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Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:48

NAB 2012 Preview: New Technology for the Digital Age

Written by  James Thompson
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Broadcasters and filmmakers are heading to Las Vegas, Nev. to have a tech-filled good time at the 2012 NAB Show. This year’s event will have extra excitement for content creators looking to capitalize on an array of new equipment with better quality at considerably reduced costs. For these visionaries, the words “lighter, portable and less expensive” are like music to the ears — and NAB will not disappoint them. The show floor is expected to be busy, filled with many new products and approximately 100,000 attendees ready to purchase the technology of the future. Here’s the first look at some of the companies slated to appear at NAB 2012.

The Vitec Group (Booth C6428) is sure to attract a lot of attention with a lineup of leading industry figures who will share tips and techniques in a dedicated Live Event area. Its “Meet the Experts” sessions will include Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer and Director Vincent Laforet, BAFTA-nominated Filmmaker Philip Bloom (who was the camera department advisor on Red Tails), Cinematographer Rodney Charters, ASC (“24”) and Sports Illustrated Staff Photographer Bill Frakes.

pro_nab_canonpage33Canon U.S.A., Inc. (Booth C4325) will showcase the Canon EOS C300 and C300 PL cameras that are changing the way filmmakers capture content. Attendees can now get their hands on these cameras, which are designed to meet the needs of today’s digital cinematographers. Available in either EF- or PL-mount configurations, features include a unique Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor, innovative Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor and 50 Mbps 4:2:2 codec. And Canon EOS Cinema Lenses include 4K-compatible wide-angle and tele-zoom lenses.
On the broadcast side of production, expect to see the Canon XJ95x8.6B super-telephoto HD field lens, which is designed for sports and outside-broadcast applications. This lens provides high-resolution, high-contrast optical performance for the capture of images that are sharp across the 16:9 HD image plane. The XJ95x8.6B comes standard equipped with a built-in Canon optical Shift-Type Image Stabilizer, the CAFS (Constant Angle Focusing System) to help counteract lens “breathing,” and outputs for focus, iris and zoom-position data for use with virtual studio systems.

Carl Zeiss (Booth C9049) will showcase a new super-wide-angle lens. The Distagon T* 2.8/15 lens has an extra-large angle of view of 110 degrees (in combination with a fast f/2.8 aperture) that enables features for the dramatic perspectives and performance demanded by most landscape photographers. Shooters will also benefit from a large depth of field, which provides a wide range of image sharpness from close-ups up to infinity. Now photographers can work in tight spaces while also allowing focus on close-up details. Also, distortion is well controlled, producing naturally proportioned photographs. The Distagon T* 2.8/15 lenses support an EF (ZE) or F bayonet (ZF.2).

ha19-jpegFUJIFILM North America Corporation - Optical Devices Division (Booth C7525) always has new and interesting lenses to showcase and this year brings the U.S. debut of the HA19x7.4BERM/BERD 2/3-inch Premier HD ENG/EFP and XA19x7.4BESM-D8 Studio/Field Box lenses (pictured left). Both are compact, offer 19x zoom ratios, and feature three floating-zoom groups and Aspherics, which combine to produce superb optical performance. The lenses also feature the latest EBC coating, resulting in richer colors and improved blue response and transmittance. “The advanced features we’ve built into these lenses are extremely important in the HDTV/big-screen era, as television viewers can see much more picture detail, including information in the corners of the screen, than ever before,” says Thom Calabro, director of marketing and product development at FUJIFILM North America Corporation - Optical Devices Division. “For this reason, it’s vital to have consistent resolution from edge to edge.”

Manfrotto Distribution (Booth C6925) will introduce two new tripod systems. The MVK502AM Tripod System incorporates the new MVH502A fluid head and is lightweight, compact and sturdy. This new telescoping tandem (or twin tubes) system is a first for Manfrotto. The design provides the stability of a twin-tube tripod with the ease of use of a single-leg tripod. The Manfrotto 701HDV, MVT502AM Tripod System with Carrying Bag is a lightweight tripod system kit for camcorders or DSLRs weighing up to 8.8 pounds. This system combines the 701HDV Pro Fluid Head with the brand new MVT502AM tripod and is perfect for backpackers and air travel as it folds down to a small portable system.

Nila, Inc. (Booth C10339) will display a new waterproof (IP-65 rated) version of its Boxer LED fixture (pictured bottom right). This rugged fixture was designed as an all-weather LED luminaire that’s compact and portable enough for remote shoots and ENG applications where poor weather has always been a challenge. The all-weather Boxer has enough punch (800W daylight or 1,200W tungsten) to replace power-hungry and bulky HMIs in conditions where HMIs could never survive. Its quick-change holographic lenses provide even, wraparound lighting to complement any subject, and this LED luminaire can be battery operated or run on a standard wall outlet at under 5 amps and drawing only 250 watts.boxer_waterproof_front

CineBags, Inc. (Booth C7641) will address the influx of tablets that are hitting the market, especially as the Apple iPad becomes a useful tool in all aspects of film/TV production, including camera control (for the ARRI ALEXA, Canon C300 and Sony F65), script and sound usages. The company will introduce the new CB19 iPad Bag that goes beyond the basic cover protection. The CB19 features a well-padded main body to keep iPads or similar-sized netbooks protected from impacts and the elements. The bag is large enough to hold basic accessories, such as a charger, cell phone, cables, business cards and other small tools and production accessories.

Matthews Studio Equipment (Booth C5437) is a must-stop place for shooters looking for rigs and support equipment. This year the company will introduce the newest member of the FloatCam DC-Slider family. Over the past year, shooters have put the FloatCam DC-Slider, a counter-balanced/multi-function/multi-angled camera platform, through its paces as it supports a wide range of camera styles (up to the maximum weight of 22 pounds or 10 kilograms). Now, FloatCam HD-DC Slider can do the same for heavier cameras. It creates smooth horizontal camera movements as a mini-jib or a 6-foot tower. It can be mounted on a single tripod and placed on level or uneven surfaces, where the constant counter-balance maintains uniform pressure for smooth camera movement. It also captures a wide range of vertical images in both tower and mini-jib function, no matter how severe the angle.

shotokus-sg900Shotoku Broadcast Systems (Booth C8528) will debut the new SG9000 manual pan-and-tilt head developed for applications requiring teleprompters (pictured left). Developed for location and studio broadcast applications, the SG900 supports 198 pounds and features smooth operation, single-knob balance adjustment, and tough construction in an ergonomic design. The unit incorporates VISCAM, the ultimate fluid-drag system to control pan-and-tilt speed without vibration or shake, and REULAUX, a perfect balance system for maintaining the camera’s center of gravity.

The Tiffen Company (Booth C8818) will unveil new innovative teleprompters, including a model for tablets and Steadicam through its Listec brand. The company will also debut new filters through Tiffen Optical Filters that are manufactured using ColorCore technology, which enables Tiffen to control the color and density of its filters with accuracy. In addition, attendees can see other popular Tiffen products, such as Steadicam, Lowel-Light, Davis & Sanford tripods, Domke camera bags and the Tiffen Dfx digital filter suite. “NAB is undisputedly the venue to debut our new and innovative professional product lineup for broadcasters and motion picture professionals,” says CEO Steve Tiffen. “Our engineering teams have been working hard at developing the next Tiffen blockbusters, and I am confident that attendees are going to love what they see on the show floor at the Tiffen booth.”

I-MOVIX (Booth C4644) will showcase the new X10, a unique, always-on, live ultra-motion solution that delivers 300 fps real-time continuous ultra-slow motion in full HD (or 600 fps in 720p). Developed in partnership with EVS, the X10 system is used with an EVS XT3 production server under LSM control. The company will also demonstrate the benefits of the new SprintCam Vvs HD 1.2 software release. This updated version of the SprintCam Vvs HD technology features refined and enhanced functionality. New operational enhancements allow operators to use all the capabilities of the ultra-motion technology in a simpler and more efficient way to provide ultra-slow motion images of extraordinary quality.

Harris Corporation (Booth N2502) will demonstrate the HView SX Pro multi-display management solution, a scalable, highest-density, multi-display management system for broadcasters. It delivers a compact new signal-processing and monitoring option for control-room environments. Its advanced design is smaller, sharper and smarter while it reduces space, power and complexity and offers picture quality and intelligent, flexible control options. Its high-density design accommodates more sources and outputs in fewer rack units in order to reduce system and installation costs.

Sony Creative Software (Booth C11001) will demonstrate its Vegas Pro, Sound Forge, DoStudio, Z Depth and more! The new Vegas Pro 11 Render dialog box includes several improvements that help users find the exact parameters for saving finished files. The company will also hold its 12th annual Open House that will include new product announcements about Sony’s professional line of multimedia production applications. The Sony Creative Software Event “Wildly Creative” will be held on Monday, April 16.

Sachtler (Booth C6032) will present the new Ace tripod system that offers a compact, durable and lightweight camera-support system for the video and DSLR filmmaker market. Developed for lightweight HDV camcorders and video-enabled DSLR cameras, the Ace features an ergonomic design and a payload range of 8.8 pounds (0 to 4 kilograms). Its patented SA-drag (Synchronized Actuated Drag) enables precise and reproducible pans. And with the five-step counterbalance, the camera setup can be quickly balanced.

brightclip_software_boxBright Technologies, Inc. (Booth SL8410) will present its core technology BrightClip as a standalone solution(pictured right). BrightClip is engineered to eliminate the disruptive and productivity-damaging factors for a studio workflow process, including high latencies, dropped frames and stuttering video. Now this technology is available to the entertainment industry, including the postproduction community, video integrators, solution providers and storage vendors/manufacturers. This advanced recording technology can work with every Meta Data Controller (MDC), ensuring that the underlying storage subsystem doesn't lose performance due to scattered-file layout.

Litepanels (Booth C6025) will debut a variety of new LED lighting products. The Sola 4 daylight Fresnel fixture is a small focusable DMX controllable LED Fresnel that features a 4-inch (10 cm) Fresnel lens and uses a fraction of the power of conventional fixtures. The tungsten-balance Inca Series is a Fresnel fixture that will output tungsten-balance light that can be integrated with light from legacy tungsten fixtures. Litepanels will also unveil its new on-camera LED lighting fixtures, the Croma (variable color-temperature) and Luma (daylight). The Croma can illuminate in any color temperature from daylight to tungsten via an on-fixture control knob, while the Luma provides powerful daylight illumination that’s well suited for fill light when shooting outdoors or in similar color-temperature conditions.

Petrol Bags (Booth C6034) will introduce three new quality equipment bags. The Deca Audio   Bag (PS614) is an ultra-lightweight carrier designed to securely transport sound equipment while keeping it safe, organized and accessible. It can accommodate a Zaxcom Nomad or Sound Devices SD 788 mixer with a CL8 controller, and offers easy access to the SD 522 mixer’s SD card slot. Constructed of a rugged, water-resistant case, the Liteporter professional carrier is designed to transport and protect a standard 1x1 LED light fixture and other lighting accessories. And the new Rolling DigiSuite DSLR Camera Case is a carryon-sized rollaway camera bag designed especially for the DSLR shooter on the go. It has a built-in wheel and tote assembly and a front lid that unzips quickly to reveal a central compartment contoured to comfortably fit up to two DSLR cameras. Detachable internal dividers help to secure contents and create pockets for storing spare lenses and other accessories.

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America (Booth C4309) will introduce the SK-HD1500, a slow-motion HD camera that’s capable of capturing video at 2.5X and 3X (the speed of standard frame-rate cameras). It uses standard 2/3-inch bayonet-mount lenses and integrates into existing Hitachi SK-series camera infrastructures. Hitachi will also showcase the new HV-HD33, a compact, 3-MOS sensor, multi-standard, POV HD camera, and the super-small, self-contained, signal-sensor KP-HD20A HD camera.
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