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Something New And Exciting To The Cinematographer's Arsenal

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One workflow: George Jarrett looks forward to the British Society of Cinematographers' fast-expanding Expo, which offers many of the 'best of show' launches seen at IBC and Camerimage.

The BSC Expo (Battersea Evolution on February 3 and 4) has become an early year gem of an event for craft skill and operational people from film and television production. Photon Beard MD Peter Daffarn is a big fan of this event, and he said: "It has become a great show: it is always attended by good quality visitors, and at only two days long it is perfect for a quick set up, show and head home. The new location is perfect for easy access for both exhibitors and visitors."

One big theme will be content creation with 8K capable cameras, courtesy of RED Digital Cinema with the RED EPIC-W and WEAPON – both featuring the new HELIUM 8K S35 sensor which gives users higher resolution – and Panavision's Millennium DXL 8K Camera, for which RED supplied the sensor.

A massively wide and interesting supporting cast will come in the areas of filters, anamorphic shooting, lightweight zoom lenses, workflow initiatives, LED lightings, sound recording, battery technology, camera support products, and specialty services like underwater shooting and cabling. One of the great plusses of attending will be the 65mm focus offered by Kodak.

To get a good flavour of an event that offers something very different to IBC and the BVE show, we spoke to a good tranche of the exhibitors, including one of several dealers due to represent several manufacturers.

Bringing character to sterile digital images

Aaton Digital and Transvideo will share stand 300: and both have new high technology products to showcase.
Aaton Digital will concentrate its show efforts on the CantarX3, a highly specified, highly acclaimed portable 24-track location sound recorder. The accessories to check out include the Cantarem2 additional fader panel.
Transvideo's new generation Stargate 7-inch monitor-recorder offers users 1920x1080 full HD display. It is also 4K-6G compatible. The key feature is the inbuilt recording capability (H264 to SD cards); this can be triggered from the camera SDI output on compatible cameras. The other thing to look at is the fast path processing with immediate display capabilities with no latency, and there are a wide range of built in cinematographer-friendly tools including focus helper, peaking, markers, zoom, LUTs, waveform, vectorscope, and job-oriented views.

The new StarliteRF 5-inch wireless monitor-recorder is already popular with directors, DOPs, and focus pullers: expect a full system including TitanHD2 Rx receiver, the StarliteRF 5-inch wireless monitor-recorder, and TitanHD2 Tx transmitter.

A.C. Entertainment Technologies represents 200 leading brands. Its specialist Film & TV division will focus on Chroma-Q, Fiilex, Mole Richardson, Manfrotto, Quasar Science and DMG Lumière products, plus its own bespoke cable manufacturing business.

Chroma-Q's Space Force won the 'best lighting product' award at Cine Gear Expo. It is an energy efficient variable white LED space light/soft light source, weighing only 8kg. It has passive cooling and outputs up to 26,700 lumens of white light with variable control from 2,800K to 6,500K. Users get flicker-free operation and theatrical grade dimming and wireless DMX/RDM options.

Fiilex is all about compact and portable LED lighting. Its Q1000 is tuneable between 2,800K and 6,500K, and offers full dimming from 100% to 0% and Green/Magenta control. DMG Lumière produces lightweight, versatile and highly portable DMG soft source LED lights. Quasar Science's Q Line LED Tubes are bi-colour LED tubes designed as a straight drop-in replacement for industry standard Kino Flo fluorescent tubes.

Another show attraction will be the Tourflex Cabling Brand. The company's UK sales/purchasing director Jonathan Walter said: "Last year we made over 100,000 bespoke assemblies, using half a million metres of cable, for the professional entertainment industry. This included power, signal and multi-core for lighting, video and audio. We thought it was time for a new look and approach and so launched Tourflex Cabling."

ARRI will be demonstrating a number of its latest products and technologies for the first time in the UK. The flagship TRINITY rig from ARRI's new camera stabilizer systems division will be in action, as will the new SkyPanel S120-C LED soft light, which is twice as long as the popular S60, but weighs nearly the same. Another first for the UK are the new ARRI Master Grips, offering user plusses in handheld control and comfort. Also on display expect to see ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini and AMIRA cameras, alongside a big array of ARRI cine lenses and accessories.

Canon (stand 514) will be taking a number of its latest products to the BSC show, including the new flagship 4K Cinema EOS C700, the EOS C300 Mark II and ME200S-SH cameras, as well as a range of cine lenses and its reference display monitors. Visitors will get hands-on opportunities with the EOS C700 to experience how its modular design and accompanying bespoke add-ons make it a perfect camera system for any workflow. The EOS C700 was launched with a number of peripherals: these include a full HD viewfinder and remote operational unit, as well as a shoulder support and grip unit. With these and its Super 35mm CMOS sensor, triple DIGIC DV5 processor, ISO of up to 102,400, and built-in 10 stop ND filters, the C700 looks to be suited for use by filmmakers, DOPs, or high-end broadcast production teams.

The EOS C300 Mark II is an update to the popular EOS C300, and is being widely deployed to capture both HD and 4K productions. It was recently used alongside the EOS C700 in a promo shoot for Hackett and Aston Martin. The new ME200S-SH is a compact and lightweight video camera that delivers full HD footage at up to 50P/59.94P using a Super 35mm sensor.

Codex will be demonstrating the exciting new features of Codex Production Suite 4.1, an all-in-one software package for colour grading, review, metadata management, transcoding, QC and the archiving of media generated by the latest digital cinematography cameras. From ingest to post production, this system provides 'one workflow' for multiple cameras, including the new Canon EOS Cinema C700, the Panasonic VariCam Pure and the ARRI ALEXA SXT. It gives the user a single, simple, secure and affordable 4K workflow.

Production Suite 4.1 starts shipping this month, so its value to feature and TV productions is best valued by the key features. They start with the fact that the vault platform to storage to erase function can be used on SXT ProRes capture drives. The new firmware for USB-3 Dock is compatible with OS X 10.10, 10.11.5+, and 10.12. Look too for the new VFS presets for ProRes 2K, ProRes 4K, and DNxHD, and the checking of CRCs in the latest ARRIRAW/MXF open gate files with audio (SUP 4.1 and above). Looking further into the new release, there is improved layout to the preferences screen for license requests; copy/paste shortcuts now work for hardware keys on the preferences screen; and a license backup file is now used if the main license file is not evident.

Cooke Optics will use booth 604 to demonstrate its impressive anamorphic options, specifically the Anamorphic/i and Anamorphic/i SF lenses that give cinematographers more choice in the looks they can achieve. The Anamorphic/i lenses offer a classic anamorphic look, while the Anamorphic/i SF 'Special Flair' range features a coating that kicks up the flares, bokeh and other aberrations to provide another level of anamorphic character.

Cooke chairman and owner Les Zellen joined Peter Daffarn in lauding the show. He said: "As the first major show of the year, BSC Expo is a must-attend event to share our latest lens developments with esteemed users and friends. The trend for anamorphic shooting continues as a way to bring character to sterile digital images. The Anamorphic/i SF range complements the classic Anamorphic/i set, bringing something new and exciting to the cinematographer's arsenal."

The Cooke team will also bring a variety of 5/i, S4/i and miniS4/i lenses to the show. Recent TV projects shot with Cooke lenses include the award-winning Fleabag (Anamorphic/i), Poldark (5/i), Westworld (S4/i) and Midsomer Murders (miniS4/i), while feature films include The Odyssey (Anamorphic/i), Pete's Dragon (Anamorphic/i), Café Society (S4/i) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (S4/i).

Kodak will make the case for keeping film alive, and will support the film-friendly network of collaborative companies supporting 8mm to 65mm production, post and preservation in the UK. Celebrating the worldwide renaissance in analogue filmmaking, staff from Kodak, Kodak Film Lab London (formerly i-Dailies), Cinelab London, stock supplier Frame 24, workflow specialist Digital Orchard and the Cinema Printing Company will be on hand to discuss all aspects of the film workflow – from shooting, processing, transfer, scanning printing and to secure, long-term archiving. Kodak will also host a seminar on 65mm workflow.

Lee Filters will attract plenty of interest with its new ProGlass Cine IRND filters. These have been designed to meet the exacting needs of all cinematographers – whether shooting digitally or on film. The precise neutrality ensures that all colours remain accurate and true, saving time in the grade and enabling cinematographers and directors to focus on their creative goals. Manufactured from 4mm thick, optically flat, scratch resistant glass and edged with a metal rim, the ProGlass Cine filters not only prevent focus shift, they are also durable and long lasting. They come in the two sizes 4 x 5.65-inch and 6.6 x 6.6-inch, and offer seven densities ranging from 0.3ND (1 stop) up to 2.1ND (7 stops).

Miller Fluid Heads (Europe) Ltd, a big player in the production and innovation of camera support solutions, will showcase its latest cinematography offerings, including the Cineline 2090 tripod system as well as the arrowx series of fluid heads. Find these on stand 400. Looking forward to the show, European manager Mike Lippman said: "Industry professionals will get the opportunity to experience the state-of-the-art CB PLUS technology that is built into each arrowx fluid head. CB Plus elevates your standard counterbalance system by giving users the ability to create an accurate set-up every time."

Panasonic will take its complete VariCam line-up to the BSC expo. Expect to see the flagship VariCam 35, the compact VariCam LT, and the VariCam Pure, which provides 4K uncompressed RAW at up to 120fps. All three of these shooting options will be configured to match a variety of production scenarios. Those configurations will demonstrate the VariCam's capabilities across documentary, drama and feature shooting. The key features start with the good low light performance thanks to the unique dual native ISO functionality and strong colour reproduction that combine together to create the distinctive VariCam 'look' respected by content creatives worldwide.

A larger sweet spot

Panavision: BSC visitors will want to talk about the hugely alluring Millennium DXL 8K Camera and Panavision's T series anamorphic lenses. The camera required a great collaboration job involving large-format optics and modular accessories from Panavision itself, an 8K sensor supplied by RED Digital Cinema, and some new colour science and optimised workflow created by Light Iron. The Panavision T Series anamorphic lenses come in the present focal lengths of 35mm, 60mm, 100mm, 135mm, 150mm, and soon to follow are the 50mm, 75mm, and 180mm. The lenses combine new optical layouts with mechanical advances from the widely used G Series, but have a larger sweet spot and focus closer than some of their predecessors. They have also been tuned to be compatible with digital sensors without losing any of the imaging characteristics.

Panalux, in the business of lighting rental equipment for film, TV, and media production, will focus on LED lighting technology. Expect to see the lightweight, battery-powered Panalux LED Flex Light and a new soft box accessory. The bi-colour, super-slim light is both bendable and portable. The quick-assemble, large-format soft box gives users an even soft light that makes this low-consumption light more versatile. The Panalux Tektile2 slim line LED panels and Panalux NessLED Kit might be other talking points.

Photon Beard will be pushing the new range of remote phosphor LED lighting launched at IBC. Visitors should look for the Highlight LED 90, 180, 270 & 360W fixtures, and the PB80 LED Redhead. This is a mains or battery powered 3200K or 5600K Redhead. The lineup will also feature the Platinum Blonde 1200W HMI. Photon Beard's four new LED lights use a beam angle of 60 degrees, and work on the basis of 'for a lot less power you are getting light where you need it'. Expect a lot of dialogue about the crucial differences between measuring Lumens and Lux.

LED lighting manufacturer Rotolight will look to wow content creation crews with its Anova PRO. A combo of impressive colour rendering and soft light output, it boasts five patented features designed to save time and budget. The five wonders start with CineSFX, which provides an arsenal of customisable cinematic lighting effects. FX Slave enables CineSFX effects to be slaved to up to 512 third party light sources in real time with zero latency. True aperture dimming calculates and displays F-stop for a subject at a given distance. Designer Fade provides custom fade up/down production effects. And, High Speed Sync Flash (HSS) provides a powerful HSS flash with zero recycle time at 150% of the maximum continuous light output for traditional photographic workflows.

Sony will take a number of cameras to the show but one of its biggest attractions will be the FS7 II camcorder, which launches this month. Effectively an addition to an S35 family its feature set includes electronic variable ND technology, and a lever lock type E-mount. It is targeted at indie and documentary filmmakers and they will like the recording in BT2020 colour space for UHDTV broadcast productions.

The FS7 II supports the XQD memory card format, and the newest XQD card from Sony is the QD-G256E with a capacity of 256 GB. This translates to approximately 45 minutes at 4K 60P and 3.5 hours at 2K 30P.
The electronic variable ND Filter system, combined with the S35 sensor, delivers greater exposure control, with the option of preset or variable operation modes. ND operations enable the cameraman to opt for fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field. This prevents soft focus caused by diffraction, and prevents colour shift caused by stacking multiple external ND filters. The new E-mount allows users to change lenses by rotating the locking collar rather than the lens itself, which means that in most cases lens support rigs don't need to be removed, saving time during a shoot.

The 18-110mm Sony G lens for S35 work – the E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS, also covers APS-C sensors. It has an 18 to 110 focal range (6x zoom). The PMW-F55, with its S35 4K CMOS sensor, is an established favourite.

Tiffen International will use BSC stand 602 to launch its new generation NAT neutral density optical filters. The NAT standing for NATural, these new glass filters memorialize the groundbreaking achievements made by company founder Nat Tiffen. Users get game changing improvements on neutral density filtration, with perfect neutrality across the visual and IR spectrum resulting in natural skin tones and outstanding colour fidelity. The filters are manufactured in the USA, utilising the patented Tiffen Color Core process. They represent a new generation of ND and IRND filtration, and look sure to cause a buzz at the show.

Steadicam remains the stabilised camera platform of choice for the movie industry and far further into content creation: the top of the range Steadicam M1 will be one demo to see. The third Tiffen front will be the Lowel lighting range, along with the renowned Fawcett Exovest.

Vitec is a wide group of specialty companies, and for BSC expo it will concentrate on three product areas. To help cinematographers move faster yet maintain control, OConnor's 2560 fluid head offers versatility for both lightweight and heavy rigs. It is 30% lighter than the 2575, more robust than the 1030D, and can handle payloads up to 66 pounds. Delivering 12 amps of continuous power, Anton/Bauer's CINE battery is a compact mobile power solution that gives the user a PowerTap and an easy-to-read LCD screen. This conveniently reports run time in hours and minutes when attached to a device, and in percentage when not attached.

The Litepanels Astra Soft Bi-Color is a soft light alternative that mimics the soft box effect in a compact, portable design, illuminating a large area effectively with a wider throw than most exterior lights. Also from Litepanels, the Lykos Bi-Color Flight Kit is an all-in-one solution perfect for on-the-go cinematographers. It includes 3 Lykos Bi-Color panels, global AC adapters, diffusion gels, 3 Nano stands, and a soft box.

Zeiss: one of the big attractions will be the lightweight zoom LW 23.3, which was designed as a solution for S35. Covering this sensor format aligns it with multiple vendor cameras, and the inter-changeable mounts give users further values of versatility. The 22.9 iris ramps differently to rival products (via a linear ramp), and it can be used as a variable prime. Whilst it is said to be sharper than rival lightweights, it has the smaller mid circle associated with the targeting of S35 sensors.

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 34.

Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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