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Posts by Ian McCausland

I stopped by the Imagine Products booth to get an introduction to their new PrimeTranscoder from Marketing Director Michelle Maddox. Imagine Products may be best known as the maker of the industry-standard media offloading/verified copy application, ShotPut Pro (now in version 6). PrimeTranscoder uses a similar interface and works with ShotPut Pro to create transcodes of original camera footage for dailies/review and edit media in a variety of standard formats. One great feature is the ability to merge clips. You could, for example, make a single clip out of all of the circled takes from a day of shooting and transcode to H.264 so the director could review footage on his or her iPad while traveling. In a case like this, each source clip’s timecode can either be preserved or new source timecode for the joined clip can be applied. Additionally, a LUT can be applied to the footage during transcoding to bring Log footage into the REC709 space with a show- or crew-specific look on it (compatible with standard .cube files as exported by programs like DaVinci Resolve).

PrimeTranscoder is a one-time purchase license, as opposed to a subscription, and new features introduced in “dot” releases will be available as free updates. Similar to ShotPut Pro, PrimeTranscoder uses preset templates that direct its behavior as far as output destinations, input and output formats, and watched folders. Watched folders look for files being added to a folder (such as with ShotPut Pro), and once the files are copies and verified, PrimeTranscoder can then take over and create the additional versions of offloaded files. PrimeTranscoder also features user-selectable GPU acceleration, leveraging your computer’s graphics hardware to significantly speed up the transcoding process. Unused audio tracks can also be trimmed from further versions of clips, always appreciated by editors. Rich burn-in and watermark options are available as well.

PrimeTranscoder is available now as a download from the Imagine Products website and is priced at $699. A free trial is available as well. Watch the video above to learn more.

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In this video, Timm Stemann of Chrosziel joins me to talk about their latest products being shown at this year’s NAB. Timm shows us Chrosziel’s latest addition to their lens control system, a Focus Thumbwheel. This thumbwheel can be connected to Chrosziel’s own Magnum system, or any large number of third party systems with the appropriate adapter, and allows you to easily pull focus wirelessly without having to remove your hand from the camera’s grip or tripod pan arm. In addition to focus control, the Focus Thumbwheel also features a record button for triggering connected cameras.

We also looked at the latest addition to their lens control ecosystem, the new Magnum Mini. The Magnum Mini is a compact single channel motor driver. The Mini was designed with the intent of creating the smallest possible footprint on the camera system, perfect for gimbal and aerial applications. For the Magnum hand controller, they have designed a new pan/tilt style friction mount, similar to our own Cameo Swivel Mount, that allows monitors to be quickly adjusted without the need to struggle with sometimes pesky articulating arms.

Other updates to watch out for include a newly designed GH5 cage and support system, a lightweight shoulder support for the Canon C700, as well as a new, smaller articulating arm named the Rocky.

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Topics Audio, NAB 2017

I caught up with Scott Boland to discuss the new Stickies Advanced (which are now hypoallergenic) and Overcover Advanced products for hiding lavaliere microphones as well as controlling wind and rustling noise when using lavs outdoors. Check out the video above for all of the details.

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In this video, I chat with Ron Engvaldsen from Schneider Optics about their new RHOdium Full Spectrum Neutral Density filters. Traditional ND filters have used organic dyes, with naturally varying densities and changes in spectral transmission over time. Schneider’s new filters aim for ruler-flat spectral response over the entire visible spectrum and down into near-infrared. Because camera manufacturers have introduced better handling of IR contamination in recent years, existing IRNDs can now actually over-filter towards the infrared end of the spectrum, ironically introducing new issues when used with modern sensor/OLPF packages. Schneider’s FSNDs have been extensively tested with Sony, ARRI and RED cameras to make sure differences in sensitivity and spectral transmission introduce little to no variation among the red, green and blue color channels when viewed “end-to-end” on a vectorscope and other test equipment. Check out the video for more.

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I stopped by the Redrock Micro booth where I was joined by Brian Valente to check out their latest products.

This year, Redrock has focused heavily on their lens control offerings. The first product Brian shows us is their new SLS Motor. This motor is extremely compact, with 300% more torque and twice the resolution of their current Torque motors. Weighing in at just over 4oz (120g), this motor is perfect for gimbal and aerial applications where every ounce becomes crucial. The SLS motors are being offered in a few versions, one of which is configured with the MoVI Pro FIZ Molex connector built-in.

The SLS is not the only MoVI Pro accessory Redrock Micro has released. To accompany the motors, they have also created the Navigator command module. This is MoVI API compatible for full focus, iris and zoom support of motors attached directly to the MoVI Pro.

The Eclipse system, which was shown last year as a preview, is back in full release form. The system starts with the Atlas motor, which features the same torque and resolution improvements as the SLS motors, with the addition of a built-in MDR. The Navigator module seen on their MoVI Pro setup is back, again allowing for FIZ control, but this time paired with the Atlas motors. The third piece of the system is called the Halo Explorer. This is a LIDAR-based range finding accessory to be used for marking actors’ locations and pulling focus. It also allows for focus tracking using cine lenses, essentially an autofocus option for manual lenses.

…continue reading NAB 2017: Redrock Micro Updates

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I’m here with Brent Siebenaler from Fiilex to discuss their new P360 family of lights, which includes two new models – the P360 Pro and ProPlus.

The P360 family of lights has been around for a few years now, with what Fiilex is referring to as their legacy models, the P360 and P360EX. The P360 was the original model, featuring a 350W equivalent output, 10-100% dimmer, and color-tunable from 3000-5600K. The P360 was designed as an extremely compact, low-draw, low-heat light with zero compromises in color rendering. The P360EX built upon this platform, making the housing water resistant with an IP-24 rating, as well as allowing for connection to an optional DMX connection box.

Fiilex is debuting the latest in the lineup this year with the P360 Pro and ProPlus. Just about every function of the light has been tweaked or upgraded in some way. Improvements include a new OLED display on the back of the lights, a larger yoke, locking barn doors, an increase to the dimming range to a full 0-100%, increased color range between 2800-6500K, and an integrated internal DMX control, all while increasing brightness output by around 10%. The ProPlus adds a hue control setting for magenta and green offset, as well as an improved CRI rating.

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I’ve stepped over to the Sennheiser booth to speak with Brian Glasscock about their solution for virtual reality audio, the AMBEO VR. The AMBEO VR microphone was designed for use with 360-degree video content. The AMBEO actually works, functionally, very similarly to the way multi-lens spherical video cameras operate, except instead of multiple lenses facing various directions, you’re given four matched KE14 cardioid microphone capsules.

Using ambisonic playback technology, the viewer’s head movements will be tracked to change the perspective of the audio source. Much like how the camera’s placement in VR determines the viewer’s perspective, ambisonic microphones, like the AMBEO VR, define the perspective of the listener. What that means is the camera and microphone should be mounted in as close of proximity to one another as possible. To simplify post-production and prevent guess work, the AMBEO VR features a witness indicator as to which way should be facing forward during recording.

The AMBEO VR outputs the four microphones signals through a DIN-12 pin connector to four individual balanced XLR terminals, which can then be recorded using any four-channel audio recorder. Brian recommends using recorders with digitally controllable gain settings to ensure each mic is properly placed in post.

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