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CineGear Preview

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By Scott Lehane
CineGear Expo, held again this year on the Universal Studios backlot, has developed an enthusiastic following among members of the below-the-line community. The show, which originally started as an alternative to the late ShowBiz Expo, has a relaxed atmosphere and is seen as much as a networking event as a manufacturer-driven trade show.
For Marker Karahadian, president of Plus8digital, the Burbank-based rental house, the reasons to exhibit at CineGear Expo are clear.
“It comes back to relationships and a comfort factor,” said Karahadian. “It’s about the people that you’re going to build a relationship with and trust to do your next show. And that’s the grease that makes this town run. It comes down to being able to personally connect with someone, and you just can’t boil it down to a technology fair.”
Karahadian is looking forward to “a discussion of the merits of 4:4:4 recording,” the next step after the camcorder, he believes.
Plus8 will be showing a Sony HDCam SR package, including the SRW1 4:4:4 recorder (the same package the company rented to George Lucas for Star Wars: Episode III), as well as a Thomson Viper package that includes the new S.Two Digital DFR (digital field recorder)—a dual stream HD-SDI hard-drive storage system that can accommodate the data output of a Viper or the Sony HDCam SR. S.Two will also be exhibiting its DFR connected to a Viper in the Thomson booth.
Another key highlight of the show will be the Dalsa Origin camera. The Canadian company surprised everyone at NAB 2003 with a prototype of a 4K uncompressed digital camera that offers 12 stops of exposure latitude. With 8 million pixels and an equivalent film speed of ISO 400, the camera was an ambitious undertaking. Now the company has announced that it will make the Origin commercially available as of this November and is currently negotiating with distributors and rental houses. It has set a target rental price of $3,000 per day for the camera and data recorder.
The company has also entered into an agreement with SGI to develop a digital infrastructure that can keep up with Origin’s huge data output. SGI will address issues surrounding bandwidth, throughput, storage, and processing power needed to handle 4K data throughout postproduction, editing and compositing, color grading, animation and effects, distribution and archiving.
Brian Doody, president, DALSA Digital Imaging, explained that “SGI is one of the few companies with both the technology and the vision required to build a digital infrastructure that allows a 4K workflow.”
One of the first things to come out of this collaboration will be new data recorders in both field and studio configurations, based on the SGI Altix 350 64-bit Linux server.
DALSA spokesperson Geralyn Miller said, “we’re hoping to let people touch and feel the camera. People can come up and try it out, or take it for a spin. It’s about getting their hands on it and getting them to try it out.”
Indeed that informal, hands-on experience is also a big part of the appeal of a smaller trade show like CineGear.
At press time, Panavision was readying a major announcement in advance of CineGear. The most popular rumor was that a new digital camera—or a digital camera deal of some kind—was in the offing.
ARRI will be premiering two new film cameras at the show. The Arriflex 235 is a small, lightweight 35mm MOS camera designed for hand-held and remote applications where small size and low weight are crucial. It accepts the existing 435/35-3 60m/200-foot and 120m/400-foot magazines, plus there is a new 60m/200-foot magazine specifically designed for handheld use. Its viewfinder and video assist are independent of each other, which makes it easy to switch from hand-held to Steadicam operation. The 235 shoots at speeds ranging from 1 to 60 fps.
The company will also be showing its new Arriflex 435 Xtreme camera. Available for either 4 or 3 perf, the 435 Xtreme combines the features of the 435ES, 435 Advanced and the Functional Expansion Module 2 (FEM-2). The camera is designed for features, commercials, music videos, Steadicam, special effects or motion-control work. Its speed ranges from 0.1 to 150 fps and it offers a super bright, high-quality viewfinder, available for either spherical or anamorphic viewing.
It’s been a while since a new Super 16 camera hit the market, but Pro-8mm will be introducing a new camera from Swedish camera manufacturer Ikonoskop. “We’re talking about the ability to shoot Super 16mm in a camera package that’s the price of a video camera,” said Philip Vigeant, president of Pro 8mm. Called the A-Cam, the camera will sell for under $5,000, which includes the lens and the battery. At that price the company hopes to give the Aaton A-Minima a run for its money. It will also be available for rental from Pro-8mm.
The company will also introduce reloaded 8mm versions of the new Kodak Vision2 film stocks. “We cut from 35mm,” explained Vigeant. “We have a process where we can take anything made in 35mm and reload it into Super 8 cartridges. So you can test it out at Super 8 costs, rather than at 35mm costs. It’s hard to get your hands on the new ideas if you can only explore them with 35mm.”
Panasonic will be featuring its new AJ-HD1200A, an HD production VTR that offers a FireWire interface for users of Apple’s new Final Cut Pro HD. This marks the first implementation of IEEE 1394 FireWire with 100 Mbps DV-HD (Panasonic’s native HD video compression codec). Combined, the systems will allow users who shoot with Panasonic’s VariCam to edit in Final Cut Pro on a Mac. It opens up a range of possibilities of shooting and posting 720P material that would otherwise be very costly.
With the AJ-HD1200A DVCPRO HD VTR, 24fps or 60fps progressive scan material shot by Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera or 1080i studio footage can be transferred via the VTR’s IEEE 1394 interface directly into Final Cut Pro HD. All footage maintains its camera-original quality, because the IEEE 1394 FireWire interface transfers the native DV-HD high-definition files, as originally recorded on tape in the VTR or Varicam, directly to the Power Mac G4 or Power Mac G5 host computer’s internal hard drive. Final Cut Pro HD users can also automatically extract 3:2 pulldown from any 24fps HD VariCam footage, saving an additional 60 percent in disk storage space.
Lenses

Band Pro will be showing the new Carl Zeiss DigiZoom 6–24mm T1.9 lens—the company’s first precision zoom lens developed to enhance the potential of high-definition cinematography cameras. The new B4 mount lens makes use of many design innovations Carl Zeiss incorporated in the DigiPrime family. The Zeiss DigiZoom offers industry standard-pitch zoom, focus and iris gears and brightly-marked oversized windowed cine scales, readable from either side of the lens. Individually calibrated focus scales ensure pinpoint accuracy. This 4X zoom employs the Carl Zeiss back-focus mechanism for accurately maintained calibration across the focusing range.
Cooke Optics will be demonstrating its new Cooke S4/i motion picture lens information system. The electronic lens system provides cinematographers and camera operators with real-time information on lens setting, focusing distance, aperture and depth of field. The system is designed for use with any PL mount camera body and with LDS equipped cameras.
The company will be incorporating the “intelligent” information system in its new lenses. Debuting at CineGear 2004, the new 180mm T2.0 lens will be available only as a Cooke S4/i lens. It offers a close focus of 4’3”. Cooke will also be showing the new Cooke S4 HD Zoom Lens 8–46mm T1.7. The S4 HD Zoom offers clear, calibrated focus scales positioned relative to the focal plane with viewing windows, easily interchangeable footage and metric focus rings and two opposing focus, zoom and iris scales. A special cam mechanism for back focus adjustment ensures that optical and mechanical alignment remains true. ZGC Inc., exclusive distributors of Cooke Optics products in the U.S., will also be unveiling a new sunlight-viewable monitor from U.K.-based IMP Electronics, called the Hummingbird.
Les Zellan, president of ZGC explained, “Anyone who has tried to create quality images in bright sunlight will know how difficult it is to see fine detail on existing monitors.” The Hummingbird monitor gives users a wide viewing angle and a bright, sunlight-viewable image, without a hood.
“It has a really wide angle, so when you’re out in the field and you’re trying to view the monitor, more than one person at a time can actually see it,” explained ZGC marketing director Barbara Lowry. “And you don’t have sit on top of somebody in order to see it. You don’t have to stand directly in front of it. You can stand off to the side and still view it.”
16×9, Inc. will introduce an extension viewfinder designed for full-size camcorders such as the Sony DSR 570 and Panasonic SX 900. The new ZFinder connects to the camera’s standard viewfinder and interfaces with its integral leveling arm, similar to a 35mm cine camera set-up. The image is sharp, has low distortion, and a 4X magnification. The company will also have a new Zoe-DVL remote zoom control as well as a new version of the Zoe DVX, manufactured by Bebob Engineering in Germany.
Camera Support
Chapman Leonard Studio Equipment will unveil two new remote heads at the show: the Amphibian 3-Axis Remote Head and the Gyro Stabilized head. The 75 lb Amphibian Head is waterproof and can go from land use to underwater use without any additional housing for the head. The Gyro Stabilized Head is a compact 3-axis vibration-isolated, gyro-stabilized head for remote-controlled camera movement.
In addition, the company will be showing a new mobile crane arm base called The Raptor. The Raptor is a self-leveling, gas-powered mobile vehicle for carrying a variety of crane arms, including Lenny Arms and telescoping crane arms. It can carry a payload of up to 2,000 lbs.
Marc Roberts Motion Control will introduce its new Ulti-Head high-stability pan/tilt remote head for motion control. Designed for use in the studio or on location, Ulti-Head features carbon-fiber adjusting tubes, which allow for quick assembly and fast camera changes as well as minimizing the overall weight (23 kg). Ulti-Head can be mounted on a crane, tripod or Panther dolly and powered from a 24-volt battery. Control options include MRMC Gripsticks, handwheels or remote joysticks.
J.L. Fisher will be showing its Model 23 sectional jib arm, billed as stable, lightweight and ergonomic. It comes with color-coded, pre-tensioned cables that make it extremely rigid. It ranges from 9 feet up to 19 feet, and rotates 360 degrees.
The company also has a new portable AC power source for recharging lift beams when no AC power is available. The Dolly Driver allows users to recharge the lift beam up to 16 times (on the Model 11 dolly). It comes with a NiMH Smart Charger that protects nickel metal hydride batteries from damage due to overcharging.
OConnor Engineering, exhibiting with its parent company Sachtler Inc., will be showing its fluid heads for the film market—specifically the 2575C and the lightweight 2060. The 2575C supports between 70 and 100 lbs, with a tilt range of 90 degrees to 90 degrees. The 2060 offers all of the features of the 2575C but is designed specifically for video, Super 16 and lightweight 35mm cameras.
At press time it was unclear whether Gearhouse Broadcast would be showing the same All-Format High-Definition Fly-pack system it introduced at NAB, but the company reported that HD and 24P equipment were the focus for CineGear. The company’s HD fly-pack systems can be configured to operate in any of the HD formats and are available for use anywhere in the world.
The company’s fly-packs can be configured to meet the specific production requirements of music concerts, reality television, light entertainment or global sports events. Gearhouse Broadcast also offers smaller 4-to-6 24P camera systems for episodic television or drama.
Lighting and More
Kino Flo will be unveiling new accessories for its popular Kamio ring lights. “Instead of a ring mount just mounted onto the lens, we now have an articulated arm that allows you to mount it onto virtually any camera,” explained company president Frieder Hochheim. “And we now have some new options for stand-mounting it, so if somebody wants to put the ring light on a stand they can do that as well.”
The company also has a new version of its ParaBeam lighting system. The ParaBeam 200 offers the same precise control features found on the larger ParaBeam 400 and yields a highly focused soft beam that can be turned from a wide angle exposure to a narrow shaft of light.
Hochheim reported that CineGear is a difficult show for the company to exhibit at. “CineGear, unfortunately, is not a great show for lighting equipment because you’re outside.”
But Kino Flo isn’t the only lighting company that will be exhibiting. Fisher Light will be showing its new LitePanel family of daylight balanced lighting systems, which use LED technology to produce a soft and projected light.
For producers attending Cine Gear, representatives from Warner Bros. Studio Facilities will be on hand to talk about the wide range of services the company offers—everything from production support to postproduction services, with over 30 individual services designed for every type of production.By Scott Lehane
CineGear Expo, held again this year on the Universal Studios backlot, has developed an enthusiastic following among members of the below-the-line community. The show, which originally started as an alternative to the late ShowBiz Expo, has a relaxed atmosphere and is seen as much as a networking event as a manufacturer-driven trade show.
For Marker Karahadian, president of Plus8digital, the Burbank-based rental house, the reasons to exhibit at CineGear Expo are clear.
“It comes back to relationships and a comfort factor,” said Karahadian. “It’s about the people that you’re going to build a relationship with and trust to do your next show. And that’s the grease that makes this town run. It comes down to being able to personally connect with someone, and you just can’t boil it down to a technology fair.”
Karahadian is looking forward to “a discussion of the merits of 4:4:4 recording,” the next step after the camcorder, he believes.
Plus8 will be showing a Sony HDCam SR package, including the SRW1 4:4:4 recorder (the same package the company rented to George Lucas for Star Wars: Episode III), as well as a Thomson Viper package that includes the new S.Two Digital DFR (digital field recorder)—a dual stream HD-SDI hard-drive storage system that can accommodate the data output of a Viper or the Sony HDCam SR. S.Two will also be exhibiting its DFR connected to a Viper in the Thomson booth.
Another key highlight of the show will be the Dalsa Origin camera. The Canadian company surprised everyone at NAB 2003 with a prototype of a 4K uncompressed digital camera that offers 12 stops of exposure latitude. With 8 million pixels and an equivalent film speed of ISO 400, the camera was an ambitious undertaking. Now the company has announced that it will make the Origin commercially available as of this November and is currently negotiating with distributors and rental houses. It has set a target rental price of $3,000 per day for the camera and data recorder.
The company has also entered into an agreement with SGI to develop a digital infrastructure that can keep up with Origin’s huge data output. SGI will address issues surrounding bandwidth, throughput, storage, and processing power needed to handle 4K data throughout postproduction, editing and compositing, color grading, animation and effects, distribution and archiving.
Brian Doody, president, DALSA Digital Imaging, explained that “SGI is one of the few companies with both the technology and the vision required to build a digital infrastructure that allows a 4K workflow.”
One of the first things to come out of this collaboration will be new data recorders in both field and studio configurations, based on the SGI Altix 350 64-bit Linux server.
DALSA spokesperson Geralyn Miller said, “we’re hoping to let people touch and feel the camera. People can come up and try it out, or take it for a spin. It’s about getting their hands on it and getting them to try it out.”
Indeed that informal, hands-on experience is also a big part of the appeal of a smaller trade show like CineGear.
At press time, Panavision was readying a major announcement in advance of CineGear. The most popular rumor was that a new digital camera—or a digital camera deal of some kind—was in the offing.
ARRI will be premiering two new film cameras at the show. The Arriflex 235 is a small, lightweight 35mm MOS camera designed for hand-held and remote applications where small size and low weight are crucial. It accepts the existing 435/35-3 60m/200-foot and 120m/400-foot magazines, plus there is a new 60m/200-foot magazine specifically designed for handheld use. Its viewfinder and video assist are independent of each other, which makes it easy to switch from hand-held to Steadicam operation. The 235 shoots at speeds ranging from 1 to 60 fps.
The company will also be showing its new Arriflex 435 Xtreme camera. Available for either 4 or 3 perf, the 435 Xtreme combines the features of the 435ES, 435 Advanced and the Functional Expansion Module 2 (FEM-2). The camera is designed for features, commercials, music videos, Steadicam, special effects or motion-control work. Its speed ranges from 0.1 to 150 fps and it offers a super bright, high-quality viewfinder, available for either spherical or anamorphic viewing.
It’s been a while since a new Super 16 camera hit the market, but Pro-8mm will be introducing a new camera from Swedish camera manufacturer Ikonoskop. “We’re talking about the ability to shoot Super 16mm in a camera package that’s the price of a video camera,” said Philip Vigeant, president of Pro 8mm. Called the A-Cam, the camera will sell for under $5,000, which includes the lens and the battery. At that price the company hopes to give the Aaton A-Minima a run for its money. It will also be available for rental from Pro-8mm.
The company will also introduce reloaded 8mm versions of the new Kodak Vision2 film stocks. “We cut from 35mm,” explained Vigeant. “We have a process where we can take anything made in 35mm and reload it into Super 8 cartridges. So you can test it out at Super 8 costs, rather than at 35mm costs. It’s hard to get your hands on the new ideas if you can only explore them with 35mm.”
Panasonic will be featuring its new AJ-HD1200A, an HD production VTR that offers a FireWire interface for users of Apple’s new Final Cut Pro HD. This marks the first implementation of IEEE 1394 FireWire with 100 Mbps DV-HD (Panasonic’s native HD video compression codec). Combined, the systems will allow users who shoot with Panasonic’s VariCam to edit in Final Cut Pro on a Mac. It opens up a range of possibilities of shooting and posting 720P material that would otherwise be very costly.
With the AJ-HD1200A DVCPRO HD VTR, 24fps or 60fps progressive scan material shot by Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera or 1080i studio footage can be transferred via the VTR’s IEEE 1394 interface directly into Final Cut Pro HD. All footage maintains its camera-original quality, because the IEEE 1394 FireWire interface transfers the native DV-HD high-definition files, as originally recorded on tape in the VTR or Varicam, directly to the Power Mac G4 or Power Mac G5 host computer’s internal hard drive. Final Cut Pro HD users can also automatically extract 3:2 pulldown from any 24fps HD VariCam footage, saving an additional 60 percent in disk storage space.
Lenses
Band Pro will be showing the new Carl Zeiss DigiZoom 6–24mm T1.9 lens—the company’s first precision zoom lens developed to enhance the potential of high-definition cinematography cameras. The new B4 mount lens makes use of many design innovations Carl Zeiss incorporated in the DigiPrime family. The Zeiss DigiZoom offers industry standard-pitch zoom, focus and iris gears and brightly-marked oversized windowed cine scales, readable from either side of the lens. Individually calibrated focus scales ensure pinpoint accuracy. This 4X zoom employs the Carl Zeiss back-focus mechanism for accurately maintained calibration across the focusing range.
Cooke Optics will be demonstrating its new Cooke S4/i motion picture lens information system. The electronic lens system provides cinematographers and camera operators with real-time information on lens setting, focusing distance, aperture and depth of field. The system is designed for use with any PL mount camera body and with LDS equipped cameras.
The company will be incorporating the “intelligent” information system in its new lenses. Debuting at CineGear 2004, the new 180mm T2.0 lens will be available only as a Cooke S4/i lens. It offers a close focus of 4’3”. Cooke will also be showing the new Cooke S4 HD Zoom Lens 8–46mm T1.7. The S4 HD Zoom offers clear, calibrated focus scales positioned relative to the focal plane with viewing windows, easily interchangeable footage and metric focus rings and two opposing focus, zoom and iris scales. A special cam mechanism for back focus adjustment ensures that optical and mechanical alignment remains true. ZGC Inc., exclusive distributors of Cooke Optics products in the U.S., will also be unveiling a new sunlight-viewable monitor from U.K.-based IMP Electronics, called the Hummingbird.
Les Zellan, president of ZGC explained, “Anyone who has tried to create quality images in bright sunlight will know how difficult it is to see fine detail on existing monitors.” The Hummingbird monitor gives users a wide viewing angle and a bright, sunlight-viewable image, without a hood.
“It has a really wide angle, so when you’re out in the field and you’re trying to view the monitor, more than one person at a time can actually see it,” explained ZGC marketing director Barbara Lowry. “And you don’t have sit on top of somebody in order to see it. You don’t have to stand directly in front of it. You can stand off to the side and still view it.”
16×9, Inc. will introduce an extension viewfinder designed for full-size camcorders such as the Sony DSR 570 and Panasonic SX 900. The new ZFinder connects to the camera’s standard viewfinder and interfaces with its integral leveling arm, similar to a 35mm cine camera set-up. The image is sharp, has low distortion, and a 4X magnification. The company will also have a new Zoe-DVL remote zoom control as well as a new version of the Zoe DVX, manufactured by Bebob Engineering in Germany.
Camera Support
Chapman Leonard Studio Equipment will unveil two new remote heads at the show: the Amphibian 3-Axis Remote Head and the Gyro Stabilized head. The 75 lb Amphibian Head is waterproof and can go from land use to underwater use without any additional housing for the head. The Gyro Stabilized Head is a compact 3-axis vibration-isolated, gyro-stabilized head for remote-controlled camera movement.
In addition, the company will be showing a new mobile crane arm base called The Raptor. The Raptor is a self-leveling, gas-powered mobile vehicle for carrying a variety of crane arms, including Lenny Arms and telescoping crane arms. It can carry a payload of up to 2,000 lbs.
Marc Roberts Motion Control will introduce its new Ulti-Head high-stability pan/tilt remote head for motion control. Designed for use in the studio or on location, Ulti-Head features carbon-fiber adjusting tubes, which allow for quick assembly and fast camera changes as well as minimizing the overall weight (23 kg). Ulti-Head can be mounted on a crane, tripod or Panther dolly and powered from a 24-volt battery. Control options include MRMC Gripsticks, handwheels or remote joysticks.
J.L. Fisher will be showing its Model 23 sectional jib arm, billed as stable, lightweight and ergonomic. It comes with color-coded, pre-tensioned cables that make it extremely rigid. It ranges from 9 feet up to 19 feet, and rotates 360 degrees.
The company also has a new portable AC power source for recharging lift beams when no AC power is available. The Dolly Driver allows users to recharge the lift beam up to 16 times (on the Model 11 dolly). It comes with a NiMH Smart Charger that protects nickel metal hydride batteries from damage due to overcharging.
OConnor Engineering, exhibiting with its parent company Sachtler Inc., will be showing its fluid heads for the film market—specifically the 2575C and the lightweight 2060. The 2575C supports between 70 and 100 lbs, with a tilt range of 90 degrees to 90 degrees. The 2060 offers all of the features of the 2575C but is designed specifically for video, Super 16 and lightweight 35mm cameras.
At press time it was unclear whether Gearhouse Broadcast would be showing the same All-Format High-Definition Fly-pack system it introduced at NAB, but the company reported that HD and 24P equipment were the focus for CineGear. The company’s HD fly-pack systems can be configured to operate in any of the HD formats and are available for use anywhere in the world.
The company’s fly-packs can be configured to meet the specific production requirements of music concerts, reality television, light entertainment or global sports events. Gearhouse Broadcast also offers smaller 4-to-6 24P camera systems for episodic television or drama.
Lighting and More
Kino Flo will be unveiling new accessories for its popular Kamio ring lights. “Instead of a ring mount just mounted onto the lens, we now have an articulated arm that allows you to mount it onto virtually any camera,” explained company president Frieder Hochheim. “And we now have some new options for stand-mounting it, so if somebody wants to put the ring light on a stand they can do that as well.”
The company also has a new version of its ParaBeam lighting system. The ParaBeam 200 offers the same precise control features found on the larger ParaBeam 400 and yields a highly focused soft beam that can be turned from a wide angle exposure to a narrow shaft of light.
Hochheim reported that CineGear is a difficult show for the company to exhibit at. “CineGear, unfortunately, is not a great show for lighting equipment because you’re outside.”
But Kino Flo isn’t the only lighting company that will be exhibiting. Fisher Light will be showing its new LitePanel family of daylight balanced lighting systems, which use LED technology to produce a soft and projected light.
For producers attending Cine Gear, representatives from Warner Bros. Studio Facilities will be on hand to talk about the wide range of services the company offers—everything from production support to postproduction services, with over 30 individual services designed for every type of production.

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