuart: And it’s gained a huge amount. They’ve done some other things, so just going back – the technical capabilities are a lot lighter, so it’s easier to use … Ed: You say it’s “lighter” and that normally means it’s not doing as much, but in fact it’s just easier to use, or is it not doing as much? Stuart: No, I would argue that with the current iMac with 32 gig of RAM and Thunderbolt storage, that performs easily as well as an 8 core 2008 MacPro.
its easy ability to edit, is the deep ability to get into the other areas of the visual effects side of the product. And so, with a single mouse click, you can get into what Autodesk call “Connect FX”. Connect FX is a procedural node based compositing environment which is similar to Batch that they have on their high end Flame and Inferno products. So they’ve brought that compositing environment across into Smoke on the Mac as well. So this is a very big deal to be able to have Batch or Connect FX working directly with one button click away from the timeline. And of course, as part of the Connect FX is the module called Action which is the full 3D compositing environment inside Smoke on the Mac and unlike other products that sort of do 3D, but kind of not really, they’re sort of faking it a little bit. You can create some text and extrude it and move it and light it at different angles, but really what they’re doing is just rendering that out and presenting it as a 2D object inside the application. Smoke is different. Action inside Smoke on the Mac is a full 3D compositing environment and unlike other products around it is a real 3D compositing environment. Some products look like they’ve got 3D, but they’re sort of faking it a little bit, they’re just putting in Elements rendering 3D things, and looping them round. So Smoke on the Mac, for example, can take a model that’s been created in Maya, bring it in to Smoke on the Mac and it remains as a full 3D model. Of course you can then add lights and lens flares and ray effects to that, move the light to different angles; it all has shadows and reflections that come off the 3D objects. It’s a full 3D compositing environment. Ed: Could you then take it back into Maya if you wanted to do something? Stuart: No. Ed: It’s a one-way process? Stuart: It’s a one-way process, but that’s how it’s designed. So if you need to create a model to composite with, you’ll create it in Maya, bring it across to Smoke, do the final composite and output. So Smoke is really a finishing system; it’s the thing you do when you’ve got your footage shot, you’ve got your models made, you’ve got your graphics elements, your texture’s all done – bring it all into Smoke and literally finish the job.
These new products – they really crank, they do a wonderful job of driving the software product really well. The hardware requirements are a lot easier, the cost is a lot lower, but the most important aspect that they’ve done with Smoke on the Mac is what you can do in the user interface – you know, the creative features. They’ve significantly refined the front end, so it’s got four main areas, one of which is Conform which is where you bring in all your media, process that, you can bring in timelines from Premiere, Final Cut or Media Composer, so you can just edit in those applications if you’re happy editing in those and bring them straight into Smoke on the Mac. Now Smoke on the Mac is just as easy to edit in as any of those other applications, so you could just edit directly in Smoke on the Mac if you want to. It’s got a source and programme window; it’s got a bin window; it’s got a timeline – you drag and drop in the timeline, you drag and drop in the bin window, just like we do in all the other applications, so it’s not a heavy learning curve for anyone used to editing. The second aspect, apart from the timeline and
Ed: This sounds like finally there’s a really cost effective teaching tool for a workflow path to the higher levels of Autodesk products? Stuart: Well Smoke is very high end and now with the new price point and the lower cost hardware capabilities it is much more accessible. It’s so much easier to use with the new interface, anybody can pick it up and learn it, and of course, getting into Connect FX and the complexities of that with all the different nodes that you can use for different functions, getting into the complexity of Action, the 3D environment, the ability to bring 3D models in, may take a little bit longer to learn. But in terms of getting it in and using it at an After Effects level, mimicking some of the work you’re doing in After Effects, that could easily be achieved in a relatively short space of time now, because of the easier user interface. But then, of course, the depth – you know you never run into the brick wall. When you use a range of other products and you’re trying to be creative, trying different things, checking this out – you’re wanting to make it 10% happier or a little
PRODUCTION | POST | VISUAL EFFECTS
Own your creative reputation.
SMOKE & MIRRORS Tuesday 26th June 2012 | 6.00pm | DVT, Penrose
Join Autodesk and DVT for a close look at the new and exciting Autodesk Smoke 2013. Scheduled for release in September this year, Smoke is now easier to use, more flexible with hardware requirements and more cost effective than ever before. DETAILS
The all new Autodesk Smoke 2013 professional video editing software connects editing and visual effects like never before. Smoke is the professional choice for all-in-one video editing and effects on the Mac. By integrating familiar editing tools and node-based compositing directly into the timeline, Smoke is revolutionizing video post-production. Save time from complex multi-application workflows by having all the tools you need at your fingertips so you can focus on being creative.
Tuesday 26th June 2012 DVT 45 Fairfax Ave Penrose, Auckland 6.00pm start Refreshments will be provided
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Rob O’Neill, Autodesk’s Senior Application Specialist for Creative Finishing, will take you through the powerful feature set of this exciting new version of Smoke.
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warmer or something like that … you can actually get into this product and do that stuff and keep trying different things and experimenting. It’s a far more creative, more fun sort of tool to use, and you never run into a brick wall. That’s the real beauty of Smoke. If you want to get more and more complex you can. Ed: So the key I see, is this new user interface, okay … is it going to mean that there’s a roadmap going to the upper level, so people who do come in at the Smoke on the Mac stage with this new UI, they learn the process, they’re going to be able to migrate to the higher end Autodesk products? Stuart: Yes, absolutely. I mean Smoke on the Mac is a wonderful tool, but we still have a higher end product, Flame Premium, which offers all of the capabilities of Smoke on the Mac, but a whole lot more as well. So Smoke on the Mac is a great way to come in; you know Connect FX gives them an introduction to some of the tools that Flame has, but Flame takes everything that’s Smoke’s got and extends that further. The same with Action – the Action environment as well, getting used to that in Smoke on the Mac – that currently works very similarly on Flame as well. So definitely it’s a great opportunity for people to get in and learn this product if they want to step up to the bigger Autodesk products. Ed: And of course, for Premiere, Final Cut, Media Composer users who want to migrate to a product that’s a lot more graphic connected, it’s now easier? Stuart: Absolutely, the new user interface is targeted at Final Cut, Premiere and Media Composer users who want to come across and use this product. They’ll be very comfortable using Smoke in a very small space of time and unlike Adobe who have a range of products to do a range of functions, Autodesk integrate them all in Smoke on the Mac. So the capabilities that Premiere has for editing, Smoke on the Mac now has those in a very similar fashion; the capabilities that After Effects has for compositing, Smoke on the Mac can do all of that and a whole lot more; the capabilities that SpeedGrade now has with Adobe, Smoke has all of those capabilities as well. So it’s a single product that integrates that workflow together – audio capabilities, everything is inside Smoke on the Mac, plus a whole lot more that you can’t do in other products – bringing in 3D models from Maya and really getting into a procedural node based compositing environment, into a full 3D compositing environment with Action is just absolutely phenomenal. Ed: Alright, enough, enough, enough … now are people going to be able to come into DVT and try this, because it’s good hearing about it, but to actually try it …?
I’m not brave enough to caption this one!
Stuart: Absolutely, you know we’d be very excited to come out and help our customers understand the product, give a full understanding of what it’s going to do to change their lives. I mean Smoke is changing everything, it’s really good. Ed: You’re sounding very evangelical Stuart – I think you’re going a bit far here. Stuart: Alright – the other thing you’ll be able to do is come to DVT on the 26th of June to see it in action at our Smoke and Mirrors event. Rob O’Neill from Autodesk will be in town to show off all the new features and more! Ed:
But of course they can come into DVT?
Stuart: They can come to us, or we’ll come to you – 24 hours a day. Ed:
Because it’s on a MacBook?
Stuart: Absolutely, it’s on a MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt drive and an Io XD from AJA … it’s all too NZVN easy.
Telestream for DVT And a new one this year for DVT, we’re at Telestream. Ed: Stuart, this is a product that’s available to all, but especially to your customers – you see this as being a very useful product? Stuart: Yes, Telestream have got quite a range of different encoding solutions which are useful in a number of different applications. Episode Pro is very well known and understood as a desktop encoding application, it is very sophisticated and enables you to setup specific workflows. You can setup watch folders so that when you’re finished with your content you can drop it in a folder on your desktop or on your NAS and Episode will look at that folder and process that material into different formats. And increasingly today people want to output their content to YouTube and iTunes and do a digital master as well. You might want to “top and tail” them with images at the beginning and end and … Ed: That’s it, there’s not just sort of one programme made now on a tape and then that’s duplicated, you’re going to send it out to a whole number of devices, and the easier you can do that, the better? Stuart: Yes absolutely, the number of screens in the world is increasing exponentially. Whether it’s on an iPhone, iPad or Android, there’s many different formats required from the same content to fill all those screens and that’s what a lot of the Telestream products are all about. Another product that they do at the Enterprise level is a wonderful product called Vantage. Vantage is a high end Enterprise encoding tool that does the similar types of things as Episode Pro, but at a much more sophisticated level. It’s got a full workflow manager and you can go in and deliver XML to Media Asset Management systems off the back of it; once files have been encoded it’s got a sophisticated monitoring system built into it and it’s a really good product at that end of the market. Also with the Vantage they’ve just released a hardware server called Vantage HE which is a highly accelerated H.264 encoding solution. With many of the delivery mechanisms now based on H.264 ( such as iTunes and YouTube ), the new Vantage HE Lightstream server will encode those files up to 5 or 10 times faster than traditional methods. So it’s a wonderful platform for that. Ed: Now just to wrap us up Stuart, your general impressions of the show this year and the sort of products that are here, that are available to DVT and your customers that help support the core things you do? Stuart: Yes absolutely – there’s a wide range of choice in terms of software, whether it’s Avid, Adobe or Autodesk. There’s a wide range of choice in terms of the I/O hardware that you can put under the hood, whether it’s Blackmagic, AJA or Matrox. There’s a wide range of hardware platforms you can run that on, whether it’s Apple or HP based. There’s a huge amount of flexibility that you have and really the key and most important thing is looking at what you’re doing in terms of your business, what you need to have in terms of the quality of the product
you’re producing, and how you want to approach that from a productivity standpoint. Also, how much time you want to spend moving media around, what sort of storage you need, what sort of infrastructure capability do you have … and then finally, and most importantly, how that’s going to impact on the creativity that you can have in your production as well. At DVT that’s what we’re here for; we’re here to help you get world-class quality and world-class productivity so you can focus on being as creative as you can possibly be, producing fantastic productions. Ed:
Is it getting easier or harder?
Stuart: It’s getting easier on one degree, because you’ve got lots of choice and much more lower cost product, but more difficult on the other hand, because it’s harder to know which product is really right for me – and sometimes you can sort of think that this product is cheap and maybe that’s going to do the job for me, but ultimately you spend more time – for whatever reason – managing media and shuffling that around from one place to the other and you find you’ve got to spend hours, if not days, pushing data round in the wrong places that can have a very detrimental impact on your business. So there are ways of making yourself more efficient, more creative, at lower cost now and that’s what DVT is here to help with. Ed:
That’s why it gives you the sleepless nights?
Stuart: No, the solutions we provide are so robust and so reliable … that we sleep like babies! Ed:
Watch Out! – it’s Guard Bot. I couldn’t pass this stand without checking out a product called GuardBot which looks like something out of The Prisoner. To tell us about it we have Lily Bayrock from GuardBot. Ed:
Lily, you don’t look very scary, but this ball does?
Lily: It’s about as big as I am, so it’s quite intimidating – it’s very powerful. Ed:
What does it do?
Lily: Well it’s a robotic system. It can go over all sorts of terrain, over gravel and rock, through high grasses, through mud, even over snow – and then it can go straight into water and it floats. It’s got two cameras in clear domes on either side, but actually it’s a robotic system that could have any sort of technology in the dome completely waterproof and protected. It’s great for commercial applications, also for surveillance. Ed:
How fast does it go?
Lily: On land it goes up to 8 miles an hour; in water up to 2-3 miles an hour. Ed:
Can it climb steep mountains?
Lily: It can climb pretty steep hills; it can go up to 20 degrees. Ed: Wow – that’s pretty good. And if it’s going down a steep hill, does it get out of control? Lily: No, it’s got great control; it’s very powerful and it’s quite heavy … it’s substantial, it weighs about 60 pounds. Ed: Okay … and those domes look fairly substantial too. If you hit a rock with those, you’re not going to shatter them? Lily: No, they’re not going to shatter. They can get scratched, but they’re very easily replaceable. Ed:
You could do some serious damage with this puppy.
And it comes in a range of colours?
Lily: It does, it can be painted. The surface can actually be a different material, a different texture as well. We’re looking at fitting it with kind of small fins instead of these bumps and then it would move even faster in water.
And it’s all controlled by …?
Lily: It’s controlled remotely through the computer and then we use a video game controller. Ed:
Aaaah, so the geeks would really be at home?
Lily: Oh yes – hand it to any 11 year old and they’ll be able to control it better than I can, I’m sure. Ed:
Chase the dog around the lawn?
Lily: Yes, it’s a pretty great toy. Ed: Right, so at the moment controlled by WiFi, but ...?
Lily: Yes, we’re working with a couple of other companies to update the wireless technology so that it’s got a longer range that it can be controlled from, and also to update the cameras with new gimbals that are actively stabilised on three axes instead of two and they’ll be able to have HD cameras. Ed:
Are the military interested?
Lily: Actually it was developed for military use and we’ve done a lot of research and development with the Marine Corps. This is our first time at NAB and our first time bridging over into commercial applications for it. Check it out at www.guardbot.com
Time for a swim? Page 22
JMR for Atomise JMR is another company represented in New Zealand by Atomise and Richard Kelly. Ed: Richard, JMR is still storage, but this is smaller level storage? Richard: This is enterprise level desk side RAID storage. We’re using it where clients have two levels of requirement; one is a desk side RAID storage where a lot of data gets put on a system; the second one is for an online environment for very high data rates – and by “high data rates” I mean 1900 megabytes per second, so 4K and 5K full frame, full res. We’ve got these systems in operation already in Wellington with some of our clients, and they have proved extremely good. They’re really nice bits of kit and really good people to deal with. Ed: And cost effective I understand? Richard: Extremely cost effective – it really is very, very good bang for the buck. Ed: But reliable, and that’s the main thing? Richard: Yes, a really good level of reliability. It’s built on a very good industry core – the RAID cards are very good. The units themselves are beautifully made; it’s not a piece of flimsy plastic, it’s proper broadcast level gear. Ed: You can either have their drives or you can put your own in, but you would recommend what they should have I would imagine? Richard: The client’s needs dictate which way they’ll go, so it is very nice having a turnkey solution, such as we did with our very high bandwidth system. It comes out certified to work to the level that we need, we plug it in and it goes, and that’s a great level of reliability that I certainly appreciate. Ed: But what about the ins and outs – I mean, that’s become more and more important these days, with Apple coming out with Thunderbolt. Does this have a Thunderbolt connection? Richard: No Thunderbolt – it is on the roadmap for the products, but certainly at the moment we’re talking SAS, so they’re SATA to SAS RAID boxes, SAS being Serial Attached SCSI – very, very fast – much faster than eSATA for example. Ed: So how does that connect to your computer – you’ve got to have an eSAS on your computer as well?
Richard: You have an ATTO R380 or R680 RAID card that is a host in the computer, that is the RAID controller. Ed: And then the single cable to this device? Richard: Or two cables, depending on your configuration. If you had an R680 you could have two cables to one chassis and get double bandwidth, or you could have one cable to two chassis and get double the storage. Ed: But certainly the industry standard in the Windows environment, I believe, is eSATA, so why not have eSATA? Richard: This is a level above what eSATA can deal with in terms of data rates, so while eSATA is still a good standard, this is a step up. So we’re talking eSATA will do less than 800 megabytes per second. This will do 1900 megabytes per second sustained, so it’s a level of magnitude beyond what eSATA does. Ed: Now just to tell us a little bit more about the ins and outs of the systems here, we have Miguel Saldate, technical specialist at JMR Electronics. Now, “ins and outs” give us the lowdown? Miguel: Okay, so the Silverstor line-up is a whole range of not only storage devices but also now a complete desktop rack mount convertible workstation. So what we’re able to offer is complete 6 gig, generation 2 storage, so you can do 4, 8, 10 and 18 drives of SAS, SATA or solid state drives at speeds in excess of 4000 megabytes per second. Our PCIA express expansion in our expansion boxes and our
parking Media Mover for Avid and FCP Editors
bridging bridging b
Sequence Converter for Avid and FCP Editors
Sequence Converter for Avid and FCP Editors
d FCP Editors
Visit www.atomise.co.nz; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Richard Kelly on 04 380 5010 / 021 86 33 94 for information & demos. Experts
Bridging is an automatic background utility that Parking is a Sequence and Project Mover for Archive Bridging is an automatic background utility that enables Parking is a Sequence and Project Mover for Archive Storage, editors to editors exchange to sequences for cross platform for cross Storage, Distribution and Disaster Recovery enables exchange sequences Distribution and Disaster Recovery collaboration and workflow migration Fast and cost effective archive and restore process platform collaboration and workflow migration. over for Archive Storage, Fast and cost effective archive and restoreBridging process is an automatic background utility that enables Convert sequences and move media in the background Create for Disaster Recovery or later reworking Convert sequences and move media in the Create files files for Disaster Recovery or later reworking editors to exchange sequences for cross platform Typical Use Cases Facilitate production collaboration Improve file based workflows between facilities Typical Use Cases Improve file based workflows between facilities Park background. Facilitate production collaboration. Save time and effort transferring edits Park media onto lower cost edit shared storage collaboration and workflow migration Broadcast content creators needing Media producers with investments to re-edit short form - News/Sports media onto lower cost edit shared storage Save time and effort transferring in both Avid edits. and FCP Overview
Parking is an easy to use, cost-effective utility for creating re-editable archives or transferring sequences between different edit locations.
Facilities needing to reversion programme or promo content
Bridging enables Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid operators
Shared production workflows using different people / edit systems
Maintaining look and feel when moving Sequences for localisation
one timeline into the other. Media and timeline
Off line shot selection / on line
Applications exchange sequences by simply Typical dropping them from Convert sequences and move media in to the background Park sequences directly to
structures are moved as background operations and edit production Facilitate production collaboration LTO tapes It is particularly relevant for HD and 3D production where Typical Use Cases converted on the fly. Edit environments needing to Typical Use Cases the larger file sizes impact significantly on limited edit Overflow management from one free up edit space Create archives and FCP this costfor Disaster production resource to another resources. Save time and effort transferring edits Aimed at multiple users of both Avid Recovery or forfrom later Broadcast content creators needing effective utility enables facility managers to benefit Media producers with investments Reworking improved flexibility when organising projects and to re-edit short form - News/Sports Sequence Parking Key Benefits Key Benefits allocating resources as Avid and Apple systems can be Avid and incomplex both FCP Transfer sequences More freedom in planning easily integrated into a single workflow. Parking provides a powerful and cost effective Overview 'one click' Reduce capital expenditure between facilities and organising productions Facilities needing to reversion method for moving both edit sequences and media in a Clips Sequences single background operation. Protect your assets Shared production workflows using programme or promo content Facilitate production collaboration Bridging enables Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Park any type of media How operators It Works Parking consolidates sequence media with definable different people Save / edit systems Distribute content across facilities time and effort handles, automatically creating a reduced version allow to to exchange sequences by simply droppingUsing them from a Client Server architecture up to 20 simultaneous transferring edits Maintaining lookwhilst andmaximising feel when deletion of excess rushes the throughput Clients can initiate Bridging conversions. The background Key Benefits one timeline into the other. Media and timeline of the edit environment. Offconverts line shot selection / on line tools Service locates, re-wraps sequence media and moving Sequences for localisation Easier to use best-of-breed Parking V2.6 Available Now Free upeditor. onlineEdit edit storage for different stages of production the sequence The portable nature of parked sequences makes them ideal structures are moved as background operations andstructure for the destination edit production capital expenditure workstations are free to continue reducing editing while Avid Edit Interplay integration candidates to support disaster recovery, business Edit Edit environments needing toconverted on theClients fly. sequences are bridged. continuity and inter-site workflows. through use of lower cost Storage Support for mixed Avid and FCP free up edit space storage Overflow Bridging V2.6 Available from oneNow Based on the shots that appear in the sequence Bridging management clients on a single system Aimed at multiple users of both Avid and FCP this cost will transfer media from the source editor to the production tofullanother Project Parking Includes support for Long term Archive and resource ‘Full copy’ Parking mode option Media is converting on the fly Avid Interplay effective utility enables facility managers todestination benefiteditor. from Disaster Recovery Project Parking enables Avid users to safely archive between the different wrappers, MXF OPAtom for Avid complete projects. It extends the ’parking’ concept to allow Introduction of ‘Pre Flight Check’ and and QuickTime self-contained media for Apple. improved flexibility when organising projects Improved file based users toBenefits move complete projects quickly and easily Key Q4 Avid Project Benefits Sequence information betweenKey Avid AAF between systems within the same facility or between sites. between facilities allocating resources asArchiving Avid Available and Apple systems can be is convertedworkflows and Apple XML formats to create the required sequence By parking not only the sequence edits, effects and project Reduce capital expenditure easily integrated into a single workflow. Simple to perform More freedom in planning structure. Audio and video track layout is preserved with settings but also the original rushes, Project Parking background tails automatically added to all edit points. andoperation provides a simple vehicle for archiving all media associated organising productions with a project. Protect your assets Although archives are saved to and restored from disk, Facilitate production collaboration project archives can be easily moved into managed or It Works How Distribute content across facilities
Flexible, Cost Effective Archiving with Cache-A single tape Using a ClientEdit Server architecture up to 20 simultaneous Systems Edit Storage Parking Server or library solutions Avid Media Apple XSAN Windows 2008 Clients can initiate Bridging conversions. The background
cloud-based storage or become an asset within an Hierarchical Storage Management system.
Windows 2008 R2, 7
Save time and effort Cache-A Archive transferring edits Appliances Pro-Cache 4
Parking V2.6 Available Now Service locates, media and converts Easier to use Avidre-wraps NewsCutter sequence Pro-Cache 5 best-of-breed tools Avid Unity Windows 2003, Vista, Symphony Avid ISIS XP Pro the sequence Avid structure for the destination editor.digital Edit for Prime-Cache different 4stages of production Creating and managing Apple Final Cut Pro Prime-Cache 5 Standalone workstation Avid Interplay integration Minimum Spec workstations are free to continue editing while (LTO & LTFS) Shared NAS/SAN P4 3GHz, 1GB Ram, archives is an essential step in file sequences are bridged. 10G Drive Space, 1G NIC Support for mixed Avid and FCP
based workflows. Bridging V2.6 Available Now Based on the shots that appear in the sequence Bridging will transfer media from the source editor to the Sales Contacts UK Head Office Includes full support for ‘Full copy’ Parking mode option destination editor. Media is Limited converting onof the fly The combination Sequence Avid Interplay Marquis Broadcast Americas Jason Danielson 23 Horseshoe Park between the different wrappers, MXF OPAtom for Avid Phone +1 650 743 6644 Introduction of ‘Pre Flight Check’ Parking from Marquis and LTO Pangbourne Email email@example.com and QuickTime self-contained media for Apple. Berkshire, RG8 7JW based United Kingdom Archive Appliances from Avid Project Archiving Available Q4 EMEA/Asia Pacific Neil Coles Sequence information converted Phone +44 (0)118 984 4111 Phone +44 is (0)118 984 4111 between Avid AAF Cache-A creates a very cost Email firstname.lastname@example.org and Apple XML formats to create the required sequence Email email@example.com effective structure. Audio and video track layoutsolution. is preserved with tails automatically added to all edit points. clients on a single system
© 1998-2011 Marquis Broadcast Ltd. All rights reserved. Head office: 23 Horseshoe Park Pangbourne Berkshire RG8 7JW UK. www.marquisbroadcast.com
Background media transfers, and an easy to manage Archive catalogue, create a very flexible archive solution, easily deployed and highly cost effective in terms of capital and operating investment.
Apace Systems Atomise Limited Authorised Reseller of Professional Editing Equipment
new desktop workstation features a selection of either Intel’s Sandy Bridge E5 series processors, plus there’s AMD’s Opteron 6200 series processors and integrated 8 drive storage array controlled by 6 gig SAS capable of taking again SAS, SATA or SSD, latest processors. It’s all in a rack mount workstation, it’s highly customisable and it features PCI Express 3.0 up to four PCI Express 3.0 slots. So if you want to do multi-GPU computing, multiacceleration computing, really the sky’s the limit with the products. It’s all fully customisable and all fully interoperates with each other. So whether you’re building a small single editor workstation or you’re working as a part of a larger environment with multiple editors, artists, colourers – whatever it is in digital content creation, we can find the right product for you, whether it’s the Bluestor line, the Silverstor line or a combination of either of the two. Ed: But the flavour of the month is Thunderbolt?
Miguel: Correct. With our SSD based arrays and our PCI Express 3.0 we’re already exceeding Thunderbolt speeds. Right now, in its current iteration, Thunderbolt’s about 10 gigabit as the real max, but if you look at what we’re doing with PCI 3.0 … a PCI 3.0x16 slot has I believe an 8000 megabyte per second transfer rate, so that far exceeds anything Thunderbolt or any other device out there in the market can really match. So we can match and surpass the speeds already with our devices and you don’t have to go to do anything that’s non-standard, any proprietary connections. It’s all very industry standard. We’re a set of building blocks and you know what, where any building is, people’s business, people’s projects, people’s ambitions, we’re able to take them and let their minds go and really expand and build the dream they want to do. Ed: And a final word from Richard to summarise his little tour of NAB, a variety of storage solutions? Richard: I think you’ll find that with everything we’re doing here, the products that we’re representing, there emerges a common thread. The products are all made by people who are dedicated to this industry and stand 100% behind the products. It’s not rebadged “something else”, it is designed to do the job that it is implemented for and the support that we get from JMR, as with the other vendors we’ve visited, is fantastic and we have used their support for our clients. The clients really appreciate the level of assistance that is available – especially from Miguel, he’s done a great job the last few weeks with us, helping a client who had an issue and it’s a really great NZVN story to be able to tell. NZVN
Miguel with the smaller JMR options.
Miguel: So all our products will be Thunderbolt ready. Right now, we’re currently in the process of finishing our engineering on the Thunderbolt parts themselves. JMR is a true engineering company, so all the boards, everything that goes into our product is made by JMR; we do not OEM them from somewhere else. We write the firmware, we lay out the board designs, we verify everything down to the trace level, so that when you get a product from us, it is a solid product, it is a robust product and it’s a very serviceable product. Ed: Okay, so I guess for Thunderbolt users, you want to wait until the Thunderbolt option that’s coming out, because to change it, one needs to change the chassis and JMR will do that. Thunderbolt is lauded as being the great thing, but in fact you’ve already got faster solutions? Page 26
SWIT for A2Z For A2Z we are at SWIT with Neal Ni, Sales Manager, SWIT Electronics. Ed: Neal, you’ve increased the battery range, I can see by your display? Neal: Firstly, we see the heavy duty batteries. This is our new battery now. They have max power 180 Watt. A normal battery is 100 Watt. Ed: Is it lithium? Neal: Yes. Ed: But you can’t take this on an aircraft can you, if it’s 180 Watt … that’s too big for an aircraft isn’t it? So these 180 Watt heavy duty batteries are landbased only? Neal: They are mainly for the cine cameras, so like the ALEXA camera, their power consumption is very high … these heavy duty batteries can power the ALEXA and other equipment together. So this is why we made a heavy duty battery now. Ed: Is there anything new in the smaller batteries; any new designs in the chargers? Neal: No.
Neal stands before the SWIT battery range.
Ed: They’re all good as they are. You don’t need new ones? Neal: Yes, that’s right. Ed: Now we come into the lights and this looks like a larger light than the ones I’ve seen before?
Neal: Yes, this light is unique. We embedded all the LED array to a single chip, so it’s called a “Chip Array LED” with 80W high brightness output but smaller in size and provides equal spread, soft, glareless light similar to older halogen bulbs. The traditional LED chip array always generates several highlight spots; in comparison, the Chip Array LED has a one bulb appearance and with the reflective bowl does not
produce any highlight spots, making it is most suitable for close interview situations. The beam angle is wider, with no visible edge and casts a single shadow. You can see the traditional light panel has more shadows and our chip array light has a single shadow. Ed: But on this you’re carrying the battery on the back of it? Neal: The battery is a slim type of battery and also you can use many kinds of DV batteries; also through the D -tap for input. Ed: So this one light you can use either with the battery on the back of it or you can use the D-Tap off the camera battery?
Neal: Yes. There’s a special slim battery which is lighter than your standard DV battery, but with an adapter plate you can put a standard DV battery on the back. Ed: So I was right – you have the flexibility of either the slimline battery that clips on the back, or with an adapter plate your larger camera battery can go on the back and then you can mount this on a tripod or on a stand or any way you like off the camera. Or you can use it on the camera and the cord from the camera or the camera battery, ( providing you’ve got a SWIT battery of course ) with the tap for the light. So very flexible, very versatile, and also with a … oh I see, that’s a large battery that you’re using there – right. Well you could plug it into any of the SWIT batteries with the adapter cable. So a very flexible light. Adjustable level light? Neal: Yes the light is dimmable. Ed: And in the monitor range – a new range of monitors? Neal: This NAB we have introduced the S-1090T 9” high resolution monitor with 3D Assist. This monitor has all the professional functions plus with 3D assist, we take the two HD-SDI inputs and you can either have “side by side” mode or “line by line” to help a cameraman check the 3D signals. As you see – it is impressive!
ikan for A2Z We are at ikan and we have Barry Garcia. Ed: Barry it just says “ikan” on your badge, so I guess you’re fairly high up in the business? Barry: I am a product manager for ikan. I handle mainly the lights, the Cinemage and also the Elements, so those three things. Ed: But the ikan story is a bigger story than that – let’s start with monitors shall we? Barry: Okay, the first monitor we have is our new D7 monitor which is part of our “D” line. We have a D7 and a D5. The nice thing about the D7 – it is a digital monitor, it has HD-SDI and HDMI in and out, it does HD-SDI 3G so that you can get pretty much any signal that you need to into it. The other nice thing about it is that the monitor itself has a Waveform, Vectorscope and RGB Parade. You can also set it as the Tri-set or as a lower third so that it basically doesn’t get in the way of being able to see your picture. It has all the same software features that we’ve had on our previous monitors with having false colour, peaking, clip guide (which basically lets you know that you’re either overexposed or underexposed) …
Barry ready to go.
Ed: How does it show you Barry: Okay, with the that it shows you if underexposed, by showing colours. The overexposure
overexposure? clip guide, what it does is you’re overexposed or you two different blinking is typically a fuchsia or hot
It’s got the peaking, underscan and aspect ratios; also does an RGB so you can adjust the colour; and then you’ve basically got an HDMI in and component and composite. It’s for some of those older cameras that you still need to do that, you’ve still got the opportunity to have a nice sized monitor to work. The last one we have is the VL5. The VL5 we’ve had in business now for almost a year. It’s become our “go to” HDMI monitor for the DSLR folks. They like it a lot – the size, the colour, everything about it really and truly, and it’s strictly an HDMI in. Ed: And it takes a standard camera battery? Barry: Yes, it takes a standard camera battery. Each one of our monitors will actually take whatever standard camera battery you need – whether it be Sony, Canon, Panasonic, BPU or the Canon E6 for the 5D or 7D. pink that blinks to show you that those parts are overexposed for your lighting. On the other end, it’s a deep purple colour that will blink as well and that tells you that you’re underexposed – you’re under your zero. So it gives you kind of an idea of where you are as far as exposure on your camera. All these monitors will have the new Waveform, Vectorscope including RGB Parade. We will also sell them without them, so there’s an opportunity for folks if they want to purchase it for $200 more, that’s what it will cost to go and do Waveform, Vector and RGB Parade. We still have our VX7 and VX9 monitors, still in the line, still do everything that they need to do with all the different types of software with the overscan, underscan, false colour, clip guides, everything else, so they’re still good monitors to have. Ed:
The D series – is that a more sophisticated level?
Barry: More sophisticated, higher end level monitor, because of the fact that it does HD-SDI and HDMI ins and outs. Ed:
Whereas the VX series …?
Barry: The VX series will do an HDMI in, but no HDMI out – but it will do HD-SDI in and out as well. Ed:
Alright, so if you only need HDMI?
Barry: If you only need HDMI, we’ve got the VH8, the VK7, the VK5 and the VL5. We’ve got an 8 inch panel again with the VH8 … we’re very excited about this monitor, it’s an HDMI in and out; it has the clip guides; it’s got false colour; it’s also got the overscan and underscan and then peaking in the movable pixel to pixel. So it’s got a lot of the same features that the higher end monitors have on the software side, but at a little bit more economical price in an 8 inch panel. The same with the VK7 – we call it the cousin to the VX7e. It has everything that the VX7e does, except it doesn’t have HD-SDI on it. We added a tally light for that so this monitor can be used for on-camera.
plate or what?
Do you buy a separate backing
Barry: Basically, when you purchase the monitor, you request that you want a specific battery back and that’s what we give you. Ed: Now into the lighting range – LED pretty prominent? Barry: LED has become very important for us. In fact, our lights have become a really good seller for a lot of reasons – they’re economical and they do what we say. They basically give you enough light to light, whether it be on-camera or the typical interview setup or 3 camera position – whatever it may be, they’re great for that. Starting with the China Bowl, a brand new light that we’ve just started, it’s a nice soft light that you can hang pretty much from anywhere and give your subject a nice soft key and then basically fill in whatever you need with anything else in a backlight. It’s very simple, very easy, very nice light. Some of the other lights we have – the ID1000, the ID1500, the ID36 and the ID500 – all very popular lights for us. Our lights come in either a bi-colour (which is a tungsten-daylight switch), or just a single 5600 degrees Kelvin. One of the new lights that we’re looking at bringing in is the ID3000. It’s 3000 LEDs, it’s a very, very bright light – basically Watts equivalent to well over 1K in traditional tungsten lighting. The nice thing about a lot of these lights is the low power
Ed: But in terms of affordability, I see this VK7 US$449? Barry: Yes, US$449 … a lot of our HDMI are the much more economical monitors, because most folks with the HDMI may be using it for a DSLR market, or maybe just have a more economical monitor in mind for HDMI out of their video camera. So the same with the VK5 – smaller 5.6 inch panel 1024x600 HDMI input. Page 29
consumption and also they don’t “cook” your talent so to speak – they don’t make you hot or anything. Ed: So how do you get rid of the heat out of the back of these? Barry: We’ve got small louvers. We don’t really need any fans or anything like that, because there’s really not that much heat that they produce. That’s the nice thing about the LED. The other thing is that the LED itself is good for 8-10 years depending on the life of that and you’re probably going to have a part of the inside of the fixture go out before you actually lose any of the LEDs. Ed: Okay, so these are on-camera lights and studio lights and portable lights – a whole range of square, rectangular, circular … you’ve got about everything covered here? Barry: We pretty much do, we’ve got everything we need. One of the newest ones is an LED Fresnel. The Fresnel that folks know from traditional incandescent lighting, we’re going to do in an LED – looking at about 5500 Kelvin; it’s roughly got a CRI of about 81 or so. We’re still getting the colourmetric data as far as the brightness, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s probably close to about 500 Watt equivalency. So it’s a pretty bright light, it really is – very nice though. Ed: Now just run us through the colours here, because I see one in particular that I’m looking at, it’s white, orange and red, but when I hold my hand up to it I’m not seeing those colours. What’s the reason for that? Barry: The Multi-K line uses three different coloured lights – like you said, the white, yellow and the red. What it does, is it actually lets you go in between different colour temperatures, whether it be 2800 all the way up to 6700 Kelvin and anything in between. It gives you an opportunity to switch between. Those three lights help create that colour temperature accurately. The nice thing about the Multi-K is that it has a very high CRI rating, so the colour rendition on it is excellent. It’s one of the best that we have. It’s a bright light, but it’s not too bad as far as having it on top of your camera and blinding your subject, so to speak, when you’re doing an interview or something like that.
Sony, or Canon 305, depending on which you have as far as video cameras go; and then any of the DSLRs that are out there on the market. The nice thing about both of these teleprompters, with the PT Elite as well, it’s a teleprompter that you use your iPad for. It easily mounts inside there, it’s very simple and easy to use and the great thing about it is the fact that you can control this iPad with another iPad. We also have a separate accessory that we sell with it, called the Elite remote and the Elite remote works in a Bluetooth capacity between the actual iPad and the remote itself, so you can control this actual prompter from Bluetooth remote control, faster, slower, whatever that person needs to be able to read back at. So it’s very nice – economical – US$599 is what we’re selling that guy for and we’re very excited about it. Ed: And for US$899 you’ve got the PT2500 – is this using one of your monitors? Barry: Yes sir, it’s using one of our 8 inch monitors that we’ve had pretty much since the life of ikan. It’s been a very dependable monitor, very easy to use …
Ed: I’m standing right in front of it now, and I could actually look into the light, although I’m frowning a little bit, but certainly if I’m looking just slightly off the light, there’s no discomfort at all?
Ed: Right, now on to the front of the stand – the ikan Elements and to explain what “Elements” are, they’re really accessories that make you use your handheld camera like a shoulder mount camera. Is that right? Barry: That’s true. The Elements were something that we designed because ikan has always been known as a monitor company. We actually had a tough time getting our monitors on to some of the other rigs that are out there in the market and we came up with a way of mounting them and it just kinda grew from there. We actually have lots of different small parts and pieces that you can put together, to be able to put your camera on a rig and then mount your monitor to it. That’s the whole plan behind the ikan Elements. We’ve moved from Evolution 1 to Evolution 2; Evolution 2 being much more conforming to the body, easy to use, able to manipulate very simply, add a piece here or a piece there depending on what you want to add as far as parts go, or a monitor or anything along those lines. The EV2 also makes it easier to add the traditional
Barry: It has a very beautiful colour, it really does. Ed: Oh, so it makes me look beautiful does it? Barry: It makes you look fantastic – that’s what I’m trying to say right now. It’s not that I’m hitting on you! Ed: Oh Barry … Barry: It’s a fantastic light that we’re very happy with, that we’re bringing in. Ed:
We’d better move on!
Barry: Moving on to teleprompters. We have a couple of teleprompters that we’re showing today, the PT2500 and the PT Elite. The PT2500 is a simple rodbased system that you can put most medium sized cameras on – anything up to like an EX1 or EX3 from
Ed: But it has the software built-in? Barry: Actually the software comes with both of these; the software comes with all of our lines of teleprompters, including our 15 inch and 21 inch.
accessories that you need with these, such as a matte box or follow focus or any of those types of things. It comes with standard rails so you could use other parts and pieces that you have from some of the other manufacturers out there. We work and play well with some of the other manufacturers out there as well. So it’s very easy to use, sort of an Erector type set or Lego is what we like to call it. Ed: So it pretty well covers every camera model in any configuration and accessory that you want to add to it, whether it’s an ikan accessory or somebody else’s? Barry:
Yes sir, it really does.
With the EV2, the different type that we have with the baseplates, the large and small – the smaller baseplate tends to move more towards the DSLRs, where the larger baseplate will move more towards the traditional video cameras, whether it be some of the newer ones that we see out there on the market – F3, things along those lines from Sony, Panasonic – the traditional manufacturers.
Barry: That’s about it from ikan, that’s pretty much everything we’ve got going on and we hope to hear from some of these guys.
We’re very popular with the DSLR crowd, because they like the way they can add a lot of stuff to their small form factor, and depending on lens size, they can add the matte box or their accessories with the follow focus and some of the other things.
Ed: And thank you for calling me “sir” – it’s not often I get such respect from people I interview.
And that’s about it from ikan?
Barry: That’s the Texan in me I guess – growing up in the South you refer to everyone as “sir”. Ed:
Oh, I thought I was special. Yes sir, you are!
Canon at NAB 2012 We are with Mieke van der Walle, Canon Professional Services, Canon New Zealand. Ed: Here at NAB, this is a big, big year for Canon. Not only is this stand bigger than I’ve ever seen it, but there’s a lot of talk about the Canon C500 and of course the Canon C300 which has been out for a wee while. This is really the top of where Canon has been in the cinema area, but it’s not just a cinema camera, it’s something that does have quite a major place in the video market as well. Is Canon proud of this? Mieke: Extremely proud. This product is revolutionising filmmaking. It really is opening up all new possibilities for filmmakers to create motion that before, was quite hard to do. This is opening up a lot of new doors and it’s super-exciting for Canon to be involved. Two or three years ago, we never envisaged this. We never knew this would happen. We’ve always been known for our still cameras and our Digital SLRs … Ed:
Mieke: And lenses. Of course. We’ve been producing cameras and lenses for 75 years. It’s our passion. Ed: And you’re here at the biggest television show in the world with a big stand and it’s packed?
Mieke on the Canon stand.
Ed: That was the thing – this is what got Canon started thinking “hey, there’s a market here that really needs to be looked after and we’ve got the glass, we’ve got the technology to be able to do this, we just need to tweak it a bit” … and then what happened? Mieke: So then we did a firmware upgrade in which the 5D Mark II went from 30 frames a second to 24 and 25p and you also had audio controls in there as well. You were now able to use this camera for a specific job. It made it a lot easier.
Mieke: This is the first time I’ve been to NAB and I walked through the door and I almost fell on the floor … I was in awe of our stand … Ed:
So you’re a geek at heart?
Mieke: I’m a total geek, yes. My father owns a photographic hardware shop, so I’ve been in the photographic industry my whole life. I was vacuuming the floors from the age of 5. I sold my first camera at 8, so it’s something that I’ve always done. I decided to take on video as a new challenge. I’m big on stills and a year and a half ago I went “I want to take this project on” and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m meeting new people and I’m shooting more video, it’s awesome. Ed: Now tell me the roadmap – the C500 and C300 didn’t come out of nowhere. Where did Canon start with this cinematographic move? Mieke: We released the 5D Mark II four years ago which had Full HD Video, your frame rates were limited. You could only shoot at 30p. The thought process behind this was this video was designed for web-based videos. Suddenly we had a lot of filmmakers knocking on our door wanting to use the camera for situations we never anticipated. They wanted the full frame sensor, the shallow depth of field and the Canon glass. So we did a firmware upgrade which really revolutionised the camera. Ed:
And the audio was an issue?
Mieke: The audio was an issue, yes, because the 5D wasn’t designed for audio. We didn’t release the 5D for that; we released the 5D Mark II as a stills camera. That was its purpose. Page 32
Ed: But it was still that sort of DSLR form factor and still had that …?
which is MXF at 4.2.2, 50 megabytes per second – and it’s been a stunner
Mieke: I have a lot of people contacting me, providing feedback on the 5D and the limitations of the camera for video. At the end of the day, the 5D Mark II is a stills camera and that’s what it’s designed to do. The majority of people are using that camera for that purpose.
Ed: So, then the shallow depth of field, the large format sensor was further developed, and for that you went out to the market?
And it’s very good for that purpose?
Yes, it’s very, very good for that purpose.
But then …?
Then we saw the opportunity.
Ed: Because alongside this, I have to say, you have been producing video cameras … I mean the XL1 was ground breaking, it was a leader, everybody wanted an XL1 – that was in the DV days. Along came HDV and you produced a whole range of those; then along came … Mieke:
The XF range …
Ed: Yes and the top of that at the moment, is the 305?
Mieke: We called out to all the guys who were using the 5D Mark II’s or using the big super cine cameras and we spent a number of years researching this product – we asked the film makers, the DOP’s, the Cinematographers what they wanted. We dealt with Ron Howard and George Lucas as well as the Academy. They have been behind us since Day Dot, and along came the C300 Ed:
And now gone one step further with the C500?
Now we’re at 4K with the C500.
Ed: So if Canon was asked “where do you think it’s going, 4K or 3D” you’d say? Mieke:
Ed: Okay, so let’s just run through some of the features of the C300 and then perhaps talk about what’s been added to it or changed in it, to make it into a C500 because really, the form factor is very similar. You can use the same lenses, in fact it has the same sensor, so a lot of things are interchangeable, but it’s a different camera. So the C300 … what’s exciting people about the C300? Mieke: The EOS C300 is Canon's first foray into digital cinema. It’s equipped with an 8.29 megapixel CMOS sensor that is capable of Super 35 format, and your choice of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, and 59.94 fps recording. You’ve got a super range of ISOs ranging from 320 all the way up to 20,000 and its native ISO is 800. Ed: So you can shoot in a cinema mode or you can shoot in high definition as standard, or an industry accepted high definition standard? Mieke: Yes, that’s correct. The BBC actually gave the go ahead to use the C300 in its external and internal HD channels, which means this camera has meet the requirements of the European Broadcasting Union. What makes the C300 different from other Cine Cameras is its low light capability. I’ve seen footage shot with a 15 Watt bulb and no other light source, and they were using 6400 ISO with a 50mm lens opened up at 1.4 and there was absolutely no noise.
Mieke: Which is brilliant. You know we’ve done really well out of that camera, not only in New Zealand … Ed: Especially with the BBC I understand, who use it as their benchmark? Mieke: Yes. It just really revolutionised things and I think it gave us the confidence in the product category. Ed:
And you’ve got the glass?
Mieke: I was just about to say “we’ve got the glass”. So, we combined glass, the Universal CODEC
This is all down to the technology that we use with our cameras and the pixilations that we use on our sensors. We use a very large gapless technology with our pixels, which produces extremely high detailed images, but with low noise. That’s why you can shoot at such high ISO levels. Ed: And because of the lens situation, I imagine you could buy yourself a quite affordable package of camera and a small zoom lens for yourself and then, when necessary, you could hire those prime lenses or those really expensive ones to do that super, super job? Mieke: I’ve done a bit of testing on myself and I’ve just been using a range of and I’m very impressed with our standard lens which retails for about $700-800; it’s perfect. It’s very affordable.
the C300 our lenses 50mm 1.4 absolutely
To view the C300 in store today, visit one of our Canon Cinema Authorised Resellers
Ed: But what about the form factor – I mean you look at this and it’s quite a “boxy” little thing, it’s certainly not a shoulder mount?
Ed: Now there’s also another slot on the side here for an SD card? Mieke:
It’s just to record or save all your custom functions and metedata It doesn’t take stills. Ed: Ooooh, I was just going to ask “does it take stills?” Mieke: I knew you were going to say that … it doesn’t take stills. Ed: Oh dear, we’re going to wait for an EOS C300A … but it’s got a lovely LCD viewfinder? Mieke: well.
A lot of the other super size sensor cine cameras that are out there, you have to buy all the extra accessories with the cameras. With the C300 and C500, you get the monitor, which is included with the cables, you get a handle, basically it is straight out of the box ready to go, you chuck a lens on there, you’re ready to shoot.
Accessorise to the max.
Mieke: No it’s not, but that’s what the guys wanted. They wanted something that was small and compact that they could stick in a hole if they were doing a documentary, using it free hand, mounting it to a car – but then, if need be, you can rig or plate it up. Ed:
Yes, this is all included as
Accessorise, accessorise …
Mieke: Accessorise – just look at NAB. Every second stand here is about rigging or DSLR accessories. Ed: Now what about internal recording? That’s something that I haven’t seen, I can’t even see a slot on it? Mieke: We shoot on CompactFlash, so you’ve got dual slots here; when one has been used, it automatically switches to the other and you just keep recording. The C300 can shoot 160 minutes of video onto a 64GB CF card running at a 50Mbps bitrate at 1080p. You’ve also got your two XLR inputs here for audio.
Ed: And speaking of accessories, everyone has come on board and produced accessories for this … I know I’ve been to the Chrosziel booth and seen that the matte box is already there, and I guess it’s the same throughout the market? Mieke: Yes – at Canon, we’re not going to go down that road. There are people out there who are doing it right and we’re supporting that market. It’s all about being part of the community. Ed: And in the community of the camera, the next one up, the C500 which we’re going to try and battle our way through the crowds to get a photo of later on – in terms of what it offers, it’s just that next step, it’s that 4K picture. How do you define 4K? Mieke: Amazing … Ed: That was a trick question, I’m sorry, because if you go and ask people about 4K, there are as many different definitions of 4K out there as there are people?
Ed: But what’s the top codec you can record to on that? You can’t record 444 surely? Mieke: No, 422 and it’s an MXF codec as well. So it’s exactly the same codec that we shoot with our XF series. Ed: Talking of accessories, of course, what a lot of people do with cameras these days is take something out of the HDSDI port and record onto another device at 444 or whatever. I’m sure the Canon will allow you to do this? Mieke: Yes, you can go to an external recorder – either HD-SDI or HDMI out of this. Page 35
Mieke: 4K has been widely sought in the industry, especially in a form factor of a camera of this size, and it does look beautiful and it does give a lot more artistic possibilities for people to fix in post or change in post. I think you know that the C500 offers all that and more including 2k at 10 bit at 120 frames per second.
Ed: But again it’s had a roadmap hasn’t it, right from that XL1 which really took the DV market by storm, HDV and now the 305, which is using that Sony EX codec, correct?
Mieke: Yes, it does. People were expecting 4K from us, but I just think we didn’t expect it at that high a specification, so it really is rather ground breaking, the C500, it really is.
Mieke: The MXF codec it’s using, yes … so, again, it was down to just really fine-tuning what the guys out there wanted as well. Canon has done a really good job talking to shooters and film makers about what they want out of a camera. And that’s the same thing that happened with the XF range as well. We spoke to a lot of guys in the market.
Ed: And one day we’ll actually have 4K television sets?
Ed: But the big difference, of course, this is a fixed lens, you’re not changing the lens on this one?
Mieke: Yes it’s a fixed lens, it’s an 18x fixed optical lens. You’ve got that true Canon L series glass so you’ve got lots of Fluoride in there. You’ve also got ultra dispersion, which is actually a new kind of coating system that we’re using. It’s designed for harsh weather conditions. It’s extremely rugged.
Well that’s the other thing isn’t it … it does a slo-
I know, can you imagine!
I’m looking forward to it.
Yes, me too.
Ed: Okay, but in all of this we don’t want to lose sight of the true videographer, the corporate user and the vast bulk of the BBC who are actually using this for News – the phenomenal success of the 305?
Ed: Really Canon’s taken two parts of the market – it’s taken a part with the 305; it’s taken a part with the C300 / C500 but they are different parts of the market? Mieke: We are offering solutions for every part of the market – I think that’s how we look at it. We’ve got our stills market and we’ve got our cine market and then we’ve got our filmmaker, videographer, corporate market there as well. We’ve got a solution for every type of professional. Ed: And what links it all together is the glass? Mieke: It’s that L series glass – it’s beautiful. You look at the EOS range of lenses; we make over 75 different EOS lenses, so there’s a lens for everyone, and now we’ve got our new cine range of lenses which are available in 4K resolution in either EF or PL mount. Ed:
We look forward to more?
Mieke: Yes, I can’t wait it’s a NZVN really exciting time.
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NewTek for Protel Here we are at NewTek and we have Ken Brooke from Protel. Ed: Ken, Protel is a seller of NewTek Tricaster products in New Zealand and by the look of the crowd at the stand on day three, NewTek are still getting a lot of attention here? Ken: Yes the NewTek stand has had a great deal of attention every day – it’s packed out. As far as I’m concerned the Tricaster 8000 is one of the best products released at NAB this year. The Tricaster 8000 is a complete live production and media publishing solution, with fantastic versatility. It’s a 24-channel switcher, with 8 fully re -entrant M/E rows. Its inputs extend to external router support for large-scale, multi-camera production in native fullresolution HD, 8 channels of ISO recording in up to 1080p, and live output Ken’s ditched the girls and is back to technology. to up to 14 different display destinations. models released at NAB are the 8000, 855 and the 455. It has integrated live streaming at the touch of a Tricaster 455 and Tricaster 855 are brand new products button. With a powerful integrated effects system, it’s that get their DNA from previous models. mind-blowing what it can do. Ed: So it’s a case of, with any of these, you could Ed: So this is an outside broadcast product, is that build up your own studio with a whole lot of bits and right? pieces from different manufacturers, or you could buy Ken: It certainly can be used in an OB Van or Truck or one of these? used to replace an entire television studio. The beautiful thing is you don’t usually need to buy anything Ken: That’s right. You could buy, for instance, a high else, other than the cameras, tripods, lights. The end graphics station which alone could cost as much as Tricaster has built in 3D visual effects, virtual sets, the Tricaster. So not only does the Tricaster 8000 work graphics and transitions; it caters for all your audio with SD, HD and analogue inputs, but it also can ( analogue and digital ) mixing, all your video inputs. process stereoscopic 3D. Just use two ME’s and track You can broadcast, stream, publish, project and record the cameras and you can record and playback – all at the same time. stereoscopic 3D Video. It’s an amazing product. You Ed: And that’s what they’re showing here today? can also zoom in and out on the two cameras, with the These people are being keyed into live sets and could two locked together and apply effects. look like they are anywhere in the world, but in fact Ed: Not yet 4K? they’re just on a green screen? Ken: Not 4K – I guess that will come in future Ken: Exactly. generations. Another neat feature is motion tracking Ed: Who have Tricasters in New Zealand? and you can wiggle something around in your hands Ken: There are many, some in education and others at with video keyed into the object and it will track it and streaming TV stations and broadcasters such as stabilise it as well. You can also attach a graphic to it which will attach to whatever object you’ve got in your Television New Zealand and Triangle TV and there’s another at MediaCom who do the production and hands, so you could put video on a card or whatever broadcasting for Chinese Television TV33. The latest you like. It does virtually unlimited layers, so you could
streaming TV station or for transmission. A very, very nice product. Ed:
Well this is all NewTek too isn’t it?
Ken: Yes, they have a range of products to suit your budget and scale of application. There’s one other thing … this company is different in that the people in it, they really are a team. At the end of the distributor meeting, they all got up, grabbed a guitar, a drum or a mic and they sang us a song. That was quite unique, nice to see. Ed: But you must feel a bit sad if you’re already got one of these and suddenly the new models come out. You’re stuck are you? Ken: No you’re definitely not stuck. NewTek have an upgrade path for people who have just recently purchased the 450 Extreme and the 850 Extreme. There is a low cost firmware upgrade if they require it. The NewTek demo area.
create all of these objects on the screen and just keep on going. It’s amazing.
Ed: And what’s this, in the earlier versions you had to pay extra for a keyboard, but now …?
Ed: Does it make you want to start your own TV station Ken?
Ken: That’s right, the 8000, 855, 455 are shipped with control panels as part of the price, it makes them so much easier to use.
Ken: Not personally, but it is great technology entirely suitable for a start up TV station whether it be a
Ed: For more information and pricing for NewTek NZVN products call Protel ph 0800Protel.
AJA for Protel
Ed: The star of the AJA show must be the new Ki Pro Mini but it’s a slightly fatter Ki Pro Mini isn’t it Ken?
AJA are another major product line for Protel. Ed: I went to the AJA Press function where they were very happy about the range of new products and improvements on existing products that have come out this year. AJA have been working hard, and one of the smallest items is?
Ken: Yes, it’s called the Ki Pro Quad, 4K/Quad HD/2K/ HD Solid State Recorder. From camera capture to editorial and monitoring, Ki Pro Quad unites the components of a 4K workflow in a compact, powerful and affordable package. It’s attached here at NAB to a Canon EOS C500 which Protel are dealers for as well. The beauty of the AJA product is it’s built rugged and we know it works. We will let you know when the KiPro Quad is shipping. Ed: I was told that AJA worked with Canon before the release of this camera, to make sure the whole workflow actually happened. It’s not a case of the camera came out and suddenly they jiggered around and got a connector, it was well planned to work? Ken: Yes, it was a joint effort between Canon and AJA and we can see it working now on the stand. This gives confidence both products work well together. Ed: That must be good for you as a Canon and an AJA dealer, that you can sell both products quite happily? Ken: You bet, it definitely is a great bundle.
Ken: It’s the AJA T-Tap Thunderbolt™-powered SDI and HDMI output device. Get 10-bit SD, HD and 2K output from any Thunderbolt™-enabled Mac. Ed: So it’s only an Apple product? Ken: It only works with Apple laptops and iMacs at present.
Ed: And you have to look at the back of this thing to really believe how many ins and outs it has – a whole range of HD-SDI and it’s got a Thunderbolt connection, it’s got HDMI monitoring and a reference signal, so it’s very versatile and I guess having that larger form factor gives you more place for buttons? Ken: Yes, it definitely does have a few more control buttons and a small viewing screen to look at recorded media. On the 4K version, there are two card slots. On the Ki Pro Mini, there’s just the one. Basically, they hold high spec pre-tested SSD cards from AJA to ensure suitability.
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answered because the drives that are in the rack mount are actually solid state drives, so there’s not a great problem in putting these on the shelf and leaving them there for a while, unlike spinning drives. So a very good thing. Okay, for ever and ever, AJA have been making cross-converters haven’t they Ken? Ken: Yes, and we’ve got a new one here. It’s a UDC. The UDC is a broadcast quality Up/Down/Cross MiniConverter which can convert between SD, HD, and 3G video formats. Using the same AJA industry leading conversion technology as in their model FS2, the UDC provides very high quality conversions at a low price. I/Os include SD/HD/3G SDI Input and Output, HDMI output, and 2-channel RCA style audio output. The UDC can be controlled by local dipswitches with additional control available via USB and AJA's MiniConfig application. A Reference Input allows the UDC to be locked to a local reference.
Accessorise your Canon with AJA.
Ed: I see AJA have also released a SSD card reader, so you offload the cards. The SSD Reader connects directly to your Mac via a Thunderbolt™ connection allowing you to rapidly transfer ProRes files that are ready for use immediately in your non-linear editing system.
Ed: And I guess it’s very hard to keep what all of these do in your brain, but when you’re in a studio situation and you have an issue, you need to have some sort of connection or transfer, then have a look at
Now the Ki Pro, going from Ki Pro, Ki Pro Mini and now Ki Pro 4K, but they haven’t stopped there, they’ve gone one step further and catered to the studio setup and there is now Ki Pro Rack. To tell us more, here’s Bob from AJA. Bob: Ki Pro Rack is basically the same as the Ki Pro. It has both ProRes 422 and Avid DNx codecs built-in – support for both; SSD drives, SATA based hard drives that are proprietary AJA drives and a few extra connectors on the back. Ed: A few! Okay, so just tell me a little bit about these hard drives, they look like cartridges so you can obviously load up into the cartridge and then pop it out? Bob: You can pop it out, it’s got a FireWire 800 connector, it’s bus powered so just plug it in … Ed:
A standard connector?
Bob: I’m not exactly sure if “standard” is the word that I would use, but it connects through like a mini SATA or a SATA connection. I have a Ki Pro here, but I don’t want to pull out any of these drives. Ed: On both the Ki Pro 4K and the rack version, what do you use the LAN connection for? Bob: You can network these, so if you want to network your rack and be able to control it remotely, you can do that. It also has RS 422 machine connector on it. Ed: So you can not only control it, but you can also transfer data via the LAN? Bob: And view information. Ken: And the other thing is it can act just like a remote tape machine with the RS 422 connection for control. Ed: And the rack version had HDMI in and out, as well as audio in and out, which one would expect in any good rack mounted product. And my other question is Page 40
what’s available from AJA and they quite often have a converter for you? Ken: Yes, one of the reasons is because, believe it or not, customer asks I remember product to solve a problem, solutions in the form of digital
for attending trade shows 2-3 months later when a that I saw a particular and AJA have plenty of glue.
Ed: And the KONA card continues to be the market leader? Ken: Yes the KONA 3G I/O 10bit card now supports 4K resolution, so future proof for 4K workflows. KONA 3G is future proof, allowing you to easily work in HD and 2K and switch to working at 4K all on the same hardware. KONA 3G supports Dual Link 4:4:4 HD-SDI, with full-bandwidth 4:4:4 RGB at 10-bits for 1080i, 1080p, 1080PsF and 720p formats. KONA 3G can also convert between 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 formats for single link HD-SDI monitoring and output. With a broadcastquality up/down/cross converter and the ability to work in 3D, KONA 3G has the power for the work you do today and into the future. Ed: And what’s your take on this Ken … I mean at the show last year 3D was what they were all raving about, but I haven’t seen much 3D this year?
Ken: 3D capability is progressing and is being incorporated into the higher end vision mixers and AJA video cards. The industry is beginning to cater for 3D, I guess gearing to the film production for theatre and games at present and likely to expand to 3D live streaming. There is a bit of a trend this year for 4K. Sony and Canon and a few other camera manufacturers are pushing 4K i.e 4K monitors, 4K cameras, 4K projectors. It seems to be the new standard to aspire to. I guess this is again being driven by the movie industry. Theatres are moving to 4K digital projectors when they make the move from film to digital, as you need that much resolution for larger sized screens. Even if you are only creating 720p or 1080p content, capturing and editing in 4K can still be incredibly useful. Since it's basically 4 times larger than a 1080p video frame, you can reframe content in postproduction to get a desired effect e.g if the end content is going to be 1080p, you can use the 4K image you have and zoom into it for a closer shot with no loss of quality or sharpness. Isn’t technology incredible? Call Protel for your next Technology upgrade phone NZVN 0800Protel.
Avid Pro Tools for Protel We are at Avid with Pro Tools for Protel and we have Michael Pearson-Adams from Avid and Glenn Miers from Protel. Ed: Portable Tools 10?
Michael: So what we’ve got here is Pro Tools 10 running through one of the newer Mbox Pro’s which gives us great A to D and great D to A. We’ve improved the mic pre second to none. We’re also running it with our newest version of Pro Tools 10 which gives you more tracks, more power; it gives you the ability to use your RAM to cache the audio into the RAM, so therefore you can not only run on slower drives or drives with less performance, but it also gives you full playback and record options on a network – whether it’s our ISIS systems or it’s on a simple SAN network – on ridiculous things like drop box, thumb drives, etc. So you’ve got a lot more power when it comes to Pro Tools straight out of the box, regardless of whether you’re running Pro Tools 10 native or Pro Tools HD software. The other thing that we’ve got here is we’re showing off our new Artist Series. We’ve got the Artist Mix which is an eight fader control surface based out of Ethernet. Next to that, we’ve got the Artist Control which has over 500 of Pro Tools shortcuts set into it. You can pretty much control Pro Tools or Media Composer ( depending on which app you’re working in ), or any other app that takes the SDK, so you don’t spend as much time going mouse-click, mouse-click, mouse-click … especially in audio, it gives you the chance to get back to using a mixing console, so you’re not actually using your eyes to mix, but you’re using your ears to mix, which is an amazingly original concept.
Glenn and Michael.
Ed: It must be very difficult to do in surroundings though I imagine? Michael: Absolutely – and it’s like I’m deaf.
Ed: Now of course the interface that we’ve got here is not a typical computer interface … as you say, there’s no mouse, the laptop has a keypad but there’s these other two really cool control surfaces that I believe have come from a recent merger with Euphonix? Michael: Yes, absolutely right. When we brought Euphonix into the Avid family, one of the things that we loved about what they’d done, was they’d created these very compact, but incredibly powerful Ethernet based control surfaces especially with audio, namely the Artist Control which has four faders and a touch screen and a jog wheel and the Artist Mix which has eight faders and gives you complete control over plug-ins, etc. Now we
didn’t actually do a lot of tweaking because the hardware was fantastic. What we did do was we tweaked the software, so that they worked better with our software being either Media Composer or Pro Tools. In both of them, you’ve got about 80% of all shortcuts and functionality of the actual software available to you by the touch screen, or the touch sensitive faders, or the knobs on both of the consoles. So even though on the Artist Control you’ve only got four faders, you can bank or nudge those faders so it doesn’t matter how many tracks you’ve got in a video session you can go as many as you want, you can keep on scrolling. In an audio session as well, you can keep on scrolling those eight faders. But the other beautiful thing is they’re totally expandable, so you can buy one of them and then clip it to another and another and another when you get the chance. You can have a maximum of four Artist Mix’s, giving you 32 faders and add them to an Artist Control, so you’ve got 36 faders all up. So it’s a fully controlled mixing console in a very small form. Ed: The term “portable sound solution” – it’s not something you’d take to the beach, but it’s something that if you were going around the country to different venues, setting up sound systems, this is obviously going to fit into a couple of quite small cases? Michael: Absolutely, I mean I’ve got two different ways I travel. I spend 3½-4 weeks of the month on the road sometimes. I’ve got an Artist Mix and an Artist Control that I fit in a laptop bag – both sides of a laptop bag, and I carry it with me on the plane. If I’m carrying more than that then I’ve got a $200 Pelican case I put them all in and I check it with the foam around it. Nothing’s broken yet. Ed: That’s it – one Pelican case and you’ve got a pretty well complete audio solution? Michael: Absolutely. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a Magna chassis with an HD native system or you’re running an Mbox Pro FireWire interface with a console and then a laptop, you’re good to go. Ed: So in New Zealand – and we’re talking here now to Glenn Miers – having the Euphonix or ex-Euphonix Artist Series control surfaces has really taken off with your customers? Glenn: Oh for sure. It’s been an extremely popular product line. The fact that there’s really tight integration with the Pro Tools product has been
fantastic and obviously there’s other applications that it will run with as well, and just the control that you’ve got through the Artist control panel and being able to switch between layers of controls has been fantastic. Ed: So with the addition of the Euphonix control surfaces, is it something that Pro Tools users are now much happier with, because finally they’ve got a control surface that is more ergonomic for them? Michael: Absolutely. I mean when we brought Euphonix into the family, we were actually kind of surprised to find out how many of the little consoles, the Artist Series, were actually being bought by Pro Tools users and the functionality wasn’t where we wanted it to be. So the first thing we did was update the Eucon Control software completely so that we now have up to 500 app sets of controls out of Pro Tools in Eucon. So that means that anybody who bought one previously doesn’t have to update their hardware, they can actually just update the software and it will work a lot better. Ed: Even if they bought it from Euphonix in the Euphonix days? Michael: It really doesn’t matter – we’re happy that they bought it. I mean Euphonix is now part of Avid, we just want them to be happy with what they bought. So, yes, update the software and you’ll be good to go. And now we talk to Ozzie Sutherland at a desk with lots of knobs. Ozzie: Lots of knobs. What we’re showing here is System 5 with Pro Tools HDX on PC and also on Mac – two card HDX system, where we have HD MADI hooked up, video satellite and it’s all running off of ISIS. Heavy duty stuff. Ed:
Way to go.
Ozzie: Yes, we’ve got a lot of things going on here at the Avid booth on the audio side. All of the actual audio pods are playing off of the same ISIS, so we’re all sharing the same session and playing it at the same time. Ed: But having the connection to ISIS doesn’t mean anything for the operator does it, apart from the fact that everything is now linked into the system and anyone can access this anytime, anywhere …? Ozzie: Yes, anyone can access it at any time … and then we’re also showing some of the new Eucon improvements for Pro Tools 10 and System 5 and how Pro Tools and Eucon are communicating better on the surface for all of our users out there who love our stuff. Ed: So give me an example of what specific improvements there would be for a station having this system? Ozzie: Well for anyone owning a System 5 you know, they would be able to get control over Pro Tools now and with the new Channel Strip plug-in in Pro Tools 10, it’s an exact duplicate of the same exact algorithm in the System 5 console. So it’s the same EQ dynamics filtering that’s built into Pro Tools 10 and if you’re bringing up a Pro Tools channel on the surface or a System 5 channel on the surface, they look identical next to each other now. So you can be mixing in the box or you can be mixing out of the box on the DSP itself and you shouldn’t notice any difference because they’re both transparent and we’re all one company now.
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Ozzie: “Synergy” – there’s the word for you. It’s all synergy. Ed: And to finish us off here at Avid, Glenn, what do you want to tell us? Glenn: We’re just here looking at the new Magma Chassis which is a PCI Express Box – Express Box 3T and the idea is that it’s got a Thunderbolt connection for connection into laptops and iMacs, the Apple product lines, and you can slot PCI Express Cards into the box for interfacing into your laptop, so what we’ve just seen here with the System 5 console and Pro Tools HDX, the cards are in the Magma Box, interfacing to the laptop and it’s all running on a laptop system. Ed:
And one has to do this because?
Glenn: Because it allows us to use more affordable computers in some situations. We no longer have to always build our solutions around a computer that contains PCIe slots. Plus the use of more portable computers sporting Thunderbolt has advantages for some of our customers. Ed: So Magma has come up with this clever little box which houses processing and I/O cards outside the computer? Glenn:
We’ve a long history with Magma and this new Thunderbolt chassis is another great example of how Protel’s solutions remain flexible and adaptable, yet incredibly powerful. Ed: Call the good folk at Protel for all your Pro-Tools NZVN and Magma requirements.
for Dolly Shop We are now at the TECHNODOLLY stand and we have Martin Ovsky because Horst has lost his voice. Ed: Now Martin, the improvements in your TECHNODOLLY I guess physically, it’s pretty much the same as it has been for years? Martin: Everything’s still the same, but we continually improve the software which allows you to control the crane very comfortably. Ed: But that’s good for people who have already purchased the crane, and are already using it, because they’ve got the crane …
Martin does like his product and was really trying to smile.
Martin: We will always upgrade the software even for people who acquired the crane before. Ed: So for example, what are the software updates that you’ve done recently? Martin: The Matrix function which is very new and very popular, which allows you to jump between the frames … Ed: Okay, so the traditional TECHNODOLLY move was you programmed in a series of moves from point to point and then it worked out the smooth move between them. What this now enables you to do with this Matrix is that any of those points that you programmed in there, you can tell the camera crane to jump to that point and then you can start taking pictures at that point. I understand two of your customers who have purchased the TECHNODOLLY are in German Television and they’re using it in a studio configuration? Martin: They run all their daily programmes in this virtual studio. They start at 5 o’clock in the morning and they finish – I don’t know, at 11 in the evening, and all these programmes are managed by these two TECHNODOLLYS with the support of a virtual set. Ed: So that’s it, rather than have any fixed cameras, they’re all moving? Martin: They programme all the movement and this movement will repeat every hour, so with the News and some entertainment programmes, they don’t need cameramen anymore, they just push the buttons and it runs! Ed:
Yes, who needs cameramen.
Vinpower Digital Duplicators for Imaging Technology Ed: Ryan, apart from the inkjet printer, Vinpower’s well known for duplicators? Ryan: Yes, exactly. We started off as a system integrator and then we transitioned into manufacturing our own controllers and our own duplicators. The benefit of that is we know how the system’s working in conjunction with the drives and all the components in the casing. Companies like Acard just make the controller only, so they only know a limited factor of what the end user is dealing with, whereas we know the entire aspect. So when you’re looking at controllers, we look at okay how is the end user going to use this, and what are some of the factors that they could be confronted with, and we try and overcome that for them, so it makes it easier. Not only that, we also have a lot of additional features. We have what we call “copy connect” which allows you to connect the duplicator to a computer so that you can transfer the file directly from Ryan Swerdloff, VP of Marketing at Vinpower Digital with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany March 2009.
Ed: What intrigues me is this very slim case – you call it the “naked case.” How come it’s so small? Ryan: Basically this is meant for somebody who just kind of like uses a lot of duplication and either needs something that’s very portable, or just needs something very inexpensive. The naked case, in its essence is something that’s typically a 1:7 that can be expanded up to a 1:11 or maybe even higher. It’s kind of like an erector set, you can keep adding higher to it. So it’s not meant as something professional … Ed: You wouldn’t put it on your front desk, you’d put it in the back room? Ryan: Exactly. This is something that’s kind of down and dirty; you want to use it, you need something that you can just use heavily and then when it’s done, you can switch off the drives really easily, because you can burn out the drives. Ed: Oh, okay. One of the things that intrigues me, is that no one has yet come up with a duplicator that you can actually direct link to your computer and it will read an ISO file off the computer.
the computer to the duplicator’s hard drive; we have a copy protection feature that allows you to put copy protection onto DVD video disc; we have so many – like lightscribe capability – we have so many different features that are unique to Vinpower, or something that Vinpower introduced. We also offer the controller as a standalone component that you can purchase out of Taiwan, out of the US, wherever’s most convenient and it’s something that gives you a little bit more flexibility. We are working a lot with Blu-ray which is really kind of the next standard, so we’re really finely attuned at doing the fast 12x Blu-ray duplication speed. Just a lot of things … we work with a lot of archival media companies, so if you’re doing archival media we’ll work with some discs that other controllers can’t work with.
You always have to have a hard drive within the duplicator bay itself. Is this not a solvable problem? Ryan: The problem is the controllers have a finite space for the coding and so connecting … it’s kind of like two different languages between like using say Micro-
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soft or Apple’s programme, or some type of Linux communication, so having the duplicator work directly from the computer, it either has to be operated directly from the motherboard or you have to have some type of bridge that allows it to communicate between the duplicator and the motherboard of the operating system that the user is using. Ed:
And that’s too difficult?
It’s not that it’s too difficult, it becomes …
It’s not cost effective?
Ryan: Right. It becomes a cost factor. Once you get to a certain cost point, then it doesn’t make any sense. Ed:
That makes sense.
Ryan: Yes. A key benefit is the hot swappability of the drives with the Vinpower controllers. If you do have a drive fail, you just take it out yourself, stick in a new one and it recognises the new drive and you carry on. You don’t have to take it back to your supplier and have firmware updated or anything else. You can do it all yourself. Ed: What about copy protection – it’s actually your own software? Ryan:
Correct, it’s our own software.
What it does is it allows you to add copy protection on your PC to your master file and then using our software transfers it through USB onto the duplicator’s hard drive, and then from the duplicator you can make as many copies as you want and every copy has the protection ingrained into it. So they can’t rip it and they can’t … I mean nothing’s fool-proof 100%, I’m not
Duplicate discs or sticks.
going to tell you that, but for the most part it gives a very strong deterrent. Just like CSS is not 100%, it gives you a very strong deterrent to keep people from ripping or burning your content. Ed: And you don’t have to pay for every one you do? Ryan: No. Actually it’s a pay for one licence, but after that you can make as many as you want, you NZVN don’t have to pay for each individual disc.
PAG for Quinto We are at PAG with – yes, it is Nigel Gardiner from PAG UK. Ed: Nigel – you’ve been busy, or someone in the back room’s been busy? Nigel: Well we talked to you at IBC about our new “linking” battery and now it has time linking. Ed: What does the “time” mean Nigel … I’ve heard you’ve had difficulties with some clients understanding what “time” means on a battery? Nigel: I think, yes, there are other people who have other forms of time. We like to think that we give you actual time and not just a guess. Ed:
So you press the button and it tells you …?
Nigel: When you connect this to a device, i.e a camera, you press the button and it will tell you the remaining runtime at the current discharge rate of the battery – in hours and minutes. Ed:
On the battery, or in the camera?
Nigel: On the battery. This is, I think, quite a useful feature. We have made time batteries in the past and for the more “switched on” and bigger user it’s a valuable thing. Ed: But Nigel, in my little camera, it tells me how many hours or how many minutes I’ve got runtime on my battery, but I don’t actually trust it and in fact I’ve noticed some times that I think I’ve got a lot left and it starts flashing. Why would that be? Nigel: Well rather than me criticising a competitor’s product, what I’m saying is that the way that some get the time is a measure of voltage and this
Nigel always has that PAG smile.
is not going to be accurate, because suddenly the voltage changes and you’re suddenly going to end up where you think you’ve maybe got 30 minutes left, but actually the battery is dead and that’s the end of it.
You cannot measure time in regards to voltage, but it gives you a very coarse thing and I guess it gives people a bit of confidence. Ed:
Well if it’s not voltage, how do you measure it?
Nigel: Well we’re measuring how much goes in the battery and we’re measuring the rate it comes out of the battery. Ed:
That sounds a lot more clever?
Nigel: Yes, it’s quite difficult, because you then have to adjust for self-discharge; you’ve got to adjust for temperature; you’ve also got to adjust for the age of the battery … and all these have a detrimental effect on the actual efficiency of the measurement. That’s about as good as it gets. Ed: Yes, that sounds pretty good. Now this time battery also clips together with other batteries … do they all have to be time batteries or do you only need one in the chain? Nigel: Well you’re right, you only need one in the chain, because it’s telling you the time for the chain and not for itself. Therefore, the cost of the time battery is maybe about 15% more than the non-time battery, so instead of having to pay 15% extra for every battery, you only have to do one in three or whatever your mix on your usage is. So a typical person might have six batteries and he might be using three at a time, so he only needs two “time”. Ed: And even if the time battery is itself nearly flat, if you leave it on the back it will tell you the time remaining for the rest of them? Nigel: Yes, the relevance of the battery itself – its capacity is irrelevant when you’re looking at the time regarding the stack. Ed: But, as you say, it has to be connected to the camera otherwise it doesn’t work? Nigel: discharge.
Absolutely, because you’ve got those in
Ed: I’m still very impressed with this connection arrangement. It really is just one quick click and it goes together and solid as a rock, you’d never break those apart. And in fact, even with three of them together, I can pick it up in one hand and what’s really cool is this little sticker on the bottom which says “air transport safe” with a UN test number. And the Americans would take heed of that would they?
where current is being drawn off by the camera. Because we have a linking system, that means we have output terminals on the other side of the battery. Now we’ve come up with a nice little device called a “power hub” which will then click onto the other side of the battery. This power hub will give you the opportunity to have extra outputs. So you might want to have D-taps, you might want PP90s, , you might want LEMO connectors … this is an option you can have. We also have an option to have a USB so you can run your MacBook, you will be able to charge your iPhone, your iPad from the same battery set that you are using to run your camera. Ed: And this will work when it’s not actually connected to the camera, just as a battery sitting on the bench? Nigel: As you see now, the light is lit and I can charge my phone. Ed: Fantastic. And it’s a bit more clever than putting it in between the camera and the battery pack … there are some situations I know with your older packs, your adapter plates were always between the camera and the batteries? Nigel: That’s right. We feel that this way, if we have an opportunity to use the other side of the battery, why not use it. We can actually take the connector out and change them in any combination that is necessary. An interesting development of this is that with Sony, they now have a device called the XM Pilot which will record the metadata from their camera and you then download an app for your Smartphone and all the metadata from the camera is then transferred to your Smartphone. We have been asked at this show and at a previous show I went to, whether we could make a cradle so that we can actually put the iPhone or Smartphone onto this power hub, hence everything is contained, you’re charging your iPhone and you’re also receiving the metadata from the XM Pilot. Ed:
Very cool and cool to be asked by Sony to do it?
Nigel: Absolutely. It’s interesting … it’s a strange concept of putting product to the other side of the battery, but we’re also looking at possible microwave links and other things that will go onto this side. Ed:
Nigel: Well the problem with this is that, as far as CAA, FAA and all of the associations round the world are concerned, a lithium ion battery should be tested under harsh constraints. A lot of people actually don’t do this, so that what we do is we put a sticker on which means that at least the people who buy our products can acknowledge the fact that it has been tested. The sticker – it looks like it’s official, but actually it’s our own little design. We have certification to go with it and I think one of the other little problems is that some manufacturers rely on the fact that the cells themselves are CAA, FAA, FA approved, but that doesn’t mean to say the battery’s approved. Also related to our linking system, a battery is normally working in a direction Page 49
It was Sony with a “y” wasn’t it?
Nigel: It was Sony with a “y”, yes. Anyway, we also are looking to put a 7.2 Volt voltage converter in there, so that we can run DSLRs and smaller cameras from a chosen socket. This potentially means that we can also put a digital display on it such that you can look at the cycle life of the battery, how many times it has charged, its max or its minimum temperature, etc which is already stored in the battery. Any more? Ed: Well I think you’ve covered just about every base possible there. Nigel:
Is that cool?
Ed: It’s very cool … but wait, there’s more – you’ve got another big battery sitting here?
Ed: And I’m sure if the situation arises where you don’t feel happy about doing this, you can always go and visit your dealer and they might do it for you? Nigel: I would hope so. We’ve also brought out a very simple, let’s say “plug in the wall” charger, which again it’s a 1.8 amp charge rate, it will charge a PAGlink battery in about four hours. But you can also link them together, so it’s another form of charger, we would hope it to be very economically priced and something to go in your pocket, so you’ve got a spare charger. You can charge them linked together, so if you had three batteries we’re talking about an overnight charge. Ed:
Does it do one after the other, or …?
Nigel: No, this is the CPS100 which is a 100 Watt power supply.
Nigel: No, simultaneous. All charging now on this PAGlink system will be simultaneous.
Ed: Oh, it seems exceedingly light, it looks like a battery but in fact it’s not?
Nigel: It has an XLR output as well as the normal V output, plus two USB outputs.
Ed: Just slides off, a new one goes on … and one more?
Ed: But this clip on the back here is to actually clip onto the camera isn’t it?
Nigel: Well CPS stands for “Camera Power Supply” – I thought I wouldn’t have to explain that to you Grant, but I’m sorry, you must be tired or too much beer last night. Ed: Now Nigel, we are friends … but this is clever because here’s your power supply actually going on the camera, rather than sitting on the floor getting in the way, and a long cable going up to the camera. This way you have the long cable going to the power supply and there it is. But, as you say, you’ve got all these taps off it for extra power in different directions. Clever. Nigel: Well it’s one of those things that people asked for and we’ve had a 50 Watt power supply, but obviously in this day and age, 50 Watts isn’t big enough, so we just increased it and it seems to be everything you manufacture needs a USB, so why not put USBs in – it doesn’t cost much. But here we are, at another thing. This little chappie is a software upgrade tool, so that if we find during our experience of our PAGlink batteries or our PAGlink chargers, that there is a software problem, something that we haven’t envisaged, we can just clip this tool on the battery, or a similar one onto the charger and it will update the firmware of the battery or charger. Ed: Where do you get the stuff into this little device here?
And the plug’s interchangeable?
Yes, but you’ll have to walk with me Grant.
Ed: Oh my goodness here’s a big camera with four PAGlinks on it, and they’re side by side and one on the back of the other? Nigel: Yes, this is the Sony F65. This has many problems for the user if he wants to run batteries. The current draw on it is about 110 Watts as it stands, and that’s without extra viewfinders or monitors.
This baby’s not really for “run and gun” operations.
Nigel: We would supply it to you. We would give you this adapter with the software upgrade on it. Ed: Wow. That sort of exemplifies the PAG service mentality doesn’t it, that you don’t want to have a battery out there that’s not doing the best, you will go out of your way to provide that service to customers of PAG batteries? Nigel: Yes, we realise that even with this adapter, it’s not the best way of doing it and we are considering other ways where you will be able to download from the Internet, your own update programme, which will go into something that is already part of your kit. But that’s going to be then, and now is now.
At the moment, between you and I Grant, Sony don’t have a solution … they don’t have a battery that will run this device. But with our F65 adapter plate, we can put four batteries on here which will run this camera for about 3½ hours. It’s not often going to be used on the shoulder, but when it does, you’re going to need a battery system – and we believe at this moment, this is the only real system that’s going to cope with this camera. Yes, it’s a big digital EFP camera and there are not going to be massive sales, but I’m sure there will be a few in New Zealand. What we’ve been able to do is also give an indication of time, because this camera has no viewfinder information for time. So we have a little
time display, so that when you press the button up will come the time, or how long this battery system will run the camera. There is another big change in this plate, in the fact that on a normal linking system, the battery that is nearest the camera has control of the battery system. When you have two batteries side by side and two linked, there is no one battery that is nearest the camera, so we’ve made it such that the plate itself now is the control and the plate controls the discharge of the battery. So we’re still back to only two batteries being discharged at any time, but it is now being controlled by the plate and not the camera. This is a prototype. We would hope to have this within maybe a couple of months, but this is an interesting thing, we’ve had a lot of co-operation with Sony and we’re trying to sort this out … and they’re interested. Sony will not be marketing this, but it’s a solution to help them on their usage. Ed:
And you can hot swap these batteries?
Nigel: Absolutely, yes you can hot swap any two of the four. Ed:
You can only put four on, or could you put six?
Nigel: eight on.
Oh no, you could put six, you could put
Ed: Which is the versatility of the PAG loading system? Nigel: There is no basic limit; it’s only a practical limit of distance and weight and when you’re swinging round you don’t want too much sticking out over your shoulder. So, yes, I think this is the adaptability of the
system. And I would say one more thing, and this is it – what we’re finding is that the user, the cameraman, is telling us what he wants. He likes the concept, it’s waking him up and he’s saying “oh, if you can do that, I wonder if we could do this?” and this is really great stuff for us, because this is what we want. We want people to come up with “okay, this is great, can you just fit this bit on it” and we’re doing our best to do what the cameraman wants. Ed:
And doing it very well.
Well we try. Thanks Grant.
Now for his take on the PAGlink system, Alan from Quinto? Alan: Right Grant – in the past, batteries have been known to go on the back of the cameras and they’d feed power one way i.e into the camera itself. PAG, with their PAGlink system, have been very innovative in that for the first time, as far as I’m aware, you can feed power not only into the camera itself, but also out the back to feed a whole host of ancillary gadgets and I think that’s going to be one of the key features of PAG equipment that will become very attractive to users of cameras. There will be more and more gadgets you have to hang on to the end of the camera and all of these gadgets have to be powered. The idea of just having one battery on the end of your camera and the rest sort of coming from a host of other sources I think has gone. If you can stack the batteries together on the back of the camera and then power them both ways, have two-way traffic, then you’re onto NZVN a winner.
MicroLite for Quinto We’ve got Stuart Harvey for Nucomm / IMT MicroLite Transmitters. Ed: Stuart, this is the world’s smallest something? Stuart: The MicroLite transmitter, is a way to get full 1080p video from a camera back to an OB truck or a studio. So it’s ideal for video transmission. Ed: Well it is very small – what’s the range? Stuart: It depends on the frequency. This particular model is 5.8 gigahertz; the model over there is a 22.5 gigahertz, so with the laws of physics, the lower the frequency, the further the range, so half the frequency, double the range. This is 100 milliwatts, that’s 200 milliwatts, so something like this would do sort of 700 metres non line of site; something like that is sort of a kilometre and a half, depending on the particular radio environment. If you’ve got a choice, get down lower in the frequency. If you want to work in the unlicensed band, we have a solution at 5.8 gigs and they’re equally good. So a fantastic product, selling like hot cakes as they say in the UK. Ed:
Stuart in soft focus - not so the MicroLite HD.
Is that because of the functionality or the price?
Stuart: It’s both. Our mainstay product there is the CamPAC, a fantastic product, very high end, it’s the
Ferrari of wireless systems and the system there is sold all round the world, used by all the premium broadcasters, very reliable, easy to use, cameramen love it, technicians love it, but equally, the range from
that is exactly the same as this. What you’re finding is where one used to have a cameraman, reporter, a technician and there’s three people, with this, you just send the cameraman and a reporter. Obviously, there’s compromise, that has got full camera control, it’s got one frame delay or zero frame delay, this has got three frame delay … so it’s one of those things that you know you can all buy a Ferrari or you can buy a Toyota Corolla. They get you from A to B but I know which one I would buy if I had the money. The best thing to do is to try it. I know Alan has got demo units, so get it out, use it, try it and buy it. Ed: So who’s tried it in Australia? Alan: Well we’re finding a lot of niche markets are going into it. The main broadcasters are using the high end CamPAC but this one, because of its size and price, it’s going into some really interesting applications. You were asking about the range, well the AFL in Melbourne, you know Melbourne Football Rules, they use them and they have them at the MCG in Melbourne and they can cover the whole ground from one point and then feed that up into the main scoreboard for pictures. They can follow the players not just into the tunnel, but actually down the tunnel with these cameras. Another very interesting application was for the Twenty20 matches this summer in Australia, where an optician designed a pair of spectacles with a camera in the middle, in the bridge, and he fed that video down to one of these transmitters, which was put on the umpires and it was called “UmpCam” and so you could watch the actual umpire’s vision whenever a decision had to be made; and two weeks ago an enterprising company put one into a sealed container, took it out onto a surfboard and did coverage from a surfing carnival with it. So it’s very small, very flexible and very affordable.
just can’t physically do it well; MPEG4 the compression … everybody sells the compression, but the compression engine in here is first class. The quality of the picture is good – when you actually use it and see it, people say what a stunning picture. Just because it’s MPEG4 doesn’t mean it’s been implemented properly and there’s different ways of doing it. The implementation in here is very good and that’s why you’ve got to try it; you’ve got to try it in your environment and let your technicians go through it and say “it’s good.” Some of the other features it’s got include an IP port, so it can stream to IP for a News environment, you might be outside your normal region, using a satellite terminal, maybe a BGAN terminal or something like that. With a transcoder, you can take the video out of the IP port, transcode it to a lower bit rate that gives you the satellite uplink off a BGAN, maybe at 300 kilobits and you can broadcast live. You think where am I going to use that … the guys in Egypt, when they were doing the Egypt troubles, the biggest problem was the satellite terminals were on the roof of the hotel, they were running cables down the side of the hotel and doing all the interviews in the hotel. They didn’t want to be in the hotel, they wanted to be on the street. With a MicroLite, you put the receiver up on the roof and you’re walking along the streets doing live broadcast straight to air. So for News guys, it really is quite phenomenal and we are selling lots and lots of these things globally. Ed: And receivers, you have a number of these around your football stadium – how many receivers do you need? Stuart: One. Ed: Per transmitter? Stuart: Well what you find is it depends on the environment. If the radio environment is relatively straightforward – so the cricket guys have got one receiver and it covers the whole ground and into the tunnel. If you want to do into the tunnel and the changing rooms, you’d probably need another receiver in towards the changing rooms. We also do an ASI switch that enables you to bring the video packets to a central point and dynamically select the video, so that automatically gives you a good feed. So if you’re outside of the radio coverage in one position, it will then switch automatically over to another. Ed: But if you had three cameramen with three transmitters? Stuart: You’d need three receivers. one transmitter, just the same as a TV.
Ed: And the quality is there not only to show live on the big screen at a football match, but also to record it for straight to air. Alan: This is full broadcast HD 1920 – full broadcast pictures. Stuart: It’s state of the art MPEG4, so what it does is that it enables you to get video down an 8 MHz RF bandwidth, where other people can’t. So MPEG2 you Page 53
One receiver, NZVN
Matthews for PLS Now as you might be able to guess, we’re here at Matthews with Linda Swope. Ed: Linda, I can see by the number of people playing with the sliders that they’re still very popular? Linda: Very popular. What you see them playing with though is a heavy duty version which will hold more weight than the slider we introduced last year. That will hold a 70 pound package, which is the ALEXA camera package, so yes, that’s what all the excitement is about this year. Ed: Wow, and they’re still just as long – you’ve still got the same amount of travel, but you can carry a lot more on them? Linda: Same amount of travel, same configurations – you can make it a jib, you can make it a slider, you can make it a tower, you can use it as a table top – it just holds more weight. Ed: Well how do you beat that? Linda: Well you really don’t this year, that’s our thing, that’s our “Big Boy” this year – the heavy duty DC-slider. Ed: Is it a lot more expensive? Linda: Yes it is – not a lot more, but you know you get what you pay for and because of the beefiness of it, it’s about probably $4000 more.
I tried to con Linda into a pole dance, but she was too clever for me.
Ed: And I guess it’s versatile because you can use it as a crane, you can use it as a jib arm, but you can also use it like you might have in the old days where you had to have a track and a dolly to do a tracking shot – you could actually do a tracking shot with this? Linda: Exactly, exactly. You can take it off of the tripod and do a table top or a ground shot or on stairways, because it comes with levelling feet, so you can get some very unique shots with it. Ed: Okay, but that’s not all you do is it? Linda: That’s not all we do, we do other things, yes. We do something very big and then we do something very small, which is our new Matthews monitor mount. This is our Matthews Universal Tablet
The slider in action - also very clever.
Ed: Okay, so the heavy duty Big Boy has just hit the streets, but in the early version, you’ve sold out of every production run I understand … what are the sorts of things that people are using it for? Linda: They’re very popular for documentaries, I’ve got a couple of guys who’ve bought it doing documentaries; recently we got some footage of someone who did a mountain bike kind of environmental movie, using the slider solely for all the production shots for that; the video guys use it; wedding photographers or videographers are getting into using it – so it’s all over, you know, it’s in Newbeat production, video production, TV – it’s very versatile. Page 54
Mount. It will fit any tablet or iPad. Basically it is adjustable out to any size, tightens back on there simply like this … Ed: And it’s got nice plastic ends so it doesn’t damage your iPad? Linda: Yes, it’s got the Teflon-coated ends, so your iPad does not get damaged. It comes standard with this ⅝ pin, so it can go into any grip pad which is a standard item, mounted on any other standard item that we have, to make your own desktop unit. Or we’ve got … Ed:
Oh, of course, with a Microgrip version?
So that’s a new fun thing that we’ve got.
We’ve also got a new Smartphone holder. This is really popular with people who want to clamp it under the handlebars of their bike, or the front of their skateboard, because everybody who has a Smartphone is a moviemaker these days, so this can go anywhere … so that’s kinda fun. Ed:
Sort of anywhere, anytime Matthews isn’t it?
Exactly – anywhere, anytime, all the time …
Ed: Okay, now some very industrial looking supports here, with a very heavy ARRI light on the top of it? Linda: The big one is holding an ARRI Max; the other is holding a Mole 12k. The one holding the ARRI Max is up 17 feet. It will hold 260 pounds; it’s made strictly of aluminium with square tubing, so there’s no torqueing or twisting of the tubes as you’re going up if the wind gets it. It comes in three versions, the Big Boy, the Middle Boy ( which will go up to about 13 feet I believe ) and then the Low Boy which will go up 13 feet as well, but it’s got a lower lowered height. They all come with levelling legs; there’s a levelling bubble on the base of every one – and that’s our Skyscraper line. Ed: And again it has that Matthews look – it has that as I call it “industrial” look, but it’s very solid; these are not going to break are they? Linda: No, they’re very, very solid. will hold 260 pounds.
Ed: Wow … and of course underlying it all are the Matthews stands, the lighting stands, and the grip connectors that basically connect big bits of something to other big bits of other things? Linda: Exactly, yes, we’ve still got the core, the core of the plan – we’re just extending into other products as far as the sliders and the mounts and the cranes and the big crank stands. Just a “one stop shop” – come and get it all at Matthews. NZVN
Zylight for PLS We are at the Zylight booth and we have Jeff Hamel. Ed: Jeff, it’s very ecological or environmental or saving the planet, because you’ve made the whole set out of old pallets? Jeff: That’s correct. What we did is we contracted a local company here in Vegas, and they built us pallets made from reclaimed wood products – whether it be old barns, houses or materials that would normally go into a landfill as waste, put together as a pallet, and we decided to make it as our feature. Part of the theme is, you know, we manufacture LED lights, which are “green” in that you have less lamps being recycled; you have less materials going into landfills, so we try to carry that theme into our exhibit. Ed: Excellent – and you’ll move onto the clothing next? Page 55
Ed: Wireless … what would you need wireless on a light for? Jeff: Well you know our other products that are colour changing use wireless to change colour temperature or colours, and in this case, being a one colour available both in daylight or tungsten, you would be able to dim the light up or down or remotely turn it on / off. Ed: Ooooh right, okay. And really, just going back to the heat sink, it is a fallacy to say that LEDs don’t have any heat – the heat’s just in a different place? Jeff: That’s correct. I mean, any time you convert power to light, the way you measure the efficiency is by how much heat is given off … and that’s just a byproduct of converting from electricity to a light source. So people have the impression that LEDs don’t generate heat. They do, and the important thing about removing heat from LEDs is to give them the longevity of 50,000 hours by removing unnecessary heat that would affect either the colour rating or whatever the LED engine is encapsulated in. Ed: So what’s the sort of output equivalent of this particular light? Jeff: Well this is the tungsten version, so this is just under a 650 tungsten unit in the foot candle and lux range and the daylight one is a little bit more matched to a 650 equivalent only if you want to do HMI terms, it would be somewhere between 125 Watt and 200 Watt pocket PAR HMI. Ed:
“Move the lens” is the answer.
Jeff: That’s a little bit of a touchy subject, but yes. Ed:
So you’re not into wearing hemp?
Jeff: Wearing it, no … there’s other uses for hemp, but … Ed:
Rope for example?
Jeff: Exactly, rope. Ed: But let’s get onto lights and this is a rather large light. It looks like there’s a huge heat sink on the back of this and, yes, it’s pretty warm on the back?
This also has the opportunity or option of mounting a battery plate on the back – whether it be Anton Bauer or whoever – and using batteries on the back as well. It makes the light portable as far as ENG goes – it’s a little bit on the heavy side compared to other ENG type LED lights, but you know the fact that you can run it for an hour off a dionic battery and I would suggest a monopole type of a stand if you’re going to be “running
Jeff: Well this is our attempt at making a one colour Fresnel and the heat sink is the size that it is because the LED engine is monitored directly to the heat sink to dissipate the heat created by the engine itself. Because we didn’t want to have an internal fan, for two reasons – 1) for sound and 2) the fact that if we designed this as a traditional Fresnel, where it had a big empty can and moved the light source to and from the lens, we would have needed a fan for the travel of that LED module away from the heat sink towards the lens. So what we’ve done instead is eliminated the fan, mounted right to the heat sink and what we do is we move the lens away and towards the actual engine itself in order to change the focus of the lamp. Ed: So there’s a big rubbery type bellows – is it true rubber or …? Jeff: It’s some sort of neoprene rubber. It’s UV proof, it’s water resistant, the switches on the light are also water resistant, so it’s good for outdoor environments – whether it’s rain or dust – this is all enclosed. Ed:
And this is the new one for this year?
Jeff: This is called the FA model and this would be /T for tungsten or /D for daylight. These are not currently in production yet, these are our concept lights that we wanted to bring to NAB and get some feedback from the customers to see what they’re looking for in an LED Fresnel.
It looks like it’s got an aerial on it?
Jeff: It has wireless built in. Page 56
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and gunning” with it, because it is a little heavy. But that’s the quality of light. Ed: And I guess people have to ask you – well I’d like it, but what’s the cost? Jeff: Well we haven’t exactly nailed down the cost, but we’re trying to stay competitive and we’re looking at somewhere around US$2,000. Ed: Okay, and apart from that, it’s pretty much “business as usual” with the Z90 … have you had any interesting uses that people have told you they’ve put them to? Jeff: Well I don’t know what other people have been doing with it, but I know for myself, in Boston where I’m from, there’s a local radio station that does Count the Z90s on the ceiling in this Boston radio station set. Sports Talk and they’ve started simulcasting on Comcast SportsNet and because daylight, because you’re mixing those colours to make the room was so small and ceilings were so low, when I the daylight? spec’d it out, I spec’d it out with Z90s from Zylight and Jeff: Yes and the particular cameras that are used others that I won’t particularly mention, but just work better with daylight on the talent versus tungsten, because of the size and the output, we went with the so we were able to accomplish that with this particular Z90s. There’s six spots in the radio station for guests light. And if you have a special holiday, then you know and the two talent that do the main show and there’s maybe we can do green or whatever flavour of colour four lights in each spot – we have a direct on key, two you’d like to do. fills and a back light, plus a couple assign, so we ended Ed: And for a little added bonus, you’ve actually got a up using 27 of them in there, but because of the low third party add-on to your Z90? profile, the low heat, so far everybody’s been very Jeff: We do, it’s a friction mount yoke that has a happy and they like the daylight setting because of the quarter twenty thread, so you can mount the Zylight on cameras they’re using, so it’s working out great. it … as you can see, you can mount a DSLR – anything Ed: So they’re not using them with any of the colour with a quarter twenty thread. Friction – you adjust the variations that are possible? friction and it’s designed so that once you’ve set it to Jeff: They are not. For set element colour, we went the desired friction for the weight you’re putting on it, with less expensive LED lights that can be just set, dip it’ll stay wherever you put it. switches and left alone. So you can point it like straight down and straight up or Ed: So even though, for a fancy trick, you can turn them into any colour you like, in fact they’re best at
anywhere in between and it stays there. roughly US$199.
List price is NZVN
Rycote for Syntec Here we are for Syntec at Rycote with Stefano Pucello. Ed: My white fluffy is still doing extremely well and creating a lot of interest. People always want to know where it came from. Stefano: Yes well this is still coming from the UK and it’s the product that was launched last year, the Micro Windjammer. It’s a very little device that allows mini devices like portable recorders, iPhones and other cameras to actually have a bit of attenuation to the wind noise that is, otherwise, going to be quite difficult to understand without it. Ed: We can understand people a lot better now. But Rycote hasn’t stopped with that have they … you’ve developed a very interesting mic holder that’s here on a Canon video camera. Tell me about that? Stefano: Basically one of the weak points of all video cameras is the microphone holder. First of all, as we all know, it doesn’t actually give any attenuation to handling noise or vibrations. Therefore, what we created is an adapter. You remove altogether the standard microphone holder that most of the video cameras come supplied with, and this adapter can be adapted to lots of different video cameras – Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon. In this case, it’s on the top of an XF300 Canon. What it does is that it removes altogether the microphone holder, you put an adapter and that then is connected to a Softie Lyre Mount, the standard suspension that is used in the softer kit. So that allows you to have an anti-vibration system on your camera and the good thing is that – it’s difficult to
“One size fits all” says Stefano.
to prevent the wind noise coming through. Ed: And the popping? Stefano: Yes – but more than anything else, this really cuts the wind noise, that’s the reason there is the fur to actually kind of “jam” the wind. That’s why we call it a “windjammer”. People were complaining at times that it was a bit too big. Now what we did is …
Mic holder up
Mic holder down
actually explain it without showing it in terms of like a video … Ed: We’ll put a picture in there … I understand the Lyre mount, that’s sensible, and also the clamp that actually holds the microphone, that’s more dampening, but why the long arm? Stefano: Yes, well the reason why there is this bracket is to elevate the microphone and put it back as well, because sometimes you risk, if you put a softie on the top of the mic and you leave it at the same height as the microphone holder, to actually be in shot of your lens. Ed: No, that’s actually happened to me once and I’ve been very careful ever since. Stefano: Exactly, so that is what it is trying to do, apart from again attenuating the handling noise and the vibrations, is to put the microphone back and elevate it. But the other good thing is that, most of the time, people who use these cameras, they put it back in their bags and they have to remove the microphone otherwise you cannot actually put it in the bag. This system has a knob that allows you to still have the microphone on the top of the suspension and then, by rotating it down, you can leave the microphone in there, put it in the bag, done. So this is another good feature that has been addressed by this little device. Another one as well, it works in full axis. We actually now turn it down, but we can put on the sides as well. Some people might prefer to use it on this way the microphone, or the other way. As you can see, it’s allowing you that through this little knob that you’ve got here. So this is the Softie Lyre Mount with MHR, where MHR stands for “Microphone Holder Replacement”. Available now through our distributors worldwide. Ed: And this is not just for Canon, it fits everything? Stefano: Everything. This adapter has got different holes – it’s a bit like a Swiss cheese system and therefore most of the cameras are actually able to use this system. It comes supplied with two sets of screws and those screws are kind of universal for these kinds of cameras.
Ed: You shaved it? Stefano: No, it’s actually shorter fur, but also smaller in terms of the actual fabric that has been used. As you can see, it’s roughly 30% smaller and this is called a Ristretto ( like the coffee ) you know is smaller version but very good.
Ed: Well I’ve never heard of that coffee, it must be Italian? Stefano: Absolutely. Another thing in the Ristretto that we implemented and has also been implemented in the standard Lavalier windjammer, is can we supply with different foams that allows the Lavalier mics to be put into the foam. But what we did is that we also added a little rubber ring where microphones with a little head like the COS-11 from Sanken can actually be put into … Ed: Like a rim? Stefano: Yes, and it doesn’t become loose. So as you can see here, you know I’m trying to actually shake it, but the restraint is still there, it doesn’t go anywhere. Third product – mic flags have been in the market for donkey’s years, but they always come with a foam inside and yet, to change the foam according to the size of the microphone, they actually degrade quite easily. So we came up with this new design where instead of the foam you’ve got these “vanes” that grip into the mic and it’s universal. So microphones between 19-38mm in terms of diameter can be accommodated into this mic flag. It comes in two different shapes – triangle and cube, black and white, but once more, if you’ve got microphones that are bigger than 34mm up to 38, what you can do is actually open up the mic flag and remove the black vanes. By doing that, you’re creating a larger diameter. So a bit of engineering on a product that has been, as I said, in the market for a long, long time. So as usual, Rycote are trying to give a bit of a spin into this product.
Ed: Well, we’ll take a couple of pictures of that to show the operation, but that looks seriously cool. And …? Stefano: The second product here at NAB that’s new is the Lavalier windjammer. It tries Page 60
Ed: So it’s not reinventing the wheel, but just coming up with a better model? Stefano: Absolutely, yes. Fourth item from Rycote to be launched in this last quarter … Ed: You need a bigger stand? Stefano: Yes we always innovate, otherwise … we’ve got our motto which is “innovate or die” and it’s true. If you don’t innovate then you’re actually going to be compared to the other … anyway, we have incorporated an inline filter into a 45cm cable. Now this is a Mogami cable with Neutrik connectors, so high quality in terms of the material used, but the benefit of this cable, as we call it Tac!T ( pronounced Tas-It which stands for “quiet” ) is the Rycote Tac!T filter is an in-line, active "third-order" ( 18dB/octave ) filter with a "knee" at approximately 60Hz and it fits entirely within the body of a Neutrik XX-series XLR connector. So things like wind noise, handling noise, vibration, are going to be attenuated with this system here, through this in-line, active “third-order” filter. It’s not switchable, of course to switch it off you take the plug and plug it out and it’s Phantom powered. So this again is a little product that could be used in conjunction with our windshield and suspensions, but giving a further attenuation to your audio stream. So this is the Tac!T.
Ed: Wow, that’s a seriously cool range of products for, as you say, an innovative company. Stefano: Yes, again, these are the four new products that are in addition to our already quite wide range of regular products – you know softies, windshields, accessories and so on. So we look forward to seeing the feedback from the customers; so far, on some of NZVN these products, it’s already been very good.
Ed: Is the 60 Hz something to do with the power supply in America? Stefano: No, no 60 Hz is where the actual attenuation kicks in. Up to that point, you don’t actually need to attenuate those kinds of low frequencies. So at 60 Hz it kicks in. Ed: Oh, so from 60 Hz on? Stefano: Yes – and it’s 18 decibel spread of town.
Cable with Tac!T filter in line.
Adobe CS6 – a Great Leap Forward It was a “full house” at DVT for the launch of Adobe CS6 and it was a pleasure to have Jon Barrie, Adobe specialist from Aus, telling us the ins and outs of the good things that you can find in CS6, but before that, Stuart Barnaby gave us a short introduction regarding the necessity of moving to CS6. Ed: Stuart, I see this is as a major improvement for Adobe users. There’s been some leaps in the past – I know when CS4 came out, I saw it as a big change in the development of Premiere; CS6 is a similar great leap forward? Stuart: Yes absolutely. They’ve put in over 600 new features across their products, enhanced thousands of others and put millions of man-hours of development time into this release. Customers may have held off upgrading because they haven’t been able to see extra features that are going to benefit their workflow, make them more productive, provide them with more creative options or add more quality to the product that they’re producing. Having a fresh look at CS6 I think they’ll be quite surprised at the diverse range of new features that are in there to help them do those things. Ed: I guess for me the major issue is that I’ve been working at 32 bit and now I’ve got to move to 64 bit. Is this an insurmountable problem? Stuart: No it’s not Grant. In fact the Adobe products have been 64 bit since CS5 and most of the systems that we’ve been selling for the last 3 years or so are capable of running Windows 7 64 bit, so it’s not a problem to upgrade for most customers. Ed: But that brings us back to one of the points that I keep making to our readers, and that is, by getting software through a dealer such as yourselves; a dealer can look at your computer specs and make sure that your computer can actually take this upgrade? Stuart: Absolutely. When you look at new products that have new features, those features are appealing for many different reasons. So the next question becomes “how can I take advantage of this software?” and it’s not just the software you need to upgrade; you need to look at the underlying technology that makes that software work the way you expect it to, such as the graphics cards, the memory, the hard drive systems that you’re using inside your system to drive it all. We’ve got a great degree of expertise here at DVT to help you figure out the best things to do ( not just the software, but the other aspects of it ) to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the new software. Ed: Because you don’t want a weak link in your system; for example you could upgrade the software and upgrade your RAM, but it could be your graphics card that is keeping everything else at the speed it was before? Stuart: That’s correct. None of the businesses that we deal with can afford to have lost productivity because they’ve got a machine that’s not spec’d correctly. We really strive to make sure, for whatever budget a customer’s on, that we’re optimising all of the
Jon operates CS6 on the night.
elements that will make them as productive as they possibly can be. Ed: And it’s also a reason why, even though you can download the latest version from the web, direct from Adobe’s site, it’s not necessarily going to work unless your machine can handle it – and you won’t know that until you try it? Stuart: The trial version for the software’s fantastic, so you can download it and try it out on your machine. We try to make sure customers aren’t disappointed with that experience, because they can download it on a machine that doesn’t have enough RAM or the wrong graphics card and go “well the product didn’t work like I saw it work online” and they just think it’s rubbish or that it’s not working the right way. It may be just the fact that their system is not put together in the right way or upgraded to match. That’s why our demo systems here are great; we can bring people in, they can bring their existing material and projects in and try them out on a machine that is spec’d properly with our guidance, and make sure that they really have a good understanding of what they’re going to move towards. Ed: And when they do want to do that upgrade, after they’ve had a look at the trial, really the two sensible options are either you get a disc or you go for the licence? Stuart: Yes, for the last 3 or 4 years we’ve mostly been selling Adobe licences under what Adobe call the Transactional Licensing Programme. Adobe still sell what they call a “box product” which is literally a box with a disc in it and a serial number on the outside. The problem we have with that is, quite often the distributors don’t have those products in stock and so you can be waiting for up to 3 weeks for your product to arrive. The other problem we have is that customers with those don’t necessarily register their products and, if they lose their disc, they have to buy a replacement disc; if they lose their serial number, they have to buy a replacement licence – and that gets expensive. So Adobe has the Transactional Licensing Programme ( TLP ) and the beauty of that is that it enables customers to get their licences within 48 hours of placing their order; it allows them to activate the trial software that they’ve already downloaded and played with and can use for 30 days with the serial number that they receive from Adobe; it gives them access to
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A powerful new model of SSD recorder with 4 channels of 3 Gb/s SDI in and out, built-in high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, and full HDMI and analogue in and out – including standard XLR connectors for audio and timecode. Dramatically higher processing power and quality allows full 4K playback from a single SSD disk using Apple ProRes compression four times the resolution of regular HD 1080 res video.
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Extremely high quality processing converters, including up and down conversion, SD/HD cross conversion, and SD/HD standards conversion. Features include cadence detect and remove, noise reduction, adjustable scaling, aspect ratio conversion, smart aspect, timecode conversion, subtitle conversion, 16 channel audio, test signals and more. Also includes 3D camera align, 3D dual stream standards conversion, 3D format conversions and incredibly realistic 3D simulation.
Blackmagic Ultra Studio Express
Blackmagic Battery Converters
Blackmagic Designs UltraStudio Express is a new capture and playback solution featuring 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI and analog connections with high-speed Thunderbolt technology. UltraStudio Express is extremely portable, as the compact design is powered by its Thunderbolt connection and can be operated from a computer’s battery or power source
Blackmagic Design announced two new Battery Converters that feature a built in rechargeable battery and a super tough aluminum design. Battery Converters include the latest 3 Gb/s SDI technology for the highest broadcast quality conversion and are available in two models, Battery Converter SDI to HDMI and Battery Converter HDMI to SDI.
AJA’s T-tap is a very small new buspowered device that takes advantage of Thunderbolt connectivity for high-quality 10-bit SD, HD and 2K output through SDI and HDMI connections. This new adapter enables a simple, unobtrusive means of getting professional video and audio out of any Thunderbolt™-enabled Mac system.
F CHAOUR NNE
A four-channel SDI-to-HDMI® multiviewer. Small and easyto-use this device lets users monitor up to four SDI inputs on a single HDMI display in quadrant view, or toggle to a full-screen view at the touch of a button. Inputs can be 3G, HD or SD, and all controls are on the unit itself; no computer is required. Matrox MicroQuad ensures a crisp, artifact-free monitoring experience, thanks to it’s state-ofthe-art 10-bit scaling engine with advanced filtering and de-interlacing.
SIM WOR PLIFIES K F LO W
AJA Ki Pro Quad
AJA Ki Pro Rack
The Ki Pro Quad is a new solid-state portable video recorder at NAB Show 2012. Ki Pro Quad is capable of capturing high-quality edit-ready files in formats including 4K (4096 x 2160), Quad HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), and HD (1920 x 1080), for the fastest path from camera-to-editorial with 10-bit 4:4:4 and 10-bit 4:2:2 colour support.
TThe Ki Pro Rack uses the same SSD modules as the Ki Pro with recording capacities scaling up to 500GB. Ki Pro Rack simplifies the acquisition-to-edit workflow by creating high-quality Apple ProRes 422 or Avid DNxHD files which can be used directly in most standard professional editing systems – no need to import or transcode files.
LIKE DVTNZ TO STAY UP-TO DATE WITH THE LATEST PROMOTIONS AND INDUSTRY NEWS. PRODUCTION | POST | VISUAL EFFECTS
Digital Video Technologies (NZ) Ltd
Phone: 09 525 0788
45 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland
Adobe’s website to download that software at any time as well, so they don’t have to worry about discs. One of the other really cool features of the TLP licensing programme is that you get both a Macintosh and a Windows serial number; you can only use one activation at a time, but if you’ve got a MacBook Pro laptop and an HP workstation in the office and you want to be able to go away, you can deactivate your licence on your HP workstation in the office, activate it on your MacBook Pro and go off and use the software, which is fantastic. So it really has some enormous advantages over buying the box product and of course it’s the same price as the box product, so there’s no penalty in terms of going to the TLP licensing programme. Ed: Now one of the issues I faced was the fact that most of the work I do with CS4 is with Premiere, so I was looking just at upgrading to Premiere Pro version 6 – but it’s not possible?
Stuart: That’s right. There are really four key things that we think our customers should be aware of regarding how you can upgrade or cross-grade with Adobe products. The first one is that, at the moment, you can upgrade from any single product or any suite that’s a version CS3 or later – so CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 you can do upgrades for any of those products. However, at the end of this calendar year, you’ll only be able to upgrade from CS5 and later. So it’s important, if you’ve got any CS3 or CS4 licences, that you either upgrade them now or look at doing some sort of upgrade before this calendar year is finished. The second thing with the CS6 licensing is that you’re not able to upgrade from a single product to a suite. So, for example, if you have a copy of After Effects or Premiere and you decide “hey, I’d really like to be able to move to the production premium suite – can I upgrade those single products to the suite?” Adobe don’t have any upgrades for that, you’d just have to go and buy the suite. The third thing is that there is no downgrade, so you can’t go from a suite to a single product. So if, for example, you had a copy of production premium CS4 and you wanted to move to Premiere 6 like Grant does, you can’t do that sort of downgrade or cross-grade as you might want to call it. One thing that Adobe do give you an enormous amount of flexibility over, is the ability to upgrade or transfer from one suite to another suite. So, for example, if
you’ve got a copy of Adobe CS4 Production Premium and you want to move to the Adobe CS6 Master Collection, you can do that. If you’ve got the Adobe CS4 Web Premium suite and you want to move to the Adobe CS6 Production Premium bundles you can do that. So there are lots of upgrades that enable you to move between the suites. Ed: All right, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up won’t I. Now a lot of what was actually in CS6 we covered at NAB, but with some of the other points that came up in Jon’s presentation, it seemed as though there was a lot of added value in there and quite a bit was mentioned about “here’s a feature that Final Cut users will find familiar”. I certainly found a few that, as a Liquid user, were familiar. Is this something that Adobe’s deliberately gone out and seen that these are clever features and now put their versions into the Adobe product? Stuart: There’s an old saying that says “good artists copy; great artists steal” and I think Adobe have done a wonderful job and an honest job at looking around at other applications and the way in which their workflows work and have embraced those and added a lot of that into all of the Adobe products across the board. Particularly in Premiere; and it makes it much easier now for people who are moving from Final Cut across to Adobe Premiere, to be able to have some of the features that they really enjoyed in Final Cut, that weren’t previously available in Premiere. In the CS6 release, there are a lot of those added features that add an enormous amount to the ease of use of the product, the common sense behind it all. One particular one that’s straight out of the Final Cut playbook is the ability to drop a video clip straight into a new sequence and, if the settings of the sequence don’t match the video clip, Premiere asks you, just like Final Cut did “do you want to change the sequence settings to match the clip?” Phenomenal, it just makes it so much easier for people to throw clips around and go “yes, I know my sequence settings are set correctly, because I know they match my clips.” Fantastic stuff. Ed: I noticed the colour correction tool seems so much easier now? Stuart: Oh absolutely. You know, with the right hardware set up on your system, the ability to now play a video clip in a loop and be messing with the colour tools while it’s playing, gives you a huge boost to getting the colours just right; it’s fantastic. Ed: There were lots of little things I noticed. One was that the audio is now what they call “agnostic”. Previously, when you brought audio in, you had to make a decision – do you want to bring it in as stereo or as mono; well nowadays it just comes in and it’s on one track, but you have a left and a right, so much simpler?
PRODUCTION | POST | VISUAL EFFECTS
The New NXCAM
NEX-FS700P Sony is pushing the creative boundaries once more with the new NEX-FS700/K FullHD Super Slow Motion camcorder, the latest in Sony’s line-up of NXCAM interchangeable E-Mount camcorders. The new Super 35mm model is designed for high-speed shooting, capable of capturing footage at up to 960 frames per second. Features include 3G HD-SDI output and built-in ND filters. Additionally, it also offers several creative options, shooting styles, and enhanced ergonomics – all based on customer feedback – to deliver a flexible production tool that can fit seamlessly into a variety of shooting applications.
LE AVAILABJUNE X O R P AP Features: • The camera delivers full HD quality at 120 and 240 frames per second in a 16 or 8 second burst mode • 480 fps and 960 fps at reduced resolution are available for faster frame rate recording • 4K ExmorTM Super 35 CMOS sensor (total 11.6 million pixels) • Full HD 50p and 60p via 3G HD-SDI and HDMI connectors • 3G HD-SDI can output • Native 23.98, 25, 29.97 progressive signals
The New XDCAM
LE AVAILABJUNE X APPRO
LE AVAILABMAY X O R APP
Sony is giving video professionals freedom from camera shake with the HXR-NX30P high-definition camcorder, a palm-size addition to Sony’s NXCAM line. The new model uses Sony’s breakthrough Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilisation technology to make it ideal for eliminating camera shake in challenging shooting applications. Convenient features such as a built-in projector, are all combined in Sony’s smallest, lightest handheld professional camcorder.
Sony introduces the full-featured yet light and compact PMW-100 handheld camcorder. Equipped with a newly developed 1/2.9-inch ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor, it delivers excellent picture performance and also achieves a minimum illumination of 0.08lx. Featuring a 5.4-54mm (40-400mm in 35mm equivalent) zoom lens, the versatile PMW-100 allow users to work in virtually any production environment where mobility and flexibility is highly valued.
Features: • Full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution • Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens (35mm equivalent : 26.0mm -260mm) • 1/2.88-inch Exmor R™ CMOS sensor technology • 96 gigabytes of internal memory • 1080/50p, 25p, 50i and 720/50p
Features: • Newly developed 1/2.9-inch “Exmor” CMOS sensor • Minimum illumination of 0.08lx • 5.4-54mm (40-400mm in 35mm equivalent) zoom lens • Full HD video at 1080i, 1080p and 720p up to 50 Mbps • MXF record and playback based on the MPEG HD422 • HD/SD-SDI output, HDMI, Composite output
Digital Video Technologies (NZ) Ltd
Phone: 09 525 0788
45 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland
Stuart: Yes it is, it’s fantastic, because with the old version of Premiere you had to create tracks to be mono or stereo or 5.1 and you couldn’t put 5.1 clips on mono tracks and it didn’t really make logical sense to the way in which we want to work. We were forced to work in the way that the technology of the programme was developed; and now the new enhancement that they’ve done to Premiere makes it so much easier just to work the way we want to work and not be constrained by some application. So it’s much, much better. Ed: And a couple of the tools that I saw there, as a Liquid user, that I know were in 5, but the little camera as a tool where you just put your cursor on the timeline, click on the camera and instantly you’ve got a bitmap freeze of the timeline at that frame; and the other was the audio meter, it’s now totally scalable, so you’re not stuck with a tiny little meter, you can actually make it taller vertically or you can make it wide horizontally and put it where you want it? Stuart: Yes, it’s fantastic. So many little features like that just make the product so much of a joy to use. Another major feature they’ve got is the hover scrub, which is straight out of Apple’s iMovie in my opinion, but it’s awesome just to be able to move your mouse over a clip and see the entire clip as you move across. Even while in that mode, you can mark in and out points on a whole bunch of clips very quickly and then you can select all of those clips and drop them straight into your sequence on the timeline and you’ve got an edited sequence, a rough cut done in virtually no time at all. It’s a really good productivity improver. Ed: I know there’s been some criticism of Premiere in the past that Adobe have taken effects out of Premiere and put them into After Effects but, in fact, the move seems to be the other way; there’s a number of effects that people were using After Effects for that Adobe have now decided “hey, that’s probably a good effect to have directly in Premiere” – and one that we saw was the warp stabiliser effect? Stuart: Absolutely. They realise that the warp stabiliser is something that people are going to want to use in both After Effects and Premiere and so, logically, they said “well let’s make that tool available in both programmes independently”. Of course, you do have wonderful integration between Premiere and After Effects, but you don’t always want to go and create an After Effects composition out of a clip on the timeline just to use the warp stabiliser. So, again, Adobe are looking at the workflows that their customers are using, and making sure that they’re putting the tools in the right place. There’s a lot of the user interface that’s far more customisable in Premiere now. It’s been designed so that you can put the tools up front that you want to use and get rid of the ones you don’t. These sorts of enhancements are hard to quantify as to how much extra productivity it gives you, but I think, over time, it becomes a joy just to be able to use the tools you want and not have the ones you don’t worry about. Ed: And for the really clever people there, SpeedGrade has been added to the whole process? Stuart: Yes, so you can do colour grading in After Effects; you can do colour grading in Adobe Premiere and that’s always been there and those aspects of those programmes are continually enhanced, but of course at some point in higher end workflows, if people are doing short films or feature films or high end TV commercials where they want to be able to go in and use specific
colour grading tools, having SpeedGrade added to the Adobe CS6 range of products is fantastic. Adobe purchased IRIDAS last year and that’s where they got SpeedGrade from. It has an enormously strong reputation in the industry as a good colour grader and, of course, the wonderful thing is, you can do your edit in Premiere and, when you‘ve got it in the can you can then use the magic menu option to send your entire sequence straight over to SpeedGrade. It makes that integration between the products work really well. And then, of course, once you’ve got your stuff in SpeedGrade, it’s got a wealth of highly advanced and sophisticated colour grading tools to help you give your production a really good look, so it’s a wonderful addition to the suites. Ed: I know in the past, you’ve always been a Mac person and I know that you can run CS6 on a Mac or on a PC, but you also have other options for editing so CS6 is not the only platform that DVT is offering? Stuart: No, we also offer Avid and Autodesk and, because we deal with so many customers, we get a really good understanding about what product fits what workflow. We believe that all of these applications have a place in the market and that’s why we sell and support them. What we do mostly now, of course, is sitting down with our customers and going over their workflow – what cameras are you shooting on, what formats are you using, how are you taking the data off your cameras, how are you getting them back to your post production facility, how do you then need to convert those formats to be able to give it to your editors, to be able to give it to your colour graders, to be able to give it to your compositors? And what do you do after that, how do you glue it all together and come up with a finished production, and how do you then encode that for delivery … are you doing it for broadcast, for the web, for Blu-ray or DVD – there’s so many different ways in which you can distribute your content as well. So when we actually sit down and ask our customers those questions and get the answers and work with them to find out where their workflow’s at, then we look at areas where we can improve that, make them more efficient and able to do things at better quality; and also to be able to manage their data appropriately, to make sure that they’ve got appropriate systems in place to be able to synchronise data, to be able to back the data up, to restore the data if they need to, and to be able to archive the data as well. There’s a lot in that process. And of course, once we go through that, you come back to the software that they need to make it all happen. Once we’ve figured whether it’s Avid, Autodesk or Adobe, then we build the hardware underneath that to make sure that that software is working properly. There’s a lot involved and that’s really where our expertise is and we really love being able to help our customers achieve everything that they want to, by putting the right technology in place. That’s what we’re passionate about. Ed:
And you’ve got a new person now to help you?
Stuart: We have a wonderful addition to our staff with Bryce Adams. Ed: And here we are with Bryce himself. Bryce, it’s good to see you again from Singapore – you’re looking a bit cooler? Bryce: Yes it is a bit cooler here. Ed: Did they ask you what value you’re going to add to the business?
Bryce: Yes I think so. Customers like DVT because the people here are very knowledgeable and straightforward, lots of integrity and honesty, so that’s the sort of style I work under. It’s certainly going to be helpful as we look forward to expanding into other business areas, my integration experience and broadcast experience is going to be valuable. Currently DVT concentrates on postproduction and production and does a little bit of value-add integration for production and postproduction, so I’ve got experience in broadcast integration which is useful experience. Ed:
You used to sell cameras?
Bryce: Oh yes, absolutely. I mean that’s not an additional skill that I can add to what DVT already does … I’ve got experience in selling cameras, lenses, tripods, batteries – production equipment – already. Ed: And what are you looking forward to learning here?
The picture on the wall seemed appropriate to me for some reason.
Bryce: I think Stu kind of knew before employed me … Ed: Would you like to let the rest of us know?
Bryce: I’m looking forward to learning more about the postproduction side of the market. I’ve been concentrating on the production side for a long time and it will be good to get more experience in the postproduction area. That will be good … and some toys to play with. Ed:
Bryce: I’m here to work on business development and key account management. Ed: And is DVT a good fit for you – your style, your personality?
And you’re looking forward to talking to people?
Bryce: Absolutely, yes, it’s good to deal with these kinds of customers in the postproduction space. Ed:
Bryce, you’ve been wonderful!
Oh, thank you Grant.
Remote Audio for Sound Techniques We are with Stephen Buckland at Remote Audio – but first ... Ed: Stephen, you’ve for-given me for my previous comments about your extra -curricular Vegas interests? Stephen B: I haven’t for-given you actually Grant, because I found that the bar that you’re so fond of has been reopened on The Strip. Ed: Oh, you’re inviting me back are you? Stephen B: I hope to, but I’m not sure Sin-dy’s still on the payroll – I think her younger sister might be there now. Ed: Right, enough of that, we’re here to talk about product – is this something new? Stephen B: We’re at Remote Audio and Remote Audio make – what’s the by-line – location audio equipment for sound professionals. Basically, they make the bits that everybody else has forgotten about, like over here we’ve got a MEON LiFe system, which is a system for cart power … We are talking now to Stephen Reter from Remote Audio. Ed: The other Stephen seems very enamoured of your product, so what does it do that the others don’t do?
Stephen and Stephen.
Stephen R: We’ve got a couple of things that are actually kind of new technologies – our MEON LiFe power system uses a 20 amp-hour lithium ion force feed battery, so it’s much more stable, much more lightweight, compact, than previous battery chemistries that have been used in cart power. It weighs less than 13 pounds and it’s in a single rack space enclosure, so it’s very small inside your cart which is nice. It’s got
front and back power switches and adjustable rack gear, so it can be mounted in multiple positions, whether you want it recessed or you want it to flip around, it’s got 10 XLR outputs for different power distribution systems and we also have our exclusive remote for it, which allows you to connect different accessories like our remote meter or remote switch. The remote meter is a device that allows you to remotely turn on and off your entire cart. It’s a little handheld button that’s got a meter on it that allows you to see your Volt and your Amp draw on your entire system and turn everything off remotely. Also, we’re introducing the Extra LiFe 20 which is an additional 20 amp-hour supplemental battery that you can also attach to the MEON LiFe to give you a total of 40 amphours. So it gives you a good long time on the production. Ed: Okay, so it’s remote powered or battery powered, but what is it exactly, what’s the box? Stephen R: Basically it allows you to power your entire cart from one unit. Ed: So it’s a power supply? Stephen R: Exactly. And you can run AC, when you have AC available and then whenever you need to move to a remote location, you pull power and it allows you to power your cart remotely for several hours depending on your draw. Ed: Why is it so complicated if it’s a power supply? Stephen R: It’s a very complicated power supply because of the technology with the batteries and getting them to run the amount of power and regulate it so that you’re able to be protected from any kind of short circuits or reverse polarity, anything like that. So it’s a complex unit, but it’s also very helpful. It’s been refined over several years. Page 68
Ed: Stephen, is this something that’s really important – this sort of “high quality” power supply? Stephen B: Yes, two different groups of people use it – location sound mixers use it because all their gear is 12 Volt and they want to be able to run it off the generator or a self-sustaining battery; or video assist is another area where it’s used. You know, everyone on set has dozens of devices and they don’t necessarily have mains power to run them, but if they’ve got something like this, they’ve got an onboard battery or they can plug in an external battery and they can run several devices through the one distribution box. Ed:
Why wouldn’t you just get a truck battery?
Stephen B: Because truck batteries are heavy and you’ve only got one output on a truck battery, whereas this is giving you 10 XLR outputs, so you could use one truck battery, but you wouldn’t be able to power 10 different devices. Ed:
What about these little boxes?
Stephen B: Well they too allow you to distribute power on a set. You plug in a battery, it could be a V-lock or it could be an MP-1 or whatever and again you can power up to however many outputs there are, devices and have them on six outputs. So, especially in a sound mixer’s bag, they’re trying to run radio mics and the mixer and all sorts of stuff, it allows them to do it just off one battery. Stephen R: This new one is the BDSv4u – it’s got some new features on it … Ed:
Stephen R: Yes, we’ve added a USB which is very handy on a long production – people’s phones are always dying and as a sound mixer, you want to actually have your phone at the end of the day, charged and able to be used, so we’ve added that. We also have our exclusive remote port for use with the remote
meter that we mentioned before with the MEON LiFe. The great thing about that is you can plug in all your different devices and then you can set the entire unit down into your bag, the remote meter will come off of it, and it’s got a clip on it and you can attach it to the strap of your bag, something like that; turn your entire bag off remotely and not have to pull your BDS out of your bag to actually turn everything off. Ed: Aaaah so you can turn everything everything off from a button on your lapel?
Stephen R: Exactly, it’s very handy, it’s very helpful. We also still have the switched and unswitched port which allows, say, your recorder to be on the entire time and turn off the rest of your bag and save any kind of battery power for your wireless systems. So it’s pretty handy. We’ve also added a battery indicator light to the actual switch, as well as a recess switch to indicate whatever battery you’ve got attached, whether it be a lithium ion or a nickel metal, it will give you the right threshold to tell you when your battery’s running low. So it’s a pretty handy device. This is our fourth generation, we’ve been doing it for a long time, so we’ve continued to refine it. Ed: And I guess Stephen B, these things have been around for a while, but not really at this form factor and so smart? Stephen B: That’s correct. They’ve evolved over several years – they’re the sort of things that people would love to have, but of course if they don’t know about them … Ed: That’s why they should come in regularly to Sound Techniques, to have a look and see what’s in the showroom … I know I always find something new? Stephen B: That’s right Grant, thank you.
Bubblebee for Sound Techniques We are at Bubblebee and we have Katherine Sondergaard and Poul Mejer Ed: So I guess this is a Scandinavian company? Katherine: It’s a Danish company, yes – it’s Poul and I and we make these wind-bubbles for Lavalier microphones. We have them in four colours, in four sizes, depending on which kind of Lavalier microphone you’re using. See here they are tested for frequency and for wind response – they’re doing really well. Ed: Now Poul, I must ask how difficult can it be to design a good windshield for a Lavalier microphone?
Poul and Katherine with Bubblebees.
Poul: Oh it’s very, very tricky, because you need to have the right material; you need to make it the right size to build it right, because you
have to have the air inside and the air has to come out again, so it’s quite difficult to do.
Ed: Aaaah I see, so you’ve got to have that air movement and that air movement has to go through the material? Poul: Yes, you cannot stop all the wind, but the wind that’s coming inside has to leave again. Ed:
Otherwise your microphone doesn’t work?
Poul: No. And then you have to consider the frequency response. You can always cover for wind, just cover with all kinds of material, but with the Bubblebee material the frequency response through the material is so excellent and it stops the wind really well. It took me about two years to find the right material. Ed: Was that by trial and error, or is there some sort of formula that you can use?
Stephen: We have and we’ve got sample stock as I say. One thing we haven’t got here at NAB is the little container … they’ve thought about the packaging, not just from a marketing point of view, but also for this business where otherwise you might lose them. You see they come in a little tin which is handy. Ed:
So you can have a kit?
Stephen: That’s right, you have a kit, because one size doesn’t fit all, which is one of the things most of the competitors would try; they would hope that one would fit everything. You could have a whole array of them and they’re nicely packaged, they’re easy to see and accessible. Ed:
So which size fits you?
Poul: Yes, it is indeed trial and error. I started making them on the coffee table and just testing, testing, testing. I’m a sound guy – I’ve been a sound engineer for a long time and I was not satisfied with what was on the market, so I decided to make my own. And my friends and colleagues said “where can we get some?” and I started selling them, which was about four years ago. It’s very hard to find the right way to do it and that’s why we tested and tested and tested. I’ve been testing it for a long time. We have another thing that you always lose them and they are each made for specific microphones . It’s very important, so it fits on it. It’s not a “uni” thing.
Ed: But there’s no space on there for your name and address for someone to return it! So Stephen, is this really a worthwhile product … surely the frequency response is really all to do with the microphone and not the bit of fluff you put around it?
Ed: But surely this is like a conference table microphone isn’t it, where you wouldn’t have much wind?
Stephen: It is a very good product; we’ve got some samples in the store and we’ve sent them out to people to use, and they’ve all come back and given us favourable comment. I mean, if you look around at this show, you will see there are several things that look the same, but I think Bubblebee’s gone to the effort to specialise and make sure that theirs is very effective. As with most things, it’s very easy to “copy” someone else’s idea, but for it not to work as well as the original and I think Poul and Katherine have gone to great effort to make sure that theirs is unique and that it does what they want it to do. Ed: So you’re happy to give Bubblebee your Sound Techniques “tick of approval”?
Hah – I’m not going to say.
Ed: Obviously the Bubblebee’s been around for a wee while if you’ve got samples, but Katherine’s got something new? Katherine: This is for the Sanken CUB-01. made this small windbubble to fit this one.
Poul: And the idea of that is making it as small and effective as is possible, because the other ones are making them very, very big and the sound guys who are testing them for us say “we cannot use the big ones” so we have to make them small and effective. We put a red dot on it, so you can see how it faces.
Poul: Well actually the sound guys over here in Hollywood, they use it a lot for car shooting, so they put it on the sun visor. Stephen: The CUB-01 is used a lot in car rigs as Poul’s saying, and of course, if the camera’s shooting through the window, the car window will be wound down and there will be wind blowing through the inside of the car. So a windshield over the CUB-01 would be very helpful. Poul: And this is also built with an air inlet to have some air space, and that’s the whole secret about a windjammer. Ed: Don’t tell everyone else, it will be copied – the Windbubble. Poul: OK, we’ll keep it a secret.
Manfrotto for Panavision We are at the Manfrotto lighting stand and we have Will Holowka. Ed: Will, you said that these have been out for a while, but I really haven’t seen them, so for me this is new from Manfrotto? Will: Okay, it’s a great part of our family. We’re very well known for our arms – our articulated arms, magic arms – and this is part of the articulated arm series. We have two section, three section arms, light arms that will handle from roughly 4½ pounds up to our heavier duty arms (the two rod arms) that will handle up to 11 pounds. We can get them in two section and three section; we can also add camera plates on to them. If you want to put a camera in a weird location, or if you want to put a light or fixture or anything else in a weird location, these articulated arms allow you to do that. Ed: And the benefit of having two rods, as opposed to the single ones here? Will: Typically it’s stability – when you go from a single arm, you can only hold a max weight of around 4 pounds. When I get into the two arm with the locking mechanism, I’m capable of holding up to 11 pounds. So it definitely will take more load capacity. Ed: And apart from that, you’ve found no need to improve your lighting stands? Will: Well the lighting stands … luckily for us, the Quick Stack Stands have been very popular in the market, so we’ve done very well there and right now that has really been our focus – to keep the Quick Stack Stands going, because the nice thing is they all join and allow the user to carry more stands and have less weight. Ed: You keep telling me this because I bought mine just before you introduced the Quick Stack Stands.
Will Holowka at Manfrotto.
Will This is our third generation of this series of stands. The difference is that the first two series used external mechanisms to attach when you attach the stands together. The nice thing is it’s actually built into the stand. You push a button incorporating the Manfrotto logo to release each stand from the stack. That’s what separates it from the older style that we used to have. Ed:
And it’s all Italian designed?
Will: You got it – all Italian designed. Now away from lighting and on to the Manfrotto tripods, we have Ken Enker. Ken: New this year we have the 502; it’s a 10 pound capacity, 75mm or flat plate video tripod. It’s infinitely variable for pan or tilt, has a very large quick release system now and it’s price effective. Ed: And you’re showing it here with two different leg sets? Ken: We’re showing it with the 535 carbon fibre single stage tripod – it goes six feet in the air all the way down to six inches; and then we’re also showing a more traditional two stage 546 tripod, which is a standard 60 inch, it comes with a mid-level spreader. Again, both of these are very cost effective. Ed: With the carbon fibre one, you don’t have that mid-level spreader … is it not necessary? Ken: No, you don’t need it. The casting is so well made there’s zero flex in this tripod – zero. It’s unbelievably strong. As a matter of fact, the tripod by itself will hold over 40 pounds. It’s incredibly strong, and yet it weighs in at about 5 pounds. Super lightweight, super strong and it’s bullet-proof. I love it, it’s a great tripod. So that’s the 502 – and again, it comes 75mm meaning it can go on a Manfrotto flat Page 71
external monitor out on your camera, you can mount it right on the head. So it’s a really nice system. And one last thing, it has a telescopic handle, so you get almost 17 inches of range. Again, it has that very comfortable Manfrotto grip. Another nice feature, if you’re in the rental market, the handle is attached with rosettes and the rosettes can be replaced. So if they ever strip out you just simply buy a $10 part as opposed to a whole new casting on the left or right side of the tripod head. Ed: That’s very cool. And if you want to go for the heavy duty, you get up to the 509? Ken: Yes sir, the 509HD is a 28 pound capacity system, very similar to the 504 except it is a bigger version – another say 33% capacity. What’s really nice about the 509 is that it has an advanced balancing system, meaning I set a balance on the head and then when I take the camera off to do a handheld shot, or a shoulder shot, I can quickly put the camera back on the tripod head, press the button, and it allows me to balance the system really easily, via a couple of LED lights. It’s very, very nice. This also has four counterbalance settings as the 504HD does, as well as the illuminated spirit level and this is now a 100mm interface; the 504 is a 75mm; the 502 is a 75mm but the 509 is 100mm interface. It also has the telescopic handle with a different padding on it. Ed: That’s still very comfortable to hold. Ken: It’s very nice. Ed: Now the question I wanted to ask about tripods in general is that, if you have a large tripod, should you put a small camera on it, or is it not a good thing?
Ken with the 535 tripod.
photo tripod if you want, or it has a built-in 75mm interface. So you buy it either way – the 502AH or a 502A. Ed: And it looks like a decent handgrip on that arm – that’s the first time I’ve seen a rubberised handgrip? Ken: Yes, Manfrotto has taken the best ideas of the tool world. The designers go out in the market and find the best things that are in the home depots or the stores and they get a really nice feel, so it’s comfortable in your hand when you’re shooting all day with it. Ed: Tell me a little bit more about the Quick Release mechanism – you said that was important, what do you mean by that? Ken: Well basically, what we have here is the Manfrotto style which is a sliding Quick Release system. So it’s a positive lock – you never feel like “is it in the lock” or “is it not in the lock?” So you always know that you’re under control, and our equipment only releases to the operator or backwards. So now I can slide it back to me, I can never make a mistake and loosen it up and make it slide forward – and of course the screws are in the way – and dump the load. So it’s kind of idiot-proof.
Ken: It’s overkill, you don’t need it, but in the case of the 509 and the 504, in an emergency situation you can – just take the counterbalance spring, dial it back down to zero or the first setting, and you can use it. But you don’t need to, why spend the money? Ed: But if you’ve already got it, what’s a bad thing about using a small camera on a large tripod? Ken: If you can’t change the counterbalance, you’re going to get whiplash or spring back, so you’d have to add so much drag to it to hold its position. You don’t want that – at least in the way I shoot, I want as little counterbalance and as little drag on it as possible, so when I start up, there’s no hesitation, it’s just smooth as glass. Ed: So providing you can do that, ( and I guess a good quality tripod will allow you to bring your counterbalance down to zero ), you could still do that? Ken: Yes, absolutely.
Ed: Hey, that’s what we want – cameramen are not known for their brains. Ken: No, just their beauty. Ed: Very good. So the 502 is a fixed counterbalance and if you want an adjustable counterbalance, you go up to the …? Ken: 504HD, which is an 18 pound capacity system, 75mm interface, it has a lovely illuminated spirit level, which is really nice. On dark nights you can get your level real quick. It also has the provision of adding external equipment on it via the ⅜ studs that are on the heads, so no longer do you have to put your Page 72
Ed: And you would expect that the more expensive tripod is actually going to have more features, so it should in fact be smoother than a lightweight tripod? Ken: Absolutely. The beauty of the Manfrotto product is for the value, for the money, you get a superior product. Nobody makes products that can do what we can do at the price point that we come in at, and that’s why people love Manfrotto and our warranty’s exceptional and we stand behind everything we sell.
And it’s got a cool logo?
Ken: Yes – the peace symbol. They finally listened and started using some of their Italian design technology and they’re starting to use some of the red, black and silver … it’s a beautiful tripod. Ed:
You’ve got one at home have you?
Ken: Yes – maybe 2 or 3. have about 200 of ‘em.
I’m the show manager, I NZVN
IDX for Panavision We are with Cathy Fercano from California and we are at IDX Battery Systems. Ed: For a number of years now, the first thing anyone’s shown me is the WEVI because you’re pretty proud of this … it’s a little bit more technological than a battery, but obviously it relies on an IDX battery to power it, but it’s not a battery. What is it again? Cathy: It’s a Wireless High Definition Transmission System and we now have our newest system that we’re introducing here at NAB and it’s the CW-7. There’s been some improvements over the CW-5 – we’ve increased the range to 200 feet; also now, besides the four selectable channels, it has dynamic frequency selection. So say you already have four systems going – channel 1 through 4 – you want to add a fifth. You’re going to put it on DFS, it’s going to scan the area and pick the next cleanest signal. So you want to add another system … again, you’re going to put that system on DFS, it’s going to pick the next cleanest signal. So ideally you should be able to run up to 8 systems at a time, if that’s what your production calls for – and there are situations where people are looking for that. Ed: But you’ve always said that this is really just for monitoring purposes, although I believe people are using it for actual production? Cathy: Yes, it really was originally designed for a controlled environment, for reference monitoring and people are just very innovative on their own, and it’s now in sports arenas, it’s been used in medical applications. It’s just really blossomed. As you know, wireless can be unpredictable, it depends what’s going on in the environment. Ed: So I guess if you’ve got a number of signals coming back to a base and you’re recording all of them, if it does drop out on one of the signals, well you’ve got the others to back it up? Cathy: Right, absolutely – and if it does lose link, it links up much quicker than the CW-5 and even though I think the CW-5 picture was beautiful, this is even nicer and it’s still under one millisecond of delay.
Maybe because it looks kind of like a tape cartridge … but this new Mega Elite has two built-in D-taps and it also has a USB port, because we’ve had lots of requests, since directors and suchlike are running around now with their iPads and their iPhones, they might need to charge them or run them, so that’s what this is going to allow you to do. This battery is still airline transportable, because again you open it up, you take out the three cartridges and you can fly with them. So that should be coming out soon, probably around August-September. Ed: Now along with the larger batteries that IDX is well known for, and the plates etc that allow you to attach it to pretty well any sort of large camera that’s out there, there are some in the smaller battery range, but they are very specific and you’ve got one here that’s just developed for the JVC 4K camera? Cathy: Yes we do. It is the LCQJ and that is the dual charger. These batteries were made specifically for the JVC 4K and they will be purchased through JVC only. Ed: And along with that though, there are some batteries here for Panasonic, again specific to Panasonic or a particular camera?
Cathy: It is, it’s the Mega Elite battery. It’s 204 Watts of power and it has three PC14 cartridges …
Cathy: Right. We have our SL-VBD50 – it’s a 7.4 Volt lithium ion battery made for specific Panasonic models. We have that listed on our website as to which cameras they work with, along with the SSL-VBG50. It gives you about a 30 minute longer runtime than the other Panasonic batteries and you still have the full two year warranty.
Ed: Why wouldn’t you call them cells because you make up a battery out of cells, so …?
Ed: And this particular device here – is this an IDX special, or is this the third party?
Cathy: You know, I don’t know, you’d have to talk to whoever makes up the names for our products.
Cathy: This is our shoulder adapter. It’s the ACA74E; it folds up to a very small footprint of about 15
Ed: Excellent. Okay, now the batteries that power it – any developments there? Cathy: Ed:
We have one new battery over here.
This looks like a big battery, but it’s not really.
storey building to possibly make a dent – and then it would probably dent the concrete! Ed: So you must have had prior knowledge of this camera before this was developed … you must have worked with Canon to develop this particular product surely?
Three into one with IDX.
inches; it can be shoulder mounted, table topped, or put on a tripod. What it does, is it allows you to mount the smaller profile cameras on it. Put it on the back, it’s very, very adjustable. You can add whichever plate you need on the back; like for the Panasonic, if it’s a 7.2 Volt, it’s a PV257 plate, so you’d have a 12 Volt D-tap and then a 7.2 D-Tap. It’s going to allow you to use our IDX 12 Volt batteries, with a lower voltage camera; and it also allows you to mount many more accessories on there and the weight is distributed very nicely and it has a really nice padded shoulder pad. Ed: It looks a good balance so you can “run and gun” with a small camera, but have all the accessories, including on this one a Ki Pro Mini and a good sized light? Cathy:
Yes, absolutely – it’s very nice.
And to talk to us about a specialised IDX product for the Canon C300, we have Tim Arasheben Ed:
Tim, this is a beautiful red colour?
Tim: Thank you, yes, it’s called the Cinoflex type C300 camera system and it takes either the Canon EOS C300 or the new C500 and it mounts it on a nodal point, so the image sensor, the lens and the baseplate, the Cinoflex, are common form. What that does is it helps with the correct operation of panning and tilting and rolling and keeps the camera operator on a nodal uniform point that they’ve been used to operating for 100 years of film. Also, it takes one input, 3G from the camera and it re-clocks it and gives you four outputs up to 250 feet out, and those are via Amphenol BNC military grade BNC connectors that are gold plated and chrome outside shielding.
Tim: A little bit. Canon knew me from a show that I’m the camera operator on – Wilfred and we were the first show to shoot a broadcast television series all on DSLRs. They came to me asking about some of the rigs we were using on that show and how I made it more film-friendly and motion picture-friendly to the assistants and the operators and then they told me about a new C300. From this, I started my company TM Camera Solutions and basically what we would do is, with all these new cameras and different technology appearing out of nowhere, we would make them friendly for a motion picture set. So I had a drawing of it, and we came up with different conclusions and we went through about six versions until we came up with the final Cinoflex type C300. Ed: Because that’s it, the base camera you can run it with a small lens and its own battery and you can take pictures that way, but if you want to use it with its full range of accessories and a very large lens, you’re not going to be able to handhold that? Tim: No. First of all, it weighs 5 pounds by itself, so if you wanted to go for an incredibly small form factor of say 10 pounds and go handheld with a prime lens and two batteries and a focus system, you could certainly do that. But if you want to go for a studio configuration with a 12:1 lens and 5 or 6 accessories on here and a follow focus and a matte box, you need this setup. It’s made to do anything that you expect of a conventional camera on a set. There are no limitations to it and it’s incredibly modular and configurable to whatever the user decides to do with it. Ed:
Have you signed it somewhere?
Tim: I have not. On the inside there are QC checks done by the person who assembles it and the last NZVN person who tests it and closes it up!
On the other side, you have four 3 pin Fischer 12 Volt outlets for accessories – either your Preston lens system, your monitors, your viewfinders, any accessory that you would have on a motion picture set. It’s all powered via one or two IDX batteries with internal memory so if you take off one, it still keeps everything going and you can hot swap it and have the entire system running, never having to turn it off during the whole day of film production. It has a carrying handle, it’s made of solid 6061 T6 aluminium and the chassis is almost water resistant and bullet-proof … you would have to throw it off a 60
Tim with the Cinoflex system. Page 75
The new Sachtler ACE System with mid or ground level spreader Available Now
Tim (09) 3608766
318 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn Auckland