Our Biggest Takeaways: NAB 2019

April 23, 2019

Last week was big for filmmakers as the 2019 NAB Show took place in Las Vegas, revealing tons of new and advanced technology to be released this Spring and Summer. Even though our video team couldn’t physically make it to the conference, we’ve been patiently waiting to hear about the new wave of innovation that this year’s show had to offer. We’ve gathered some of our biggest takeaways from the newly introduced equipment over the course of the week:

Years ago NAB was the spot for big camera releases. Now it seems that the marketing strategies of camera manufacturers have changed. They prefer to make announcements gradually throughout the year rather than holding their chips for a big splash at the NAB show. For example, cameras like the Nikon Z6 and Canon EOS R were announced/released months ago. Companies prefer to dominate the news cycle rather than blending in on a list of  countless other NAB announcements. With how fast information flows today you don't need a trade show to get your product in front of consumers. This makes sense. With that said, the camera I was most intrigued by was the A7sIII...or the lack thereof. Another show has gone by where rumors that Sony might finally release an update to its video shooting juggernaut have turned out to be false. This is interesting because the competition has now caught up. For years the A7sII was alone in the mirrorless video world due to its fantastic specs, and it helped skyrocket Sony to the top spot in the market. Now, in the past year, both Canon and Nikon have released worthy competitors in the Z6 and EOS R. The most intriguing part is the introduction of Nikon to the video landscape. When producing content the name you never uttered was Nikon. Nobody shot professional video on Nikons. With the mirrorless market expanding wildly, they clearly saw an opportunity. The Z6 appears to be a very worthy camera. It sports LOG, 120fps recording at 1080p and 4K. Those are big specs from a company that was mostly irrelevant when it came to video. So the pressure is on for Sony to deliver what producers have been waiting for. With the way things are trending we might not have to wait for NAB 2020 to find out.

-DJ Jamiel, Director of Video Production

Ian Kerr’s Multi Turret. Photo: Cinema5D

“This turret began as an exasperated joke.  A frustrated, hands-thrown-up-in-the-air reply to the problem I’ve encountered again and again since verite documentaries began to shoot on larger (S35) sensors: I can’t get a wide shot and then, a moment later, a close-up. “ -Ian Kerr

The “multi-turret” lens is making a comeback. During the days of 16MM film this was common and used as a way for filmmakers to transition quickly from lens to lens. This concept is being brought back in the digital age by Emmy award winning Cinematographer Ian Kerr. It’s currently still in the prototype/testing phase so it’s not yet available for purchase. Being able to switch between 3 different crisp, high quality prime lenses quickly for a single shooter would certainly have it’s value in the market. That’s not to say you can’t get good quality out of a zoom lens that covers the same range, but in most cases prime lenses result in sharper images and generally have wider apertures. It currently works with the A7S, FS7, and he looks to hopefully expand its compatibility with other cameras. You can learn more about the Multi Turret here.

-Ryan Hill, Video Producer

Aputure’s 300d II. Photo: No Film School

I’m all about the new Aputure 300d II. Aputure has emphasized their incorporation of consumer feedback this year, leading to improved capabilities that have the Mark II surpassing its predecessor. A few new standout features include 360-degree rotation for a wider range of direction, a longer 7.74m cable leaving more slack between the light and control box, and a singular quick-release control box to make rigging more efficient. The light gets up to 20% brighter, and can now go below 10% for extra precision when necessary. Last but not least, the new system is wireless. This allows users to control it from their iPhone or Android smartphone. The biggest game changer in my opinion: 360-degree rotation. The lack of rotation range on the previous model is the one specific challenge our team always runs into while rigging our lighting set-up, so this upgrade gives us more freedom and a chance to be more creative and efficient with lighting. Learn more about the new design here.

-Sophia Okorn, Video Producer

There’s plenty more where that came from. Click here to see all of the latest and greatest gadgets coming out of NAB 2019.

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