I was going to base my observations of the first day of NAB on extensive notes and research. Then I realized that's just what that annoying overachieving kid you knew in junior high would do. I'm no longer that kid—I mean, I have a different idea: I'm going to make it all up.
First order of bidness was to attend the opening keynote featuring James Cameron. Unfortunately it also included thirty minutes of opening remarks from the head of the NAB and an award ceremony for a former president of—zzzzzzz… Sorry, dozed off for a minute there. It was just like on the Oscars when the guy comes out to explain how the all the votes get tallied and I start screaming hysterically, "Where are all the pretty famous people!?" Only without the screaming.
Finally James Cameron hit the stage. Alas, I could only stay for fifteen minutes but what I heard was something like this James Cameron Keynote Clip this
James Cameron, Vince Pace Announce New 3D Venture this
James Cameron and Vince Pace Forms Cameron-Pace Group for New 3D Features and this
James Cameron’s New Company CAMERON-PACE Group Will Further Spread The 3D Gospel
In what is becoming a yearly NAB tradition, I stopped by the AbleCine booth. They have more cameras and lenses and cool camera thingys than you can shake a stick at. I know that because I shook my stick at them and was promptly wrestled to the ground. While I was there, someone on the staff showed up with the rare-in-the-wild RED Epic and everyone held it up like baby Simba. Now that is one BAMF looking camera.
AbleCine was also showing a new 3D Phantom camera that has interchangeable lenses made in Russia. Huh? Russia? Just as long as it doesn't interfere with their ability to make vodka, I guess I'm okay with it. This might be the first Phantom that people use for shots other than super slo-mo "Nooooooooooooooooo…"
Sony's booth was huge again as always, but not so huge that I went "That's huge!' It's tucked way in the back of the hall which takes some of the hugeness away. They were showing off their new F65 CineAlta camera. It shoots in 4k RAW on an 8k sensor and will probably replace the F35 for most DPs. The post workflow is yet to be determined which makes me nervous because we all know how good Sony is with software *crickets*
Sony has a new SR codec for Final Cut, AVID and presumably Vegas. It's essentially the same format as HDCAM-SR. I played with it a little bit in Final Cut and… whatever. Sony had barely-trained interns showing it off which may or may not be an indication of how hard they want to push it. I'm not sure why we need another compressed working format but… yay?
Meanwhile, a big trend seems to be small uncompressed external recorders. Convergent Design, Blackmagic and someone else I can't remember introduced these leetle teeny weeny boxes that can be mounted to a camera and that'll record uncompressed video to small solid state drives. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm going to go with "Sure. Why not? Fill that SAN up as fast as you can."
Oh! Oh! Panasonic had this really big ass TV. A 4k 152" behemoth costing $500,000 and tipping the scales at one ton. You have to use one of those skyscraper window washer lifts that hangs from the top just to clean the screen. TV Logic also had a 4k TV and Sony had a 3.8k TV. Everybody's making 4k screens it seems. It's giving my 50" plasma at home feelings of inadequacy. Oh wait that's me.
Well, kids. That's all I have time for right now. By the time we meet again, the Supermeet will have come and gone and there'll be a new NLE bestowed upon us that will enrich the human experience and reveal the meaning of our existence. Or it will just piss people off. Will it be it awesome, a head-scratcher or just meh? I'm calling Apple up right now to let them know something's going down at the Supermeet. Has anybody else told them about this?