The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

March 2010
Smooth Results from Silkypix Online
Shortcut Software International, Inc. has unveiled Silkypix Developer Studio Pro, a RAW-conversion software program designed to generate high-resolution pictures from a camera’s RAW data. Akin to a “digital darkroom,” the Silkypix developing engine offers accurate color from shadows through highlights. 
VFGadgets Connects With EyeDirect Online
The EyeDirect 16x9 from VFGadgets offers a new and improved take on talking heads, guaranteeing onscreen eye contact by giving subjects a real person to look at via a beam-splitter configuration. 
More Power from Victory Battery
Victory Cinevideo Battery Corporation has introduced NiMH battery packs for use with both film and HD camera systems.
Z-Finder Offers Clear View with DSLRs
Embracing the growing popularity of capturing moving images with DSLR cameras, Zacuto has introduced the Z-Finder V2, an optical viewfinder that offers DSLR cameras a video form factor.

Canon Updates Vixia Line for 2010
Canon U.S.A., Inc. has unveiled its 2010 Vixia lineup, comprising nine high-definition flash-memory camcorders.
Mark Roberts Enhances 3-D Stop-Frame Animation
The Academy Award-winning team at Mark Roberts Motion Control has introduced the S3 Stereoscopic 3D Stepping Module, a vital tool for any stop-frame animators looking to produce 3-D content.

Vocas Launches DSLR Support Line
Vocas Systems has launched a line of support products designed for the DSLR cinematography market.
Qio Expands Recording Possibilities
Sonnet Technologies Inc., a provider of local storage systems for professional Mac, Windows and UNIX users in the film, video and broadcast industries, has introduced the Qio universal professional media reader/writer. 
Ikan Intros Elements
Ikan has introduced its modular Elements line of camera-support equipment. The cost-effective, simple-to-use, ergonomically designed system consists of multiple pieces that give users endless possibilities for customization.
Scorpion Stabilizes Handheld Shots
Cam Caddie has introduced the Scorpion handheld stabilizing device.
Abel Cine Tech Opens Midwest Office
Abel Cine Tech has opened a new sales location in the Chicago area. The office is focused exclusively on equipment sales and offers the same educational showroom experience found in the company’s New York and Los Angeles locations.

Techno-Jib Rentals Services Southern California
Techno-Jib Rentals has opened its doors in North Hollywood, Calif. 
Raleigh Studios Sets Up Shop in Budapest
In April, Raleigh Studios plans to open the doors of a new state-of-the-art facility in Budapest, Hungary.
Cine-tal Continues Growing CineSpace
Cine-tal Systems, a developer of image-monitoring and color-management solutions, has announced the expansion of its CineSpace film-profiling services. 
Digital Cinema Lessons Goes Online
Bling Digital has launched Digital Cinema Lessons, a Web site offering video tutorials on all aspects of the Red One camera and its associated workflows.
HD Camera Guide Encourages Talkback
Since its launch, HDCameraGuide.com has become a fast-growing online guide for professional and consumer-level HD camera users.
Mo-Sys Lambda Enters 3rd Dimension
The Mo-Sys Lambda has long been regarded as one of the strongest and most versatile remote heads on the market, and it is also proving an ideal system for carrying the largest 3-D camera rigs.
Camlinx Provides Control
The Camlinx System from Netherlands-based elQuip AVM Advies is a complete camera remote-control system based on optical fibre, designed for use with single or multi-camera units.

Archives
New Products and Services
online archives. go
Smooth Results from Silkypix

Shortcut Software International, Inc. has unveiled Silkypix Developer Studio Pro, a RAW-conversion software program designed to generate high-resolution pictures from a camera’s RAW data. Akin to a “digital darkroom,” the Silkypix developing engine offers accurate color from shadows through highlights. Noise reduction and lens aberration controllers, among many other functions required by today’s digital photographers, are also provided to deliver high-quality images.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
silkypix.shortcutinc.com
VFGadgets Connects With EyeDirect

The EyeDirect 16x9 from VFGadgets offers a new and improved take on talking heads, guaranteeing onscreen eye contact by giving subjects a real person to look at via a beam-splitter configuration. Eye-to-eye contact between the subject and interviewer becomes an eyeline right into the camera lens.

The patented EyeDirect is used by major TV networks, commercial filmmakers and documentarians around the world to get eye contact from challenging subjects. The inventor, director/cinematographer Steve McWilliams, has been involved in the production of motion picture and television commercials for over 25 years. His success with the rentals of the EyeDirect’s big brother, the EyeLiner MP1, has led to the creation of the smaller EyeDirect 16x9, specially designed for HDV cameras.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.vfgadgets.com
More Power from Victory Battery

Victory Cinevideo Battery Corporation has introduced NiMH battery packs for use with both film and HD camera systems. The battery packs feature an external charger as well as a built-in charger, and they are available in 12-, 13.2-, 14.4-, 24-, 26.4-, 28.8- and 30-volt configurations.

The external smart charger features 120-240-volt AC input for worldwide use, a built-in temperature sensor and automatic power cutoff to prevent the battery pack from overcharging, and an integrated circuit (IC) to protect the battery from over-current, short-circuit and reverse polarity. There is no voltage output from the charger when a battery is not connected.

contact info:  
www.victorycinevideobattery.com
Z-Finder Offers Clear View with DSLRs

Embracing the growing popularity of capturing moving images with DSLR cameras, Zacuto has introduced the Z-Finder V2, an optical viewfinder that offers DSLR cameras a video form factor.

The 6-ounce Z-Finder V2 features a 40mm-diameter lens by Schneider Optics that provides 3x focusable magnification. An adjustable (left or right) eyecup prevents extraneous light leakage, and the field of view perfectly matches the LCD screens of many popular DSLRs from Canon, Panasonic, Nikon and Pentex.

Zacuto’s product designers and engineers created an extremely fine focus wheel, which is critical for the shallow depth of field of many DSLRs. With its diopter, the Z-Finder can adjust to varying levels of vision correction necessary for both nearsightedness and farsightedness.

The Z-Finder attaches to the camera’s LCD screen via a snap-fit mounting frame, which itself sticks to the LCD screen with a double-sided adhesive. Once the frame sets for a couple of hours, the Z-Finder can be snapped on and off for quick viewing of the LCD screen or to take a look through the camera’s viewfinder.

Zacuto also offers two add-on features for protection and safety. First, a lanyard gives users the option to attach a strap to the Z-Finder, allowing them to carry the viewfinder around their neck when it’s not attached to the camera. Second, Z-Bands hold the Z-Finder tight against the LCD screen, preventing it from being knocked off.

contact info:  
zacuto.com
Canon Updates Vixia Line for 2010

Canon U.S.A., Inc. has unveiled its 2010 Vixia lineup, comprising nine high-definition flash-memory camcorders. The camcorders are spread across Canon’s flagship Vixia HF S-series, the compact Vixia HF M-series and the entry-level Vixia HF R-series.

New features in the 2010 lineup include a touch-panel LCD with an advanced tracking feature, helping to keep any subject in focus and properly exposed; an enhanced image-stabilization system; and an HD-to-SD down-conversion feature, allowing video to be easily uploaded to the Web or burned onto DVDs. Select Vixia camcorders are also compatible with Eye-fi SD Memory Cards, allowing wireless uploading of video content to a computer or favorite video-sharing site via the Eye-fi card’s wireless capabilities.

All of the 2010 Vixia camcorders retain Canon’s proprietary imaging technologies: a Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, HD CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC DV III Image Processor. The Canon Full HD CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC DV III Image Processor have been further improved to reduce noise under low-light conditions and deliver more faithful reproduction of purple and blue tones for both video and photos.

Other features new to the Vixia line include Smart Auto mode, which utilizes the DIGIC Image Processor to intelligently detect and analyze brightness, color, distance and movement, and automatically select the best setting for the scene being recorded; Touch & Track, which lets users select a subject on the touch-panel LCD that the camcorder will then recognize and track; and Relay Recording, which allows users to capture uninterrupted video when the primary recording media is full.

contact info:  
www.usa.canon.com
Mark Roberts Enhances 3-D Stop-Frame Animation

The Academy Award-winning team at Mark Roberts Motion Control has introduced the S3 Stereoscopic 3D Stepping Module, a vital tool for any stop-frame animators looking to produce 3-D content.

In 3-D stop-frame animation, it is generally simpler and more cost-effective to use a single camera and slide it side to side to capture the images for each eye. However, this technique requires accurate control of the side-to-side motion of the camera. The intelligent, low-cost, portable S3 accurately controls that motion as well as the triggering of the camera.

Designed to carry a variety of DSLR and film cameras, the S3 boasts a strong, rigid construction with high-quality bearings; simple user interface with backlit LCD screen; on-board Flash memory; and user-programmable interocular distance. The S3 can be set to either trigger the camera or be triggered by the camera, and the unit can be used with or without a motion-control system. The S3 offers extremely precise and repeatable motion, with up to 3" of travel on the standard unit.

The S3 easily attaches between the camera and the tripod or motion-control system. Using the onboard display, the user then sets the required interocular distance and attaches the camera-trigger cable. Every time the unit receives the trigger order (from any of a range of sources, including intervalometers, motion-control software, remote switches and motion sensors), it triggers the shutter for the left-eye view, moves the camera for the right-eye view, triggers the shutter again, and then moves back to the left-eye view, ready for the next frame.

contact info:  
www.mrmoco.com
Vocas Launches DSLR Support Line

Vocas Systems has launched a line of support products designed for the DSLR cinematography market. Central to the product range is a 15mm rail support system that can be mounted beneath the camera. Vocas also offers a padded leather handgrip system that mounts to the 15mm rails; a shoulder support with thick rubber pad that fits to the back of the 15mm rails; and a 15mm offset bracket specifically made for the shoulder support. The offset bracket, which moves the shoulder support to the side of the camera, is especially useful for viewing a DSLR’s centrally placed viewfinder. The line of 15mm accessories can be combined in a variety of ways to support a range of shooting situations.

contact info:  
www.vocas.com
Qio Expands Recording Possibilities

Sonnet Technologies Inc., a provider of local storage systems for professional Mac, Windows and UNIX users in the film, video and broadcast industries, has introduced the Qio universal professional media reader/writer. Designed for in-studio and on-location applications, the Qio offers a convenient and cost-effective alternative to standalone card readers, controllers and adapters.

The Qio features dual P2, SxS and Compact Flash slots, and it can transfer data from two cards concurrently, enabling users to offload files more quickly and efficiently. For almost any other memory-card type, including Memory Stick, MMC, SD and xD-Picture, the Sonnet 21-in-1 multimedia memory card reader and writer is included. For quick migration of data, the Qio integrates a complete SATA controller based on Sonnet’s Tempo SATA E4P SATA card, which through four eSATA ports enables users to connect two Sonnet Fusion F2 portable storage systems or four drive enclosures with port multipliers or embedded RAID controllers for access of up to 20 SATA drives.

The Qio connects to a computer through an included cable and either an ExpressCard/34 (for notebooks) or a PCIe (for desktops) interface adapter. The included adapter extends the computer’s PCIe bus outside the box, providing faster performance than USB and FireWire interfaces. Since ExpressCard connectors also carry USB signals, Sonnet designed the Qio to extend the USB bus through the SxS slots as well. The Qio reader/writer’s SxS slots also double as ExpressCard/34 slots, while the P2 slots are compatible with CardBus cards. For notebook users, this effectively quadruples the number of expansion card slots available, and it allows desktop users to swap adapter cards including Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, FireWire and more, without the need to open their computers’ cases.

contact info:  
Ikan Intros Elements

Ikan has introduced its modular Elements line of camera-support equipment. The cost-effective, simple-to-use, ergonomically designed system consists of multiple pieces that give users endless possibilities for customization. Featuring ¼-20 and 2⁄8 threads on all pieces, the Elements system can be configured to work with any camera setup. Compatible with 15mm rail systems, the small, lightweight system is constructed out of anodized aluminum and includes all necessary hardware.

Ikan’s first Elements Bundle, the Flyer, boasts the convenience of a flash bracket with the ergonomics of a handheld system. Created specifically for use with DSLRs, the Flyer can also be used with smaller camcorders. The Flyer Bundle comprises two durable foam-grips handles, two attaching arms and a “cheese-plate-style” base plate. As the Elements line continues to grow, so will users’ ability to customize the Flyer to suit their individual needs.

contact info:  
www.ikancorp.com
Scorpion Stabilizes Handheld Shots

Cam Caddie has introduced the Scorpion handheld stabilizing device. The Scorpion’s design separates the camera from the operator’s hand, placing control in the operator’s arm and thereby naturally dampening handheld jostle. Designed to work with a wide range of consumer and prosumer cameras, camcorders and DSLRs, the Scorpion offers a simple and affordable solution for capturing smooth handheld shots.

contact info:  
www.camcaddie.com
Abel Cine Tech Opens Midwest Office

Abel Cine Tech has opened a new sales location in the Chicago area. The office is focused exclusively on equipment sales and offers the same educational showroom experience found in the company’s New York and Los Angeles locations.

Abel Cine Tech began expanding their presence in the Midwest when the company acquired the sales division of Fletcher Chicago in the spring of 2008. At that time, Fletcher Sales Manager Kari Hess joined Abel to direct their regional sales efforts. Joining her in the launch of the Midwest sales office is Gregger Jones, formerly based out of Abel New York, and sales administrator Colleen Nutter. Hess notes, “We are really excited by this opportunity to have a greater physical presence in the Chicago production community, and we look forward to serving our clients with the same level of technical expertise and customer support they expect from Abel.”

“The opening of the Chicago office is another integral step in our mission to provide unparalleled sales support to our clients nationwide,” adds Pete Abel, president of Abel Cine Tech. “We’re committed to creating a sales environment in Chicago that reflects the experience our customers have in our New York City and Burbank locations.”

Abel Chicago offers sales of high-end HD camera lines such as Phantom, Panasonic and Sony, as well as Zeiss, Angenieux, Canon and Fujinon optics, compact HD cameras, DSLR systems, accessories, recording media and expendables.

contact info:  
www.abelcine.com
Techno-Jib Rentals Services Southern California

Techno-Jib Rentals has opened its doors in North Hollywood, Calif. Outfitted to supply the full line of Techno-Jib telescoping jib arms and related equipment, it is the first rental house to offer the compact T15 model. 

Traveling at up to 5' per second, the fully automated Techno-Jibs extend or retract to move the camera smoothly and silently in and out of hard-to-reach places. With the Techno-Jib, the operator can perform diverse camera moves while maintaining control over zoom, focus and the telescoping arm. These versatile units can be used either by a single operator as a standard jib or, when equipped with a remote head with hand wheels, they can be operated as a traditional telescopic crane.

The Techno-Jib is available in two models: the T15, with a minimum reach of 7' and a maximum of 16', and the T24, which expands from 9' to 24'.

contact info:  
www.technojibrentals.com
Raleigh Studios Sets Up Shop in Budapest

In April, Raleigh Studios plans to open the doors of a new state-of-the-art facility in Budapest, Hungary. Raleigh’s European partner in this venture, Origo Film Group, has championed the development of this project since its inception.

The new facility is less than 20 minutes from downtown Budapest, making it the closest studio facility to the heart of Hungary. The studio boasts nine sound stages, including a 45,000-square-foot “super stage” with a 65'-high grid. Other features include full transportation, set and location lighting and grip with Hollywood Rentals, line producing with Raleigh Film, and a state-of-the-art post facility and digital film lab. All stages, offices and support structures are built from the ground up and engineered to Hollywood standards. Incorporated into the studio’s design is a 15-acre backlot perfect for outdoor set builds. A full production training school will also be located on the lot to help maintain Hungary’s existing talent pool while creating a new generation of film crews.

“We are very excited to be opening in Budapest,” says Michael Moore, president of Raleigh Studios. “There has already been considerable interest from our clients, and we’re confident this will be one of the finest studio operations in Europe.”

Stateside, Raleigh Studios has announced that 1st Call Studio Equipment will be the exclusive heavy-equipment provider for Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at the Celtic Media Centre. This continues a strong relationship Raleigh has with 1st Call, which is also the exclusive heavy-equipment provider at Raleigh’s California locations in Hollywood, Manhattan Beach and Playa Vista. “1st Call is a first-class operation,” says Moore. “We are proud to expand upon our existing relationship and to be associated with such a quality organization.”

1st Call will be located on the Baton Rouge studio lot, eliminating pickup and drop-off charges for most of the equipment needed for on-lot productions. The equipment will be held to Hollywood industry standards, meaning all equipment — including scissor lifts, forklifts and boom lifts — will be strictly for production and not used for construction-site work. A 1st Call equipment representative will be on the lot in Baton Rouge to facilitate orders and provide 24-hour service throughout the state and surrounding region.

contact info:  
www.raleighstudios.com
www.1stcallequip.com
Cine-tal Continues Growing CineSpace

Cine-tal Systems, a developer of image-monitoring and color-management solutions, has announced the expansion of its CineSpace film-profiling services. CineSpace customers can now receive overnight film-profiling services in North America as well as in the company’s operations in Australia. 

Cine-tal’s CineSpace film-profiling services provide color profiles of a filmout for use in the CineSpace product suite. The filmout color profile emulates the film color space while working on video monitors in visual effects, DI and animation. The use of the profiles helps users ensure the color quality of the image data when it is run through the filmout process, and it maintains consistency across multiple filmout service providers. CineSpace customers can use CineSpace’s Inverse Transform feature and CineSpace film profiling services to take their video (Rec 709) or DCI (P3) graded image data to a filmout with confidence.

“CineSpace is the most pervasive color-management system in use today for VFX, DI and animation,” says Rob Carroll, CEO of Cine-tal. “CineSpace users have used our Australian offices for film-profiling services for the past four years; now they can get the same services overnight in our Indianapolis facility.”

contact info:  
www.cine-tal.com
Digital Cinema Lessons Goes Online

Bling Digital has launched Digital Cinema Lessons, a Web site offering video tutorials on all aspects of the Red One camera and its associated workflows. The site features up-to-date video lessons aimed at the growing digital-cinema community; each video tutorial is provided by a high-profile instructor and runs approximately 6 to 10 minutes in length.

“Digital-cinema workflow is still new to all of us,” says Chris Parker, who heads the Digital Cinema Lessons project for Bling Digital. “It is a constant learning process, and the best way to learn these new technologies and workflows is to see how others are doing it.”

Digital Cinema Lessons offers a searchable database of video tutorials, each designed to illustrate a specific technique or answer a particular question. The library of videos is constantly updated, and each is available for viewing for $3. The videos target both production and postproduction personnel, with specific lessons for camera assistants, cinematographers, editors, colorists and anyone else interested in learning more about digital-cinema workflow.

The site’s initial launch is in English, with additional languages to follow. Kaku Ito of Rock R/C is currently working on a Japanese-language version in addition to serving as the site’s first international instructor. “I and the whole Rock R/C team are excited to be working with Bling Digital on bringing the Digital Cinema Lessons to Japan,” says Ito. “We are at the forefront of this technology in Japan, and it is an honor to be working with the other instructors, who are all global leaders in file-based workflow, to help expand the worldwide knowledge base.”

contact info:  
www.blingdigital.com
www.rockrc.net
HD Camera Guide Encourages Talkback

Since its launch, HDCameraGuide.com has become a fast-growing online guide for professional and consumer-level HD camera users. The video-rich site includes tutorials and product demonstrations from such companies as Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Ikegami, Grass Valley and more. Now, the site has added a feature whereby visitors can ask additional questions to the speakers featured in particular videos.

For example, viewers can use the feature to ask television technology consultant Mark Schubin to elaborate on a point he made during his video tutorial on HD camera imager sizes. They can submit their question to Larry Thorpe, Canon’s Broadcast Division’s HD optics authority, while watching his video on the importance of quality camera optics. They can also reach out to director of photography James Mathers to ask which HD cameras are gaining popularity for Hollywood feature production.

“Interacting with our exclusive Learning Center videos is one more advantage we offer at HDCameraGuide.com,” says Bob Richards, director of video services. “It’s not a real-time podcast, which means you don’t have to sit at your computer and wait for an answer. You can watch the Learning Center videos anytime, e-mail your question for the experts and read the e-mail reply at your convenience.” Visitors can also register for Learning Center video updates for free.

contact info:  
www.hdcameraguide.com
Mo-Sys Lambda Enters 3rd Dimension

The Mo-Sys Lambda has long been regarded as one of the strongest and most versatile remote heads on the market, and it is also proving an ideal system for carrying the largest 3-D camera rigs. Responding to the increased demand for 3-D systems, Mo-Sys has gone into production on a new gyro-stabilized third axis for the Lambda that’s specially designed for 3-D applications.

“We knew the Mo-Sys Lambda was the strongest head for 3-D cameras, but to get that confirmed by 3-D film industry leaders is testimony to our vision and quality product,” says Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “We’re confident that after successful demos of the new third axis, even more sales will follow.”

The Mo-Sys Lambda remote head can support camera packages weighing up to 110 pounds, and the head requires no balancing on the two- and three-axis modules. The head can be upgraded within minutes to be gyro-stabilized, and it also boasts the ability to export data to postproduction.

contact info:  
www.mo-sys.com
Camlinx Provides Control

The Camlinx System from Netherlands-based elQuip AVM Advies is a complete camera remote-control system based on optical fibre, designed for use with single or multi-camera units. Industry standard HD and SD video formats are fully supported, offering full broadcast-quality signals. 

The lightweight Camlinx camera unit features HD/SD-SDI video feed and return video, tally, talkback, syncs, audio feed, and program sound. The base station is rack mountable and offers extensive diagnostics for the video engineer.
contact info:  
www.elquip.tv