HOLLYWOOD — Cine Gear Expo took place at The Studio at Paramount earlier this month, giving the Hollywood production community a chance to check out the latest new products and services, as well as listen to expert panels and take in master classes. A number of announcements were made at the show, and here, Post recaps some of Cine Gear’s highlights.
Sony Electronics announced plans for its next-generation CineAlta digital motion picture camera system. This addition to the CineAlta family is being developed through careful research and close collaboration with creative professionals including directors, cinematographers and digital imaging technicians.
Sony helped pioneer high-end digital motion picture production technology. The company’s HDW-F900 was one of the first 24p digital camera systems. Sony’s F35 features a Super 35mm image sensor and the company’s HDC-F950 and SRW-1 were among the first RGB recording systems.
The next generation CineAlta will feature a full frame 36x24mm sensor that’s been exclusively designed for this digital motion picture camera. The camera will be aspect ratio-agnostic, allowing for production in full frame, Super35 4K 4-perf 4:3 Anamorphic and 4K spherical 3-perf 17:9. The camera will maintain the workflow established with Sony’s 16-bit RAW/X-OCN and XAVC, and will be compatible with current and upcoming hardware accessories for CineAlta cameras, including the DVF-EL200 full HD OLED viewfinder, AXS-R7 recorder, AXS-CR1 and AR1 card reader, and AXS and SxS memory cards.
Panavision (www.panavision.com) revealed new tools for its large-format Millennium DXL 8K camera at their Cine Gear booth. The DXL features Panavision’s premier large format optics and modular accessories, advanced 8K sensor technology from Red, and unique color science and workflow optimization from Light Iron. The camera was made available in January.
At Cine Gear, Panavision debuted a set of fast, wirelessly controlled Primo Artiste lenses that cover the full 8K HDR image. Available later this year, the Artiste lenses will initially come in 11 focal lengths (27mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 80mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 200mm, and 250mm) with expanded focal lengths available in 2018.
The Primo Viewfinder is an HDR OLED viewfinder that’s been designed, engineered and manufactured at Panavision, featuring an HDR OLED screen, 600-nit brightness, image smoothing, a heater, and custom Panavision glass to limit eye fatigue and make it easier to focus in very bright or dark environments. The viewfinder also boasts a theoretical contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
Panavision showcased a prototype of its PX-Pro color spectrum filter, which has been specially designed to allow for a wider range of precise color that supports all color palettes and flare characteristics of lenses new and old, while reducing many of the optical artifacts we see on digital cinema cameras. The filter provides an infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) cut that improves color clarity and reduces noise and IR contamination, which can corrupt or distort digitally captured images.
And DXL Control is a new iPhone app that provides remote camera control. The software mirrors the camera menu system on the user’s Apple device. The software is available now with a DXL camera rental, and can also be downloaded for free from the iTunes store.
Canon USA, Inc., introduced the EOS C200 and EOS C200B digital cinema cameras, which are designed to meet the demanding needs of filmmakers and TV production users. The two new models combine the ease of use of entry level cinema cameras with new, high-end features that are well suited for cinema, documentary, wildlife, wedding and event production.
The C200 and C200B representing the third generation of the Cinema EOS system and offer two 4K video formats. Canon’s new Cinema RAW Light and MP4 codecs can be captured for those interested in recording HDR video. Both models feature a newly developed dual DIGIC DV6 image processing system, Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system and improved operability for professionals.
The new models will be available in two configurations, while retaining the same core technologies within. The C200 is a production-ready solution that can be used right out of the box, accompanied by an LCD monitor, LCD attachment, camera grip and handle unit. The camera also features a 1.77 million dot OLED electronic view finder. For users who desire more versatility and the ability to craft custom setups, the C200B offers cinematographers the same camera without these accessories and the EVF.
Both sport the same 8.85MP CMOS sensor, that combines with a newly developed dual DIGIC DV6 image processing system to help process high-resolution image data and record video from Full HD (1920x1080) and 2K (2048x1080) to 4K UHD (3840x2160) and 4K DCI (4096x2160). The combination of sensor and newly developed processing system also allows for the support for two new 4K file formats designed to help optimize workflow and make 4K and HDR recording more accessible to filmmakers.
Cinema RAW Light, available in 4K 60p/50p at 10 bit and 30p/25p/24p at 12 bit, allows users to record data internally to a CFast card by cutting data size to about one-third to one-fifth of a Cinema RAW file, without losing grading flexibility. Alongside recording to a CFast card, proxy data (MP4) can also be simultaneously recorded to an SD card for use in offline editing.
The cameras will be available in August for $7,499 (C200) and $5,999 (C200B). They are both compatible with Canon’s recently announced Compact-Servo 70-200mm zoom lens, which is scheduled to be available later in 2017, for an estimated retail price of $5,800.
At Cine Gear Expo, Radiant Images (www.radiantimages.com) showed a number of its VR solutions as well as presented a 360 livestream of the event. Radiant Images is a provider of 2D, 360 and immersive technology solutions. At the show, they partnered with Nokia, Voysys, HEAR360 and Finwe to create and broadcast an enhanced 360 livestream.
“We’ve reached a point in the development of virtual reality where we’re now focused on helping content creators achieve something more, what you might call ‘bigger than life’ reality, which integrates mixed realities with cinematic cameras and volumetric capture and other 360 solutions that enables them to expand their imaginations even further, no limits,” said Radiant Co-founder Michael Mansouri.
Powered by Nokia’s OZO Live, the live broadcast integrated a full 360 experience, captured by Nokia OZO cameras, with 2D elements, using picture-in-picture technology rendered by Voysys VR Producer and spatial audio from Hear360. Viewers were able to feel and hear the excitement of the Paramount Lot’s New York Street in 360 while putting them inside seminars or up close to gear in booths on the exhibition floor via live 2D feeds.
The live broadcasts were available for streaming on multiple platforms, including Facebook Live 360, You Tube Live, Twitter/Periscope 360, Apple TV, on the homepages of the Cine Gear and Radiant Images Websites, and via Finwe’s new LiveSYNC App for Apple IOS and Android devices. Radiant Images also presented “VR Cameras A-Z,” a alphabetical, rapid-fire rundown of methods and cameras used in 360 capture and virtual reality, ranging from single-camera 360 video to multi-camera volumetric and light field camera capture.
Camera systems and technology on display included AXA Sony, Nokia OZO, AXA Blackmagic, Mobius 2.0 POV, Z Cam SI Pro, Insta360 Pro & Nano, Jaunt One, 360 underwater solutions and the GoPro Omni.
Codex was at Cine Gear Expo LA 2017 with a 4K on-set workflow solution for capture, cloning, archiving and monitoring. The company offers the ability to transport data on LTO-7 or Flexi Drive to near-set or post to create an complete ene-to-end workflow.
Red Digital Cinema (red.com) showed off its range of DSMC2 cameras at Cine Gear Expo, including the Scarlet-W, Epic-W, Weapon 8K S35 and Weapon 8K VV, as well as workflow options covering their new image processing pipeline (IPP2), HDR and 8K. The company was also involved in panels at Cine Gear, including one with director Nicholas Schrunk and members of Red Bull Media House’s production team.
The group discussed the making of the feature documentary Blood Road, which follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. Their purpose was to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rusch’s father, a US Air Force pilot shot down over Laos.
Henry Braham, director of photography for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, discussed filmmakers’ growing preference for shoot with larger format digital cameras. Braham shot the new Guardians feature on Red’s Weapon 8K VV. He was joined by producer/actor/ writer Dean Devlin, who discussed how new formats are driving an evolution in filmmaking for the big screen.
At their booth, Red demonstrated a realtime 8K workflow that showcased 8K Helium R3D playback illustrating RAW metadata control and adjustments. Powered by Silverdraft's liquid-cooled Demon ultra-workstation, the footage originated from Red DSMC2 cameras in the booth. All of Red’s cameras offer high image quality and dynamic range, as well as the ability to simultaneously record of Redcode RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR/HD.
Panasonic (us.panasonic.com) previewed the AU-EVA1 at Cine Gear, a new 5.7K cinema camera positioned between the company’s Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera and the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera. The compact and lightweight AU-EVA1 is well suited for handheld shooting, as well as for producing documentaries, commercials and music videos.
The EVA1 contains a newly designed 5.7K Super 35mm-sized sensor for capturing true cinematic images. By starting at a higher native resolution, the 5.7K sensor yields a higher resolving image when down sampled to 4K, UHD, 2K, and even 720p. The increased color information results in a finer, more accurate finished image.
One of the key features of the VariCam 35, VariCam LT, and VariCam Pure is Dual Native ISO. Using a process that allows the sensor to be read in a fundamentally different way, Dual Native ISO extracts more information from the sensor without degrading the image. This results in a camera that can switch from a standard sensitivity to a high sensitivity without an increase in noise, or other artifacts.
On the VariCams, Dual Native ISO has allowed cinematographers to use less light on set, saving time and money, as well as allowing for a great variety of artistic choices. The EVA1 will include Dual Native ISO, but the camera is currently being tested to determine final ISO specifications.
The EVA-1 weighs just 2.65 pounds (body-only) and comes in a compact form factor (6.69- x 5.31- x 5.23-inches). Its removable handgrip allows the camera to be used in a range of shooting applications, including mounted on a drone, gimbal rig or jib arm. The EVA1 records to readily-available, lower-cost SD cards. The camera can record in several formats and compression rates, and offers up to 10-bit 4:2:2, even in 4K. For high-speed capture, the EVA1 offers 2K up to 240fps. The EVA1 will ship this fall for under $8,000.
Cine Gear Expo: Los Angeles 2018 will take place next year, from May 31st through June 3rd.