Blackmagic Design: We spent a lot of time at this booth. In addition to the cinema camera they released last year, they are now releasing a 4k production camera for $3,995. It offers a Super 35 sensor and 10-bit, ProRes 422 (HQ) recording. It also has a built in uncompressed audio recorder and an EF-compatible lens mount. We got to play with the display model at the show. The touch screen is very easy to use. It has 12 stops of dynamic range (1 less than the 2.5k cinema camera). It offers built in Thunderbolt and UltraScope software for real time waveform monitoring. Definitely something I’m looking forward to testing out. It seems like it could be the right tool for many jobs.
Blackmagic is also releasing a Pocket Cinema Camera. This is the size of a standard point and shoot. It offers 13 stops of dynamic range, a Super 16 sensor and 10-bit, ProRes 422 (HQ), 1080 recording. You can choose from Super 16 lenses or Micro Four Third lenses. It records to SD cards and comes with DaVinci Resolve Lite. This looks like it would be a lot of fun to play with. $995.00.
DJI: This year the aerial copter movement took off. There were multiple companies offering units with GPS controllers, meaning you can set GPS points using Google Earth and the copter will know how high to fly and how long to stay at each point before flying to the next. DJI seemed to be the leader since many of the other companies offering copters use the control system designed by DJI engineers. I want the Phantom for my GoPro (or Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera?).
Mitra 3D Mic Pro: We tested this surround sound mic and it seemed interesting. I’d like to hear more about some actual production experiences.
Digital Bolex: This began as a kickstarter campaign to create a 2K RAW digital cinema camera for $3,000. We chatted with these guys for awhile and they got us excited about it. They are preparing to ship the first batch, so it’ll be awhile before the second generation is created. My spec card:
Polly Portable Dolly System: I was really impressed by the solid construction and function of this dolly. It is sturdy enough to hold everything from a DSLR to an Alexa. Using this system, it is possible to get ultra slow dolly shots with the pressure from your fingertip. The complete Polly kit contains the engine, an arm and track for 2780 Euros ($3,635). Check out their video.
NHK Super Hi-Vision. 8K resolution. That’s 33 megapixels (7680 x 4320). 22.2 multichannel surround sound. I saw their presentation in a corner of the NAB show. They showed footage from the Library of Congress, the last shuttle launch and the olympics, among other events. If there had been wind in my face, I would have thought I was actually there. Stunning. They talk about this in the context of recording cultural milestones to preserve for future generations. Here’s a nice comparison to standard HD.
Overall, it was a great show with a lot of exciting equipment. Of course, that statement could apply to every NAB I’ve been to. Excuse me, I have to go redo my Christmas wish list…