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  1. #1 Phil's NAB Journal 2016 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Hello all from sunny Las Vegas Nevada!

    It's time for another annual/traditional NAB breakdown. For those who are interested in the glory of yesteryear: 2013, 2014, 2015

    It's 2016 now. 4K is "normal" and everywhere at NAB this year. Gauging the tide and reading the tea leaves this year is a bit more interesting than the whizz/bang/boom of the last few years. NAB 2016 seems not to be a revolution, but more of an evolution and growth towards current and future technologies.

    However, beneath those calm waters there's a few rather interesting monsters lurking that might elude to NAB 2016 being a bit more exciting than many have previously thought.

    This was by far the busiest year for me at the show to date, and for good reason. Much of what I'm interested in and work with is advancing forward at a rapid pace. At the same time, I somehow am still hearing familiar echoes from well worn corners who aren't exactly paying attention to what the industry as a whole is doing. Thankfully this year was full of heated conversation about the state of the motion picture industry and the chaotic development of certain technologies that will be landing punches at various strengths.

    Industry Trends


    This year I was very fortunate to be apart of the Industry Trends and Newsshooter Panel during the NAB Live Show within the Teradek cube. I have more thoughts than a 30 minute group panel, but much of my POV came across regarding certain things. A few I'll touch on here:

    4K and 8K Resolution - Yep. 4K is very real. Not many are showing off 1080p cameras at all at NAB and nearly everybody has a 4K or even 4K+ option now. Additionally there's about 250-300% more of a presence of 8K this year at the show.

    High Dynamic Range - Yep. HDR display tech is real and a lot of folks are interested in it. Netflix for instance recently announced about 150 hours worth of UHD 4K HDR content that they will make available in 2016. Boom.

    High Frame Rate - Medium reception. Many Japanese entities are pushing forward with "60p for everything". However, the real truth is our world with be 24-60p for some time with the occasionally blip of 120p rising up. My personal thoughts, 24p for story driven content. 60p for sports and similar things. That's where it divvies up when you take into account audience experience.

    3D - 3D 2D display tech is dead. However, 3D lives on in the wild world of Virtual Reality..... For reasons.

    Virtual Reality - Real to realish for motion picture production. Stereoscopic VR is tricky to do right for live action production, though 360 Video is much easier and practical to accomplish at the moment. Video Games in particular will allow VR to flourish during this new generation and because we now have the graphics hardware to support immersive VR this time around, it will be a bigger and bigger deal as time progresses. Augmented Reality will also start rising up more.

    360 Video - Related to VR and can be enjoyed in 2D space as well. It's a real thing and we'll be seeing more of it.


    The real truth to take from all of this.

    I've written before regarding what happened in January 2016 regarding the UHD Alliance and the new UHD Premium "standards". I've also written a fairly tidy white paper called The Window Effect that discusses the concepts behind Immersive Viewing.

    The motion picture industry as a whole is slowly but surely migrating to 4K and for some 4K HDR. Some are quicker to adopt this concepts and some are literally digging up and paving the road towards towards how and what we'll be seeing when it comes to motion picture entertainment. The concepts aren't divisive either. This isn't just about 4K, not just about HDR. It's about using these technologies as a whole to form better standards and better audience experiences. More color, more resolution. More immersion.

    Moving on.

    Let's talk about the RED Booth.
    Last edited by Phil Holland; 04-21-2016 at 10:24 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    RED Related Reconnaissance


    RED's booth this year was much more open and had a different feel overall. With so many new DSMC2 cameras announced and now shipping RED used this NAB as opportunity to showcase some of what's very powerful about these new cameras while also revealing a few very desired accessories.

    Firmware

    Before getting into the thick of it, DSMC2 cameras now have DNxHD/HR Codec support AND internal ProRes playback. More codec options are great, especially after that lovely Windows/Quicktime security scare. However, having ProRes playback in camera is massive on those quick or straight to air jobs where you might find youself just using ProRes.

    The New DSMC2 Accessories


    Left to right we have the new Jetpack SDI, RED PRO Touch 7" LCD (Hingeless), REDVOLT-V Battery.

    If my recollection serves me right these are all accessories that shooters have asked for. And RED is delivering. The Jetpack SDI services the needs of professionals that require SDI on their drone, gimbal, or whatever setup. Myself included.

    The hingeless 7" LCD is desired from those who use their screens on Noga/Red/Infinity Arms. Also, I can see some other interesting applications for hard mounting the screen for certain types of camera rigs.

    The new REDVOLT-V Battery (47WH) is a nice compact and extremely sleek design that will change the way we look at handheld and gimbal shooting. More power than the REDVOLT and perhaps a bit more useful for typical shooting scenarios. If these prove to be desired, I'd bet RED might make a few more capacities even.

    These are all use specific and user influenced accessories.




    Next up we have the DSMC2 V-Lock Battery Module, DSMC2 REDVOLT Expander, and new DSMC2 Side Handle.

    The DSMC2 V-Lock Battery Module is similar to the Element Technica concept, but is a bit more price friendly while still having the D-Tap. The big difference is the ET module does indeed have 2X 2-pin AUX Power outs and that is what is reflected in the price difference.

    The DSMC2 REDVOLT Expander is something a lot of folks are waiting for. Mainly for I/O, but also for the ability to have full size XLRs w/ Phantom Power as well as the ability to hot swap if there's a REDVOLT slugged into the side of it. Once this hits the market a lot of independent and ENG-style shooters will be very happy.

    And the DSMC2 Side Handle. I'm gonna skip that.



    Just kidding. This new Side Handle gets more coverage because it's pretty damn nice and I know a lot of people have been waiting for it. A few things I like. It is MUCH more ergonomic and is more lightweight than the OG Side Handle. Element Technica will even be offering a wooden grip that weighs less than the rubber grip. What impressed me the most on the show floor was just how smooth the iris pull was using the wheels, much more responsive too. The placement of the keys is fairly nice and they keys themselves are a bit smaller likely to keep people from whacking something accidentally.


    Third Party Love

    Perhaps the most camera concept altering thing about the new DSMC2 bodies is the 3rd party support. There's never been this level of 3rd party integration before. It's one thing to make a simple plate for a camera, but I/O and actually production savvy accessories are changing the way people think about rigging their cameras.



    Wooden Camera was featured at the RED booth (you may want to reread that). This is a tremendous thing as Ryan and the WC crew have been whacking out a ton of quality gear lately. Some of these things we've seen before like the top plate with integrated LCD/EVF support. But the new stuff at the show was equally interesting. WC's got a new Gimbal Battery Bracket for DSMC2 bodies that mounts to the dumb side of the camear. Also, their new wooden handles and attachable Handgrip Trigger Box look very nice and feel nice in the hand. WC is also making a Trigger Handle with various accessory mounting points that should be pretty useful.




    We've been seeing a lot of the Offhollywood OMOD modules for a while now, but they have been much more polished since last NAB and their release is a bit more imminent. OMOD command was on display at the Vitec booth as OH has recently become part of the Vitec Group family (congrats Mark!). If these are new to you, the OMOD modules are all about creating the camera you want and minimizing the amount of things you need to attach to a camera to create it. By having things like wireless video, built in wireless lens control, and full audio on board you can create something that is very production ready and quick to shoot.



    Tilta, yep, they are making DSMC2 modules as well. While I didn't see the Movcam stuff on the floor, Tilta is working hard on producing two different "full rig" DSMC2 kits that will be rather affordable. The big boy they are producing on the left should be around $3500 when all is said and done for everything you see in the picture. Power outs, HD-SDI ports, XLR w/ Phantom Power, and even lens motor control. The rig on the right wasn't seen before NAB and is more interesting to me as it's a bit more compact. It features power pins where you will mount that XLR or I/O module on the ribcage. I spent a bit of time over there as there's still a ton to do to make these production ready, like adding a Phantom Power switch, but these are looking good and shipping sooner than later.



    RT Motion's new Latitude receiver/lens controller is amazing stuff. It fits between your DSMC2 body and it will pass through the signal from your SIDEKICK or DSMC2 Side Handle. You do have to provide it power from the rear of the camera, but you'll have control over lens motors using RT Motion's Smart Motors or if you have an electronic lens attached you can operate that as well. Very cool and compact stuff.



    Land. Air. Water. At the RED booth there were numerous rigs on display from GSS, Shotover, as well as Nauticam and Gates for those bubble blowers.



    And Robots! Particularly the new Kira motion control system from Motorized Precision. Sean's got a new take on MoCo and the software interface for Kira is inspiring, simple, and quick to setup. More or less changing the game for these types of devices and greatly increasing efficiency during a shooting day. Smart stuff.



    Some nice odds and ends. The folks from Shed had a nice discussion about the 8K Workflow on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2.

    John showcased his character driven OLPFs at from KipperTie and even had a nice piece of glass in a tissue designed for the 8K. Can't wait.

    Frame.io had their Adobe Premiere Pro CC support to demo. It's such a slick integration within the PP GUI. Very easy to setup and use. Utterly impressive potential for various workflows.




    RED had cameras all over the booth for people to poke around on. Raven, Scarlet-W, Weapon 6K, and even Weapon 8K were on display. The giant robot seen here is part of a tremendous comic project that the creative team at RED put together. The booth was crowded during the show and perhaps the most interesting thing for me was to see those who are new to RED ask various question about rigging and operating the camera. The short answer really is how do you want to rig it?



    Here's one of the RED Weapon 8K bodies at the show with the brand new Hawk65 95mm 1.3X Anamorphic Prime. Utterly gorgeous picture from this combo. The depth produced is amazing. Some fun history regarding anamorphic and formats. Super 35mm traditionally utilized 2X, VistaVision never really had a standard but in my career 2X, 1.5X, and 1.3X were filmed with. 65mm used 1.25X. That's the most common. Speaking to the Hawk folks they found that the 1.3X "holds" very well on the 8K Dragon sensor. Can't wait to dive into all of this more. This resolution and format size is something I've been preparing for. And with news of filming some more aerials on the horizon, I can't wait to pack that 8K Weapon into the Shotover shoot some stunning visuals.



    Speaking of 8K, Forged was shown at the RED booth as well as other booths around the show. Even mastered an HDR version. It's an honor to have this particular project shown. I really enjoyed the comments from people during the show about how it looked and how it was shot. We did bring the sword out a couple of times and luckily no fingers were lost!


    Side note. After looking at the 8K cameras that are a year or more away at the show and comparing it to the Weapon 8K I shot in February, I can't even explain how incredible what RED has pulled off here.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  3. #3  
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    Just Lens Things

    You guys know I'm a glass head. Some nice surprises this year. I was also able to take a quick shot with a few of these lenses to show here.

    Zeiss



    The big news for Zeiss is their new LensGear. These are all metal slip lock gears that fits all of their modern lenses. Otus, Milvus, Batis, Loxia. Very solid and smart move.

    They also added two new Master Anamorphics into the fray. 180mm T2.8 and the 28mm T1.9. Long and wide. The 180mm is glorious. I spent a while testing it out. These anamorphic primes are truly a masterpiece.




    One other new thing from Zeiss is their E-Mount 18mm f/2.8 Batis prime, which is surprisingly lightweight. While this doesn't mean a thing to me as a RED shooter, since it's a new design, it might allude to what a new Otis prime "could" be. Let's hope.


    Schneider Optics



    After much delay and anticipation Schneider finally is in the home stretch on the 18mm Xenon FF-Prime. Here's what's good and perhaps why it was worth the wait. It's still T2.4, which makes it the fastest full frame wide angle prime. Because Schneider did an entire redesign we get better quality optics. Also, and this is huge to me, they were able to keep the lens the same length and diameter as the rest of the Xenons! Remember, the old version they showed was not this way. They are working hard to push this baby out, but they are feeling it's going to be released this year. Then they will move onto the 135mm.

    Schneider also showed some very nice 3, 4, and 5 stop Circular Polarizer filters that are worth looking at. Very useful for daylight car work.


    Cooke



    Cooke man. You guys always surprise me. Cooke's new 35-140 T3.1 2X anamorphic zoom is freaking beautiful. It's a midrange zoom in the anamorphic world and super useful at T3.1. I can't believe how lovely it is wide open. They are taking pre-orders and there's already a list, but it's a deal at $60K. While this price isn't for everybody, it's far less than I expected for a lens like this. Well done.

    Also, Cooke showed off their 300mm T3.2 2X anamorphic prime. It's a beast of a lens, but another amazing accomplishment.


    Leica



    Leica has two new Summicron-C Primes. A 40mm and 15mm T2, 40mm seen above. It's rather nice.




    There's the 15mm above and these are shipping this year. I have a feeling the 15mm will be in high demand for those who have a set of crons.

    The other interesting thing from Leica is their new Leica Cine MacroLux. These are very high quality 95mm clamp on diopters and because of that diameter they will also work on other lenses. I'm gonna take a close look at these. They had 3 stacked at the show and the image was amazing.


    P+S Technik


    Finally got my hands on the 35-70 T3.4 1.5X anamorphic zoom from P+S. Interesting lens, but rather expensive for what it is. It's lightweight and short however, which certainly has some benefit.


    Bokkelux



    Bokkelux is a new company from far, far away. However, they are making full frame coverage (they think) primes at an insanely affordable price. They will all be T2. 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100mm. 13 iris blades. Sub-$2k a lens. These guys are brand new to this world, so we'll see if they can pull all of this off with a decent level of QC. The lenses are pretty small and the look is fairly interesting from the prototypes. I'll need to test these once they are closer to reality.


    Panavision


    Panavision recently showed their 14mm Series 70 Primo Prime, but this is possibly equally if not more interesting. 24mm T3.5, HOWEVER, this lens is all electronic internally. Nothing moves on it. Similar to the GDU primes if you will.


    Tokina


    Tokina is showing off one of their upcoming Cine Primes. this being the 100mm T2.9 Macro. Nice and small. Optically pretty decent. Sounds like there's more in the works.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  4. #4  
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    Lighting, Grip, and other odd bits

    Litepanels


    Litepanels had their new Soft model on display. I personally like the 1X1 Astra Daylight without the "soft", but for studio and interview work these are nice. More interesting to me is after hounding them for a while they are now making a 1 light case/kit which will be much easier to lug around. They also had all of the new modules on display. I'll likely be picking up the Bluetooth ones for my kit to control them via the app.


    HIVE Lighting


    My absolute favorite light from NAB 2016 is the new HIVE Plasma 1000. After years of begging hive to develop a more powerful LEP based light, they finally found a way to do it. This thing pumps out 2.5K HMI equivalent brightness worth of daylight at 1000 watts/9.5 amp draw. This means you can use one or two of these off of a standard US socket without tripping a fuse or needing a generator.



    They do require a ballast, but the money saved by using these is tremendous. Especially considering the light output. And the bulb tech is super cool. Well warm actually, but the bulb itself floats in a mesh cage as the shielded RF excites the gas within the bulb. Flicker free and a bulb will last year in the range of 50,000 hours. Good job on this guys. Exciting possibilities here.


    Mole Richardson


    I've been using the Mole LED Fresnels a lot these last two years. They now have their new Tener, which is a 10K tungsten equivalent. Draws 1600 watts and also requires a ballast. Big, but I do like these.


    Chimera


    Visited my friends over at Chimera. My Nila Boxers are outfitted with their softboxes and I use a whole bunch of other boxes from them. I noticed a lot of people grabbing Scrim Jims lately. While I like my Westcott Flex lights, here's a hot tip. Chimera Cameo. Collapse-able, lightweight, and mo-bettah. They've also been making the forever.


    SmallHD


    SmallHD's new large production displays were at the show. 17, 24, and 32 inch. There's certainly a few things to work out before they ship, but what they did get right in a big way is that they are rugged field monitors that are rather bright and HDR capable. The quick release accessories actually are just screw in standard hot shoe clamps too. I am very much looking forward to testing these out further shortly. I think the 24 is the nicest balance between resolution, size, and weight myself.


    Teradek


    This is an interesting item. Teradek's Sphere takes in 4X or 8X HDMI signals and stitches the video via an app in realtime. If you watched the NAB Live show this is what the 360 video was coming from. This product is still in development and I can think of about 100 ways to make it better, but the potential to use and calibrate other cameras and rigs is very cool. Another one I need to investigate.


    DSC Labs


    DSC Labs had their 25 stop Xyla on display as well as a couple other interesting things. There's a few kinks to be worked out, but I'm looking foward to locking down and adding some control to a few of the normal camera tests we do.


    Adobe


    I know for Raven and Scarlet-W owners the wait for .R3D support from those cameras seems unbearable, but Adobe has support for those and the Weapon 8K files coming in the next release build. Not to mention new proxy linking, 360 video support, and new White Balance and Secondary Color Correctors via the Lumetri Color Panel in this version as well. They are working hard on making the release solid. Should be available scary soon.


    Dana Dolly


    Mike over at Dana Dolly has been doing some rad skunkworks on finally motorizing and adding some motion control capability to both versions of Dana Dolly. And it will work on curved track to boot. This is going to be huge news once everything gets tightened up. Powers off of a V-Lock brick and will be super portable.


    Matthews


    Two neat things at Matthews. First is the DuttiDolly. It's a heavy duty dolly that can be used as a dolly or slider. These have actually been used on set for years and James has finally made them available to buy. As you can see in the shot with the bazooka and seat it can hold a bit of weight.

    The other great thing at the Matthews booth was the Infinity Arm. This is a new take on the accessory arm that has a better locking mechanism and a quick release. Locks solid. Built not to break after 3 shoots.



    Parting Words


    NAB 2016 has been a fantastic experience. I sometimes only get to see a few of "you guys" once a year, and it's here when that happens. The response to Forged has been overwhelming. I'm just glad people enjoyed the whole process.

    Big thanks to Jarred, Brent, and the rest of the RED crew for putting up with my nonsense during the show. And I'll thank Graeme in advance for the magic.


    Hope you all enjoy this crazy write-up. I know a lot of people can't make it out to the show. This is pretty much what caught my eye.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  5. #5  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    great review...thanks for sharing Phil!

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  6. #6  
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  7.   Click here to go to the next RED TEAM post in this thread.
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    Thanks Phil. Always good to hang out and discuss imaging with you!

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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Good stuff Phil! Have my curiosity peaked with that Dana Dolly motion control.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Chris McKechnie's Avatar
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    I was waiting for this...NO-ONE does it better than you sir!! You filled the gaps for me since my time was limited at the show. Thanks dude!
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    Super useful summary Phil, great seeing you!
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