NAB Show 2015

If you enjoy making movies then NAB is the conference for you. It has everything for small indie filmmakers and major Hollywood studios, all in one giant convention center in Vegas. This was my second year attending and there were more amazing things then I could possibly have time to see. 

New Cameras

There were plenty of new camera announcements. The Canon C300 mkII was hard to care about. It's a very expensive camera is not even on par with cheaper competition like Sony's FS7 or Black Magic's new URSA Mini.

The Mini on the other hand might be a significant product, with a similar feature set to the Canon and Sony, but a price point as low as $3000. This could be a sign that black magic is finding their footing with camera design, although it really could use some internal ND filters.

Black Magic Design also went Micro, with most of the features of their Pocket Camera in something barely larger than a GoPro. 16 stops of dynamic range in this little thing makes me really resent the files I get out of my 5D mkIII.

Camera Stabilization

Gimbals, drones, and full body support rigs mounted on Segues, the robots are finally taking over camera operation. My favorite was the DJI Ronin M, which is in update of the larger Ronin. It's a lighter weight stabilizer meant for lighter cameras, and it was a joy to play with. They also have a new little thumb controller making a single operator set up incredibly easy. This little rig felt extremely refined.

The dropping price of this and other gibles mean that they will become a more and more standard piece of the indie filmmaker kit. 

There was also a very small hand held stabilizer from ISEE from Shape, that was interesting concept for small cameras. It worked really well and I could see this being really powerful for documentary style shooting when you don't want to draw attention.

One little piece of kit that really caught my attention is the Small HD 502. A phone sized monitor with a razor sharp screen and innovative interface, and it has an optional viewfinder that clips on to it for extra versatility. Unfortunately looking through the viewfinder felt more like looking at a mirror box (which it is) than direct into an EVF, but still that image beautiful. 

Another device I didn't hear about until I got home is the Black Magic Design Video Assist, which is just slightly bigger and also offers internal recording capabilities for a similar price. 

If this quick and lazy summary of the show wasn't enough for you, you can hear what I really think on our Cameras or Whatever podcast, episode 18.