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NAB 06

Mar 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Trevor Boyer, Barry Braverman, Dan Ochiva, Jan Ozer, Jem Schofield, and Jeff Sauer

Tire kicking time


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Introduction
Cameras and lenses
Camera support
Editing
Displays and projection
HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs

The Glidecam V-25 is a body-mounted camera stabilization system. The system’s vest features no-tools adjustments and tilt adjust for arm angle position. The arm’s titanium springs can carry a load of about 40lbs., allowing 25lbs. for a camera and 15lbs. for the sled, LCD setup, and battery.

Camera support

We're already there in our minds

People are already planning their trips to NAB 2006 and the show is still more than two months away as I write this. In fact, people have been talking about the show since the beginning of the year. Along with the new decks, disk-based recorders, and postproduction-based software that will be announced at the show, expect to see a raft of new camera support equipment. Camera support meaning both supporting the camera (literally), and supporting your production (lighting, audio, etc.).

While every year it seems that HD is here (and it is), we're going to take a look at a few things that are coming down the pike (or that have just been released) that you can get your greasy paws on at the show. While there has been a lot of focus in the last couple of years on small format camera support, most of the following products are all-around performers. These are not always the cheapest solutions, but they are definitely solutions that can work in many different situations with different camera kits and setups.

Glidecam

Glidecam Industries has recently announced the Glidecam V-25. As a user of the Glidecam Smooth Shooter, I'm always excited to see new products from this innovative company. This one looks like a winner, and I know as a company Glidecam doesn't rush to release products until it's ready.

The Glidecam V-25 is a new top-of-the-line, body-mounted professional camera stabilization system designed for cameras up to 25lbs. The vest has complete no-tools adjustments, with tilt adjust for arm angle position. The bridge plate can move up and down and switch for leftor right-handed operators. The arm is dual action, with six titanium springs that will hold a total load of approximately 40lbs. This allows 25lbs. for the camera and 15lbs. for the sled, battery, and LCD setup. The arm includes a 5in. and 10in. arm post. The arm post rotates within two bearings for smooth operation. The sled features drop in dovetail head design, no tools adjustment for front to back and side-to-side movement. The gimbal is ultra smooth with a no-tools locking clamp.

The Glidecam V-25 sled includes the new Glidecam L7-Pro LCD. The telescoping base has three battery plates and can be set up for PAG, V-Lock, and Anton Bauer. (PAG and V-Lock are special orders only.) Two of the battery plates tilt on the back of the sled and one is behind the L7-Pro LCD. The sled is HD ready, with three dedicated video lines to allow for RGB video feed. There are also two 12V power outs on the head and base.

Litepanels’ new LP-1x1 LED lighting system is heat free and silent. A control knob on the back of the unit allows instant dimming from 0 to 100 percent with no color shift.

Litepanels

These guys have definitely had a big effect on the industry. The Litepanels Mini system is used both on and off camera and the company is constantly working to provide new heat-free LED lighting solutions. This year we get to work with the LP-1x1, which has been in the works for quite some time.

The new LP-1x1 lighting system is available in three models: 5600°K flood, 5600°K spot, and 3200°K flood. It combines Litepanels' hallmark ultra-efficient LED technology with a sophisticated slim design. An integrated control knob on the back of the unit allows instant dimming from 0 to 100 percent with no shift in color. Silent and heat-free, the lighting system can be positioned comfortably close to a subject's face.

The LP-1x1 is powered via an external 90-260VAC switching adapter, which provides 18VDC to the unit. Equipped with an optional XLR connector power cable, the LP-1x1 can also run off a variety of 9-30VDC sources, including a standard camera battery or car battery. For additional lighting control, a set of six interchangeable slide-in correction and diffusion gel filters is available for both 5600°K and 3200°K models

The Indie-Dolly from Indie-Dolly Systems can be used for everything from tabletop camera setups to operator-on-board tracking shots. The aircraft-grade aluminum track comes in straight and curved configurations.

Indie-Dolly Systems

The original Indie-Dolly was a great product. It was a professional dolly system costing not much more than the glorified skateboard dollies sold online. It allowed smaller production companies and independents to have a high-quality dolly without breaking the bank.

Now, the Indie-Dolly from Indie-Dolly Systems provides a solution that can cover tabletop setups up to full size, operator-on-board tracking shots. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, the track sports heavy anodizing to keep it from becoming nicked up. Each track-section unfolds within seconds and can easily be leveled or raised to make it suitable for any terrain by shimming or supporting the crossbars.

The Indie-Dolly comes in straight track and curved track configurations and includes two seat supports for quick setup changes, a seat, and a foldable pushbar. The nice part? No tools needed for setup!

Zaxcom

While it's a small company you may have not heard about, Zaxcom continues to design and manufacture innovative professional audio equipment for the television and film industries. It looks like this will be an interesting NAB for the company. I'll be at the Zaxcom booth to find out more about the just announced TRX900 and TRX990 digital wireless microphone transceivers.

According to the company, these are the industry's first wireless mics to provide integrated audio recording, IFB receivers, and timecode transmission. These patent-pending features allows you to record up to six hours of audio directly to a Flash memory card and then transfer the WAV files to either a PC or Mac for postproduction.

Key features of the TRX900 and TRX990 include: integrated audio recording (eliminates the need for transmission between a microphone and external recording device); time code transmission (eliminates the bulk and weight of having two separate receivers and a sync box for timecode and video sync); and RF remote control (you can change the parameters of a microphone—such as mic gain, high-pass filter, or the selected channel—from up to 200ft. away).

Also on the list

So there's a peek into some of the camera support and audio gear that I'll be checking out on the show floor. Also on my list: Focus Enhancements' FireStore FS-100 and Specialized Communications' CinePorter CP-2 HDD recorder. Both of these portable recording devices will be interesting options for the Panasonic AG-HVX200 HD camera now shipping.
— JEM SCHOFIELD

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