A few notes from NAB 2012. PDW-680 not for USA.

I didn’t really get a lot of time to look around the show, but here are a few things of note from the show:

Sony FS-700, obviously a big hit and drew a big crowd. The 240fps full resolution recordings capability is very nice. There was also a lot of interest around the tiny NX30. The entire optical block, lens and sensor is mounted in a gimbal that helps stabilise camera shake. It really is like having a tiny stedicam inside the camera. The PMW-100 is a nice little camera, but with only one sensor, it doesn’t meet broadcast specs, so I’m not sure how well it will sell.

In a back room was one of Sony’s best kept secrets, although the camera was officially launched before NAB, the PDW-680. This is an interlace only version of the PDW-700 that uses the CMOS optical block from the PMW-350. It’s considerably cheaper than the PDW-700 and aimed fair and square at news organisations. The camera body is identical to that of the PDW-700 with the exception of an “EXMOR” badge on the side. The 680 will be available in the EU.

Atomos have a new version of the Ninja, the Ninja 2. This adds HDMI out a slightly higher resolution screen and some extra horsepower under the hood. The extra processing power makes it possible to add new firmware features and the ability to read timecode embedded in the HDMI stream. In addition the Ninja 2 will run the soon to be released AtomOS3.0 firmware which has some very nice features including the ability to add shot markers plus a number of monitoring upgrades. The new SmartMonitor mode includes useful features like Peaking, Zebra and false colour exposure measurement.

Both Convergent Design and AJA were showing 4K capable recorders. Hopefully Sony will get together with these guys when figuring out how they will output the 4k data from the FS-700.

Dolby had a good glasses free 3D TV prototype. There are still sweet spots where you need to be to see the 3D, but these were quite big and there was plenty of them. The images did look a little flatter than perhaps they would have done on a conventional 3D TV, but it’s still an interesting glimpse of what might come in the near future for 3D viewing. Staying on the subject of 3D, Dashwood Cinema Solutions have a new version of their popular 3D editing plugin. The new version has some very powerful new tools taken from the high end “stereo CAT” 3D analysis tool as well as on screen sliders that are superimposed over the actual image you are manipulating.

New GenusTech Shoulder Rig

GenusTech were showing a preproduction shoulder rig that is completely different from anything you will have seen from Genus before. Aimed squarely at the super35mm market this is a very high quality shoulder mount with hand grips and integral Arri quick release plate.

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