It’s been a couple of weeks since I got back from NAB, just enough time to let the massive overload of information and products to sink in. Though as jaded as I am to being pulled into a booth and pitched on a product that I have no interest in there were a couple of things that truly gave me pause.
One is how fast 4k has been adopted as the new acquisition standard among the big camera makers, especially Sony, considering 1080p TV sets have just now settled into their new homes. Personally I don’t think consumers are ready nor willing yet to pay for a new 4k TV. But NAB is a broadcasters convention and we’re not talking with consumers here. We’re talking to industry cohorts and like-minded folk and 4k is here whether we care to acknowledge it or not. It’s not debatable like 3d has been in previous years as people in production can clearly see the benefit of working in 4k and what 4k can deliver. I know Sony knows this because their booth was all about 4k, from cameras to monitors to 4k oled TVs that were truly beautiful to look at. It was really amazing to see how invested they were in 4k, if not the whole company a large part of Sony Entertainment is riding on adoption of this resolution.
Hopefully entry into 4k on the consumer side will come down in price and for us small business owners, freelancers and indie shooters. I guess we have already seen this happen when BlackMagic announced a camera that effectively gives you a thousand lines of resolution for a thousand dollars times four not to mention a pocket size cinema camera that does 1080p to lossless DNG for under a thousand bucks.
It just takes one and the rest will follow as we have seen from Red.
The other notable mention from NAB was Freefly’s MōVI. A new concept to most, but for RC octocoptor, hexacopter and quadcoptor hobbyists it was a natural evolution. The MoVI is a 3-axis gimbal which hobbyists have already been using, the innovative part is the use of brushless motors. By specific programing these motors can off set the effects of unwanted shake better than previous servo motors. These motors have been out for the RC hobbyist since 2006, but only now showing benefits of how they can be use for camera stabilization. The launch of MōVI will undoubtedly have an impact in the industry especially on the big stabilization players like Tiffen’s Stedicam, Cineflex and CineMoves. Stabilizing the camera rather than in postproduction is beneficial in many ways, one of which is that you don’t get any cropping into your frame. My hope is that we get more companies like Freefly that will ultimately drive down price for these rigs.