CES 2018: Our Favorite Things

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That’s a wrap for CES 2018. But before we head home, the Explora team looks back at some of our favorite exhibits. From LG’s incredible displays to Kodak’s long-awaited Super 8 revival, this video recaps all our personal favs.

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The G-SPEED Shuttle: Portable & Powerful 4-Bay Thunderbolt™ 3 RAID Storage

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Users who opt for the G-SPEED Shuttle 4-Bay Thunderbolt™ 3 RAID Array will be able to select from capacities of 16TB, 24TB, 32TB, and 48TB, with the overall capacity being split between four 7200 rpm SATA 3.5″ Enterprise hard drives that deliver data-transfer rates of up to 1000 MB/s, which allows for the simultaneous editing of multi-camera footage in real time, the rendering of multi-layer effects, and efficient exporting. The four drives come configured as hardware RAID 5, but RAID 0, 1, and 10 are also supported, giving users the option to select configurations that support performance, data redundancy, or a combination of both.

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For those who still need a multi-bay array, but find themselves frequently sending footage by courier, the G-SPEED Shuttle 4-Bay Thunderbolt 3 RAID Array with Two ev Bay Adapters may be of more interest. Available in capacities of 20TB and 24TB, this array has two SATA drive bays and two Evolution (ev) Series drive bays. ev Series bays are proprietary to G-Technology and may be mailed with more ease than a 3.5″ drive.

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Aside from its ev bays, this version is like the non-ev configuration, although its sustained data-transfer rates max out at 500 MB/s, and its lack of additional SATA drive bays means it only supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD.

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NAMM 2018, Now at B&H: Take Aim with the Universal Audio Arrow

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Needing fewer inputs than the big studios doesn’t justify compromising quality. Too often, musicians, songwriters, producers, and engineers who only want a handful of ins and outs are given audio interface options that don’t have a high priority on sonic integrity. That’s not the case with the Universal Audio Arrow, a new desktop 2×4 Thunderbolt™ 3 audio interface with DSP processing in a compact housing about the size of a humble box of chocolates. It comes with a bonus better than candy—14 UAD plug-ins to use in tracking and mixing! Also, since it’s bus-powered, there’s no need to carry around a power supply!

Keeping its standards high, Universal Audio outfitted the Arrow with two Unison microphone preamps fed by rear-panel Amphenol XLR-1/4″ combo jacks and a dedicated front-panel 1/4″ Hi-Z guitar input. These analog inputs lead to high-class A/D converters, able to deliver up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, ensuring that your precious source—be it one or two mics, a keyboard or synth, bass, or guitar—will be captured with accuracy and detail. The outputs include two 1/4″ jacks on the rear and a 1/4″ headphone jack on the front, and are driven by D/A conversion at up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

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On the Arrow’s face, you’ll find a tidy layout that’s understandable at a glance and easy to use. Dedicated buttons offer instant access to input selection, high-pass filtering, 48V phantom power, a pad, and polarity, all of which can be adjusted per channel or linked for stereo pairing. Multicolor five-segment meters indicate levels ranging from -27 to 0 dBFS for the inputs and monitor outputs. The large multifunction rotary encoder can control preamp or monitor levels at the push of a button.

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Leica Goes Telephoto with APO SL 75mm and 90mm Prime Lenses

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Leica has just expanded its lineup of full-frame mirrorless lenses with the official release of the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. These two telephoto apochromats are designed specifically for the SL camera and are optimized for ultimate image quality. Also, the German-built lenses offer fast autofocus and durable construction to make them suitable for professional use. The two lenses share many features, including a fast f/2 aperture for shallow depth of field, but differ notably when it comes to the focal length. Leica is billing the 75mm as a more versatile option that will work in street, portraiture, and many other situations that will benefit from a slightly longer than normal look. It also has a minimum focus distance of 1.6′. The 90mm, on the other hand, is ideal for portraiture with its more compressed telephoto look that many portrait photographers crave, and a minimum focus distance of just under 2′.

The two lenses share a long list of features that make these some of the best lenses available today. These features include a Dual Syncro Drive Precision Autofocus system that provides fast and accurate movements, one aspherical element and anomalous partial dispersion for crisp, clear imagery across the frame, and a floating element to ensure optimal performance at any focusing distance. Professional lenses aren’t just their image quality, since the ability to perform in less-than-ideal weather is critical for working photographers. The lenses are made in Germany to precise specifications with various seals to prevent intrusion of dust and moisture, while an AquaDura coating protects the front element. Additionally, the lenses come with a lens hood, caps, and bag.

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CES 2018: ViewSonic Introduces New Professional & Enterprise Monitors

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Whether you want extensive connectivity options, super-thin bezels, and an advanced ergonomic design, or you would rather opt for a 4K color-accurate monitor more focused on performance uniformity, ViewSonic has the monitor for you. ViewSonic has introduced a professional series “VP” line of monitors and an enterprise series “VG” line of monitors, designed to suit the needs of a wide-ranging consumer base.

The Professional “VP” series of monitors comprises the VP2768-4K and VP3278-8K models, which are designed to suit the needs of those working with color-critical applications, such as graphic-design specialists and photographers, thanks to the wide color gamut and performance consistency. The 8K VP series monitor features enhanced color accuracy along with a host of connectivity options capable of handling devices that drive 8K content. You can even plug in a variety of color-calibration sensors to the VP-3278-8K monitor because it comes calibration-ready. With a 4K VP series monitor you receive 4K UHD resolution, complete with Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity supporting data-transfer rates of up to 40 Gbps, opening a plethora of new possibilities for creative content professionals and their devices.

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VP3278-8K

With the Enterprise “VG” series monitors, ViewSonic has shifted its focus from color-critical applications and color accuracy to ergonomics and connectivity options. These monitors come in a 24″ version—the VG2448, and a 27″ version—the VG2748, each offering enhanced viewing angles and reduced size bezels surrounding the Full HD 1080p IPS screen. Setting up these Enterprise-series monitors is simple as they come equipped VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort inputs and, with a 40-degree tilt, the display can also be adjusted to suit nearly any viewing preference. When you’re finished with the display, you can also take it with you—it comes equipped with a quick-release stand and a carrying handle.

ViewSonic has monitors designed to suit the needs of nearly any business professional. What are your viewing preferences?  Please let us know in the Comments section, below.

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CES 2018: LG's New Consumer Tech Lineup

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LG delivered the goods at CES, showcasing everything from TVs to robotic lawnmowers. Our first stop was a tour through the company’s massive A/V cave. LG’s “cave” consisted of a wall of matrixed OLED TVs, literally immersing all who walked through in a high-definition experience. Seeing that many TVs work together was quite a sight—caves tend to be dark—and LG’s OLED TVs are certainly up to the task of illuminating.

Next, we visited LG mobile, which included a look at the company’s new raspberry rose-colored LG V30 smartphone and Tone SE headsets. These headsets feature instant language translation and quick access to Google assistant. Going to France? Need to hail a cab? Don’t speak French? Put the Tone SE on your short list.

LG’s newest computer monitors were also on display, several of which are equipped with Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity, which allow you daisy-chain multiple displays. Additionally, LG’s new Thunderbolt 3-enabled 34WK95U features detailed 5K (5120 x 2160) resolution, HDR 600 support, and a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it ready for intense graphics applications. LG proudly showcased several resolution options, display types, and sizes, designed to accommodate everyone from the casual gamer to the demanding creative professional, and they were all on display on at CES.

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CES 2018: Top 5 Drones

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CES 2018 was a showcase for some of the biggest names in the drone industry. From established players to exciting up-and-comers, there was plenty of tech to see and test. In this video, we look at the five brands that impressed us the most.

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DSMC2 101 Part 1: All About the RED Ecosystem

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If, for whatever reason, you’ve had your eye pressed to the viewfinder for the past several months, the news that B&H is now a reseller for RED DIGITAL CINEMA cameras and associated products may have passed you by. If that was something that you were pining for, rejoice! However, that exuberance may be slightly offset when you see just how many options are available for building RED cameras. Many cameras on the market from other manufacturers are all-inclusive; everything you need to start shooting is right there in the box when you open it up. RED decided to buck this trend with its DSMC cameras when the company first introduced the EPIC as a follow-up to the ground-breaking RED ONE, and has continued following this modular modus operandi with its current DSMC2 offerings. While the modularity of the new cameras allows each customer to build their camera as they wish, here at B&H we understand that the sheer number of choices that provide this flexibility can be somewhat daunting. What follows will be a basic overview of the RED DSMC2 ecosystem and a guide to putting together a fully functioning RED DSMC2 kit. Since there’s a lot of ground to cover, I’ve decided to spread this subject over two articles. This first article will focus on introducing the DSMC2 ecosystem and going over the first three parts, each pertaining to a component of the RED DSMC2 camera system; the brain, the expander modules, and the rear and side modules. Lens mounts, monitoring, media, and accessories will be covered in the next article.

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CES 2018: Kodak Previews the Super 8 Camera

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When I got to CES, the last brand I thought would constantly surprise me was Kodak. The past few years have certainly been tough for the once renowned film manufacturer, but this year signaled the company is quickly getting back into the latest tech. This is evident in the release of new 360-degree cameras and even a brand new cryptocurrency called KODAKCoin. The manufacturer is definitely still feeling its roots, however, because its brand new Super 8 Camera is slated to hit the market very soon, showing off the company’s long-standing skills in bringing photography and filmmaking to the masses.

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The camera has been built from the ground up, for modern filmmakers who could’ve grown up with Super 8 movies or who have never seen a roll of film in their life. The gate has been redesigned to create a closer to 16:9 format that fits the ratio of most TVs these days. Also, it features a large flip-out LCD screen that makes it easy to change settings, and will even display a live view of your image since the camera is equipped with an image sensor to help you compose your shots. I must say after getting my hands on the camera that it feels great, and slightly reminiscent of the Bolex I used for some of my first films, albeit with many modern touches.

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One of its upgrades is the ability to capture audio with the camera and save it to an SD card. The camera will also save data to make it easier to sync up later. There is a standard C lens mount, making it compatible with a range of glass, and there are rumors of new lenses being made available, as well.

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CES 2018: Samsung's New Home Theater and Commercial Display Technology

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Samsung’s presence at CES 2018 spread across quite a few technological categories, all of which are fascinating, but home theater and commercial displays hold a special place in my heart, so that’s where I intend to focus. Perhaps the manufacturer’s biggest announcement, so to speak, is what it’s referring to as The Wall, a modular 146″ MicroLED TV. MicroLED technology uses self-emitting micrometer-sized LEDs (1 micrometer = 0.001 mm), essentially allowing each pixel to illuminate itself, so no backlight is required—much like OLED technology. The modular, bezel-less design of this TV will allow you to fit multiple TVs together in a video wall. This is a great feature for dedicated home theater rooms, but I foresee this function being used more prominently in commercial applications.

Another big announcement in home/commercial displays was the Samsung Flip. Specifically designed for office and classroom use, the Samsung Flip is a digital flip chart display that allows users to collaborate and annotate on documents on the screen either by using their finger or a dual-sided pen, and erase work with a swipe of their palm. The Flip even saves content in a database that can later be downloaded, emailed, or printed; notes can also be saved to a USB drive or other storage device.

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Last, Samsung announced that it would be including Samsung Knox security into all its smart TVs, starting this year. Samsung Knox security is designed especially for smart TVs to enhance security by detecting and removing malicious applications that can steal personal data from other apps.

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If you’re looking for new Samsung technology, or anything home theater or commercial display-related, come into the B&H SuperStore to get a look at them, or you can contact us by phone at 800-606-6969, chat, or email for friendly, knowledgeable advice.

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