NAB 2014 Camera Reports

Here is a whirlwind review of NAB 2014 cameras in pictures and brief text. Click on an individual thumbnail to enlarge and navigate as a slideshow.

Sony’s annual press conference on the Sunday before opening day was all about 4K, and not just in the usual places. A new Sony α7s camera was unveiled: with a 24×36 mm full frame sensor, E-mount and 12.2 megapixel sensor that goes up to ISO 409,600. It shoots stills internally and UHD4K video 3840 x 2160 to an external device. Sony’s line of 4K cameras now numbers 6. There also are an increasing number of Sony still lenses. The F5 and F55 got an upgrade to version 4.0, a new shoulder-mount ENG/Doc Dock was shown, along with a 4K player.

AJA’s press conference traditionally opens opening day, and answered my long-annoying question “when are you guys going to build a camera?” It was inevitable: both Nick Rasby and Jon Thorn were cameramen and there was a gleam in their eyes all these many years. The AJA Cion has an incredibly lightweight and rugged magnesium body, 4K APS-C format CMOS sensor, global shutter, stylish wood/aluminum handle, integrated web user interface, built-in realtime video monitor preview, ProRes, and abundant thoughtful touches like M6 Hirth Tooth Rosettes on both sides for handgrips (hurray!), cheese plates, rod mounts, and comfortable contoured suede leather shoulder pad. DSC02049-FDTimes

Next stop, the Blackmagic Press Conference, where Grant Petty unveiled the new URSA camera: 4K Super35 sensor, global shutter, includes DaVinci Resolve software, user upgradeable with interchangeable mount/sensor blocks, records RAW and ProRes to internal dual CFast cards, and thoughtful design that accounts for where crews work. The build-in camera operator’s monitor swings out to reveal a gigantic 10″ screen. There are 2 touch screens for controls and scopes.

An hour later, Panasonic’s Director of Pro Video Mr. Kunihiko Miyagi revealed their new Varicam 4K, with Codex onboard RAW recorder, showing 14 stops of latitude, Super35mm sensor, PL mount, ProRes and 4K RAW. Rainer Hercher, Codex Business Development Manager, explained the modular Codex recorder.

ARRI’s booth swarmed with people eager to try out the new Amira Documentary/ENG HD/2K camera with PL mount and same sensor (but 16:9 format) as Alexa. A B4 adapter has a connector to plug in and power 2/3″ ENG lenses. Alexa was still the only game in town with a 4:3 24×18 mm full-height sensor to take advantage of the many new ARRI/ZEISS, Cooke, and Scorpio anamorphic lenses at the show.

RED’s new Epic Dragon is popular at rental houses worldwide, and their NAB fashion runway showed how the camera could be used for both video and stills, portrait or landscape mode, with their innovative R-90 mount.

JVC showed mockup concepts of new 4K cameras with 35 mm sensor and Micro Four Thirds lens mounts. Craig Yanagi, JVC Manager, Marketing and Brand Strategy, at lower right.

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