WOW. Just Wow. Wasn't that an exciting and thrilling NAB this year? I really can't believe all these game-changing new products!
Okay, I'm kidding.
This year's convention of the National Association of Broadcasters was quite different for me. After visiting Vegas two years in a row I felt like this year's event was a very quiet and unspectacular one. Maybe because I wasn't on the show floor myself. Maybe I wasn't caught in the new-gadget-hype-bubble. Maybe there were actually less innovations than last year.
But let's get to the facts. What's new?
Sony changed a little bit with its F5/ F55 cameras. Canon introduced a 17-120mm Cine lens with Servo and the Mõvi still seems to be coolest shit out there. But for me, NAB was always more about useful accessories. Little things that make shooting with certain cameras easier or help organizing my workflow. Last year I really liked Blackmagic's new ATEM and SSD products, Livestream's new Studio software, F&V's new LED series and many more products.
This year's wish list on the other hand is quite small. Here is what I liked:
Switronix launched a series of adapter cables that conveniently power GoPro Hero3 and 3+ cameras. They're available in USB, PowerTap, Car Lighter Port and XT60 connections. All models cost between $30 and $40 at B&H.
We all have at least one or two of their cases. I also have a growing collection of Peli cases in different sizes and the new ones will certainly be added once they start shipping. The new series is incredibly lightweight and features a noticeable color-strip on the top and bottom. Head over to newsshooter.com for a good interview about the new cases!
Kessler's new UniDrive is an affordable 3-axis motion control system for those who don't need the full power of its big brother, the CineDrive system. It features motion control for live-mode, looping, time-lapse and stop-motion applications. The price will be $699 for the controller and basic motor kit. For an additional $700 you'll get the 3 axis UniDrive controller, slider motor and pan&tilt head. All units will ship in 3-4 months (July - August). Here's a video about the system if you're interested [Link].
Oh, and there was this Australian company that also caused a lot of buzz at NAB this year. They introduced a couple of new camera for in-the-field and studio applications. It's hardly surprising that I already received several question whether I would recommend one of these new cameras. The simple answer is: No, I can't.
Not because I think that they're bad and unusable but for the fact that I didn't use or test them on a real shoot. How can you tell from scrolling through the manufacturer's website that a camera is good or bad? Spec-wise a Canon 5D is certainly far worse than other cameras but still thousands of cameraman used and still use it. Having said that you might expect a follow-up blog post once I get my hands on one of the new Blackmagic cameras.