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DP’s POV of The NAB Show 2013
As a DP at this years NAB, I am seeing some new trends. With the advent of 4K cameras, more and more accessories are being used to manage and control the image. The camera battery is becoming the main source of power for these items. Wireless transmitters such as the Paralinx, external recorders such as the Pix 240 or Ki Pro. Zoom and focus controls have been the standard in feature film production, but are now seeping into our side of the world. The Scatter box by Solid camera and the Jet Pack by Switronix are power distribution boxes that attach to the back of the camera and provide multiple sources for power. USB, P-tap, lemo, even 4-pin XLR. These boxes range in price from $450 to $700 depending on your needs.
(Scatte rbox pictured below)
(Jet Pack pictured below)
One of those those devices that I see as an important tool is the Paralinx Arrow. This is a wireless HD transmitter. It will send an uncompressed 4:2:2 1920×1080 signal up to 300 feet. It supports all popular frame rates with less than 2ms latency. There are many occasions when having a wireless feed to a monitor is invaluable. Distance of cabling, setting up the video village in another location. Not moving the village due to time constraints. There are many wireless transmitters, Teradek is another, however they use cell based and IP connections. If you are in a sensitive business location, the use of IP and cell systems could pose an issue. Hopefully, now you are seeing why a power distribution box is becoming a necessary field production tool.
So, your camera crew is done shooting and now you need to offload all that footage and data to the clients hard drive. One of the ongoing issues I deal with is that some clients don’t realize that this is part of our work day. Speed and having the right tools is the best way to handle this. Thunderbolt is becoming a huge tool for us. Even though, the Sound Devices Pix Dock did not come out this NAB, it is still a very important tool. Take the Pix caddy with your footage and insert it into the Pix dock. The backside of the dock is a Thunderbolt connection. Now, you are pushing Esata speed to Thunderbolt. This little $420 box will speed up that data download sessions quite a bit.
On the extreme side of the downloading footage game is the DIT Rogue. This is a custom solution for the uber experience of downloading, transcoding, creating dallies, and even color correction. Imagine a carry-on size Pelican case that has every possible input and output, built in cooling fans, slots for 3 PCI cards and an Apple retina MacBook Pro on the top. Plug it in and flip the switch and your ready to crunch the data. The DIT Rogue since its a custom set up starts at around $9,000. I know it’s steep. But, it beats the mag liner full of computer cables, drives, monitors, and dongles.
Well, that my 2 cents of what I see happening at NAB 2013. If you see me on the floor, say hi. Technology is constantly moving forward. It’s up to us to be the people who get that out to our craft and our clients.