NAB Show

NAB 2018: Things ‘n’ Stuff

A grab-bag of cameras, support kit, drones, and more

Herewith I collect interesting things I haven’t written about already: mostly cameras and support kit, but there’s other stuff, too…

Kinefinity

Chinese camera company Kinefinity showed off its Terra, MAVO, and MAVO LF (large format) cine cameras:

Brian Hallett has more details on the MAVO and MAVO LF.

JVC Connected Cams

JVC is filling a niche no one knew existed before JVC exploited it: all-in-one cameras with built-in, remotely controllable templated graphics and on-board wireless broadcasting. They’re just the thing for smaller organizations — school sports teams, town councils, local TV stations — that need maximum real-time production value with minimum cost and manpower.

Handheld camcorder with wireless transmitter and built-in graphics
Handheld camcorder with wireless transmitter and built-in graphics
You can tweak the templated graphics from your wireless tablet
You can tweak the templated graphics from your wireless tablet
DVInfo folks shooting the JVCs
The DVInfo.net folks covered the connected cams in detail. See their report here.

Nikon

The Nikon Booth
The Nikon booth

Bolt Dance

Nikon had a huge booth, featuring their new 4K-capable D850 DSLR alongside camera robots and pods from Mark Roberts Motion Control, which Nikon bought recently. MRMC has long been known for camera robotics and their acquisition by Nikon caused more than a little surprise. Almost half the booth was Nikon cameras and lenses — and the D850 Filmmaker’s Bundle, a package combining the D850, an Atomos recorder, a set of primes, and a couple of microphones. The rest of the space was given over to MRMC “Bolt” high-speed camera robots and remote-control camera pods. Another Bolt was set up in the lobby of the Central Hall, where it invited passersby with a sign saying “Let’s Dance”. The Bolt swung a D850 shooting 120fps HD around while giddy attendees styled their latest moves in front of it; a moment later the 24fps slo-mo playback appeared on monitors.

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MRMC explanatory placard

D850 on the business end of a Bolt
D850 on the business end of an MRMC robot
MRMC camera pod
MRMC camera pod
MRMC camera pod, dissected
MRMC camera pod, dissected

Canon C700FF

Canon throws a press dinner, at which Larry Thorpe gives a brief talk. I snagged pix of a few of Larry’s slides discussing the C700FF full-frame camera.

C700FF sensor size
The C700FF’s sensor spans the full-frame image circle, but with a 17:9 aspect ratio.
You can center-cut a 4K image from the 5.9K sensor
You can center-cut a 4K image from the 5.9K sensor…
...and the same for an HD / 2K image
…and the same for an HD / 2K image.
Capture 5.9K raw to a Codex recorder and also save 4K files to CFast cards
Capture 5.9K raw to a Codex recorder and also save FF 4K files to CFast cards.
Scanning at 5.9K, then downsampling, avoids most 1st-order aliasing. The purple area in the bottom plot shows the added MTF you get by doing so compared to native 4K capture
Capturing at 5.9K then downsampling reduces 1st-order aliasing. The purple area in the bottom plot shows the added MTF (perceived sharpness, roughly speaking) you get by doing so compared to native 4K capture.

NDI

Newtek’s Network Device Interface technology for video over IP (Ethernet) continues to spread, aided by the fact that Newtek offers free software development kits for Windows, Mac, and Linux. NDI uses compression to move HD and UHD over common Gigabit links, whereas SMPTE 2110 wants a 10 Gigabit link or better (NDI is interoperable with SMPTE 2110 using Newtek’s Connect Pro interfaces, among others).

Panasonic NDI PTZ cameras
Panasonic has a broad lineup of PTZ cameras with NDI. PoE (Power over Ethernet) capability means they only need a single Cat5 cable for everything: audio, video, control, and power.
AV-HLC100 switcher
The AV-HLC100 switcher includes 1 M/E bus, an audio mixer, and full PTZ camera controls, in a single console. 8 NDI inputs, 4 SDI inputs.
Broadcast Beat's NAB control room
Broadcast Beat‘s NAB control room used NDI for everything except the displays.
One of Broadcast Beat's NDI cameras
All but one of their cameras used NDI (onscreen: Digital Film Tree’s Ramy Katrib)
Hitachi camera on Vinten robotic pedestal
Only this Hitachi box cam fed SDI to the booth.

DigiBoom

Redrock Micro previewed the DigiBoom, a handheld carbon-fiber camera boom with a gimbal on the end. It includes repositionable hand controls for camera and gimbal, integrated cable routing, and video monitoring. It’s extendable with additional sections. It clips to a lanyard around your neck and is light enough to carry for hours. While it’ll fly any camera up to 6.5 pounds, lighter is better according to those who have used it.

DigiBoom, low
DigiBoom, low
DigiBoom, high
DigiBoom, high
Gimbal control handgrip.
Gimbal control handgrip. You can see the lanyard ring just ahead of it.
Zoom / focus handgrip.
Zoom / focus handgrip. Handgrips are easily repositioned as needed.
Blackmagic monitor.
Blackmagic monitor.
Power, audio and counterbalance.
Power, audio and counterbalance. Additional mixers, like this Sound Devices MixPre-D, can be added.

Other Support Kit

Bright Tangerine Titan-11 arm
Bright Tangerine Titan-11 arm.

These Titan-11 arms are cleverly designed to modulate joint friction so that the arms don’t just suddenly dump their loads, as others of their kind tend to do. Bright Tangerine also showed off a new quick release mount, visible at the base of the arms.

Tilta Nucleus-M lens motor
Tilta Nucleus-N lens motor
Tilta wireless handwheel
Tilta Nucleus-N wireless handwheel attached to handheld gimbal

This Tilta lens control system uses the most elegant, small motor/receiver I’ve seen — it probably won’t spin your Angenieux 24-290 but it’s fine for DSLR glass. The wooden handwheel clips to the side of the gimbal, or it can be detached for an AC’s use. Both motor and handwheel use their own batteries and their own radio channel. The Nucleus-N series isn’t shown on Tilta’s site yet; I think these were prototypes or early production models.

Wooden Camera Zip Focus
Wooden Camera Zip Focus

Wooden’s Zip Focus is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” designs. Instead of using a bridge across both support rods, the Zip Focus clamps to a single rod. That makes it easier to swing out to accommodate fatter lenses or to allow faster changes, and it’s a lighter, simpler mechanism. Yes, if you hang a heavy whip off it, or  your idle hand, it may sag more readily. Just make sure you keep the clamp tightened.

Wooden Camera Pushbutton ARRI Rosettes
Wooden Camera Pushbutton ARRI Rosettes
Pushbutton ARRI Rosette in use
Wooden Camera Pushbutton ARRI Rosette in use

Pushbutton ARRI rosettes connect a male and female rosette with a locking hub. Squeeze the lever, rotate the accessory, release: latched and locked. Sweet.

Drones

PowerEgg drone
PowerEgg drone: “Beauty and durability in perfect harmony”.
PowerEgg in simulated flight.
PowerEgg in simulated flight. (Professional photographer in controlled conditions. Do not try this at home.)

Japanese telecoms firm NTT DOCOMO showed off the Spherical Drone Display: a drone encased in a globe of spinning light bars, surrounded by a geodesic framework that may help keep intruding fingers from being turned into mincemeat (I’m guessing; I didn’t test this theory).

Spherical Drone Display with light bars at rest
Spherical Drone Display with light bars at rest
Spherical Drone Display, spun up for snowflakes
Spherical Drone Display, spun up for snowflakes
Spherical Drone Display, displaying a globe
What could be more natural than a hovering, buzzing globe?

Glass

All the major lens vendors were showing off 4K and 8K capable lenses. As all these lenses look just like their HD predecessors, I didn’t bother shooting photos. Instead, some more interesting things…

Fotodiox ArtFX ColorFlare EF lens adapters
Fotodiox ArtFX ColorFlare EF lens adapters

Want to add some colorful “character” to your pix? These EF-toE-mount or EF-to-MFT adapters use colored sleeves so you can lenswhack some flare into your pix without having to handhold the lens. Newsshooter has a good writeup.

Canon had a few of their lenses cut in half. And who doesn’t like seeing more lenses cut in half?

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Leica coverage chart
Need to match a Leica cine lens to a format? This handy wall-sized chart can help (formats not shown at actual size).
Custom-painted Zeiss prime
Not all Zeiss lenses come in boring black.
Custom-painted Zeiss prime
You can’t say these primes lack character.

Climate Change?

Several vendors seemed to be worrying about sea-level rise and how their products will perform when underwater…

Creamsource Micro, half-submerged
Creamsource Micro, half-submerged
Creamsource Micro, half-submerged
Creamsource Micro, half-submerged.
Lectrosonics WM wireless transmitter
Lectrosonics WM wireless transmitter.
Countryman mics are good for recording fish
Countryman mics are good for recording fish!
Countryman mike in cola
They’re also pretty darned resistant to ocean acidification.

Etc.

iPhone News Gathering
iPhone News Gathering in the press room.
Skeleton holding an ENG camcorder
Shooting can be hazardous to your health! Steadygum offers relief.
A selfie stick with a gimbal.
A selfie stick with a gimbal. Because that’s the world we live in now.

Disclosure: I attended NAB free on a press pass but paid my own travel / food / lodging expenses. I attended Canon’s press dinner, so that’s why there are C700FF slides in the article. I included them because they’re interesting, not because I got fed. The DVInfo.net folks are my friends and I’ve written for DVInfo in the past; I also attended their Monday night get-together and had dinner with ’em on Sunday. If you think that unduly influenced me to give ’em a shout-out, feel free — but consider that I also link to articles and videos by PVC’s own Brian Hallett and Newsshooter.com, and neither of them fed me anything. Those aside, there is no material relationship between me and any of the vendors or organizations mentioned and nobody offered payment / bribes / blandishments of any sort for coverage.


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PVC Staff
Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas,…

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