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In other news: Lenses, track and awards

Bluetooth control for Canon lenses; Zeiss extends Compact Prime lens range; Via Rail II makes news dramatic; Rory Peck Awards.

Bluetooth control for Canon lenses

Canon has developed a new wireless lens control system using Bluetooth that is “ideal for use on cranes or jib arms, or in confined spaces,” according to Jan Maarten Kloosterman, sales & marketing, Canon Europe (pictured).

The WB10R/T works with Canon’s digital ENG lenses and has a delay of less than 40 milliseconds.

It can operate up to about 10m, and uses very little power. The controller takes two AA batteries, which should last more than 80 hours of continual operation, or a DC power cable. The receiver can be connected to the viewfinder or strapped to the body of the camera.

It will be available in December, although only in a limited number of countries initially.

Zeiss CP.2 100mm/2.1 CF CloseUp from Stefan Czech on Vimeo.

Zeiss extends Compact Prime lens range

Carl Zeiss has expanded its Compact Prime CP.2 lens series with two new focal lengths: 50mm with macro; and 100mm with close focus function. These lenses have been developed for filming with HD DSLR cameras and extend the range to nine lenses of 18-100mm.

The 1.49kg CP.2 100 mm/T2.1 CF can focus as close as 70cm. The 1.35kg CP.2 50mm/T2.1 Makro allows close-up shots to be taken at a distance of just 24cm. All the Compact Prime CP.2 lenses come with interchangeable PL-, EF- and F-mounts. They will cost from €3,700.

Zeiss also plans to offer the Compact Prime range with Micro 4/3 and A-mounts. “The possibility of using our CP.2 lenses flexibly for three different camera systems is not only interesting for new customers. Stores that rent cameras and camera equipment also benefit from the lenses’ enhanced flexibility,” said Michael Schiehlen, Head of Sales of Carl Zeiss AG Camera Lens Division.

In its collaboration with Arri there is now a new Arri/Zeiss 12mm/T1.3 Master Prime – the range now goes from 12-150mm over 16 models.

Flying cameras by Rail

Mo-Sys Via Rail II is a customised, horizontal camera rail system that can also, now offer vertical movement too, with a new scissor lift. “That gives us a new dimension, while keeping the floor clear,” said its CEO, Michael Geissler.

“More and more newsrooms are wanting to have that dramatic opening shot flying over all the desks,” and the Via Rail II system is fully computerised, allowing cameras to travel at up to 1.5m per second – faster on request. It has completed a vertical system, in Lebanon, that rises through four studios (above each other) at up to 4m per second.

Most of its clients order it in lengths of 20-50m, which can be almost any shape they like, and it has recently won five orders in Europe and the Near East.

Rory Peck Awards 2010

Broadcasters increasingly rely on freelancers to go to places that they are reluctant to send their own staff, to bring back stories that would otherwise not be told, something demonstrated by the finalists at this month’s Rory Peck Awards.

The Awards, which recognise the skill and achievement of freelance cameramen and camerawomen in international news and current affairs, take place on November 17 at London’s BFI Southbank.

The finalists also show how freelancers have raised the bar technically, demonstrating what small cameras can do in difficult situations.

The face of conflict – up close, personal and intimate – dominates the films short-listed for the two awards for News and for Features, with stories from Bangkok, Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe and both sides of the conflict in Afghanistan.

The struggle of everyday life away from conflict characterises the shortlist for the Sony Professional Impact Award, with stories showing the human face of illegal immigration in the US and Guatemala, the plight of Roma gypsy children forced to steal and beg, and the harsh reality of life for children in the slums of Mumbai.

“The standard and range of entries to this year’s awards show that the freelance community is vibrant and thriving,” said Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust. “Every year we are impressed by the level of commitment, drive and courage. Many of this year’s finalists worked under extremely difficult circumstances to produce extraordinary stories.”

“We have three extremely moving films on this year’s Sony Professional Impact shortlist,” added Olivier Bovis, Sony Professional’s AV Media Business Head, and one of the judges for the Sony Professional Award. “I was particularly impressed with the way the finalists translated the emotion of what they saw through the camera lens. Each of them managed to articulate the human dimension of their stories in a way that had real impact – and that’s not easy to achieve.”

Finalists – The Rory Peck Award For Features 2010

Hopewell Rugoho Chin’ono for A Violent Response – Shot in Zimbabwe and part self funded with Television International for K24. Some footage has been broadcast by ITN.

Najibullah Quraishi, for Behind Enemy Lines – Shot in Afghanistan; Clover Films for Channel 4 – Dispatches

Paul Refsdal, for Taliban: Behind The Masks – Shot in Afghanistan; Novemberfilm and Norwegian Film Institute for NRK

Finalists – The Rory Peck Award For News 2010

Roger Arnold, for Bangkok Street Protests, Thailand, for Wall Street

Robin Forestier-Walker, for Kyrgyzstan, for Aljazeera English

Greg Brosnan / Jen Szymaszek, for In the Shadow of the Raid – Shot in Guatemala and the US, and part self-funded with support from the Institute for Justice and Journalism Fund. Broadcast by PBS

Finalists – Sony Professional Impact Award 2010

Sebastian Rich, for Afghanistan, for NBC News

Nick Read, for The Slumdog Children of Mumbai, India – True Vision Productions for Channel 4 – Dispatches

Liviu Tipurita (pictured), for Gypsy Child Thieves – Shot in Spain, Italy and Romania, for BBC Two – This World