CineGear Expo LA 2014 – The Camera Forum®
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CineGear Expo LA 2014

CineGear Expo LA 2014

PMG MultiRotors from TheCameraForum on Vimeo.

PMG MultiRotors, from Cinegear LA 2014.

Once again this year, CineGear LA 2014 proved to be a big hit. Right outside the main entrance, I ran into the baddest multi rotor ‘copter I have ever seen. No, make that THREE of them, ranging in lift capacity from 100 lbs to an incredible 200 lb lifting monster with fifteen inch props. Yep, you read that right. A multi rotor that could lift ME AND MY CAMERA! The company doing all this marvelous technology? I didn’t get a chance to hear these bad boys fired up and lifting, but I did get a chance to discuss what they offer with Connor Weiss, one of the more knowledgable sales people I met all day.  Thank you Connor for spending the time letting our readers in on your great products!

Connor Weiss, PMG MultiRotors

Connor Weiss, PMG MultiRotors


PMG MultiRotors "RECON  GAL"

PMG MultiRotors “RECON GAL”

CineGear was again held at:

The Studios at Paramount
Hollywood, CA 90038

(No Entrance at the Front Gate on Melrose)

Due to limited parking, carpooling was STRONGLY encouraged. Parking at this event is basically unavailable. Take a bus, a cab, or have a friend drop you off and pick you up later. But by all means, you need to go next year to see some of the movie industry’s favorite toys! <Grin>.  More fun for camera geeks than a day at the zoo, but just about as many people. I’m not going to even try and cover all the anatomical automated arms, the cranes, booms, huge grip trucks full of everything movie making men and women could ever want. It was all there, for sure, but not things very practical for a solo hybrid storyteller like me. Even if I could afford them! But there were plenty of other things of interest to see. This is one toy show I try not to miss.

CineGear – Litepanels New Astra 1×1 from Nate Weber on Vimeo.

The original Litepanels 1×1 panel is the mainstay of many news camera operator’s lighting kits, but let’s face facts, the total light output was not all that much. You see them all over the world being used to light interviews and stand ups.  In many of these setups you find multiple lights used to boost overall lighting, as no higher output was available. Times have now changed. Now Litepanels have introduced a brand new Astra 1×1 that is up to four times brighter than the original and has high CRI (color rendering index). Four times brighter, portable battery power able, AND a high color index? The holy grail of lighting!

One main difference to the original is that the power supply and battery mount no longer mount directly to the rear of the unit – instead they are on a yoke bar underneath the panel. This makes the panel taller than before and it will be interesting to see the the reaction of shooters and gaffers. I think the added stability and light output from this improved design will be well received. I know I’d sure be more interested in testing these new units myself than I was in using the earlier Litepanels model.

B+H is listing the Astra 1×1 at $1350 US, you can find out more on the Litepanels website.


Still on the subject of lighting, I ran across the

Varibeam Cool Film 5350°K—5600°K (+/-250°K) CRI 81 by Ianiro.




I had not seen these Italian made lights before, though it appears after researching the subject that this company has a long history of providing some excellent lighting products for the movie making industry at remarkably low prices. These lights have a surprising amount of power, and a remarkable ability to throw the light a long way. While I was impressed with the power for an LED, the low CRI made me think this light would not be that good for stills and video, or a hybrid storytellers bag of tools. I was wrong, as the following photo shows. The light quality of these is excellent! Why? I have no idea. Most other LED based lights with a CRI this low are awful. This one is pretty, and the color temp I have set in Lightroom when I rendered this from the RAW was 3900 degrees.

  • ultra-compact design and rugged construction
  • custom designed heatsink
  • yoke with universal 16mm – 5/8” spigot
  • onboard dimmer without color temperature variation
  • possible to control dimmer and remote dmx
    with Workaround module
  • uniform and optimized focus  by the mirror
  • no shadow fragmentation
  • selection and arrangement of the leds on customized
    PCBs for high rendering index and colorimetric stability
  • 99.99% extra pure German aluminum mirror (high reflection)
    polishing calibrated for the leds with lightly-hammered mirror
    for uniformity of the treatment on every item and over time.

More info on the Ianiro website here.

Not bad lighting at all for LED!

Not bad lighting at all for LED!


PMG wasn’t the only company showing off aerial camera platforms by any means.  Here is the Aerigon RED Camera platform from Intuitive Aerial.

There was no shortage this year of 'copters to fly your RED.

There was no shortage this year of ‘copters to fly your RED.


You have to love 4k cameras that feature wooden handgrips and leather covered shoulder pads. CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA. Unite production and post by shooting directly to edit-ready Apple ProRes 4444 at up to 4K 30fps, ProRes 422 at up to 4K 60fps, or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps.  For only $8,995, this puppy will hit far above its weight and cost!  More information available here on the new CION™.

CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA

CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA


Van Nguyen, Sony Imaging

Van Nguyen, Sony Imaging


As always, Van Nguyen and El Dean Naude were quite helpful showing everyone the latest gear from Sony, including the incredible new A7S due for release possibly as early as next week!  Thanks guys, my readers and I appreciate all your help.

El Dean Naude, Sony Imaging, Explaining The New A7S/Atomos Shogun Integration

El Dean Naude, Sony Imaging, Explaining The New A7S/Atomos Shogun Integration

I’ve written before on the fabulous low light recording ability of the Sony A7S, but I never get tired of seeing it shoot video footage in total darkness!  Here’s another recent test. This camera is truly going to become a game changer.


And finally, to round down towards the finish of our coverage of CineGear 2014, from the “Yes Martha, it certainly is Hollywood” collection comes the ultimate gimbal stabilization device. This puppy will fly about any camera you care to- attached to a FULL SIZE helicopter. Talk about an “eye in the sky.”

Remind you of Robo Cop?  It sure did me!

Robo Cop's Second Cousin

Robo Cop’s Second Cousin, GYRON


And finally, what Hollywood high tech show would be complete without the appearance of Darth Vader?  Or in this case his cousin, DARTH VIDEOGRAPHER!

Darth Vader? Nope.  Darth Videographer!  A Full Self Contained "Google Glass" on Steroids.

Darth Vader? Nope. Darth Videographer! A Full Self Contained “Google Glass” on Steroids.

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Chuck Jones

Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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