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MAY 2018

Vol 246

(09) 527 6126

NAB 2018

did not disappoint in terms of new and innovative products for our industry.

As in previous years, all our regular advertisers had their chance to pick the “best of the best” for them to tell me of their offers. We begin with Flowtech on behalf of Panavision and continue in no particular order. Read on ...

Flowtech We’re at the Vitec section of the show and, under the Sachtler brand, the product du jour and has been for some time, is Flowtech™. It’s so popular it has its own stand and to tell us all about it we have Barbara Jaumann from the Vitec Group. Barbara: Flowtech has a new tripod and if you look at it, it’s quite revolutionary. First of all, it doesn’t look like a traditional tripod because we are using profiles. The reason for this is that it’s really much more comfortable to carry it on your shoulder. The second thing you will see is that the brake levers are now at the top, so with 2 hands, you can release it in one go, so it’s really fast to set up. Also, when you work on your own and you do a height adjustment on the set, it’s really nice to have the control over the way you are changing from the top. The other thing you will see is that you can use it with the mid-level spreader or the shoulder mid-level spreader. If you go without the mid-level spreader, there’s a hinge lock at the top and there are 3 positions you can engage. The real icing on the cake is that the lowest setting gets pictures about 8 centimetres off the ground, so you can go really low as well. Ed: I’ve seen people try this before, but with limited success. This looks as though you’ve nailed it as to how to have a very lightweight tripod but still being very rigid, very secure and it looks as though it’s robust as well? Barbara: Yes, it’s been very popular since we launched. We’ve done a lot of internal tests just to make sure people get what they expect from a Sachtler tripod – the robustness, stability, and use in all sorts of temperatures. We have a lot of customers who have

already bought it and they come back to tell us how much they like it. Ed: So is this what we’re going to see in the future across a bigger range … possibly? Barbara: Probably. Ed: Apart from a mid-level spreader, are there any other accessories that go with it? Barbara: There’s this carry handle – if you put it to the top, it’s really nice to carry it, especially when you have a head on top, because its front heavy so with the carry handle it’s a nice carrying tool. Ed: That’s an extra is it? Barbara: That’s an extra. We have a carrying strap as well and the options of spreaders, feet. Ed: Do people like the red adjustment handles and the red feet, because normally tripods are black and you can have any colour as long as it’s black? Barbara: Sachtler tripods are not black. If you look at the Speed Lock, they all have red handles – because the Speed Lock is our previous fast deploying tripod and, because this is also a fast deploying tripod, we carried over the reds. Also, you see all the Sachtler feet are red so that’s why the Flowtech feet are red. Ed: Okay, so where do you see this going – larger? Barbara: There are a lot of people here asking for a 100mm version, so that’s something we will work on, but I can’t give you a delivery or availability date yet. Ed: Well it’s a bit of a giveaway that you’re calling it the Flowtech 75? Barbara: Yes. Ed: Now you’ve got an award here already – is this for the tripod? Barbara: It is as a finalist for the tripod. We got lots of awards at IBC already. It’s been a really big success with customers. I’ve got a colleague here and he’s using it and he just loves it. It’s used for all sorts of applications – we have News teams using it because they just like the fast set up. Ed: And the light weight I’m sure?

It goes all the way down.

Barbara: The light weight and side torsion stiffness and the flexibility with the low position, because a lot of people say “I can’t carry 2 tripods so I never do the low shots”, because they can’t carry on their own the normal tripod and the baby tripod, so they leave the baby at home, but now they can go low and that’s what they really like – the versatility. Ed: And what’s this you’re holding in your hand? Barbara: It’s the mid-level spreader. Ed: Oh right – but I see over there you can mount it on to a very simple dolly? Barbara: Yes we have a dolly version for it. Ed: But you can use the same tripod on a dolly just by taking the red feet off? Barbara: Yes, they are very easy to take off so you can put it on a dolly. A lot of people outside take the feet off – they are really fast to put on and off. NZVN

To find out more about Flowtech and Sachtler contact Tim Timlin at Panavision NZ. Phone (09) 360 8766 Email Website

Schneider We’re at Schneider Kreuznach – some of you know this better as Schneider Optics – and we have Ron Engvaldsen from Schneider to tell us about a range of new RHOdium filters. Ed: Ron, these are for neutral density? Ron: Yes, new neutral density filters for motion picture, television, broadcast – whatever the case may be. These neutral density filters are the most neutral that have ever been made by Schneider. Neutral density filters of the past were made with organic dyes; these new filters are made with vacuum deposition coatings which are reproducible consistently. They are also very thin coatings encapsulated inside the glass.

Ed: So they’re actually sandwiched within glass layers, rather than being exposed on one of the surfaces? Ron: That’s correct. The majority of our competitors are taking solid substrates and they’re applying a coating to the exterior surface which is an acceptable way of manufacturing, but we found that exterior coatings do not survive the rental market. The rigours of the rental market have resulted in filters being returned scratched because the coatings are on the exterior. With the RHOdium, they are fully encapsulated in between the glass, so you cannot get at these coatings to damage them. Ed:

So what makes RHOdium better than organics?

Go to for more news.

Viva Las Vegas NAB 2018 Part One. Page 2


Ron: Well it’s an actual coating that’s made with vacuum deposition – the same way a lens would get an anti-reflection coating. Ed: Does that just mean it’s more even? Ron: Yes, more even and more consistent neutrality. Ed: So you can be assured that, if you want 1 micron, it’s exactly 1.00 micron? Ron: For the most part, yes. The key thing here is colorimetric testing. These filters are scrutinised as far as colour is concerned. We use what’s called an “end to end” testing whereby we run the filters through a spectrophotometer to determine the true neutrality. This is coupled with a method of testing using a vectorscope – a common tool used by cinematographers, which will actually show you the colour shift in the red, green, blue or the cyan, yellow, magenta direction – and there is virtually no colour shift with these filters. Ed: So the density within the range stays the same but the quality and accuracy has improved? Ron: That’s absolutely correct. This is the first filter that we’ve made as an ND that starts out at 1 stop and goes all the way up to 10 stops, so ND.3 all the way up to 3.0 and the neutrality across this entire gamut is very similar all the way across. So as you step from one grade of Neutral Density to another depending on available light, you can be assured there’s not going to be any colour shift. And that includes moving indoor to outdoor, as the colour temperature of your lighting is going to be different than daylight. We’ve had cases where directors of technology have been caught off guard because they expected some sort of colour shift and they say “wait a minute, there’s something wrong with the camera or maybe there’s no filter in it.” So it’s really a superior neutral filter, it’s very durable, it’s also reasonably priced. It’s several hundred dollars cheaper than our most expensive competitor, so they’re selling quite nicely and I think they’re going to be around for many years to come. Ed: Any other products in the range that have changed since last NAB? Ron: Oh sure – we’re rolling out 2 brand new filters this year. One of them is an offshoot of our TrueStreak filter. The True-Streaks were developed about 5 years ago, they come in 8 different colours; this is basically to replicate the Anamorphic Streak that was caused by anamorphic lenses of yesteryear when the optics weren’t quite so perfect. Ed: So this is for people who want to make their picture look a bit poorer than it should be? Ron: Not exactly, it just means the Anamorphic Streak was and remains a desirable “effect” not achievable by today’s lenses. The streak filter was developed to simulate the inherent effect of the older anamorphics. This year we’ve also added a 9th colour, Gold, to the selection. Another new filter called the “True-Streak Rainbow” has been developed by our team – we’ve taken 8 different colours and incorporated them into one filter that delivers a wonderful and colourful streak. It’s fabulous – it actually contains the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet colours of the rainbow in a single filter.

Ron keeps his eyes on Gus


You’ll be making a diffusion filter next?

Ron: Yes! We also have another brand new filter that we’re introducing – a special and unique diffusion filter which is basically Schneider’s answer to problems that cinematographers have been having for many decades: pulling a net or a ladies stocking behind the lens. This has been commonly done for many, many decades of cinematography, and it’s still being done today. The problems with this are numerous … No1 when you pull a net behind the lens, you’re going to tear the stocking, you’re going to make it run, you’re going to rip it. It’s very hard to keep in place once you stretch it, there’s no guarantee you can make the same stretch from day to day. Schneider’s response to that was actually taking ladies stockings and laminating them between glass. You can now take a net and put it out in the matte box and have the same effect as a net – and they come in 3 different colours.

Ed: Alright, so how do you choose your colour – has it got an iPhone app? Ron: No, it’s a filter that’s used as a special effect anywhere where there’s a hot light in the scene – a headlight on a car or a street light … what will happen is when you put the filter in front of the camera, that light will actually yield the same anamorphic streak – only in the 8 colours of the rainbow. It’s really quite unique and we’ve gotten a lot of good reception from it. Page 4


And different denier?

Ron: Yes, the black has 3 different denier – I’m surprised to hear you say that word, because I didn’t know what a “denier” was until I first started developing this product. Ed: Oh I’ve known a few ladies! Ron: As have I – so the black comes in 3 different densities / deniers; we have a beige which is a very nice warming filter, a warming net, which comes in 2 densities; and we have a grey which is also very nice, a very specialised effect – all bringing you back to the film times of the 60s and the 70s, where the film look

Pliant Technologies We’re here at Pliant Technologies and we’re talking to Art Gonzales Market Development Manager and Debbie Hamby, Director of Marketing. Ed: Art, you’re going to tell us about the Pliant Technologies system which started with Tempest? Art: Yes, our parent company is a company by the name of CoachComm and we developed the product called Tempest, not only for the professional intercom market, but also for our sports market. Then later on in the development phase, we went from Tempest into CrewCom about 3 NABs ago, and when we did that, we developed the name “Pliant” for the company name, and Pliant Technologies sprung out of CoachComm. But we were the developers of the Tempest product which has been on the market for quite some time and has many users out there. Ed: So is Pliant a play on the word “compliant” that you are compliant? Debbie: CrewCom is just about crews and being able to work together efficiently, so that’s how that came about for us. But as for Pliant, our systems and our technologies are very easy to use, very nimble, they can be scaled, small, big … very easy to use for any different type of production venue. Ed: But they must be “compliant” with the regulations in the countries that you sell to? Debbie: Absolutely, absolutely yes. We’ll go with that one. Ed: Well I’ll let you use that one. Art: We’ll pay you royalties. Ed: Aaah, we’ve got that on record. Right, so what have you come up with – I guess it’s all digital? Art: Yes. CrewCom is a network based intercom which is different from Tempest. With Tempest, you had a base station that had a radio inside of it that allowed you to connect directly to the base station. But you could also have what were called remote transceivers and those connected with CAT 5. But it wasn’t really a network, it was more just a way to remote the transceivers. With CrewCom, we’ve done several things differently – the biggest being the fact that we actually create our own network called CrewNet. Now CrewNet sits physically on an Ethernet type of network, in terms of electrical. You have RJ45s, CAT 5 connection, so it’s a very common cabling to connect the system together. But within the system itself, we have different products that make up the system, the first of which is called a

was very diffused. They’ve been really well received and tested quite thoroughly. We’re also embarking on a programme for putting these filters behind the lens which is something that hasn’t ever been done yet – at least in the net. Ed: And your friend here, what part does he play in the company structure? Ron: This is Gus, the Schneider mascot and we bring NZVN him along everywhere we go – he’s our friend. To find out more about Schneider products contact Tim Timlin at Panavision NZ. control unit, and the control unit creates the network. Actually it functions as 2 different things – it creates the CrewNet network and then, beyond that, it also gives you your hardwire interfaces to connect to any type of intercom system, whether it’s a 4 wire based system like a Matrix, or a 2 wire based system like a partyline system. So within the control unit, it creates the network and then also gives you your wired interface, your wired inputs and outputs. In addition to that, we have a radio transceiver and the radio transceiver is the access point into the network from a radio standpoint. So you have your beltpacks, which is your wireless way to go around and do your communications, but you have to be able to access the network somehow and that’s done through the transceiver and that’s connected either with a CAT 5 cable or with a fibre connection if you want it to run really long distances up to 10 kilometres away from the control unit. Since it is a network base system, not only does it carry all of the information in terms of the radio portion of it, but also it contains all of the audio conferences which some people call channels; we call them conferences because it’s a little more flexible than a channel. A conference is simply a grouping of audio sources, whether it’s wireless users or hardwire inputs coming into the system. As an example, you create an audio conference and a production conference and a lighting conference and then all of those conferences that you create – up to 1024 of those – reside on the CrewNet network, which is what the control unit is creating. Ed: So you could feed competitor product sourced material into your network using this system … so if people were wanting to move to CrewCom, they don’t have to get rid of everything that they might already have, they might be able to integrate some of that?

Art and Debbie from Pliant Technologies. Page 5

Art: That’s correct, yes. So if you already have a 2 wire partyline system or a 4 wire base system, a Matrix system, you can very easily connect this into that system. Ed: And just extend its capability with the CrewCom product? Art: Yes, exactly. Or if you just want to use it as a standalone wireless intercom system, what we call a throw down system, then you can take it to different locations and just use the wireless part of it. You can do it either way, that’s part of the flexibility of the system. The other thing that we’ve done is we’ve made the beltpack (radio pack) very simple to use. It comes in 2 different types – one is a 4 volume with 4 talk buttons and the other one is a 2 volume with 2 talk buttons and they can be customised as you need to. As I mentioned earlier, we have the conferences, that you can have up to 1024. You can assign any of those conferences to any of the buttons or volume knobs on the actual beltpack itself. That gives me the ability to customise the beltpack for either each user or a job function. Let’s say you and Debbie are doing 2 completely different things, I can hand you a beltpack with your conferences on it, and hand her a beltpack and it’s got completely different conferences. Or you could share one conference that’s common between you; or if I wanted to create, let’s say, a profile for the lighting crew, and we’ve got 10 lighting crew members, I can give them a lighting pack – basically they’re all the same. So it really depends on your workflow. Ed: So some people might need to talk to the director, others not? Art: That’s correct. And you can customise that in the beltpack, in the profile itself. Debbie: This would be something very unique to us, that is unlike any of our other competitors. Art: Yes, the ability to customise that plus the ability to access all 4 volume controls and all 4 talk buttons simultaneously is very unique as well. Some of the other systems out there don’t allow you to get very easily to those all at one time. You do have access to all 4 volume knobs at the same time. Now, in addition to that, the beltpack also gives you a lot more information that’s very useful – the link quality, your RSSI which is your RF level, your battery time, there are even secondary menus that give you remaining battery time and other more useful information – for instance, what transceiver I’m logged into and so forth. And the other thing is it’s also very small and very lightweight, I’ll let you hold it. Ed:

Art: Yes and there is a USB connection on the side which does 3 different things. It allows you to charge the unit; it allows you to update the firmware; and also allows you to pair the radio pack to the system. Since it is a digital intercom system, you have to pair each one of the radio packs to the system so that somebody can just walk in and pick up your signal, or somehow be part of the system. Ed: I notice at the base of the pack there are 3 little metal domes and I guess this is to slot into a charger? Art: That’s for future use, yes. Ed: Aaaah. Art: Yes we have a plan – not available at the moment. Ed: It’s a bit of a giveaway. Art: Exactly … you think. But back to a little bit more of the system, because there is something unique on the transceiver as well. As I mentioned, this is the access point for the wireless portion of the system. We have the fibre connection here so you would come out of the control unit into here, either fibre or copper; one of the unique things though is the ability to loop. So the interesting thing with that is like we’re doing here, we needed to be able to have 12 people in this location. One transceiver supports 6 radio packs in full duplex mode, but if I want to go beyond that, I have to add another transceiver. One of the things we’re able to do is just come right out of the loop and go into a transceiver and put it literally right next to the other one. Some of the other systems don’t allow you to do that, to be able to place transceivers very close together. Because we’re using frequency hopping in the way that we do the RF, we’re able to do that; we’re able to place them right next to each other and there’s no interference between the 2.

Oh wow, yes – surprisingly light.

Art: The other thing I like which is not mentioned a lot, is the recessed 4 pin connector. The nice thing about that is it doesn’t hang below the pack, and this is unique as well. A lot of times you’re sitting down, you’re standing up and the connector’s sometimes hanging out the bottom, so it’s nice to have that kind of recessed; it doesn’t dig into your leg or something when you sit down. Ed: So headset?





the Page 6

Ed: So if you couldn’t loop them would that mean that you could only have 6 and 6, or could you still have 12 people if they weren’t looped? Art: You could because on the back of the control unit there are 2 ports. Ed:

Aaah, you’d have to use both ports?

Art: That’s right, you would end up using both ports and you could do that, but it’s a much easier way to do it, to come out of the loop and just put them right next to each other. Now the other purpose of the transceiver is to not only determine the number of users, but also to determine coverage area. So let’s say, for instance in here, we did a walk test and we got good coverage with one RT being able to go to the back wall from where the ramp is in the front, but we weren’t able to go outside very far obviously because of the structure itself. If we needed that coverage area, we would simply just put another transceiver out there and now we have another 6 users who can walk outside and walk inside and then they will roam between the 2 different areas. If I needed 12 people in here and 12 people out there, then I would have 2 RTs inside and 2 RTs outside. Or if I just wanted to have 6 people to go outside, I could also do something with what we call a “scan list” which is also very unique in that we can select who can have access to the transceivers. So if Debbie is the producer and she has to be able to have access everywhere, we can go into our software and we can tell her profile that she can access all of the different transceivers; but the lighting guys can’t access the transceivers outside, because if they were able to, when she goes out, they’re on a smoke break or something and they’re outside and they’re taking up all the radio slots in that transceiver and she wouldn’t be able to log in. So that allows you to very much customise who can go where and that’s a very unique feature as well. On that, let me just show you the software. This is the actual interface. What we’re showing here is we’re showing it in live state, so we’re looking at this system as it is right now, and what we’re looking at here is we have one control unit – our control units are mounted inside of here – then we have two 900 MHz transceivers which, by the way, one thing I didn’t mention which I probably should have mentioned at the beginning is that this system, the control unit … Ed:

2.4 or 9?

noise gate, increase their side tone, I can change profiles – we were talking earlier about the button assignments and things like that – I can change that all from here while I’m in live state. Ed: And you can call the lighting guy and say “hey, your battery’s going flat”? Art: Exactly, you’ll see here are the ones with the red around them that means the battery’s low … this one’s down to 45 minutes and if I push the triangle button, that’s the secondary menu, you can see he’s only got 45 minutes left on his battery. There’s even a call function where you can call him and alert him that his battery’s going down. It depends on how you set it up, but also when the battery goes low, the pack will vibrate to kind of tell you to look at the pack; and also we’ll put a tone in your ear if you want to. Ed:

A flea in their ear?




That sounds like a very sophisticated system?

Art: Well you know you say that, and that’s true, but also it can be a very basic system if you want. The software’s not required … Ed: You don’t need to monitor it if it’s a smaller operation, but I guess if you’re dealing with a large sporting event with lots of people, then it’s good to keep an eye on it? Art: Yes, that’s it exactly. Also, you can start with the small system and, if your production company grows, you can add more to it very easily; you don’t have to buy another control unit for up to 18 packs, once you go beyond that you have to buy another control unit, but for updating packs you can start with 2 or 3 and then grow beyond that very easily, just by adding transceivers. Ed: That’s very cool. So currently the batteries can actually come out of the unit and go into a drop-in charger, and they’re a proprietary battery are they? Art: Yes a lithium polymer battery. It’s the same battery that’s used in Tempest, so if you have a Tempest system it’s the same battery. But you could also in a pinch use 3 AA batteries as well. You get about half the battery life – it’s typically about 9 hours on the lithium polymer and you get about half that on 3 AAs, but in a pinch it may be useful. NZVN

Art: That’s right, the control unit doesn’t care about the frequency, it’s just creating the network, but on that network, I can have either 2.4 transceivers or 900 MHz in Australia and New Zealand as well. But in this system, we have two 900MHz RTs and we have two 2.4GHz RTs. Our 900s are on this side, 2.4s on the other side and they’re all going back into the control unit. But we’re also looking at all of these packs, all of them here, all the ones in the other side, and I can take any pack and monitor it in live state – this is 1-11. Then I double click on it, I’m now looking at this particular pack in live state. So this is a real time view of the actual display on the pack. I can also make adjustments that, say, the mic gain’s too low, they’re not talking very loud, I can bring up the mic gain, I can put on a Page 8

Datavideo One For Protel, we are here at Datavideo and we have Justin Strazdas. Ed: Justin, you’re going to tell us about the latest and greatest in Datavideo product since last NAB. What’s the flagship at this show? Justin: Let’s go to the streaming table where we have all of our new encoders and decoders linked together on a local network. What we’re looking at here is the NVS-40 a multi-channel video encoder, streaming unit, and recording station. It has 4 HDMI inputs, and you can also flex input one to be an SDI input. The NVS -40 supports up to 1080P 60 and it has multiple encoders per channel, so you can have 2 encoders – a main and a sub-encoder for each channel, web browser based application control and onboard SSD for recording. It supports up to 30 megabit on an encode or record and it also has an HDMI output so you can basically treat it as a simple cut switcher and using the web UI you’ve got a programme here and I can set like a PiP which is good for lecture capture and here on input 1 I have the educator; on input 2 I have a power point and they work together; or I can just do full screen. So you basically also have a side by side view, so a fairly versatile system. Ed: Can you switch one of those pictures without disturbing the other one – say you’ve got your main character there and you’ve got your picture in picture, can you switch the slides in your picture in picture on the fly? Justin: Yes, so in its current form, with this dropdown menu, I can go to inputs 3 and 4 which were not used for this demo, but say there was content there, it would then switch to that. I can also send out these ISOs as encoded streams, or I can send this programme view that we’re looking at as an encoded stream.

Justin and dancer.

distribute your outputs to our decoders with a set top box mode, or to multiple CDNs via RTMP. It’s a very flexible solution for stream management and essentially the ability on a LAN with our server to create an IP TV network like at a university campus, or you can use DVS-200 software on the Cloud like with Amazon AWS or with DigitalOcean and do your distribution that way. A popular use for DVS-200 is to take 1 or 2 sources, create channels, say a house of worship, and then distribute to Facebook and YouTube Live at the same time. Ed: This is a very flexible streaming solution that looks like you can pick it up, pack it away and take it out within a very short space of time and it’s running? Justin:

Absolutely, yes.

Ed: What more do you need – just a couple of cameras? Justin: Yes or a programme feed from one of our video mixers. Ed: This is it, this is a basic setup, but you can add to it with your PTZ cameras, with your switchers, with other bits and pieces that will just easily integrate into this and you’ve got yourself a TV station?

Something else you should look at, is all the streams are running to our DVS-200 Stream Server Solution which manages all the streams, the software is on a PC server over there. DVS-200 Now this unit we call the NVS-200. The NVS-200 is an 8-channel real-time media encoder system that can stream video with or without the Internet. It is an ideal solution for those who need to record video to a local hard drive, create a private IPTV channel, or stream live to various platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, or websites simultaneously. NVS-200 The NVS-200 comes in various configurations to suit your sources and also encode those sources; you can then Page 9

Justin: Yes, and the nice thing about the NVS-40 is that it could essentially double as your mixer; if you only need simple cut switching, then you’re able to do that fairly quickly as you saw in that demo, and it has an SSD slot so you’re able to do multichannel recording as well. Ed: Excellent. Right moving on and we’re now at the Live Event section and Datavideo is well known for its flyaway boxes and kits that fold up into a very small space and are easily transportable? Justin: We showed what we call our Go Kits last year us/search/go where we have a switcher, Philip with Live Streaming from Datavideo. recorder and streaming and a dual monitor in a single these individually as well. SE-3200 also features 9 x metal chassis that then slides into a road case that we stinger transitions, multiple chromakeyers and provide as a kit. We also have the camera Go Kits as professional features such as gunlock input/loop well. So in addition to the Go Kits we also have a new through. SE-3200 can function as a simple virtual portable streaming solution called the HS-1300. The studio system with the use of the built-in background HS-1300 is a cost effective, all in one 6 channel handgenerator ( still images ) with 50 x virtual sets already carry mobile studio with built-in streaming and built in. recording capabilities. It has all the same great features of the HS-1200, with the addition of a built-in Ed: And you don’t have to have those bright borders H.264 encoder for streaming. around it all the time do you … I’m sure that’s for a particular market but not ours? Philip: Oh really not yours – you can turn them off Now we are looking at the KMU-100 Multicamera then. Processor which was released last year. It allows you to take two 4K HDMI sources and turn each source into 4 Ed: There we go and we can come down to the BBC HD-SDI sources. Using a PTZ controller, virtually crop setting which is nothing. and create movement within that 4K image space. Philip: I’m sure the BBC would probably go with a We’ve added functionality to the KMU-100 where you nice little small white one. can reduce the number of outputs that would be fed to Ed: So again, borders on the PNPs OR IS IT PiPS very your mixer, or turn the KMU into a cut switcher in itself flexible, colours, borders, shapes and shading. which allows you to have a programme output where Philip: The idea is it’s supposed to look like a 3D you can then use an RMC-185 plus controller to switch border, so you’ve got glass, this is like a rounded between the various shots created within the KMU-100. shape, this is like a rounded piece of glass. So the idea is that it just makes it look a bit nicer. Ed: And you’ve preset these frames so you could change your frame and have a different shot selected? Justin: Yes, and you can also programme animations in, and it has a software control as well in addition to the hardware controller. Still in the Live Event area, we’re talking now to Philip Martin, director and also the man who put this together. Ed:

This looks like a switcher?

Philip: It is a switcher the new SE3200 HD 12 input 1080p switcher Ed: But it must be a clever switcher otherwise you wouldn’t be here? Philip: Yes it features auto-sensing mixed HD inputs and supports full 1080P – it’s got 8 inputs HD-SDI 1080P and 4 HDMI inputs. It has a ton of functionality built within it with 4 upstream keyers you can create 4 PiP’s and mix Page 10

Ed: And now we’re talking to Michael Gamboa and Michael your speciality is? Michael: Working on the website actually. I‘m the web developer here at Datavideo. Ed: So I guess you’re heavily involved in all their IP type internet protocol material? Michael: I’m just making sure all the websites for every Datavideo branch are working properly, all the products are up to date and all the technical support. Ed: What are we looking at here … “Datavideo’s Got Talent”? Michael: Yes, here we’ve got the TVS2000 at our booth once again, except this time we’ve got it in a big section of the main booth and the presentation we’ve got going on is kind of a mock talent show – we’re calling it “Datavideo’s Got Talent” and to show off the green screen we’ve hired a professional hula hoop artist and you can see the key working properly… Ed: Now last year I was taken to a booth right down the back and I was shown something. This looks like a development of that? Michael: Yes that’s right. It’s essentially the same item, but we’ve updated the software so that, instead of needing 2 tracking cameras, now you can have one tracking camera and one trackless camera. So it’s a combination of our previous software for the TVS-1000, TVS-1200 and now the TVS-2000 all bundled into one.

regular News broadcast on that side of the set as well. It’s really versatile. Another big star of the show is our latest camera: the Datavideo NH-100 Nighthawk. With an incredible performance in low light situations and 12-bit processing this unit will be your favourite camera in any situation where you can’t dictate light. Stage events, theatres, nightclubs, night shoots outside, concerts, basically everywhere you don’t have direct control over the light. Check out our range of Block cameras. NZVN

Ed: So again, an ideal setup for a small TV station that wants to do virtual set green screen work?

Protel are the exclusive resellers for Datavideo products in NZ so give them a call for pricing and information and support,

Michael: Exactly. In fact, a lot of our customers are TV stations doing green screen work. They like to use this for things like the weather, because you can superimpose weather computer data, and you can also pan around so you can have one side of your set doing weather, pan your camera around and you can have the

BB&S Lighting We’re at BB&S Lighting with Toby Sali who is the coowner of BB&S. Ed: Now Toby, there was a very successful installation of BB&S Lighting in the eSports venue at Sky City earlier this year that we talked about, but we’ve come here to NAB to find out what’s new? Toby: We just installed a whole set of the one foot RAW Pipes at eSports at the Luxor in Las Vegas and they went live 2 weeks ago. So we’re doing eSports all over the place we hope, that’s the plan. Ed: And they choose the BB&S product because …? Toby: Colour tone, skin tones, colour reproduction with 4K cameras. They’re simple, they’re out of the way, their lighting is just perfect. Ed: And they’re small, they’re unobtrusive? Toby: Yes, one foot long and ½ inch high and they are remote phosphor. The skin tones are just amazing. It doesn’t matter what kind of costume they are illuminating, regardless of different colours, it’s just a very natural look. Ed: And gamers’ skin tones are perfectly natural aren’t they after all those years indoors? Toby: That’s why we’re still doing daylight and tungsten and 4300 because, with the remote phosphor,

Phone: (09) 414 9102 Email: Website:

you have to change out the phosphor panel in front of the LEDs. So, to get the natural skin tone, we’re not doing RGB right now like everybody else, because there’s no daylight, there’s no tungsten. So you can’t really have a full functioning light, you have to have either RGB with all these different colours or you have to have daylight and we’re working on that. Our founder, president and designer Peter will have surprises for the industry down the road. Ed: Okay, but in the meantime, what have you recently introduced? Toby: Well one thing that you might want to know about is the Force 7 Leko. We’re a 19 year old company that does nothing but LED. We built products for different companies until about 10 years ago when we built our own brand. Originally there was the Force 5 at a 575 Watt output and it was so good everybody wanted us to make a more powerful one, so now it’s called the Force 7 – it’s a 750 Watt output, but it’s perfect edge to edge lighting, smooth, no hot spot in the middle. Every other light has a big hot spot in the middle and artefacts around the edges. Ours is perfectly smooth, there’s a daylight with a 19 degree lens and there’s a 3200K; perfect colour, perfect lenses, super quiet fan, half the noise of our competition. Ed:

Page 12

This is stage lighting really though isn’t it?

Toby: Stage, Film, TV shows and Broadcast. It’s a really good long throw tight light that’s totally controllable. Ed:

Is your spot zoomable?

Toby: There are digital zooms made by others that you could put on the front of them. Let me show you our Remote Phosphor Pipeline system. The Free versions come in 4 inch, 8 inch, one foot, 2 foot, 3 foot, and 4 foot with a driver dimmer and they’re run on a battery. They draw 10 Watts per foot, output 1000 lumens per foot and it’s perfect colour – you dim it all the way down, there’s no spots. You can walk around this entire showroom floor at NAB and everything you look at you’re going to see spots. It doesn’t matter whether it’s all the way down or all the way up. And the other thing is this … Ed: Oh dear – the loud noise that you can’t hear was Toby beating on the aluminium truss with the light. Toby: Yes, it’s got an aluminium back and you could drive a truck over them and they just work, okay. Ed:

Perfect for gaffers eh?

Toby: This is our new 1 foot 1Bank Wedge with a colour true 98 TLCI. It comes in 1 foot and 2 foot lengths, and 3200K, 4300K and 5600K. It’s what we put on the desktops and we’ll also use it for video, documentary and for podcasters. It’s just a really low profile, high output light. Ed: And by using a reflector it just increases the direction? Toby:

Double the output on the same one-footer.

Ed: I’m having to look away at this point because it is very bright just out of this little one foot tube. Toby: But that’s what wanted to get the output.




Ed: Yes but they want a controllable output don’t they? Toby: Completely controllable, yes. So then we go from that to something like this. This is a typical setup for a lot of interview people. They may put one foot pipes on the top over the camera, and put a one foot on each of the legs of the camera tripod. Ed:

That’s a clever arrangement.

Toby: And I’ve got little 40 Watt batteries or 90 Watt battery D-Tap right, and that’s your complete inter-view kit. I can give you a demonstration if you want to see what it looks like … would you to see it? Ed: it.

Imagine Toby’s head is your camera.

Toby: Yes, just the battery. I’m just doing a demo without a camera, but everybody who walks by goes “what’s that” and then they figure it out right away as soon as I do that demo walking on to them

No no, I can visualise

Toby: The eyes will “pop” at about 5 feet out, and at 6 feet out they’re just starting to really light up and that’s your interview. And you take those 3 lights, slap them together and throw ‘em in your backpack and go to the next setup. Real simple. Ed: Well you could certainly leave the 2 on the tripod legs just connected to the legs? Page 13

from 10 feet out. So we can go 8-10 feet easily with this lighting system with the 2 footers. With the one footers I’m 6 -8 feet out and you get really clean beautiful light under the chin, because you get them down low on the tri-pod legs. Ed: The photo will show these on a camera tripod, but you’d fit this on to a video tripod just as easily? Toby: Exactly, that’s exactly what it is. It’s giving really beautiful interviews. Other than that, we’ve got some low profile one foot 4Banks, so they use 4, one footers, and then a 2 foot 2Bank with 2x 2 footers in it – both draw 40 Watts but only cost like US$650, so they are not that expensive. Your controller is here – 8-bit, 16-bit DMX strobe, and 4 each 40 Watt channels, but you can do this all with much less fuss and these lights can be built in, you can make long strings of them to create your office like the podcast booth that’s here at the show. You’ve seen it right, you walk by and you see it … Ed:

I think so …

Toby: There’s one big spotlight over there hurting everybody’s eyes and we could easily have put ( which we do all the time for other people ) we could have put pipes around that room and a couple of pipes on the table and they would have looked so much better. Even though it’s a podcast, they’re still doing video now in all these podcast rooms. Everywhere there’s video they need this because the video cameras are now almost all 4K, the chip’s so fast you just want a really clean white light and when you go to postproduction, you’re not going to have to edit anything or go to fix it. Ed: So when are you going to be able to put curves into these? Toby: Ed:

new things coming probably this summer. more interesting to you also for video.

Ed: We’ll look for that. Now I still see the Area 48 here which is what you started off with? Toby: We’ve sold thousands of them. There’s pictures over there of Hacksaw Ridge, The Pirates of the Caribbean – that’s Kong Skull Island, they all came out of your neighbourhood – or your neighbour! And then we did Valerian, Pacific Rim, Independence Day, Star Wars, La La Land, Battle Angel is coming out with Cameron and Rodriguez, and Nicole shot by Russell NZVN Carpenter …

Haha, good luck.

To find out more about BB&S products, contact Chris McKenzie at PLS

Why is that too difficult?

Toby: Well these are solid aluminium backs, they can’t bend. Ed:

They’ll be

Yes but …

Phone: (09) 302 4100 Email: Website:

Toby: We can do an angle bracket and make a 90 degree corner or whatever, but nah – we’re not going to spend the million it takes to mould the metal to make it work, and the plastic. Both have to fit right. Ed: But you could make up a circle or a curve with your little 4 inch ones couldn’t you? Toby: Well a lot of people put them on their matte boxes for video cameras and things like that. It’s just what they’re doing. I mean 4 inch, 4 Watt draw and you put one on each side or put ‘em top and bottom, that’s your whole lighting system. Real simple, that’s 12 Watts you can run it with … we have a box of 8 AA batteries that will drive this for an hour – 2 of these. So it just works, but it’s the skin tones you’re talking about, you’re trying to make them look good. We have a couple more

The Force 7 Leko.

Page 14

Kino Flo For PLS, we’re at Kino Flo with Scott Stueckle. Ed: Scott, Kino Flo, you’ve gone LED, there’s no fluoro left or are you still supplying fluoro tubes to those who need replacements in their older Kino Flo lights? Scott: Well you know, we kind off crossed the equator last year. We sold probably more LEDs last year than our fluorescent line, but we still sell a lot of fluorescent – 4 foot 4Bank fixtures, DivaLites, the image fixtures for process, and ParaBeam for studios – a lot of applications where the fluorescents are a lower priced option but still provide the colour quality for the project. When you get into LED versions of those, you can do everything the fluorescents can do, but you have a lot of other features. What some people don’t want to do is that they don’t want to pay for those other features because they’re just maybe lighting a green screen or something like that. So I sold a huge amount of business – I get orders from some of my major distributors buying 20 Diva-Lite kits at a time, 20 Gaffer kits at a time, so I would say it’s on a decline compared to our LEDs but I’m still doing a lot with tubes, swap-outs. It’s ironic that, in our 30 year anniversary, you come to this NAB booth here and you look around, and we do have some LED tubes, they look like fluorescent tubes, but they’re all LED and our FreeStyle 31 to 21’s are kinda the LED version of the 4Banks and the 2 foot 4Banks. And our Image line, Image 47s, Image 87s are basically reproduced in the Celeb line with the Celeb 850 and the Celeb 450 and so on. Ed: I’ve noticed that in other areas too, that other light manufacturers have gone all LED, but if it’s not broke, it still works and you don’t need all of those fancy features, you just want good quality light of even temperature range or a fixed temperature, well why not stick with what you know works? Scott: Well it’s worth noting. Now for the new stuff. I’ll run through a few of the features on our FreeStyle and on our Celeb firmware and you’ll see you have a white light mode, you have a hue and saturation gel mode, you have an RGB mode and a visual effects mode. When you go through those modes, and you’re talking to gaffers and cinematographers and so forth, they’re really enjoying all the features that you can get with the LEDs, but frankly, they call the first mode the white mode, they call it the gaffer mode, because 80-90% of the time that’s the one they use – and that’s what a fluorescent is – 80-90% of the time you’re shooting daylight, you’re shooting tungsten. I still have fashion photographers who have like Milk Studios, those types of places, the 4 foot 4Bank is still de rigueur because, if you’re lighting talent with daylight and you’re not doing anything else, a soft daylight source is what you need. So if it ain’t broke you don’t replace it. Ed: You just want to make them look good. Now, FreeStyle – this does look exciting?

it’s different I’d say from our Celeb line. FreeStyle is more modular; it’s more like again getting back to the fluorescents, it’s more like the Kino Flo’s of old where you can break the system apart and build it into a set and recomposite it, put it back together again and use it as a normal fixture on a stand. Those are the features of the FreeStyle line. Adding to that line of FreeStyle which we introduced last year – the FreeStyle 31, 21 we now have the FreeStyle 41, which is a 4 foot panel system. It looks in the fixture like a 4 foot double, but it operates like our FreeStyle LEDs and gives you all the features we just discussed. So I have a FreeStyle 31 which we introduced and a 21 which we introduced first; this year we have the FreeStyle 41. Now, at a prototype phase, I have the FreeStyle tubes. The FreeStyle tubes looks like a Kino Flo T12, 4 foot tube but they have all the features of my other LEDs. I have the white mode where I can go from a full range of dimming without any shift in Kelvin and I can choose all my Kelvin range aptitude 9900 Kelvin and no shift in light output; I have green magenta control, all the same features that you have with my other FreeStyles and my Celebs are available now in these tubes. However, because they are kinda T12 sized tubes, you can pop them into your existing 4 foot 4Bank fixture and you can operate them the same way as you did your tubes, but with all the features we just described with the visual effects, the RGB, all that kind of stuff.

Scott: Well the name FreeStyle comes from the ability to differentiate … Page 16

can build it into a set like you see there, it’s a nice narrow panel and still it has all those control features we just went through, including up to our newest firmware upgrade which is for visual effects which gives you kind of a police flashing light, it gives you fire effects … Ed: And it’s all in a very solid fixture that you could give to anybody to handle and they probably wouldn’t break it? Scott: Yes and with FreeStyles too, I’m going to switch this around here, spin it around, you see on the back of the FreeStyle you have this mount system with the handle? That comes on or off like all of our other systems and the controller here also is designed so it can mount on the back. So it runs like any kind of a fixture with a built-in controller but you can take it and run a remote as well. In addition, because all of our FreeStyles are like our Celebs in that they have a wireless DMX, you can operate them remotely from 200 -300 metre away with DMX like a Lumen Radio transmitter and those types of products. A lot of operators like that because they can operate these things in large arrays of combinations of light sources. Ed: I like the display on your FreeStyle too, that you can see the Kelvin temperature, you can see the percentage dimming that you’ve got in there and it’s all colour coded and very easy to operate?

Ed: Wow, that’s made it very flexible and good on you for doing it? Scott: So if somebody has a couple of 4Banks on the truck and maybe they want to move to the next level, they don’t really want to jump to buying a 4 Kino Flo Celeb or maybe a FreeStyle, they can get 4 of the LED tubes, pop it in their existing 4Bank fixture, get one of our controllers and you can run it, basically Bob’s your uncle, you’re ready to roll, you know how to operate it because it operates the same as the 4 you have on the remote control system, the powers adapt, you have a head cable, you have a harness and you have 4 tubes. It’s just what you did before with the 4Bank systems for instance, but now you have all the control features and the firmware that we just went through with the colour controls and software. Ed: And I like the name because in our neck of the woods “freestyle” means going commando! Scott: It is kind of commando and if you see it here with just the controller and the lamp that’s kind of commando – there’s no fixture around it, it’s Lucy Goosey, it’s flying free man! Ed: Right, now, there’s another panel over here that I spotted as being something new? Scott: This is what I was referring to when I was comparing the tubes to the other FreeStyle brothers and sisters in that family. This is the FreeStyle 31, this is the FreeStyle 21 and up there is the FreeStyle 41. So basically let’s go reverse order. The FreeStyle 41 is new; it’s a 4 foot LED panel, you can break it and put it into a plastic fixture kind of like you do other fluorescent tubes, you can use it in this metal tray here ( which is called a gaffer tray ). It pops out of the tray, you take it out and can run it outside of the fixture; I

Scott: The philosophy behind the Celebs and the FreeStyles has been, when we’re developing our software, we’re trying to focus a lot on what’s easiest for somebody to learn – a quick learning curve. So it should be very – I guess the word is “intuitive” – you should be able to get this to work without me actually standing over your shoulder and you should be able to play with it a little bit and figure out with just a brief review of how to use the turning knob, the clicky knob and the buttons, you should be able to navigate through it logically. That’s how we kind of designed it – the screen’s large enough, we have really nice, easy to read fonts. In this system here, if you’re working in a studio and you’re upside down relative to the controller, you can hit a button and it reverses the screen – so it’s reversed to where your viewing angle is, you’re not trying to do it upside down, which seems like a small thing, but actually when you’re up in the grid it’s dark, it’s a big thing. So we try to think in those terms of what is the guy in the field or the girl working with the Kino Flos, what do they need to make this as smooth and easy to learn and as practical as possible. As you know, you can get a programmer to do all kinds of wild and crazy things, but try and figure it out – to them it’s like oh just programme, do this … Ed: It’s like a VCR in the old days? Scott: That’s right, I would say like the old days of PC versus Mac. People would get a Mac and they’d go “listen, I just want to turn it on and have a go and figure it out pretty quickly.” Well the PC stuff in the early days of the 90s was really interesting to work with, but it was complicated, there were a lot of errors with it and you could get it to do things, but you kinda had to be into that sort of thing. We figure people are not into the software, they’re into what the light can do, we want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for them to achieve the quality of light they want using our FreeStyle systems. NZVN

Page 17

To find out more about Kino Flo, call Chris McKenzie at PLS Phone: (09) 302 4100; Email: Website:

Avid We’re at the Avid stand with Angel Ylisastigui from Avid. Ed: Angel, we’ve seen the virtual set before, but you’re saying that there have been some improvements? Angel: There’ve been some additional improvements to the tracking system that is connected through infrared, so it always knows where the camera is and where to position the images that you’re going to put virtually into the set. That’s one of the few advances that we're doing. Generally we keep increaseing the amount of partners that are now part of Avid. I think we have 7000 partners now that have integrated products with us. Ed: Yes, I’ve already talked to a couple at the show whose products rely very heavily on Avid and one of them recently was Panasonic with their broadcast connection for News crews. The material comes straight back and Avid reads it and it just works seamlessly, so a good partner there. Angel: We just keep expanding our network of partners that work with us and that’s part of our vision – to be able to be an open platform where anybody can work with Avid seamlessly. We’re showing Media Composer in a collaborative environment where people can work from different parts of the world on the same material at the same time, which is one of the big features of our software. Ed: Does it translate as it goes – do you get it in different languages depending on where you are, or is it only in English? Angel: It’s in the language that you chose in the place that you are. I mean, in Spanish for people who are using it in Spanish, but really, crews work in the same language, so you might be filming in Australia and somebody might be doing a shot in Africa and somebody in the States and through the Cloud we can all work together at the same time. Ed: Media Composer Ultimate – what’s that?

Ed: Do you keep adding codecs as manufacturers come out with something new?


Angel: Yes, we keep up to date all the time. We keep improving it. Actually, we just earned an Emmy 3 days ago for multi-camera editing, so that’s our latest achievement. This is the broadcast workflow area and media central – this is called the whole broadcast workflow area and we just keep improving the system. We’re going to talk to Eduardo Solana and he’s going to tell us more about the media management file for Avid. Ed: In New Zealand, I believe Avid is the system they use for broadcast television, so this is quite important to them. What have you come up with recently? Eduardo: We’re presenting here our new MediaCentral Cloud services where the interface is much more friendly. It’s optimised to work on different platforms – you want to use a tablet, you want to use a phone, you want to use a Mac, PC – the interface, being HTML5, is a lot more friendly. We’re also promoting right now our alliance with Microsoft Assurance


Angel: That’s our new version of Media Composer which includes all of the optional features; PhraseFind ScriptSync, Symphony and NewsCutter. Now it’s all in Ultimate. It’s a new price and everything is in the package. It’s like “the everything” of Media Composer and we have a lower new price for Media Composer – but that depends on the region of course and the pricing. Page 18

Services, where you can have several distant apps within Media Central that are not Avid apps, but third party apps. You have face recognition, you have speech recognition, you can post to different platforms – Facebook, YouTube, you can create proxies, those proxies scanned over to the Cloud. You know MediaCentral | UX has become the main core of our solutions. Every solution that you’re going to use from Avid is based on MediaCentral whether it’s a reporter, a journalist, an editor, a logger – all of them are going to use the same interface, so this is big because it’s a common interface for everybody, so whether your role is to be a producer, a director, you do the run down the playlist, it’s all done within the same interface of MediaCentral. Ed: So I’m assuming you just arrange different permissions throughout the system so different people can access different parts of the system? Eduardo: When you log into the system, you get your privileges whatever they are; maybe you’re not going to be able to see the rundown because that’s not your role, but you’re going to be able to see all the incoming media catalogue augmented data and then another user who may have the rundown privilege, they’re going to see all the media and then do the rundown and they can actually change a run and play on air.

coming so it will get better when you need more bandwidth, you need more users. Right now, speaking about News for example, it’s 50 megabit right, the standard. When that goes up and goes to 220 megabit or goes to HD, you will need more drives, more speed and more performance out of the storage. NZVN To find out more about Avid video products,

Ed: What’s been really important, and we have mentioned this already with Andy Wild, is Avid NEXIS. Now it’s not just a name change is it?

contact Atomise.

Eduardo: With NEXIS, there are different levels of storage. In the past, maybe Avid was perceived as being very expensive as far as storage goes but, you know, with this new generation, we can cover every market from the education market all the way to the big enterprise with very low cost solutions with high performance that you can use basically for a post house for a university, for independent professionals all the way through – you know speaking about NBC, CBS, Al Jazeera where you can go all the way to petabytes.

Email: Or visit their website:

Ed: So you can start with one rack and just keep building? Eduardo: Exactly. You start very small, but start growing – and it will also depend on how many users you’re going to have, what type of resolution. We now support UHD 4K resolution on our storage and you can use it with Final Cut Pro, you can use it with Adobe Premiere, you can use it with Media Composer; you can have Pro Tools also as part of the workflow. So basically, you would have to change the whole file structure of NEXIS to make it affordable to any market. Ed: I understand that NEXIS just works in the background, so if you’ve got your MediaCentral, the guys there don’t even know about it, it’s just working? Eduardo: For the end user, it’s basically transparent, they don’t know what the media is. You start ingesting media, they see their media, start editing and playing back that media, send it to air, they don’t really care. You know you have a user management console that the admin guys or the IT guys take care of, but userwise it’s just fine, nothing to worry about. Ed:

So how could it get better?

Eduardo: It will get better every year you know. Don’t worry. Ed: Is that as the drives get faster or are you already using SSD drives? Eduardo: Yes, we have SSD drives, we’re doing very high end finishing work, working on 4K, 8K and 16K is Page 20

Ph (Wgtn) (04) 380 5010 Ph (Auck) mob 021 0669 286

EIZO For Gencom, we are here at EIZO from Japan with Masato Nakashima, and David Barnard and I are looking at some very nice colour monitors. Ed: Now, are these monitors something that you make yourselves? Masato: Yes. Ed: You don’t use the base from another manufacturer, it’s all you? Masato: Yes, we have designed this completely from scratch and we manufacture as well in Japan. We have our own factory beside the marketing team and we communicate frequently as to what is the market requirement. Then we design the product specially for each application. These models are designed for postproduction in the broadcasting area. This summer, we launched 2 new monitors. They both have a 31 inch screen size – identical, same resolution, DCI 4K, both of them 96 horizontal pixel quantity. The difference is firstly, real HDR monitors which have 1000 nits across the screen and very deep black. This one is the successor to our CG318, the existing model, and we upgraded some features like HDMI 2.0 new integration sensor and we removed the fan because some people complained about the fan noise. This monitor has HDR settings, like a PQ LUT, but the maximum brightness this model has is 300. Meanwhile the CG319X has 1000 nits, and the bright level is also different. This is far better. So this is for colour grading use, and compositing VFX and other postproduction use. David: The CG318 can take the full HDR signal in, read it and then reduce it to fit in the 300 nits. So the dynamic range of the panel itself is not full HDR but it can accept the full HDR signal so you know that you’re looking at the actual signal.

David and Masato.


Oh okay, I’ve learnt something.

David: So the minimum is very close to zero and one goes up to 1000 and the other only goes to 300 – the dynamic range would be much greater on the one that goes up to 1000. Ed: Right, because I’ve come across smaller monitors that have a higher nit value and the purpose of that was so people with rigs could use them outside in the sun and they’d still see them but, in this situation, it’s to give you that high dynamic range? David: Right. that correct? Masato: Ed:

Page 21


Okay, so the value of this product to you David?

David: the past,

Masato: All monitors have a 70 70 70 3D lookup table inside. So we can actually end with any conditions we like. For example, if we want to emulate true signal range from black out to 300, then we can scale down all the signal range to see all the tones. But it looks flat compared to what HDR should look like. Ed: Correct me if I’m wrong, but your dynamic range is not the same as your nit value. Nit is about brightness isn’t it, it’s not necessarily dynamic range? Masato: Dynamic range is calculated based on the maximum and the minimum brightness on the monitors.

And these are all 10-bit panels, is

We’ve sold a lot of displays and monitors in but usually they’re broadcast reference

monitors, they use SDI inputs, they’re designed specifically for a broadcast production environment. These are really designed for the postproduction environment, designed as computer workstation monitors, but they are designed – as he said – from the ground up to be used for critical colour applications, critical grading applications, where you have to know that you’ve got it right. Interestingly, the reason we’ve gotten connected with these guys is we got put in touch by one of our customers in NZ who has already installed a fair number of them. You might have heard of them – Weta Digital and Park Road Post. So those guys love these monitors and I’m very happy that Ian from Park Road was kind enough to introduce us to them so we can get them out to others in the market. Ed: And I can agree, looking at the images here of white snowscapes and people with dark clothing, you can still see the detail in the dark clothing; and there was another wonderful shot of a sunset somewhere in Japan and a girl in shadow and you could see the detail on the clothing, so yes very beautiful monitors. You need to have a look at them. David: But it’s not just HDR monitors, so we don’t want anybody to think that they should only be looking at these if they need the high end HDR. They actually have a full range of monitors from high end business grade monitors through standard full HD postproduction monitors. Ed:

So for the smaller producer?

Masato: As David mentioned, we have another lineup from 23 inch up to 27 inch with different features. We have 2 different series – one is the CG which has all the features including the self-calibration systems. The other one is the CS series. That doesn’t have a selfcalibration system but we can still calibrate using our software, using a standard sensor. David: The self-calibration systems are very good. It actually has a little panel built into the bezel here and when it needs to, it pops it down, reads what’s on the screen, adjusts itself – it’s about to do it right now … Ed: Wow – and in this situation it looks as though there’s Adobe Premiere on there and you can see very clearly the images on this monitor as opposed to something you might have got from a computer store? David: Yes, that’s exactly right. These are designed to be a step up to be used in professional environments where having the best colour, having the best dynamic range matters, regardless of where that price point is. So they really do have a full range of products starting at high end business monitors and working all the way up to the high end grading reference monitors.

Masato: Yes. If we use a converter from SDI too this will do HDMI. David: So if anyone wants to know more, if they’re interested to hear more about these monitors, just get in touch with Gencom. We will be getting a demo unit soon. Probably not the HDR model but there will be one coming through New Zealand in the next several months. We’ll be showing it at the MTP conference in August. Ed: So in terms of all your product, you have a warranty on it? Masato: Yes, we are warranty is five years. Ed:


in Japan and


On every monitor that you sell?

Masato: years.

All the monitors, as I was saying, five

Ed: And what constitutes a failure – that the black is not totally black or what sort of things could go wrong? Masato: The failure rate is quite low, but sometimes there is a DOA like a best chock or … Ed:

Okay, a dead pixel?

Masato: Ed:

Dead pixel yes, dead pixel warranty too.

Well, why wouldn’t you buy one David?

David: I’m going to! told you about.

That’s the demo monitor I

Ed: And I understand it’s quite a bit cheaper than the leading competition? David: Yes. I believe the HDR model is being compared to the Sony Reference OLED which is about a US$40,000 monitor, whereas this one’s going for about US$30,000. Obviously NZ pricing will be set at … Ed:

Yeah, a bit less than that?


Ed: And I see on the board in the background here it also includes monitors for production – you have a production monitor?

Yeah, yeah … right … sure.

To find out more about Eizo, contact Gencom Technology

Masato: Yes. We recommend only this one for the onset use. It doesn’t have an SDI interface, but HDMI and DisplayPort.


Ed: So it’s not actually a monitor for in the field; it’s a monitor for looking at the dailies you say?

Or visit their website:

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(Auck) (09) 913 7500; (Wgtn) (04) 939 7100



Gecko-Cam At Gecko-Cam we’re talking to Heinz Ratzinger. Ed: Well, you’ve got a good pedigree sir – we’ll just call you Cardinal. Now Gecko-Cam – it’s something I’m not familiar with, but the team at Imagezone are very impressed by your lenses so let’s just start with the future and the distant future is going to be LPL. Do you see this as a good move? Heinz: Yes, I’m sure that’s a good move because if you use the ALEXA LF with the Signature primes then you don’t have to use a batter or something else or you can change all the lenses directly. Ed:

And the new format makes for a better lens?

Heinz: Our lenses are made for image circle for the 46.3 so it works perfect for the future. Ed: Excellent. Now just tell me what’s new with your lenses? Heinz: We already have uncoated front lenses which are special front lenses because they are not only uncoated on the front side, they are also uncoated on the back. So the uncoated raufharden for the flares … they make very nice flares the uncoated ones. Also in the news, our rehousing – we have a new rehousing for the old Zeiss high speed lenses. We have started with the 18mm lens because the 18mm and the 25 have the floating element inside and it’s not so easy to rehouse these lenses. Ed:

Sorry, what do you mean by “rehousing”?

Heinz: We only use the old lenses. The old Zeiss high speed lenses are 50 years old and we use only the glass. We take only the glass inside and give them a complete new housing. We make all the other parts completely new. Ed: So if somebody has a set of old Zeiss lenses, they can send them to you and you’ll rehouse them? Heinz: Yes, we can rebuild the complete lens with the old glass from the customer, because there are no spare parts available for the old lenses. Ed: And it gives you a chance to clean the lenses and also realign them – I guess there’s a bit of movement over the years? Heinz: Yes, we give them a second life, but the old high speed lenses are very popular because they have very nice flares and so the DOPs like the lenses. Now with the rehousing, you can use the high speed lenses with the clamp on compendiums and also with the motors, there’s no problem.

Ed: And you can tell that they’re rehoused because they’re natural aluminium, or can you get them in other colours? Heinz: If the customer likes, we can polish it or we can do some different colours. Ed: So choose your colour, but your standard brand new Gecko lenses are all black? Heinz: Yes … it’s more grey-black maybe, we do the same colour on the front of stills. Ed: Okay, for the uninitiated who have not heard of Gecko lenses before, there are lots of other lens manufacturers out there, do you have anything special apart from saying that you can do uncoated front lenses?

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Heinz: That’s not all. A special of the Genesis lenses is the look, because the look is quite similar to the old Canon K35 lenses and that is what the DOPs want and so I think we are very close to the old lenses from that look – more modern and more for the future because of the larger image circle and the modern quality of the housing. Ed: Can you describe the look in any way. I know when Cooke is talking about its look, it’s sort of saying “well, it’s not a perfect look, there are little distortions”. That puzzles me because, as a videographer, I like to have things in focus and clear and not little odd bits in it. How would you describe your “look”? Heinz: Yes, that’s always the problem; if you talk to the lens designer, the lens designer always will do a perfect lens, always completely sharp and if you go to the lens designer and say “we need it not so completely sharp, we need it a little bit warm and the edges not so sharp and a softness – not so hard there” it’s very difficult to understand for a lens designer. But I think we have a good solution for the lenses. Ed: So it’s a case of trying the lens, seeing if you like the look and then you know you’re going to go with Gecko lenses? Heinz: Yes. And it’s also the colour from the lenses from the image – it’s a little bit CineAlta – like the Cooke lenses are also a little bit warmer. You can see it also here on the projector, it’s not completely white, it’s a little bit warmer.

Ed: Okay, now here’s something that we’ve got a nice photograph of, showing a light on the end of the lens. What’s happening here? Heinz: It’s not only a light, we have a micro adapter so you can use every lens as a micro lens. Ed:

Every lens?

Heinz: Every lens. You turn the lens 180 degrees and the front lens goes to the camera side and the rear lens goes to whatever you want and then you have more than 1:1, you can go up to 1:3 or 1:5. It’s a very easy and cheap tool to use, every lens is a micro lens. Ed: Yeah … and the picture shows it. Very sharp, very clear and the light is there of course to provide you even lighting at that very short distance.

Ed: But again, go along to Imagezone, have a look at the Gecko-Cam and compare it to others and see if you like it. And I guess you come in the full range of focal lengths?

Heinz: It’s a complete system. You can use some different mounts – you can use this micro adapter with PL, LPL, EF mounts on camera side and lens side – whatever you want.

Heinz: We are already working on the 100mm but I think it needs around one year to finish the lens.



Is it harder to make a long lens than a short lens?

Heinz: No it’s not a big difference to make it because the 100mm we are working on the macro lens. It’s a 100mm macro lens. It’s not so easy. Ed: Aaah. Well best of luck. Now, what is this we’ve got on this lens here? Heinz: On every lens, we have 2 holes and, on the 2 holes, you can put on a motor bracket. You can put your standard motors on this bracket and then you don’t need the rods on the camera, the motors are directly on the lens and it’s very good because we have no mechanical movement between the camera and the lens, so you have always a perfect work from the motors. That’s a very important thing and if you don’t use the motors on the bracket, it’s a very handy handle that can carry this lens very good on this bracket. Ed: And it’s viable because the lenses these days are lighter, they’re shorter and the motor bracket itself is very light, so it’s not putting extra load on the mounting. Heinz: Yes and we are using carbon fibre rods on the mounting bracket, so it’s very light. Page 24

A worthy addition to the Imagezone stable. To find out more about Gecko-Cam, contact Imagezone Phone: (09) 476 3466 Email: Or visit their website:


Telemetrics For Techtel, we are here at Telemetrics with David Workman. Ed: David Colthorpe has told me that you’re the man to tell me all about OmniGlide which is a pedestal system for studio cameras I imagine by the look of it? David: Yes, this is a brand new product that we’ve introduced that’s been a bit of a surprise here at the show. Just about 2 hours ago, we won the Best of Show award for the robotics. It’s a whole new concept in moving pedestals on floor dollies. Typically, with most of the systems that are out there, you have wheels that have to be turned, but if the wheels are pointing in one direction and you want to move in the other direction, you’ve got to swing it around and pan the whole thing and then you have to counter-pan the head itself to keep the head pointing in the right direction … where we have an OmniGlide system that is completely omnidirectional from anywhere so we can move in any direction, do S shaped curves, C shaped curves, any kind of movement you like. Ed: So I presume this is not by magic, do you have a hovercraft under there or have you got massive ball bearings or how are you doing it? David: Unfortunately, we’re still in the patent application process, so we can’t disclose what the technology is behind it yet. Ed: Now we’ve just had a quick demo and no, there’s no air coming out of there, so it’s not a hovercraft; it’s patent pending so we don’t know what it is, but I’m guessing there’s just massive ball bearings under there somehow. Anyway, David continue. David: In addition, we have laser scanners at each corner. These are the same scanners that they’re using in autonomous cars, so we’ve kind of adopted that technology. As I move it towards the wall, you can see the blue light in there – as I try to crash it into the wall, it actually stops automatically. It detects where the wall is and puts on the brakes and it tells you which side the angle is. So I can still move that back and forth, up and down, I just can’t move it any closer to the wall, because it’s got a collision avoidance system in there. That’s adjustable – you can adjust that distance anywhere from a couple of inches up to about 5 feet. Ed: And it doesn’t have to be a wall – I imagine it could be somebody’s leg? David: Correct yes, or another bot that’s roving around. That same scanner can be used to do the homing, so you can tell it where a fixed wall is, and as long as there’s a corner there or 2 different angles, it will back into the corner, align itself to a known coordinate and then go out and keep moving; so you don’t have to manually re-home it or recalibrate it. Ed: So you’re telling me that you can actually map the floor area of your studio where you want it to go and where you don’t want it to go, and it will recognise those spaces? David: Right, correct. And as we go forward, we do have plans to extend that capability, so it actually learns automatically the floor space as it roves it. It has the collision avoidance and the detection, but right now, you have to manually say where the marker is to do the calibration. But once it’s got the calibration point, it will always go back there to that one point to recalibrate. Ed: And how critical is it that you have a perfectly flat and level floor?

David: This will actually go on most floors, but obviously, the flatter and more level the floor is, the less shake you’re going to have in the camera, because if it runs over a bump, it’s going to run over a bump you know. But it will handle running over a bump much more elegantly than any other system out there, just as far as handling it, but that will still translate into movement in the camera. Ed: And the camera’s automatically programmed – can you choose a face in your programme and have the camera track and hold that face, or does that have to be done manually? David: No, that’s another new feature; in fact that’s the second feature that we won the Best of Show award for. Ed: Oh look, that’s the sort of thing one would need to do, because you can automate one part of it, but if the rest of it doesn’t follow suit, well there’s not much point. David: That’s a feature of the control system itself, so not specifically of the OmniGlide pedestal. In the control system now, we do have facial recognition software. This can be done on a global basis where it recognises any face that’s on the set, or you can have a library of known faces so that, if you have an anchor who brings a lot of guests up on stage, it’ll always track the anchor and allow the guests to come and go, and it will know to ignore them. You can also set it where the positioning of the centre of the tracking window is, so the tracking can be centred on the screen or offset to the side or wherever you want that. So if you do have multiple people on set, you can have it track the middle person, the left person or the right person for example,

Page 25

and still leave room for the others just because you know that you’re tracking it at an off-centre position. Ed: So how many robots can you control with this one controller? David: Unlimited. On our system that’s at the United Nations, we have 130 cameras controlled from one controller. Ed:

Wow, but you don’t have a joystick for each?

David: No, you have page up and page down buttons here so you can page through, or you just recall directly by camera number, so you can say go to 135 and it just goes there. Ed: So only one’s moving at a time, or can you preprogramme a move into a camera? David: Yes, you can preprogramme moves into any camera very easily, but you can also recall salvos that call many cameras at once. Ed:

Aaah so you could have a dance?


Yeah, there you go.

Ed: I’m sure there are some boffins round already licking their lips, thinking about what they can do with this given the opportunity? David: Well one of the other things I should mention is that it’s not just a robotics controller, it’s also a full camera CCU as well. So on a camera by camera basis, we can provide all of your camera paint controls, master pedestal, iris, red green and blue, white balance, black balance, and we do that on a camera by camera basis and we can mix and match different camera types. So if you have a Grass Valley, Sony, Panasonic or Ikegami, as you select a camera on the controller, it gives you the menu for that camera.

Page 26

So if you have a Sony and a Grass Valley camera side by side, you just press the button and you have your iris control; you select the Grass Valley camera you know you have your iris control and all presented in a consistent fashion. Ed: Well it doesn’t look as though there’s anything left for Mark II? David: We’re always improving, but we’ve been doing camera control systems for 45 years now, so we’ve learned a lot of those tricks along the way. Ed: Okay, so how high does the pedestal go – it looks as though it’s got a lift on it? David: We have 5 different sizes of pedestal, so 2 in the small gauge and then 3 in the large gauge. This is the small size of the large gauge, so we have 2 even bigger ones than this, so that’s what – about 6 feet there – we have one that goes about 7½ feet and one that goes up to about 12 feet. Ed: What would you use that for … audience I suppose, you want to get up high for the audience? David: Yes, or a sunken floor where you need to come up through the floor or something like that. But we can also come down from the ceiling. Any of these elevators can be ceiling mounted, so you can come down from the ceiling. So if you have a really high ceiling, we can come down that way. Ed: And I see here that you’ve got one sitting on a pair of rails? David: Yes we have a full track system. I know that your audio won’t pick this up, but we have integration with a virtual reality engine, so here we have our guy Cleatus who is a popular animation on Fox Sports. Now the nice thing about this is the system is sending 3D information from the camera of every frame of video. So every single frame of video we’re sending the 3D position; the animation system then knows where that is and can overlay that animation in real time. So as you can see as I move the track back and forth …

freewheeling gear that reads how many ticks across that track, but will read 5.4 million ticks along the distance. So you can have a track that’s 300 feet long, and we still get that subpixel positioning anywhere along that track – and we can do straight track, curved tracks, S-shaped tracks, it can be mounted on the ceiling or the floor and you get the same performance either way. Ed: Well I think it was very good of David Colthorpe to send me here, because that’s a very special product and I’m sure every broadcaster that does a News programme would love to have this arrangement – and more. I’m sure in the games show area this is well accepted? David: Yes, it’s one of our good markets that we’ve done well in – but don’t go away just yet as there is another new product we have here at the show – the PT-WP-S5, the weatherproof version of the S5 line. It uses the exact same electronics as our in-studio head. So typically, with an outdoor head, it’s going to be very clunky movement you know – ERK ERK ERK – whereas this gives you very smooth, programmable, key frameable motion that provides you the same movement that you would get in the studio. It’s fully weatherproof IP65 rated and big enough to hold a very large lens and camera. It’s got internal fans to keep the condensation off the lens and pretty much all the features you’d ever need in an outdoor head. Ed: But it’s got the obvious wheels, unlike the patent one? David: Yes but that’s just for show here at the floor. Typically, you’d put this up on the transmitter tower so that a TV studio can use it to show their beauty shots at the end of the Newscast, or for border security, or for things like horse race tracks. Ed: So most of the time it would be in a fixed position? David: Ed:

Correct, yes.


Ed: There’s no jitter … there’s absolutely no jitter. It’s as if Cleatus was standing there. What happens if the robot tries to run into him?

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David: It just kind of goes through it … but I can zoom in here on him and you can see the keying is absolutely perfect. That’s a function of both the robotics and the animation software itself, but having the precise robotics that gives you subpixel positioning allows you to do that – again, without that jitter and without any delay or propagation time. So if I set a shot here, it saves that shot, it saves the position of the camera to within one-tenthousandths of an inch, and there’s no recalibration or anything required. I can come back to that same shot, recall it 2 years later, and it will recall at exactly that same position.


contact David Colthorpe at Techtel, Phone 0800 832 485 Website

Ed: Okay, so the control – there are no infrared lasers, it’s all by cable, so you’re not going to get any interference of any sort? David: No. The track system itself has an encoder strip along inside the track and that never wears because there’s no friction against it. It’s just a Page 27


ARRI Cameras On the ARRI stand we are with Sean Dooley from ARRI Australia / New Zealand. Ed: Sean, it’s looking very nice here, there are lots of lovely cameras and people are pretty excited to come to the stand and have a look – you’ve had some good feedback so far? Sean: Yes, again it’s been a very busy NAB for ARRI. We have new products in 3 main areas, so there’s a couple of things in a camera, it’s kind of the first big launch of the new ALEXA LF in the United States with the new Signature prime lenses. We have our first inbuilt wireless lens motor, there’s a new ARRISCAN for archival film transfer and there’s a new Sean’s excited with the ALEXA LF - so should you be. version of the SkyPanel firmware – a free update which brings a whole bunch of lot of productions ramp up. I know they’ve already sent new features. 6 cameras over here for a Netflix production and I imagine that, as the year progresses, we’ll see all of the Ed: Right, so first the cameras? new Netflix shows move to the LF platform. DPs have Sean: As I mentioned, this is the biggest been crying out for years now to use ALEXA in those American launch of the ALEXA LF and Signature prime shows, and finally we have a camera which has the lenses so far. We have a nice little shooting setup resolution, as well as having the new large format look, going where you can look at skin tones and the depth of which a lot of people are excited about. field for new lenses on a couple of models on the booth, Ed: And the ALEXA Mini, have there been any and we are showing 2 of the new Signature primes for improvements? the first time: that’s the 58mm T1.8 Signature prime and the 150mm T1.8. The 150mm is particularly Sean: There will be no changes to the body or special – it weighs about a kilogram less than the software features or anything like that at this show. Master prime 150mm lens and it still has a 114mm There are some new accessories, including a new quick front even though you need a heap of glass to get that release bridge plate and a new swing away battery kind of stop and focal length for full frame. But it’s a adapter which is really nice. We’re constantly pretty special one. Thorsten our head of the lens improving things that we get a lot of feedback on from department ( recently in Auckland to launch the customers that they don’t like as much; especially being lenses ), actually picked it up from Japan on Thursday and hand-carried it straight here so, brand new. But great to see those lenses are rolling off the production line and we’re still on schedule for a June delivery. Ed: We’ll talk to Thorsten a little bit later about lenses specifically. So the Americans are keen on it are they – I guess they’ve got the budgets for the big jobs? Sean: Sure, I think given that a few weeks ago, Netflix came out with a press release to say that the ALEXA LF is certified in all 3 recording modes, that’s a big boost locally, because obviously Netflix is huge in the States and I’m sure this year, once the cameras start shipping in May, we’ll see a

… I’m not so sure those legs are long enough. Page 28

able to have a battery mounted to the back of the camera which swings away so you can get to the card door, no rods or anything like that, is really nifty. In a similar vein, the new cforce mini RF lens motor has just been announced and it’s really cool. It’s a lens motor that doesn’t require an additional motor controller, so the motor controller and the wireless link are built into the motor itself. Immediately, you’re taking a lot of clutter away from the camera and reducing cost because you don’t need to spend $7500 on a lens controller anymore. It supports camera control over the wireless link to the WCU-4 hand unit and will also support lens data which you can send from the hand unit to the lens motor and then get all the details on where your lens is focused, iris position, depth of field, straight on the handset. That motor will also support daisy-chaining – so you’ll have another 2 motors connected to that one motor just in a small daisy-chain, one cable to power. It’s quite a neat unit and an amazing solution. Ed: It’s really the form factor of the ARRI Mini that’s taken a lot of people’s interest, because that reduced size means that you can put it places that you couldn’t before, and you can put it on gimbals and easily carry it. Is that form factor likely to be seen in other areas within the ARRI camera range? Sean: I think the uptake of the Mini took ARRI by surprise. The ALEXA Mini was brought out as a drone and a gimbal camera, so a rigging camera for very small situations and it’s very flexible because of that. It’s still not the best ergonomic camera, which we’re totally happy to acknowledge. The AMIRA was really designed around sitting on your shoulder and the ALEXA Mini was designed to be a small carbon fibre box, so immediately there are going to be some compromises, but all the accessories we’ve brought out over the last 3 years of the Mini being in the market I think have addressed that in a big way. I’m sure we’ll see small cameras from ARRI in the future, but I think we’ve kind of learnt our lesson in that it was probably a bit niche to target a camera just for the drone and gimbal market – when now we’ve really realised that people want something small and lightweight and that’s definitely going to be seen into the future – you know, years away, but … Ed:

Next development?

Sean: One other thing which we haven’t got an official press release for but we talked about it at the dealer meeting just before the show started, is that we’re now bringing ARRIRAW to the AMIRA. We’re unsure as to how it will be implemented, but the engineers have given us the tick and so we will at least have 2.8K ARRIRAW from that 16x9 sensor in the AMIRA, most likely both 30 frames and beyond, recording to CFAST cards just like the ALEXA Mini does, so I think that will breathe a bit of new life into the AMIRA. A lot of people don’t realise that it’s exactly the

same sensor as the ALEXA Mini, so in terms of image quality, it’s identical and really, you need a lot less accessories to make the camera work … people should really give it another look, but now with ARRIRAW, I think for some bigger music videos and stuff like that, it’s probably going to become one of the cameras of choice again, especially with the raft of Multicam features AMIRA now boasts, including separate return video and tally inputs, plus 4K UHD production up to 60 frames per second. Ed: To me it emphasises the ARRI philosophy that you get that base camera and it’s going to be supported in the years to come; it’s not going to be superseded by another model, you’re going to improve the firmware so in fact take that base camera and put it on steroids? Sean: Absolutely. We heard a statistic the other day that 75% of the drama production in the United States is shot with ALEXA. Even with Netflix in there and not allowing the first generation, if you bought an ALEXA 8 years ago, you’ve had a huge amount of time to get return on investment, and that’s one of the big reasons that our customers love owning the ARRI brand, they know it’s a safe and secure investment and I’m sure the ALEXA Mini in particular will still be the camera of choice for many years to come. We’re not looking at replacing that and annoying everyone who’s bought one, it’s still very much a current model and we’ll sell far more of those than LFs this year, I’m quite certain of it. Ed: But they still want the LF don’t they, once they’ve seen what it does? Sean: Sure, yes, but it’s a bigger camera physically, it’s not for everyone and really the thing to take away is that they work very well together and it’s all the same colour science, it’s all the same look, so we encourage people to stay within the ARRI family where we have solutions for every kind of shooting scenario. Ed: Now Sean, in terms of ARRI training, as we speak, I think there’s a course going on in Auckland – is it just an ARRI course or is it just an introduction to the LF? Sean: We’re running 2 courses – one’s on the camera system and one is on the electronic control system and focus pulling and that kind of stuff. The

Page 29

camera system course is not camera specific. A lot of the information in that will work with any camera from any manufacturing brand, it’s about properly exposing a digital sensor, how sensors are constructed, some of the workflow things in terms of like, codec RAW versus a compressed codec like ProRes – all those sorts of things. So yes, there will be sections and modules on the AMIRA, the ALEXA Mini, the ALEXA SXT and the LF, but it really is a well-rounded course and I think, even if you’ve just come out of film school or you’ve been working in the industry 20 years, it’s a great opportunity to talk to the people who made the camera and find out all the little bits and pieces that you mightn’t be aware of having to teach yourself how to use it. You know, little hints and tricks and stuff … I’m sure everyone really will take quite a bit away from the course. Ed: Okay, and we can expect more courses in the future? Sean: Assuming that the course will be successful, and we’ve already sold more than half the tickets which is great, we’ll definitely be looking to expand it. We brought out this time the head trainer from Munich, Florian Rettich, who is an amazing guy and really knowledgeable and I guess he’ll get a lot of the feedback from the students and what improvements they want to see to the course, and then hopefully next year we might look at running the same thing again along with camera stabilisation and lighting courses, all under the ever-expanding ARRI Academy masthead. Ed: Okay, so the notification came out a bit too late for me to put anything in the newspaper about this, so how can people sign up to be informed of future courses?

we’re sort of interested but we want to see how things go.” Is this what you’re finding generally? Thorsten: Well we have talked with most of the lens and camera manufacturers and we have almost everybody in the boat. Just 3 minutes ago, we were testing the first Leica Thalia lenses with LPL mount on our new camera; Angénieux is working on it; Cooke is working on it; Zeiss Sigma, Tokina, it’s a big group of people providing LPL mount solutions in the future. Ed: Are they excited about it or are they thinking “well, if we don’t join this we’re going to get left behind.” What’s the feeling you’re getting? Thorsten: I think they are excited about LPL because it gives other possibilities. The PL mount was designed for the image circle of roughly 30mm but fuller frame or large format is at least 43mm; it could be also with the RED Monstro 46mm or 44.7mm with our sensor. It’s a big difference and if you continue with the PL mount, you might see some limitations in optical design, also in mechanical design, and that was for us the reason to develop a new mount which is completely retrofittable with existing ALEXA cameras, AMIRA cameras and Mini cameras out in the market, because this is our legacy.

Sean: They can get in touch with us, the <> email address is probably the best way to do that. We’d love to start a waiting list and certainly if you’re on our newsletter you’re most likely to be updated and our Facebook and Instagram pages are both excellent sources of immediate information. Now we have Thorsten Meywald and we’re going to talk lenses. Ed: Thorsten, the LPL mount, this is something that, when I saw it, I thought “wow, this is a game changer in the industry.” I’ve spoken to Canon as one other lens manufacturer and they said “well, we’re looking at it,

Thorsten with some of the new lens range. Page 30

Ed: When you introduced the PL mount 40-something years ago, the adoption by the other manufacturers was quite quick? Thorsten: It took them a couple of years … maybe for our industry quite quick! Ed: Are you expecting the same sort of speed – or it might even be faster with this? Thorsten: Maybe even faster because we have also developed an adapter PL to LPL mount which inserts to the LPL mount and this is a very nice product which comes with every LF camera shipment. So if somebody buys an ALEXA LF camera, he gets both the LPL mount and also the adapter. So he can access both worlds. Ed: Alright, for people who have purchased other brands of camera that are large sensor, is it going to be an advantage to them to purchase the adapter and a Signature lens. Will that really improve the images that they’re getting? Thorsten: It has an advantage. Of course we like it if they buy the Signature primes … Ed:

Yes, sometimes you can’t have everything.

Thorsten: But sometimes well, they need to go for a different style or also for a vintage lens which is in a PL mount and so they can use both. Ed: But is there an advantage – are they going to see an improvement if they take the adapter and put a Signature prime on to another model of camera that has a large sensor? Thorsten: Of course they see an advantage. The Signature primes are designed for a large image circle and these lenses are state of the art, I would say, in many aspects on the technical side, and also on the side of the style of the lenses. They were designed for a very good skin tone rendition and for a natural and organic bokeh which gives a kind of dimensionality to the image and they will see also these effects with other cameras, not only with ours, because it’s coming from the optics. Ed: And they’re a lot lighter, which means with people using gimbals and the Steadicam type systems more than they used to, it’s a big advantage there?

make sure that you maintain the quality, the features of that lens through a range of focal distances? Thorsten: Well this is quite important and you need to get the look of the large format also with the zoom lenses – the high quality look – well I think from ARRI you can expect something which is quite nice. Ed:

So you won’t be taking any holidays soon?

Thorsten: (laughs) No. It’s a busy time for us. Ed: Moving on to the filters – are these what you make yourself or do you partner like you do with some other products? Thorsten: We are partnering with a Japanese company doing the filters for us and it’s a codevelopment we have with them. These are so-called full spectrum neutral density filters which are not totally new. We introduced them with the AMIRA camera and also the ALEXA camera with the in-camera filters; also the Mini has the same built-in, internal filter technology. But now we have also the filters as a matte box version in 8 different densities from 0.3 up to 2.4. All these filters are absolutely colour neutral, there’s no colour shift and you can easily mix and match in-camera filters like we have in the Mini with matte box filters and this is a big advantage. The FSND filters have, in addition, also anti-reflective coatings on both sides, so if you have multiple filters stacked in the filter tray, you don’t

Thorsten: It’s also from the weight – a bigger plan has to go for a Signature prime. Most of the Signature primes in the core set, which is from 18 to 125mm, have a weight of about 2 kilogram. It’s a magnesium barrel, magnesium is material which is used in the aircraft industry, also for car racing, for motor parts of Formula One cars, it’s a high tech material which is lighter than aluminium and you can also make the barrel a little bit thinner to save weight. Ed: So now that you’ve made the primes, are you working in the backroom on a little zoom there? Thorsten: Well of course, we are working on other lenses and also lenses like zooms – it’s too early to say something about that … Ed: I guess that is a bigger step though isn’t it, because you have to Page 31

get much reflectivity. For example, in night shots, on-coming headlights from a car, sometimes if the filters are not AR coated, you get these bright little spots, multiple spots, depending on how many filters you’re using, and you don’t see it with these kinds of filters because of the AR coating. Ed: But some people like that and some manufacturers actually make filters that have deliberate defects in them? Thorsten: Well other filters are still in the market and you can still use them, but our philosophy is to make products which make the image better. Ed:

I like that philosophy.

Thorsten: Well other products are out in the market, creative filters from other manufacturers, but this is another approach. These are corrective filters and to influence the light level which comes to the sensor, and the purpose of the filter is just to influence the light level and not to give any other artefacts.

Water beads off the filter.

Ed: Right, now on the filters, I have spoken with another filter maker who said that it’s very important to have the active part of the filter sandwiched inside the glass so you can’t get it scratched, especially in a rental market I imagine that’s a sensible thing to do, but how do you do it? Thorsten: Well we have the filter layers outside on both sides, not only on one side. It has different advantages. If you have 2 glass plates and you have the layer in between, you need to cement the 2 glass plates and you need to take care that both surfaces are absolutely parallel. With one glass plate, you get a much better quality in parallelness and much fewer defects. There’s a big advantage while you are doing that, especially with high speed tele lenses – let’s say a Master prime T1.3 100mm, 135mm or our Signature primes T1.8 150 or even 280mm. If you have a filter which is not totally flat on both sides and has defects on the surfaces, you see this in the image, especially with high speed tele lenses, but sometimes also with high speed wide angle lenses.

part of the image is in focus and the other part of the image is not in focus and this is for sure something we don’t like to see, especially with 4K sensors or higher resolutions sensors. They are so sensitive these sensors and with the older filter technologies, we were living with these technologies with the sandwich for decades. I think this period comes to an end. Ed: So it just means that people have to be pretty careful they don’t scratch these? Thorsten: Well not necessarily. We have on both sides, not only the ND coating and the AR coating, we have also protective coatings. So there’s an anti-scratch coating, there’s also a water repellent coating and, if you apply water, it comes off. There’s also an oleophobic coating so if you have some grease on your fingers, which you normally do have, it’s very easy to clean. Ed: What’s the hardness on the Mohs scale of your outer coating?

Ed: So do you get a moiré pattern or is it not as bad as that?

Thorsten: Well to say it easily, we did a test and we scratched filters with some diamond tip and it’s much easier to scratch filters which are sandwiched from our competitors than our filters with the coating.

Thorsten: Moiré is a little bit different. You get a kind of a random pattern if it’s not totally flat maybe one

Ed: We’re not suggesting that people try this at home, but trust ARRI that they’ve got it right.

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Thorsten: We did a lot of testing on that. Of course, you can damage any filter – at the end, it’s a glass plate. However, if you have a deep scratch in a sandwich filter even if the active layer is in between, you can’t use the filter – even if it’s just the glass.

you the rinsing with distilled water. Otherwise it depends on the water quality in your area and also the cleaning detergent that you are using, but in theory you can use it with an expensive dishwasher.

Ed: True. So what’s the value in having the filter material on both sides rather than just one?

Thorsten: Maybe Miele professional, not for the household, but for chemical labs. They make also dishwashers for chemical labs and most probably you can wash the filter.

Thorsten: Well it’s also reflectivity and you can split the material on both sides and you can be sure that you have less reflectivity from both sides. When you have it on just one side, you have an orientation of the filter and you need to be careful for that. Here you don’t need to care – either side is okay. What is also new with this filter is, in addition to the coatings, every filter has a unique barcode and this unique barcode encodes a serial number. That means, for rental houses, they can scan the barcode with a barcode scanner and can easily make the check-in and checkout process because this is a laser engraving on glass, you cannot remove it, so you don’t need to have the rental stickers any longer which come off very often. It’s a proof of ownership which is quite important for the rentals, they can track the filters and make their own records and it’s quite simple. You can even use the barcode reader on the cellphone if you don’t like to buy an expensive one.


But you can also clean it with a cleaning cloth. Ed: And the cleaning cloth can go in the washing machine? Thorsten: The cleaning cloth can go in the washing machine. It’s a special cleaning cloth from ARRI, it’s a microfiber fabric which is very soft grip. It has also antistatic treatment and it stays antistatic even if you wash it multiple times. We have the cleaning cloths also in a large size 14x17 inches so it’s the ideal cleaning cloth for cleaning filters. Ed:


What are we looking for Eric?

Eric: We are looking for the mic, a lavalier mic. I make a little device that you slide over the microphone which makes it easier to hide the lavalier microphones on the clothing because I always found it strange that no one came across the idea that you need to create a physical space between the microphone and the clothing, like a paperclip. We used to do it with a paperclip but there wasn’t anything like that for quick use, it’s all being done with sticky tape and then put something over it like fur or other fabric. I made something that you slide over the microphone and which creates space between the clothing and the microphone.

Email Website

microphones at the moment. There’s a model for the Sanken COS-11 lavalier and a model for the DPA 4060. But within that, there are 4 different types of clip … there’s one that goes on a tie, there’s one that goes on a shirt, there’s one that goes on a T-shirt and one on a bra. So 4 different models, the microphone slots into them, there’s a picture they’re showing you and the microphone sits tidily in there. Everybody who buys them comes back and says “it’s fantastic.” They come in 5 colours ( one of which is transparent ) so there’s one to suit every application and they just work.

Ed: So are you wearing one at the moment and I’ve got to try and find it? Eric: No I’m not, I’m talking in your mic and it’s good, there’s no camera there so this is okay. Ed: So Stephen, the obvious application for this? Stephen: Well there are models for 2 different


contact Sean Dooley at ARRI Australia

Thorsten: In theory yes, but what you need to do is you need to have a professional dishwasher which gives

Stephen Buckland has intro-duced me to an interesting gentleman, Eric Leek, and Eric is standing here with something to show us that we can’t find.

Or a mini towel for those beach getaways.

To find out more about ARRI cameras and filters,

Ed: Fantastic. So to clean these, rather than doing it manually, could you pop your filters in the dishwasher?



Eric’s been doing the long hours for you.

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Eric: This is the Sanken COS-11 and here we have the package with the 4 holders. The good thing about this holder, the Bra Holder, I get a lot of positive response about this one. Usually the bra is a good place to hide microphones on the clothing, because you have the space of the breasts and you have also something to attach it to, but the problem is that it’s quite intrusive to say “oh can I …” Ed: Well it’s a job that somebody has to do. Eric: That’s true, but not everyone is so keen on that. So I just made something that you can give to the talent and, again, there’s this little cage with a space around the microphone, but it has a clip that can be used – she can slide it over her bra herself and that’s done. You don’t have to be there and there are no awkward situations and people making fun of her. You know if you have to do it every day it can be annoying and something like this, even when you’re working with a host or something for a show, you just leave it with wardrobe and she can do it herself, she can apply it to herself. That’s a great thing. Stephen: One of the reasons we make this annual trek to NAB isn’t just for the hospitality, it’s to find out about new and interesting things and often you see them in the fringes of the show. They’re not big enough to have their own booth, but there are people here able to present, like Eric, able to show you new ways of doing stuff. Ed: So when are you going to have these in stock for people to come and try? Stephen: time.

We’ve had them in stock now for some

We were about to order the DPA ones but Eric’s actually a practising sound mixer, and he went off to do a job in New York and I was a bit slow in placing the order, but we’ll have the DPA ones in a couple of weeks. ( since arrived S.B.)

Ed: They have to suit a certain size microphone I guess – you can’t mix and match? Eric: I really want to produce for professional sound engineers, because I’m a sound mixer myself and I want to make products that help me do the job in a professional way. So I have been thinking about like a general universal clip for all microphones but then you end up with a huge thing that doesn’t conceal anything because you see the concealer. So then I have to find a balance between filling a wall with all different Hide-a-Mic products, but I think the good thing is that you have for every microphone a specific holder. That works the best I guess. Ed: So go and see Stephen and see what fits your mic, or he’s got a mic to fit the Hide-a-Mic? Stephen: Yes that’s right. We have stock of the COS -11s and DPA 4060, there’s a kit that comes with one of each clip and there’s also the individual clips if you lose one … if you lose your tie clip for example, you can come and get a replacement, and in a variety of NZVN colours.

Ed: Right, but Eric’s got something else in a little case here? Eric: Well sometimes you have real tight shirts you know, like someone sporting, or you cannot attach the microphone to the clothing because it will show and I had this guy from Switzerland and he sent me an email and from a gel shoe inlay he cut his own transparent hide-a-mic to put it on the body. He said “well this doesn’t work, can you make something that does work?” So I teamed up with a guy who is doing prosthetics for theatre and film and we came up with this thing. This is for body attachment. The microphone is inside of the concealer, it’s a little silicon flimsy thing and you put it on your plexus very easy with some tape over it. When it’s like that and it moves, the arch above it will move in the same direction as the microphone so it can protect the microphone. We’re starting the production when I get back to Amsterdam and we start with DPA and COS-11 and after that we can maybe do some ME2 or B3 is the big one, the Countryman B3. Page 34

To find out more about Hide-a-Mic, contact Sound Techniques. Ph (09) 366 1750 Email: Or visit their website:

Rycote We are here at Rycote with Stephen Buckland for Sound Techniques and we’re going to talk to Richard Hall about what’s new from Rycote. Richard: What we are looking at here are some of the new products in the Stereo Cyclone range. The Cyclone in its mono version has been out for a couple of years now and proving very popular, so we’ve used that Cyclone chassis and basket to make new windshields for stereo applications, lots of them. We have versions for mid-size, double mid-size, XY and single mic caps like ambisonic microphones attached to like the Sennheiser Ambeo mic – 32 kits in all at the moment. It’s a lot; every one of them is individually handmade and tailored to a specific combination of microphones so Stephen and Richard from Rycote. they’re all different. So so probably 3-4 weeks from agreeing on what it is that whilst the Cyclone basket, the shell if you like, is the they want, because each one has to be put together at same in every case ( well some of them are small, some Rycote and sent to us. Things that are more popular of them are the medium basket ) what’s in there that we hope to have on the shelf; things that are less actually holds the microphones and the conn box and popular, there is a slight delay. the length of the cable, it’s all precision made for a specific setup. Ed: Okay, so you are going to have a Model T version To make things easier for our customers on our sitting on the shelf … website, we have a configurator … so you go on, you Stephen: Well unfortunately, there is no Model T choose the stereo application that you are interested in, version … just look in front of us here, we’ve got … whether it’s MS or XY, then from the dropdown menu, Ed: Yes, but you could make up something with you pick the microphones you’ve got and it tells you microphones already in it and have this as a stereo mic what the kit number is – MS kit 15 or whatever, and you order that way. So these are just some of those set that you had decided was the “bee’s knees”? models but they’re all available to order now. Stephen: As you say, but no, I think you’d find that, Ed: Or you go into Sound Techniques and you talk to when you’re getting into stereo rigs, it’s very Stephen Buckland and he’ll help you through it? individualistic. Rycote has tried to predict the Stephen: We’ll talk you through it, but again we’d probably go to the configurator to help because, if you look around in front of us, for example, there are actually 3 microphones in this windshield here and the combination of microphones would probably be quite personal to the person who owns it, and so we would have to use … Ed: Yes, but that’s if somebody’s already got microphones that would suit, but in your situation, you can advise them of the microphones that should work best in there. Alright, so once you’ve done the configuration that the customer’s happy with, how long does it take to get one? Stephen: Well we usually order about once a month, Page 35

combinations that people will use, but as soon as they come up with a combination someone comes in and says “oh but I’ve got this microphone and I want to pair it with this, can you do something about it” so it’s not really a stock off the shelf item. Ed: So what is actually the issue Richard – is it the shape of the holder or what makes it difficult to actually pair microphones in a standard configuration? Richard: Well basically, as you said, it’s the fact that any combination or any different configuration of microphones will demand something slightly different within the mount and within the basket itself. We’re just dealing with numbers here, so we have to make lots of different configurations, lots of different cradles potentially. We’ve chosen some which we understand to be popular, for example, this Double MS kit with the Schoeps array, or an MS kit with a Sennheiser MKH 50 and a 30. We know they’re going to be popular, but then people are telling us “what about this for my microphones?” and we go “okay” and if we get enough requests we will go and make that basket as well. But the thing that we’ve overcome is the outer being the same and the inner needs to be different for those reasons. So even things like the length of the cable that comes out of the little conn box, that’s going to be different depending on how long that microphone is. We’re not trying to shoehorn different combinations into one size fits all – these are bespoke, they’re handmade, they’re hand assembled and they take some time. So from the point of order, we’re giving ourselves about 3 weeks just to get the thing out to our distributors and dealers. Ed: Because you don’t want that cable rubbing against the outer do you? Richard: No absolutely. Every one of them has to be, by its very nature, precision made for the microphones that it’s using. Ed: Okay, so any changes in the outer construction or what’s available? Richard: No, not to the outside. We’ve tried to do kits that utilise the small and the medium baskets from the Cyclone because we know customers want things as small and as light as possible. However, it’s slightly different with the stereo configurations, because not all of them will get boom mounted so there’s not so much of a consideration across the board for the weight on the end of a boom pole. A lot of these will be stand mounted; they’ll be used by people who are doing atmos, by people doing audio for gaming – a myriad of different uses by the professionals and sound creatives who will want to do their own thing, so we’ve given them the best shock mounting that we’ve got, which is the Cyclone, and the best wind protection which is again the Cyclone, and you can add the Windjammer to that if you want a com-pletely windproof solution. Ed: And there’s something that looks like a lens case here?

are telescopic clear tubes with foams provided, so you put the microphone inside, close it down, it’s protected by the foam in there. That’s the first level of protection. What this doesn’t look like from the outside is what it actually is, which is a polycarbonate tube … I’ve just done a video which shows me hammering a nail into a pallet board with that, to get the message across, because people think it looks like a Cordura bag with the tubes in it, and what’s different about that is the toughness of that which is its uniqueness. That’s absolutely solid and whatever microphones you’ve got, they’ll either go in that one or if you’re using the shorter shotgun pencil mics, the shorter version, other-wise they’re identical.

Richard: Oh yes, this is our new mic protector case available in 2 lengths – there’s a 30cm version and a 20cm version. We’ve just launched these, they’re selling incredibly well … the first thing you’ll notice inside if I just open that one up, you’ve got tubes. These Page 36

Ed: And they both take 3 mics but if you’ve only got one, well the tubes there are empty but they hold everything in place and stop any rattling around? Richard: Exactly. As well as the toughness of the polycarbonate there, you’ve got some weather protection. This zip is water-resistant and so is the material. In kind of humid conditions or in a light sort of misty rain, you’ll keep moisture out; there’s a silica gel bag inside as well. Ed:

But soundies don’t go out in the rain do they?

Richard: They do, yes they do and their mics will have to go with them. Ed: Now I see on the wall here you’ve got some traditional shields; you’re still selling those? Richard: We sell these, yes, boy do we sell them. They are massively popular still, have been since we introduced the first basket windshield for ENG use back in 1969. Ed:

So why haven’t they all gone to the Cyclone?

Richard: Well we have different products to cater for a myriad of needs. This, in its stripped down form, a modular basket, is lighter than the Cyclone; some people don’t need the fast access of the Cyclone with the magnetic basket parts, so the modular windshield kit remains our industry standard choice for sound professionals. Ed:

need to change that formula. People use them, they keep them for years, they work beautifully and they’re available in lots of different sizes for lots of different applications. Ed: And I see the Essentials are still here Stephen – very popular? Stephen: Until now we haven’t had the Essentials range in stock because the price advantage of getting the Essentials range was small when one factored in the shipping costs, minimum order requirements and everything. But we’re reviewing the price list when I get back to New Zealand and I’ve realised that there is a certain advantage now we can order them singly. If you’ve got a standard mic, like the Sennheiser 416, you can buy the premade 416 Essentials basket and save some money. Ed:

But the Cyclone is still really the way to go?

Stephen: Well the Cyclone is the way of the future. The standard windshields are old school, like buying a Toyota Corolla when you could be buying something a bit more higher spec’d – the Tesla. Ed:

Like your Maserati?


So it’s a bit lighter and a bit cheaper?

Richard: It is a bit cheaper, yes definitely, and things like the slip-on solutions, the Classic Softie and the Super Softie again they are our sort of bread and butter products, they are tried and tested, there’s no

Page 37

Like my Maserati – yeah!

To find out more about Rycote product, contact Sound Techniques. Ph (09) 366 1750 Email: Or visit their website:


Sony At the Sony stand for Protel, I was able to talk with the specialists assigned to each of three new cameras as well as one for audio. We start with John Bolden and the VENICE Camera. Ed: Now John, we’re here with one of the new cameras that are showing this year – it’s called the VENICE, it’s very much a cinema camera and, at the moment, it’s got a prime lens on it. How does this compare to the F5 or F55 because are they in a similar area? John: Yes. The F5 and F55 are part of the Sony large sensor family. This is a different approach because people refer to the previous Sony cameras as having more of a video or digital look. Here, Sony have tweaked the colour science to give it a different look. So it’s more what people refer to as “cinematic.” Ed: So the frame that we’re seeing there on the monitor, is that the actual frame of the camera?

John with VENICE.

John: Yes, it’s full frame. Ed: So when you say “full frame” what’s the actual size? John: This is a 4x3 6K full frame – so essentially a 6K x 4K sensor so it’s 24 megapixels. Ed: Right, okay. So you just crop that to a 4K HD shaped signal. Right, I’m with you. John: So it has a little over 15 stops dynamic range, 9 below, 6 above, so all your darks are absolutely beautiful. There are 8 steps of ND; there are 2 different mounts on it so that external mount is a PL mount and you pop that off and underneath there is a very robust Sony E mount to hold Sony E cinema lenses. Aside from that, the colour gamut of the camera is the same as the F65 and F55 but, like I said before, the colour science is tweaked a little bit so it looks different. It is the widest colour gamut in the world and it’s a fact that no other camera system can challenge that. The camera itself has Dual ISO; which has 2 native ISOs, 500 and 2500. In both those ISOs, the image is clean, there’s no noise, no gain in the image. It’s basically 2 modes in the camera; from each mode you use the NDs to hone in on whichever exposure you need to get to. The body is made out of magnesium alloy which makes for a very robust build. The menu system in the camera is different than in traditional Sony cameras of the past. Usually with Sony cameras, everybody complains that the menus are too in depth, you’ve really got to shuffle them around to get where you need to go. They’ve found a more user friendly approach, similar to the ALEXA system. Other than that, that’s the Sony VENICE. It shoots 16-bit so it shoots 24p 6K 16-bit and 60p 4K 16-bit and that’s to the R7 recorder. It uses SxS cards and AXS cards.

have become workhorses in the industry for documentary and TV production? John: The VENICE is its own line. The F5, F55 they’re still selling strong; Sony doesn’t plan to discontinue them any time soon. The F65 was discontinued this year, but the F55 and the F5 are going to stay strong in the industry. We’ve moved on to see the PXW-Z190. The pedigree of this little camera goes way back and probably includes my Z5P which still works, even though it shoots on tape – no, they’re all laughing, they shouldn’t because it’s instant archive I tell everyone. We’re talking to Wendy Kujawa-Kames after I accepted her apology. Ed: Okay Wendy, what are the features that they’ve improved in this over the previous? Wendy: This is one of Sony’s brand new 4K cameras that they just released this past Sunday. Both of these cameras are the first Sony cameras to have the dual MI Smart Shoe, so with this you can directly plug in one of the Sony audio receivers with no cables and it goes straight to the camera. Ed: I saw that a number of years ago and I thought that’s a very clever system, but it only had one, so you could either use the radio mic or the light, but not both?

Ed: So hang on, there’s no internal recording, it’s a clip-on recorder? John: There is internal recording, but to enable the 6K and RAW and X-CON, we need the external R7 recorder. Ed: Right, okay. However this is not going to replace the F5 or F55 which Page 39

Wendy: So this one, if you have one of the Sony receivers, you can get 4 channels of audio, because this one receiver can have 2 channels of audio unmixed. Then you have the 2 XLR over here to make it 4. You can put a light onto it using the second MI Shoe and then they both just go off the BP battery. This has 3 one-third inch CMOS sensor chips in there. Ed:

So do I. I hope yours are better … is it 4K?

Wendy: Ed:

Yes it is 4K.

Well that’s better than HDV?

Wendy with the Z190.

Wendy: Yes. These also have a variable ND filter, so if you’re going in between inside and outside, you can set it to the automatic setting and it will be a seamless transition between the two light conditions. This one shoots to SD card. Ed:

Not the SxS?


Correct, SD.

Ed: And that’s just a cost saving measure – is it shooting to single cards or is it … Wendy:

It’s dual card.

Ed: Yes, but it shoots to one then the other, you don’t need 2 in there to make it work?

Collin: Yes it is. With the Z280, we have 3 half inch CMOS sensor chips which will allow us to get really great quality low light footage. It handles extremely well in low light when your gain is up all the way; there’s little to no noise from the actual footage, which looks fantastic. So then, like the 190, we also have capability of 4 channels of audio, however you can control all 4 from the side here instead of having to control two from the menu. So it has 2 XLR at the front and then 2 can come in through the wireless receiver, down through the MI Intelligent Hot Shoe into the camera itself. This camera records on dual SxS media cards. It can also take XQD cards with an SxS adapter, or SD cards with an SxS adapter, however if you use SD cards, you will not be able to record 4K footage, you can only do HD footage. But if you have SxS cards, then you’re golden … it can record 4K 10-bit 422 footage, so that’s extremely high quality 4K footage. Getting that, you’re also able to do Slog, colour gamma performance, so you can do a lot of colour grading in post with that type of footage. It will also do HLG. Additionally, with this camera, it has the variable ND filter, so you can dial in as much ND as you like, almost like a volume control, and it also has auto ND so you can enable it and then have it if you’re coming from interior to exterior or vice versa – the ND filter can take over without your having to adjust your iris or exposure or anything itself; it can do it and give you fixture brightness with that. It has a 12G SDI output, so you can plug directly into a 4K monitor or a 4K switcher or something of that sort. It has HDMI out as well and it also has timecode in or out, so you can sync up multiple cameras together with similar timecodes. It also has Genlock if you were to sync up multiple cameras together. Ed: Right, so it’s also got an SD card slot? Collin: It’s got a slot for a utility card, so you can plug in an SD utility card to save all of your menu settings or all settings, so if there are multiple users using the same camera. You can save someone else’s settings on to a utility card, plug that right into the

Wendy: That’s correct, yes. It has SDI out and wireless capability, so you can have an Ether connection or a wireless modem connection that they can stream to. Ed: Okay, so you can use this as a streaming camera directly, and I guess it also has HDMI out if you want to use an off-board recorder? Wendy: They have HDMI yes. Streaming is a package that you have to purchase. Ed: But it has the Ethernet port, there’s just a package on the stream, okay. Wendy: 4K 8-bit and then the Z280 is 10. Now we continue with Collin Borow who tells us about the Z280. Ed: And Collin we’re looking at a PXW also, but it’s now the Z280, so this is a bigger version?

Collin with the Z280. Page 40

camera, without having to mess with your settings. Also, if you have multiple cameras and you want similar settings, you can use that to clone your settings to all the multiple cameras. Ed: So this really is a professional camera in a very small package and wow, I can see huge possibilities for the Z280. Have you ever used it yourself? Collin: Yes I have, and it’s great when you’re holding it because it’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re going to drop it. The centre of gravity is great where if you’re holding it on the righthand side, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to drop it to the left or vice versa.

Grace with some of the Sony audio line-up.

Ed: Very good ergonomics – just like my Z5P – that was a great camera too?

Ed: Very sensible. there?




Yes, sure.

He’s no idea what I’m talking about.

Right, now the camera guys have told me that I need to go to the professional audio section, because Sony’s done great things here, and so we are with Grace He.


Call Protel for details.

It depends on what camera you’re using

Sony cameras.

Grace: Okay. We currently have the UWP-D family, this single channel wireless transmitter and receiver are dual diversity. Normally a wireless microphone receiver only has one internal receiver, but a dual diversity receiver has two receivers which scan between both receivers to ensure the strongest signal is used. Right now, if you’re using like a Sony F5 camera – and most of the types of Sony camera can have up to 2 channels – you can absolutely use this URX-PO3D with the 2 channel receiver. It has 3 way option, so the first one is to use the AA batteries; and secondly you can use this kit just like I made like this – and by using this part you can use the battery off the camera. Ed:

So it becomes a hot shoe?

Grace: Yes. But if you don’t have batteries to charge it, we have a USB charger option. Ed: Okay, so then you’re putting rechargeable batteries into it and charging it without having to take the batteries out? Grace:


Ed: Protel advise the delivery status in New Zealand for PXW-Z280 (July), PXW-Z190 (September), and PXWFS5M2K (July).

Ed: So what have you done with audio Grace? For camera people, it’s always secondary, but I know it’s more important in a programme to have audio than to have pictures, so tell me what you’ve done? Grace: right now.

So you’re covering all the bases


Page 41

To find out more about Sony product, call Ken Brooke at Protel phone (09) 414 9102 email Website

Ross For Gencom we’re here with David Barnard at the Ross stand together with Amanda Leighton, Claude Stephan and Stuart Russell. Ed: You’ve got a lot to show us David, but you’re going to start us off with Claude. Is this a new product? David: Sort of. This is version 2.0 – Amanda has been given more responsebility and is taking over the world so to speak for Ross, so while we’re still very happy to be working with her, we also now have Claude Stephan who will be spending more time looking after Australia and New Zealand specifically. So I guess we should give him a chance to introduce himself. Amanda, Claude, Stuart and David. Ed: Claude, I understand you’re a Surf Ur-frican? presentation this morning where all the graphs showed the purchasing of hardware by the broadcasters is Claude: Yes I am. I moved over about a year ago. declining. Is this right across the industry or does this I used to work for a business partner that dealt with not include Ross? Ross in South Africa for many years then Amanda contacted me and I’m really happy to join such a Stuart: I think the way that I would look at it is dynamic and innovative company like Ross. I’ve always that, if you project yourself 10 years forward from now held them in high regard and I think it’s a perfect move to 2028, I think the idea of production as a service in for me. the Cloud will be extremely commonplace. I don’t think that’s stretching anything, I think most people are fairly Ed: What do you think you’ll bring to the company? comfortable with the fact that that’s the way it’s going. Claude: Well I’m hoping to help Amanda out and Conversely, if you look at us as a global business, look work with the business partners and look at various at the different kinds of markets that we serve ... you other business opportunities. know I was talking to somebody the other day about IP Ed: So increase sales? – it was a customer who wanted to transition to full IP Claude: Absolutely, that’s our goal. workflow. That’s fine, that particular customer wants to Ed: Are you going to come over and do some demos do that, but for every one of those, we have tens if not and show the industry the latest from Ross? hundreds of customers in other parts of the world that have other considerations, that maybe are happy with Claude: It’s definitely on the cards for later in the the idea of 12 gig SDI. In some parts of the world, year. I’ll come over and visit Gencom and do some they’re still trying to get to HD. customer visits, absolutely. So I think the way that we look at it is that there is a Amanda: We’ve been talking that in May, we’re going whole bunch of potential customers out there, lots of to have the product manager for XPression and also the different customer requirements and problems, we just creative director of Rocket Surgery visiting Australia need to make sure that we’re well placed to keep all of and New Zealand so, with Gencom, we’ll make sure we those customers happy. It doesn’t matter what their arrange some really awesome events for the local workflow is; it doesn’t matter where they are in their customer base and prospective customers on those migration journey; we just have to have solutions for product ranges. them. Ed: Right, let’s talk about new products. Who’s up – Ed: And they always need an interface to the Cloud? Stuart? Stuart: Sure, absolutely, so I think we try and be Stuart: It’s another bumper year for us. We’ve pragmatic about it and, in many ways, to go back to my preannounced I think 10 new products or significant earlier point, that’s why I’m quite happy at the fact that upgrades before the show opened and yesterday, the updates and the new products are right across the another 6 brand new products. I’ve been here for 5 range. We’re still trying to make sure that we’re not years now and it’s probably the biggest launch schedule orphaning any customers, nobody’s getting left behind. that I can remember. It’s nice I think, from my perspective, because we’re really talking about new David: I want to add to that that, while I think it is products or significant updates right across the range. true across the broadcasting industry in general, that It’s not as if one particular area is being favoured over the amount of hardware purchase is going down another; really it’s a step forward right across each of significantly, you’ve got to remember that Ross gear the different product areas. So a huge amount of has a very specific purpose – they’re designed for rock things going on … I’ll go through the main headlines for solid live production. They do have software products you. that live on fairly “off the shelf hardware” and that could be virtualised or eventually moved to the Cloud … well it Ed: Before you do that though, Ross is traditionally a is starting to be moved to the Cloud for some products; hardware vendor and I was just at an IABM Page 42

but you’ve also got Carbonite switchers and these things are built from the ground up to be highly resilient, highly reliable, to never fail when you need them most. They’re not running a Windows operating system and reliant on that sort of process sharing. So in that sense, I don’t see the need for purpose-built hardware going away any time soon. You’ve also got robotics, you’ve got cameras and of course, the control panels themselves which, while there are soft panels and some people are starting to use that, there’s a lot of people out there who need the power and the flexibility of having an actual physical panel. Ed: Actually something to touch and sliders to slide? David: Yes, and lights, it’s tactile, it’s visually responsive, you can see at a glance … you know for any large, very sophisticated video production I think there’s still a demand and a need for that capability which you just can’t get in a touch panel or an iPad or something like that. Amanda: You’ll notice with our hardware offerings, we’re actually moving into what we call software defined production. So taking Carbonite as an example, our Carbonite Black Plus frames can be standard 3G; they can also have a different software version to do 12G; and they can now be a mosaic image scaler as well; they could also be an UltrachromeHR for virtual applications. So that’s the same hardware just with different software abilities. We’re building the hardware because we understand this transition period; we want things to be adaptable, scalable, agile. That’s one of our key taglines for it. So our old track said software defined multi-viewers, software enabled frame syncs, being able to add all of those features within the system without having to add additional hardware boxes. Ed: Is this where openGear comes in as well, in terms of just having a card, then you can update the software or rather the firmware on the card? Stuart: It’s a similar principle. I think again, when we talked a moment ago about migration, one of the reasons why we started off this idea of software defined production is that we understand that people may be at various stages in their migration journey. We want to give them stepping stones so that they’re not necessarily having to throw out any of their existing hardware; they can keep the investment in that that they’ve already made, but with things like gateway products and various other things that we make, they can move on that migration journey, they can stand on those stepping stones to get them further along the path, without having to kind of throw everything out and start again. So in many ways it’s similar to openGear in terms of the philosophy. I like the idea of saying to customers “here are the steps you can take and the stepping stones that you can walk on in order to get you further along that path without being compromised in terms of the equipment that you’ve already bought.” I like the idea of being customercentric – I think it’s a very pragmatic message, and that is fundamentally where openGear came from. Ed: And I guess that’s important, coming back to Gencom, that you are represented in New Zealand by somebody who’s an integrator, who can help the customers on that path, rather than just selling the boxes? Stuart: Very much so, and again, last night at the keynote address, David Ross made this point about how we are very much reliant on our channel partners, our success is “shared” success, and I asked David deliberately to put that word into his script last night when he was talking, because we can’t do it all ourselves, we need to have good partners. We think we’re in it for the right reasons; we tend to partner up

with people who have a similar philosophy. If it’s in the customers’ best interests, we’ll do our best to do it. Ed: Right, so your No1 product? Stuart: The big reveal last night was Ultrix IP. In January of this year at the CABSAT exhibition in Dubai, we launched the Ultrix-FR5 which is the 5 rack unit 144x144 version and last night David announced that, by the end of this year, we’re going to IP I/O included in that chassis. So, again, it’s an interesting move – the FR5 is still a relatively new product, it’s only a few months old, but having that ability to get IP in that box I think is going to take us other interesting places. It opens up a whole bunch of applications for that product. Ed: That was another question of mine … IP is becoming more and more important but are you migrating more and more of your product to be IP compatible? Stuart: Again, as I mentioned earlier on, I think it’s giving customers the options. If they’re happy with SDI or they want Acuity or they want IP, we want to be able to just open those doors up and get customers places to go. So, yes, we did that last year when we launched AcuityIP and CarboniteIP as switchers; now it’s UltrixIP. I think where we can, we will; there’s always competing priorities in terms of product development, but I think we’re entirely comfortable with the idea of doing that. We can see the direction the industry’s going in – it’s just giving customers options. Carrying on from there, the next big one would be the Furio S2. It’s a brand new 2 stage lift in the robotics range. It’s a little bit more cost-effective than the flagship Furio SE that we launched last year, so we’re taking the good stuff from the flagship product and

Page 44

we’re spinning it into product that’s a little bit more cost effective. The lift isn’t quite as high as the SE, but depending on the application, I think it will be a really solid product that will get a lot of use in studios. Ed: Is this an “I’d love to be able to sell it, but nobody’s got the money in New Zealand” product David? David: No I don’t think so. We’ve had a lot of interest in robotics from our customer base to date but the big challenge has really been cost. The S2 brings that cost down and more into the range of some of the more sophisticated broadcast productions that we have happening in New Zealand, not to mention that it could be used in other scenarios like live events and things like that. So I think it’s very appropriate for the market and we’d love to start finding some flagship customers to try them out; get one in the country to do a proof of concept. Ed: Well that’s probably Claude’s job isn’t it? David: Well we work together, but it’s good to have his support. Ed: So bring a robot with you Claude. one?

Right, next

Stuart: Moving on from that would be OGX which is the new openGear frame. Again you mentioned openGear earlier on, the guys were trying to look at where to take openGear next, make it ready for the next generation of workflows, so they’ve launched OGX at this show which is 30% more power, better cooling, and also has a really cool thing called Frame Glow – a user programmable colour scheme that you can apply to the frame. it’s a little bit geeky I suppose, but the engineers love it. Amanda: It’s completely practical … if you’re trying to find a frame, you can actually get the frame to indicate to you. You can also colour code by channels or by what’s in your specific card, so when you walk into an apparatus room rather than having sticky labels everywhere, you’ve got a very quick visual representation of what’s where. Ed: So it’s not just glamming it up? Amanda: No. That’s the same comment that some people had when we launched all of the different colours on Carbonite … it was like “that’s well and good, it’s so pretty” but it took them a little bit to realise how practical and how handy it was having those features. I think once we started adding in MiniMEs and having those virtual MEs, being able to physically see the colour change to know where you are, it just gives the operator that safety and security which is awesome. See we told you we had lots! Stuart: Actually, we relaunched the website last night – we changed the look and feel of the website and there’s a whole bunch of stuff that went on there first thing this morning with all the individual press releases, so if there’s anything that we miss when we’re doing this, you can grab it off there. The next one on the list for me would be Streamline.Cloud. Last year we launched the Cloud based subscription version of Inception, which is a Newsroom system. This year it’s Streamline, which is a media asset management system. So again, being able to have content regardless of whether it’s in the Cloud or on premise, the whole idea of being able to offer customers a subscription based version of that we think is pretty cool – it’s a nice option; very flexible in terms of the payment options, in terms of whether you finance it. It just expands the Cloud based offerings a little bit more. Carbonite Solo13 we touched on, do you want to talk about that one Amanda?

Amanda: What we did with Carbonite Solo was widely successful but sometimes people needed a few more inputs. So we increased the inputs on the Carbonite Solo to 12 SDI and left one HDMI input on there. It just gives customers that little bit more flexibility in that really small form factor with all the same great functionality that they get now in a Carbonite. Ed: But wasn’t the idea of the Solo to keep it small – so it’s still small? Amanda: It is small, it’s the same size, just additional IO. David: And you can still get it either as a frame based solution with an option panel or use the soft panel, or you can get it as an all in one standalone unit. It’s still the same highlights as the original Solo. Amanda: Same footprint – physically the same footprint as the one that we launched before. It’s just increasing the input count. Ed: And I imagine you can just get the basic one and then add functionality, like you say “put on an extra panel”? David: You get the basic one with the soft panel only which is to say a touchscreen or a computer control, and then add a panel to that so that you have the hardware when you’re ready. Amanda: And the new version, just like the old one and all of our Carbonites, comes with XPression Live CG, so you get an XPression licence with it as well. Stuart: What else … the M7 version of XPression, so 2RU hardware, 2RU box … Amanda: Well the big change is that we’ve changed our software version. So what we’re doing for existing

Page 45

XPression customers when they renew their maintenance is, if they’re a studio which had originally 2 channels, they have the option to be upgraded to what we are still calling Studio, but it now enables 3 channels, or what we now call Flex which allows you to have 4 channels or 4K. So it gives them that option and that’s just in maintenance, so that’s for our existing customers. All of our offerings now, instead of having 2 channels which was our standard Studio … we’re trying to make it as clear as we can, we have 3 options: we’ve got a single channel; we’ve got the standard Studio which is now triple channel; and then we have Flex which can be 4 channels or 4K. So with our hardware, we have the new 2RU unit or we still have the 4RU chassis as well, which will be used for the 4K version. David: The customers can get the software upgrade just by upgrading their maintenance agreement, but if you want to do the 4K, you have to have the 4RU frame? Amanda: The additional channels, so moving them from 2 outputs to 3, that will work when they upgrade their hardware at a later date. Stuart: I’ll skip through the rest, because there’s quite a lot. There’s Tria News, our new News server, we launched that last night at the Keynote; we also have new versions of Acuity and Carbonite, so we’re up to version 13 I think on Carbonite and version 8 on Acuity. So again a whole bunch of additional features have gone in there. We’ve gone to Dashboard version 8.4, so some enhancements there. Then there is Mosaic – an image processor. Customers are looking at having bigger displays in their studios and sometimes they are wanting interesting shapes. Of course we have a bit of experience when it comes to this kind of thing in the sports market with Tessera which is the rendering engine. So we found that we could use the Carbonite Black platform and we could spin that to get this product called Mosaic. Amanda: It’s over 20 million pixels, so you can do a canvas size that large. You’ve got 10 scalers included into it and they have 5 layers on each scaler, so you’re able to do keys. We are demoing it on our Sports wall here. It allows us, in studios or in sports stadiums, to just add another piece of the Ross solution in there, whereas before, we had to go to a third party scaler. It’s just expanding the capabilities of what people know as multiscreen or MiniMEs, so again as we talked about with software for client production, it’s just another different software load to be able to put on their Carbonite Black frame, which gives them those powers. So it’s quite handy and it’s an exceptionally reasonably priced product. Ed: Again, it just reinforces what I heard this morning at the IABM presentation that broadcasters want to work with as few vendors as possible, or they work with an integrator who solves that problem for them by making sure everything works. But having a vendor that’s making a whole part of the workflow seems to make a lot of sense.

Stuart: It was something that came up last night in the Keynote when we were talking about the sports market. We can now control, in a sports stadium or arena, the graphics and the display. We can also control the lights. The joke last night was “fountains” … you know we’re going to control fountains, hardware and all sorts of other bits and pieces, lighting. We’re getting to that point through Dashboard where we can

Claude has a big grin for Carbonite. Page 46

control almost anything, which is cool because it just makes customers’ lives easier. I remember – if it wasn’t last year, then certainly the year before – I remember we talked a little bit about single vendor procurement in Europe especially becoming a big trend, and that’s not going away anytime soon. Companies just want one single point of contact. They want to pick the phone up and talk to THE guy about THE stuff that they’ve bought and they don’t want to be having to deal with 3 or 4 different people, especially in my neck of the woods, that has really become a thing. Ed: And when you say “vendor” you also mean integrator? Stuart: Of course, it’s the other part of the chain isn’t it – but definitely I think customers like the idea of having everything coming from the one manufacturer. I think it makes a lot of sense, it’s a very pragmatic approach and we want to be able to offer as much of the solution as we can. Amanda: And it’s stability too – stability with the integrators, stability with the manufacturers. There is a lot of change going on in the industry at the moment, not to mention not only standards, transports, but even through manufacturers, so that’s one thing where we’re trying to fill those gaps so people become really comfortable and feel very supported and feel like we are a stable company, because we have been, as our results show. So we just want to keep making sure that everybody knows that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. We want to make sure that our customers are comfortable, supported and stable whether that be us supporting customers or us supporting our business partners. Ed: And it’s obvious to me, because over the years that I’ve been coming to Vegas, the Ross stand has got bigger and it’s got busier. It’s very, very crowded in here. Stuart: David talked a little bit last night about consolidation in the industry and he said it’s ironic that, from a manufacturing perspective we see consolidation, but actually, we’re seeing a lot of fragmentation in terms of some of the technologies. He said, now we’re not chest-beating about this, but we’ve been around for 44 years, we’ve only had 2 managing directors or CEOs in that time. We’re able to offer a very consistent approach to the market; we can talk to customers about security of supply, security of product available and roadmaps. And at a time when a lot of traditional supply chains are maybe being called into question, I think that’s a very healthy message. I said it earlier on, it’s a bit tongue in cheek, but we’re in it for the right reasons – we’re trying to look out for customers and we can do that. We have the ability as a privately owned


Ross has robotic options too.

company to make conscious decisions about where we’re going to invest our money, because all the pressure that we have is internal, it doesn’t come from NZVN outside. To find out more about Ross product, contact Gencom Technology Ph:

(Auck) (09) 913 7500 (Wgtn) (04) 939 7100

Email: Or visit their website:

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