acquisition page two of three


It is always interesting to visit Anton/Bauer at NAB. They are an innovative company that creates products which go far beyond the scope of their main line of batteries and power supplies.

Anton/Bauer is a part of the Vitec Group, which now includes LitePanels. Together with LitePanels they have developed an on-camera LED light. This light called the EledZ has all the advantages of an LED daylight balanced light and it can be removed from its base and quickly swapped with one of the other Anton/Bauer UltraLights. By the way the light shown to the right is a new design this year for LitePanels. It is called the micro pro and is a larger version of the micro. The unit can also operate on AA batteries.

Small camera support is one of the areas into which Anton/Bauer has expanded. The two products on the left were introduced last year. I found the Stasis Flex pictured on the far left to be pretty uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s just me.

New this year is a battery which Anton/Bauer recommends particularly for the XDCam camera. The XDCam requires a high amperage when spinning up the recording disk. The battery is called the Dionic HC and it is capable of delivering 10 amps for high current draw applications including on-camera lighting.

Also new is the TM4. The TM4 is a four position simultaneous fast charger designed to safely and reliably charge Anton/Bauer Logic Series Batteries twice as fast as earlier models without having the batteries spontaneously combust.

Canon continues to develop inexpensive, small cameras that produce incredible pictures, notably in their Vixia line of Camcorders. Pictured on the right is the new Vixia HF S10. The 8.6 megapixel CMOS chip records to SDHC memory cards in AVCHD (H.264) at 24Mb/sec, so the quality should be quite good. (At least better than your standard HDV).

By the way, in addition to LitePanels and Anton/Bauer, the Vitec Group also includes among others: Autoscript, OConnor, Petrol, Sachtler, Gitzo, Kato, Manfrotto, TCS (The Camera Store), Vinten, Tomcat, Litec, Bexel, Clear-Com and NuComm.

There will be a test later.

Of course, the Canon camera that is causing the biggest stir among video pros is the EOS 5D Mark II. The Mark II is a $3500 (with lens) digital still camera which, almost as a after thought, also happens to do video. The 21 megapixel full frame (35mm) CMOS chip delivers stunning pictures but once you start shooting video, the camera, exposure etc. is almost impossible to control. People are blown away by the images but find the camera frustrating to use. These same people have many questions for Canon: Requests for a 29.97 frame rate, a 24 fps recording mode, an exposure mode that is adjustable while shooting etc. Is a firmware upgrade in the works? Canon’s answer so far is that their engineers are looking into it. 

Zacuto is a camera support company that has come up with a rig that helps the Mark II start to work as a video camera. For instance, they make an attachment for the back of the camera that serves as a viewfinder. The viewfinder is on back order. They can’t make enough of them. Zacuto configures what they call gunstock shooter kits specifically for the Mark II. At $1800, the kits are not cheap, but Zacuto stuff is pretty cool. Their kits are composed of smaller building blocks that go together like Legos. To the right is a rig for the Sony XL3 that includes a DOF lens setup with a DOF adaptor by Letus.

Redrock Micro is also a camera support company. Their products are incredibly well built for the price. Their prices are lower than Zacuto prices. Below are examples of their rigs also designed to help solve the Canon EOS 5D Mark II dilema.