IBC 2019: Final Thoughts
By: Mark Foley
2019 IBC was a big hit this year. With a total attendance figure of 56,390, IBC 2019 welcomed a record number of next-generation attendees. On top of that, there were quite a few announcements from manufacturers for all types of new and exciting equipment. From cameras to lenses and support gear, there was something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the gear and technologies that got our attention.
As stated, the 2019 IBC was about all new cameras, support gear, and updates. But there is also a very positive trend that one needs to pay attention too and I think it is fantastic. Camera makers have figured out that some (I said some) owner operators aren’t quite ready to make their own leap of faith to 8K. I get it. Change is hard and rewiring your brain can be a challenge, and we won’t even get into postproduction. The bottom line as with ANY gear you use or buy that you have to choose what’s right for you and your wallet. So whether it is 4K, 6K, 8K or more it’s your choice. Just keep that in mind. Let’s step away for a moment and talk about some solid choices for new cameras just announced at 2019 IBC.
Right out of the gate I’m going to start with the new Sony FX9. You might wonder why. Because people like me want the look of that fabulous full frame sensor, but have the need for a somewhat different and ”quicker” form factor for documentary or on the run shooting.
I like this set up because Sony didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. A familiar ergonomic form with some great features. Better optics, more user friendly settings and the like. Yes, there are some bugs to work out and I’m sure there will be updates along the way. That is a given with any new camera. But I think there are going to be a ton of people who can’t wait to shoot on the FX9. Count me in. Oh yeah, one last thing; I love the fact you can shoot in slow-mo too!
Canon EOS C500 Mark ll
Next up is the new Canon 500 Mk ll. Now shooting at 6K 17:9 is something that everyone like me has been waiting for. Also, maybe, more importantly, I should say the pairing of the new Canon 500 Mk ll with a set of Sumire Primes sounds great. It’s great that the lens mount delivered with the C500 Mark II is now user-interchangeable. The standard EF mount can be swapped for an optional PL Mount or for an EF Cine Lock, by unscrewing 4 screws. This is great update because in the past, there were separate EF and PL versions of most Canon Cinema cameras, and the use cases therefore were much more limited. Many end users were quite happy with the change. I like the C500 Mk ll with it’s slimmed down shape and the modular form that will work well for existing shooters.
Panasonic AJ-CX4000GC 4K and AW-UE150
New cameras just keep on coming with two new offering from Panasonic. The shoulder mounted CX4000 and PTZ AW-UE150 each offer the end-user new features that will appeal and to a wide variety of users. With the CX4000 handheld users can get an upgraded image path with a shoulder mount camera. This appeals to me because as an independent I want the most bang for my buck. With enhanced optics the Panasonic CX-4000 will allow users to “keep up” with the ever-expanding HDR market space without breaking the bank. Add in the PTZ AW-UE150 and you just made a major improvement to your studio or arena set up. As mentioned before, improved optics, usability, and reliability, I believe these cameras will pay for itself in no time.
When Atomos announces new products, they go all in. Along with a recently announced agreement with Panasonic, Atomos has also teamed up with Sony to provide 16bit RAW support for the FX9 to Atomos cinema recorder monitors. Now we all know that everyone has their own favorite but this offering from Atomos really deserves your attention. I like this set up because it is light, well built and affordable.
Atomos also announced up to 5.9Kp30 RAW support over HDMI from the brand new Panasonic Lumix S1H to the Atomos Ninja V HDR monitor-recorder that enables Apple ProRes RAW recording. The Lumix ProRes RAW update will be available on the Ninja V in early 2020. Wow. This is going to be a really interesting combo. In my opinion Atomos AND Panasonic are making some serious technological strides. Lastly check this out. HDR is just one benefit of the Shogun 7.With Atomos the adding a 3000nit screen, shooters and content creators will be able to access over 15 stops of dynamic range. Off the back of the initial launch of Shogun 7 in April 2019, Atomos is now enabling 3000nit brightness for free as part of a firmware update to the pro/cinema monitor-recorder-switcher.
ARRI LED Orbiter
At 2019 IBC ARRI announced LED Orbiter, a new kind of lighting fixture which was very intriqing. I liked the fact that this instrument starts out with an internal sensor that will match existing ambient light. Along with built in dimmers, waterproofing, and removable control panel, lighting professionals will appreciate the internal power supply, DMX controls, and battery input.
IBC 2019 was a great show with many new offerings. Keep checking back with us at IBCHUB and ProductionHUB to see more of the latest gear releases, interviews and exclusive videos. If you see something that you think we should be talking about, email me.