by George Leon
After visiting some of the annual video and film industry shows happening this year in other venues, I decided to stop by the DV Expo 2009 held at the Pasadena Convention Center and attend to one or two of the many seminars offered at the expo to report my findings and to keep abreast with the latest. The impression I had from my last year visit, was that the DV Expo was rather a small show with limited attendance, but then I was immediately proved wrong upon my arrival. I was pleasantly surprised to see a high turn out of attendees mingling around in he already crowded floor.
I spent a great day at the Digital Video Expo 2009. The exhibit floor was packed with attendees asking all kind of technical questions to the participating vendors. The variety of vendors spanned the wide gamut of video services and video manufacturers of pro-sumer and broadcast equipment, ranging from lighting to work-flow management to the latest in high definition video camcorders, to lens makers and much more.. To name a few with innovative products offering discount prices at the floor were Carl Zeiss Lenses, Azden Corp (audio), Lensbaby, Libtec Tripods, Dana Dollies, Zacuto, Sonnet, Sony, JVC, Panasonic, Litepanels, and others...

The Panasonic booth attracted many visitors
The seminars were popular and well attended

Footage Firm booth

Jessica Sitomer, The Greenlight Coach offering career
advancement advice

Brady Harris and Robert Orlando at the Tiffen booth
presenting the Dfx software, the IR filters, the Pilot
Steadicam and the Merlin handheld stabilizer

Answering technical inquiries at the Libtec booth

A new vendor I met in the Expo with a solid product was
Michael and Dana Hall, introducing their Dana Dolly,
a portable camera dolly system at an affordable price
Click here for more info, price and specs

The seminars were to down to the point. The two ASC Master Lighting seminars I went on Wednesday were inspirational and educative to the budding filmmaker and the seasoned cameraman as well. The panel was moderated by George Spiro Dibie ASC, and the guests speakers were Isadore Mankofsky ASC, David Darby ASC, Daryn Okada ASC, Johnny Jensen ASC, Donald Morgan ASC, and Robert Primes, ASC. After presenting a clip or two of one of their films, the panelists elaborated on their experience creating the lighting schemes seen on the screen, on set or on location and their collaborative process with the director along with other tips and tricks of the trade. The session culminated with a Q&A round in between the attendees and the panelists.

ASC Master Lighting Seminar, George Spiro-Dibie ASC ,
Daryn Okada ASC, David Darby ASC
and Robert Primes ASC.

Isadore Mankosfky, ASC was also part of the Master Lighting
and shared with the audience his experience about
the making of
the cult masterpiece "Somewhere in Time"
photographed by
Mankosfky, and directed by Jeanot Swarc.
Starred by
Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeves. Pictured
with Martha Winterhalter, Publisher of American
Cinematography magazine.

Another seminar that was very informative was "Digital Still Camera as a Tool for the Cinematographer" presented by the Digital Cinema Society. The panel was composed by leading cinematographers, digital SLR experts and industry representatives as they elaborated in the technical pros and cons (read prior posting CMOS VS CCD) of this new variant of the CMOS video chip technology encased in a SLR still camera, specifically the Panasonic Lumix GH1 featuring full HD movie recording in AVCHD and using ν (nu) Maicovicon technologies. The 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor featured in the DMC-GH1 is able to offer the best of both worlds — the superior image quality of a full-frame CCD sensor, and the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor.

A rigged Canon Eos D5 with a matte box and follow
focus and a daylight Marshall monitor

The other SLR camera presented by the panelists was the Cannon EOS D5, featuring full-frame 12.8 Megapixel CMOS sensor combined with Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor, and a high-precision 9-point AF system with 6 assist points, and a "Picture Style" color control to deliver images of superior quality with enough resolution for any application. The EOS 5D's full-frame CMOS sensor records 4,368 x 2,912 pixels-that's 12.8 Megapixels, larger than many other companies' top-of-the-line sensors. The same size as a 35mm image on a traditional camera, the sensor operates without a conversion factor.
Richard Scheluning from Carl Zeiss,
explains the advantages of the new
Compact Prime Lenses

Zeiss Distagon Compact Set of Primes
T3,6/18 -T2,9/21 mm - T2,9/25 mm - T2,1/28 mm
T2,1/35 mm - T1,5/50 mm - T1,5/85 mm, ready for
SLR digital cameras with calibrated
T-stops markings

At the session, the new Zeiss Compact Prime set of lenses was introduced, a new proper Cinema lens for SLR cameras, featuring a PL mount, cine style housing, high optical performance and 14 precision iris blades for pleasing focus transition and rounded smooth bokeh. The session was visually demonstrated with outstanding footage shot by various of the participating cinematographers who are proponents of shooting SRL digital video for TV spots, music videos and even features on ergonomically rigged still SLR digital video cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix and the Canon D5.

I should point out that other companies such as Nikon offers digital video SLRs cameras , as well with outstanding quality at affordable price, like the D90, the world’s first D-SLR with an HD movie mode, recording cinematic-quality 24fps movie clips with sound at up to 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels) in Motion JPEG format and the larger and more capable, D300S and D5000 with D-Movie HD Video capturing cinematic 24 fps, 720p HD movie clips, enhanced by NIKKOR interchangeable lenses and featuring external stereo Mic input and AF operation. One drawback heard from the shooters of any digital SLR video camera is the poor sound recoding quality and the lack of in and out audio connectors and no timecode feature of any kind.

DLSR Nikon D5000 with HD movie mode,
recording cinematic-quality 24fps movie clips with
sound at up to 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels) in
Motion JPEG
format, shown above with a swivel screen

I would like to recommend to any videographer or digital cinematographer to mark their calendars every year for this gathering of gear heads, creatives types, producers, camera operators, editors, Dit's and vendors under one roof. It is a bit smaller than other industry shows but allows you, the visitor, to spend more time learning about the latest of the digital video technology.

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