With April finally rolling around, so has NAB. As always, there was a range of new and exciting kit announced and on display all over the large show floor and we’ve explored it so you didn’t have to. During this article, we will be talking about all of our favourite pieces kit ranging from established giants in the filmmaking industry, to startups looking to offer something new. Let’s start with Cameras.
There weren’t that many new cameras at NAB this year, but the few that did surface are certainly interesting!
We are very excited to be working with Z CAM. The original E2 has made a huge splash in the filmmaking community, and with their newest announcements at NAB this year, it looks like they are aiming to make even more of an impact. Here is a quick breakdown of each of the models of the E2 that Z CAM will be offering:
E2 C (M43 4K 30fps) – MFT Mount
E2 G (1″ GS 4K 30fps) – MFT Mount
E2 G (1″ GS 4K 60fps) – MFT Mount
E2 (M43 4K 120fps) – MFT Mount
E2 S6 (6K S35) – EF & PL Mount
E2 F6 (6K Full Frame) – EF & PL Mount
E2 F8 (8K Full Frame) – EF & PL Mount
They had three of the new models on display, the C, G & S6. The S6 was the star of the show. Even looking at the footage from the show floor, I think this camera and the ecosystem that Z CAM are trying to build has real promise. I also think the C is going to be very popular as a budget conscious E2. It will most likely be a great option for people looking at the sub £1000 price point who want a smaller form factor than a DSLR or Mirrorless with loads of unique features. We will be getting the full range in to test soon, and making a breakdown video explaining each model so you can decide which camera will be best for you.
ARRI announced the Alexa Mini LF two weeks ago and we finally got our hands on it at the show. Obviously, there has been a range of upgrades to the Mini, the biggest, of course, is the full frame sensor from the original LF, but I think the more interesting upgrades are what surrounds it. The MVF-1 needed an upgrade and the new MVF-2 looks to be a very nice one. It features the same screen inside as the EVF-2 from the LF, has a whole new design with more function buttons, a larger 4” flip out screen, the ARRICAM eyepiece, and lastly a new CoXPress VF cable. The cable used for the EVF is also a huge improvement over the last as you can plug it into the camera in any orientation. ARRI also introduced a new media type from Codex, the Compact Drive. These drives are small, fast & priced pretty competitively considering the market, they are actually a lot smaller than they looked in the promo pictures, which is good. ARRI has also redesigned the menu system with a more modern and clean look than the Alexa Mini. You also have new sync in port and improved audio connectors, regulated 12V and 24V accessory power outputs, two built-in microphones for scratch audio, an additional WiFi antenna for increase signal strength and six user buttons on the left side. If you want to check out the Alexa Mini LF as soon as we get one in to our CVP / ARRI Creative Space, be sure to email email@example.com.
There where a range of interesting optics on display this year. Some honourable mentions being the newly shipping Zeiss 21mm & 135mm Supreme’s, the Atlas 25mm 2X Anamorphic & large format expander, the P+S 2x converter & full frame expander, Leitz announcing a price reduction on their full frame primes which are now 34-36,000 euros ,and of course the Canon Sumire’s which we briefly looked at in our video.
This was the first time I had seen one of these lenses in the flesh, and oh boy do they look absolutely fantastic! The Premista 28-100mm on display was mounted onto a Sony VENICE and pointed at a nice set laid out with a model and a tonne or colour and tonal range. From the time I spent looking at the lenses, I was incredibly impressed. It was parfocal, had very little breathing, seemed to resolve incredibly well and looked almost completely clear of chromatic aberrations. From what I could see from that set up they really do look to be smaller full frame Premiers. We are proud to be the exclusive UK dealer for these lenses so if you want to learn more, book a demo once we receive our units or pre-order your Fujinon Premista 28-100 click here.
Laowa has made a name for themselves in the image making space with their unique affordable lenses, but as of late they are trying to transition into the cine space with a few of their new and upcoming releases. The two I am super excited for are the OOOM 25-100mm T2.9 and 12mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine. We have been testing the OOOM for some time now and have been giving Laowa feedback, so checking out their latest units on the stand was a joy. The mechanics feel great and the image produced looks awesome, couple that with the newly announced price I think this lens is going to be very popular.
Laowa also had their 12mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine on display. This is their stills lens rehoused and it defies what you normally expect from wide angles like it. This again is going to be very popular because of its great optics, its lightweight and compact design, and again a very good price point. Laowa also had two new MFT Cine primes, which should pair great with the BMPCC4K & GH5S. Make sure you’re following us on our social media platforms for future updates and releases from Laowa.
Neo Super Baltars
The NEO Super Baltar lenses are a throwback to the classic Super Baltars that were released in the 1960s, but with a few modern twists. The NEO Super Baltar lenses are the brainchild of optical designer Brian Caldwell who is also currently releasing the Chameleon 1.79x anamorphics, which also look very interesting. The optics have been engineered to look as similar to the original Super Baltas, and from what I saw at NAB they looked very nice. I’m sure we will get these through our doors very soon to test. You can view more specs here.
Foton or DZO Optics
This was a company I discovered at the show Foton is a new lens company that is a branch of DZO. DZO is a Chinese lens manufacturer that is only just getting into cine optics but they have a range of experience with industrial optics and a few stills lenses. They had two lenses on show at their booth, the first being the M1 which is a 25-300mm T2.8 Super 35 zoom lens that is looking to offer a similar experience to the likes of Angenieux or Fujinon, but at a more affordable price point of only around $22,000. Looking at the lens on the show floor the first thing that jumped out to me was how rough the mechanics where. The reps on the booth told me that these are the first two prototypes of this lens and are not representative of what the final production unit will be like. I really hope this is the case as it needed a lot of work. It looked pretty much parfocal, which was great and the image produced from it looked alright, but it was nothing special. Foton said they will have better versions on display at Cinegear so we will be checking them out there to see if this gets improved.
They also had a 20-70mm T3.1 for MFT systems. The mechanics of this lens felt much better, it looked parfocal and optically it looked decent for the price point it is aimed at, which is only $1699. We can’t wait to see how these lenses develop over the rest of the year and will update everyone once we check them out again at Cinegear.
Atomos released two really exciting products this year. The first being an update to their existing Shogun Inferno line with the Shogun 7. The main updates being the ability to monitor, record and switch between 4 single 1080p, the addition of locating pins on the ¼ mounting points, being able to output Dolby Vision HDR via the HDMI out, an improved display and the latest AtomOS 10. These are all really welcomed additions that have made the already great Shogun Inferno even better! Atomos also released the AtomX SDI Module for the Ninja V. This module gives the Ninja V two 12G SDI connections which you can program for either dual SDI in, two separate SDI in’s, or SDI in and out. One thing I am a little disappointed about is the lack of ProRes RAW over the SDI, unfortunately, you will have to go with the Shogun 7 and Inferno, but hopefully, this is something that Atomos update later on down the line.
SmallHD came out with a couple of new monitors this year, a 702 touch and the Cine7. The Cine7 being the standout. They released several models, including a Sidekick RX, RX, TX & Regular versions of the monitor all in AB or V-Mount variants. It has an 1800 nit 1920×1200 7” display which can cover 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, but the stand out feature is its ARRI camera control ability. Currently, the rig I managed to see it on was an Alexa Mini and at launch, you will be able to control either the Alexa Mini, Amira or Alexa Mini LF, however they will be releasing RED and Sony camera control also. From the brief time I played with it the menu looked extremely clean and easy to navigate, no surprise here as UI design is one of SmallHD’s biggest strengths. The camera control will be a paid license upgrade sold separately to the monitor. If you want to check out the Cine7 for yourself we will be holding a range of post-NAB/Cinegear events soon so keep an eye here.
I had been told by several people to check out Portkeys stand at NAB this year so I made sure to swing by and check out what their kit is all about. They had a range of monitors, as well as a Z CAM E2 fully rigged up. This was the first thing that caught my eye because of the BM5 that was attached to the top of the E2 rig. This monitor is Portkeys flagship 5” display, it boasts a 1080p 2000 nits screen, both SDI and HDMI inputs, and most impressively camera control via the touchscreen. On this rig at NAB, the monitor was controlling the E2, the menu system seemed relatively simple and the quality of the screen and build quality was surprisingly decent for its price point.
We also had a look at their OEYE-3G viewfinder which Portkeys have positioned to give Zacuto some competition which is only a good thing. The EVF has both SDI and HDMI in and out (with cross convert), a 1920×1080 OLED screen and 3D LUT support. It can handle a UHD 30p input and also has an on/off switch on the EVF. We should be getting a closer look at the entire Portkeys range soon, so for our more in-depth thoughts make sure you follow our social platforms.
Aputure has been gaining more and more market share recently with there very reliable, feature rich and affordable light fixtures. This year they went big at NAB. They released a few exciting new products, the first being, the 300DII. The new light is 20% brighter, has a new ballast with the power supply built in and now allows you to power the light up to 50% output with a single battery. The cable has also been updated to a standard 5-pin XLR that makes getting a spare or replacement easier than the old model. It will also work natively with what I think is Aputure’s biggest announcement at the show, the Sidus Link App.
This new app is designed to control all of their newer lights and some of their legacy lights with a Bluetooth adapter they are selling called the Sidus Link Bridge. The app will have an adaptive interface depending on whether your light is RGB or Daylight/Tungsten. It will host all of the creative effects that come with each light and feature the latest Bluetooth technology that allows upwards of 60,000 lights to be connected at the same time and stay connected and functioning regardless if you disconnect your phone. They are also planning a store where you can download and share your own effects that you and others create. This is really really exciting and I cannot wait to see how it all works properly once it ships in the Summer.
They also introduced two new modifiers for the 120D and 300D family, the first being a lantern. This lantern uses the same style quick release system as the Light Dome II, so it’s very easy and simple to set up. It also features a skirt that will allow you to easily control light spill with the double sided velcro on each side. This style is great for two people setups, or podcasts, and is a welcomed addition to the Aputure family. The second was a spotlight, this modifier is designed to give you straight punchy clean light. You also have the ability to drop in a range of gobos to help shape the light even more. It comes in a heavy duty case with three different interchangeable lenses, 19°, 26° and 36°.
They also had their RGB panel on display, I saw this for the first time at NAB last year and Aputure has clearly been working hard on it. The back of the unit has now changed and Aputure has told us that there will be a range of battery plates to power the panel off. Aputure have included everything you would expect from an RGB panel such as the various colour modes, effects modes and dimming curves.
They also had two new smaller products that we were very fortunate to see, a new small light, AL-MC, which is based off of the M9 and a wireless RGB bulb, the AL-RC. The AL-MC has had some serious tweaking since the M9, it now has a metal construction and is RGB. It also has a screen on the top of the unit with a control wheel for switching between the different modes. These modes are identical to the 1×1 panel which is awesome for such a small light. It also has magnets built into the front, an internal battery that can last up to 100 minutes, wireless charging and USB-C port for charging. The second product was the AL-RC light bulb, this thing screws into a standard fitting and can be powered via it. It also has a built-in battery which can last an hour and the same charging tech as the AL-MC and can also be controlled via the new Sidus Link app. All of these products should be released over the next few months so make sure you keep an eye on our social media channels for updates and stocking.
Accsoon CineEye Wireless
The Accsoon CineEye Wireless system was one of our new finds from this event. This handy little device allows you to wirelessly transmit Full HD at up to 60fps over Wi-Fi to up to 4 IOS, or Android devices using the free app that Accsoon make. This app allows you to use regular monitoring features like focus peaking, histogram, zebra, Cube LUTS and false colour and more. It has a built-in battery which will last up to 3 hours and can be charged and powered the USB-C on the unit. This could prove a very popular item for solo or indie shooters wanting an affordable wireless onset video solution.
We’ve been waiting for this for a while! Finally, Teradek had their Bolt 4K on display! They have announced both a 750 TX/RX & a 1500 TX/RX that, for the first time, you can use together.Another huge addition is the added Bluetooth module and accompanying IOS/Android app that will allow you to select different wireless channels, apply 3D LUTs, and the biggest feature, being able to pair transmitters/receivers wirelessly. This is a very very welcomed addition!They have also added the option of a V-Mount or AB-Mount power pass through a plate which allows the transmitter to sit between the cameras battery mount and a battery. We will be holding a range of post-NAB/Cinegear events soon so keep an eye here.
This was an unexpected release from BlackMagic this year at NAB. Obviously, last year came the announcement of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and this year there was the battery grip for it. This grip reminds me of those you can get for mid-range DSLRs. It allows you to use two Sony L series batteries and adds an extra hour to the battery life of the Pocket 4K. For a lot of current Pocket 4K owners, this may seem like a slightly impractical solution to the power hungry nature of the Pocket. The main application I could see it being used for would be for people wanting to run the camera as light as possible with a slightly better grip. However, I feel like most rigs would be better served with a battery plate and V-Mount or AB Style batteries or even a Power Junkie. This leads me on quite nicely to a new battery released this year.
Fxlion announced their Nano One battery, a small 50wh 14.8v battery with a maximum power draw of 8A but with a twist. This is the first in the Nano range with a 100wh following soon. It can be charged via the V-Mount, the 5V/3A USB Micro input and the USB-C port. Fxlion are pushing the Nano One as being able to charge with Apple’s MacBook Pro USB-C charger, but there needs to be a little more information released about this. From the tech sheet we have, the Nano One can accept the following:
5V/2.4A, 9V/2A. 12V/2A, 15V/2A & 20V/2.2A.
Apple do several USB-C chargers a 30W, 61W & 87W. All with a range of outputs that are listed below.
30W – Output: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A
61W – Output: 5V/2.4A, 9V/3A, 20V/3A
87W – Output: 20.2V/4.3A, 9V/3A, 5.2V/2.4A
I have reached out to Fxlion for some clarification on whether there is any protection on the port, or if they just recommend the 30W charger. The 30W charger will be able to the full 50wh in around 2 hours and 40 minutes. However, if you are able to charge the battery at 2.2A you will be able to charge the full battery in roughly 1 hour and 50 minutes. I will update this article and release a post about it as soon as I know.
UPDATE: They have just confirmed that the battery is limited to 30W and will only draw that no matter what MacBook charger, or other USB-C chargers you use.
It has a range of outputs on it also being D-TAP, USB-C & USB-A. Fxlion also released a range of V-Lock plate accessories with the Nano One. Couple these with the small Nano One and I can see these being very popular with DSLR’s and Mirrorless users wanting to power their cameras and accessories from one battery. Pre-order FXlion Nano One here
This awesome little device adds an SDI video input to your iPad, iPhone or Mac. A lot of Apple’s new devices have awesome screens, so having the ability to use them on set is interesting. There will be a ScreenPort app which will provide a range of professional monitoring controls as well as the possibility to record or stream your takes! The device can be powered via Sony’s NPF batteries or USB-C, weighs only 160g and can connect via Wi-Fi or Ethernet / USB for higher data throughput. We will be checking out the ScreenPort SDI more in-depth very soon so keep an eye on our social channels for that. Learn more here.
Rode & Sennheiser
Both Rode and Sennheiser have released two new budget wireless audio solutions, the Rode Wireless Go and Sennheiser XS. Both of these mics are positioned at new price points for both brands. The XS comes in under the £250 point and the Wireless GO at under £180. Both systems are extremely compact and designed for plug and play setups. We will be doing a comparison between the two very soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Tilta has introduced a new sun hood that mounts onto the RED 7″ touchscreen using the mounting screws on the top and bottom of the monitor. It can then be tilted up and snapped back down in place securely using the magnets built into the bottom of the bracket. This is a much nicer and more solid solution than others on the market but it does come at a higher price. You can order here.
The Ready Rig has become one of our most recommended support system for gimbal operators, especially Ronin 2 owner ops. It’s fantastic at helping to distribute the massive amount of weight that gimbal packages can quickly become nowadays. However, the Vega upgrade looks to make it even better. It is easily installed onto your existing Ready Rig without adding bulk or extra points of confusion. Ready Rig have not announced pricing and availability for the upgrade yet, but we will post about it once we know.
Card readers aren’t the sexiest things in the world, but they are important for making sure your rushes are ingested fast and reliably. ≈ The Blackjet series are atechflash’s card readers and we managed to check out some of their exciting Thunderbolt 3 readers on display, specifically the rack-mountable UX-1 RED Cinema Dock. This dock has two SSD port as well as two Mini Mag ports. This is great if you want to ingest two cards at the same time onset as Thunderbolt 3 has the data throughput vs USB-C 3.1, which would bottleneck the speeds. They are also currently working on an AXSM card reader which would be a great alternative to the very expensive and impractical Sony AXS-AR1. Make sure you’re following our social media for updates.
Well, that turned out being a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. There was obviously a bunch of other kits that I didn’t include here and I have included some more images below. If you have any questions about any of the kit I have spoken about here don’t hesitate to drop me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know what your favourite piece of kit was to come out from this year’s NAB down in the comments below!
Check out everything that’s been announced and available on our website.