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Live From NAB: Get A Handle On Your Camera

Live From NAB: Get A Handle On Your Camera

Ugrip Customizes Your Camera To You

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

There aren't too many cameras out there that make everyone happy right out of the box. Sometimes you have to adjust things to make the camera feel like it is "your own." A Danish company called Ugrip has come up with a very cool system of plates and handles for just about every camera in use today. Once installed, the systems allow many places to mount handles, accessories or even mounting boxes for devices like Firestore drives. The handles are particularly clever; by loosening an Allen screw in their base you can gimbal the padded handle through a large range of motion. Ugrip parts can be purchased ala carte, or in pre-packaged kits for specific cameras. You can learn more at the Ugrip website, or at B&H Photo/Video's website. Read More

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Live from NAB:  Get That Car Shot…

Live from NAB:  Get That Car Shot…

...Without Losing The Camera

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

There are few contemporary movies where at least some of the action doesn't take place in a car. Of course, when Hollywood does it, they do it big, by mounting the car on a trailer and allowing cameramen, gaffers and such to rig the cameras, lights and such to hardpoints on the trailer. Unfortunately, most of us aren't in that position, and to the rescue comes Delkin Devices. Their Fat Gecko Camera Mount features two locking suction cups attached to a short arm that adjusts to point the camera in the right direction. With a weight limit of 8 pounds, you won't be mounting an Arriflex on it, but there are hundreds of video cameras that fit under that limit. (Of course, let's not be stupid - you should safety-cable the camera in case of trouble.) The Fat Gecko was on sale for $80 at the B&H Photo booth, and you can find out even more at the Delkin Devices website. Read More

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NAB Monday: Best of Times; Worst of Times

Catching up with friends, seeing practical applications, and some sad news.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | April 21, 2009

Loitering at the Plug-in Pavilion were (left-to-right) Aharon Rabinowitz (All Bets Are Off Productions), John Dickinson (Motionworks), Zax Dow (Zaxwerks), Brian Maffitt (Total Training), and Chris Meyer.

NAB this year is certainly a cross between the best of times (catching up with friends and seeing cool new toys) and the worst of times (the horrendous economy casting a pall around the halls). We've been in Las Vegas since Friday night, and teaching a few sessions at the Post Production World conference in the North Hall. So it was nice to finish up our sessions Monday morning and hit the show floor. Word has it that attendance is down from 107,000 last year to just 80,000 this year. You can tell its down because you don't need binoculars to see Peder Norbby demo Particular 2 at the Red Giant booth in the Plug-in Pavilion (more on that, and other plug-ins, tomorrow). But first, what we saw and heard on Monday: Read More

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Convergent Design shows nanoFlash: world’s smallest Pro HD/SD recorder/player

Convergent Design shows nanoFlash: world’s smallest Pro HD/SD recorder/player

nanoFlash is a snap-on, full-raster, 4:2:2 recorder

By Allan Tépper | April 21, 2009

At NAB 2009, Convergent Design is showing the nanoFlash: a full-raster 720p or 1080i/p, 4:2:2 recorder that can be described as super-small, lightweight, and low-power. It has both HD/SD-SDI and HDMI input/output, and can record three different multiple bit rates of MPEG2 long GOP, and one MPEG2 at i-frame. When Convergent Design says low-power, they mean 7.5 watts when active, or 0.2 watts in standby mode. nanoFlash records onto inexpensive Card Flash media. Convergent Design quotes 32GB at US$60. Files may be wrapped with either QuickTime or MXF. Read More

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NAB 2009 Video - JVC HM700 and HM100 and 4K

JVC HM Series camcorders and 4K concepts

By Matthew Jeppsen | April 21, 2009

At JVC's NAB booth we stopped by to get a look at the JVC HM700 and HM100 camcorders, as well as their new 4K concept camera and monitor. Check it out. Read More

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NAB 2009 Video - Panasonic HPX300

Jan Crittenden on the Panasonic HPX300 and CMOS firmware fixes

By Matthew Jeppsen | April 21, 2009

At Panasonic's NAB booth, Jan Crittenden showed off the new Panasonic HPX-300 camera, offering a shoulder-mount configuration, 10-bit, 4:2:2, AVC-Intra, and a host of other professional features. We also spent some time demonstrating the new CMOS rolling shutter flash-frame firmware update. It's an extensive interview, and very informative. Read More

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NAB 2009 - Monday Madness

A sampling of tech demos and real products.

By Adam Wilt | April 21, 2009

gCubik: Sharing and Grasping 3D Images

I spent Monday at NAB in the South Hall, with a brief excursion into North Hall. Here's a little of what I saw and heard... Read More

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Live From NAB:  The Oddest Trend This Year

Live From NAB:  The Oddest Trend This Year

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

You can't swing a dead audio guy here at NAB 2009 without hitting a camera with a matte box. Doesn't matter how big or small it is - Red, Sony, Ikegami, Canon, Panasonic, JVC - everyone has GOT to have a matte box. Funny thing is - almost to a one - they are all empty.I bet they would work better with filters in them, huh? Read More

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Live From NAB:  An LCD Monitor You Can Actually See Outdoors

Live From NAB:  An LCD Monitor You Can Actually See Outdoors

Yeah, I Couldn't Believe It Either

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

Anyone that has tried to view an LCD monitor in direct sunlight knows that just can't be done, right? Well, get ready to change your tune. While wandering in a sun-blinded haze, I almost tripped over the C-stand holding the Nebtek NEB100HDS LCD Onboard Camera Monitor. Once my eyes adjusted, I could barely believe what I was looking at - an LCD monitor, being hit directly by the blazing Nevada sun, with a very viewable, colorful image. One of the things I am looking for at NAB 2009 is an LCD monitor with integrated vectorscope and waveform monitors, and while the Nebtek doesn't have that exactly, it does feature a really cool "false color" exposure meter. Basically, once you trigger the "false color" mode, everything on the monitor changes color to reflect it's brightness - 10% IRE is blue, 50% is brown, 100% is orange, and over 100% is bright red (there are 12 steps and colors in all.) While that isn't exactly what I am looking for, I can certainly see the appeal. The monitor will accept HD-SDI, component and composite analog video inputs, and the list price will be in the $3000 range. You can learn more at the Nebtek website. Read More

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Live From NAB: More EX3 Alternative Media Choices!

Live From NAB: More EX3 Alternative Media Choices!

Hoodman Gets On Board

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

Previously best known for those fabric hoods that NFL instant-replay referees stick their heads into (or shelter LCD monitors in bright light,) the folks at HoodmanUSA have jumped into the SxS-alternative-media business with both feet. Their "RAW" SDHC memory cards and "SxSxSDHC" adapter card feature something a roll-your-own solution can't - a 100% satisfaction guarantee. With list prices at $50 for the adapter and $150 for a 16Gb SDHC card, Hoodman is charging a premium over other vendors, but is the guarantee worth it? Time will tell. Learn more at their web site. Read More

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Panasonic Developing Dual Lens 3D 1080p Camcorder for Native 3D Capture

Panasonic Developing Dual Lens 3D 1080p Camcorder for Native 3D Capture

Just when you thought this was a lame NAB...Woah

By Scott Gentry | April 21, 2009

If a picture is worth a thousand word, then clearly a dual lens 3 D camcorder is worth, well a lot! Yeah it's a bit conceptual, and a bit of a prototype, but WOAH. I want one... Read More

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Live From NAB:  When Is A Monitor More Than A Monitor?

Live From NAB:  When Is A Monitor More Than A Monitor?

When It Has Zoom, Focus And Roll Controls On It

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

While it is fun to gawk at all the "big iron" at an NAB show, I usually find the coolest stuff at the smaller booths. Accessory maker Ikan is showing a wide range of gear, and the thing that caught my eye first was an LCD monitor that, in addition to providing great pictures and audio, will work with the LANC connector on Sony and Canon cameras to allow remote control of zoom, focus, record, standby, and several other functions. The "Director" monitor can be either mounted on your camera or handheld, and it is when you hold it in your hand that you get a feel (pardon the pun) for how good the design is. The zoom rocker falls under your right index finger, and you focus and roll tape with your thumb. The list price is $499, and you can learn more at the Ikan website. Read More

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Live From NAB:  EX3 Wide Angle Lens, And More!

Live From NAB:  EX3 Wide Angle Lens, And More!

You Meet The Nicest People In Las Vegas

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

If you have been following my ramblings of late, you have likely come to the belief that I like the Sony PMW-EX3 camera. And you'd be right - I like it a lot. It's reasonably compact, it takes great pictures, the 1/2" imagers give back a large part of the depth-of-field that 1/3" chips took away, and to put the cherry on the sundae, it happily records 1080i pictures to ridiculously cheap media. And it possesses a wonderful feature it's older brother the EX-1 lacks - a removable lens mount. But what good is a removable lens mount if there isn't anything to replace the stock lens with? I wandered into the (very large) Sony booth at NAB 2009 to find out.And I was rewarded doubly. The lens was mounted on an EX3 in the camera demo area, and shooting the models, toys and assorted props proved it to be quite usable both on the long end and the wide end. I can easily see it being my #1 lens when I get outfitted with an EX3. But that is just where the story started. Giving the demo was Doug Jensen, author of Vortex Media's "PMW-EX3 Field Guide" and its companion DVD, "Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3." He proved to be full of good information and good humor, and demonstrated the EX3 and its wide-angle lens with knowledge and aplomb. Both Doug and his book and DVD prove that many equipment manuals really aren't very good, and a little additional information from people who take the time to figure out the details can be a real help. Read More

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NAB 2009 - Litepanels

Video coverage from the Litepanels booth at NAB '09

By Matthew Jeppsen | April 21, 2009

We dropped by the Litepanels booth at NAB 2009 to talk about their dimmable, color-selectable, focusable 1x1 units for video and cine lighting. We also talked about the Litepanels Mini and Mini Pro units for on-camera lighting. Watch below. Read More

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Creating Cast Shadows

Creating Cast Shadows

Enhance Text and Logos with Cast Shadows in Photoshop

By Richard Harrington | April 21, 2009

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Live From NAB:  The Xtender!

Live From NAB:  The Xtender!

I TOLD you to get that sungun off that camera!

By Bruce A Johnson | April 21, 2009

Here's a hint: NAB 2009 is The Year Of The LED Light. There are over a dozen different manufacturers here (and in the next few days I'll tell you a bit about a whole bunch of them.) But the problem with almost all of them is that they either screw to the top of your camera or slide into the shoe - and both of those places are dead-center on the axis of the lens. This produces ugly, flat, boring lighting. What you really want is to be able to get the light up and off to the side of the camera - and former news shooter Shawn Dennison has made it happen.His product is called The Xtender, and it is magic. Three joints on two lightweight-yet-sturdy arms make it possible to get that light around a foot in the air, or off to the right or left, or some combination of the two. It's a simple idea, elegantly executed, and reasonably priced to boot. His website is www.xtender.tv - I recommend you give it a look! Read More

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Matrox announces MXO2 Mini

Matrox announces MXO2 Mini

The MXO2 family goes bi-platform and hits the sub US$450 price point

By Allan Tépper | April 20, 2009

At NAB 2009, Matrox announced its new MXO2 Mini, the second spinoff based upon the MXO2, and the third in the MXO2 family. The MXO2 Mini is the smallest and least expensive in the family, and the first one to be cross-platform. (The MXO2 and MXO2 Rack are Mac-only, at least for now.) If you are familiar with the MXO2, subtract XLR balanced audio and SD and HD-SDI, add multi-platform support, and you basically have an MXO2 Mini that starts at US$449 (?338 in the UK, or €382 in other parts of Europe). If you would also like the new MAX option (which accelerates H.264 encoding when you are ready to deliver to AppleTV, Blu-ray, iPhone/iPod, WDTV, or the web), then the price is US$849 (?644 in the UK, or €758 in other parts of Europe). Read More

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Blackmagic’s UltraScope; first 3 Gb/s SDI + optical fiber SDI scopes for editors and colorists

Blackmagic’s UltraScope; first 3 Gb/s SDI + optical fiber SDI scopes for editors and colorists

By Allan Tépper | April 20, 2009

At NAB 2009, Blackmagic Design announced their UltraScope. In the manufacturer's words: "The world's first 3 Gb/s SDI and optical fiber SDI scopes designed for editors and colorists, with the technical accuracy broadcast engineers will love for only US$695!" Blackmagic continues, saying: "Simply plug into any compatible Windows computer with a 24-inch monitor, and Blackmagic UltraScope will display 6 live scope views simultaneously! UltraScope is engineering accurate and includes 3 Gb/s SDI plus 3 Gb/s optical fiber SDI. UltraScope auto detects SD, HD and 3 Gb/s SDI inputs." For everyone's sake, I hope Blackmagic Design creates a Mac version by the time the product ships in June... although at that price, if even Blackmagic doesn't make a Mac version, some producers who generally prefer MacOS may well decide to dedicate a Windows computer just for this task. Read More

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AJA’s KiPro records ProRes422 directly, without a computer

AJA’s KiPro records ProRes422 directly, without a computer

By Allan Tépper | April 20, 2009

At NAB 2009, AJA announced the KiPro, which allows direct recording of Apple's revered ProRes422 or ProRes422(HQ) in the field, without any laptop, from any SD or HD camera or vision mixer ("switcher"). I consider the KiPro to be a natural extension of AJA's IoHD, and my only surprise is why AJA waited so long to release such a product. The KiPro has just about any type of input and output that we could possibly imagine, is controllable wirelessly from a laptop or iPhone, and records to two types of removable media: either ExpressCard34 (the type that fits into your MacBookPro) or its own Storage Module.The advantages of recording directly to ProRes422 or ProRes422(HQ) are fairly obvious, since these two códecs are 10-bit, full raster 720p (1280x720) or 10-bit, full raster 1080 (1920x1080), with true 4:2:2 color sampling, and are immediately editable in Apple's Final Cut Pro (or even with iMovie 09 if the ProRes422 códec has been installed on the machine). The file sizes of ProRes422 and ProRes422(HQ) are certainly higher than those used in most onboard camera códecs, but for high-end EFP, many producers will gladly accept that. In addition to the HD specs mentioned, the KiPro can also accept SD signals, and either record them as ProRes422 or ProRes422(HQ) in SD, or upscale to HD. When dealing with analog standard definition video, KiPro can properly handle PAL, NTSC with 7.5 ire setup, or NTSC without 7.5 ire setup, depending upon the source and destination. KiPro can also handle realtime cross conversion in any direction between 720HD and 1080HD. This is very welcome! Read More

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NAB 2009 - Zeiss Compact Primes, Sony SRW-9000, etc.

More goodies from the Sunday before the show.

By Adam Wilt | April 20, 2009

An SRW-9000 at BandPro with a Zeiss DigiZoom.

Both BandPro and Sony had prototypes of the new SRW-9000 HDCAM-SR camcorder to show, as well as the new PDW-F800 XDCAM HD camcorder. But first, those Zeiss Compact Primes I was rabbiting on about... Read More

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