We caught up with Zacuto at Cine Gear 2016 to showcase one of their latest products, the Grip Series Batteries. There is a 75Wh and 100Wh version, both featuring 2 D-tap outputs to power camera & accessories, and a fuss-free clip-on method for 15mm rod systems. Zacuto bill this the first of its kind. It’s actually the second, if you count the first time Hawk-Woods released them. Yes, for the eagle-eyed this is the same system Hawk-Woods produce, Zacuto has simply taken on the global distribution of the product. The Gripper Series Batteries fill a void that many shooters find themselves in. There is an ever-present modularity concept to cameras nowadays, every rig is different and is usually made up of several accessories from several different companies. Powering them all can be a task in itself. D-tap (or P-Tap, same thing) has been the industry standard for a long time; grab a V-lock or gold mount battery kit, get a distribution plate or simple D-tap splitter and power everything off one big battery. A great solution, but it’s expensive; a set of 4 good V-locks and charger will set you back $1000-2000. D-tap outputs via camcorder batteries have grown in popularity but they often don’t have the capacity/form factor to hold up. The Gripper Series offers a cheaper alternative to condensing all your power options, that doubles up nicely as a counter-balance weight for your rig. It’s fuss-free; simply clip it onto a pair of 15mm rods; the AC adaptor for the charger clips on in a similar way. There will also be a selection of accessories that enable you to connect additional cable-less D-tap ports. Check out this article where we caught up with Hawk-woods at BVE 2016. This is a similar battery system sold that uses the same concept, you can see the accessories in action here. Both Gripper series are available for pre-order now, check the links below. You can also pre-order the 4-way D-tap adaptor, fast charger and dual fast charger.Read more
Just recently, GoPro released first quarter 2016 earnings. The numbers are far from nice, so what’s going on with the former market leader (read: inventor) in the action camera business? The company has been surprisingly quiet recently, and one major announcement is still missing; their Karma drone. GoPro as of today Last year, GoPro released the following numbers for their first quarter of 2015: adjusted revenue of over $363 million and a profit. For the same period this year, the company had to announce a revenue of only $184 million with a loss of $0.63 per share. That’s a 50% reduction in just twelve months! Quo Vadis GoPro? But in the financial world, you always can play around with the numbers a little bit to make them look good, try this: Wall Street had it’s own expectations of the outcome of the company’s first quarter sales. And as the story goes, GoPro managed to beat the expected $169 million with their $184 million. Sounds great, but let’s be honest, it isn’t. Squandered opportunities Once, GoPro was a real underdog marked leader in action cameras. They kind of invented these things—and brought them to the action camera hungry masses. An affordable, shockproof and waterproof camera package which shoots HD and can be mounted almost everywhere? That sounded great and, in the early days of action cameras, it was great! But as the company grew bigger and bigger, real innovations became less and less frequent. Their latest ‘real’ camera body, the GoPro Hero4 was announced back in 2014. The Hero Session never managed to be considered as a real alternative. Current lineup of cameras By now, there is a lot of stiff competition out there. The era of GoPro living up to the name of the market leader of action camera tech is long gone. Check out this site, where you can find tons of alternatives to their lineup of cameras. The competitors all have their strengths and weaknesses, but that applies to GoPro cameras, too. Back in 2015, GoPro announced a new product, the Karma drone and it was scheduled to be released in the first half of 2016. According to Forbes, it seems that this date needs to be pushed back to the holiday season, at least. In my honest opinion, that is too late. That drone would need to be a killer product in every aspect to be able to compete with established products like the DJI Inspire 1 and other drones that have established themselves in the market. But…when? We will see, where GoPro’s future lies. Maybe it’s the VR market which they just entered with their OMNI rig. Even then, however, you can find countless alternatives already—and most of them are cheaper (though the majority are still using GoPro cameras, though). As of now the GoPro brand still stands synonymous with action cameras. But for how long? What do you think? Is it too late for the company or could they change their fate with a strong lineup of new and innovative products? Source: Forbes.comRead more
This is the first NAB in years where we’ve not seen a new camera announcement from Blackmagic Design. But the company doesn’t hesitate to introduce innovation in other fields. Besides their 4K disk recorder monitor that we already covered, Blackmagic also announced the complete re-write of their Ursa Mini Camera operating system, new micro converters, a dedicated studio viewfinder for the Ursa Mini and more. News from Blackmagic Design Sorry, no new camera whatsoever. But nevertheless, the guys over at Blackmagic Design had some fresh products and updates to show at this year’s NAB in Las Vegas. Maybe the company has learned from the past few years that it might be smart not to push things too hard and only to announce new products as they become available, or at least, almost available. Blackmagic Design’s Tim Siddons talks us through their latest announcements. New OS for URSA First of all, there is an entirely new user interface coming to the URSA range of cameras. Written from scratch, some annoying bits and pieces will be things of the past once this update is released “later this year.” Hopefully rather sooner than later, as it comes with some handy features such as the support of 17-point 3D LUTs, multi-user presets, variable white balance control (no more baked in presets) and a neat feature called smart shutter angle selection tool. It’s designed to determine the most appropriate set of shutter angles to use for your given area or frequency of voltage input, respectively to reduce flicker in your shot. This update will be free of charge and will become available for the URSA mini range first and then for the original URSA camera. New Blackmagic studio viewfinder and software for URSA Next up, there is a significant update for the URSA range of cameras. Blackmagic Design announced a new software update which allows you to control the camera remotely via an ATEM studio mixer or any other production mixer which is capable of handling the URSA control protocols. In addition to that, Blackmagic Design introduces a new studio viewfinder. It’s a 7″ screen with dedicated hardware controls and a neat variable resistance mounting solution which gives you total control of the viewfinders position. It’s not a touchscreen (like the one on the URSA itself), but it has it’s own control system which includes nice to have features like peaking, contrast, brightness (controlled via dedicated knobs) and software features like zebra, false color, guides, meters and assignable buttons. The Blackmagic Studio viewfinder will be available in July and will retail for 1,795$. New line of micro converters The family of Blackmagic Design’s Mini converters is growing. No, sorry. Actually, it is shrinking as the new line of converters is called micro converters and due to their size this new naming is quite reasonable—these boxes are more or less the size of a matchbox. For now, there are two micro converters available: SDI -> HDMI (with loop through on the SDI input) HDMI -> SDI (with two SDI outputs) Both converters are USB powered so the idea is to have them ready whenever needed even without an outlet in reach. Just use one of your power bricks for your phone. Yes, it is out of battery, again. These converters are available now, and they retail for 85$ each. Resolve 12.5 There is another free update for their flagship grading suite, DaVinci resolve. It comes with a lot of new features, and even more, bugs were squashed in this release. The company claims that there are more than 1,000 improvements and more than 250 new features implemented in this version such as HDR support for example. A lot of developing went into the editing side of resolve, which is a necessity I would say but it’s nice to see it improving! In the end, the question is this: What is easier—having an industry standard grading suite at hand and still have to develop an editing suite on top (DaVinci Resolve) or vice versa (Adobe Premiere Pro? The race is on! Make sure to visit Blackmagic Design’s website for all the details and announcements regarding NAB 2016.Read more
NAB 2016, the biggest industry trade show of the year, will be taking place in Las Vegas this coming week. Stay up to date with the latest news with the week-long coverage from Cinema5D. NAB 2016 is just about to start, and the Cinema5D team is already gearing up to cover the latest announcements by the leading manufacturers in the digital video and filmmaking industry. We will aim to bring you the news as they happen, with concise articles and insightful videos and interviews. As always, we will also be producing our ON THE COUCH talkshow for more in-depth conversations. So stay tuned throughout this next week, and make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to speed and read about it first! Thank you to our sponsors who made this year’s coverage of NAB possible: B&H, Tilta, Art-List, Blackmagic Design and Atomos.Read more
In its 50th year of manufacturing Super 8mm film, Kodak is celebrating by releasing a new Super 8mm film camera. The announcement is part of an initiative hosted by Kodak that plans to get the old film format into more modern day filmmaker’s hands. Kodak Super 8mm: Leading a Retro Revolution It’s been thirty years since we last saw a new super 8mm camera knocking about and fortunately, Kodak has stuck to a retro aesthetic design with the new Super 8mm Camera. Taking a leaf out of Apple’s book and simply calling it the Kodak Super 8mm Camera, users will benefit from a fixed 6mm 1:1.2 – Ricoh lens and optional 6-48mm zoom, both in previously popular C mount. The camera will record variable frames per second (9, 12, 18, 24, 25 FPS) all at crystal sync. A 3.5″ display with standard definition input will take care of monitoring and control, as well as a jog stick for navigation. A 50′ film cartridge that currently costs around $35 will get you 90 seconds of film at 24p (although reports place future pricing in the $50-75 range). Kodak has big plans for the film format this year so the cost of the film may well change when the camera is released. Here’s more on what they have to say: “The company has built a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more. “It is an ecosystem for film,” said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate film as a medium.” A prototype of the film camera will debut at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, where visitors will get the opportunity to try out the Super 8mm Camera and watch ‘home movies’. Kodak Super 8mm Camera Specifications Film Gauge: Super 8 (Extended Max-8 Gate) Film Load: Kodak Cartridges with 50 ft. (15 M) Speed: Variable Speeds (9, 12, 18, 24, 25 FPS) all with Crystal Sync Lens Mount: C-Mount Focal Length: Fixed / 6mm, 1:1.2 – Ricoh lens (optional 6-48mm zoom) Focus/Aperture: Manual Focus & Iris View Finder: 3.5″ Display, Standard definition video input & +/- 45 degrees swivel Exposure Control: Cartridge Detection (Speed Notch) Built-in light meter for supported speeds of all Kodak film types Manual speed/manual iris setting Battery & Charger: Integrated battery and charger via standard USB wall adaptor Control Panel: Via viewfinder 3.5″ TFT LCD Setting: Via jog wheel as user interface The Kodak Super 8 Camera is rumoured to cost $400-$750. More info can be found on the Kodak website.Read more
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