NAB 2011: My Humble Opinions
By Dominique Martinez
Head of Operations
In A Place Post
LAS VEGAS — Here is what I found interesting during the whirlwind known as NAB. As a DP and owner of a post house running a Pablo platform, I really go into
NAB looking for both production and post tools that would mutually benefit my company and myself. We were also working closely with SuperTechno as they were showing our newest toy, the New Technocrane. Some NAB highlights for me:
-Alexa-M - Not sure if this stands for Mini or Modular but it is a tiny remote head for the Alexa, which will be great for 3D rigs, Steadicam, tight spaces, action shoots, etc.
-Red Epic - I kind of felt like the uncool kid on the block at the RED booth/tattoo station, and maybe I was. I thought it was a great idea to have all the cameras set up with displays, but I wish there was another type of lighting set up to really show the cameras latitudes. Either way, it was great to see the Epic. 5K, HDR, small footprint, need I say more? We are in line for an Epic at our studio, so I am really looking forward to shooting and bringing in the footage to our studio. We are already set up to work with Epic material on the Quantel Pablo, so now it is just a matter as to when the Epic’s actually get to us!
-Sony- Loads of new cameras from Sony, which also means loads of new workflows to support. They had a great presentation on the new Sony CineAlta 8K sensor camera. Their 1TB SR memory cartridges were also out for the show. With the F65 demo video, I was impressed to find that I couldn't see any noise at all while screening off of Sony's 4K projector. It was sooo clean it; felt very digital to me, but like with every digital camera, there is a sweet combination to be made if you are looking for a more "filmic" look. I am a fan of the F35, so I am sure the F65 will do just fine.
-GoPro- I have shot with and own a couple of GoPro's which are always fun and if they work for the story, great cameras for difficult shots. I am really interested in playing with their new stereo rigs.
-Arri- One of my favorite new products at NAB was the new Arri L-Series LED fresnels. I saw these new lights in the afternoon after they had been on all day and they weren't even remotely hot. It is great to think you can light an actor from a few feet away without any complaints of the lights being too hot. They have upgradeable light engines (since LEDs continue keep growing in intensity), are focusable, and splashproof/dustrproof. They claim to have a similar light output as a 1k Tungsten fresnel. Three models: the L7-T 3200K (matching tungsten, L7-D 5600K (to match daylight) and L7-C can be adjusted depending on your lighting scenario. Cool stuff.
-SuperTechno- The New Technocrane with Technohead was unveiled at NAB and had a great demo to show all the different tools added to the New Techno. Super light, compact and with a detachable telescopic arm, make the New Technocrane a big game changer in the industry. Being able to actually move around (bring it up to a rooftop, put it in an elevator, tight spaces, etc) with a technocrane is really helpful when shooting indie projects where you have to move fast with small crews. Hearing the positive response to both the New Technocrane and the Technocrane 12 was really great.
It seems to be the year of the field recorders and many of them are set up with HDMI/SDI inputs that record to Uncompressed, DNX, ProRes. This could mean a lot of the new lower end cameras will be able to record out to better codecs, which will be great for higher quality images and color grading.
-AJA KI Pro Mini for example records to Compact Flash cards at resolutions up to 1080p and can utilize any of the ProRes 422 codecs. 4444 is not on the menu for this device. At this time this is the device RED endorses for Epic use. Simultaneous format recording = super cool and efficient.
-BlackMagic-This one has not been tested yet, but it seems to be the least expensive (at least from the ones I saw showing at NAB) Two negatives: it doesn't have a monitor and it doesn't have options for ProRes or DNX, leaving you with Uncompressed QTs options, meaning bigger files.
-Blackmagic Design Decklink 4K – It is great seeing desktop editing move beyond 2k. This new card is capable of outputting 4K - provided you have a 4K viewing device.
-After Effects CS5.5. My fave App has been upgraded to include a fancy new Warp Stabilizer for smoothing out sloppy camera moves. Also, Stereoscopic 3D is now supported.
-Filmlight Baselight is releasing a CC plug-in for FCP. I would be a bit concerned due to FCP's color management. YUV-RGB shift, anyone?
-Davinci Resolve 8 - has gone with a multilayer timeline. But how well does it conform? Edit? Etc?
-Quantel- I was VERY excited to see the Pablo PA work so well. We run off a Pablo platform, so the idea we can have the Pablo PA on another system to prep and export jobs while our colorist is working in the other room, seems like a dream! Not only will we able to finish jobs faster for our clients, we can QC a bit easier. It also seems to be Quantel's answer to all of the above. The other big Quantel highlight for me was ArriRaw Support coming to the Pablo. We have been working with Alexa footage a lot lately, but now with the ArriRaw Support means no more 1080 ProRes files, so we will finally dig into the meat of the high res RAW footage.
Well, thank you for reading my two cents on NAB 2011. Until next year….
Head of Operations
In A Place Post