Even for the iconic Studios at Paramount, the 2023 Cine Gear Expo was an exciting and busy event. For the many attendees who made their way from all walks of our industry and returned to the Studios at Paramount, the Expo served as a powerful symbol of the industry's resilience.
Attendees remarked over and over about how happy they were to be back amongst their peers- showcasing cutting-edge technologies, techniques, and creative endeavors that will shape the future of film-making- all against the backdrop of a bright and sunny Los Angeles sky.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend yourself, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our inside scoop on The 2023 Cine Gear Expo!
The entire four day Cine Gear 2023 event was filled with new equipment along with brilliant content creation panels and technical speaker panels. There was also a renewed sense of camaraderie and joy that concluded with presentations to award winners in the film competition, as well as honors bestowed to film and industry leaders.
Let’s get going by taking a short look at a few of the outstanding exhibitors along with the educational panels that make Cine Gear Expo LA a must-attend event.
So Many Exhibitors!
Some of the many things that made the 2023 Cine Gear Expo such a success was the many exhibitors that were there to showcase their latest filmmaking and production equipment. Almost every type of gear was on display. From flying camera rigs and drones, to lighting and lenses, there was something for production professionals at all levels.
Here are some of the gear we couldn’t wait to learn more about.
There is always something to be said about having the right tool for the job.
Sitting right up there with the heavyweights is the newest LUMIX S5IIX. The LUMIX S5IIX is light and nimble and boasts some impressive features. Benefitting from a new sensor design and an updated processing engine with L2 technology, the S5 IIX is the first Lumix camera to offer Phase Hybrid AF for fast and precise autofocusing performance. Making full use of the 24.2MP sensor and enhanced processor, this camera records 6K video for up to 30 minutes, while unlimited 4K video capture is available as well. Optimized for video, the S5 IIX is also equipped with a new Active I.S. system, which supports walking shots to further enhance image stabilization while recording video.
We caught up with Neil Matsumoto, Panasonic LUMIX, as he shared his thoughts on Cine Gear.
“It was great being back on the lot and catching up with cinematographers and filmmakers. Walking around the outdoor New York streets is so much cooler than your typical trade show conference room. We showcased the new S5IIX hybrid mirrorless camera. The two features that attendees were excited to see were the S5IIX’s Real Time LUT feature and ProRes capture with Kondor Blue’s new PRO-BLADE SSD Handle. We also did a presentation in the Sherry Lansing Theater with DPs Carissa Dorson and Ben Meredith, who shot short films with the S5IIX. Dorson shot Freeway Werewolf capturing a ProRes workflow with the PRO-BLADE SSD Handle. Using Real Time LUT, Meredith shot Orchid, matching the color workflow of the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF with the S5IIX.”
Our next stop as we moved down through the crowds of attendees and busy streets was the Canon Booth manned by a bevy of experts like Charles Zablan from Canon. The Canon booth was absolutely loaded with an awesome display of lenses and cameras to look at. Time at the Canon booth was well spent, as Canon showcased the Flex Zoom lenses, EOS C500 Mark II, EOS R5 C and the rest of the cinema lineup.
One camera that was garnering particular interest from attendees visiting the Canon booth was the Canon EOS R5 C. This camera is the complete package, with autofocus, non-stop 8K/60P RAW recording, and fast motion recording without cropping the sensor. The EOS R5 C combines video features from the Canon Cinema EOS lineup along with the still-imaging capabilities of the EOS R system.
Sony almost never fails to impress, and Sony’s presence at Cine Gear Expo 2023 was no exception. Sony Electronics hosted a state-of-the-art exhibition booth that featured a fully equipped set where attendees got to get hands-on experience testing the latest Sony cinema cameras including the VENICE 2, Rialto 2 extension system, and all the latest industry tools.
The Sony booth featured a real race car from the upcoming Playstation Studios film, Gran Turismo. The car was embedded with cameras using the Rialto 2 camera extension system just like the ones used on the racetrack. Visitors experienced what it’s like to rig a helmet cam, a gimbal, the Rialto 2 camera extension system, and a wide-range of other accessories used in the movie. While we’re at it let’s not get out of our gear area without noting two other strong exhibitors that brought their “A” game to the mix.
Rosco was busy displaying the Rosco RDX LAB™ System powered by FuseFX software, which is advancing the virtual production revolution by combining traditional production methods with cutting-edge technologies. Combined with Rosco’s extensive digital content library with advanced in-camera visual effects software from FuseFX, the RDX System unlocks more potential from LED-based virtual productions. Attendees saw how the system is controlled entirely through a mobile app to transform traditional backdrop imagery into a Live Action Backdrop on any LED volume.
DoPchoice also displayed its latest at Cine Gear Expo LA, highlighting their light control tools, and is ready for Astera’s new gamechanger, the LeoFresnel. Thanks to an adapter included in the box with each LeoFresnel fixture, there’s instant compatibility with DoPchoice’s Rabbit-Rounder® which mounts the range of Snapbag® lighting control solutions.Rabbit-Rounder is the one-system-fits-all answer to mounting DoPchoice softboxes across a range of lights.
Keep on Learning!
A big part of Cine Gear LA isn’t just about looking at all the cool gear but also learning more about the gear that makes production happen. Virtual LED wall exhibitors Brompton and Roe started with the red hot topic of virtual production , and the Stepping into Virtual Production panel sponsored by Rosco and Lux Machina. Other in depth panels included presentations by Synology, Canon, Sony, Sony CI MediaCloud, and Teradek, Band Pro, Women in Media, Lumix & Lux Machina, Rosco, ARRI, Abel Cine, and IATSE 728.
Lastly, Digital Cinema Society and Zeiss Cinematography presented a special showing of the talked-about HBO CAS 2023 Camera Assessment in the state-of-the-art Paramount Theatre, complete with a Q&A.
We caught up with Nick Mahar a Los Angeles based commercial and narrative cinematographer as he weighed in with his opinion of a wildly popular program.
"I highly recommend to anyone that is able to find another screening in the future. For people who don't know, every couple years HBO does a massive camera testing to see what cameras perform in many different circumstances. This year they did. Alexa mini, Alexa 35, Venice 2, V-Raptor, Film, and Black Magic 12k.
The results were pretty insane. The Alexa 35 was of course the best in high lights but the Red Raptor killed everything in the low light test by a huge amount. Even over the Venice 2 in dual sensitivity.
They did 2 tests for this. One a standard over under test but in a really interesting way. -4 on the Raptor looked better than -1 on most cameras. The 2nd low light test was shooting multiple scenes in a 6 hour window with all the cameras using only moonlight. Again the Raptor could see so much more than everything else. One of the producers who ran the tests said almost every HBO show, regardless of what they are shooting, carries a V-Raptor if they need it for low light.
Having said that, every camera was great! It really showed that almost every modern camera is great for most shooting situations. Color rendition and depth was great. And you could match every camera to another.”
Women in Media
We start with Women In Media, which honored Juliane Grosso as Women In Media’s 2023 Icon Award recipient. Each year Women In Media (WiM) presents the Icon Award to celebrate a woman in the cinematographic arts who has a long-standing record of supporting the entertainment community, earning the respect and admiration of her peers. Women In Media promotes gender balance in the film and entertainment industries through networking, professional development, and advocacy for filmmakers who work above and below the line. The Icon Award is traditionally celebrated at WiM’s Altitude Awards which was held at Cine Gear Expo LA this year.
Heart of the Community Award
This year's Karl Kresser Heart of the Community Award, an award created by Juliane Grosso to honor her husband and Cine Gear’s late co-founder, was presented to Cinematographer Johnny Simmons, ASC.
John has worked behind the camera shooting documentaries with film director Carlton Moss, and made movies made for television including: The Killing Yard, The Ruby Bridges Story, Selma Lord Selma as well as numerous documentaries. His first multi-camera prime time show The Hughleys began an illustrious career in multi-camera sitcoms. Simmons has earned three Emmy nominations and in 2016 won the Best Cinematography Emmy for the Nickelodeon primetime multi camera series Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn. He is presently shooting and directing for various networks.
Through it all John Simmons has continued to carry a still camera. His haunting street photography reveals the heart and soul of America, from his fly-on-the-wall shots of ’60s and ’70s civil rights activists to his uncanny ability to reveal the simple sweetness of real folks caught in a black and white frozen moment in time. His work is held in the collections of the Los Angeles Getty Museum, Harvard Art Museum, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, American Society of Cinematographers, the University of Maryland, Wes and Missy Cochran Foundation, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Chicago.
A member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 2004, he served as Vice President in 2017- 2018 and has just been voted in for the second time. He currently is the co-chair of the ASC Vision Committee. After acting as Adjunct Professor in the Television/Film and Theater Department at UCLA for twenty-five years he continues to mentor many lucky up and coming cinematographers.
The Technical Achievement Award
The Cine Gear Technical Awards are the expo's annual recognition of the products with the best of the industry's technical advancements that have been introduced since the previous year's Cine Gear Expo Los Angeles.
The Technical Achievement Award was presented to Blackmagic Design and accepted by Tor Rolf Johansen. Blackmagic Design, with more than 1,500 employees in seven countries, has tens of millions of customers around the world. This includes Oscar winning cinematographers to 15 year old students; and projects from Avatar 1 and 2, Falcon & Winter Soldier and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to Game of Thrones, the AFL, tours by Elton John and Billie Eilish and live streaming Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Onward and Upward
In looking for that one perfect take on Cine Gear LA I think David C. Smith, Founder and CEO of Plate Pros said it best: “There is no doubt that the passion and commitment to the craft of the filmmaking community will continue to grow and to thrive in the future. It’s an honor to be at Cine Gear and talk about our process and services with other industry leaders and it’s events like these that bring our community together and help us innovate for the path ahead.”
So, What’s Next For Us?
Glad you asked! The ProductionHUB editorial team has a full summertime slate of product reviews along with coverage of events like the Tribeca Festival, to concerts, and big time sports.