Stopped by the Sound Devices booth to have a look at their new low cost MixPre devices. These are mixer/recorders that also act as a USB interface to your computer. If you don’t know, Sound Devices is one of the top manufacturers of the type of recorders that are common on film sets and in the field. If you see a person with a boom pole, there’s a good chance it’s being fed into one of their devices.
So why are they making the move to less expensive, more prosumer-ish devices? Two reasons I suspect. 1) The pro field audio mixer/recorder market is, at the end of the day, not very big. Their main competitor Zaxcom is also eating up a share of that market. So, there is only so big they could realistically become. That’s likely the reason that they started up Video Devices a few years back too. In short, there’s a zillion bloggers out there, and only a limited number professionals. 2) Devices such as the very similar Zoom F8 (notice how they both can mount to a camera?) were becoming very popular with blogger types, and even with pros as back up recorders. Better to keep the Pros in-house, and smart to get the bloggers early, so that if they end up going Pro down the road, they’ve been raised on Sound Devices and stay in the family.
So, the goal of these videos was to be around two minutes. We went over a smidge on this one 😬
CEO Winfried was laughing off the start, but got a little serious as we got into it. You did a great job Herr Deckelmann, it’s not easy being in front of the camera and talking spontaneously without a break!
LYNXtechnik AG is the parent company of Yellobrik. They’ve always been in the running when I was looking for converter boxes and the like. I singled them out for special mention because, as far as I can tell, they are the only company out there currently shipping boxes that take 12G SDI (uncompressed 4K) and convert it to fiber optic for long runs. Not everyone needs such a box, but right now 4K infrastructure is starting to be laid, and if you need such a device you REALLY need one. Now you know where to find one.
So I was planning my day at NAB this morning, perusing the hall maps and deciding where to go, when I saw that SmallHD had a booth outside. “Why would they have their booth there rather than in with all the other monitor manufacturers?” I thought. Then I figured it out. Lately they’ve been specializing in high brightness, daylight viewable monitors. And they logically wanted to display them in their natural environment. Smart! Their latest, just released at the show, is the FOCUS. I’ll let Mike Ashman run down the features in the video, but just so you know, the “regular” monitor built into the back of the camera is actually on in the video, I kid you not!
The other thing I like about SmallHD is they really know their customers, and are always “plussing” their products with extra little features. I recently bought a Panasonic GH5 (this video was shot on it). There are other reasons, but one of the deciding factors in getting it over a Sony 6500 was battery life. I knew I would primarily be shooting video with the camera, and frankly, the teeny batteries in Sony’s mirrorless cameras don’t cut it. But if you bought the FOCUS, SmallHD gives you a way to overcome that deficit. Nice!
By the way, they wouldn’t talk on camera because they are just in the prototype stage, but they are contemplating teaming with another company (its name reminds me of a dinosaur bird) to manufacture a line of “Director’s monitors” with a built-in wireless video system. Interested? They are looking for feedback, let them know what you think.
Didn’t plan on this being switcher-ville, just turned out that way. Broadcast Pix is all about integration. They have all-in-one studio type switchers, with clipstores and character generators and all the things needed in a mobile. Here they demonstrate their investment in IP control of their gear.
Datavideo is a company that’s been around for a long while. They make switchers and intercoms and the bits and pieces needed to do small mobiles. If you’ve ever seen a switcher painted blue, you know who they are. The lower end switcher market has become ultra competitive thanks to a certain Australian company, but datavideo knows what their customers want, and they continue to innovate to give it to them. Their latest combo is what one of their reps calls a “six click” system. It’s their HS-1500T switcher paired with three of their PTC-150T pan/tilt/zoom cameras. So? Switchers and camera aren’t new. No, but these cameras get their power, control signals for PTZ and tally all over one cat6 ethernet cable, and then send the HD signal back to the switcher on that same cat6 line. So, as he says, one “click” at the switcher and another at the camera. Do that six times and you have a three camera mobile ready to go. Pretty efficient. The cat6 runs can be just over 300′. Slick!