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June 2017

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Page 32 of 43 31 POST JUNE 2017 SPECIAL REPORT: CAMERAS his year looks to be an interesting one for cameras. Especially if what we saw at this year's NAB Show in Las Vegas is any indication. Many camera manufacturers were in- tent on showing their cameras and accessories in various stages of refinement. In other words, while there wasn't necessarily breaking news, there were certainly some interesting updates. Here's a look at the latest. ARRI Never to be satisfied with the status quo, Arri ( celebrated 100 years of cinema- tography excellence at NAB. The Arri Alexa SXT W addresses the need for today's modern cine- matographers to be as mobile as possible. That means having the ability to go wireless. With the introduction of the Alexa SXT W, shooters are no longer bound by the constraints of cable lengths. With a range of 600 meters, the Arri Alexa SXT W can be deployed in a variety of rough terrains and challenging conditions. "Our wireless video uses technology from market leader Amimon, with special hardware and software modifications to comply with Arri's stringent performance and quality requirements," says Marc Shipman-Mueller, Alexa product manager. "But that is not all; the wireless video system works harmoniously with Alexa SXT's other radio-based offerings — the WiFi and our own proprietary camera and lens control system — avoiding time-consuming interference between the radios on the camera." The Arri Alexa SXT W is sure to be in hot demand by cinematographers who have always counted on the reputation Arri has earned, but now with the added advantage of going wireless. PANASONIC It was a different kind of show for Panasonic (http:// net) with some interesting twists. The VariCam line was certainly freshened up with the addition of several upgrades, including an announcement that the company plans to add 2K raw output up to 240fps in a free firmware update to the VariCam LT 4K cinema camcorder. With 2K raw, the VariCam LT will continue to provide 14-plus stops, dual 800/5000 ISO functionality with accu- rate colors and skin tones. 2K raw output is avail- able while recording internally in 2K or HD. These new upgrades will allow for current VariCam own- ers to keep pace in this competitive market space. Additionally, at press time, Panasonic has done a fine job of hyping the camera that no one got to see at the show. Kept under wraps, the camera has been promoted by Panasonic as a "cinematic" style camera, and scheduled to be introduced at CineGear (earlier this month). The mystery camera most likely will be a smaller mid-range version of the VariCam line up, but still retain many of the VariCam characteristics at a more affordable price (Read about the new AU-EVA1 on page 34). Panasonic also talked about its new 4K cam- era, the AG-UMR20/AG-UCK20 compact camera combo. The camera head will be connected to a separate external recorder that could be an indica- tion that it allows the user to acquire high-quality shots in a limited space. BLACKMAGIC DESIGN Keeping with the trend for 2017, Blackmagic Design ( announced several enhancements to its popular Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K camera, including a new open protocol that will allow users to create their own remote control solu- tions via Bluetooth. The protocol was demonstrat- ed at NAB, and the API and sample code should be released for free at some point this month. Ursa Mini Pro cameras already have built-in Bluetooth, but it hasn't been enabled until now. The built-in Bluetooth will allow users to send and receive commands from up to 30 feet away. A demonstration iPad app and sample code will be provided to those that want to use the feature, but they can also build their own app to add in more control features. SONY The Sony FS7ll was one of the shining stars in the Sony booth this year. Although not techni- cally "new," Sony has really stepped up to the plate with this model. It features a redesigned arm that does not require any tools for adjusting and reworked XQD card T Crazy Duck Productions tries out Sony's FS7II camera. Photo courtesy of Crazy Duck's Chuck and Sarah Fishbein (pictured).

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