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NAB 99

I am looking for others opinions of what was seen at the show this year. In 
particular, C-Reality, Spirit, and Sony telecines. Here is how I felt about 
what I looked at.

Spirit: Obviously a very nice machine. I guess by now we all know what this 
machine looks like, and really no need to go into this any further. I did 
look at the Steadiscan option which was on the machine in the Phillips 
booth. Frankly, I thought the image was jumping around a fare bit. I am 
bothered a little by the fact that you can't see the film grain on the 
machine. Although the Phillips guys tried to convince me that what I am 
referring to is not grain, but rather the tooth of the film, and that you 
should not be able to see this. My concern here however, is that when the 
film is projected, I see grain. Therefore when telecined, I would also like 
to see it. If I don't, what else am I not seeing?

C-Reality: Looked at all four machines on the show floor very closely. Very 
much impressed by all. Images were very clean, stable and very sharp, and 
very rich. I feel that after looking at this machine, you can understand how 
important full bandwidth color channels are. I definitely felt that the 
machine gave a more filmic look than did the Spirit. I was also very 
impressed by the range of the machine. I felt that this telecine gave more 
artistic latitude than I have ever seen on any other machine. The servo 
system was very elegant. Of any telecine I have ever seen, I would trust my 
film on this system more than any other. Very, very gentle film handling.

Sony: Pictures looked pretty good, but still needs a little time to mature. 
The machine in the da Vinci booth seemed to have a stability problem, even 
in still, but the machine in the private demo room seemed fine. Currently, 
the switch over to 16mm seems to be a little much, although Luke did mention 
that this was being addressed. Plenty of range in the machine, and I like 
the fact that you can see the film grain, I did find the machines to have a 
fare amount of noise, although it would be very much below the grain of the 
film. I like the fact that when in stop, I am not looking at a freeze. I 
know that the film handling of this system is in theory Very gentle, but I 
still can't get over the fact that it scares me a little.

da Vinci 2k: Very impressed. The biggest thing that I noticed was the 
improvements on the secondaries over the 8:8:8. Very clean secondaries, and 
the ability to soften is great. Defocus module worked well, I think will be 
a strong selling point. I did not see anything with this unit that I did not 
like, although our colorist did complain about the positioning of the clear 
key. Personally I could care less.

Pandora: Gear works well obviously. I did not notice any huge improvements 
or changes to the system, so not much to report on.

Please fell free to bash anything that I have written, or throw in any 
supporting comments you may have. Just looking for opinions.

Steven Flippin,  Director of Engineering
Crash & Sue's Film\Video Post,  Minneapolis, MN


NAB telecine product focus at

Thanks to DAV and Dave Walker for support in 1999
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