|CQ@NAB 2014 Recap|
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.
– 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
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
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
The Arri booth was busy with the US introduction of the
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.
showed working versions of the
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.
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.
had a quiet year on the cinema camera front, but introduced the
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
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.
- We felt the stars of the show again this year in lighting were from
Mole-Richardson. Their new
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
on the economy side or purchasing the
now on sale starting at $773. CQ stocks products from both companies.
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.
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
plasma sources seem to have fizzled.
After about 18 months of R&D, Zacuto has announced that their PlaZma panel just
– It’s the “Year of the Servo Lenses” according to Matt Duclos & we think he’s
Canon joined the club & introduced
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
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
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
Anamorphic was still a buzzword at Cooke,
Angenieux, and Arri /Zeiss
this year. Cooke has just started
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
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
Compact Zoom CZ.2
lenses. New this year was
Tokina with some intriguing low cost
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.
– 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
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
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
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
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
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.
– The continued buzz about Blackmagic Design
– The AJA CION camera was it for us.
Looking forward to testing it.
Most Notable Absence
– Anything 3D