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  1. #1 Phil's NAB Journal 2018 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Well another rip roaring NAB breezed through the desert metropolis of Las Vegas. This year, not too many surprises as many of the major camera announcements were already made and even released. But this is the first time many got their hands on the new gear and there were some new things to ogle and fondle on the show floor.

    I bopped around doing a bit of my thing, sharing a whole bunch of footage around the show, and doing a few demos/panels. Particularly the "Choosing a Lens for Emotion" for Adorama TV was a fun one.

    But, let's get into the thick of it.

    It's REDuser, so we start with......

    RED

    Despite many thinking "RED's not at NAB", RED was very much at NAB.



    Their cameras were all over the show floor rigged in a million ways, like above, which I personally would build out to that size too often :)



    RED did actually have a demonstration area upstairs in the Center Hall, which allowed for more focused conversations and hands on experiences. Some made appointments, some dropped in. On display were DSCM2 Monstro, Gemini, and Helium bodies as well as showcasing native REDCODE RAW 8K playback in 8K on that lovely 70" Sharp display. Some of my footage was featured there and I think the best comments were geared towards the sentiment of "wow this is like a moving photograph". That feels good :)



    Gemini is the newest sensor from RED and to showcase the power of it's Dual Sensitivity modes they setup an ISO 800 and ISO 3200 comparison to showcase the 2 stop difference between standard and LL modes. With Gemini's 5K sensor with a bit taller aspect ratio that's a bit more ideal for 2X anamorphic filming it attracted a lot of attention from individuals and companies with it's rather well placed price point.

    **edit, here's what Cleigh at RED shot while in Vegas on the RED Epic-W 5K S35 Gemini:

    Last edited by Phil Holland; 04-13-2018 at 09:53 PM.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Other Cameras and Some Thoughts




    RED - Outside of what I mentioned above, I think the refreshing thing this year was anybody who has shot with Monstro and particular compared it to some of the other larger format offerings, it's been extremely well received. I'll have some more "stuff" on this front later.

    Arri - The Alexa LF made it's NAB debut and now every major camera manufacturer has at least a 4K solution at this point. Some additional Arri info for those who dip their toes in. The Amira will indeed get 2.8K Arriraw shortly, they are working out the kinks a bit and if it's going to be max fps of 30 or 48. I don't know if it will require an additional license, but that camera has certainly been getting the short end of the stick for a while. The Mini LF is about a year away if they can get it done. I would expect the camera to be about 2 inches longer either way, but the current Alexa LF is 17lbs naked and I imagine they'll quickly want something to compete with the smaller form factor of RED in particular.

    Canon - The C700 FF was on the show floor. Generally well received from what I could tell. It is indeed the same general tech from the previous C700 sensor with a smidge of improvements. Interestingly Canon was very keen on the conversation of 5.9K downsampled to 4K producing very good results even compared to the C700's at res 4K material. This is a concept RED shooters are rather familiar with, but it's neat to see the other manufacturers sort of following suit now.

    Sony - The Venice was on show and in particular the 6K full frame mode was enabled on cameras. Sounds like some new firmware is incoming.

    Panasonic - The EVA1 is the newest thing from Panasonic and most of what was discussed was their latest firmware for the camera. I also poked around to see what their 4K broadcast cameras were up to as there was a focus on that for sure this year.

    Panavision - Very much showcasing the DXL 2 which features RED's Monstro 8K VV sensor. They've tuned it to 16 stops and were displaying Light Iron Color in camera.

    Blackmagic Design - The Pocket 4K Cinema Camera was one of the very few new camera announcements at NAB. 4K MFT sensor, 60fps w/ Cinema DNG raw. About $1300. Some quick thoughts. Slightly larger than a Canon DSLR, which isn't bad. It's sort of where you'd think a fresh take on a mirrorless/DSLR w/ video camera would like for that general form factor. Nice big screen on the back, fairly comfy in the hands. Rather impressive menu system/OS. Aggressively priced. Still no OLPF in camera, which means if you are even considering it for professional work, you'll likely want to explore a 3rd party OLPF solution. Uses standard Canon LP-E6 batteries and you get about an hour of runtime per battery, likely less if using the mini XLR's Phantom Power.

    Kinefinity - They had the 4K Mavo on display, and no 6K around. Found out a bit about these and spent a bit of time with it. I'll save my less savory thoughts for off the air, but they are touting a fast sensor readout, which is fine. However, their monitor path lag is somewhere around 150ms (took me 4 times to get a straight answer on that, if that's even the correct ino) and it's pretty unnerving. They do have a dealer in Cali, but support and repair is all China. Again, aggressively priced, but not likely something I'd whip out on a professional shoot just yet.


    Side Note - VistaVision/Large Format/Full Frame/Whatchamacallit

    We are indeed in the face of everybody else now being part of the VistaVision-ish party now. Luckily there are lenses out there to support all of these new sensor sizes. The industry is indeed excited about it. Super 35mm is and likely will be the backbone of the industry for some years to come as long as camera manufacturers provide 4K capable sensors in that format size, which is much of the murming in shadow of Arri's LF announcement. On the RED front, they did this pretty well as even with Monstro and Dragon you have 5K-6K resolution, Helium 8K, and Gemini 5K in the Super 35mm format. And I've of course mentioned that whole film format/resolution relevance thing. Concepts like that are still very important especially if you want to shoot your project on say Leica Summilux-Cs or anything for that target.


    Lenses

    Much like the camera sideof things, not many new announcements, but:




    Zeiss - Showcasing CP.3's pretty nicely with the XD lens data. I was able to preview the upcoming plugins for Adobe and similar for various forms of lens correction. Cine Gear will be a much more interesting show for the big Z.

    Tokina - Had a prototype 105mm T1.5 Vista Prime, that's lovely to hear and a great focal length for VV shooters as it's about the same FOV of 65mm on S35. Release is this September. Lot's of chatter about what's next. Likely 125mm or 135mm and perhaps moving on to intermediate focal lengths.

    Sigma - 105mm f/1.4 was on display and I even slapped it on my camera for minute, very nice bokeh. The 105mm is a bigger lens than many of the Art series, but you have to expect that for glass that fast and long. Expect to see it coming to the Cine series down the line. Also on show was the 70mm f/2.8 macro, which is a rad lens. Clear marks showing your magnification ratio and all that. I'd love for them to also add this to their Cine line-up.

    Nisi - What was refreshing was a clear answer on a few questions regarding these primes. They are indeed a rebranding of the unreleased Bokkehlux lenses that I was able to look at about a year ago. They seem to have improved slightly as well. Also, they are also going to be the Kinefinity branded primes. Aggressively priced 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100mm T2 glass with an 18mm on the horizon. I do have rather strong thoughts about F3 logo font and design, though the name of the lenses makes sense in the face of the revisions.

    Atlas Lens Co. - They had a booth! And they had the 40, 65, and 100mm 2X anamorphics on cameras. Sounds like there's a heavy focus on a June 2018 shipment for the first sets and they have of course announced the 32, 50, and 80mm primes which should be shipping early 2019. These have come a long way since their announcement. I was pretty impressed how well the 40mm T2 held a face even in a CU.

    Cooke - Nothing new on the floor, but they did announce new S7 focal lengths of 16, 21, 27, and 65mm that they will be shipping in the next 12 months. The T stop on the 16 is unknown, but the rest should maintain the T2 flavor of the series.

    Leica - Nothing new I could spot, but they focused on their solutions for multiple format sizes. Interesting booth this year which was much more of a casual hang. Summilux-Cs are still my favorite glass they make, followed shortly by the Thalia primes.

    Angenieux - Had their EZ and big boy 12X zooms on the floor as well as their large anamorphic zoom. I don't typically use huge zooms too often, but they are incredibly useful for episodic and aerial work where it might be good to have a "one banger" lens. Pretty impressive as usual.

    Schnieder - No new lenses, but very cool new Net Filters. Here's some tests I shot ages ago.




    Zero Optik - Alex was showcasing his newest rather good rehousing of a Nikon 58mm T1.3 prime and it stole many people's hearts, minds, and wallets at the show. He's planning on producing more Nikon rehousings to PL with proper focus direction. The 58mm looked damn pretty and is a great lens. He's solved all the image shift related stuff and it looks and feels great.


    Lighting

    Lot's lights of course, not too much crazy new, but here's a few things that interested me:




    Litepanels - The Gemini still holds my attention as one of the most damn useful lights to own right now. They showcased their 2X and 4X array setups as well as DMX control within the booth. I did a presentation on the Gemini at the show and love them, especially the filter mode too. I would also stay tuned to Cine Gear regarding these.

    Fiilex - I was fortunate to test a prototype of their newly announced Q8 Travel Fresnel for some time before NAB. This is a neat kit with a unique extending fresnel lens w/ bi-color. Very nice quality of light and super bright. Nice to see more LED fresnel tech landing as that's still pretty much my favorite source.

    Hive - Great to see Hive building on the Wasp 100-C's success with the Hornet 200-C and Bee 50-C. Same RGB concept as the Wasp, but the 200-C is about 2.5X the output of the 100-C. The 50-c is a really compact lower output version. The best thing here is they've maintained their form factor, so you can use the same accessories on each light. Looking forward to where they go from here for sure. I'll likely pick up a 200-C to got with my 3X 100-C kit. Hot tip, they do have a AC Adapter bracket that I had no freaking clue existed, which can wrangle the brick nicely on set.


    Side Note - Modern Lighting Tech

    LED's have really matured and it's amazing where this tech is now. From tubes, to mats, to panels, fresnels, and every other type of mutation we've got a lot of great options to get super creative with. There's a great deal of variation in price and performance out there. And of course some absolute junk in terms of light quality. When you discover the good stuff though, these new LED based lights are pretty phenomenal.
    Last edited by Phil Holland; 04-13-2018 at 04:52 PM.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    PHFX | tools

    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  3. #3  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Odds and Ends

    Lot's of other stuff on the show floor, but I won't break it up into categories. Just some quick thoughts.




    8K was truly well represented at the show with Sharp's excellent screens. They even showcased a 16K multi-panel setup. Sony also captivated viewers with their stunning 36 foot Crystal LED (they showed pillar boxed 6K material from the Venice on it). I'm telling you right now, between Samsung, Sony, and LG (thus far) we might be seeing a very big change in theatrical technology. Projection based systems still have a lot of "wiggles" and these newer large scale LED displays are much more ideal for high resolution display and HDR IMO. Personally what's truly rewarding on a deep level is everybody at NAB "saw it" and that's the key thing here. The exhibition technology is key when showing proper 8K material and once you experience a decent quality setup, it's pretty clear why the industry is going towards this tech.

    SmallHD/Teradek - They have a host of new displays for NAB 2018 and their excellent Bolt integrations (works with Teradek), but that little 5" SmallHD Focus OLED is a hell of a display for the price with 1080 resolution. It's an extremely good screen and very affordable. Teradek has a new and more affordable line-up with the Bolts. Also, seeing the new Teradek RT integration with on screen focus scales is truly showing the benefits of consolidating, simplifying, and optimizing some of this tech. Having these all in one solutions on set reduces setup time a great deal and it's awesome to see where this is going. No eyes on the DSMC2 Bolt at the show, but I hear it's close. Perhaps Cine Gear. I'll start writing letters weekly :)

    Atomos - Their focus this year was the new Ninja V recorder/display which also supports the newly announced Apple ProRes Raw. This will be great for cameras that don't have "decent' solutions in camera for such things. Sounds like some new firmware is coming for the 19" which will be adding a host of new features.

    Wooden Camera - WC has come up with a really, really nice single rod follow focus called the Zip Focus. I literally ordered one after I got my hands on it to complement my PHFX Tools rodClaw. It's like a perfect marriage there. I'll pst some pictures shortly. 1 to 1 gear ratio, LW 15mm and Studio 15/19mm setups. Standard marking discs as well as hard stops if you want them. Very simple and elegant design.

    Bright Tangerine - BT has released their new compact matte box, the Clash. The key new feature here is that it supports 138mm rotating filters (like Polas) and can rotate them up to 120 degrees. There's marks on the ring too, so you can set your angle if you're one of those people who live on the Circular Polarizers. I don't think this replaces the Misfit Atom as it's a smidge larger, but it certainly adds some much wanted functionality into a tiny package.

    QuineBox IoT - Our very own Gunleik Groven's hard work was on show at NAB. The QuineBox is pretty interesting tool to handle metadata and proxies on set, which will be useful for larger productions in particular. Way too much to go into here, but it's a very deep system compatible with cameras from most manufacturers. I can see it being super useful in multi-camera setups for sure.




    Dana Dolly - Mike from DD whipped me up a special sled for a project that now exists as the Dana Dolly Lite, or as I like to call it, the H-Frame. This shaves a bit of weight off the dolly platform, adds handles, and has holes that are useful for rigging cables through (like with the eMotimo). Mike sounds like he might start actually producing the standard Dana Dolly with the handles as they seemed to go over pretty well at the show with Dana Dolly owners. Additionally, he's making some pretty nice custom plates to bolt on 3/8"-16 threads to the main platform for fluid heads or moco use. Those will be up at the store shortly.

    Shotover - I had a great deal of footage showing at the Shotover booth and was showing our recent 12K K1 Hammerhead shoot with Gotham Film Works, which I'll do a big separate post about. Outside of that vanity, Shotover has released the M1 and B1 6-axis platforms. The M1 is geared towards smaller cameras and news, but it can indeed hold DSMC2 bodies which makes it HIGHLY appealing for what I shoot from above (I typically use the F1). The key new feature with the M1 is that it removes the Auxiliary box from the equation and is pretty lightweight at 40lbs and fits in two cases. Hide my wallet my friends. The B1 is smaller rig for smaller cameras, which could be used on larger drones or ground based systems.

    X-Rite - I was sudo-joking when I saw the large Macbeth charts that X-Rite showed at Cine Gear last year, however, they are now actually going to produce them. It appears they'll have a nice rugged carrying case that can double as an A-Frame to put on the ground. A larger chart equals larger patches to inspect, which is nice for those who judiciously use charts on set. I can also see this being very useful for situations when you're filming fairly far from your subjects and actually having a chart you can see in frame.

    Adobe - You all know by now, but Adobe's NAB CC update *drumroll* added full support for RED IPP2. Beyond that there's a host of new features to check out like the new Essential Graphics Library. Adobe's ecosystem is pretty deep now and seeing some of the new integration with Audition and Premiere Pro projects is fantastic. The new comparison view and match color features in Premiere Pro CC are very welcomed as well.

    BMD - DaVince Resolve 15 is out, also as most of you know, lots of new features including integration with Fusion, which is pretty snazzy.

    Baselight - Filmlight had a few neat things at the show. BLG for Flame being one of them with a metadata based workflow. I enjoyed their graded Mindhunters demo a great deal. I'm going to start hounding Filmlight for Windows support at this point. At a minimum a Premiere Pro Plugin would be welcomed.

    Tiffen - I think personally the most interesting piece of camera movement technology I've seen in 2018 is the new M1 Volt, I've already written about it, so I won't spend a whole lot of time on it. But the combination of Steadicam + gyroscopes with extreme levels of control are rather alluring from a camera movement side of things.


    Martini

    NAB is changing a bit as most manufaturers are now adhering to their own announcement and release date schedules at this point, but the show itself still provides a great venue for people to get hands on experience with new technology. For me on a social level it was great to see so many DPs and industry friends, particularly at the RED party. I think at this point it's safe to say 4K "has landed" rather drastically at this point as I even spoke to a few people at major studios who are now making the switch properly due to ATSC 3.0 and probably honestly to compete with every other type of delivery service that supports 4K and HDR. Things are moving fast right now and will be moving even faster in the next year as we gear up to the technology focused year that 2020 will be, despite there being a fully autonomous bus at NAB this year moving people about. Lots of chatter about the incoming 5G technology and how broadband will have to adopt to that new wireless internet competitor. It might get rather interesting depending on how that all goes down. At the moment most have upgraded their lines for beyond 300Mb/s speeds in major cities and are just milking it out until there's no squeeze left in the udders.

    For those who had some nice things to say about the footage at the show, chatted about philmColor, or any of the PHFX Tools, I thank you much. With philmColor, the web tools, likely the DSMC Field Ops Guide, and the new rodClaw I'm proud to say PHFX Tools has been added to the RED Approved 3rd Party Accessories:
    http://www.red.com/third-party-accessories

    And with that, minus anything I forgot on the drive home I leave you with the traditional robot giraffe shot to close out the show.

    Last edited by Phil Holland; 04-13-2018 at 04:39 PM.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    Nice wrap-up Phil as always.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Zeb B's Avatar
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    Solid work Mate. Thx for the efforts!!
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Brian Pascale's Avatar
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    Great information, entertaining, and fantastic writing. Almost felt like I attended.
    Epic W
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  7. #7  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Cheers guys. Added those Schneider Net samples I shot a while back too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Pascale View Post
    Great information, entertaining, and fantastic writing. Almost felt like I attended.
    Are your feet sore too?! :)
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    phfx.com IMDB
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    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  8. #8  
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    Thanks Phil, very interesting!
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  9. #9  
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    Nice get on the tentative timeline for the Mini-LF...

    The Schneider Net filters seem like one of those things that already should've existed... Like it's crazy to think that people are still (inconsistently) netting lenses. What'd be hilarious is if people went from, 'I want BPM or HBM or Pearlescent' in <2017 and then in 2018> it's all 'Get me the Black/Grey Nets'... Everything old is new again, Hahah..
    Last edited by Mike P.; 04-14-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Jason Bodnar's Avatar
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    Great stuff Phil, could not make it this year but your rollup summary is great!!!
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