Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

NAB 2014 in Las Vegas

So here we are at NAB in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.  The North and South floors are filled with all sorts of manufacturers, vendors, customers, technicians, producers and tech enthusiasts here to see the latest in broadcast and entertainment technologies. 

NAB is a big place. With everything there is to see here, it can be very hard to find the gems in the rough.  My Fear is that I will not get a chance to see all of the really good stuff because as I said,  there's a lot of ground to cover.  The Loathing comes from having to traverse the 3 huge show floors to do the fine toothed combing of the vendors and find that good stuff.  But you should Fear not, as I have boiled down my list of favorites that I spotted on day one of two here at NAB. 

Zacuto

Some of the new technologies that are coming out are being made by Zacuto.  Their latest handheld rigs have some interesting ergonomics.  Check these out.  What you are looking at are 3 items from the Zacuto company that are designed for Cinema and ENG function. 

The first is the new rotatable handle with follow focus attachment built into it.  This is great for shooting without a focus puller.  However the big drawback is that the rotatable handle does not have a lock on it to prevent mishaps when passing the camera or setting it down somewhere with assurance that it wont rotate and have the camera fall over on its side when it should be resting nicely.  However it is a very nice to have focus controls built into it for long lens ENG or certain reality jobs that are not using that fujinon lenses, cabrio, or the new ENG lens from Canon.  Worth looking at but in my opinion, handle should have a break.

Next, we have a hood bracket from Zacuto that allows the operator to mount rails on top of the camera without purchasing an entire camera cage. Where it is most handy is that it can move the bulky monitor that mounts onto the c300 and c500 to move to a more comfortable position.  Clutch when doing ENG work if you need to mount something else into the hot shoe adapter.  Also, it mounts up nicely so assistants can hook their measuring tape up to the "film" plane.

Lastly from Zacuto, we have the new HD eyepiece. Now,  I have sworn by my Alphatron for the past 2 years but I am amazed by this tool below.  With an OLED monitor inside plus waveforms, vectorscopes and all the great menu options that an operator or cinematographer may want from an electronic eyepiece.  I predict we will see many of these out there in the field on c300 and c500 shoots in the months to come.

Canon

Besides the other amazing technologies that they had out there for Canon.  The one item that caught my attention was this lens right right.  This is Canon's response for field production.  A zoom that has a built in servo for zoom.  Much like the Fujinon lenses that used to come standard with Varicams from years back,  this lens fills the gaps in much the same ways as the Cabrio and Fujinons.  No additional rigging or motors required.  It's pricey, but it seems like it would be great in the field.

Hive Lighting

Plasma lighting is not necessarily brand new but here is what it's leading studio light manufacturing company is putting out.  It's the new Hive Bee light.  This is delivered a great punch for a small source.  While it still needs to be field tested to check output and overall workability,  I was impressed by the quality of light and the ability to change the color temperature with MINIMAL green spike. While at first it feels very boxy and clunky,  once you hang a set of barn doors and a scrim bag on it, it seems to feel like any other light in it's class. Here are some photos.  See for yourself.

The Hive "Bee Light"

Color Temperature control without heavy green spike.

Bee Light Ballast

Cinematics

These guys stole my heart.  Below, there are two lenses.  They are in fact the same lens. The one on the right is the lens that I have shot every one of the stills with.  It's my Contax 50mm prime.  But then again,  so is the one on the right.  Mind=blown and now I have to have my lenses rehoused right away.  The iris action is silky smooth and the weight is so very nice.  While I did meet another lens rehousing service company that really rocked, G.L. Optic run by Avi Cohen (who were awesome and super friendly, Cinematics out of Japan happen to have my lenses already housed and looking sharp.  I think I am in love.

Ok so my producer is giving me the wrap it up signal over here so I guess I gotta go.  But thanks so much for checking us out here at Cinematic Immunity.  See you next week as we launch our first podcast with one of the most influential cinematographers of our time.  Thanks everyone!

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Check us out next week as we get ready for our podcast launch, talk more about the premiere of "Wheels" at the Newport Beach Film Festival, report from NAB and announce our first episode!

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