NAB 2012: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Once a year in Las Vegas the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual tradeshow highlights the new technologies for the upcoming year but also indicates trends of the broadcast industry. Trends have carried over from last year’s NAB show with larger sensors cameras, higher resolution for less money, and versatile technology that makes production lighter, faster and easier.
Large Sensor cameras were the captivating products at the 2011 NAB show and this year some new names jumped in the game. Blackmagic, known more for its post-production equipment, has released its Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a 2.5K sensor, interchangeable lens camera that takes either Canon or Zeiss EF or ZE Lens Mounts. It can create 12 bit DNG files and records to a 256GB SSD Drive. To be released in July, the Black Magic Cinema Camera looks to retail at $3000 and make a splash into the market.
Slow motion cameras were the fad at the 2012 NAB show, and when people in the video production community think slow motion cameras, Vision Research Phantom Camera Systems are always in the discussion. Vision Research released their Phantom Miro 320S Camera this year. This portable camera works great for ultra-slow motion situations anywhere from the high-budget production to the extreme situations like crash tests. The Phantom Miro 320S can shoot full 1080p at 1380 frames per second, nearly 50 times slow motion at 30 frames per second. At 720p the Phantom Miro 320S can shoot 3280 frames per second, over a hundred times slow motion at 30 frames per second. The Phantom Mire takes F-Mount, C-Mount, PL-Mount or EOS lens. The Phantom Miro has up to 12GB built in RAM and comes with a 60GB Cineflash Solid State Drive that can be upgraded to a 240GB SSD.
Sony unveiled a new camera in their NXCAM series, the Sony NEX-FS700. An upgraded version of last year NEX-FS100, the Sony NEX-FS100 also handles high quality, slow motion footage. The Sony NEX-FS700 comes with all the functionality of the FS100 and will shoot full 1920 x 1080 at 60p and Sony will offer a 4K resolution upgrade at the beginning of next year. The FS700 can shoot up to 960 frames per second and do 240 frames per second at full 1080p resolution. The Sony NEX-FS700 will be out at the end of June.
Although Panasonic was quiet with new cameras they did announce their new products that will use their AVC Ultra codec. With new cameras coming out over the next year, AVC Ultra will be seamless upgrade. Building on the AVC Intra codec the AVC Ultra will provide high quality codec for 4:4:4 with 2K and 4K resolution, as well as offering full resolution 1920 x 1080, 10 bit Long GOP codec that gives you 4:2:2 sampling at as low as 25 Mbps. If that is too many acronyms, the simpler explanation is that AVC Ultra will give you full resolution 1080p footage with great color sampling and low data rates, as well as high quality, full resolution, and full sampling codec.
Besides cameras, there were many other hotly buzzed about products. One specifically seemed to catch the attention of many directors of photography. That product was the Trucolor lighting by PRG. Trucolor lighting is a Remote Phosphor Technology lighting that allows for an array of different color temperatures in one light. The Trucolor can emit light in the color spectrum between 3200k and 5600k with no flickering. The light is lightweight, runs silent, doesn’t generate much heat while producing an output double that of 2K incandescent light.
The NAB show is one of the most exciting times for those in the manufacturing community as well as in the video production community. The new products give us an idea of the production trends over the next year as well as a bunch of new toys to keep up busy until next year’s NAB show.
Did you attend the 2012 NAB show? What was your favorite product? And what did you wish you saw more of at the NAB show?