If you’ve seen my reviews, you know I like to use filmmaking gear before determining whether it’s worth the hype. Unfortunately, gear shows are all about first impressions, so at Cine Gear this year I was even more careful to notice exactly what I’m looking for: products that far exceed the norm and technologically solve major problems, in a neat little package.
Below you will find a list of items I found on first impression to be both exciting and impressive.
Atomos Ninja Star
The Atomos Ninja Star is a ProRes 422 10 bit external recorder that uses first generation CFast cards (Atomos will be selling shortly at $239 for 128GB). SanDisk makes CFast 2.0 cards but they are super expensive at this point.
The size of the device, build, features and price point are spot on for filmmakers looking for an economical recording solution, and who don’t need a built-in monitor (because they already own a purpose-built one). I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these little beauties and edit natively in ProRes. The Atomos Ninja Star is available soon via B&H Photo - $295.
The prototype of Atomos’ 4K Shogun monitor/recorder was also on display (gorgeous). Firmware features will be announced closer to shipping date in the Fall, but at $1995, expect this 7” 1920x1080 monitor and 422 10 bit recorder to kick some serious ass.
Zacuto Gratical HD OLED EVF
I have never seen an EVF with a better image or diopter control than the 1280x720 OLD EVF created by Zacuto. With its ability to receive a 4K signal, add and build custom LUTs, its dual core processor (zero image lag), this baby is a fully featured EVF with deep blacks and very realistic looking colour.
Wooden Camera Monitor & EVF Mounts
I’m a BIG fan of Wooden Camera products, both for their design ingenuity and their solid, lightweight construction. Wooden Camera has released some updates to their UVF mounts, for multiple cameras and configurations. I was especially taken with their small, rod based mounts for holding monitors and as an EVF eyepiece holder. I’ve seen monitor mounts before, but the Wooden Camera design, just seems smart.
Wanna do fancy stuff? Like wirelessly output your DSLR camera feed to an iPad? Or monitor footage from an aerial device to your Android device? That’s where the Teradek Clip comes in. For $599, Teradek has made a wireless monitoring solution for the masses, in an incredibly small size. Now if only that wireless signal was reliable…
I will be absolutely surprised if Sony’s A7s isn’t the next BIG camera. The A7s could be the HDSLR killer, in that it offers the full frame features, but in a smaller than DSLR, sexy, mirrorless, compact package.
At $2499, the A7s offers 2K internal video recording on a 4K sensor and has the capability to output an uncompressed 4K image via HDMI (Atomos Shogun is designed to assist with this). The autofocusing capability in this camera is insanely fast and percise, it’s build is refreshingly tank-like, and the native sensor’s ISO is said to be around 1600, because the low light capabilities are that good. I’ve held the A7s, I want one.
Flanders Scientific Monitors
If you’ve seen the picture of a Flanders Scientific reference monitor in person you know just how incredible these monitors are, if you haven’t: oh my lord you NEED to see these monitors! Going head to head with Sony’s professional line of 10 and 12 bit monitors, Flanders smokes Sony in both price and feature-set.
Flanders introduced the new BM090 9” monitor ($2995):
- 1920x1080 8 bit (12 bit processing) monitor packing a plethora of features from their bigger monitors
- featuring 3G/Dual-Link/HD/SD-SDI and DVI-I Inputs
- Support for 4:4:4 RGB, 4:4:4 YCbCr, and 4:4:4 XYZ signals
If I had the cash right now I would buy both their 24.5” CM250 10 bit OLED monitor for post production work (or for bringing on set for colour critical monitoring/post) and the 9” as my main camera’s monitor. More people should be using their monitors, the image is percise.
When you spend enough time on a set shooting video, you realize a rolling cart is an invaluable device. What if there was a cart out there that was so small it could be checked in a bag as baggage at the airport, and break down fast and easily? There is, it’s called the Scout (from $2595). I travel a lot and like portable options, for me the Scout is it.
Echo (from $3195): for Digital Techinicians (DITs) there are three flavours of the Echo cart, each with a built-in drawer.
Ranger (from $2695): for Assistant Camera person (AC), sound or utility crew, the Ranger offers the sturdy build, rugged wheel design, brakes and design for someone looking for the ultimate onset cart.
Keep your eyes open for a video recap of Cinegear from me to follow, featuring more exciting gear and a closer look at the products listed above.