It just wouldn’t be awards season (virtual or otherwise) without our very own ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence. Every year around this time the editorial staff at ProductionHUB, along with some noted industry experts takes a long look at some of the latest in new offerings in production equipment and software. Of course as with everything else going on this year, the logistics were a little bit harder. But the show must go on! ProductionHUB proudly presents the 2020 Award of Excellence winners.
AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G
AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G is a new single-channel 4K/UltraHD recorder and player or four-channel HD recorder, featuring 12G-SDI connectivity. with a host of unique and powerful features. Ki Pro Ultra 12G offers single-channel 4K/UltraHD up to 50/60p recording and playback to and from Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR, with flexible connectivity options including 12G-SDI, HDMI v2.0 and optional Fiber input and outputs. Alternatively Ki Pro Ultra 12G provides up to four channels of simultaneous HD recording up to 1080 50/60p with independent ProRes profiles per channel.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro
Similar to its predecessor, the ATEM Mini, the ATEM Mini Pro from Blackmagic Design is a four-input live production switcher with an integrated control panel designed for multicamera live streaming up to HD video to the internet or broadcast applications. Along with the software control update, the Mini Pro builds on the Mini with features such as live stream data rate and status information, a built-in hardware encoder, simultaneous recording to USB drives, drive hot-swapping with the Blackmagic MultiDock, added record and stream buttons, stream caching, a timecode generator, program preview multiview, tally support, and support for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and 4K to utilize as your broadcast sources.
Canon C300 Mark III
The C300 Mark lll comes equipped with Canon's new Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) Sensor capable of over 16 stops of dynamic range. The DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor expands functionality and flexibility by enabling features such as internal RAW recording, 4K120p High Frame Rate recording, and Dual Pixel Autofocus. This camera is definitely on my review radar for later this year.
EIZO ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3146
The EIZO ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3146 is a 31.1-inch, DCI-4K (4096 x 2160) HDR (high dynamic range) reference monitor for the professional postproduction and color grading workflow. It is the first HDR Reference to incorporate a built-in calibration sensor. The monitor achieves 1000 cd/m2 (typical) high brightness and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio for true HDR display.
The ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3146 is being touted as the world’s first true HDR reference monitor to incorporate a built-in calibration sensor. EIZO utilized its extensive experience in hardware calibration solutions to integrate its unique calibration technology into its now highest spec HDR model. Hardware calibration ensures the screen stays color accurate over time and streamlines color management.
With EIZO’s ColorNavigator 7 color management software, users can regularly calibrate and quality control their monitor quickly and reliably. Users can calibrate all color modes simultaneously, setup regular recalibration intervals, and maintain quality control in multi-monitor environments, all with a single software application.
The ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3146 supports HLG (hybrid log-gamma) and the PQ (perceptual quantization) curve for displaying and editing broadcast, film, and other video content in HDR. The optimized gamma curves render images to appear truer to how the human eye perceives the real world compared to SDR (standard dynamic range).
LitraPro brings a fresh take on compact, rectangular LED lights.The new LitraStudio™ delivers 3,000 Lumens of color-accurate RGBWW output totally cable-free. Complete with integral interior battery, this fixture offers an array of operating benefits like Bluetooth or DMX control, color tuning, gel, and in a rugged, waterproof solution. Just got this bad boy on the test bench today. I can’t wait to dig into this review. It should be fun.
The LiveU LU800 is an all-in-one production-level field unit for live news and sports coverage. The LU800 combines multi-camera production and superior video and audio capabilities with mission-critical transmission in a native 5G unit.
The LU800 supports up to four fully frame-synced feeds in high resolution from a single unit, using IP bonding of up to 14 connections. The unit also offers the highest-quality video performance, with up to 4Kp60 10-bit HDR transmission for optimal color depth, as well as up to 16 audio channels for high-end productions.
Marshall Electronics CV506 Full-HD Miniature Camera
The Marshall Electronics CV506 Full-HD Miniature Camera with 3GSDI & HDMI offers performance, flexibility in a very small form factor. Built around a 2.5-Megapixel, 1/2.86-inch sensor, the CV506 delivers progressive Full-HD video up to 1920x1080p at 60/59/50fps.
Ncam Mk2 Camera Bar, Mk2 Server, Ncam Reality 2020 Software
The Ncam Mk2 Camera Bar leverages the Intel® RealSense™ hardware but has also been heavily modified to suit the demanding broadcast and film environments. It is now smaller, lighter, and able to mount more flexibly to an even greater variety of camera rigs, with the result that it can be used with a jib, Steadicam, wire cam, and even with drones.
The next-generation software now runs on the Mk2 Server and can be mounted on the camera or rig itself, meaning all camera tracking and lens data is computed locally. This means Ncam can now offer fully wireless tracking on a standard RF camera link.
OWC ThunderBay 8
The ThunderBay 8 is a professional grade 8 Bay Thunderbolt 3 storage solution for pros. Think of it like a high-performance personal data center offering a lots of configuration possibilities and almost limitless storage capacity for filmmakers, video production, and graphic designers. With eight hot-swappable drive bays, OWC ThunderBay 8 offers professional-grade storage capacity in a Thunderbolt 3 desktop-sized design. Mix 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch HDDs and/or SSDs in any combination up to 112TB of capacity and use them independently or match drives and combine them in a speed and/or redundant RAID with the included SoftRAID setup and management software.
Panasonic AK-HC3900 HD HDR
The Panasonic AK-HC3900 HD HDR camera has the capability to be set up either for remote production or configured as a studio camera. Did I mention how much I like cameras that can fill a lot of different production needs? I think this camera will fit in nicely for a lot of production facilities and news operations. This camera will also be a nice fit because it will be upgradable to native 4K 60p/50p which will offer facilities and trucks good choices for their own production needs.
The Sony PXW-Z750 is the world’s first 2/3-type shoulder camcorder to support 4K capture with a 3-chip CMOS sensor system. The latest member of the XDCAM® family is optimized for news and production applications including pre-production for 4K/HDR sports broadcasts, magazine shows, unscripted television, and documentary filmmaking.
Sony’s 3-chip CMOS image sensor system is mounted on a wide band prism to ensure detailed imagery and vivid colors, along with 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and High Frame Rate (HFR) acquisition with high sensitivity and low noise.
The PXW-Z750 is the first 2/3-type 3-chip camcorder equipped with global shutter technology for producing clear and crisp images while negating artifacts such as flashband and rolling shutter distortion.
Honorable Mention: ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses
Yes, we know that these ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses were introduced last November, but according to sources they recently started to just become available. So although technically not in the pocket of eligibility per se, ZEISS does make some very fine lenses and I think we would be remiss if we didn’t get them in here somehow.
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses do enable cinematographers to create beautiful, consistent and controlled flares in the image while maintaining contrast and avoiding transmission loss. Yet, they offer all attributes of a modern cinema lens: large-format coverage, high speed, robustness and smooth reliable focus. Who doesn’t like the idea of controlling lens flare instead of leaving things to chance?
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses come as a seven-lens set: 21mm, 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm -- all T1.5. So maybe not NAB brand-new in the true sense of the word but certainly worthy of an honorable mention.
Now comes the fun part. I am very hopeful that I will have the opportunity to test-drive many of the winners listed above. Be sure to keep checking back for frequent updates. If you are getting ready to get out into the remote production world and want to share your story, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you! Be safe and talk to you soon.