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Schneider Introduces New Lens Add-ons to Century Pro Series

Schneider adds several new items to their line of Century Pro Series HD lens add-ons. These top quality professional lens accessories are designed to help go wider, reach further, and move in closer than the lens on the camera alone allows. Century’s superb optics provide the finest professional images. These state-of-the-art add-ons minimize chromatic aberrations and unwanted distortion and produce images that are ultrasharp edge-to-edge. Most of Century’s accessories interface directly with the bayonet mount at the front of the lens so mounting and removing is quick and easy.

The following new add-ons are available for the Canon XF305/XF300: .6X HD Wide Angle Adapter, .8X HD Wide Angle Converter, Fisheye HD Adapter, 1.6X HD Tele-Converter, and Achromatic Diopters.

For the JVC GY-HM700 with Canon KT14-14.4 lens there’s the .6X HD Wide Angle Adapter, .8X HD Wide Angle Converter, Fisheye HD Adapter, 1.6X HD Tele-Converter, and Achromatic Diopters.

For the Sony PMW-EX3/EX1 the following new add-ons are available: .6X HD Wide Angle Adapter, .75X HD Wide Angle Converter, Fisheye HD Adapter, Xtreme HD Fisheye, 1.6X HD Tele-Converter, 2.0 HD Tele-Converter and Achromatic Diopters.

Click for more about Schneider Optics and Century Pro Series

Red Giant Announces Grinder 1.5

Red Giant Software, creators of an ever-expanding universe of effects tools ranging from plug-in suites, applications and mobile apps to Guru Presets, free products and sharing communities, announced Magic Bullet Grinder is the smartest way to transcode DSLR/HDSLR footage. Grinder converts Canon video to edit-friendly formats, burns in timecode and generates editing proxies in a single time-saving pass. Use Grinder to work faster and easier than transcoding inside Final Cut Pro 7.

Version 1.5 adds helpful new features for high-resolution output like ProRes HQ and ProRes LT codecs and a frame rate option of 25p or 24p. Proxy files can now use EXIF-based timecode, 1080p output and a custom output destination. We’ve also added customized file naming, Growl notification support and render priority for main vs proxy files.

Grinder 1.5 is a speedy standalone solution that converts video without bogging down a video editing application. Take the tedium out of transcoding and get to the editing.

Many of the new features in Grinder 1.5 came directly from customers using Grinder in their production workflow. That’s why for current owners of Grinder 1.0, the upgrade to Grinder 1.5 is absolutely and always free.

Existing owners of Grinder 1.0, can click Grinder version 1.5 to download the upgrade.. This 1.5 upgrade requires the same serial number as the version 1.0 purchased.

Try out the Grinder 1.5 demo.

Click for more information about Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Grinder 1.5

Petrol Bags Introduces Rain Cover for DSLR Cameras

Now DSLR owners have a way to work safely in adverse or unpredictable weather: the new Transparent DSLR Plus Rain Cover from Petrol Bags, a Vitec Group brand.

Petrol Bags’ latest weather protection system is especially designed to shelter and safeguard DSLR cameras fully equipped with video accessories, such as a viewfinder, follow focus, camera plate, etc. – on or off a tripod. Constructed of transparent polyurethane for maximum visibility and handsome black waterproof nylon, it offers quick and easy access to all camera features.

Petrol Bags’ ingenious one-piece design makes the cover extremely easy to install while shooting. A new front section of ripstop fabric and transparent polyurethane that attaches to the cover via hook and loop material provides an additional shield to protect a telephoto lens. The rigid front hood section comes outfitted with a hotshoe connector that stabilizes the raincover on camera. On top of the hood, a 6” polypropylene track allows for the addition of an on-camera light and/or wireless receiver. At the rear, a tight auxiliary cord anchors the cover around and protects the viewfinder.

Click for more information about Petrol Bags.

Innovision Optics Announces Wally Camera Tracking System

Innovision Optics,  known for unique imaging tools including camera tracking systems, announced the introduction of the new Wally 2 Axes mobile camera support system by Movie Engineering. Wally 2 Axes is a wall-mounted track system that allows camera operators to capture unprecedented views of television productions, major national and international news feeds, or live performance without impeding or restricting the visuals by shooting from the floor.

The Wally 2 Axes was conceived to assist a client who needed to mount a tracking system along the balcony wall of a theater without disturbing the sight line for the audience on the second floor. Their additional requirement was not to see a traveling camera or loops of cable running during the performance.

With Innovision’s input, Movie Engineering in Milan, Italy, designed a motor control and camera platform that would run on a dual track mounted horizontally that would hug a wall, without disturbing the sight lines of the audience. Instead of cables on trolleys hanging on loops behind the Wally, the cable is hidden in a cable channel tray, eliminating from sight any cables following Wally back and forth as it travels along the track. The Wally 2 Axes allows a box camera and standard broadcast lens combination of up to 12 pounds like the Sony, Panasonic or Ikegami, to move along a path the shape of the wall, including around a bend of three meters or more.

The operator can sit at a monitor located as far as half a mile from the installation. Connection is made via phone-line type data cable, and control is achieved by console and foot pedal through a PC running a software program specially designed for Wally 2 Axes.

This new system is installed in the newly designed Moody Theater in Austin, Texas for the PBS series “Austin City Limits”. While designed to benefit live theater performances, Wally 2 Axes is also slated to support several news programs in the near future. The system can be permanently installed in a theater or live production environment or easily set up and reconfigured for both feature and television production.

Click for more information about Wally 2 Axes or other Innovision creative imaging tools.

K-Tek Shoe Department Optimizes Camera Accessory Mounting

In an effort to find a home for the many audio and video accessories that shooters would like to fit on or around the camera, K-Tek introduces the Shoe Department. This series of adapters optimize accessory mounting whether it’s for lighting, audio, viewing, or video streaming.

K-Tek’s Shoe Department offers 2 shoe bars; an aluminum 6” or 9” shoe bar on a Delrin shoe, shock mounts on a shoe, shoe plates which provide a flat surface for mounting audio transmitter receivers or recorders, a Mini Ball Head on a shoe, offset shoe adapters and extenders, and the newest series of Wiggly Arms on a shoe.

Wiggly Arms currently come in 6” size and can be shortened by taking out sections. Two of the models have a fixed Delrin shoe at one end and either a 3/8×16 or 1/4×20 stud on the other. The third has a shoe at the base and a removable flat aluminum plate on the other end. When the plate is removed there is a 3/8 x 16 stud.

All K-Tek Shoe Department products are made in the USA. Constructed out of machined aluminum, most feature an industrial Delrin shoe.

Click for more information about K-Tek Products.

Qube Cinema Launches Web Store for QubeMaster Xport

Qube Cinema announced the launch of the new online Qube Cinema web store, where filmmakers, post houses and pre-show content creators can purchase the new QubeMaster Xport Final Cut Studio plug-in. The system, which debuted at NAB in April, enables users to output DCI-compliant Digital Cinema Package (DCP) masters directly from the Final Cut Compressor.

QubeMaster Xport is available in four versions. The QubeMaster Xport 2K, QubeMaster Xport 3D and QubeMaster Xport 4K. Users who need both stereo 3D and 4K mastering, can opt for QubeMaster Xport 4K and 3D. Individual modules can be added after the initial purchase. A fully functioning watermarked demo is also available for download, allowing users to test out the software.

QubeMaster Xport enables Final Cut Pro users to save pre-defined settings as Compressor Droplets and simply drag-and-drop files to create DCI-compliant masters. All of the file formats supported in Final Cut Studio can be output to 2K and 4K, and the software can handle XYZ color space conversions, or apply custom 3D LUTs to source files while encoding.

In June, Qube Cinema will launch a new KDM key generation service, which will allow QubeMaster Xport users to add secure exhibitor keys to their DCPs.

Click for more information about Qube Cinema.

ProMAX Announces ShareMAX 2.0

ProMAX announced the release of ShareMAX 2.0, a new shared storage solution that is fast, easy to install and easy to upgrade. This multitasking wizard is a RAID protected NAS and SAN server together in one box.

Ideal Applications for ShareMAX 2.0:

  • Share the same footage across a team of editors
  • Need to easily add High Capacity Shared Storage to a network of multiple workstations
  • Need very fast streaming speeds to Shared Storage over Ethernet
  • Don’t want the overhead of a separate network file server or switch
  • Want the option of upgrading to fibre without losing your investment
  • Need some stations to be on fibre and other stations on Ethernet (mixed environment)
  • Because of the way we designed this network appliance, users can grow storage capacity and the way storage is accessed without replacing the core device.

Benefits

All editors have immediate access to assets without duplication.

  • Saves storage cost
  • Speeds up workflow by centralizing files for an entire team
  • Gets the job done faster so users can move onto the next project
  • Improves collaboration among a team for better creativity
  • Improves quality to clients by working together

ShareMAX 2.0 will grow as user needs grow:

  • Start at the entry level and upgrade as needs change

Features

  • Built with Enterprise class drives for the ultimate reliability and warranty
  • NAS throughput tested at a sustained 100MB/Second – fast enough to handle direct edits of SD, HD and some uncompressed CODECS without copying from a local drive
  • Designed as a network appliance, this device runs its own operating system and monitors the health of any storage system. Users have access to all information thru a secured web browser.
  • This unit does not need an Xserve or tower to connect to the storage. Since it is a standalone unit with a CPU and controllers, it has been designed as a network appliance.

Click for more information about ShareMax 2.0.

SMPTE Makes Closed-Captioning Standard Freely Available

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to adopt rules to ensure individuals with disabilities can fully utilize and enjoy Internet-delivered video content, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) announced that it would make its standard for closed-captioning of online video content (known as SMPTE Timed Text and by the designation SMPTE 2052) available free of charge.

SMPTE is the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, and entertainment industries.

COAT Praises SMPTE Accessibility Efforts

The decision by SMPTE to make its captioning standard available free of charge has drawn praise from the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), which advocates for people with disabilities and is providing input on the implementation of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) to ensure accessibility, usability, and affordability of broadband, wireless, and Internet technologies for people with disabilities.

The Steering Committee Organization Members of COAT are the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), American Council of the Blind (ACB), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), and National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

Click for more information about COAT and accessible technology.

Release of SMPTE Standard Well Timed

The announcement comes as the FCC is readying rules for online captions under the CVAA, which is described by COAT as “the most significant piece of accessibility legislation since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.” Among its provisions, the CVAA requires the captioning of previously shown TV programs when they are made available on the Internet.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 54.4 million people reported some level of disability and 35 million reported a severe disability in 2005.

Open Design Creates Opportunities for Manufacturers, Surety for Content Providers

The SMPTE closed-captioning standard – known officially as SMPTE 2052 – provides a common set of instructions for authoring and distributing captions or subtitles for broadband video content. This design means that TV content providers need only use one method for providing captions rather than custom approaches for different Web browsers or media players – including new digital content and previously captioned analog programs.

Yet the standard also leaves plenty of room for innovation. It is media-device and media-player agnostic, leaving manufacturers free to develop a wide range of products without worrying about interoperability issues. In much the same way that companies develop plug-in modules for Web browsers, the SMPTE standard enables additions to its core closed-captioning capabilities.

Click for more information about the SMPTE.

Automatic Duck Announces Pro Import AE 5.02

Automatic Duck, the creators of timeline integration software for digital media artists, announced that Pro Import AE 5.02 is now available, and compatible with CS5.5

Adobe released After Effects CS5.5, so Automatic Duck released its own update for Pro Import AE: version 5.02.

This new update features an updated installer that knows how to install into CS5.5 but also contains a few fixes since 5.01 so all users are encouraged to update.

Users of Pro Import AE 5.0 or 5.01 can update to 5.02 at no charge.

Click for the new Pro Import AE 5.02 installer

Click to upgrade to Pro Import AE 5.02

Automatic Calibration of 2011 Panasonic HDTV Models

Automatic calibration of Panasonic’s 2011 HDTV models was announced by Seattle-based software vendor SpectraCal.

New workflows in SpectraCal’s award-winning video calibration solution CalMAN automatically calibrate the 2011 Panasonic displays via Viera Net IP connectivity.

Picture controls such as brightness, contrast, color, and tint are available directly from inside CalMAN, without needing a remote control.

CalMAN’s Interactive Charts allow users to say what results they want, leaving CalMAN and the display to work together to achieve those results.

Users can push a single button and watch CalMAN perform a complete eleven-point white balance calibration.

Calibration results are stored in the ISFccc (Imaging Science Foundation Certified Calibration Configuration) day and night memories.

SpectraCal Chief Technical Officer Derek Smith said that Panasonic engineers worked very closely with SpectraCal to ensure optimal results.

The results for the installer, Smith explained, are faster and easier calibrations with better results.

SpectraCal will be demonstrating the new Panasonic workflows at press briefings in Los Angeles on May 4 and New York on May 10.

Click for more information about SpectraCal