I worked the first two days there at the Panasonic booth. My voice is STILL recovering. Man, I talked non-stop. So many people wanting to know the workflow from shooting with the HVX-200 and the P2 cards and how to ingest it into FCP for editing. On the plus side, my days went fast.
Then I enjoyed the show on Wed and Thursday. I met SO MANY people from the various forums I frequent (Apple FCP, Creative Cow, LAFCPUG) and I met Mike Curtis from HDFORINDIES at the LAFCPUG Supermeet. Tall man. I even ran into a few people I know from here…poker buddies. One worked the Final Touch pod at the Apple Booth, and the other worked the SGI (Silicon Graphics) booth. Met the people we are working with at Curious World Maps whose software we are using for our maps in the show (normally used only for news broadcasts), and the fine rep at G-Technology, the guys who make the fabulous G-Raids.
Here is a short synopsis of my tour:
The RED HD camera by Oakley. I was impressed with what RED could be. And knowing that having a great camera means nothing if it doesn’t work in post (as we have seen with the HDV line early on)…so I asked who they were working with for the post solution. Graeme said he couldn’t go into details, but that they were working with the three A’s…Apple, Avid and Adobe. That’s reassuring. Nice form factor…upgradability (swap out sensor and leave the rest of the camera alone)…and great price. $17,500 for the camera. $7500 for the optional lens, making it cost less than a Varicam. And it accepts any and all Prime lenses you’d use on a film shoot.
The Kona 3 impressed the heck out of me…2K to a 30″ Apple monitor. Realtime up and down convert…2K support. Knowing that there are capabilities built into it that they are STILL developing software to unlock and work with…future proofing the product…was nice. AND…seeing the Sony PVM-14L5 on top of a $35,000 Sony HD monitor displaying the same image…and it looking EXACTLY THE SAME tells me that that 14L5 is a fine monitor for color correcting. No need for the $11,000+ HD Monitor solutions out there. $1600 for that, and another $3000 for the HD SDI card makes it under $5000. THAT impressed me.
$5k for the Avid software that is comparable to FCP (no capture cards)…WITHOUT a machine…lets me know that FCP still leads that race. And $22K for the Adrenaline…again, just for the box and software, no computer, no drives…makes me shake my head. Better color correction built in, but that is remedied with plugins and add ons that still make it cheaper that the Avid.
Adobe production suite interoperability was sweet…on par with Apples. But wha impressed me is Audition (the audio editing app) and it’s ability to edit audio in a color spectral graph, and use photoshop tools to remove a squeak yet leave all the rest of the audio untouched. THAT blew me away.
And another Apple thing…the simultaneous recording of four uncompressed SD streams to XServe Raids, that you import into FCP and start editing while they are still recording!! You can begin editing and scrubbing thru…if you hit the colored garbage, you hit the spot that is still recording. Wait a second or two, then press play and you are off again. Peter Wiggins used this for the Tour de France for the BBC. Tom Meegan too. Wow!
Blu-Ray data DVDs. THey come in cartridges so you cannot touch the surface of the DVD. That is huge. Great archiving solution for Panasonic P2 (the booth I worked in) and since you cannot touch the disk, the safety of the data is greatly increased. Iomega had Rev Pro, but that held 35MB and cost $60 a disk. Bit on the high side.
G-Technology (makers of the G-Raid) have a fibrechannel RAID now. 3TB for $6000. Liked that.
A fibrechannel RAID made by a small company that gets you 4 TB for $6,500. Works on MAC and PC because the interface is WEB BASED. Use a browser to access the controls. 5 Year warranty, and a 30-day trial period. Sweet.
A $2000 camera jib for cameras up to 10 lbs. $2000!!! Smooth and easy enough for a non-camera guy like me to use.
Finding out…what it takes to get the shows I edit out to the other household. Man…you tend to forget what all is involved.
What won best in show? I didn’t stay to find out.