MP3 Download of interview 22:40 minutes

UPDATE: See the related blog post and screen cast on the new IS-MANAGER V2.2 software. 10-3-2014

If you haven’t heard, lots of folks are talking about a new SDI-based LUT box that sorta breaks the mold with regards to how LUT boxes have worked in the past.  Here’s why.

IS-mini_smThe Fujifilm engineers designed a physically small SDI-based LUT box to hold a 3D LUT for display profiling and calibration, but this is not your ordinary single-purpose LUT box. Fujifilm wrote their own PC and Apple display calibration software that can be used to quickly calibrate and install LUTs for a variety of purposes. Think about using DaVinci Resolve to create a test look while on set and installing that LUT into the IS-mini for preview purposes. What about networking a number of LUT boxes together on a big multi-camera shoot to manage LUTs for onsite previewing, monitor matching, and look previewing at a  live event?  During the interview, we also talk about the Fujifilm IS-100 Processing System that does all this.

The key point is the included Fujifilm software makes quick work of installing a LUT into the box for preview purposes on set. You can also quickly install a more accurate 3D camera log conversion for your Sony F55 camera, which only provides a 1D LUT, for log conversion to Rec.709 (for example).

What is unique here is that Fujifilm designed the IS-mini with a built-in pattern generator that runs with their included PC and Apple display calibration software, and this combo sells for $1300 retail.  You’ll need to add a probe, of course, and they include the X-Rite i1Pro Spectrophotometer as an option (recommended if you don’t have a probe).  First impressions are that this LUT box and its accompanying software are a combo that is dead simple to use, extremely fast, and amazingly complete for profiling and calibration purposes with their LUT box.  Took me just minutes to set it up and create a calibration LUT for a client display I have in the studio.  Now I see why this particular LUT box, along with the Fujifilm IS-Manager software, is going to be very popular in production environments where time is critical to set up quick review monitors and preview raw and log-based video streams as a DIT will need to do while on set.

The IS-mini LUT box interfaces seamlessly with SpectraCal’s CalMAN for 3D LUT generation. The advantage of using Calman is you get access to more advanced algorithms for adaptive multi pass creation of 3D LUTs. For reference monitor display calibration this can be critical.  I created a 3D display LUT using CalMAN’s AutoCube technology and the Klein K10-A as part of my user testing.  Everything plays well together.

The IS-MINI also works with the Klein K10-A (which I  tested) and the Photo Research PR-670 SpectraScan probe, for the ultra-discerning. Keep in mind that regardless of what probe you use it’s an optional expense that is in addition to the $1300.

Let me do a quick shout-out to Omega Broadcast Group in Austin. Contacts there are Phil Goetz and Allan Barnwell.  While I was talking with the guys about display calibration and a color-grading seminar in early 2014, they brought out a black case and said, “Would you be interested in checking this out?” So I took home the case with an IS-mini and an i1Pro Spectrophotometer to test it out. (OK, we geeks call it playing with it, but you get the point.)

Fujifilm_Bulbenko_Lafuente-2In this interview I speak with:

Michael Bulbenko (Fujifilm’s Marketing and Sales Development Manager)

Mike Lafuente  (Fujifilm’s Key Account Manager)

1. Before we get rolling on the details, tell me – why Fujifilm?  I know they have an excellent reputation for cameras and, hey, in the old days I loved their film products.  They seem to be aggressive about entering the production and post-production marketplace in a new way or from a different direction.

2. How about one of you giving me the rundown on the IS-mini box specifications. Can it be purchased by itself simply for display calibration purposes, for example?

3. Now the IS-100. I saw this at Omega Broadcast Group.  How does it work with multiple IS-mini LUT boxes?

4.  Let’s talk use cases.  Where do you see these products being utilized in production and post environments?

5. What’s coming down the road in the way of updates?

6. What did I leave out? What do folks typically not see about the product that is most important to know?

Thanks, guys! This was super-helpful. How can folks find out more about the device?

Marketing and Sales Development Manager
FUJIFILM Motion Picture North America
Mobile: 408-829-8799   Office: 714-372-4336
6200 Phyllis Drive, Cypress, CA  90630

You can reach out to Michael Lafuente directly at  888-424-3854 x4405 – he was super helpful to me during my testing of the gear.

Omega Broadcast Group
817 West Howard Lane
Austin, Texas 78753
Phone: (512) 251-7778
Reference material
IS-Mini Review by Alex Bickel in Post Magazine
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