Oli at NAB 2012

NAB 2012 for me was 4K+, 6K, 8K, solid state, Thunderbolt, H.265, glasses-free 3D, laser projection, quantum leaps in technology, quadratic jump in value at an almost unbelievable lower cost, the constant need for re-education, and a peek at the future.

NAB is impossible to cover sufficiently. Where do I go when my iPhone scheduler says I have to be in 5 places all at the same time? So I recruited two respected professionals: Sidney Maderaso, Commerical Director, and Cinematographer JA Tadena to take stills of the various booths and halls. We are all based in Manila, Philippines, although like everyone else, the world is our new playground.

Apr. 14 and 15 started with Technology Summit on Cinema (TSC) and
Digital Cinema Deployment, Theatrical Piracy, Green Lighting on Set, Accessibility, Digital Cinema Standards Update, Cinema Sound, Laser Projection, Independent 3D filming, Enhanced Cinema, 4K and 8K systems, Alternative Content, 4K 48 and 60 FPS Stereoscopic 3D filming, and satellite delivery.

The Broadcast Engineering Conference covered IPTV, IT, the return of the tube for sound, the Cloud, Standards Update, The Future of TV, 4K 3D terrestrial digital transmission, H.265, 8K, 120 FPS and Advanced Video Coding.

General Sessions included the state of the Industry, The Future of Broadcasting, Content Shift, Cameron | Pace, and 3ality Technica Digital on 3D, Mobile TV, and TV Syndication. James Cameron talked about proper 2D to 3D conversion in “Titanic 3D”.

After almost 2 years and almost $20 million, clips of “Titanic 3D” looked very good. It looks like 3D is here to stay. Martin Scorsese summarized it best when he said: “I am not for nor against 3D, I am basically a storyteller, and I will fully embrace any tool that helps me tell my story.”

Not too long ago, pundits declared HD as excessive and unnecessary. But that is history now as we sail full steam ahead into 2K, 3D, 4K, high FPS, 6K, 8K, holography and beyond.

Press Conferences

Sony: Trimaster EL OLED, F-65 4K camcorder delivering, Sendai now OK, NEP 2D & 3D sports trucks are all Sony equipment.

AJA: Ki Pro Quad portable 4K player recorder 10 bit 4:4:4 Raw with Thunderbolt, SDI/optical fibre converter, I/O XT thunderbolt link for desktop data juggling,

BlackMagic Design: 2.5K HD+ cinema camera, Micro 4/3 sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range, built-in SSD recorder, metadata, and Canon lens mount. BlackMagic recently bought Teranex, souped up the processor’s features including 3D, and now sells it for about 10% of the former Teranex price. Other new products include the HyperDeck SSD recorder with 4K playback, UltraStudio Express capture & playback with 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI & Thunderbolt, and also the Universal Videohub interface with Thunderbolt. New interlace/format converters.

BlackMagic Design is an amazing company. Less than 10 years ago, they had a lonely small booth at NAB. Then a few year ago, they bought da Vinci Resolve color correction software, improved it, and what sold for almost $500K then, today sells for under $1000 for the software. I joked and asked last year if they would ever sell a higher than HD/2K camera. They just did….for $1,300 net. At $2995, it includes a free da Vinci Resolve ($995) and UltraScope ($699). Now, I dare not ask what next.

ARRI: F7-C LED Fresnel lights with variable color temperature, Studio suspension system, Universal handgrip system which adapts to, holds, slings, or hangs almost any camera, more camera accessories shown. Brand new anamorphic prime lens, with more to surely follow.

RED Digital: Dragon sensor at 6K with 15+ stops of dynamic range, Laser light engine 4K projector, Red Ray 4K player, Canon and Nikon lens mounts, wireless remote control, 9” touch screen, OLED EVF. Dragon sensor at 6K resolution, perhaps 30 mm x 15.8 mm sensor, 85 FPS at 6K, 120 FPS at 5K, $6K upgrade from Epic by end 2012. New OLED EVF. Wireless remote control. Red showed “Loom 3D” A Ridley Scott production, Luke Scott Director. The 2K/4K laser projector looked very good with 4-6 times the light output. The short film showed very difficult filming situations: extreme contrast, wide dynamic range, intense brightness, very dark settings, it could not have been done without HDR, large sensors, and clean extreme low light sensor sensitivity.

JVC: 2D-3D converter box, HD GY-HM600 and GY-HMQ10 compact 4K camcorder with 60P mini camcorder now shipping, broadcast monitors.

Thunderbolt. At 25x faster than Firewire, it provides unprecedented data transfer speed for the HD and 4K market. Intel announced that there are now some 150 devices using Thunderbolt; some 35 are now at NAB. Streaming 4 sets of full 4K video is now possible.

Fraunhofer is in 60 institutions with some 18,000 employees doing applied research in media technology, Digital Cinema, 3D in 60 and 120 fps, UHD panoramic video, 4K workflows, glasses-free 3D, flexible optical elements, DCP converters, 3 cam stereo 3D camera for depth map. Omnicam uses several HD cameras to come up with a blended 6K x 2K with 180 degree view. In post, a full HD or 4K picture can be generated by panning the joystick.

Panasonic: AVC Ultra Code, Micro P2 card, AF 100 flagship camera, LCD production monitors, P2 now 9 years old and 250,000 units worldwide, 2012 London Olympics, 3D live broadcast, 200 fps slo-mo. 4K Varicam 4:4:4 12-bit, 4K monitors, 4K workflow, 20,000 lumens HD+ projector, software upgrade for AF-100 camcorder.

Cameras and Lenses

Four-perf film cameras (and Alexa 4:3 sensors) with 24 mm x 18 mm apertures have been the universal standard for over a hundred years. However, as manufacturers push the envelope and go beyond S35 sensor size, current lenses vignette quite noticeably, especially at the wider focal lengths. RED has been pushing image coverage to 31.4 mm diagonally, and beyond. The Sony F-65 8K sensor intentionally chose not to expand image coverage area of the sensor, but instead chose to make the regular 16:9 size sensor twice as dense, thus able to accept current lenses. However, Red’s 5K sensor, and its upcoming 6K Dragon sensor rumored at 30 mm x 15.8 mm or 33.9 mm diagonally will vignette. Zeiss Compact Prime lenses and the new CP zooms are in perfect position as they accommodate up to 36 mm x 24 mm full frame still format size.

Angenieux’s new Optimos meet and exceed demands of larger sensors. The ever popular 24-290 mm T2.8 had to be modified to the new 28-340 mm T3.2 with an image coverage now at 31.4 mm diagonal. The same is true of the Optimo 17-80 mm T2.2 being upgraded to the Optimo 19.5-95 mm T2.6 with 31.4 mm diagonal coverage. The new Angenieux ENG style Optimo Servo lens controller is interchangeable among the some 6 Optimo zoom lenses, making handheld shooting a breeze.

ARRI showed the Alexa M for tight locations and the Alexa Studio with a mechanical variable shutter and an optical viewfinder. ARRI upgrades the Alexa with new software releases.

The first prototypes of the Zeiss anamorphic prime lenses were shown at ARRI and ZEISS booths. More focal lengths and a more finished design will follow at IBC.

Canon EOS 500C uncompressed 4K, Super 35 CMOS sensor. EOS 5D Mark III. 22.3 megapixel, full frame CMOS sensor. EOS-1D C hybrid DSLR 4K stills with 4K 24 FPS 60P video camera. 30” 4K reference monitor. Canon’s new primes: 24, 50 and 85 mm. Zoom lenses: 15.5-47 T2.8, 30-105 mm T2.8, 14.5-60 mm T2.6, 30-300 mm T2.9.
Canon and Nikon lens modifications by Paul and Matt Duclos at Samy’s booth, and also Stuart Rabin’s Focus Optics, now under the Band Pro umbrella in Burbank.

Sony has delivered hundreds of F-65 8K camcorders worldwide and also showed the new NEX-FS700 4K-ready camera that does 240 FPS in HD and 960 FPS at reduced resolution. TriMaster EL OLED monitors.

Zeiss introduces more primes and zoom lenses at full frame 24 x 36 mm.
15 mm T2.9 and 135 mm T2.1 CP2. New Super Speed CP2: 35, 50 and 85 mm T1.5. CP2 Compact zooms: 70-200 mm and two more new zooms soon.

Lighting

Aadyn Technology’s Ecp Punch 5600 LED spotlights.
ARRI finally releases the F7 line of LED Fresnel fixtures with variable Kelvin color temperature control. K5600 showed the new Joker 1.6K compact HMI set. Kinoflo Celeb LED. variable color temperature. Flicker-free. Lowel Primes 200 and 400 LED.

4K Recorders

This elite club is expanding: 4K onboard recorders by Codex Digital, Codex Vault, S.Two OB-1, Keisokun Giken, Astrodesign HR-7502-A,
Sony, AJA KiPro Quad, Convergent Design’s Gemini Raw 4K recorder.

Post Production

4K NLE: Adobe, Apple, Avid, Grass Valley.

4K EDL: Autodesk, BlackMagic Design, FilmLight, Quantel.

Adobe shows the new Creative Suite 6.0 post production software package.
Autodesk Smoke 2013 with improved applications is now $3.5K.
BlackMagic Design da Vinci Resolve ver 9. Free upgrade July 2012.
Cintel film scanners now scans at 6K.
The Foundry Nuke, Pananonic, Quantel, and Sony 4K workflow.
Quantel is now able to quickly access and share hundreds of terabytes of media.

Grip

Matthews introduced a better Crankovator stand: Skyscrapers.
Motorized slider.

Sachtler introduced the new Ace fluid head line for lightweight cameras.
Remote controlled flying mini helicopters with mini HD cameras:
Turbo Ace X830-S and X88-J.

3D and Projectors

NICT showed an impressive huge 200” glasses-free 3D monitor, the world’s largest auto-stereoscopic 3D monitor. NICT MSenS is a multi sensory interaction system offering tactile touch feeling (haptic sense using a force-feedback device), smell, 3D vision, 3D sound, all in virtual space.

Red announced a 4K player, and a 4K laser engine driven projector.
Sony SXRD220 4K projectors are upgradable to the much more powerful
laser engine projectors.

NAB 2012 again showed technology advancement at an amazing speed and at much lower cost. Indeed, the only thing that is permanent in life is change.

Oli Laperal Jr. also runs R.S. Video & Film Productions, a production facility in the Philippines and services nearby Southeast Asia.

Leave a Comment

1 Response:

  1. JAESU JEONG:

    Dear OLI Laperal, Thanks for your kind memo note. I learned a lot of information from your note, more than my visit at NAB.
    In fact, I checked many LED Lightings including Litepanel / Lowel / Kinoflo, and Camera Rig system including Swedish Cameleon / Polecam, and Hoodman CF/SD Memory Card.

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