With 2018 being my first foray into the world of NAB, I was admittedly a little overwhelmed with the amount of vendors and new products that I would need to tackle (or not so new, but flushed out in it’s full intended glory). As I started to walk around, it was immediately evident why it was important to see some of these products in person, to see how they feel and look firsthand. I took some time on the show floor to explore what stood out to me, regardless of how gimmicky or relevant each product was to practical cinema buildouts and workflows. This is my quick list of what I thought was smart, interesting, and weird.
Arri CForce Mini RF
Arri announced their CForce Mini RF Motor which gives you direct hand unit to motor control, doing away with the need of an MDR, even for 3rd party cameras. This also gives you the ability to map lenses with any camera as well without a need for the UMC-4. It’s still daisy-chainable with the other CForce motors via LBus and will still interface with a Cinetape using the L-Cube.
This was particularly exciting since it pushes RF motor relevancy to the next step, which means less cables, which means cleaner builds, which means more Instagram likes (or quicker ability to troubleshoot on set, but… really the likes).
We have the DJI Focus on the low end, Tilta’s Nucleus motors on the mid-end, and now Arri filling the high end. If the Mini RF motor can prove itself to be reliant and adaptable to existing ecosystems/workflows, this may shift views from industry professionals that simplified FIZ systems are just a novelty.
DJI Ronin S
The Ronin S is DJI’s small payload handheld stabilizer for DSLR’s or pocket cinema cameras and although it may warrant heavy eye rolls from the more seasoned industry folk out there, this is a great tool for those that are trying to get their start and desire more cinematic movements within their budget or journalists using DSLRs that want a solution that can provide more production value while covering an event or story.
Although there were many handheld stabilizers at the show, DJI is due credit for their time on the market as one of the top players in the consumer/prosumer gimbal market. I guess the interesting thing to me is that it took this long for something like this from DJI to come out.
Tilta Armor Man
Yeah, I don’t really know. It’s not new and in no way do I think it’s practical, but it looked cool and those that took the time to put it on and do the weird arm dance you need to do to get it up and running all said that it felt like they could run the gimbal all day. This is Tilta’s answer to gimbal support a la EasyRig or ReadyRig.
The user puts it on and have to move their arms in a particular way to get them out of their resting mode, which then provides support via springs and science voodoo to the operator’s arms. On the back was a Gold Mount plate and a Lemo port near the spine which no one knew what it was for. (Maybe to power their gimbal through the suit rather than onboard batts on the stabilizer itself. Or maybe it’s the Matrix and they just haven’t developed the cable to shove into your spine yet.) If anything, it’s nice to see different configurations in the world of gimbal support from a company that’s got some brand recognition behind it.
Written By: Auggy – Camera Rental Manager
Whenever he’s not taking care of our camera gear at Expressway, he’s playing an unhealthy amount of video games, eating Cronuts, and looking out of windows existentially.