CineGear-Los Angeles 2011

Went to the 2011 CineGear Expo yesterday – Wow!!! Lots and lots of cool new stuff. Got there about 4:30 and stayed until almost closing. We were able to just stroll and take our time – very nice. We were joined by Mark Schweickart from Porta-Jib later in the day and got to get an equipment manufacturer’s point of view of the show. Informative.

Equipment highlights:

Sound Devices PIX 220 and 240 HD recorders
I just found out about these little guys last week at the AbleCine F3 workshop. I’ve been wating for someone to wrap everything into one chassis that didn’t cost $10,000. Yeah!!! the folks at Sound Devices did it. The PIX 220 and 240 are digital HD field recorders with HDMI and HD/SDI inputs and outputs. The 220 is the HDMI only version ringing in around $1800 while the 240 has both HDMI and HD/SDI along with TC IN/OUT and other cool features and zips in at just under $2600 – street. Your footage can be recorded to CF cards or SSD drives. The unit is mountable with a 1/4-20 hole on the back and the new mounts should include three 1/4-20’s on the bottom. The SSD drive uses an accessory caddy that mounts to the drive and allows the drive to then be used directly for offloading to your computer via USB 3.0, Firewire 800 or eSata. The drives are formatted by the recorder in UDF so it will work on both MAC and PC straight away – Very Cool. Should be arriving later this summer – can’t wait!!!

JVC 4K camcorder
Just got the teaser on this one a day before the show. Didn’t know what to expect. It was…cute. The camera is still in the prototype phase. Much like Canon’s “Hair Dryer” display, JVC had a working model there posed as a small camcorder poised atop a little black box. There were 4 HDMI cables coming out of the black box going over to a 60″ flat panel TV. The picture was clean. There were images of people, architecture, and general B-roll. Sharp. The rep said they plan the use 4 SD cards to record the image streams and then it will be put back together in post. Interesting.

AbleCine showing their B4 to PL adapter
This was kind of cool. They had an F3 with a Canon EFP lens on it. The MSRP is about $5500. Not bad if you still have a broadcast 2/3″ lens laying around. I wonder if it works with the FS-100?

Hurlbut Visuals booth
Shane Hurlbut had a booth right at the entrance of the event. It goes with his new camera rentals department. He was showing all of his different HDSLR configurations. I spent some time talking to one of his shooters at the booth about their findings over time with the 5D’s and 7D’s.

Steadicam – Scout
The company I do a lot of work with is selling their Hollywood Lite/ Varizoom Aviator stabilizer system and I thought I would check out the new solutions in case we want to replace it in the future. I tried the Glidecam X22 last year and wanted to try an actual STEADICAM this year. I tried the Scout – $7000 – 5 to 18 pounds. Very nice. Light weight. Simple to setup. Easy to control.

Redrock Micro
Always great stuff to see. I checked out the new FF Blue and the Wireless FF solution the microRemote with the iPhone interface. It’s really coming along. I got to drive the wireless system for a bit and it was nice. Brian Valente said that they just added a torque feature to help adjust the system’s feel and response from lens to lens.

Light Iron Live Playback in an iPad
This is a very interesting company. They were showing their on-set production and post tools. The one tool that caught my eye was a derivitive of the Teradek wireless monitoring system. Using the Teradek hardware Light Iron mapped a real nice interactive GUI over the playback software to help on-set decisions and footage review. It’s called LIVE PLAY. You can add comments and notes as needed on a clip by clip basis. These then populate through the server for all the viewers who are connected to see. Handy if the DP catches something and puts the note in before a lot of time is spent by the rest of the production group on a big discussion. All the notes and other meta data can then be compiled for the edit and final production notes. Pretty awesome…

Well that’s my quick over view of the things I liked at CineGear Expo this year. I like this show because if I can’t make it to NAB, most of the exhibitors I want to see are here and I don’t need a hotel or 3 days to see the show =)

Until next time, good shooting

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