DCS eNewsletter 185 DRAFT – Do Not Publish

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


As we prepare for our annual streaming coverage of NAB, there is a lot happening to tell you about, both with DCS and in general industry news. We are holding our annual NAB Internet Silent Auction, our biggest fundraiser of the year, with lots of valuable products donated by our supporters. Bidding ends promptly at the end of NAB 2024, so be sure to check it out and put in your bids.  We’re still compiling the results of our 2024 DCS Member Survey, but we have a few highlights to share and news of the winner of the raffle for a $500 e-Gift Credit donated by The Studio B&H.  And the Winner is…Christopher Chomyn, ASC.  We’re pleased to know that the June Cine Gear Expo will be returning to a studio back lot, but this year, for the first time at Warner Bros. in Burbank, CA.
There is almost too much news to report with so many announcements and new product releases coming just before NAB. They include new lights from ARRI, Litepanels, and Godox, new lenses from Fujinon, Canon and SIGMA, a new 5G Prism Mobile system from Teradek, a new battery system from Core, new camera software from Blackmagic Design and Canon and a whole new build for Frame.io from Adobe now in Beta.
In his essay this month, James Mathers looks back at his career shooting Indie features and laments how few make it to the big screen.  We also welcome new lifetime member Valentina Caniglia, a Cinematographer originally from Italy, now residing in L.A., who is getting a lot of notice for her impressive work.  So, we hope to see you at NAB, but if you can’t make it this year, be sure to catch up on the latest motion picture technology news by following our streaming interviews from the show floor.


DCS News

The 2024 DCS Internet Silent Auction is Now Open

Through the generosity of our supporters who are donating very valuable products, we will once again hold our DCS Internet Silent Auction to coincide with NAB. It is a great way for our supporters to make you aware of their new products while giving members a chance to get great deals, and at the same time help finance the Digital Cinema Society.

Here’s how it will work: All current DCS members are welcome to e-mail us bids on the products described on the following list, (plus any additions that may be donated.) Bidding will end promptly with the close of NAB 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Wednesday, April 17th, and the winners will be notified shortly thereafter. In most cases the companies making the donations have elected to ship the products directly, so they will be given the winners’ contact details and arrange delivery. Payment for the silent auction prizes will be via Paypal or check in US funds sent to us prior to pickup or shipping. Buyers are responsible for the actual cost of shipping, if any, as well as all import/export taxes that may be due. If the bid price fails to reach the listed minimum, the item will be added to our next raffle of SWAG and given away at an appropriate DCS event. SO WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?

Silent Auction Items:

Item #1 — Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera 6K
Item #2 — ZEISS Batis E-Mount Lens in Choice of Focal Length, (2.8/18, 2/25, 2/40 CF, 1.8/85 or 2.8/135)
Items #3A & #3B — 2 Filmcraft Studios Custom Tall Director Chairs, Black or Natural Finish
Item #4 — Filmcraft Studios Director Chair Pouch
Item #5 — K-Tek Essential Boom 9′
Item #6 — DoPchoice SNAPBAG for ASTERA 1 Titan Tube
Item #7 — AJA U-TAP SDI for USB 3.0 Powered 3G-SDI Capture
Item #8 — Zacuto ACT Baseplate

Checkout The DCS Silent Auction Site for Latest Current Bids and Inventory:  https://dcsonline.org/2024-nab-silent-auction/

2024 DCS Member Survey

Survey Result Highlights

We are swamped prepping to cover NAB, which starts at the end of this week, and there was so much positive feedback to sift through that we decided to only offer a couple of the highlights in this issue.  There were no big surprises, but we wanted to at least share the answers to a couple of the most timely questions, namely when do you think our industry will get back to full swing, and how do you feel about AI?


We would also like to share just a couple bits of the feedback we received:

“DCS is an exceptional venue for collaboration and information. It fills in the gap that most Societies and organizations miss.”  Roy H. Wagner, ASC

“Always working to stay relevant and ahead of the curve… proactive and not reactive to trending technology. Clear-headed, unbiased approaches to technology companies so creatives can make informed decisions about what’s best for them and their projects. Led by a humble, real-world legit filmmaker who’s not only been there and done that, but IS there and IS doing that! (And surrounds himself with others doing the same!)” Jody Eldred, Filmmaker, Cinematography Professor, and Author

“I believe that Jim and the DCS has become extremely valuable in the motion picture industry. The DCS has compiled a vast history of data and instructive audio/visual that rivals museum and science fairs. All this has been the vision, hard work and love of imaging of Jim Mathers. The future of DCS will only enhance the future of the motion picture industry.”  Ron Garcia, ASC

“DCS is the centerfold of knowledge for today’s Digital Cinematography. The DCS articles, newsletters, webinars, in person seminars and workshops are invaluable for learning about today’s Digital equipment. Jim Mathers’ analyses have proven invaluable in the information he provides to all of us. Joining DCS as a Lifetime member has proven to be invaluable due to the resources and research Jim and Charlene have provided through the years and continue to provide almost daily.” Michael Hofstein, Director of Photography

And the Winner Is…

Our congratulations go to Christopher Chomyn, ASC as the winner of the random drawing from the survey respondents. He won a $500 eGift certificate generously donated by The Studio-B&H.  Chris is a renowned Cinematographer with a wide range of credits in features, television, commercials and documentaries.  He also finds time to serve on the faculty of USC as Cinematography Instructor.





Industry News

Cine Gear Announces June Expo to be held at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA June 6-9, 2024

Cine Gear Expo has announced that the June expo will be held at the historic Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The Digital Cinema Society once again plans to hold our famous “Focus on Cine Lenses from the Buyer’s POV” event, where we gather virtually all the high end cine lens manufacturers in one place at one time so perspective buyers can see what’s available and compare their features. We also plan to conduct our annual interviews to dig deeper into the technology that is displayed at the expo.

Established over one hundred years ago, the iconic studio is the home of a century of cultural touchstones from classics like, The Jazz Singer, Casablanca, Looney Tunes, Rebel Without a Cause, and My Fair Lady, to current award-winners Barbie and Abbot Elementary. Today the 110-acre main lot encompasses 29 sound stages and 11 exterior sets and offers a range of production rentals and services. This year’s Expo will again feature technology previews, film screenings, educational panels, guild and association presentations, and filmmaker talks. Cine Gear Registration is Open NOW and Free (before May 28, 2024, 11:59pm PDT) at https://www.cinegearexpo.com/la-expo/registration/m/company/news/2024/0307_01.html


ARRI announces L-Series Plus, a New Generation of LED Fresnels

With the new L-Series Plus, ARRI announces an update to their line of LED Fresnels.  The new models are said to be up to 90% brighter than the original L-Series. With direct network data input and the intuitive onboard control interface known from ARRI SkyPanel, the new L-Series Plus provides additional benefits while retaining appreciated features such as continuous focusability from spot to flood; a smooth, homogenous light field; and complete control over the color and intensity of light. Their build quality and flexibility make them suitable for both location and studio applications.

  • Up to 90% brighter than the original L-Series, yet similar in size and weight
  • Direct network connectivity with LAN data input and light control via ArtNet and Streaming ACN
  • Intuitive SkyPanel Classic onboard control and user interface
  • Two sizes: L5-C Plus and L7-C Plus, in blue-silver and black color with different yoke options

To learn more about L-Series Plus, please visit www.arri.com/l-series-plus

CARTONI Introduces A New Line of Advanced Encoded Fluid Heads and Innovative Accessories

To premiere at NAB 2024, CARTONI has introduced a new line of Advanced Encoded Fluid Heads including the Lifto Twin and Pedestal HP Series. In an industry first, the company has integrated positional tracking into its fluid heads, jibs, and Lambda 25 nodal head. This is ideal for VFX and Virtual Production applications. With encoders placed directly on the rotation shaft, Cartoni supports ensure precise angular readings. Data is presented in a simple open protocol, compatible with any image composition software. These encoded E-Heads not only assist sophisticated special effects, visual effects, and similar applications, but also provide precise tracking of remote cameras, ensuring accuracy with zero delay in response. 

Positional metadata is accessible to any processor or can be channelled by the Cartoni VR Box, which features a specialized electronic interface compatible with virtual engines, consolidating optical data collected from the lens in a single stream. The Lifto 25 motorized elevation column now offers enhanced PTZ options to control one or multiple cameras with additional vertical movement and plug-and-play interface to leading PTZ consoles such as Panasonic, Sony, Canon, etc.. The Lifto 25 Controller can manage up to five Lifto 25 units, facilitating speed variation and integrating control within the console or with any separate game controller joystick or pedal. It can also be remotely connected via an ethernet grid to remotely interface with most PTZ consoles. The dedicated software is equipped for motion programming and virtual interface. The Lifto 25 is now evolving to offer even higher elevation with Lifto Twin. By coupling a double elevation unit, the Lifto Twin reaches 14.5 ft (440 cm) with a stroke of 4.3 in (132 cm) and an increased speed of 3 in/s (75 mm/s). The speed is now variable and multiple positions can be programmed and connected via ethernet.

Cartoni will also be showing several new innovative accessories including a rail clamp support for 75/100mm bowl base heads. Where space is lacking for tripod deployment, the Cartoni Rail Clamp allows head/camera systems to be safely secured to a banister, a truss or roll bar with two clamps that stably secure a compact hi-hat as head support. A ring facilitates the use of a safety steel cord to secure the camera. A second new accessory is the Rosette Extender, which can be fixed on the pan bar rosette attachment of Focus heads to increase the space between the pan bar and the mounted camera. By adding 45mm, the pan bar has more space from the camera. The Rosette Extender has multiple ¼ and 3/8“ threads to attach accessories such as microphones, monitors, lights, infrared trackers, etc.


Canon Announces Major Firmware Update for C500 Mark II Adding Onboard Recording of Cinema RAW Light

Canon has announced the latest firmware update to their EOS C500 Mark II camera adding Cinema RAW Light capabilities. Up until now, the EOS C500 Mark II was only able to shoot 12-bit RAW at up to 30 frames per second, and 10-bit at frame rates beyond that, but with the update Canon is now adding three new Cinema RAW Light formats which will provide 12-bit recording at all frame rates.  With the addition of Cinema RAW Light LT (light recording), ST (standard quality), and HQ (high quality) formats, the EOS C500 Mark II will now have four different RAW recording options and 12-bit RAW at high frame rates. The Cinema RAW Light format offers a significant reduction in file size without sacrificing image quality or grading and compositing headroom.  The firmware update, scheduled for March 21, 2024 will allow recording with the widest dynamic range of the camera’s sensor in a file that’s approximately a third to a fifth of the size of a standard Cinema RAW file.


Teradek Introduces Prism Mobile 5G: Streams Over 5G Bonded Cellular and Records On-Board Up to 4K

Teradek has announced the Prism Mobile 5G, an on-board bonded 5G cellular encoder, transmitter, and recorder. Designed to provide the best possible cellular connectivity in a compact, light weight package for live streaming or capture for camera-to-cloud workflows. The Prism Mobile 5G features 2x integrated high-performance cellular modems (LTE for the Mk II) with private mobile network / CBRS support, twin SIM slots, and an external connection for modem expansion.

Like its predecessor, the Flex, Prism Mobile works with a variety of camera-to-cloud platforms, including Frame.io, AVID, Sony C3P, Sony Ci, PIX, and Moxion. In fact, the DCS streaming coverage of NAB will be captured and transmitted from the show floor with the new unit using Frame.io Camera-to-Cloud technology. Prism Mobile takes advantage of Teradek Reliable Transport (TRT) protocol to bonded cellular workflows. TRT is an ultra-robust, ultra-low latency transport protocol that delivers audio and video over bonded cellular networks with minimal latency. TRT technology dynamically adjusts stream buffer size and forward error correction to optimize packet delays across diverse network environments allowing real-time delivery without sacrificing quality.  The Prism Mobile 5G is now available for pre-order; for more details, please visit: https://teradek.com/pages/prism-mobile




Litepanels introduces the Astra IP, adding Durability and Weatherproofing to their popular Bi-color line

Litepanels has announced the launch of the new Astra IP Bi-Color LED panel range, an update to their popular line adding significant advancements in durability and weatherproofing features. Its robust construction gives Astra IP the ability to withstand even the toughest outdoor conditions. Rated at IP65 for protection against dust and water ingress, the weatherproof design ensures reliable performance in rain, snow, or high humidity environments. An integrated power supply, and optional Gold Mount, V-Mount and BP-U battery plates add to ease of set up and dependability.  The Astra IP is equipped with ultra-efficient LEDs and a tighter beam angle, to provide accurate white light from 2,700K to 6,500K at any intensity level, with or without diffusion, and an LCD screen provides instant confirmation of color output.   

Available in three different sizes for location or studio settings, the three new Astra IP models include:
Astra IP Half: Compact and lightweight at just 6.2lb/2.8kg, the Astra IP Half offers a powerful lighting solution for small spaces and low ceilings with a 1500 lux output at 10ft/3m.
Astra IP 1×1: With a compact form factor and a weight of 9.7lb/4.4kg, the Astra IP 1×1 provides an output of 3000 lux at 10ft/3m.
Astra IP 2×1: Designed for indoor and outdoor productions, the Astra IP 2×1 delivers a highly accurate white light output of 5500 lux at 10ft/3m.
For more details, visit: https://www.litepanels.com/en/astra-ip/


FUJINON Introduces the Duvo HZK14-100mm Portable PL Mount Zoom

In the lead-up to NAB 2024, FUJINON has announced the new Duvo HZK14-100mm Portable PL Mount Zoom. This is the second in FUJINON’s Duvo series of compact zoom lenses along with the HZK 24-300mm introduced at last year’s NAB, and the third in the Duvo family which also includes the HZK25-1000mm Cinema Box Lens. The Duvo Format offers flexibility with a built-in 1.5x expander that allows the lens’ image circle to cover Large Format digital image sensors, or it can be left disengaged for use with Super 35 sensors.  The new Duvo 14-100mm has a T-stop of T2.9 at the wide end, (with slight ramping to T3.9 to 100mm) that delivers 7.1x zoom focal range. Engaging the built-in expander shifts the focal length by 1.5 times to 21-150mm, (albeit with a 1.5x loss in stop).  At 10.5 inches long (266.9mm) and 5.8 pounds (2.65kg), the Duvo 14-100mm is compact and lightweight, making it easily portable for all types of production including handheld and Steadicam, and the integrated servo is fully compatible with FUJINON portable broadcast lens zoom and focus demands. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.  See it at NAB or catch the DCS streaming coverage from the show floor at DCSonline.org

Godox Introduces the KNOWLED APP for DMX Control and Mapping on Mobile Devices

Godox has announced their new KNOWLED App to manage all DMX lights, ensuring stable connections with any brand right from a tablet. The app has been designed with cinematographers, gaffers, lighting designers, and other industry experts in mind who require professional control over DMX lighting. The app enables Light Mapping to directly match lighting with scenes, simplifying complex setups without the need for extra tools. Lighting layouts and the positioning of fixtures on a grid reflect the actual on-set lighting arrangement. It also allows realistic visualizations with realtime previews displaying brightness, color, and other parameters available in CCT, RGB, xy, and other models. All functions can be controlled wired or wirelessly with Lumenradio Bluetooth and Ethernet to fit individual workflows.

Search for the Godox KNOWLED on the Apple App Store or Google Play.



Blackmagic Design Announces the Beta Release of New Camera Software: Blackmagic Camera 8.6

Blackmagic Design has announced the release of Blackmagic Camera 8.6 Public Beta which adds support for cloud workflows on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Cinema Camera 6K. This update allows users to upload clips from the camera’s new media pool to Blackmagic Cloud and even upload directly to DaVinci Resolve projects. The new release also adds webcam support from the USB‑C connection of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Cinema Camera 6K. This means users can connect to computers and stream live video using any major streaming software or platform in full HD resolution. With this new webcam support, you can live stream your shoot to clients from a remote location anywhere in the world. This update also adds the ability to update and manage your camera via Ethernet, support for REST APIs for remote camera control, secure login and password support, network time protocol support, web media manager support, file transfer protocol support and SMB file sharing support.

New features for the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K & 6K, Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2, Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, and Cinema Camera 6K:

  • Adds support for using camera as a webcam or UVC device.
  • Adds media pool file browser.
  • Adds clip deletion support.
  • Adds Blackmagic Cloud clip uploads.
  • Adds direct uploads to DaVinci Resolve projects.
  • Adds ability to update and manage camera via ethernet.
  • Adds REST control API for remote control.
  • Adds login and secure certificate support.
  • Adds network time protocol support.
  • Adds web media manager support.
  • Adds file transfer protocol support.
  • Adds SMB file sharing support.
  • Adds mobile phone tethering support for some models.
  • Improves gyro metadata reliability.
  • Improves USB-C drive detection reliability.

The new software can be accessed at the Blackmagic Design Support Page: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/readme/66b832f9f1b04e92960a3117d7a741df


Teradek Introduces the Prism Flex Mk II, a 4K UHD Ultra-Low Latency Encoder

Teradek has added to their Prism family of encoding and transport products with the Prism Flex Mk II. The new model remains fully compatible with all Prism devices to stream in HEVC or AVC, and select from a multitude of protocols to deliver video feeds to CDNs, decoders, software solutions, and more. Other features include on-board recording of live feeds and upload of content directly to Core Cloud for archiving or low latency distribution to clients and stakeholders. Teradek has also partnered with Frame.io, Sony, and PIX to provide built-in camera-to-cloud capability for production workflows.  The new Prism Flex Mk II adds features such as the integration of analog audio IFB functionality, enabling seamless talkback communication between devices through the Teradek Core Cloud. There is also a redesigned chassis with improved front panel controls for intuitive operation and upgraded cooling mechanisms. The Prism Flex Mk II can now:

  • Enable intercom with Teradek’s Core Cloud platform and other Prism devices.
  • Navigate the OLED screen with the newly introduced D-pad front control buttons, offering an improved tactile experience for users.
  • Stream with the integration of the on-board ultra-low latency Teradek Reliable Transport (TRT) protocol, achieving latency as low as 100ms over WAN.
  • Encode and decode concurrently with the optional “Decode” license available for Mk II encoders.
  • Select from a myriad of protocols, including: SRT, TRT, MPEG-TS, RIST, RTMP, RTSP, HLS, and DASH.

The Prism Flex Mk II is available for pre-order today. To learn more visit http://tdek.co/pfmkii-pr


Godox Introduces New Panels: the Hard Series P600R Hard, P1200R Hard and the Pixel Series P300R/P600R

Godox has introduced the newest members of their light panel family: the Hard Series P600R Hard, the P1200R Hard and the Pixel Series P300R/P600R. Notably, the P1200R Hard stands out with a full 1200W output packed into the compact 2×1 panel. Optimized for Film, Broadcast & Video Production, it produces a wash of extremely bright light with a suite of RGB settings. The panel offers a wide CCT range of 1800 to 10,000K, precise brightness adjustments, four dimming curves, a green-to-magenta shift, 14 lighting effects, and other convenient features.

Meanwhile, the Pixel Series P300R/P600R boasts high pixel density soft RGBWW in a panel light with IBL, (image based lighting,) pixel mapping features for integration into virtual production environments, and to simulate authentic lighting effects along with multiple color gamut options. All the new units support DMX 512/RDM control, wireless LumenRadio/CRMX, and the Art-Net/sACN protocols. Learn more at https://godox.com/Knowled-Panel-Lights/


SIGMA announces new 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens, an Ultra-fast Prime Lens for Full-frame Mirrorless Cameras

SIGMA announced the new SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens, an ultra-fast standard prime lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems. The new lens is designed to deliver high optical performance even at its widest aperture. The F1.2 maximum aperture allows for very shallow depth of field with a large bokeh effect and ample exposure in low-light situations. Dual HLA-driven floating focusing, with one group near the front of the lens and one group near the back, provides stable optical performance from close to distant focus. The design also minimizes focus breathing and the dual floating HLA autofocus achieves fast, smooth, and silent operation for both still and video, plus the manual focus ring can be assigned to be linear or non-linear response on compatible L-Mount cameras.

Despite the fast aperture, the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens maintains a very light weight, 30% smaller than the SIGMA 35mm F1.2, and similar in size and weight to the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens. The new lens is built with dust and splash-resistant structure, water and oil-repellent coating on the front lens element, and a durable brass bayonet mount; along with click/de-click and lockable aperture ring, an AFL button, and AF/MF switch. Offered in L-Mount and Sony E-mount versions, the lens will be available on April 18, 2024 at a retail price of $1,399 through authorized retail partners. For more information visit:  https://www.sigmaphoto.com/50mm-f1-2-dg-dn-a

Core Helix Max Batteries are Native Dual Voltage Operating Natively in Both 14v and 28v

With some new Digital Cinema cameras, (notably the ARRI Alexa 35,) operating at 28v, as well as many larger LED lighting instruments, Core has designed their Helix Max batteries to work natively at either 14v or 28v. This means that they can power high and low voltage gear with a single type of battery making it easier on set and more cost effective than having multiple sets of different types of batteries and chargers. Once connected to a Helix V/G-mount or ARRI® B-mount plate, the pack switches from a parallel cellular arrangement to a series arrangement to provide high voltage. Once removed from the Helix or B-mount plate, the packs switch back to a parallel cellular arrangement instantly so they can be used on all standard 14v equipment along with chargers. For more information on all Core products visit: https://coreswx.com/


Adobe Announces the Release of Frame.io Version 4 Beta with Integrations Across the Creative Process

Adobe has introduced the next generation of Frame.io to accelerate content workflow and collaboration for every type of creative project. As teams and organizations race to meet the accelerating demand for video content, creatives and stakeholders at all stages of development are slowed down by disconnected tools and systems. Frame.io V4 is designed to meet the complex needs of creative teams delivering personalized content at scale by centralizing feedback, helping to reduce rounds of revisions and accelerating the delivery of media assets. The next generation of Frame.io is currently rolling out in beta for Frame.io Free and Pro customers, and is planned to launch later this year for Team and Enterprise customers. With all-new workflow management capabilities, anchored by a dynamic metadata framework and a smart folder system called Collections, V4 introduces a cloud-based platform that is fully customizable, powerful and flexible enough to facilitate any creative workflow. File transfer, media asset review and approval, sharing, and presentations have undergone a complete transformation in V4, offering users a more powerful and intuitive platform for their most demanding creative projects.

Highlights include:
• Frame.io V4 is designed to simplify complex collaboration across the entire content creation lifecycle and enable more complex workflows, richer, more expressive feedback and tighter review loops.
• Frame.io V4 extends support for video beyond post-production workflows including casting, location scouting and footage reviews, and support for content types including images, design and PDF files.
• New Frame.io integrations with Photoshop and Workfront further streamline collaboration for Enterprises across the Content Supply Chain.

Support Across Creative Disciplines:
• Casting & Auditions: Group audition tapes by character, filtered by selects, while displaying metadata such as agency, agent content and availability. Assign tasks for select team members to review, provide notes and star-rate.
• Location Scouting: Manage location searches; compare potential sites, organize scouting reports and handle logistical arrangements for optimal shooting settings.
• Daily Footage Reviews: Manage video dailies, ensuring talent and executives see only material relevant to them. Actors receive Collections with only their takes, while studio executives access dynamically updated Collections organized by shooting day, scene and selected takes.
• Marketing Campaign Management: Manage review and approval for all creative assets in a marketing campaign, organized by distribution channel and grouped by asset type, while displaying metadata such as specs and media spend.

New Frame.io Integrations:
• Creative Cloud: Frame.io is currently integrated with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects and will be available in Adobe Photoshop for Creative Cloud Enterprise customers beginning in May, with support for more Creative Cloud tools and customer segments coming later this year.
• Workfront: Frame.io’s integration with Workfront, coming later this year, will enable a new unified review and approval workflow that can streamline collaboration between cross-functional teams – a core capability to help brands automate and optimize their Content Supply Chain.
• GenStudio: As part of Adobe GenStudio – a generative AI-first offering for marketers to quickly plan, create, manage, activate and measure on-brand content, with native integrations across Adobe Experience Cloud and Creative Cloud – Frame.io, along with other Adobe applications including Adobe Express and Firefly Services, can help automate content production at scale.
For more details, visit: https://frame.io/v4?utm_medium=adobeblog&utm_campaign=v4&utm_source=announcement


Canon Introduces a 27x Portable Zoom Lens and Next-Generation Digital Drive Unit at NAB 2024

Canon has announced the introduction of a new 27x portable zoom with an advanced drive unit that will offer a very wide range of focal lengths in a lens capable of shoulder mounted operation. The CJ27ex7.3B is Canon’s first 2/3” portable lens with a 27x optical zoom. The high optical performance classifies it as a UHDxs lens, Canon’s highest image quality rating for broadcast optics. The lens spans a focal range of 7.3mm to 197mm. With a built-in 2x extender, the lens’ maximum telephoto reach increases to 394mm.  The CJ27ex7.3B lens is designed to be portable, with the mobility of a conventional ENG (Electronic News Gathering) lens. The versatile focal lengths available with the 27x zoom ratio are typically only available in 2/3” box lenses while this lens is equally at home in hand-held news, live sports, and broadcast studios.

The new e-Xs V drive unit features an angled 20-pin connector and a built-in USB-C connector, giving users a better experience with equipment setup and maintenance and improving operability with an updated display menu. Focus Breathing Compensation is another feature that helps minimize image distortion when racking focus, and Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation (ARIA)ii technology is supported to help minimize the effects of ramping as the lens zooms.  The CJ27ex7.3B is expected to be available for purchase in August 2024, and will be on display at NAB 2024.  To learn more about Canon broadcast lenses, please contact your Canon broadcast representative or visit www.usa.canon.com.

One DP’s Perspective

Indie Filmmaking – A Hard Habit to Kick and the Challenges of Making It To The Big Screen

JM Headshot2014Med

by James Mathers
Cinematographer and Founder of the Digital Cinema Society


I love shooting movies, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to indulge the habit. To paraphrase Steven Spielberg, it is not heroin, but filmmaking that is the most expensive addiction in the world. The budgets for the films I have worked on over the years have been infinitesimally smaller than his, but I can still relate. I shot my first narrative indie feature in 1987 and since that time I have photographed over 40 of them. Although many have been commercial successes, very few have ever gotten a domestic theatrical release or much lasting notice, and sadly, many are never released at all.

I was asked recently what was my favorite film to work on, and in fact, it was never released. Zadar, Cow From Hell is a wacky comedy featuring an improv group called the Ducks Breath Mystery Theater about an inept low-budget film crew that goes to Iowa to make a horror movie only to have the production taken over by the local town’s people. It premiered out of competition at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival and it was well reviewed. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say about my work: “Visually, Zadar is superb, James Mathers’ panoramic cinematography captures both the quiet grandeur of the Midwest and the stifled confines of the Iowa town.” However, it was shelved soon after and never distributed. We had a lot of fun shooting on location in Iowa and I think it is reflected in the movie. Those who have managed to view a bootlegged copy over the years, have always told me how much they enjoyed it, so it is a shame it was not more widely seen.


If a movie goes unreleased, and no one gets the chance to view your work, it is hard to get any recognition. So I was very surprised to recently be awarded the Best Cinematography Award at the 2023 London International Film Festival for a movie I shot in 2008. Montana Amazon Redux stars Alison Brie, Haley Joel Osment and the late great Olympia Dukakis. It was one of the very early features to be shot with the original RED One camera. Again, people that see the movie give it good marks and compliment my work, but when it takes 15 years to hit the festival circuit, it doesn’t make a very effective calling card.

A beautiful, romantic ghost story presciently entitled The Forgotten One, starring Terry O’Quinn and Kristy McNichol, was shot in 1989.Quickly released to home video, (VHS or Betamax at that time,) it probably returned a decent profit to the producers. However, ask anyone today who wasn’t on the crew, and they will not recall ever hearing of it. Although it was captured on 35mm film, and stipulated in my employment contract that I would get a demo copy, the best quality sample I could obtain at the time was a standard def version on 3/4” cassette.HD and 4K didn’t really exist at the time, and very few features from that period ever had the archival value to be remastered. Although it is work that I’m proud of, I can’t show it to anyone today as a demo due to the poor video quality of the best available copy.

Of course there are a lot of movies that I’m happy that were never widely distributed; horror sequels or “erotic thrillers” that were only ever intended for home video. As with actors, there is a danger of cinematographers getting type cast, and I never wanted to be known for those genres, so I guess I should count my blessings. They helped pay the bills along with a number of documentaries like The US vs John Lennon that usually got much bigger releases than the features I was shooting.


This brings me to The Windigo, my last feature, which is currently having a small theatrical release. I took my family to see it this weekend in Hollywood. There was no red carpet reception, and I had to buy the tickets, but it was nice to see my work on the big screen for a change with nice finishing work by my Colorist friend, Mark Todd Osborne, CSI of MTO Color.






I can still call The Windigo my “last feature,” even though it was shot in 2018. As is not uncommon in the world of low-budget indies, the producers had more passion than resources or experience. They made a couple of miscalculations and ran out of funds before the picture could even be wrapped. I found myself stuck on location in Michigan responsible for most of the camera, grip, and electric gear we used to shoot the movie which I had driven there myself from L.A. along with 2nd Unit DP, Cameron Cannon. I didn’t have much choice but to try to make the best of it and finish the movie.

In an effort to ensure that those crew members that didn’t walk off would eventually get paid, I held onto the camera original media. They could cut the movie with the available proxies, but if they ever wanted to finish it, they would have to come for the OCN files. I figured it would only be a few months before they got their finances straightened out, and accounts settled, but for over three years, I only heard from anxious crew members, wondering when they would get paid, and only crickets from the producers. Apparently, the distribution deal they were counting on fell through.

When I was finally contacted for permission to access the files after several years, I figured that if they were able to finish the movie, at least there would be an asset to go after. Once they provided a promissory document to pay the crew out of an escrow account from the first monies received, I turned over the footage. I think I made the right choice now that the film is getting distributed, although myself and the rest of the crew that remained, along with some of the local vendors, are still owed funds. After all, it is better to have a movie being seen and generating income than never seeing the light of day with no chance of anyone ever recouping what is owed.

As I was disappointed to find out, work going unseen can also happen in television.I shot North Hollywood. a comedy pilot for ABC that was written, produced, and directed by Judd Apatow in his early years before the success of his features like The 40 Year Old Virgin.It had a cast that was mostly unknown at that timeincluding Jason Segel, Amy Poehler, Kevin Hart, Colin Hanks, and January Jones along with veteran actor, Judge Reinhold.The script was great, and as you can guess by the later success of the actors, the performances were hilarious.However, I supposed that ABC was just not ready for Apatow’s brand of humor back in 2001, (but I’m sure they were kicking themselves only a few years later.)


I had high hopes for another pilot I shot in 2013, only to have it disappear into the television ether when Relativity Media, the studio behind the project went into bankruptcy just as it was going to market.  The project did give me the opportunity to explore the burgeoning technology of shooting in virtual production volumes. There were no LED walls as backgrounds in those days, but we used the same type of technology to shoot the live action in front of blue screen.  We used Lightcraft, a revolutionary system back then, for realtime compositing in a volume.



The camera and lens metadata, along with geo-positioning details gathered by reading markers precisely placed over the set, were all fed into the volume to tell it frame by frame what the camera was doing. I was able to zoom, focus, and do any manner of live, physical camera movement with my jib, or even handheld, and the background followed in lockstep.  This was a big advantage over standard Greenscreen type shooting where the camera either has to be locked and the data manually recorded for later compositing, motion controlled, or by using tracking markers actually placed in the shot, which then need to be painstakingly removed in post.

Cinematography is an extremely competitive field and it takes a combination of talent, determination, and some good fortune to be successful and get noticed while photographing indie projects.  Adding to that challenge is the fact that very few ever make it to the big screen.  It’s not impossible to break out of low-budget into bigger projects, but it is rare.Perhaps a movie you shoot wins the distribution lotto and manages to get a large theatrical release.Or maybe a director you work with makes it big and takes you along.  None of that has happened for me…yet.  However, looking back at my career, I can’t complain too much; I have managed to make a decent living doing work I love, and have gotten to work with a lot of interesting new technology.It might have been nice to work on some higher profile projects, but that would only be icing on a cake that has long since been baked, and I’m no longer holding my breath.The occasional shooting jobs that now come my way, along with my work for DCS, keep me engaged, and when the industry gets back to full swing, or if Spielberg should happen to call, I’ll be ready.I might even like to shoot another Indie feature, because like Spielberg, I’m addicted to filmmaking.

In the meantime, if you would care to be among the relatively small group that has ever seen my work, you can view the trailer for The Windigo, (currently in release,) here:




And, here’s a link to my DP Demo Reel, (which has not been updated now for over 10 years): https://vimeo.com/931577958




Although late to the screen, I got a lot of help in the production of The Windigo from a number of companies to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. They include, (in alphabetical order): Anton/Bauer • DADCO/Sunray • Detroit Power & Light • DMG Lumière/Rosco • Fujinon • K 5600 • Key Code Media •  OWC • Panasonic • SIGMA • SmallHD •  Stratton Camera • Teradek


Welcome to New DCS Lifetime Member:

Valentina Caniglia is a multi-award winning cinematographer born in Naples, Italy. After living in New York for more than a decade, she now resides in Los Angeles. Valentina has built an impressive career as a Cinematographer on Feature films, TV series (with titles on HBO, Netflix, Apple TV, Voyage TV, and Showtime), nationally aired commercials, and music videos. Her cinematography can be seen on the TV series The Captain, directed by Randy Wilkins and Executive Produced by Spike Lee, and some of her award winning films include Pomegranates and Myrrh, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the black and white feature, Adieu Lacan, which won best cinematography awards at both the Cult Critic Movie Awards (CCMA) and the Global film festival Awards, Soyka, which was a two time winner for best cinematography at festivals in both New York and Canada, and Fire In Water, which won the best cinematography award at the Los Angeles film festival.
In addition, Valentina lensed the beautiful short Without Grace, starring Emmy award winner Ann Dowd, the Original Netflix series Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts, and the Apple TV series Dear X/S2, starring Viola Davis, Ava Du Vernay, Jane Fonda, Sandra Oh, and Selena Gomez. Her most recent feature work includes the dramatic thriller, ISOLA, the supernatural thriller, Quail Hollow, the horror thriller 3 Days Rising, starring Mickey Rourke and Ice-T, and the dramatic feature Resentment, with all four movies set to be released in 2024.


DCS Member Discounts

See all the Professional Industry Offers Available to Current Members along with Access to FunEx for Exclusive Member Discounts on Theme Parks, Movie Tickets, Hotels, Gym Memberships, and Much More on the DCS Member Discount Page: https://dcsonline.org/member-discounts/

How to Claim Your DCS Member Discounts on FunEx for THEME PARKS, MOVIE TICKETS, HOTELS, GYM MEMBERSHIPS, and More

The Digital Cinema Society has partnered with FunEx to offer an amazing discount platform for our U.S. members. Once registered on Join It current DCS members will receive access to 100,000+ discounted offers at up to 55% off. Save on theme parks, movie tickets, hotels, gym memberships, retail and dining nationwide. Check out the daily deals on everything from apparel, electronics, mental wellness, pet insurance, and much more today on your DCS FunEx member portal.  Current US based members can visit the DCS page on Join It to register:  https://app.joinit.com/o/digital-cinema-society/members.  If you are not currently a member, you can apply to join DCS here: https://dcsonline.org/apply-to-join-dcs/



Although we have currently made member dues optional due to the financial stress felt by so many during the strike, we still are in need of your contributions to continue our mission and maintain our services to members. So if you can afford it, please take a few minutes to visit the self-service membership portal where you can make a donation, check your membership status, and even download a membership card to show for special events, discounts, and award consideration screenings, (which we expect to be starting up again soon).
  1. visit: https://app.joinit.com/o/digital-cinema-society/members
  2. Enter your email address
  3. If you haven’t already chosen a password, Join It will send you a link to create a password.
  4. Once your password is set, you will be redirected to your membership page.
Here, you will also be able to access your digital DCS membership card. (*We no longer mail physical membership cards).
Please note: If your email address is not recognized by the Join It system or if you believe that your membership status is incorrect, please contact us at: Charlene@DigitalCinemaSociety.org
DCS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and donations  can likely be claimed as deduction on your US federal taxes.  If you prefer, you can simply follow the convenient PayPal link, (using any major credit card, and you don’t need to be signed up for PayPal,) or you can send payment to our offices at P.O. Box 1973 Studio City, CA 91614, USA.

Donate to DCS:  https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=8GUYNUBCKR2HU



As always, we want to send out a big thanks to all “Friends of DCS,” whose support makes it possible for us to continue the DCS mission of educating the entertainment industry about the advancements in digital and cine technology:

AbelCine – Adobe – AJA – Angénieux – Anton/Bauer – ARRI – Avid – Band Pro – Blackmagic Design – Brokeh – Canon – Cartoni – Cineo – Cinnafilm – Codex – Cooke Optics – CORE SWX – Dadco/SunRay – Dedolight California – Fiilex – FootageBank – Frame.io – Fujinon – Godox – Infinity Photo-Optical – Jagoteq – K 5600 – Kino Flo – Leitz Cine Wetzlar – Litepanels – Luminys – Mole-Richardson – Nanlite – Nanlux – OWC – Panasonic Lumix – Panavision – Quasar Science – RatPac Controls – Rebel Marketing – Rosco – SIGMA – SmallHD – SUMOLIGHT – Teradek – The Studio-B&H – TRP Worldwide – Wooden Camera – ZEISS



Follow DCS on Social Media

Follow DCS on Meta, X, and Instagram. Don’t forget that the Digital Cinema Society has a Facebook fan page. Check in for the latest news, event details and general DCS hubbub at: http://www.facebook.com/DigitalCinemaSociety

On X you can follow us @DCSCharlene

On Instagram at: digitalcinemasociety

Our Home, The Digital Cinema Society:


“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Posts

Archived Posts