Post Magazine

May 2011

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bits & pieces Post Picks: Pros weigh in on new gear from NAB By MARC LOFTUS AS VEGAS — During the 2011 NAB Show, here, Post had a number of contributors on the show floor, checking out the latest products and technologies. Many of these pros were excited about Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, which promises high-speed connectivity to peripherals. Apple has already adopted the technology, and numerous manufacturers — particularly storage solutions providers such as Sonnet, LaCie and G-Tech — had Thunderbolt-enabled prototypes on the show floor. When it came to specific products, we were able to narrow our contributors’ picks down to a Top 5, with some Honorable Mentions. BLACKMAGIC DESIGN ( showed its new HyperDeck line, which includes the HyperDeck Studio and HyperDeck Shuttle.The $995 Studio product is an un- compressed HD disk recorder with dual SSD slots. Users can record onto one SSD and then onto the other without interruption. These can then be mounted directly to a computer for editing without any file copying. The $345 Shuttle gives cameras the ability to record uncompressed video directly to low-cost SSDs by bypassing the camera’s native compres- sion and recording from SDI and HDMI. Adobe ( further developed the Pro- duction Premium version of its Creative Suite with the new 5.5 release, which extends native file format support. The Mercury playback engine now supports more GPUs, including mobile units. Adobe has released a Mac version of its Audition audio editing application, improving symmetry between the Mac and PC packages of Creative Suite. Pros working with DSLR cameras will appreciate the new AE Warp Stabilizer tool in After Effects that greatly improves shaky video shots. Premiere sees improvements, including the ability to easily sync audio files that have been recorded separately from video files. Also, Photoshop’s SDK has been extended, opening up possibilities to work on new tablet devices. Pricing for CS5.5 remains the same as it was for 5, which was released just a year ago. In addition, Adobe is offering subscription price models for studios that may only need to use cer- tain tools for a limited period of time. Apple ( didn’t exhibit at the NAB Show, but made a big splash during the Tenth Annual Las Vegas FCPUG Super- Meet, which took place at Bally’s.There, Apple previewed Final Cut Pro X, which it expects to deliver in June for $299, a dramatic price reduction from its previous cost of $999.The 64-bit application will feature a completely redesigned interface that cuts it down from four major windows to only three, making the viewer and browser one.“The timeline also gets a fresh look, with more intuitive con- trols for slipping, sliding, rolling and rippling edits,” reports Post con- tributor Chip Eberhart, who attended the event.“With the new timeline, the editor can see the new in and out frames in the time- line to adjust them quicker and more precisely. Other major en- 4 Post • May 2011 hancements include face detection, shot detection and audio clean- up on ingest.” Eberhart will be reviewing FCP X for Post in the months to come. Sony ( is using OLED technology in its new Trimaster EL family of master monitors, which includes the 24.5-inch BVME250 ($26K), and the 17-inch BVME170 ($17K). The series is designed to replace CRT units and promises deep black performance with high dynamic range, blur- free motion images, a wide color gamut and accurate picture repro- duction. FilmLight ( showed a new control surface for its Baselight color grading system at NAB. Blackboard 2 repre- sents a new concept in control surfaces, with each key being soft programmable.The keys are labeled via back projection and can change based on the designated function they are set to perform. Additionally, the control surface includes a series of configurable controls that allow users to perform certain functions in a more in- tuitive and tactile manner. Blackboard 2 also features four high-resolution screens that pro- vide the user with live, in-context feedback. FilmLight plans to begin ship- ping Blackboard 2 in the summer and will continue to manufacture and market the original Blackboard, which acts as a hard-key control surface. Blackboard 2 will cost $58K and the company will offer an upgrade incentive to the new panel. Below are some additional products that got the attention of our panel of contributors. HONORABLE MENTIONS Sound Devices’ ( PIX 240 video recorder adds QuickTime recording to any HDMI- or HD-SDI- equipped HD video camera. Using Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD (option), the PIX 240 records QuickTime files to CompactFlash cards or removable 2.5-inch solid-state hard drives. Sony ( previewed its CineAlta F65 digital motion picture camera at NAB.The F65’s 8K imager contains a total of 20 Mega-pixels, half of which are sensitive to green, while the other half are equally shared by red and blue. Having twice the amount of green photosites compared with traditional 4K Bayer pattern sen- sors provides a significant improvement in image resolution.The sensor will provide high-quality super-sampled HD and 2K images, and is one of the first to provides a dedicated green photosite for each pixel in the 4K (4096 x 2160) output image. The camera can shoot 1- to 120fps, and provides 16-bit linear RAW output.The F65 adheres to the 1.9:1 aspect ratio and DCI L continued on page 46

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