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June 2010
Arri, Zeiss, Fujinon Join Forces Online
Arri, Fujinon and Zeiss have announced a strategic partnership designed to utilize the strengths of each company in order to create innovative new products for the entertainment-imaging community.
VAP-IS Technology Stabilizes Canon Zoom Online
Addressing the need for greater image stabilization in the high-definition television-production arena, Canon U.S.A., Inc. has introduced the HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V portable HD zoom lens with a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer. 
Miller Takes Solo to New Heights Online
Miller has diversified its Solo DV Tripod range, adding a new three-stage 75mm option to the lineup. Solo Tripods provide a solid operating height in a lean and light design.

Tiffen Unveils Steadicam Zephyr Online
Tiffen has introduced the Steadicam Zephyr for film and video production.
Matthews Expands Grip Solutions Online
Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced several new products, including the Extendellini, MicroGripheads, BallHead Camera Mounts and CT Overheads.
16x9 Distributes LibertyPak Online
16x9 Inc. is the new exclusive worldwide distributor for LibertyPak’s aeronautically and ecologically safe, portable battery solutions, ranging from belt packs to briefcase-size power sources for film and digital.

Arri, Fujinon Collaborate on Alura Zooms
Arri and Fujinon have partnered to create a completely new family of modern cine zoom lenses. 
Kodak Adds Super 8 Ektachrome Stock
Kodak has introduced a new color-reversal film available in the Super 8mm format. 
Matthews Shines with Hot Flags
Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced Hot Flags. Designed as an alternative to previous high-temperature flags, Hot Flags allow precise cutting of light at relatively close distance to large, heat-producing HMI and tungsten fixtures.
MYT Works Rolls Out 3 in 1 Dolly
MYT Works has released the MYT 3 in 1, a patent-pending dolly system delivering ease-of-use, versatility and near-limitless mounting options.
Aaton Introduces Penelope-Delta
French camera manufacturer Aaton showed the first prototype of the Penelope-Delta digital camera system at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in April.
Panasonic Unveils 4⁄3" HD Camcorder
Panasonic Solutions Company has announced the AG-AF100 AVCCam HD camcorder, a professional micro 4⁄3" video camcorder optimized for high-definition-video recording.
Canon's XF305, XF300 Go Tapeless
Canon U.S.A., Inc. has introduced the XF305 and XF300 professional camcorders. Both employ the Canon XF Codec (MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec) for capturing and recording native 1920x1080 video onto affordable and widely available Compact Flash (CF) cards.
Angenieux Adopts Cooke's /i Technology
Thales Angenieux and Cooke Optics Ltd. have announced a partnership agreement in which Thales Angenieux will incorporate Cooke’s /i Technology into its lenses.
Zeiss Fits Compact Primes to DSLRs
Optics specialist Carl Zeiss has introduced Compact Prime CP.2 cine lenses, specially designed for HDSLR cameras.
Panavision Panavises iPhone
Panavision Inc. has launched the Panascout location-scout application for the iPhone.
Litepanels Illuminate Sola Fresnels
Litepanels, a Vitec Group company, has introduced the Sola series of LED Fresnels.
Lighting Solutions from BriteShot
BriteShot Inc. has introduced a trio of lighting products for film and video productions: the Luminator 1 LED fixture, the Space Light Wrap and the Thermal Rain Blanket.
Steadicam Tango Cuts a Rug
The Tiffen Co. has introduced the lightweight Steadicam Tango, providing floor-to-ceiling boom range with lateral reach, full stability, intuitive control and simple construction for use with today’s small-form-factor HD cameras. 
P+S Technik Goes Freestyle
P+S Technik has expanded its 3D Stereo Rig product family to include the Freestyle Rig, designed in collaboration with camera operator and stereography expert Philippe Bordelais. 
Woods Hole Shares 3-D Camera Systems
The Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — the world’s largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organization — is expanding its Woods Hole Imaging Systems 3-D HD production services, making its 3-D camera rigs available to outside groups.
Panther Strikes with U-Bangi II
Panther has introduced the U-Bangi II, a multi-purpose horizontal tracking system for use on dollies, tripods, stands or any flat surface.
Miller's Compass Leads the Way
Miller Camera Support’s range of Compass premium fluid heads now includes the Compass 25 model with 100mm ball leveling, capable of supporting camera payloads from 8 to 30 pounds. 
Sachtler Updates Video Heads with S1 Models
Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, has introduced the Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 100mm fluid heads. 
Petrol’s Cambio Supports, Protects
Petrol Bags has introduced the Cambio convertible equipment bag/camera-support system. 
K-Tek Intros Norbert
K-Tek has introduced the Norbert Camera Mounting System, a solid foundation for the latest generation of video-capable DSLRs and HD video cameras. 
Ikan Takes Elements into 3rd Dimension
Ikan has expanded its Elements line with the Stereoscope configuration, a lightweight, portable solution for those needing a 3-D camera setup.
16x9 Supports Noga Griffin Arm
16x9 Inc. has unveiled the Noga Griffin Arm, which is designed to hold lights, small cameras or monitors, and any other production accessory requiring an extended articulation mount.

Anton/Bauer Powers Dionic HCX Batteries
Anton/Bauer, a Vitec Group brand, has introduced the Dionic HCX battery.

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Arri, Zeiss, Fujinon Join Forces

Arri, Fujinon and Zeiss have announced a strategic partnership designed to utilize the strengths of each company in order to create innovative new products for the entertainment-imaging community. The agreement consists of an open exchange of ideas, standards and technologies, as well as close cooperation in the development of new products.

Carl Zeiss is globally renowned for its high-quality prime lenses, Fujinon is a market leader when it comes to zooms, and Arri is the largest manufacturer of professional motion-picture cameras in the world. By examining, incorporating and improving upon current systems, as well as encouraging third parties to participate in an open discussion, the triumvirate of industry leaders aims to deliver higher customer value than existing solutions can offer.

The group will push developments to encourage more effective integration and communication between cameras and lenses. Beyond the benefits of idealized mechanical and optical synergies, solutions are needed that respond to the needs of today’s industry and also combine affordability with enhanced electronic data transfer, thereby simplifying postproduction workflows — especially those that incorporate visual-effects elements. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.arri.com
www.zeiss.de/en
www.fujinon.co.jp
VAP-IS Technology Stabilizes Canon Zoom

Addressing the need for greater image stabilization in the high-definition television-production arena, Canon U.S.A., Inc. has introduced the HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V portable HD zoom lens with a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer. Designed to maintain stable images even when the camera is subject to jolts and vibrations, the lens uses Canon’s unique Vari-Angle Prism image stabilizer (VAP-IS) technology to achieve a high level of image stability all the way from telephoto to wide-angle settings.

“Canon’s VAP-IS technology was originally introduced more than a decade ago in an SDTV lens that became very popular,” notes Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “Based upon the considerable amount of experience gained with that lens, and continuing technological advances, Canon’s VAP-IS system integrated within the new HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V lens achieves an even greater degree of image stabilization. This is the world’s first portable HD zoom lens with a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer. In addition, Canon’s unique VAP-IS technology allows this surprisingly compact high-performance lens to weigh in at only 4.4 pounds, which is considerably lighter than other image-stabilization solutions for portable ENG-style HD cameras, and greatly extends location-shooting flexibilities.”

The lens’ ability to stabilize a wide range of vibration frequencies makes it ideally suited for diverse and challenging outdoor shooting situations. Examples range from the low-frequency vibrations encountered on a camera operator’s shoulder in a jostling crowd situation and tripod-mounted operation on shaky platforms to the higher-frequency vibration that cameras are subject to when operated inside TV news helicopters, motor vehicles, motorbikes and boats. The lens provides four selectable stabilization modes to allow operators to optimize the degree of correction under diverse and sometimes unique shooting conditions.

Canon’s unique VAP-IS technology incorporates a novel optical group made up of two flat glass elements joined by sealed bellows containing a high-refractive-index liquid, selectively placed within the lens’ overall optical system. Physical perturbations to the lens, in the form of jolts or vibrations, flex the bellows proportional to the amplitude of these disturbances. The associated distortion of the liquid instantaneously alters the direction of the transmitted light rays in a manner designed to counter the incoming light-ray displacements created by these disturbances. The system has been optimized to introduce a high-degree of real-time compensation for image instabilities arising from all forms of lens-camera operational unsteadiness.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.usa.canon.com
Miller Takes Solo to New Heights

Miller has diversified its Solo DV Tripod range, adding a new three-stage 75mm option to the lineup. Solo Tripods provide a solid operating height in a lean and light design.

The Solo DV three-stage tripod boasts a low-height setting down to 8.7” with easy ball leveling and no spreaders, allowing users to work without baby legs or a hi-hat while guaranteeing superbly stable images from any angle across any terrain. The three-stage tripod also packs down to a small size for easy traveling.

Carbon-fiber tubing, high-strength magnesium and die-cast alloy components provide an ultra-light, rigid bowl attachment for the Solo series. The Solo design manages to keep the bowl-to-head connection absolutely stable while keeping the tripod weight and size to a minimum. Miller has eliminated the need for a spreader with an innovative leg-angle control that incorporates a safety lock to ensure safe and easy setting.


Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.millertripods.com
Tiffen Unveils Steadicam Zephyr

Tiffen has introduced the Steadicam Zephyr for film and video production. A new innovative approach to camera stabilizer design, the Zephyr has a host of future-proof features, allowing it to be a versatile, essential and ever-evolving tool. 

Features include 30-pound lift capacity and 20-pound payload capacity, adjustable Iso-Elastic Arm, telescopic carbon-fiber post, connector-rich base and stage, dual-axis vernier adjustable stage, and unparalleled inertial control and dynamically adjustable base.

The Zephyr vest assembly is an updated continuation of the comfortable Flyer vest. The ergonomic fit of the breastplate combined with the new solid metal shoulder fasteners assures a new comfort level for extended use. New vest and pad covers are easily removed for cleaning or replacement, offering extended durability.

The tools-free Iso-Elastic Zephyr Arm has been upgraded from the Steadicam Flyer and supports 20 pounds of payload weight. The no-tools arm/vest interface allows for quick customization to the individual operator. On-the-fly weight adjustment frees the operator from dismounting the system to make changes. The open design of the arm has freedom of movement previously unknown in this weight class. The adjustable and interchangeable arm post assembly is a feature usually found on more expensive systems. The two-section arm can be separated for compact storage and transport.

The Zephyr comes standard with a 7" 16:9/4:3 composite NTSC/PAL LCD monitor or optional 7" 16:9/4:3 HD/composite LCD monitor that features enhanced image quality and a wide viewing angle, even under bright sunlight, making it ideal for field-production use. Input configurations include analog NTSC/PAL composite/S-Video/component/RGB and HD/SDSDI (SMPTE-274M, 296M, 260M, 125M) with active loop through.

The Zephyr camera mounting stage was designed for enhanced mounting stability with standard HD and composite BNC video connectors, two standard 3-pin LEMO power connectors and expandability ports for future accessories. The stage comes complete with a dual-axis vernier adjustable mounting platform and extended camera-mounting dovetail plate. 

The Zephyr sled base features extendable rigid aluminum monitor- and battery-mounting rods, easily removable for compact storage or transport. A single mounting rod release allows for quick setups and ease of dynamic and inertial adjustments. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.tiffen.com
Matthews Expands Grip Solutions

Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced several new products, including the Extendellini, MicroGripheads, BallHead Camera Mounts and CT Overheads.

Like the Matthellini Clamp, the Extendellini is a precision machined, chromed product designed for durability and ease of operation. By simply removing the movable jaw, spin handle and bushing from the Matthellini Clamp and securing the Extendellini to the clamp’s thread, users can increase the gripping range by nearly a foot. Replace the jaw, spin handle and bushing, and the extended clamp and fixture can be safely secured to a wide variety of objects.

Great in the studio for tabletop and product imaging as well as miniature work, MicroGripheads allow all the moves and features of their 2.50" bigger brother in a smaller package. A further development from the MicroGrip series is the MicroMount, a highly maneuverable and versatile on-camera light/monitor mount; the flexible mount allows the user to get an on-camera light up and off to either side of the camera body to add some dimension to the lighting.

Unlike most ball-head mounts, which are manufactured from die-cast components, MSE’s BallHead Camera Mounts are individually CNC machined from solid bar stock to ensure precise control over all critical dimensions and elements. A precision-machined camera quick-release plate with a balancing feature offers quick and safe positive-locking of the camera to the BallHead Mount. The mounting plate can stay permanently attached to the camera, thus avoiding the hassle of trying to screw the camera onto the ball or screwing the ball onto the camera. All heads mount either to the suction cup or other devices. MSE’s BallHead Camera Mount is available in three different sizes to accommodate particular camera weights.

CT Overheads — color-balanced color-temperature Grid Cloth overheads — will adjust ambient or overhead lighting up and down the Kelvin scale. Available in ¼ CT and ½ CT values in both straw and blue to compensate for varying daylight conditions or shifting artificial lighting sources, CT Overheads are manufactured from rugged Grid Cloth and accurately matched from lot to lot to ensure consistency of color and transmission.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.msegrip.com
16x9 Distributes LibertyPak

16x9 Inc. is the new exclusive worldwide distributor for LibertyPak’s aeronautically and ecologically safe, portable battery solutions, ranging from belt packs to briefcase-size power sources for film and digital.

Available in 12-volt and 24-volt configurations, LibertyPak battery power sources are environmentally safer than lithium-ion cobalt and have more power than nickel-based batteries. LibertyPak battery sources are the ideal portable solution for powering film and video cameras, remote camera mounts, lighting (including HMI fixtures up to 400 watts), sound-recording equipment, cell phones, laptops and other peripherals.

The lightweight PowerBelts are constructed of robust ballistic nylon with Velcro closures and provide up to 6 hours of power. For situations demanding more power or power over longer periods, the briefcase-size Little Genny 400 and totebag-size Big Genny 1000 can provide 320 watt hours (600-watt peak) and 960 watt hours (1,100-watt peak), respectively.

Whether carried onto a plane, checked as luggage or sent via courier, LibertyPak portable battery power sources feature state-of-the-art cells with an electronic patented assembly that contains components certified to comply with U.N.-DOT guidelines and IATA regulations for airline travel. Additionally, LibertyPak batteries are non-toxic and recyclable without need for special materials handling. All components are non-hazardous and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant.

The chemical makeup of the new LibertyPak batteries allow for much faster recharge rates over lithium-ion cobalt and NiMH without the worry of battery memory or shortening of lifespan; with over 2,000 recharge cycles, LibertyPak batteries last four to six times longer than cobalt, which last about 300-400 cycles. LibertyPak’s safe lithium cell chemistry allows increased sustained energy release, meaning more power with less heat and higher efficiency. After a year of storage, a fully charged LibertyPak battery will have lost less than 10 percent of its charge.

Traditional chargers and rapid chargers with built-in fans are available, as is the portable, foldable LibertyPak Solar Panel charger, ideal for remote locations. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.16x9inc.com
www.libertypak.com
Arri, Fujinon Collaborate on Alura Zooms

Arri and Fujinon have partnered to create a completely new family of modern cine zoom lenses. Using the latest in optical design technology and innovative manufacturing techniques, the Arri/Fujinon Alura Zooms combine the highest optical performance with an amazingly small size, weight and price.

The wide Alura Zoom 18-80 and the long Alura Zoom 45-250 are a set of matched PL-mount cine zooms designed for use with both film and digital camera systems. Both zooms exhibit excellent optical performance, and their size and weight have been kept practical, allowing crews to work fast on the set.

Both lenses share a maximum open aperture of T2.6. Great care has been taken during the design phase to ensure that the T-stop remains truly consistent over the entire zoom range, avoiding a decrease in light level across the zoom range common with other lenses. This is especially beneficial when the Alura Zooms are used on digital cameras, where a drop in light level quickly becomes visible.

Alura Zooms exhibit high contrast and high resolution for sharp, punchy images. While the special optical design ensures an evenly illuminated image on the sensor or film plane, internal reflections like flares and veiling glare have been greatly reduced through the use of Fujinon’s multi-layer EBC (Electronic Beam Coating) lens coating. This ensures maximum light transmission and a high-contrast image with clear highlights and true, deep blacks. Color fringing is minimized through the use of extraordinary dispersion glass. Breathing has been greatly reduced, especially at the wide end. Nine iris leaves provide round out-of-focus highlights and a pleasing, organic bokeh.

Alura Zooms are compatible with Arri digital and film cameras as well as Arri accessories, and they have been constructed for the rough conditions of professional production. Large, easy-to-read, precision focus scales on both sides of the lenses aid focus pulling. Additionally, the zooms’ color characteristics and handling are matched to existing prime lenses in Arri’s repertoire.

contact info:  
www.arri.com
www.fujinon.co.jp
Kodak Adds Super 8 Ektachrome Stock

Kodak has introduced a new color-reversal film available in the Super 8mm format. Kodak Ektachrome 100D Color Reversal Film 7285 is a daylight-balanced 100-speed film incorporating bright, saturated colors and fine grain with excellent sharpness.

“Super 8mm film is a versatile, affordable option for filmmakers who require the image quality and flexibility of film,” says Chris Johnson, product manager for Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging Division. “Kodak’s commitment to R&D continues to raise the bar for image quality. One benefit is that Super 8 is now a terrific option for students who want to hone their skills, as well as for professional filmmakers who want to craft a distinctive look for their project.”

The Super 8 film format is supported by a network of laboratories. One of the leading facilities in the U.S. supporting the Super 8 format is Pro8mm in Burbank, Calif. “Our customers have been clamoring for Kodak to offer the 100D product in the Super 8 format,” says Phil Vigeant, president of Pro8mm. “The results our customers can produce with a Super 8 camera and a 50-foot cartridge of Super 8 film scanned to HD are amazing.”

One of the leading facilities in Europe supporting Super 8 is Wittner-Cinetec. “The increased saturation of the 100D film makes colors just pop,” says company President Daniel Wittner. “We are glad to see Kodak continuing to support this important format.”

contact info:  
www.kodak.com/go/motion
www.pro8mm.com
www.wittner-cinetec.com
Matthews Shines with Hot Flags

Matthews Studio Equipment has introduced Hot Flags. Designed as an alternative to previous high-temperature flags, Hot Flags allow precise cutting of light at relatively close distance to large, heat-producing HMI and tungsten fixtures.

“Metal gets very hot, retains heat and takes a long time to cool off,” says Ed Phillips, owner of MSE. “Not Hot Flags. Made of a special, patented, thermal-resistant fabric, they not only dissipate heat rapidly, allowing for easier handling and faster tear-down of the lighting setup, they weigh about one-half the weight of metal hi-temp flags.” 

Hot Flags come in four sizes: 18"x24", 24"x26", 48"x48" and 24"x72". 

contact info:  
www.msegrip.com
MYT Works Rolls Out 3 in 1 Dolly

MYT Works has released the MYT 3 in 1, a patent-pending dolly system delivering ease-of-use, versatility and near-limitless mounting options.

Considerably reducing setup time, the 3 in 1 allows for impromptu dolly moves and static shots. Users can dolly the camera on the MYT Glide, switch to a static shot with the MYT Hi-Hat and revert back to tracking using the MYT Skate without ever having to dismount the camera.

MYT Works owns and operates its own shop in Brooklyn, NY, complete with a state-of-the-art CNC milling machine. The MYT 3 in 1 is a made-to-order dolly glider, custom designed to fit the needs of any production. Etienne Sauret, CEO of MYT Works, says, “The MYT family of Gliders was designed and built strictly from a filmmaker’s point of view, and every facet and function reflects a desire to build one multi-purpose integrated system that [can] satisfy the most demanding of professionals.”

The MYT 3 in 1 sells for a base price of $950 with the option to upgrade and customize additional features. 

contact info:  
www.mytworks.com
Aaton Introduces Penelope-Delta

French camera manufacturer Aaton showed the first prototype of the Penelope-Delta digital camera system at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in April. The Penelope-Delta is a digital magazine that adapts to Aaton’s Penelope 35mm film camera, thus enabling the same camera body with lens and optical viewfinder to be used to shoot either 35mm or digital. The conversion between film and digital use is estimated to take less than 30 minutes.

Penelope-Delta’s digital sensor is a Bayer-pattern CCD built for Aaton by Dalsa Corp. Aaton announced a unique dual-sensitivity feature, which, the company states, allows for the sensor’s base sensitivity of 800 ISO to be reduced to 100 ISO. The camera is also said to have very low noise at its 3,200 ISO setting. Penelope-Delta is designed for image capture at a resolution exceeding 4K. The dynamic range is 13 stops. 

Aaton is known for its cameras’ ergonomics, and the Penelope-Delta extends the company’s “cat on the shoulder” philosophy to the digital arena. The weight of the Penelope-Delta will be 16.5 pounds, including two onboard Li-Ion batteries and the internal Solid State Disk recorder. The camera’s low power consumption should allow for three to six hours of operation, depending on the ratio between record and pause modes, without having to swap the onboard batteries. Additionally, a custom operating system enables a four-second boot-up, and the noise level is measured at 19 dbA, a low value attributed to wide vents and a large, slow-moving fan.

The Penelope-Delta will simultaneously record two file formats onboard the digital magazine: uncompressed RAW at up to 800MB/second in a DPX wrapper, and compressed dailies in Avid’s open DNxHD format, either in the low-res 36MB/sec flavor, or in higher quality 10 bit. The uncompressed files are internally recorded on a lightweight, removable DeltaPak that contains four 2.5" SSDs; the compressed dailies are recorded on a standard SDHC card and can then be removed for immediate editing on Avid or Final Cut Pro systems.

An overscan output for monitoring will provide a view beyond the frame borders. Output video options include HDSDI at 4:4:4 and 4:2:2. Aaton also plans a provision for an unlimited number of cascading 3-D LUTs to preview the cinematographer’s intentions and to store settings for later use in post.

The next iteration of the Penelope-Delta will be shown at the IBC show in Amsterdam in September, with an eye to releasing the system in early 2011.

by Benjamin B

contact info:  
www.aaton.com
Panasonic Unveils 4⁄3" HD Camcorder

Panasonic Solutions Company has announced the AG-AF100 AVCCam HD camcorder, a professional micro 4⁄3" video camcorder optimized for high-definition-video recording.

Targeted at the video- and film-production communities, the AF100 delivers the shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager with the flexibility and cost advantages of compatibility with a growing line of professional-quality micro 4⁄3" lenses, filters and adapters. The full 1080 and 720 production camera offers superior video handling, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.

The design of the AF100’s micro 4⁄3" 16:9 MOS imager affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a less expensive camera body. Equipped with an interchangeable lens mount, the AF100 can utilize an array of low-cost and widely available still camera and cine-style lenses.

“Designed in consultation with the filmmaking community, the AF100 eclipses the video performance of other cameras in this price range,” says Joe Facchini, vice president of Sales & Product Management, Media & Production Services, Panasonic Solutions Company. “Ideal for film schools and independent filmmakers, this affordable digital-cinematography camera employs an advanced professional AVC/H.264 Hi Profile AVCHD codec compatible with a wide range of editing tools and affordable players.”

The AF100 records 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps). Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable. Furthermore, the camcorder boasts built-in ND filtering and dramatically reduced video aliasing. Standard professional interfaces include HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code recording, built-in stereo microphone and USB 2.0. The AF100 also features two XLR inputs with +48-volt Phantom Power capability, 48-kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio recording and support for LPCM/Dolby-AC3. With two SD slots, the AF100 can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards in PH mode.

The AG-AF100 is scheduled to ship by the end of this year. 

contact info:  
www.panasonic.com
Canon's XF305, XF300 Go Tapeless

Canon U.S.A., Inc. has introduced the XF305 and XF300 professional camcorders. Both employ the Canon XF Codec (MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec) for capturing and recording native 1920x1080 video onto affordable and widely available Compact Flash (CF) cards. Uniting video, audio and metadata into a single file, the camcorders use an MXF File Wrapper — a widely supported open-source format — to maximize compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and nonlinear editing systems.

Both models include a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 29.3-527.4mm. The lens also boasts a Full Manual Focus mode with mechanical “hard” end stops and distance markers for professional operability and repeatable manual focus. To minimize chromatic aberrations and provide a compact size and weight to the lens while also delivering a resolution of approximately 1,000 TV lines, Canon utilized HI-UD (high-index, ultra-low dispersion), UD and aspherical lens elements. The lens also features a new SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer system with Dynamic and Powered modes for optimal performance in the greatest variety of situations.

At the heart of the XF305 and XF300 are three native 1920x1080 CMOS image sensors developed and designed by Canon, as well as Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which ensures natural colors and captures tonal gradations and shadow detail with remarkable accuracy. The DIGIC DV III Image Processor also powers Canon’s innovative Face Detection Technology, an autofocus option that can significantly reduce the effort required when camera operators work alone. Additionally, Canon’s new XF Codec boasts excellent color detail, and the 4:2:2 color sampling offers twice the color resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 formats. To ensure compatibility, Canon has worked in cooperation with such editing- and postproduction-software developers as Adobe, Apple, Avid and Grass Valley.

To maximize the camcorders’ adaptability across various production environments, each model can record at multiple bit rates, resolutions and variable frame rates for slow and fast motion. At 50Mbps (Continuous Bit Rate) 4:2:2, the camcorders can capture 1920x1080 resolution at 60i, 30p and 24p or 1280x720 resolution at 60p, 30p and 24p; at 35Mbps (Variable Bit Rate) 4:2:0, they can capture 1920x1080 60i/30p/24p or 1280x720 60p/30p/24p; and at 25Mbps (CBR) 4:2:0, they can capture 1440x1080 60i/30p/24p. Additional professional features include variable-interval for time lapse, frame-record for stop-motion animation and a photo feature for frame grabs.

Each camcorder features a freely rotating 4.0", 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor that can be positioned at either the right or left side of the camcorder body. The LCD monitor can provide a display of the camcorders’ built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope to aid in achieving accurate exposure and color levels; it can also show peaking, edge-monitor focus and magnification, enabling the user to confirm critical focus. The camcorders are also equipped with a 0.52", 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder, providing ample resolution for critical focus and approximately 100-percent field-of-view coverage for accurate framing.

Both camcorders feature a built-in stereo microphone as well as dual XLR inputs for external audio sources; the camcorders support 16-bit PCM audio at 48 kHz with automatic and manual audio level adjustment. The XF305 also features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera or 3-D productions.

The XF305 is priced at $7,999 and the XF300 is priced at $6,799, and both models are expected to be available in late June.

contact info:  
www.usa.canon.com
Angenieux Adopts Cooke's /i Technology

Thales Angenieux and Cooke Optics Ltd. have announced a partnership agreement in which Thales Angenieux will incorporate Cooke’s /i Technology into its lenses.

Cooke’s /i Technology enables film and digital cameras to automatically record key lens and camera data for every film frame shot and provide it digitally to postproduction teams. The technology streamlines both production and post, saving significant time and costs and eliminating guesswork while enabling greater creative freedom. The /i capability is now built into an external box (a prototype of which is pictured) that will connect to existing Angenieux lenses; moving forward, Thales Angenieux will incorporate /i Technology into new lens designs.

Philippe Parain, managing director of Thales Angenieux, France, says, “/i Technology is an astounding development for our industry and one which drives it forward. We are delighted to work with Cooke to incorporate this technology into our lenses, in order to advance in the streamlining of the film-production process.” Les Zellan, chairman of Cooke Optics, notes, “We have great respect for Thales Angenieux and are thrilled to welcome them to the growing /i family.”

Thales Angeniuex is the latest in a distinguished group of companies to adopt /i Technology. The growing list includes Aaton, Arri, Avid, Cinematography Electronics, CMotion, Mark Roberts Motion Control, Preston Cinema Systems, Red, The Pixel Farm, Service Vision and The Foundry.

contact info:  
www.cookeoptics.com
www.angenieux.com
Zeiss Fits Compact Primes to DSLRs

Optics specialist Carl Zeiss has introduced Compact Prime CP.2 cine lenses, specially designed for HDSLR cameras.

Compact Prime CP.2 lenses deliver great flexibility by introducing interchangeable mounts that allow the lenses to be used with a wide range of cameras, from traditional cine to HDSLR systems. Available with three different mounts — PL, EF and F — this new family of Zeiss lenses enables cinematographers to be completely free in their choice of camera systems while ensuring a high consistency of images. Furthermore, the lenses can be upgraded to any number of existing or future cine and still cameras while enabling cinematographers to continue using the same set of lenses.

Like their predecessors, Compact Prime CP.2 lenses are made for a rigorous life on set. The ergonomics have been improved compared to standard SLR lenses. The longer focus rotation and the possibility for manual focus give users the flexibility they demand. The iris opening consists of 14 high-precision blades, which stay consistently round and symmetrical over the entire T-stop range, translating into natural and pleasing out-of-focus highlights and a smooth bokeh. The modern lens design and tight tolerances ensure low distortion, high resolution and excellent color rendition.

Compact Prime CP.2 lenses cover a full-frame 24x36 image format without vignetting, and they are based around a common aperture of T2.1 for the standard set.

contact info:  
www.zeiss.com
Panavision Panavises iPhone

Panavision Inc. has launched the Panascout location-scout application for the iPhone. Panascout simulates the cinematographer’s viewpoint from a professional cinema camera and boasts an intuitive workflow allowing filmmakers to capture the cinematic qualities of any location and record metadata including GPS, compass heading, date/time, voice notes and a sunrise/sunset readout.

“We are pleased to offer filmmakers a unique and cost-effective application that supports the specific needs of users within our industry,” says John Buccola, Panavision’s chief information officer. “Leveraging the capabilities of the iPhone with Panavision’s years of service in the film industry has resulted in a fantastic new tool for production.”

Photos in the app can be framed in 2.40:1, 1.85:1, 1.78:1 and 1.33:1 aspect ratios. Panascout allows user to upload directly to Final Cut with Final Cut Server, MobileMe and SmugMug, and users can also e-mail images and metadata directly to colleagues. Panascout also lets users find Panavision suppliers anywhere in the world, purchase Panavision apparel through the Panastore, review the complete Panavision equipment reference library in the technical center and visit the online screening room in the media center.

Panascout can be purchased through iTunes for $9.99. 

contact info:  
www.panavision.com
www.panascout.com
Litepanels Illuminate Sola Fresnels

Litepanels, a Vitec Group company, has introduced the Sola series of LED Fresnels. Offering beam control of 70 degrees to 10 degrees, the daylight-balanced Solas provide the controllability and single-shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light while utilizing a fraction of the power of conventional fixtures.

Sola Fresnels are available in three models. The Sola6 weighs 6 pounds and draws 75 watts, producing an output equivalent to a 650-watt tungsten unit. The Sola12 weighs 14 pounds and draws 250 watts, providing the equivalent output of a 2,000-watt tungsten fixture. The SolaENG is designed for both on- and off-camera mounting, measures 4"x4"x5" and weighs only 10 ounces; the fixture draws 30 watts and produces an output equivalent to a 250-watt tungsten source.

Like all Litepanles, Sola Fresnels feature instant dimming from 100 percent to 0 with no noticeable color shift. The SolaENG provides manual focus and dimming control via camera-lens-style ergonomic controls. The Sola6 and Sola12 provide on-fixture motorized control of focus and local dimming via a convenient touch screen and are also remote-controllable via their integrated DMX interface. Output is fully flicker free and remains consistent even as the battery voltage drops.

Employing Litepanels’ ultra-efficient LEDs, Solas draw significantly less power than conventional tungsten lights and generate very little heat. The fixtures have a universal AC input and can be used on any 85-245-watt power worldwide. Additionally, the SolaENG runs on 10-20 volt DC sources such as camera batteries, or it can be powered via an AC adapter.

contact info:  
www.litepanels.com
Lighting Solutions from BriteShot

BriteShot Inc. has introduced a trio of lighting products for film and video productions: the Luminator 1 LED fixture, the Space Light Wrap and the Thermal Rain Blanket.

Able to produce any color temperature from 2,800°K to 6,800°K with no color fringing and using only 2.5 amps of power at full intensity, the lightweight Luminator 1 boasts long life and incredibly low heat. It takes less than a minute to change lenses, taking the luminaire from spot to flood (with multiple degrees in between). The Luminator 1 is easily handheld even while turned on, and it can be controlled wirelessly.

BriteShot’s Space Light Wrap utilizes a special flame-retardant material that doesn’t fray to wrap around space lights, replacing duvetyn. The long-lasting, lightweight Space Light Wrap snaps on and off easily.

The weatherproof Thermal Rain Blanket has been tested to tolerate the heat emitted from an 18 or 20K fixture even when in direct contact. Each blanket features 8 sensibly spaced grommets for suspending the cover over a light, or to tie the blanket to the light or a frame. BriteShot also offers a special tie-down cord designed to withstand temperatures up to 1,000°F. Measuring 4'x5' and weighing less than 7 pounds, the Thermal Rain Blanket can be easily folded for storage and transportation.

contact info:  
www.briteshotinc.com
Steadicam Tango Cuts a Rug

The Tiffen Co. has introduced the lightweight Steadicam Tango, providing floor-to-ceiling boom range with lateral reach, full stability, intuitive control and simple construction for use with today’s small-form-factor HD cameras. 

The Steadicam Tango balances and feels like a single sled carrying all components. It provides a comfortable, centered operating position even at full up/down boom. The Tango incorporates rugged, all-mechanical construction and uses a conventional Steadicam sled with the 6-pound Tiffen Tango extension. “There are no electronics, gyros, wiring, connectors or power-hungry components,” says ASC associate member Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam. “It also has a large-aperture interior cable path for camera/CCU interconnection. With your eyes closed, it feels like a normal Steadicam.”

Features of the Steadicam Tango include 9' of continuous elevation and traverse with back-pan and back-tilt; 360-degree pan and +/-90-degree tilt throughout the boom range; optimum pan and tilt inertia at all times; the ability to fit the camera into small openings with full angular control; rapid conversion from Tango mode to conventional Steadicam; stability when walking, running and climbing stairs; silent operation with no servo motor noise; and ultra-rapid traverse, elevation, pan and tilt.

contact info:  
www.tiffen.com
P+S Technik Goes Freestyle

P+S Technik has expanded its 3D Stereo Rig product family to include the Freestyle Rig, designed in collaboration with camera operator and stereography expert Philippe Bordelais. 

The Freestyle Rig incorporates patented Carbon Formula One technology to deliver an ideal combination of load capacity, stability, form and weight. The Freestyle Rig’s construction offers maximum stiffness and dimensional stability even under heat; a lightweight, slim and compact design for mobility and portability; integrated motorization for optimal balance; and great ease of use with complete adjustability.

Integrated motors for the stereo base and convergence adjustment optimize weight distribution and balance and are compatible with a number of wireless remote-control systems. The Freestyle Rig can carry a wide range of professional lenses and cameras weighing up to 15.4 pounds per camera. A range of ergonomic mounting accessories are available to prepare the rig for shoulder, crane and dolly use.

contact info:  
www.pstechnik.de
Woods Hole Shares 3-D Camera Systems

The Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — the world’s largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organization — is expanding its Woods Hole Imaging Systems 3-D HD production services, making its 3-D camera rigs available to outside groups.

The custom 3-D rigs have been specially designed for natural history, science, documentary and sports applications where image quality, reliability and overall equipment size are critical. Woods Hole Imaging has a proven track record of constructing ultra-small, low-power, high-resolution mini 3-D camera systems capable of performing from 14,000' below sea level to the reaches of outer space.

“Our smallest 3-D camera rigs weigh in at approximately 4 pounds and can be operated by a single individual,” says William N. Lange, AIVL research specialist. “When we put a camera system in a submarine, once that sub goes down, the system just has to work. That mentality is in everything we do.”

In the past five years alone, AIVL has developed over 30 ultra-small, high-resolution 3-D systems. While they have mainly been used for underwater applications, AIVL recently developed a new line of terrestrial 3-D rigs, including ones that support high-end Sony, Red and Phantom cameras. 

contact info:  
www.whoi.edu
Panther Strikes with U-Bangi II

Panther has introduced the U-Bangi II, a multi-purpose horizontal tracking system for use on dollies, tripods, stands or any flat surface.

The U-Bangi II includes a double Euromount and a counterweight bar, and it features newly designed end pieces with an 80mm connector. Compatible with all Panther accessories, the U-Bangi II is available in 2' 11", 4' 7", 6' 7" and 9' 10" lengths.
contact info:  
www.panther.tv
Miller's Compass Leads the Way

Miller Camera Support’s range of Compass premium fluid heads now includes the Compass 25 model with 100mm ball leveling, capable of supporting camera payloads from 8 to 30 pounds. 

The stylish, operator-friendly design of the Compact 25 incorporates selectable pan-and-tilt drag settings and an illuminated bubble level while maintaining a low profile and light weight. The Compass 25 incorporates five pan-and-tilt fluid-drag settings combined with a four-position selectable counterbalance system. A quick release camera-mounting system utilizing the standard Euro camera plate — common to Miller’s Arrow range of fluid heads — allows the Compass 25 to integrate easily into existing camera-support inventories.

“Both of our Compass 15 and 20 fluid-head models have been strong performers during their first year on the market,” says Grant Clementson, managing director of Miller. “With such a positive reaction for the performance and design of the new Compass range, we are pleased to now offer users with larger camera configurations the option of using our Compass 25 fluid head.”

contact info:  
www.millertripods.com
Sachtler Updates Video Heads with S1 Models

Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, has introduced the Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 100mm fluid heads. Based on the field-proven robustness and technology of Sachtler’s Video 18 and Video 20 ENG/EFP heads, the S1 models provide a wider payload range and lower minimum payload, making them ideal for a variety of camera systems, from heavily accessorized newsgathering camcorders to lightweight DSLRs.

The Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 offer expanded 16-step counterbalance to enable extremely fine center-of-gravity adjustment for a wide range of camera payloads. Both heads can accommodate cameras as lightweight as 4.4 pounds, and both feature a Boost Button that instantly expands the payload range upward when working with heavier systems; the Video 18 S1 can handle up to 33 pounds regularly and 39.6 pounds in Boost mode, while the 20 S1 can handle up to 39 pounds regularly and 55 pounds in Boost mode.

The S1 heads feature Sachtler’s Speedbalance technology, an ergonomically designed counterbalance knob, storage positions for spare camera screws and seven steps of drag for both pan and tilt. A newly designed self-illuminating Touch Bubble requires only one battery, and the Touch & Go camera-attachment plate features tap holes for the viewfinder extension adapter.

contact info:  
www.sachtler.us
Petrol’s Cambio Supports, Protects

Petrol Bags has introduced the Cambio convertible equipment bag/camera-support system. A carry-on sized smooth-rolling camera carrier, the Cambio transforms into a lightweight support system for small video camcorders, allowing users to travel lighter and set up quickly.

The Cambio features an ultra-wide U-shaped opening for quick and easy access. The main compartment offers ample room for a camera, tripod head and important accessories, and twin straps of hook-and-loop material anchor the bag’s front flap in an open position when inserting and removing the camera or converting to the support system. Additionally, Petrol’s proprietary sliding pipe system (SPS) secures the camera and keeps it in place within the bag’s interior, which is fully padded for maximum protection.

Within the Cambio is an expandable (up to 56"), rigid, nickel-plated center steel column, which can accommodate cameras weighing up to 9.9 pounds. Cast magnesium lever clamps ensure fast and secure column adjustment. The bag is also equipped with a patent-pending frame and axle support trolley with integral handle and camera platform, which features a 75mm ball head-mount adapter. An optional lightweight micro fluid head allows for quick attachment and conventional pan and tilt movements.

The freestanding Cambio is braced by a self-latching extendable aluminum double-bar tube leg; the leg expands and retracts quickly and easily with just the touch of the leg’s latch paddle. When using the support system, Cambio’s patented heavy-duty jitter-free wheels and axle can be chocked to prevent rotation, adding extra stability.

Additional features include an open side pocket, front and side pockets, an exterior zippered front pocket with a personal organizer, removable grid internal dividers for custom configuration and polypropylene-injected legs that lift and safeguard the bottom of the bag from damage and adverse elements such as dirt and water.

The suggested list price for the Cambio is $699 for the bag alone or $799 for the full system, which includes the CMH Cambio Micro Head. 

contact info:  
www.petrolbags.com
K-Tek Intros Norbert

K-Tek has introduced the Norbert Camera Mounting System, a solid foundation for the latest generation of video-capable DSLRs and HD video cameras. The flexible system has mounting options for both tripod and handheld use, and its lightweight, machined-aluminum base frame can be used to mount a variety of production tools, including external viewfinders and monitors, light sources, audio recorders and microphones.

At the core of the Norbert is the machined-aluminum base frame, with 23 standard-dimension hot-shoe mounts and numerous drill holes throughout for near-limitless flexibility when mounting accessories. The base includes a 1⁄4-20 tripod screw mount with quick-release plate, making camera-battery changes fast and simple.

To accommodate numerous camera types, including DSLRs with attached battery grips, K-Tek offers an offset base plate. Mounting to the base frame via its own quick-release plate, the offset base plate effectively moves the camera back from the frame. K-Tek also offers a dual-handle kit for smooth and comfortable handheld shooting. The handle can be mounted in two orientations, holding the Norbert either from the bottom or the top.

contact info:  
www.ktekbooms.com
Ikan Takes Elements into 3rd Dimension

Ikan has expanded its Elements line with the Stereoscope configuration, a lightweight, portable solution for those needing a 3-D camera setup. The Stereoscope is upgradable, customizable and collaborative with other Ikan Elements products.

Designed for use with prosumer and professional-grade camcorders and HDSLRs, the Stereoscope incorporates two 15mm rails over which the camera mounts smoothly glide. The system boasts extremely durable, lightweight, anodized-aluminum construction, and it can be mounted to tripods and jib arms or operated handheld via other Elements components. Additionally, the Stereoscope weighs only 3 pounds, making it extremely easy to transport.

The Stereoscope sells for a recommended price of $399.

contact info:  
www.ikancorp.com
16x9 Supports Noga Griffin Arm

16x9 Inc. has unveiled the Noga Griffin Arm, which is designed to hold lights, small cameras or monitors, and any other production accessory requiring an extended articulation mount.

At the heart of the Griffin Arm is the Flip-lever safety catch, which quickly and easily locks and releases all three of the arm’s articulated joints at once. The arm features variable-friction load adjustment, and when locked, there is no play in either the lever or any of the arm joints.

Made up of two equal-length arms and three articulating joints, the Griffin Arm’s overall length is 22"; at full extension, the arm can support up to 10 pounds. The versatile arm can be mounted on a light stand or anywhere else with a grip clamp. Each arm has an industry-standard 5⁄8 pin threaded at one end in 1⁄4-20 and at the other in 3⁄8-16 for additional mounting options.

The Noga Griffin Arm has a recommended price of $190.

contact info:  
www.16x9inc.com
Anton/Bauer Powers Dionic HCX Batteries

Anton/Bauer, a Vitec Group brand, has introduced the Dionic HCX battery. The latest addition to the company’s successful Dionic series of high-current batteries, the Dionic HCX offers a 120 watt-hour capacity and a brand-new motion-detection sensor that protects against capacity loss.

After a two-week period without a load, the Dionic HCX automatically goes into “deep sleep,” significantly reducing self-discharge and allowing extended storage with nearly zero capacity loss. To “awaken” the battery for normal use, users need only move the battery, activating the motion-detection feature, which significantly increases the overall life of the battery by mitigating lithium-ion battery self-discharge. Anton/Bauer also plans to integrate the HCX with the Anton/Bauer Battery Management System, which will allow users to program the inactivity time length prior to the battery going to sleep.

“We’ve spent many years innovating new, powerful and advanced solutions for our customers, so it’s no surprise that we’re debuting one of our most exciting product developments during our 40th-anniversary year,” says Michael Accardi, president of Anton/Bauer. “With the addition of the Dionic HCX, we now have more solutions than ever for our customers, across many different battery chemistries. Whether our users are looking for a powerful NiCad, lithium-ion or nickel metal hydride solution, they know they can count on us to equip them with the best solutions for their needs, and that we’ll be there to help them make the smartest choice.”

Weighing 2.4 pounds and measuring 5.47"x4.06"x3", the Dionic HCX is capable of withstanding high instantaneous current draws in addition to 10-amp sustained current draws. The Dionic HCX can power a 40-watt camera with a 20-watt light for over two hours. The battery also offers an enhanced LCD RealTime fuel gauge, allowing users to quickly and easily check their run time, with the display showing up to nine hours of run time when used under low-power load conditions. The new LCD display clearly indicates remaining run time and battery capacity, showing the number of hours available with a seven-segment display surrounded by arcs indicating 15-minute intervals. A battery “gas gauge” indicator also shows remaining capacity in 20-percent intervals underneath the remaining run-time indicators.

The Dionic HCX registers under the 160-watt capacity prohibited for air travel, allowing users to bring up to two HCX batteries on board both domestic and international airlines.

contact info:  
www.antonbauer.com