The Zeiss 15.5-45mm Lightweight Zoom… with an EF mount on a Canon 7D.
If one theme of NAB was 3D, the other was video-capable DSLRs. The danged things were everywhere; I saw more people shooting video with DSLRs (myself included) than with anything else.
There was plenty of new DSLR gear to look at, too: the usual suspects (Zacuto, Cinevate, Redrock Micro) has lots of mounting kits, rod systems, and support accessories, and they were joined by the likes of Ikan.
One of the weak points about shooting video with DSLRs has been viewfinding with the rear LCD: most people opt for some sort of loupe to turn the LVD into an eye-level EVF. Up until recently, there were three main choices: the $79 Hoodman HoodLoupe, attached with rubber bands (!), the $200 LCDVF magnetic loupe with a 2x magnifier, and the $400 (!) Zacuto Z-finder snap-on loupe with 3x magnification (the latter two loupes use stick-on frames that adhere to the camera’s rear-mounted LCD).
Zacuto Z-Finder Pro with new baseplate mount attached to a rail rig.
A week or so before NAB, Zacuto expanded their line to three different loupes. The Pro line offers both 2.5x and 3x magnification, and a baseplate-mounted attachment frame, so you don’t need to glue anything to your LVD with sticky tape. The Pros also gain an anti-fog lens coating.
There’s also a JR loupe for $265 that uses a “sandwich plate” for mounting; see Zacuto’s site for more details.
Prototype Letus loupe on its own accessory arm.
Letus was experimenting with this elegant prototype in Abel Cine’s booth. The accessory arm allows the loupe to be swung out of the way without removing it from the camera entirely. The final product will have a proper eyecup. Letus got so many positive comments on the polished-metal look that they may go into production with a shiny surface, nut just the usual, boring black.
Arri follow-focus on prototype Letus telescoping rails.
Letus also demoed their extendable rail system, allowing easier lens changes and accessory repositioning even with a fixed matte box (as opposed to a heavier, more expensive swing-away matte box).
Hoodman HoodLoupe on a HoodCrane.
Hoodman’l rubber-band attachment method left a bit to be desired when it comes to quickly swapping between vewfinder and LCD uses, so they’ve developed the HoodCrane, an articulating arm mounted in the camera’s accessory shoe (it provides its own accessory shoe on top).
HoodCrane flipped up; also pivots 90 degrees on the accessory shoe.
The HoodCrame lets you flip the HoodLoupe up, and then swing it sideways to get it completely out of the way. $99, and back-ordered already.
Zeiss 15.5-45mm EF-mount Lightweight Zoom
Over in lens-land, the big pre-NAB news was the announcement of Zeiss Compact Prime cine lenses with interchangeable mounting systems, starting with the Canon EF mount. At NAB Zeiss also showed the 15.5-45mm T2.8 Lightweight Zoom, a full-up, no-nonsense cine zoom in EF mount. At about $20,000, though, it’s not lightweight in price.
There’s a Canon 5D MkII behind that Zeiss Compact Prime and Sony EVF!
The Compact Primes are just like those announced last year only with interchangeable mounts in place of a fixed, cine-camera PL mount.
LitePanels MicroPro Hybrid combined LED light and camera flash.
The MicroPro Hybrid is a standard LED light with a sync cord and a flash function. When the camera triggers the flash, capacitors dump stored charge into the LEDs, causing them to emit a brief burst of brilliantly bright light, well beyond what they can sustain in a steady-state mode. The MicroPro is designed for those dual-mode shooters who are capturing video yet need to fire off stills while they do so; it won’t replace your dedicated flash unit but it will help out when you need just a bit of a boost.
I have a short video clip of the MicroPro Hybrid in action, as well a few shots at the Zacuto booth—really, if you’re interested in putting together a custom support rig, it’s worth visiting the Zacuto booth at a show, just to be able to handle all the bits ‘n’ pieces they have on offer and see how they go together.
16 CFR Part 255 Disclosure
I attended NAB 2010 on a press pass, which saved me the registration fee or the bother of using one of the many free registration codes offered by vendors. I paid for my own transport, meals, and hotel.
No material connection exists between myself and the National Association of Broadcasters or the various exhibitors I report on (except as noted in my articles, when and if necessary); aside from the press pass, NAB has not influenced me with any compensation to encourage favorable coverage.