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By: Mark Foley

With over 1600 exhibitors, crunching the ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence list down to just 12 outstanding winners and five special mentions was not an easy task. Getting things right never is, is it? It was incredibly hard to put this list in order. It was fun, but still a difficult task. The nomination panel had lots of “animated” discussions, but we made it happen. The best part of this list is that every product and manufacturer earns the right to be here on merit. No freebies, shoe-ins or arm twisting. You can't buy your way on the list either. Our selections are honest and fair. We present our 2019 Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order.

Adobe After Effects Content-Aware Fill

Our first winner will be an editor's new best friend and time saver.  Photoshop’s content-aware fill into After Effects. The feature lets users remove unwanted objects like a tree or car in the shot. It also can automatically track objects in moving scenes and replace the missing pixels quickly without having to go frame by frame. It’ll be great for post-production editing for that you don’t want in the shot.

 

 

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF

The ALEXA Mini LF large-format camera might just have stolen the limelight at this year's NAB Show. The booth was just jammed packed with attendees trying to get a glimpse of the Mini. Like its big brother the, ALEXA LF, the scaled-down ALEXA Mini LF captures HDR, and accurate colors but does it with a compact body. It's no doubt targeted for drone and handheld.

ALEXA Mini LF has an ARRI LPL lens mount and is compatible with ARRI Signature Primes, the rental-only ARRI 65 lenses, and third-party LPL lenses. A PL-to-LPL adapter enables you to avail yourself of the large variety of PL cine lenses available. The ALEXA Mini LF is sure to be flying off the shelves as it was reported at show time that dozens of orders have already been placed for what is sure to be a popular camera.

 

Atomos Shogun 7

The Atomos Shogun 7 HDR recording and switching monitor was a sight to behold and was a consensus selection. In other words, it was cool. The 7" Shogun 7 monitor now features a 1080p native resolution, can switch between four live HD-SDI input streams with editing on the fly, and it can also play Dolby Vision HDR quality video over its HDMI or SDI outputs.

The Shogun 7 supports monitoring, recording, and switching between programs and up to four HD-SDI camera streams, which is enhanced by the ability to connect to your existing genlock and switching equipment. Multi-cam recordings can be saved with an Atomos xml metadata file, which can then be imported into an NLE with all your live switching edits in place. The smart HDR playback option analyzes video input and color information and outputs the image with the appropriate color profiles to match the maximum quality of the TV, including Dolby Vision capable displays.

  

 

 

Blackmagic Design Next Generation 8K Products

Blackmagic Design has unleashed an 8K monster with a new range of 8K products offering advanced features in HD, Ultra HD, or 8K. The new 8K products are the HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR, ATEM Constellation 8K production switcher, and Taranex Mini SDI-to-HDMI 8K HDR. If you are a future thinking person and I know you and you know that 8K is real and is now. If one can build out an 8K production platform, why not? Here is a quick look at some of the pieces. Quite impressive really.

  • The HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR is a broadcast deck with advanced H.265 8K recording combined with touchscreen user interface and traditional broadcast deck controls. It can record more than eight hours of 8K footage on a single 1-TB CFast disk.

  • The ATEM Constellation 8K, live-production switcher with 8K capability, lets customers create content for the next generation of the television industry. Features include 4M/E, 40x12G-SDI inputs, 24x12G-SDI aux outputs, 4 DVEs, 16 keyers, four media players, four multiviewers, 2 SuperSource, and standards conversion on each of the 40 SDI inputs.

  • Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K HDR is an advanced 8K monitoring solution for large-screen televisions and video projectors, film studios and broadcasters needing professional but color-accurate monitoring

 

Canon Sumire Primes

Our next winner is sure to fire up a whole lot of Canon users who wanted a warmer look from a Canon Prime and wanted to shoot in low light. You are going to be really impressed. The Sumire Lineup consists of seven fast T-stop prime lenses. This will be great for low-light shooting and creating that beautiful bokeh. The lenses also offer a 300-degree focus rotation angle and consistent gear positioning. These support 4K full-frame cameras, Super 35, APS-H and APS-C. What you can’t see however is just how beautiful these lenses are. Not technical I know, but when you see the Canon Sumire Primes in action, you’ll know why they made the cut.

 

Core SWX Helix Batteries

You might not equate battery systems as sexy, but the Core SWX Helix is smart AND sexy. Here’s why. The Core SWX Helix is a dual voltage battery system that features simultaneous 14V and 28V power output for use on high-draw lights and cameras like the ARRI LF. I think it’s cool to work in the now and think of the future like Core.

The Helix has been designed to power the same devices as a regular V-mount or Gold mount 14v pack without accidentally transmitting high voltage unless it’s needed. The higher output only unlocks when you pair the battery with a special mounting plate.

The plates themselves are also still compatible with regular voltage battery packs so you won’t have to replace a whole fleet of batteries all at once. Despite their higher output, the Helix batteries charge on regular V-mount and Gold mount chargers. So rather than having to use a shark fin dual battery solution, you can use a single Helix HCM to power, say your ARRI camera (lucky you). Passing through 33.6V to the ARRI results in a run time of around 40 mins from the 90Wh packs.

 

 

LITEGEAR LiteMat Spectrum LED Panel

Sometimes when we are deciding on an AoE contestant we have to get a little geeky. Translated that means that the specs on the LITEGEAR LiteMat Spectrum LED Panel are very impressive for this camera-compliant LED light fixture. It can accurately reproduce any shade of white that the camera considers “correct.” That can be anywhere between 2,000K and 11,000K with +/- 8 points of tint correction.

The LITEGEAR LiteMat Spectrum LED Panel can also augment its white light with color accents. Saturated color can be added with 100 shades of depth. It's the first lighting system to be certified color-space compliant. That means taking the guesswork out of color mixing for digital cinema. Its patent-pending color processing engine also provides wide color gamut desaturation.

 

Quantum F-Series NVMe

What's not to love about tons of storage that is fast and affordable? Our next winner found out what we really want, and just in time. The amount of storage needed for 8K and above are huge. Bring on the  F-Series, a new line of NVMe storage arrays designed for performance, availability, and reliability. Using non-volatile memory express (NVMe) flash drives for ultra-fast reads and writes, it supports parallel processing and is designed for studio editing, rendering and other performance-intensive workloads utilizing large unstructured datasets. 

The first product in the F-Series is the Quantum F2000, a highly available and performant storage server, purpose-built for NVMe. The F2000 is a 2U, dual-node server with two hot-swappable compute canisters and up to 24 dual-ported NVMe drives.  The F-Series is based on the Quantum Cloud Storage Platform.  The F-Series is designed for real-time editing of 4K and 8K content to meet the needs of producers, directors and studio executives. The F-Series can also be used in animation and visual effects studios.

 

 

SHOTOVER B1 Gyro-Stabilized Camera System

Small, fast and affordable, our next winner falls into the very cool product category. Weighing under 40 pounds with payload, the SHOTOVER B1’s lightweight design allows it to be utilized on a host of helicopters including the Guimbal Cabri G2, Robinson R44, and R66, Bell 206 and 505, Eurocopter AS350, and Cessna fixed-wing aircraft. The system can also be mounted on watercraft and ground-based platforms such as cable cams, tracks and rails. Like all of SHOTOVER's aerial camera systems, the B1 has 6-axis stabilization technology, providing look down capability and functionality. The open platform design of the system will allow users the flexibility and creative freedom to use the system for a variety of applications.

 

 

SmallHD Cine 7

The Cine 7 is a powerful new monitor platform designed for professional shooters with a 1080p, daylight viewable 1,800 nit display that offers 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut. What sets this monitor apart is the integration of cinema camera control, allowing shooters to control a variety of camera settings right from the SmallHD software interface.

The Cine 7 comes with support for ARRI ALEXA Mini, AMIRA and Mini LF cameras as an optional software license. Camera control via the Cine 7 interface solves any number of production issues. Each model supports cinema camera control. All Cine 7 models are compatible with Teradek RT real-time lens data overlays, allowing users to get critical follow focus information directly on the display, including lens focal distance, focal length, iris, zoom and more. It is said that plans are in the works to include other cameras models in the near future.

 

Teradek Bolt 4K

Teradek has first zero-delay 4K wireless video transmission system. How awesome is that? The Teradek Bolt 4K will be able to transmit 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 HDR video at a range of up to 1,500 feet line-of-sight over the unlicensed 5GHz band. It will come in two versions: a Teradek Bolt 4K 750 TX/RX set with a range of up to 750 feet (about 228 meters) and a Teradek Bolt 4K 1,500 TX/RX set with the maximum range of 1,500 feet (about 457 meters).

The Bolt 4K is the first 4K HDR wireless video system, providing uncompressed, zero-latency (<1ms) transmission. The Teradek Bolt 4K features interoperability with any model range and can transmit and receive from another. The transmitters feature dual 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 inputs, while the receivers feature two 12G-SDI outputs and an HDMI 2.0 output. 

 

ZEISS Supreme Primes, 21mm & 135mm Lenses

Rounding out our 2019 winners list with style is the addition of the ZEISS Supreme Primes, 21mm & 135mm lenses. There is nothing not to like about these beautiful works of art. They can cover large format with ease, including full-frame and Vista Vision, thanks to a 46.3mm image circle. The ZEISS Supreme Prime line was first introduced at Cine Gear LA in 2018, but these new lenses made their NAB Show debut this year. 

 

 

Special Mentions

Congratulations to all of the winners and special mentions! Be sure to visit NABHUB as we continue to explore more of the great things we saw at this year's NAB Show Las Vegas.