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The ARRI M18 HMI

ARRI introduced its new ARRI M18, an 1800W SE HMI, at last year’s NAB convention in Las Vegas.  Having become available this past summer, the M18 has proven itself as a versatile and efficient lighting system.  With an average lamp life of 750 hours and a tagline as “the brightest HMI you can plug into the wall,” the M18 combines convenience with dependability. The M18 combines elements of PAR and Fresnel optics to spread an even beam of “TrueBlue” light that is adjustable from 20-60 degrees.  This lens-less system provides an intense and broadly focusable output without any need to reach for spreader lenses. The M18 is deceivingly small for the amount of power it packs.  At less than 25 pounds, the M18 is no bigger than a 1200W PAR yet it has a 70 percent higher light output.  Adding to the versatility is the newly designed EB 1200/1800 electronic ballast.  This allows for seamless switching between 1200W and 1800W functions, thus doubling the M18’s abilities without any cumbersome increase in size. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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The Redrock DSLR Cinema Bundle

The Redrock DSLR Cinema Bundle enables cinema-style shooting with cameras that are otherwise limited due to size and design.  DSLR cameras such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D boast a number of benefits (excellent image quality, low light shooting, etc) but are less than ideal for handheld shooting.  The Redrock DSLR rig solves this problem. The Redrock Cinema Bundle features a protective and stabilizing microSupport cage built from carbon fiber rods (easily disassembled for storage).  A padded shoulder mount, including front handgrips, increases mobility.  Rounding out the Redrock system is the microFollowFocus, which attaches seamlessly and enables fully functional focus pulling. The Redrock camera support package also includes a number of options that make life easy for camera operators.  With a cheeseplate and rod clamp included, the entire system can go from handheld to tripod in a matter of seconds.  Additional add-ons such as the Hoodman Viewfinder Cinema Kit and Marshall V-LCD70P-HDMI Lightweight Monitor can be integrated into the system to meet your specific needs. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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The Steadicam Pilot

For decades, filmmaking and massive budgets have been wed to one another.  With the invention and evolution of digital video, the floodgates of quality, yet low cost production have opened.  Emerging from the waves of this revolution is the Steadicam Pilot, a newly accessible and functional version of the device that has been beyond the reach of low budget cinema for so long. Having released the Steadicam Merlin and Steadicam Flyer in recent history, Tiffen (formerly Cinema Products) has shown a distinct interest in reaching digitally inclined consumers.  While these models accommodated the needs of certain consumer and prosumer enthusiasts, there were several barriers preventing filmmakers from obtaining truly professional results. As a handheld device, the Merlin was simply exhausting for its user, proving to be impractical for extended use.  With the arm/vest addition to the Flyer, we saw a closer resemblance in look and operation to Tiffen’s top end Steadicam Ultra and Steadicam Clipper models.  Unfortunately, with weight restrictions preventing the Merlin and Flyer from securing professional video cameras, the quality of cameras available for use with these models left much to be desired. With the rapid advancement of lightweight, yet high quality digital video cameras, the ten-pound weight restriction of Tiffen’s Steadicam Pilot doesn’t retract from its overall quality.  There exists an entire range of professional cameras that fall within this weight class, including but not limited to the: Panasonic AG-DVX-100B, Sony DSR-PD170, Canon XL-1, and Canon EOS 5D Mark II. No longer relegated to matrimony with cameras of insufferable quality, the Steadicam technology available in the Pilotprovides filmmakers with long awaited professional workflow.  Fitted with the essential vest, arm, and sled with monitor, the Steadicam Pilot is a streamlined version of the Flyer yet still closely resembles the aforementioned larger rigs.  In contrast to these larger models, the Pilot’s low total weight allows for an entire day of shooting without losing much stamina. Additionally, while many other competing devices require the loosening and tightening of a series of screws to adjust fore-and-aft and side-to-side balancing, the Steadicam Pilot uses two simple knobs.  The Pilot also allows for quality shooting in both high and low modes (you can flip the camera’s orientation for high and low filming) with little time needed for the switch. All this comes at a price tag of about $4,000, making professional quality Steadicam footage more accessible than ever.  A viable option for independent filmmakers and enthusiasts alike, the Pilot is absolutely worth its cost. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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The Sanken CUB-01 Mini Cardioid Boundary Microphone

The Sanken Mini Cardioid Boundary Mic is a huge step forward for audio devices of its kind.  Extremely small and inconspicuous, the CUB-01 can easily be concealed within a set, incorporated into the sound engineering of a broadcast news station, and much more. At a mere 45-gram weight, this boundary mic is more versatile than its predecessors.  This allows for placement in a broad range of areas – all you need is some double stick tape and the possibilities appear to be endless.  Receptive to phantom power, the CUB-01 works seamlessly with wireless systems.  This makes audio recoding as simple as placing the CUB and a transmitter in your chosen location and monitoring the results. With a redesign of the cardioid capsule that, in the past, has been largely responsible for the bad reputations of boundary mics (gaunt audio quality), Sanken has made the CUB-01 a truly capable mic for film and video production.  The CUB-01 is now adept at capturing the robust audio quality we’ve come to expect from professional audio devices. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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The Cineflex V14 HD Camera System

The Cineflex V14 HD camera system has taken aerial cinematography to the next level. Equipped with a technologically advanced gimbal, the Cineflex V14 HD system uses sensors to recognize vibrations and immediately correct the camera accordingly.  This is a vast improvement upon previous gyro gimbal systems that relied on a system of spinning (and sometimes unstable) wheels to capture smooth images.  At about 65 pounds and a mere 14.5 inches wide, this gimbal also allows for more versatile shooting.  Uniquely, the Cineflex V14 Turret can be used in conjunction with more than just helicopters.  Attach the turret to cars, boats, etc to capture the best footage for your specific circumstance. Sporting the robust Sony HDW-1500 camera, the Cineflex V14 HD system separates elements of the camera to reduce strain on the gimbal.  The body of the HDW-1500 remains inside the chopper while its CCD block and lens attach to the gimbal.  With an attached SR-recorder, the Cineflex can output 1920 x 1080 HDCAM video to 50-minute tapes.  As of late, this system has been used to record aerial footage for television shows such as Burn Notice, Brooke Knows Best, and Ugly Betty. Bookmark it to Stumbleupon, Digg, and more! Hide...

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