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Tuesday, 02 April 2013 16:30

Technology Takes Center Stage at NAB 2013

Written by  James Thompson
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nab_preview_img_0667sfwAs technology continues to rule film and television production, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) rules the world of U.S. technology trade shows for the broadcast and movie industries. On April 8–11, the floor of Nevada’s Las Vegas Convention Center will be flooded with exhibitors showcasing new and upgraded equipment and software for the 2013 NAB Show. Attendees can expect to see a slew of innovative products and inventory from leading manufacturers like the Vitec Group, Canon, Miller, Sony, Nila, Panasonic, Shotoku and Matthews, just to name a few.

If you’re in the market for a high-end digital camera, be sure to stop by the Sony booth (C11001) to check out the company’s novel PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K cameras. Both use a new type of Super 35mm Sony CMOS imager with a resolution of 4096×2160 along with 14 stops of exposure latitude and 4K RAW capabilities. And word has it that ARRI (C4337) will unveil its ALEXA Xtended Technology (XT) cameras, which offer new features that were inspired by feedback from professional users. Visitors to the Canon booths (C3628, C4325) will be able to get their hands on the Canon EOS Cine C300 and C500 camera systems, EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera, and the compact and lightweight Canon EOS-1D C.

Panasonic (C3607) is expected to introduce the AJ-PX5000G, its first P2 HD camcorder with native AVC-ULTRA recording and built-in microP2 card slots. The 2/3-inch, 2.2M 3-MOS camera is light-weight and features 720p and 1080p/i recording and full-resolution, 10-bit 1080/60p (in AVC-Intra100). And at JVC (C4314), attendees will see the premiere of the new GY-HM70U ProHD camcorder, which has a low price tag and is built around a 1/2.3-inch, 12-megapixel CMOS imager and the company’s FALCONBRID high-speed processor.

 sachtler ace l ms cfFor the latest in camera-support equipment, check out Sachtler (C6025) where there will be a new model of the Ace tripod system. The company will also introduce a heavy-duty tripod and three-section telescoping tripod, as well as demonstrations of its artemis camera-stabilizer products. International Supplies (C9049) will have various camera support systems for DSLRs and small video cameras. Look for the company’s Dougmon system and the ReadyRig, an upper-body-mounted camera support system that balances and eliminates camera weight for hands-free camera operation. Miller (C8234) will showcase the innovations to its 150mm Skyline 70 tripod system, which supports a diverse choice of camera configurations from 9.9 to 82.5 pounds. And Shotoku Broadcast Systems (C9032) plans to exhibit a mix of new and established products that target sports, studio, virtual reality and field production applications, including technologically advanced and sturdy pan & tilt heads and a new X-Y Tracking VR dolly crane system for Virtual Studios.

Matthews Studio Equipment (C5437) will impress attendees with the debut of five new support products. These will include the unique Makalu System remote-head package; the lighter and sturdier Matthews Slider wireless control system to support the Floatcam DC and HD DC Sliders; the Lazy Suzy double-swivel camera platform; and the Intel-A-Jib LITE, which is a lighter-weight version of the Intel-A-Jib.

To power today’s newer digital cameras, Anton/Bauer (C6025) offers several new Gold Mount solutions. The company will display its new DIONIC HD battery, Anton/Bauer Wireless System, and AB Direct VU handheld receiver/monitor. The Anton/Bauer booth will also host a champagne toast on Monday, antonbauer_dionic_hdApril 8 at 5 p.m. in celebration of the company’s recent Scientific & Engineering Academy Award for the Cine VCLX Portable Power System. Schneider Optics (C9035) is currently celebrating its 100th year in business, so be sure to stop by the company’s booth to offer congratulations on this magnificent accomplishment. Attendees can also ask about Schneider’s innovative behind-the-lens ND filter holder, developed in cooperation with Clairmont Camera for the ARRI ALEXA camera. The booth will also feature two new Century tele-extenders for PL-mount single-sensor cameras/lenses. These mount between a PL-mount camera and PL-mount lens, extending the telephoto zoom range to allow zooming while maintaining focus.

For lighting solutions, Zylight (C5446) will showcase a new F8 LED Fresnel. Available in tungsten (3200K) or daylight (5600K) versions, the compact F8 collapses down to less than four inches thick for easy transport and storage. Nila (C11133) will reveal the new Nila Varsa, which is a good replacement for a 400-watt HMI or 600-watt tungsten fixture, as it draws only 75 watts at 100-percent output. On the audio front, DPA Microphones (C3036) will introduce the d:facto II Vocal Microphone, which has “true studio sound” that’s ideal for live music broadcasting. It offers natural sound with high separation and extreme SPL handling, and provides a state-of-the-art adapter system that allows for sound devices pix 260i - frontsuperb integration with many professional wireless systems. Sound Devices (C2849) will showcase the PIX 260i, a new a file-based audio/video recorder. The rack-mounted PIX 260i was developed to replace tape-based video decks in production and postproduction environments. It offers 32 tracks of audio record/playback as well as control functionality from browser-capable computers and tablets.

In the realm of digital cinema, Qube Cinema (SL12216) will demonstrate its Qube XP-I server, Xi 4K Integrated Media Block (IMB) and Quad 3G interface for digital cinema projectors. All three products are designed to allow integrated postproduction and digital cinema mastering workflows. For high-quality, royalty-free digital footage, Shutterstock (SL13017) now offers more than 900,000 files and adds thousands of new licensable clips each week. Plus, attendees can sign up at the company’s booth to win a $5,000 camera package and other prizes, like ten GoPro cameras.

For the best post solutions, visit Autodesk (SL3316, S107LMR) to see the new features offered by the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2014. The suite’s versatile workflow includes 3D animation, visual effects and a host of Autodesk creative tools, like Maya, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage and SketchBook Designer. All have been updated with 2014 versions to offer new workflow enhancements that will help artists collaborate, manage complexity, and move data through pipelines more efficiently.

And for the third year in a row at NAB, the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) will host Post Pit (SL15708) programming sessions, offering an informative mix of learning experiences. The 20-minute sessions will feature companies with real-world information and knowledge that will update attendees on current postproduction trends and lend perspective on the bounty of technology showcased at NAB 2013.
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