NAB 2010 was truly the beginning of a new era. As usual, it was not what was initially intended. The initial spin was 3D from Camera to Couch (Panasonic) and Lens to Living Room (Sony). 3D rigs were everywhere, along with 3D monitors, controllers and 2D to 3D conversion tools. But beyond the 3D, we got a glimpse of where things are heading. We saw a staggering abundance of new cameras, lenses, storage devices, support equipment and accessories. And we got a glimpse of NAB 2011: Penelope-Delta, a digital “magazine” with Dalsa 4K sensor and internal 4K RAW DPX recording. Sony had a 4K “whisper” room that practically shouted with their Hershey bar sized 1 TB solid state storage module and 4K sensor for a Sony 4K camera to be shown as a prototype in 2011.
It was a PL world. ARRI debuted Alexa. Abel unveiled Phantom Flex. Panasonic had a prototype $6,000 Super-Lumix digital motion picture camera, and Sony showed a super-sized EX3 prototype with PL mount. Hot Rod, FGV and Denz had PL Canon conversions. Red showed Epic out of competition to huge crowds. And then there were lenses. Lots of lenses. ARRI announced two ARRI/Fujinon Alura zooms. Fujinon showed their complete set of four Fujinon PL gold-banded zooms. “Leaping lizards!” Band Pro unleashed the Mystery Primes as Leica lenses. There were lots of lenses with convertible mounts. The ZEISS Compact Prime 2 set can be converted from PL to Canon or Nikon mount in minutes (by a qualified lens technician). Same with the Schneider and Unique Optics primes. Angenieux had doublers for their Optimos.
Or is it a PL world? Maybe not. The grass is always greener. Alexa comes standard with PL mount, but the press-briefing Powerpoint pointed to mounts for Canon, Panavision and others. Angenieux showed Optimos and ZEISS showed a Lightweight Zoom with Canon mounts.
Let’s begin our tour of NAB for everyone who skipped NAB, and anyone interested in our take on it. We begin randomly, with blank dual 30″ monitors daring us to make sense of it all for our upcoming after-NAB/pre-Cine Gear issue. We’ll post items that caught our attention at the show as we unpack and sift through a shipping case full of literature, data, USB sticks and 45 GB of pictures taken by Yousef Linjawi, Dorian Weber, Oli Laperal and moi. Fasten your seat belts and start your engines.