Craig Johnston /
05.31.2011 10:20 AM
2011 NAB Show Product Review: Camera Support

Camera Support vendors brought out new products in reaction to the video-enabled DSLR revolution sweeping the industry. Where, in the past, these companies got bragging rights by developing systems that would support larger payloads, the target now seems to be who can provide smooth panning and tilting to nearly weightless packages. And though the ultimate fate of 3D for TV production is still in doubt, no one wants to be left behind in case 3D does catch fire.

TRIPODS & HEADS

Vinten product manager, Peter Harman (L), describes the features of the Vision Blue Camera Support System to Richard Caballero from Ocean Press Multimedia. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs
BarberTech introduced an upgraded SteddiePod combo monopod/tripod/stand/body camera mount/low mode system with a new swiveling handle.

Cartoni debuted its Maxima heavy duty fluid action head witha patented counterbalance system and capacity of up to 88 pounds.

Daiwa Slik Broadcast showed two new fluid head and tripod systems, the DST 43, a professional true-fluid pan head with 60mm ball mount that can can handle up to 4kgs (8.8 pounds) of camera and equipment and the DST 73, a professional true-fluid pan head with industry standard 75mm ball mount that can handle up to 7kgs (15 pounds) of camera and equipment.

Manfrotto introduced its 509HD head and 545GBK tripod system, which combines Manfrotto's bridge design and Fluid Drag System with new ergonomic controls.

Miller Camera Support unveiled its Compass 25 fluid head, designed with a 100mm ball.

OConnor launched its 2065 fluid head with capacity for such digital cameras as the RED One, SONY F-35, and ARRI Alexa.

Sachtler introduced its Cine DSLR fluid head for video-capable digital SLRs. It features an anti-twist retainer, 10-step counterbalance, and three vertical and horizontal drag settings.

Spider Support Systems unveiled its Ringo head, allowing professional cameras to be mounted at a 90 degree orientation.

Tiffen highlighted the Davis & Sanford line of Provista tripods, including the Provista 100 and Provista 6510, designed for videographers who need a heavy-duty tripod for a variety of field, studio, educational, and industrial applications. Vinten premiered its Vision Blue pan/tilt head for lightweight camcorders and DSLRs.

HEAVY-DUTY HEADS & PEDESTALS

Shotoku introduced the TP200, a new two-stage pneumatic pedestal, and also the SX300 head for payloads of up to 83 pounds.

Vinten unveiled its Vector 75 heavy-duty head incorporating the standard LF drag control from Vector 70, which it replaces.

DOLLIES & CRANES

CamMate Systems displayed a redesigned model of its retractable crane with extension to 27 feet.

Carbon XL launched a modular support system that can be configured as a crane, jib, camera track, zero-gravity head, car mount, heavy duty tripod and remote camera mount.

Gus Harilaou (R) demonstrates the Miller Compass 25 fluid head with accessory mount for Ulric Flood from Videoforce in Sweden. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs
CineVentions debuted its ZoomCrane, which extends and retracts via a scissoring action, and can be fully erected in less than a minute and folded up to fit a luggage-sized carrying case.

Egripment demonstrated its TDT virtual reality system, which provides precision positional data on the crane or jib arm's location.

Polecam unveiled its Polecam Starter Pack, a rig designed for use with latest-generation compact camcorders and D-SLR heads.

TechnoDolly demonstrated its repeatable movement dolly and crane system that supports payload of more than 77 pounds.

CAMERA SLIDERS

Cinevate presented its Atlas 10 single mount slider system for vertical, angled or horizontal mounting, and available with 26- or 35-inch tracks.

Innovision Optics premiered its Kamtrax vertical and horizontal camera slider for counterbalanced sliding at any angle from vertical to horizontal.

Matthews Studio Equipment unveiled its DC Slider, a camera support slider that can be configured as a mini-jib and vertical tower.

STABILIZERS AND RIGS

ARRI added new adapter plates for the new PL mount camcorders for use with camera and lens tools from ARRI and other makers.

Camera Motion Research introduced its Blackbird hand-held camera stabilizer for video and DSLR cameras.

Camtrol displayed a customizable ergonomic stabilizing platform for DV camcorders and DSLR cameras.

edelkrone showed its DSLR/small camcorder rig that’s supported from both shoulders of the operator. It features modular construction for use with large and small cameras.

Element Technica introduced new accessory suites for the Sony F3 and the RED EPIC full frame sensor cameras.

Frezzi showed its HH-1 camera rig, designed to integrate battery and lighting equipment with a camera accessory platform.

Ikan expanded its line of video camera stabilization units with Recoil and Recoil XT.

K-Tek premiered its Norbert Sport camera accessory mounting frame with telescoping sides for adjusting to any camera height.

Sachtler featured its completely revised artemis Cine HD Pro stabilizer system that combines features from Cine and Cine HD systems with the modern artemis EFP HD Special Edition.

Steadicam showed its Zephyr stabilizer that integrates with Steadicam's Flyer vest.

Heidi Wheeler shows off the ProPrompter HD i Pro2 iPad Prompter and Smartgrip Mobile 4. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs
VariZoom introduced its Aviator MX-HD professional stabilizer with a new sled design with improved performance and ergonomics.

Zacuto showcased an array of DSLR cinema kits designed for tripod and shoulder mount.

3D RIGS

3ality Digital introduced the TS-5 Light 3D rig, a streamlined version of its TS-5 mini beamsplitter rig for steadicam and for handheld use. Even smaller is its new Handheld Wonder Module, for use with even smaller, lighter cameras.

Element Technica launched Atom, which can be switched from side-by-side to beamsplitter mode and uses the same controls as other E.T. 3D rigs.

Genus spotlighted its Hurricane Rig (by Alister Chapman), light enough for handheld 3D shooting, thanks to manual vs. digital 3D controls.

P+S Technik's Evolution Freestyle rig has heavier duty plates and adjusters for use with cameras like ARRI Alexa and RED.

REMOTE CONTROL

Azzurro showcased its Azzurrocam for remote use by broadcasters, news organizations, sports teams and others.

Cambotics premiered its remotely controlled Legislative System that can control hundreds of cameras.

Shotoku's Hot Panel auxiliary remote control panel is designed for simple local or remote control when a full control panel is not needed.

Telemetrics unveiled its PT-RM-1 robotically controlled pan/tilt head that provides 360 degree movement.

Vinten Radamec debuted its Fusion FHR-35 robotic pan/tilt head for remote applications.

XD Motion displayed its BlackShark, a small and light gyro-stabilized head designed for cable systems and balloon applications.

PROMPTERS

Autocue unveiled a new low-cost 17-inch prompter line, as well as an iPad prompter with control software.

Sachtler representative, Keith Takenaka proudly shows off the Cine DSLR Head on the left and the FSB 8 System on the right. Photo by Dawley/Kovacs
Autoscript introduced a pair of peripherals to its studio teleprompter line, the CountPlus, with a timecode and countdown generator, and the CuePlus, a color-selectable camera tally light.

Computer Prompting & Captioning Co. added 3D subtitle authoring to its MacCaption software.

Listec showed two families of prompter products, the Broadcast line and the Entrée line for smaller budgets.

Mirror Image Teleprompters introduced its iPad series of prompters. They allow use of an iPad as the monitor for their prompter assembly.

ProPrompter showed its HDi Pro2 mobile prompter, designed to house iPads or iPad2 tablets.

Smart TP unveiled a small prompter designed to mount to any PDA-sized screen.

BAGS & CASES

CineBags premiered its CB25B Revolution Backpack for camera gear, laptops, and accessories.

Manfrotto introduced two new Kata Bags, the Pro-Light Source 261 Backpack, designed for a video DSLR, which allows videographers to arrange equipment in a hierarchical system; and the Kata Pro-Light Bug, a multi-featured professional backpack designed to provide quick access to compact digital video camera.

Pelican debuted new cases for iPads and other tablets. The 1065, 1070 and 1075 provide a range of padding and cord storage.

Petrol premiered its new DigiSuite DSLR camera case with a central compartment contoured to accommodate up to two DSLR cameras.

PortaBrace unveiled its Large Backpack, a lightweight carrier for large video camcorders and other equipment.

MISCELLANEOUS

Libec unveiled the AS-7K accessory support kit for mounting small LCD monitors or LED lighting instruments on small camcorders or DSLR cameras.

Panther demonstrated its VacuRigg system for mounting cameras, lights or other accessories on any smooth surface via a suction pad.



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