Cinequipt Estimate printed on April 24, 2014
CQ@NAB 2014 Recap
Date: 4/18/14
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It’s already been over 2 weeks since NAB & we’re still digesting what we saw & learned & gathering other peoples thoughts about their experiences.  Our inboxes have certainly gotten quieter with a lot fewer press releases and announcements.  Here’s our take on this year’s show.

CAMERAS – Again this year, Blackmagic Design wowed the crowds, the press & social media by introducing 3 new cameras.  One is even shipping already(!) and the other two are supposed to ship in July (where have we heard that before?).  The first is the Studio Camera HD that has a Super 16mm sized sensor, Micro Four Thirds lens mount, a 10” monitor & no recording capabilities.  Price is only $1995 without a lens.  It’s shipping now.  The second camera is the Studio Camera 4K.  It's a camera packed in the same body as the Studio Camera HD but with a tiny bit larger Super 16 sized UHD 4K sensor & a Micro Four Thirds lens mount.  Price is $2995 without a lens.  The 3rd camera is the URSA.  This is the one that had everyone talking and/or scratching their heads.  It features a Super 35 sized UHD 4K sensor in 2 models (EF or PL mount), the Super 16 sized UHD 4K sensor from the Studio Camera 4K in a B4 mount, or no sensor and no mount if you just want to buy the camera as a 4k recording/production system.  All are recording on the pricey new CFast 2.0 compact flash media (currently about $1200 for a 120GB card) and have 3 (?) lcd screens – a fold out 10” (think of an iPad that’s attached to the operator side of the camera), a 5” on the body beneath the iPad, and another 5” on the AC side of the camera.  It’s a 12v system, but we’re not sure what the power draw will be.  It’s bigger but about the same weight as an Arri Alexa.  Prices are $5995 for the EF version & $6495 for the PL version, both shipping in July (year not specified).  The B4 & recorder only versions aren’t priced or scheduled to ship yet.  CQ is a Blackmagic Design dealer & is glad to help you work through your camera decisions.

The Arri booth was busy with the US introduction of the Amira.  Everyone wanted a chance to take a firsthand look at the camera and throw it on their shoulder to see how it felt.  The cameras on display had a firmware version much closer to what will be on the production cameras & Arri announced at the show that deliveries will commence by the end of April.  CQ has an early position in the order queue & we expect to see our first Amira pretty soon after they start shipping.  We’ll be hosting an Amira Preview event on Wednesday May 14th featuring the Amira camera for you to see if you missed NAB.  Details to follow.

Panasonic showed working versions of the 4K VariCam that was shown as a mock-up under glass in 2013.  Impressive specs and performance, but at an announced price tag ($60,000) that makes it a non-player in the production world.  We’ll see if Panasonic listens to all who told them as much.  The camera features a Super 35 sensor with 14 stops of dynamic range, an OLED viewfinder that also shows a look-around area like the Alexa or RED cameras (remember film cameras?), and a recording module that records Panasonic’s AVC-Ultra 200mbs 4K, ProRes, and other flavors of AVC-Intra or DVC-Pro HD.  The recorder can record 4K to the ExpressP2 cards (256GB & up in sizes) and to MicroP2 cards concurrently allowing 4k master recording and HD proxy recording at the same time.  Quite the time saver.

RED’s booth was bigger than last year & showcased a number of new accessories and adapters and announced that they would be selling a Scarlet DRAGON shipping sometime this summer.  Most were grumbling that they can’t ship Epic’s with DRAGON sensors that have been on order & promised for over a year.

Canon had a quiet year on the cinema camera front, but introduced the XF200/XF205 camcorder.  Great small unit that has a huge zoom range (26.8 to 576mm equivalent) and records 50Mb/s MXF to Compact Flash and/or MP4 AVCHD to SD cards.  Also features separate zoom, focus & iris rings on the lens, IR recording, built in WiFi and LAN connectivity.  Coming this summer starting at $3900.

We think the biggest surprise of the show came in the AJA booth with the announcement of the CION camera.  The AJA guys said it’s basically “every mini-converter we make duct-taped around a Ki Pro Quad with a 4K sensor thrown in.”  We think it looks much better than that.  Extremely well thought out packaging, connectivity and ergonomics – this is the camera we expected to see last year from a company like Panasonic, Sony or Canon.  Very small footprint & lightweight at only 7.4lbs, it features a PL Mount with a Super 35 true 4K sensor that will record 4K (4096x2160), UHD (3849x2160), 2K (2048x1080) or HD (1920x1080) in numerous flavors of ProRes to 512GB SSD’s.  Rumors have an EF model coming later.  If the pictures this camera makes are as great as the package combined with AJA’s reputation for legendary customer service and a price tag of $8995, we think the camera is a huge winner.  Watch for a demo event at CQ soon.

It was pretty status quo with Canon & Sony for production cameras.  They were putting emphasis on their existing products that have rolled out in the last 6 to 12 months.  GoPro's booth was just as busy as last year, but really nothing new to show except some real cool cars.


LIGHTING - We felt the stars of the show again this year in lighting were from Mole-Richardson.  Their new LED Spacelites were shown in Daylight & Tungsten versions in sizes to replace 2k & 6k tungsten versions.  The 2k replacement only draws 400 watts & the 6k replacement is only 900 watts.  Just like the proven LED fresnels, the sources are Quantum Dot remote phosphor LED’s, so the color temperature is very accurate and the CRI is above 95 in tungsten for pure color rendering.  Pricing is lower than any other LED spacelights available – the 2k replacement (LED Spacelite 2) is $2495 list and the 6k replacement (LED Spacelite 4) is $3995 list.  We’ll be testing the 6k replacement in our studio when the first production batch rolls off the line in June.

The huge influx of offshore versions of the Litepanels 1x1's were everywhere again. Given our experience with a few brands we’ve tested, we recommend sticking with the F&V K4000 on the economy side or purchasing the Litepanels 1x1’s now on sale starting at $773.  CQ stocks products from both companies.

Kino Flo introduced the Celeb 400Q, a stacked version of the Celeb 200 that puts LED's into a larger source.  We liked it much better than the double wide version.  AAdynTech showed a prototype of a new fixture smaller than a Jab that will be out this summer.  Great performance in a tiny package that we’re looking forward to seeing.

As last year, many other interesting and strange LED fixtures on the floor.  We’re still scratching our heads trying to figure out if they have a place in our world.  With the exception of Hive Lighting, plasma sources seem to have fizzled.  After about 18 months of R&D, Zacuto has announced that their PlaZma panel just wasn’t viable.


LENSES – It’s the “Year of the Servo Lenses” according to Matt Duclos & we think he’s right.  Canon joined the club & introduced the 17-120mm Cine-Servo T2.95 that will be delivering this summer with a $33,000 list price.  Available in an EF or PL mount (that can be changed to the opposite mount at a Canon service center), it’s an amazing focal length range in a package smaller than the Cabrio 19-90mm.  We think it’s a winner.  Angenieux introduced a new servo unit that will fit on all of their lightweight zoom lenses.  Interesting feature of this one is that it doesn’t have a zoom rocker(?), it’s just a compact integrated housing for focus, iris & zoom motors.  Price & delivery not announced.  Zeiss displayed a prototype servo unit that will attach to any of the 3 CZ.2 Compact Zoom lenses.  Delivery expected by the end of the year, pricing not announced.  Fujinon, the originator of the PL servo lens, added a 4th Cabrio to their lineup with the 25-300mm coming this summer.  At 20lbs, it’s not your traditional servo zoom.  Think of it used at events at the back of house for IMAG, but on a camera with a large sensor.  Yes, the Alexa has changed everything.

Anamorphic was still a buzzword at Cooke, Angenieux, and Arri /Zeiss this year.  Cooke has just started delivering the Anamorphic/i Series prime lenses that they introduced last year.  The “Cooke Look” seems to be prevailing in the anamorphic prime lens world.  For our production world, Schneider showed 3 additional lenses in the interchangeable mount Xenon FF-Prime series, a 25mm & 100mm that will ship in May/June and an 18mm that will ship later this year.  We’ve got the original set in our rental department if you want to take a closer look.  Zeiss showed all 3 versions of the Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses.  New this year was Tokina with some intriguing low cost Cinema ATX zooms & some other prototypes that we’ll be following up on.  Speaking of lower cost, there were a couple of companies showing some re-housed photo lenses.  Both companies didn’t seem quite ready for prime time, but we’ll be keeping our eyes on them to see if they develop.

PRODUCTION TOOLS – NAB has it all, and more.  This was the year of the gimbal mount – everyone what cashing in on the Movi idea from last year.  From $299 versions for your iPhone or GoPro to something capable of 20lb cameras – they were everywhere.  We’re still exploring how viable any of them are as rental items, as the learning curve for something that has a bit of weight capacity is steeper than first believed.  If you’re good with a Steadicam, you can be good with a gimbal.  Quite a few quad-copters again this year, but the buzz was definitely lower (sorry – bad pun).  Wooden Camera had a great display of their camera accessories, including a prototype interchangeable lens mount (PL, Canon, Nikon, Leica M, BNCR, etc) conversion of a Blackmagic Camera.  It takes advantage of the different Epic/Scarlet lens mounts that are available.  Probably voids the Blackmagic warranty, but not real sure that it matters.  Pricing to be announced.  IDX featured their new compact CW-3 wireless HD system.  Proven performance now in a smaller package.  We’ll have one of these in rental soon.  $1880 & shipping now.  Teradek announced a number of wireless/streaming products that are pretty interesting.  Shipping dates to be announced.  We’re pretty intrigued by the Serv for use in our production world.  Sachtler introduced a series of Ace camera accessories to complement their Ace series of tripods.  Some look pretty good at a reasonable price.  Expect to see them at CQ when they’re released this summer.  Anton Bauer introduced a new logo & a new lithium battery system that replaces the Dionic series.  Let’s just say we liked the logo.  SmallHD previewed an upcoming firmware update for the DP7 series monitors that CQ stocks in our rental & sales departments.  It will allow real-time color grading that can be exported as a 3D LUT as well as applied to the monitor screen & the HDSDI outputs for additional on set monitors.  In a similar vein, AJA announced the LUT Box, a $695 inline mini-converter that you load 3D LUT’s into to provide color graded monitoring for those clients who want to see something more dynamic than your flat log look.  We’ve got one of these ordered for our rental department & think it will be a great tool anytime you have nervous clients on set.


Most Intriguing – The continued buzz about Blackmagic Design

Most Surprising – The AJA CION camera was it for us.  Looking forward to testing it.

Most Notable Absence – Anything 3D
Canon EOS-1D C $2000 Instant Rebate
Date: 04/01/14

Now through 6/30/14 receive a $2000 Instant Rebate with the purchase of a Canon EOS-1D C camera. Final sale price is $9999.00.

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Canon C100/Cinema Prime $3500 Instant Rebate
Date: 04/01/14

Now through 6/30/14 receive a $3500 Instant Rebate with the purchase of a Canon C100 camera and 3 select Cinema Prime lenses.

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Canon C300/Cinema Prime $5000 Instant Rebate
Date: 04/01/14

Now through 6/30/14 receive a $5000 Instant Rebate with the purchase of a Canon C300 camera and 3 select Cinema Prime lenses.

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New C100 AF Triple Lens Kit
Date: 04/01/14

Just announced - Canon is offering the C100 with factory installed Dual Pixel Autofocus, an EF 16-35, EF 24-70 f2.8II, & EF 70-200mm f2.8 ISM lenses for just $9999. That's a savings of almost $2000 if purchased separately.
New C100 AF 24-105mm Kit
Date: 04/01/14

Just announced - Canon is now offering the C100 with Dual Pixel Autofocus from the factory & the EF 24-105mm f4 lens for $5999.
New C100 AF 18-135mm Kit
Date: 04/01/14

Just announced - Canon is now offering the C100 with Dual Pixel Autofocus from the factory & the EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 STM lens for $5699.
Get the Instagram Look
Date: 3/24/14

Trying for the Instagram look on your shoot? These Ultracon and Low Contrast filters might help. We've got the Ultracon's in 4.5" Round, 4x5.65, & 6x6 sizes. The Low Con's are available in Series 9, 138mm Round, 4x5.65 & 6x6 sizes.
Cinema EOS 0% Financing
Date: Extended thru 06/30/14

0% financing is available on all Cinema EOS cameras & lenses now thru 06/30/14.

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Canon Cinema Prime Discount Program
Date: 1/6/14

Canon has expanded their Cinema Prime Discount Program. Purchase and 3 & receive a $900 discount. Purchase any 4 & receive a $1600 discount. Purchase 5 & receive a $2500 discount or purchase all 6 & receive a $3000 discount.

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Canon C500 EF now available
Date: 1/8/14

The EF mount version of the C500 is now available in rental. Shoot 4k with your own lenses or with any of our wide selection of Canon, Zeiss & now Scheider EF mount glass.
Scheider Xenon FF-Primes now available
Date: 1/6/14

Schneider Xenon FF-Primes in 35, 50 & 75mm are here. All T2.1 and they're smaller, lighter and less expensive than the Zeiss CP.2 or the Canon Cinema Primes. They cover the sensor of full frame cameras & have interchangeable lens mounts too.

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Arri M8 now available
Date: 12/26/13

The Arri M8 "little blinders" are now in rental. Only 800w, but it puts out the same amount of light as a 1200w HMI fresnel or a 1200w HMI Par with a lens.

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NEW Gear in our Rental Department
Date: Right Now

Search our Rental Catalog with the word "new" & you'll find all the latest gear we've added during the last few months. Keep watching - there's always more on the way.

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Air Travel with Li-Ion Batteries - Updated 2012
Date: January 1, 2011

The rules for air travel & lithium-ion batteries changed again on January 1, 2011 and they will continue to change. The good news is that they're trying to standardize & simplify the procedures. Here are a few links that you should check on for more information before you go so that you're not caught off guard.

US Deparment of Transportation.

IDX Systems

Used & Closeout Gear
Date: Limited Quantities

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Used & Closeout Gear

We’re always planning the next event. Our appointment as a Panasonic Specialty Reseller gives us access to a wealth of technical people eager to teach you about the products you’re renting and purchasing from us. Our Minneapolis facility gives us a great place to host these events. Check back often to see what’s next!

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