Does The Chair In Your Edit Suite Swivel?

Apple’s teased iMac Pro launches Today, and to take advantage of all that new horsepower, they are also shipping a major revision to Final Cut Pro X (can we drop the X at this point?). 9 to 5 Mac has a nice walk through.

Colour timing has much finer control, you can edit 360 degree video, and there is native support for h.265 among other new features.

The iMac Pro looks like good bang for the buck in its base configurations, but adding options raises the price quickly.  After they abandoned pro users by not updating the “trash can” Mac for 3 years, this is the machine that was going to be their new high end machine.  They’ve since said in public that they are working on an even higher end modular pro machine that will come sometime in 2018.

As someone who loves Mac and uses FCP, I’m glad to see Apple’s renewed focus on pro users.  I can’t see myself switching eco-systems to Windows anytime soon.  But I’m also gun shy about Apple’s dedication to the Mac and pro users.  You pay a pretty steep price premium for hardware in the Apple universe.  It’s hard to make that sort of investment when you see their commitment sometimes varies like the wind.

Source: Hands-on: Final Cut Pro 10.4 adds 360 VR, advanced color grading, HDR support, and more [Video]


Sony Venice Fully Functional FF in February | Film and Digital Times

Here’s a little bit of good news.  I (and others) was critical of Sony when they announced their VENICE camera because it was going to launch missing a lot of features that I thought it should have.  It appears Sony listened (not to me, I’m not that full of myself), because they have made a MAJOR feature change for the launch.

Source: Sony Venice Fully Functional FF in February | Film and Digital Times

BlackMagic Design Announces New Converters

In the world of video, I would hate to be a BlackMagic Design competitor.  They iterate so quickly, and drive their prices down so relentlessly that it must be hard to keep up.  Today they launched a few revisions of their signal conversion boxes.  The link will take you to a page featuring a 25 minute Grant Petty video.  These boxes aren’t sexy, but they are the necessary glue that holds facilities together.  The main news?  All of their Mini Converters now accept 4K signals and can either pass the signal through as 4K, or downconvert to HD, and all for the same price as the previous HD versions.  They also de-imbed audio, and have the capability to add 3D LUTS to the outputted signal.  Their Micro Converters which were already inexpensive at around $100, have had their prices roughly halved again.  They also announced a 8K capture card Today to work with a forthcoming version of Resolve.  Busy beavers!

Negatives?  The Micro Converters have made the new price partially by not shipping with a power supply (since they can power off a standard USB connection).  I haven’t talked to anyone from BM or handled the latest units, but from what I can see in the pictures, a problem I’ve complained about in the past still seems to be present: there is nothing securing the USB connecter to the casing, it is only soldered to the circuit board.  I’ve personally seen two earlier units take a little jolt to the USB connection and break off.  Then what?  Since they are so inexpensive, it’s not worth the shipping, time without the device and cost of repair to send it away to be fixed: just buy a new one.  As they say in the movie Paul “It’s a false economy!”  In the rental market, I can see a LUT being loaded into a Mini Converter, and then not being normalized before it goes out again.  That could make troubleshooting difficult: “I have an image, but why does it look so weird?”

Teradek Serv Pro and VUER – ProVideo Coalition

“Teradek’s Serv Pro is a $1799 camera-top wireless transmitter, sending H.264 video and audio to as many as ten iPhones, iPads, or iPod touches. VUER is the free app that receives the Serv Pro’s transmissions. The two combined form a wireless monitoring system for any production that needs to show a feed to multiple people.”

I really can’t encapsulate it easier than that.  As the reviewer mentions, with some of Teradek’s products, you need a degree in arcane networking to make them work. I’ve been leary of their solutions for that reason, but they seem to have made this one very easy.

Source: Review: Teradek Serv Pro and VUER by Adam Wilt – ProVideo Coalition

DWT-B03R : Sony’s Third Generation Digital Transmitter

Sony has their 3rd generation of digital wireless transmitters hitting the market.  It’s kind of a shame that Sony hasn’t made many inroads with the professional “bag audio” users, as I’ve always thought they brought a lot to the game.  I like Zaxcom in this space, but I have to say that none of their transmitters ever looked this sexy!

One thing that might help Sony in this space is if they made their slot-in receivers dual compatible: with their camcorders but also with the SuperSlot alliance.  Lectro does it by allowing the multipin connector on the bottom of their receivers to be swapped out, and Sony could do the same.

Maybe the SuperSlot alliance wouldn’t like them as a member though, because Sony continues to only allow access to the second internal channel of their camcorders by Sony receivers: if you plug in a Lectro receiver you have to do the silly work around of a specially modded receiver with a bloody external cable.  Ridiculous.



Source: DWT-B03R (DWTB03R) : Features : United Kingdom : Sony Professional

ARRI Rolls Out New Master Grips, Remote Head, Wireless Lighting System and More

ARRI has announced a number of new products at IBC.  I’m interested in the news that they have adopted the Lumen Radio standard for controlling their LED panels. With Kino-Flo also building Lumen wireless into their lights, I guess it’s “safe” now to invest in what the industry seems to have chosen as a de facto standard.  Check out my two video reports from CineGear on this.

One talks with Lumen Radio about their laptop control software:

The other talks with the company Cinelex, who are making fader/lighting control panels with a Lumen Radio built in:

Source: ARRI Rolls Out New Master Grips, Remote Head, Wireless Lighting System and More

Zaxcom Unveils A Wireless Stick Mic That Also Functions As A Wired Stick Mic

I’ve often wondered why nobody else has done this.  I think the easier way to think of it is as a wired stick mic that has a wireless transmitter built into its handle.  The XLR connector is covered with a rubber plug when not in use.  All the standard Zaxcom wireless transmitter pluses are onboard including NeverClip™ and onboard recording.  It has exchangeable mic heads on the Shure standard, and a LED ring that can change colours for marking or to represent active functions.

Source: Zaxcom unveils first-of-its-kind handheld microphone | Zaxcom