NAB 2010: Making legacy gear future friendly

Posted By Michael Kammes on May 19, 2010 12:31 pm | Permalink
See where your co-workers and clients work now - because most likely they're with some other company, doing the exact same thing. Be a geek, and yet be able to party like a rockstar - because everyone else is also a geek and also trying to party like a rockstar, so it's OK. See what the latest and greatest is, and what you need to mortgage your house to buy. While the first 2 will never change a small but very important portion of the "new" gear you're here to see is aimed at making sure you DON'T have to sell your organs on the black market to afford. They make your legacy gear future friendly. Camera technology is probably the worst offender in terms of obsolescence.  Tapeless is becoming the status quo, but the cameras of yesteryear - and often only a year or so ago - lack the functionality most new shooters demand - which is the ability to interface with an editing system easily. Your camera may be tapeless, but it may shoot in a format that is difficult for your editing system to understand without jumping through hoops. Quite possibly, you may just love the glass on that old Betacam and refuse to give it up for a new run and gun solution.

Whatever your reason, there is hope.

Convergent Designs' nanoFlash device is a camera accessory that takes your cameras SD and HD SDI or HDMI output and encodes it, on the fly, into Sony's XDCAM HD codec. You have the ability to select bitrates for quality, as well as what file format the video is saved in - QuickTime, MXF and MPG - to ensure it will play in your NLE. Instant tapeless for your beloved boat anchor, I mean, livelihood.

AJA's Ki Pro
- Like the nanoFlash, takes the SD and HD SDI output of your camera and encodes into a digital video file. The Ki Pro records into Apple's Pro Res codec, from Pro Res Proxy up to Pro Res 422 HQ - on the fly. This unit has a more robust feature set, including removable storage that can be transported and used with your NLE, plus a web interface for management and control options. Announced at NAB is the new ability to communicate with other Ki Pros for gang recording as well as RS422 support. It even has a camera mount so it can mount between your tripod and camera.
A new device, which I am very geeked about, is the Cinedeck. Not only is it a location encoder, like Ki Pro and the nanoFlash, but it comes with a crapload of I/O. Yes, Crapload is the technical term. It sort of resembles a Garmin GPS for your car in appearance. Cinedeck's I/O includes component and composite video, SD and HD SDI and Dual Link via 3G and HDMI, as well as digital and analog audio, and with storage encodes into an edit ready 10-bit 4:2:2 or 12 bit 4:4:4 CineForm DI codec in .MOV or .AVI format. But wait, there's more! MXF, uncompressed and DPX file formats are also included - all the way up to 2K frame sizes.

There's also a LAN port as well as USB ports for loading LUTs and an ESATA with port multiplier and RAID support. Its touch screen allows for menu navigation and video playback.  All in the same size and weight as your 7-inch on-camera focus monitor. I'm not a shooter, but I think I want a camera, just to play with this. So save your money. Go tapeless and keep your beloved shoulder steel.