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Corey Christian
posted by - Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Lexar Professional Workflow hub, the HR2, is quite possibly the product editors and DITs have been looking for for years.


The HR2 hub is designed for complete customization, with four open bays accommodating a variety of card readers and storage drives. This allows the user to offload and backup footage and other files from multiple memory cards at once. While the HR2 was designed primarily for a home or office desktop workstation, the individual readers and drives can all still be used independently of the hub for maximum portability whether in the field, or on set. Because there aren’t any software or drivers to accompany the HR2, the system will have no problem integrating into your workflow already in place, including industry standard software like Silverstack and ShotPut Pro.

The HR2 utilizes Thunderbolt 2 technology, and allows for concurrent transfers from all four bays for quick transfer speeds. The readers and drives themselves all feature USB 3.0 for stand-alone usage, utilizing USB type B ports for their large and robust connectors that allow the modules to be inserted into the bay without worry of damaging contacts. The hub itself features a USB 3.0 port as well as two Thunderbolt 2 ports so that you can daisy-chain the other components of your system together.  Thankfully, the unit is also backwards compatible with both Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.

This hub will easily find a permanent home at your workstation. By utilizing the bay structure, you can eliminate a large amount of cable and clutter, allowing you to stay organized. Unfortunately, the device is not bus powered and includes an AC power supply, however, the two cables needed for this system can free you up from the web of cables typically required by multiple readers and storage drives. The modular design allows for ultimate flexibility in offloading media – whether you find yourself capturing XQD media from an FS7 one day, or handling the CFast 2.0 card from an AMIRA the next day, you’ll always be well equipped for the job. This modularity also future-proofs the system, as Lexar adds new card formats and readers to their offerings, you’ll be able to swap in the new components and continue working.

To learn more about Lexar’s HR2, visit their Professional Workflow products FAQ page.

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Lexar CFast 2.0 cards have become a popular choice with our customers. Their Professional 3500x and 3600x cards present a great combination of performance, reliability and value.

Lexar_Pro-CFast-3600x-256GBWe’ve found them to be rock-solid media at a great price. Canon has also certified the 3500x in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities for the Canon C300 Mark II. With maximum read speeds of 525 MB/sec and maximum write speeds of 445 MB/sec (that’s megabytes, by the way, not megabits), they are more than fast enough to keep up with the C300 Mark II even in its high-data rate 4K and 120 fps recording modes.

ARRI has approved Lexar’s Professional 3600x cards for use in AMIRA and ALEXA Mini as well as the forthcoming full-size ALEXA SXT (when used with ARRI’s CFast 2.0 Adapter 2 in the SXT’s media bay). Lexar’s 3600x cards are available in 128GB and 256GB capacities.

Though they feature the same maximum read and write speeds as the 3500x versions discussed above, be sure to use only cards marked 3600x in ARRI cameras. While it may be possible to use these 3600x cards in other devices, such as the C300 Mark II, understand that Canon has only qualified and approved the 3500x cards for use in the C300 Mark II. For other devices, always be sure to check the manufacturer’s website to see which cards have been certified for use with their equipment. You can also see Lexar’s official compatibility chart below.

lexar compatibility

(Click to view larger)

With the CFast 2.0 memory card market maturing, the format has been rapidly and widely adopted by digital video/cinema cameras (and, increasingly, still cameras as well). It’s great to see competitively priced, high performance cards from Lexar being certified by manufacturers for use in a wide variety of gear – that’s good for everybody.

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Convergent Design has announced an exciting new upgrade option for their popular Odyssey and Apollo line of monitor/recorders. It allows a single camera shooting in UHD 3840×2160 to create the effect of shooting with multiple cameras. It does this by extracting HD resolution windows from the “master” 4K image. In addition to monitoring and recording the full image (supersampled down to HD resolution), the additional “angles” can be also be recorded. The full image and extracted windows can also be live switched, allowing for a total of up to four HD signals that can be recorded. Depending on how the wide shot is composed, and where subjects are placed in the frame, one could record a medium shot and a close-up in addition to the wide shot, two medium shots, or a variety of other shots.

For the one-man crew shooters out there, Titan HD Extract provides the incredible ability to record a multicam production with essentially nothing more than a single 4K-capable camera and an Odyssey or Apollo, which allows you to fit your kit into a single case. This makes transportation in the field much easier, especially when traveling to difficult or remote locations. Titan allows for the ultimate quick turn around on multi-cam jobs, allowing you to provide your client with a high-end looking production with no post-production work necessary. Should you want to polish your live cut, however, Titan will generate an Edit Decision List as an .EDL file compatible with many of the major post production software available.

Titan’s list price is set at $1295, with a special introductory offer of $995, and is expected to be available in the beginning of October. To learn more about Titan HD, visit Convergent Design’s site: convergent-design.com/titan


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Last week, Convergent Design unleashed its largest firmware yet into the wilds of the production world. Firmware v2016.06 is packed with new features — twenty-three new ones to be exact — on top of twenty-two different fixes and improvements. The best part of all? This is a completely free update!

While the majority of the updates in v2016.06 are Apollo/Apollo Option specific, the Odyssey7Q+/7Q was certainly not left out. The Odyssey RAW Bundle now supports both FS RAW from the PXW-FS5, as well as IO 4K RAW form the IO Industries Flare 4K. FS RAW can be recorded in either CinemaDNG or Apple ProRes continuously at up to 59.94 fps in 4K, 240 fps in 2K, and as much as 120 fps in 4K burst mode. In addition to the RAW bundle upgrade, the Odyssey7Q+/7Q now offer Dual-HD recording capabilities, allowing you to acquire two HD video signals simultaneously in Apple ProRes HQ, 422, or LT.

This update seriously expands the features of the Apollo/Apollo Option. Some of the most notable features include a new Quad-HD double master recording mode, allowing you to simultaneously record a duplicate copy of your four record streams as well as either your Live Switch or Quad Split clips for backup. The Dual-4K feature of the Apollo/Apollo Option has been updated to allow the capture of a single stream of 4K video at up to 60 fps with the Apollo, a feature which was previously available only in the Apollo Option.

Often times we have to use whatever cameras are at our disposal, even if that means they are different models, or even from different manufacturers. Because each camera company, and each camera for that matter, employs image processing differently, there may be noticeable frame delay when trying to mix these sources in a live environment. To combat this, Convergent Design has implemented a feature they refer to as “A/V Align,” which allows the operator to adjust the delay to audio and/or video of each input independently.

Several features were rolled out to all models as well, including support up to eight channels of Embedded SDI audio per channel. Many camera operators rely on focus peaking for assessing focus accuracy, which at times can result in false confidence as it tends to be hard to read exactly what is tack sharp. The new Focus Assist noise reduction feature should help solve this problem by cleaning up the peaking lines, improving their legibility (don’t worry, it won’t affect your recorded signals).

As I said, this update is massive, so be sure to check out the full rundown videos made by Convergent Design at the bottom of the post.

To learn more about firmware v2016.06, as well as to download it (and the full release notes), visit Convergent Design’s site.




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Topics Arri

ARRI has released SUP 4.0 for the ALEXA Mini. This highly anticipated update unlocks much-desired features in the camera. One of the major updates is MXF/ARRIRAW recording to CFast cards. It is important to note that these files require a new post workflow. The new version of ARRIRAW Converter is capable of processing these files, and ARRI has also released an SDK for post software manufacturers to adapt to this new format. See a full list of revisions below:

  • 4:3 Recording mode – enables use of the larger sensor area as well as 2x anamorphic de-squeeze for the monitoring paths. 4:3 recording requires the ALEXA Mini 4:3 License Key, which is available in the ARRI License Shop.
  • Internal MXF/ARRIRAW 16:9 2.8K recording – ARRIRAW recording to CFast 2.0 cards. Please make sure you check the SUP release notes for information about the MXF/ARRIRAW workflows, especially regarding support for MXF/ARRIRAW in the post-production workflow. MXF/ARRIRAW recording requires the ALEXA Mini ARRIRAW License Key, which is available in the ARRI License Shop.
  • Internal MXF/ARRIRAW Open Gate recording – Open Gate recording to CFast 2.0 cards. Open Gate MXF/ARRIRAW recording requires both licenses mentioned above.
  • Lens Data Archive and ECS improvements
  • Super 16 HD recording mode – recording mode that crops a S16 sensor area and scales it to HD
  • SDI Metadata – metadata embedded into the SDI signal
  • Transvideo Starlite HD5-ARRI interface improvements – UI improvements including access to user buttons and playback control.
  • SDI enhancements in 3.2K and UHD recording (2x 1.5G SDI is available)
  • Support for the CCP-1 – support for the camera control panel including daisy-chaining the MVF-1 viewfinder

To download SUP 4.0 and updated release notes, please visit ARRI’s ALEXA Mini downloads page.

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Atomos has just announced their new Flame series of monitor/recorders featuring the AtomHDR engine. The Shogun Flame will accept SDI, RAW and HDMI signals while the Ninja Flame will accept HDMI signals. For a full list of features, see below:

•  AtomHDR — AtomHDR is a proprietary image processing technology that allows operators to shoot with the high brightness range of their camera’s Log profile, while still maintaining vibrant colors. Users no longer have to worry about looking at a washed out image that makes judging exposure more difficult. AtomHDR will accurately display HDR Log footage “as the eye sees it,” without losing any sensor detail.

• AtomHDR 10-bit —The AtomHDR engine allows the monitors to display 10 stops of dynamic range to match 10-bit Log footage from cameras. Log formats from most major camera manufacturers are supported, including Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, ARRI, and RED.

• 7” High Bright 1500 nit — Both the Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame feature 7″ 1920×1080 screens with 1500 nits of brightness. For shooting with standard dynamic range, users can switch to Rec709 mode to take advantage of the 1500 nit panel. This is also useful for those who do a lot of outdoor shooting, since it allows for hood-free outdoor monitoring.

• Build & Power Management — Both Flame-series units are tough, featuring built-in armor protection. The revamped power management system includes dual continuous power with hot swapping capability, a DC to D-Tap coiled cable for connection to larger battery systems, and a new, fast charger.

The Shogun Flame is priced at $1,695, while the Ninja Flame is priced at $1,295. The monitor/recorders are expected to ship later this spring, and we are currently taking pre-orders. For more details, visit the official Atomos site and stay tuned for an in-depth video coming up soon!

Atomos Shogun Flame

Atomos Ninja Flame

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Andy Shipsides
posted by - Thursday, 11 February 2016
Topics Panasonic

Panasonic has announced the new VariCam LT, the little brother to the VariCam 35. This new “Lite” VariCam incorporates the same Super 35 sensor and quality imaging of the VariCam 35, but with a much reduced size, weight, and price point. That means you get the same 14+ stops dynamic range capabilities in V-Log mode, wide color gamut, and dual ISOs of 800 & 5000.

It records to a single expressP2 card in AVC-ULTRA at resolutions up to 4K; it also supports HD recording in ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes422 HQ (up to 60p). Panasonic has also enabled a new AVC-Intra LT codec for 240 fps capture in imager crop mode. Additionally, there is a plan to enable RAW output via SDI sometime in the future.

VariCam LT

The VariCam LT comes with an EF mount, but can be switched out for a PL mount if desired, giving you a wide range of lens options. At just under six pounds, the VariCam LT is made for run-and-gun operation, and is perfectly at home on a Steadicam, jib, crane, or gimbal. Best of all, the camera has a tough magnesium alloy body, really made for production.

Other interesting features include a new V-Look mode — something similar to the Wide DR modes that we’ve seen in other cameras — full in-camera color grading similar to the VariCam 35, and an IR shooting mode for extreme low-light capture.

The new camera comes in at $18,000 for the body only, or $24,000 for the camera with an OLED EVF (the same great one from the 35). Look for the camera to hit the market sometime by the end of March.

Check out some VariCam LT sample footage from Panasonic’s Cinema VariCam Vimeo channel:

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Recently Freefly announced a major update, nicknamed Akira, to the software controlling the MōVI. A host of improvements are included; below is a full list of the updates:

  • High Performance Stabilization (HiPer) — Freefly has increased the control loop 2X. This means that long lens shots are possible and overall stabilization should be improved 30-50%. Additionally, there will be advanced tuning configurations.
  • Timelapse Mode — The new software will permit pre-programmed motion maths for time-lapse sequences. These can be set using the MōVI Controller or configuration software.
  • Target Mode — If you have a strong GPS signal, the MōVI can be set to lock the camera on a GPS position. The mode will also dynamically follow a Mimic transmitter as the camera’s target.
  • Fixes & Enhancements — This update features improved communication protocol as well as improved Mimic support.
  • Updates to iOS and Android — The beta apps have been updated to match the look, feel, and functionality of the Alta app. All apps can be downloaded from Freefly’s Software & Downloads page.

The public beta will be available as a free download on Freefly’s website starting February 8.

To see the new firmware in action, watch the video below:


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Topics Panasonic

Haven’t been able to get your hands on a new VariCam 35 yet? Or curious about the fastest frame rate and highest codec you can do in V-RAW? Panasonic just released a VariCam Camera Simulator for their VariCam 35, VariCam 35 with Codex V-RAW recorder, and VariCam HS. This is a great tool to familiarize yourself with the VariCam’s functions before a shoot, troubleshoot a question from on set, or simply study up on the camera’s functionality.

The simulator allows you to familiarize yourself with the camera’s menu, giving you the opportunity to test the main functions. This includes the push buttons, as well as the rotary dial to choose between menu options, just like on the operator side of the camera. You can change frame rates, switch into variable frame rates, change main and sub codecs, and even go into the paint settings of the camera. The simulator even has a record light indicator.

Whether you’re a camera assistant, DIT, or rental house technician, knowing the menu system of the camera on each job is expected, yet very time consuming given how many cameras there are on the market. It can often be very difficult to remember where to find a specific setting. The VariCam Simulator can help with this, so be sure to check it out.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 7.45.59 PM

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Geoff Smith
posted by - Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Topics Sony

Sony’s PXW-FS5 has been available for a little over a month and has already received its first firmware update – version 1.1. Prior to this update, when recording UHD 3840×2160 (what Sony calls “QFHD”) internally on the camera, the SDI and HDMI ports were not capable of outputting a signal.

This update remedies that situation, enabling the use of external UHD recorders (such as the Atomos Shogun, Ninja Assassin and the Odyssey 7Q+ from Convergent Design) while simultaneously recording UHD internally. One caveat is that when this option — called “QFHD Rec Output” in the menu — is enabled, the viewfinder and camera LCD will no longer show a picture (though status information displays and the menus are still accessible). This limitation is not present when recording and outputting an HD signal.

A future firmware update will enable sending FS RAW out of the camera’s SDI connection to an external recorder while simultaneously recording UHD 3840×2160 internally. In this scenario, the LCD and viewfinder will remain active.

The firmware is being distributed as software updaters for both Mac and Windows computers (see links below). The update must be run with the camera connected to a computer via USB and during the update process the camera must be powered via its AC adapter, although it’s fine to leave a battery in the camera during the update.

Use the links below to download firmware version 1.1 for the Sony PXW-FS5:

Windows version:

Mac version:

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