Source: R.I.P. Lexar Memory Cards
There is some encouragement at WWDC 2017 that Apple is refocusing on their Pro Video users. On the Mac Operating System side, the new update will be called High Sierra. Perhaps the biggest change for video users is a new file system. HFS is 30 years old. They are replacing it with the much more modern APFS (Apple File System). This appears to be similar to Sun Microsystems ZFS. APFS is much better suited to Solid State drives, does native disk encryption and tasks such as Finder level file copying of large files (such as videos) much faster.
They quickly mentioned FCP and Resolve and the reality of our 4K world (no real details) but they did say that High Sierra is going to move to h.265 encoding in software for everyone, and hardware accelerated h.265 encoding/decoding for people that have the most recent generation of hardware. The next version of iOS is also going to do HEVC encoding of videos shot on those devices.
High Sierra is moving to the Metal 2 API for handling graphics. They say it is up to 10x faster than Metal (which was 10x faster than non-Metal). Metal 2 is going to feature better support for external graphics card enclosures over Thunderbolt 3. There was quite a bit of focus on VR at the show, and this should help. In fact they announced a developer’s hardware package.
Maybe KOAT got a bit of a scoop on Saturday at CineGear when we talked to Michael Cioni from Light Iron Digital/Panavision. He voiced his desire for a amped up iMac Pro. Well guess what? Two days later and Apple has announced just that. Did Michael know? Doubtful as Apple holds its cards pretty close to its chest. Probably just insight into the iMac’s natural evolution, but it sure seems like quite a coincidence!
It will be available in December and they are touting it as the most powerful Mac ever (not just iMac). When you take three years to update your Pro machines, it stands to reason I guess. They also bumped the MacBook line with Kaby Lake processors, faster hard drives, and faster standard graphics on the 15″ line. They are available today.
The iMac Pro will support a whack of memory, and for the first time on an iMac, 10 Gig ethernet. I can’t help but notice that it appears to have a plain old USB-3 connectors in addition to Thunderbolt 3. It also has a UHS-ll SDXC slot. Did a newly humble Apple listen to the backlash over the absence of those ports on the latest MacBook Pro?
In general, Today’s announcements seem to denote that Apple has heard the outrage of their Pro users, and is taking steps to catch up to their expectations.
I know that Sony has also been working on this as well. I think this will be one of the next major moves in sensor development. Just as Sony’s A9 does things that no mirrored DSLR can do, this is something that no film camera can do, and it solves so many difficulties in lens design.
Newsshooter (appropriately enough) has a story about the next logical evolution in ENG. Essentially it is Uber for news video (and I can definitely see Uber drivers signing up). You join up and allow a central database to know your GPS position through your phone. When breaking news happens, member news stations can look at a map and find out if there is an “amateur” videographer nearby to go shoot the initial breaking video with their phone. The theory is they will then send their full-time professional crews to follow up.
Being first is everything in TV news. My old News Director used to have a sign on her door: the news business is like making love to an elephant. You don’t make love when you want to, you make love when the elephant wants to.
It is the logical progression of ENG, but I am concerned that it will be abused. I’ll be interested to know how it works for the shooters too. Do you get paid once, or every time a station uses the footage? Can competing stations access the same footage? What if the shooter stumbles into milestone footage like the Hindenburg? Do they lose title to their footage? Do they get paid $200 while the company makes hundreds of thousands in licensing over the years? If a shooter gets injured while covering the event, does NewsCar cover their health bills? Who pays the wireless data charges?
This seems almost too good to be true. Two motors, two hand grips with built in control wheels, and a traditional handheld unit with a larger focus knob as well as iris and zoom controls for $1200! 1 mile range! Remarkable if they can pull it off.
I will say that their track record with FIZ units is suspect though. For a number of NABs they were promising a traditional 3-channel FIZ system for $5000 called the TiltaMax. ….and promising….and promising…and promising. It appears to be a real product now, although at an increased price with a different name. I say appears because AbelCine wants 2-3 months to get their hands on one still, and B&H is saying over 6 months until it’s available. If you try to buy it from Tilta, they say “Our online payment system has not been launched yet, please contact our sales department for further information.” Hmm. That doesn’t mean it isn’t available, but it still seems exceedingly hard to produce one in the flesh.
Maybe its lengthy gestation gave them the expertise to design this Nucleus system. If they can follow through, it could make a big dent in this area of the accessory market.
NAB can sometimes be fun for finding cool little upstarts that have a unique product. These folks have built a slider that can morph from a straight track to a curved track literally in 5 seconds. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the details, I figured I’d let the video speak for itself and have you head to their web page for more.
The Flolight Daylight Spot LED panel was the first battery powered light I ever used that could make a real difference acting as a fill light in direct sunlight. Up until that point, the only way (aside from a flex fill) that one could light outside was with an HMI, and that meant wall power. So the panels were great for that purpose, but hard to use in other situations without gelling them. Since they output no heat, we usually just taped standard CTO and diffusion to them.
They did have slots for drop in “solid gels”, but once they inevitably got lost, it was hard to replace them.
On my way out the door on my last day at NAB, I came across a company called Cotech Filters. They look like they have a complete line of those solid filters, and not just CTB/CTO/Diffusion either. I don’t know much about them other than that, but if you’re looking for that specific product, hopefully this helps you out.