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NAB 2015: News from Blackmagic, Sony, Lectrosonics, DJI, and More

As the 2015 National Association of Broadcasters show (NAB) kicks off in Las Vegas this week, we’re happy to bring you some exciting news from around the world. Showcasing both professional and consumer video products, with a good dose of audio products thrown in, NAB 2015 promises to be one of the most exciting video-related shows of the year.

Blackmagic Design Unveils New Products, Including Three New Cameras

As has become the norm for Blackmagic, the company has announced a plethora of new and updated products, chief among them the URSA Mini, a more compact version of the URSA camera, and a new 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range for the URSA and URSA Mini cameras. Also announced are the Micro Cinema Camera and Micro Studio Camera, miniature remote-enabled versions of the Pocket Cinema Camera and Studio Camera, a 1080p EVF, 1080p 5" monitor/recorder, DaVinci Resolve 12 with major editing updates, and a whole range of 12G-SDI products for broadcast, post production, and live production. Staying tuned for a full announcement on these Blackmagic products.

DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

In addition to two new Phantom 3 quadcopters, DJI unveils a lighter version of the Ronin handheld stabilizer, the Ronin-M. The new gimbal carries over most of the features of the original but weighs just over 5 lb and has a capacity of up to 8 lb. This makes it ideal for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, as well as compact video cameras and even some smaller cinema cameras. New features for the M version include Silent Mode, which can correct for less extreme motion—say, handshake as opposed to running with it—while keeping motor noise to a minimum. In most cases, normal motor noise isn't a problem, but in a tight space where the camera and gimbal are close to the subject (and thus the microphone) it can become an issue. As with its predecessor, a handheld controller is included for two-person operation. Additionally, there will a Thumb Controller that enables manual camera movement using... just your thumb.

Livestream Studio HD550 All-in-One and New Studio Surface Go

Livestream debuts its Studio HD550, a compact and portable all-in-one live production switcher that can be easily carried from production to production. The switcher is equipped with Livestream’s Studio 3.0 software and features an integrated 17" 1920 x 1200 LCD screen, five SDI/HDMI inputs, one SDI/HDMI output, and an internal 1TB hard drive that provides up to 20 hours of broadcast-quality recording. A mouse, keyboard, and custom carry bag come included. Livestream has also announced a new Studio Surface Go, a portable solution that adds tactile controls for Livestream Studio software. It offers quick access to the most essential switching, graphics, and transition controls, all in a keyboard-sized body.

Video Devices PIX-E 4K Monitors/Recorders

Video Devices, the video-oriented subsidy of Sound Devices, showcases previews of a new series of camera-mounted recording field monitors. Dubbed the PIX-E series, the monitors are available with either a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD (PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H) or a 7-inch 1920 x 1200 LCD (PIX-E7), and have the ability to record up to 4K at 24 fps, UHD at 30 fps, and 1080p up to 60 fps to mSATA-based SpeedDrives. The PIX-E5 and PIX-E7 models feature HDMI and 3G-SDI inputs and support the full family of ProRes codecs, including ProRes 4444 XQ. The PIX-E5H is an HDMI-only version that tops out at ProRes HQ, making it a more cost-effective option for 4K DSLR and mirrorless camera shooters. The monitors are equipped with a wide array of professional monitoring tools, including TapZoom, false color, zebras, guides, LUTs, and a range of scopes such as waveform, histogram, and vectorscope. All PIX-E monitors feature die-cast metal housings and Gorilla Glass 2 protection for their LCD screens, making them tough enough for full-time production use.

TC Electronic Clarity X Multi-Format Monitoring System

Gearing to be the linchpin of your broadcast production control room, film-mixing room, or TV production van, TC Electronic has unveiled its Clarity X monitoring system. Giving you 16 channels of AES digital audio input with 8 analog line outputs on a D-Sub connector, the system covers channel counts up to 7.1 surround. The included measuring mic allows you to calibrate the rack-mountable Clarity X, helping you create consistent and accurate mixes. As its name implies, the goal of the Clarity X is to assist you in making pristine, intelligible mixes. A neat feature is the hearing-loss prevention, which tracks the SPL you’re exposed to, and lets you know when it’s time for a break. Five dedicated software meters are also included for visual feedback.

Genelec 7040

Looking to add low end to its 8010, 8020, and M30 series monitors, the 7040 is a compact subwoofer with an 85 Hz crossover. Powered by a 50-watt Class D amplifier, the 7040 can crank up to about 100 dB of output and reaches down to approximately 30 Hz. Coming in at roughly 25 lb with a 13 x 8" frame, Genelec is clearly going after engineers with a smaller space who still need more low end or 5.1/7.1 mix capabilities.

Nagra VI Software Update

Not satisfied to just fix bugs with the latest software update for the Nagra VI digital recorder, the company has incorporated some features originally developed for the Nagra VII. You can now assign tracks 1 and 2 as your L/R mix for the copy going to your SD card. The controls on the VI can now also be assigned to an external MIDI controller, giving you hands-on control for a variety of control options.  A playback status bar is now visible on the screen of the VI, indicating where in the file you currently are. A double-press on the headphone button switches the headphones to mono, letting you quickly check mono compatibility.

Eventide BD600W Broadcast Delay

Eventide has just made it easier to keep profanity off the air if you’re using a Wheatstone console. Taking the perennial BD600 broadcast delay and adding WheatNet-IP networking, you can now connect it directly to a Wheatstone broadcast console.