By Simon McGuire
The rainy weather today didn’t deter the strong turnout for the first Broadcast Video Production Show at the Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin.
Its not often that a show of this type comes to Ireland (not including BVE North) and with a line up including Canon, Sony, Tiffen (Steadicam), Lacie, G-Technology, GoPro and many others this was an event not to be missed.
I decided to attend the Tuesday (as shooting and editing schedules allowed it) and was very impressed with the range of vendors and equipment on display. There is something important about a touch and try venue… it allows you to formulate more questions for the vendors that might not normally come to mind in a phone conversation or email.
The show was organised by product resellers D&P Products or Camerakit.ie as most people in Ireland and the UK will recognise. Colm Egan and the team were on hand all day to point out stands of interest for their customers which gave an almost bespoke feel to the experience.
What was interesting was the presentations by a number of the big companies in attendance.
Below is a brief run through on some of the main ones that I attended:
JVC with Kris Hill
A very enthusiastic Kris introduced the new camera to the JVC range, the GY-HM650. Now this has been in the mix for a number of months and back in October 2012 when it was announced I was very interested in what this camera had to offer for the ENG shooter.
The first feature Kris gave us was the x23 Optical Zoom Lens on this 3x CMOS sensor device; a nice touch considering the other cameras in this range. (Sony PMW 200)
The camera hosts a number of other features including the option for WIFI streaming which sets this camera apart from the competition. I could see a lot of workflow applications for the ENG shooter with this option. The only draw back to this is that the wireless broadband in this country will have to improve in order to get the full benefit of this feature. However the idea of sending a copy of low end content to be cut back a base and then upon returning you can then do a Autoconform of the full res footage on the offline cut does have a speed advantage. Using this to full effect with say Avid Interplay Share or Interplay Central and Media Composer 7 would make a very effective workflow for any ENG environment.
Including VAT the 650 was retailing on the day at €4790.85 (Special Show Price, contact D&P for latest Prices) which is not a bad ticket for a camera aimed at the broadcast market. The BBC seem to think so as they have invested in multiple units quite recently.
LACIE with Michael Eyraud
Storage is something close to my heart as an editor and you can never have too much of it. The main issue I have with external hard drives is the worry about reliability. Not with a Lacie though. Over the past 20 years editing I have gone through all the brands of storage external devices but it is always Lacie, I go back to for that very reason… reliability.
Michael demoed the latest from Lacie in their Thunderbolt connection range… Yes thunderbolt seems to be definitely the new Firewire.
The impressive Lacie Rugged drive allows for quick transfer in the field with USB 2 and 3 connections available but for the desktop uses amoung us it was the 2 Big and 5 Big Thunderbolt drives that were impressive with the likes of James Horner (Spiderman) promoting them on the powerpoint slides for Film Music Production.
Canon EOS Cinema with Andrew Cummins, Lighting Camera Man.
Canon always go one extra and today was no exception. The cool and collected Andrew introduced us to the C300 and C500 cameras available from the EOS Cinema Range from Canon. With a PowerPoint presentation and multiple examples of work he has shot recently (see below) Andrew talked about the benefits of shooting with this type of system. These included; size, flexibility, lens range etc.
With 4K recording on dual CF Card slots the option for dual recording is a real seller giving the shooter the option of an extra backup of content, valuable in todays fast paced environment. On a Sandisk Extreme Card you can get up to 84mins of 4:2:2, 50mbs/s
But the camera is more than shallow Depth of Field. The size allows for easy rig and de-rig from tripods and other stabilizers and it is not bad with handheld too. Andrew demo’d this and also showed how easy it was to adapt the camera to different shooting situations by changing prime lenses in a matter of seconds.
Also the camera is very good on battery power and weight.
Andrews final advise on using the Canon EOS C300 was: “The Camera tests the way you shoot… it echo’s back to the traditional procedures in filming and removed the auto functions a lot of camera operators are use to. You WILL have to change the way you shoot… but its so worth it”
Avid Media Composer with Ben Davison, Solutions Specialist
The final presentation I attended was one that’s close to my heart. Avid Media Composer. I’ve been using Avid since 1998 so I am a little bias in this but the software has come on leaps and bounds in this latest edition.
Released on 27th June 2013, Avid have gone and made a number of changes to their flag ship software, and for the better too!
Firstly the new low price. Now available for around the 1K mark (depending on vendor) It now makes professional NLE editing more affordable for the freelance editor as well as the high end post production house. The Academic price of around €299 is going to remain the same but hey you get 4 years support from Avid as well as 4 years of upgrades free. That’s not to be sniffed at if you are a student editor and serious about your career in the industry.
A new feature that caught my eye was Frame Flex. This allows 4k and even 8K res content to be scaled for editing to 1080p. Nice if you want to relieve the processor of the workload in the offline. You can then upscale to the 4k res later for grading and online.
Colour Space Conversion is now real-time. Look up tables and colour decision lists too.
They have completely rewritten AMA (calling it AMA2). Now the content transcodes in the background while you work on your offline cut with the AMA content. A “Powerful Workflow” as Ben put it.
Background processing is also possible without Avid Media Composer even running with the ability to manage jobs in a list too.
Audio enhancements are the big one though. There is a New Waveform, Clip Gain Timeline adjustment, New Master Fader Support and a configurable audio mixer too. This coupled with the interoperability of Pro Tools too makes Avid Media Composer a very attractive piece of kit for the edit suite.
Well that’s it. I didn’t get time to attend all the presentations but it was well worth the trip to Dublin to get to talk with the vendors and listen to the presentations as well my favourite part in getting my hands on the equipment.
The show is running again tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd July in the same venue, Stillorgan Park Hotel, so if you are around make sure you get in there and catch the presentations.