The Digital Video Expo is produced by the editors of DV and Videography magazines and the Creative Planet Community web sites. The Expo is targeted at the independent film industry and consists of two days of trade show exhibits with hands-on demonstration and many in-depth conference tracks on different industry topics such as, digital cinematography, lighting workshop, tapeless production, 3D production and post, web video and content production and delivery, HDSRL filmmaking bootcamp, tapeless post production workflow and more.
The exhibit floor of the DV Expo was evenly distributed with different vendors and manufacturers such as Tiffen, Azden Sound, JVC USA, Grass Valley, Lite Panels, Marshall Electronics, Panasonic, NewTek, Shutterstock, Christie and Schneider Optics among others.
The most popular exhibits I found during my visit to the expo were Canon USA, were the Canon team was giving a hands-on presentation of their line of hyper popular HDSRL cameras,the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D, EOS 60D and EOS 50D, Karl Zeiss, who was presenting their line of fast Cine Lenses, the Compact Prime CP.2 lenses now also with F-mount for the HDSRL cameras and Panasonic USA who was introducing the 3/4" Sensor AVCAM Solid State Camcorder AG-AF100 with interchangeable cine or photo lenses. Another popular stop was the Panasonic AG-3DA1 a fully-integrated HD 3D solid-state camcorder.
Other popular exhibits were the aftermarket manufacturers for everything HDSRL such as Zacuto and JAG35 offering an array of brackets, rods, matte boxes, follow focus and viewfinders that allows you to shoot your HDSRL camera in an stable, over the shoulder ENG fashion and IDC photovideo with their IDC Run and Gun follow focus that allows to use you existent photo lenses for rack focus with a gear-less mechanism.
The two most innovative products I found at the DV expo this year, were Grass Valley's Edius 6 NLE software and Varavon's Pro Finder. The ProFinder features a convertible viewfinder attachable to the Canon 5D and 7D. The ProFinder is fashioned from the typical medium format SRL 120 cameras waist level viewfinder (Hasselblad, Rollei, Yashica, Mamiya) so you can view the image from the top at waist level. Also, with a flip of a switch, it converts to an eye-cup viewfinder with diopter measurements included. The view from above is clear and bright and it is reflected into a polished non-ghosting mirror allowing the operator to focus from a considerable distance. The ProFinder fit the two cameras and it comes with a specific mounting bracket for each camera. I give kudos to this product due to the solid light construction, simple mechanism, sharpness of the waist view mirror, large eye cup, selective diopter and sealing gasket that protects any stray light out of the camera back screen. I have many years of experience shooting with medium format still cameras (Hasselblad, Mamiya, Rollei) with a waist viewfinder and I know the advantages of being able to shoot your composition with a convertible viewfinder. My only recommendation to Varavon would be the possibility of a protective etched glass (maybe a fresnel glass) to cover the mirror from spit and other debris from above and a proprietary mirror cleaning kit.
In the area of post-production, I won't hesitate to integrate to my workflow the Grass Valley Edius 6, featuring a basic, entry-level range of tools. The EDIUS® 6 software works natively real time in 4K/2K to proxy 24x 24, with many different video formats, such as Sony XDCAM, Panasonic P2 cards, Ikegami's GF, Canon XF and EOS movie formats at different rates , such as 60p/50p, 60i/50i, and 24p. It is GPU accelerated for 3D transitions, with real-time effects, keyers, and titles and it operates on a Windows XP and Vista platform. It supports multicamera editing up 16 sources simultaneously. Writes Blu-Ray and DVD from the time-line export. It export in AVCHD format to media card. All these features for below $800. I am going to download a full operational trial version to install it on my Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q8400 (2.66 GHz, 4 MB L2 cache, 1333 MHz FSB) and edit a promo to evaluate what it seems very promising as a superior NLE than Adobe Premier and Final Cut.
The conferences were outlined for the needs of the new digital filmmaker and experienced alike such as the Digital Cinematography training conducted by Gary Adcock, a comprehensive study on the next generation of cameras designed for digital filmmaking. Discussed cameras included the ARRI Alexa, Panasonic AG-3DA1, RED Epic and the RED One MX update.
Other interesting conferences were "HDSLR Camera and Lens Selection" by Richard Harrington, CEO and Founder, RHED Pixel, Inc., "An Introduction to 3D for Producers and Directors" by Gary Adcock, Principal, Studio 37. and "Live Streaming Production" by Ned Soltz, Contributing Editor, DV Magazine among many more.
In conclusion, the DV Expo in Pasadena is a must to attend if you are interested to keep up with the fast changing pace of the digital video technology and also if you want to purchase equipment or accessories at discounted prices during the expo.