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Posts by Ian McCausland

Topics NAB 2017

I visited the Sony booth to speak with Andy Munitz about their dual channel wireless microphone receiver, the URX-P03D. This receiver is in the same family as the UWP-D single channel receiver, meaning that it can be powered by the multi-interface smart shoe found on Alpha 7 and PXW series cameras from Sony (the M-I shoe also routes audio into the camera for recording). Being a dual-channel receiver, the P03D can receive two distinct frequencies from two separate Sony wireless transmitters. The receiver features a wide range of bandwidth (up to 72MHz), thousands of tunable frequencies and the ability to bus each transmitter’s signal to either, or both, of the two outputs. Additionally, the unit features a stereo microphone input jack, taking advantage of the receiver’s position on or near the camera to enable either the camera operator to be recorded – if, for example, the camera operator is also the interviewer in a “one person band” shoot – or to record ambient sound to mix under the talent mic to give a sense of location and environment (such as at a sports game). The unit is also available with a cold shoe mount for use with cameras by other manufacturers.

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I swung by the Bright Tangerine booth today to talk to Brian Goff and Robert Eagle about the company’s expansion into camera accessories and other new developments. First up is their modular power distribution box for ARRI’s ALEXA Mini which allows the camera battery to remain in place when changing out recording media. An additional module under development will allow for up to four SDI output terminals to be added to the camera and will have an internal low-capacity “puffer” battery with a run time of four minutes to allow for swapping batteries without having to turn off the camera. The main distribution unit also features a cleverly “reversible” P-tap/D-tap power output as well as 5v USB, multiple two-pin power outs and R/S.

Robert showed off the new Revolvr Atom, a compact single-sided follow focus unit capable of mounting to 15mm or 19mm rods. It features nearly 3″ of gear arm travel to accommodate a wider range of lenses. Also, the unit can be mounted on a NATO rail if the camera’s rigging makes it impractical to mount to rods. The Revolvr Atom will list for $1600 and will be available by the middle-to-end of June, 2017.

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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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