I would say that over the past year or two, DJI has really pulled to the forefront in the drone market. They have products in many different price strata, and now they’ve just released an intriguing Super35mm camera for use with their Inspire2 drone, the Zenmuse X7. No word on who makes their sensor, but the system can record RAW at up to 6K resolution, or ProRes at up to 5.2K. It has 14 stops of dynamic range, and apparently Technicolor had input into its colour science. The camera has a new proprietary “DL” lens mount of their own design, and four carbon fibre f2.8 prime lenses to go with it. DJI recently acquired Hasselblad. One wonders if there was any crossover in engineering leading to this system?
It doesn’t cover all the bases, but then they’re not trying to. High frame rates for slo-mo are missing, and as mentioned, you’re not going to be able to use your existing lenses. But for somewhere around $15,000 for a useable system, you’re getting an extremely capable unit that seemed to be cutting with an Alexa Mini pretty damn well.
RED seems to be taking a page from Sony’s book and iterating much faster lately. They’ve just come out with a replacement FF sensor for their Weapon camera that has lower noise levels at higher ISOs, and a bit more dynamic range. The days of the $17,000 RED One are long gone though: this one costs $79,500.00. Not too many owner/operators are going to spring for that, but this level of camera is designed for rental houses. It’s not a crazy figure given the tech involved, and the fact that you can’t even buy one of its main competitors, the ARRI 65.
via RED brings out a new sensor for WEAPON. MONSTRO 8K VV – Newsshooter
Sound Devices pulled a fast one today and launched a new MixPre recorder out of the blue. It’s larger and has more inputs than their previous MixPre units. A couple of big changes are three ways to get timecode in (including BNC) and an external power input. Both of those edge it ever closer to professional bag work. Nice to be surprised!
via Sound Devices – Introducing the MixPre-10T Audio Recorder!
The next generation of GoPro is out. The major takeaway I see is the ability to do 60 frames per second at 4K. I used to have a client that ended up going with a Garmin solution because it had GPS built in. GoPro added it to the Hero5, and it of course carries over here. The built-in stabilization looks pretty impressive, and it appears that it is staying within their previously revamped eco-system for accessories.
Soon, the last gasp of FCP 7 will be upon us. Apple’s next operating system, High Sierra, will not allow FCP 7 to run. What’s a nostalgic editor to do? Well Blackmagic Design has a very cost effective solution for you…..get Davinci Resolve 14. They’ve made it so you can import your old FCP 7 timelines into it. The best of the old and the new! That’s a pretty amazing solution that has been under reported as far as I’m concerned.
The number of companies making memory cards (not just slapping their brand on them) is down to what? Three or four now? A little bit scary for diversity.
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.