Newtek’s IP protocol and Sony’s FS5 were among the highlights of this year’s show.
As the dust settles on another IBC, we asked a handful of delegates from resellers, hire firms and post facilities for their views on the show.
Duncan Payne, sales manager, WTS
HDR, 4K and IP - probably in that order - were the main talking points of my discussions. Whilst camcorder manufacturers have cracked low cost 4K acquisition, mostly by reverting to a lower bit rate, or subsampling, such as down to 4:2:0, the tough job is moving the volume of data around in a live environment. Routing and vision-mixing manufacturers are getting there though, with Ross leading the way with its clever, compact and award-winning Ultrix router.
Canon had an astonishing low-light camera (the ME20F-SH) that can literally see in the dark. And Panasonic showed off its fabulous Varicam as well as its new and for some reason, partly red DVX-200.
Sony launched a new budget, baby FS7 camcorder, the FS5, but more interesting is its new ODA archiving system that seems a genuine alternative to LTO tape solutions. 50 years guarantee of compatibility is a strong tag line compared with two generations of LTO.
Paul Jones, head of post-production, Princess TV
We use Forscene for a lot of our productions for logging and rough cuts, so I was really excited to see AAF round tripping in and out of Avid. Previously, AAFs only went from Forscene to Avid, letting producers send cuts across to the editor. This workflow enhancement means that the producer and editor can quickly bounce cuts between them. Also, the iOS app for iPad looks great.
From Sony the FS5 looks like another winner and if the popularity of its big brother the FS7 is anything to go by I expect to see it on productions as soon as it is available. I also like the idea of strapping it to a drone.
On the Avid stand the ‘baby’ Isis, the 1000 looks like a good fit for us when we deploy location post production set ups.
And Blackmagic Design’s new range of Teranex Mini convertors look good. The ability to rack mount and add a front panel with a video confidence monitor is a great idea.
Jon Fry, sales director, CVP
There were some interesting development at the Newtek stand, with the introduction of its Network Device Interface live production IP standard which I believe will provide an immediate opportunity for existing customers of CVP.
The rest of the IP technology I saw holds obvious potential for the future but is largely infrastructure and project driven, which doesn’t fit so well within CVP today so I struggle to see where we can add value to it at the moment.
The FS5 has a buzz around it for obvious reasons - it’s a small camera with ‘Sony’ written on the side - and it is a camera that those who cannot afford the FS7 will definitely consider. Pre-orders are building daily and it will inevitably do well.
In addition to that, the Freefly Alta is now shipping and I believe will elevate the drone market. There were a few accessories that I liked the look of, but nothing that was a game changer.
Everyone seems to have woken up to high dynamic range, but again this is nothing new; Arri has been banging that drum for years.
Taig McNab, technical manager, 3SixtyMedia
Post is usually very much on-premise, particularly the finishing elements - if you have an Isis or similar, it dictates a lot of the way a facility works.
I don’t think that will change any time soon, but it is interesting to see how lots of companies are adding their products to the cloud, such as Telestream, which allows you to spin up a Vantage in AWS which can be used as additional transcode nodes. It seems sensible to be able to push burst-type traffic and short-term expansion requirements such as VFX rendering to the cloud.
With that in mind, I spoke with the Amazon guys for a good chunk of time. We have traditionally done fair bit in the cloud for while – we have been Forscene users for about 10 years now – so using the cloud is nothing new, but we are looking at how we can use it for additional elements that will allow us to be more flexible, to transcode or render higher volumes than with our in-house infrastructure.
I’m not for or against any particular cloud provider over another, we’re already using Google for some of our AS-11 workflows and Amazon has incredible scale and a flexible approach.
We have in-house solutions for all of the things I am looking at, but it’s about what we do next: do we want to buy another three or four nodes of transcode, or do we really need another couple of blades for VFX rendering?
If the answer is yes, then at least we have done it with our eyes open. But it’s worth looking at [the cloud] on a regular basis because at some point it will offer a sensible alternative.
Some of the suppliers to the post production industry that you might expect to see in Hall 7 weren’t there, but others that you might not expect were there - Oracle is a good example.
I might be reading too much into it - it might be that they just needed a particular amount of square footage - but it does go hand-in-hand with using more commoditised kit to run your operation and the need to be savvy across standard IT equipment - whether it’s your internal systems or a third party provider.
Something else I looked for was a new scheduling system for billing, quotes and rostering. That was interesting – there doesn’t seem to be anything that is particularly elegant out there.
John Brennan, chief executive, Procam
We were interested to see several suppliers of fibre camera channels to support our projects division, where revenue has doubled in 12 months. We visited MultiDyne to have a look at the SilverBack 4K5, Sony for the CA4000 fibre adaptor for our stock of F55 cameras and Arri to look at the fibre remote option.
I was also interested to see alternative to Teradek wireless - particularly the range of new products by Transvideo.
And we confirmed a number of orders in Amsterdam, including six Canon C300 MKIIs, ten of Arri’s Alexa SXT cameras, two sets of Arri Master Prime Anamorphics and two Arri Anamorphic 19-36 Ultra Wide Zooms.
Danny Dawson, managing director, Alias Hire
Finding key accessories for the Canon C300 MKII was top of our list. Accessories can be a bit boring but Vocas and Zacuto have some very functional handles and battery adaptors. Very nice stuff and vital.
But it wasn’t all top handles and cheese plates; the most impressive item was the Canon ME20F-SH.
Canon had amazing night-time footage on display shot at 40,000 ISO, and it’s not just the illumination of the shot that stood out but the actual colours that were totally visible. Really beautiful stuff and the camera will be amazing for nature and wildlife productions.
We also loved the GoPro and Google ‘Odyssey’ which was essentially a stack of Go-Pro cameras stripped of their housing and placed inside an enclosed disc which record simultaneously. Using the Google ‘Cardboard’ binoculars you can view 360° images from the pre-shot footage.
The new Sony FS5 is the kid-brother of the already widely used and very popular Sony FS7. It’s cheaper, smaller and might be a great B cam or extra camera for FS7 shoots. At the moment it apparently only records 4:2:0 but the Sony stand assistants assured us 4:2:2 was not that far away. In all honesty, given the popularity and the cost of the FS7 the FS5 might not find its place in the hire world, unlike its bigger brother, but there’s no doubt you get a lot of camera in a tiny form and that can’t be bad.