Sunday, March 28, 2010

A preview of some things to look for at NAB

I don't expect anything revolutionary at NAB this year, except for a lot of 3D, but the cost of HD capture and post-production keeps going down, so there will be lots to see. Here are a few things to look out for, in no particular order:
  • Adobe will be launching Creative Suite 5 on the opening day of NAB. It's already previewing some interesting new Photoshop and Premiere Pro features, including the ability to natively edit AVCHD footage without first converting it into another format.
  • Sony will be showing its new NXCAM camcorders, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it show prototypes of its new AVCHD-compatible DSLRs.
  • Panasonic will be showing its new $20,000 3D camcorder, which should be getting close to shipment.
  • Canon will be showing a camcorder with its new MPEG-2 Full HD codec, most likely along with its line of videos DSLRs.
  • ARRI will be showing its new Alexa (A-EV/A-OV) digital cinematography cameras, starting at 50,000 Euros.
  • RED will be hosting an offsite event (registration required) at the Tropicana Hotel on April 14th where it'll be showing the current state of Scarlet and EPIC.
  • Lowel and Videssence will be showing their first LED lights. The advantages of LEDs over other forms of lighting (no flicker, almost infinite color control, virtually no heat and much lower power consumption) are obvious. Just about everyone in the video lighting business is now offering LED products.
  • DSLRs will be another big theme of the show. Many companies will be showing add-ons for making them more usable for video applications (think Redrock Micro, Zacuto, Chrosziel and many others).
  • No hints yet on any big new announcements from Avid (which will be exhibiting at NAB) or Apple (which won't be.)
If you're going, be sure to pre-plan your booth visits and organize your time, because the Las Vegas Convention Center is huge and it takes time to get around the city. (The RED event, for example, is at the Tropicana, which is across from McCarran International Airport at the far south end of the Strip. Allow plenty of time to get there from the Convention Center.) Use the monorail as much as you can to avoid cab lines. If you're focused, you can see the show in a full day, but if you plan to attend sessions or off-site exhibits, allow yourself more time.
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