What You’ll See at NAB 2016
Thursday, 07 April 2016
NAB 2016 is almost here, and we’ll be exhibiting in the Central Hall in booth #C9515. We’re excited to be doing something brand new at the show this year: our focus will be on curating all the best and most relevant technology from the show in the form of presentations, tours, and more. In this way, we aim to help our clients get the most out of their NAB show experience. Don’t forget to stop by our booth and pick up one of our custom show guides!
Below, our technical specialists have rounded up some of the most exciting new product and technology trends to look forward to at NAB 2016.
HDR: On Set and In Post
One of the big trends of 2016 is, no doubt, HDR. We’ve had High Dynamic Range cameras for a while, but now the time has come for HDR displays to really visualize what our cameras can capture. Sony has lead the way with their BVM-X300 4K OLED HDR display, which is found in many post houses. This year at NAB, Sony will announce a new larger 4K OLED HDR display that is a perfect companion to the X300. If you haven’t seen an HDR monitor in person yet, make a point to stop by the Sony booth to see what we’re talking about.
Up to this point HDR monitors have really been built for post suites. But now we’re seeing the first monitors built for the field as well. The first is Canon’s DP-V2410, a 4K HDR reference display. It can output an edge-to-edge brightness of 400 nits, has a color gamut near REC2020, and is ruggedly built for field use. Add to this its ability to work natively with Canon raw, ACES modes, and 3D LUT support, and this monitor is uniquely built for all modern digital cinema workflows.
Beyond this, we are starting to see the first smaller HDR displays. With Atomos’ recent announcement of the Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame, seeing HDR on set in an economical and practical form factor is finally a possibility. AtomHDR delivers the ability to see and record 10-bit to match 10-bit camera LOG footage from cameras that shoot in Log such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, ARRI, and RED. Now we can finally see detail in highlights and shadows usually clipped on traditional (REC709) monitors, while still maintaining vibrant colors. Both Flames can record 4K/UHD to ProRes or DNxHR. The Shogun Flame accepts SDI, HDMI and RAW and the Ninja Flame accepts HDMI. These 7″ 1920 x 1200 monitors / recorders also feature a durable form factor, as well as a High Bright 1500 nit display when viewing in Standard Dynamic Range modes for those bright exterior scenes. We’re very excited to see these paired with our favorite Log and RAW camera systems.
Last but not least, SmallHD is surprising us all by introducing several not-so-small monitors, and yes they are HDR too. At NAB SmallHD they will release three new monitors, at 17″, 24″, and 32″. These are all 10-bit HD LCD displays, which utilize the same amazing interface as found in the 502 and 702 monitors. The 17″ and 24″ both have 1000 nit max output, giving you proper HDR rendering and great high bright performance; the 32″ pushes that up to 1500 nit output. What we really love about these monitors is just how well designed they are for on-set use. SmallHD has made them extremely rugged with many mounting points and even a rail shoe mount system for mounting power and wireless accessories. These monitors are definitely bringing HDR to the set in a big way.
NAB always brings camera updates, and this year is no different — but the theme may be more evolution than revolution. Rather than seeing whole new camera systems, we are expecting to see more evolutionary updates to our favorite cameras. The first is the VariCam LT, which takes the amazing image quality of the VariCam 35 and brings it into a smaller, run-and-gun style package. The LT has many of our favorite features of the 35, including dual native ISOs, remote color management, and simultaneous proxy recording. It’s built tough and balanced well, really perfect for doc, news, and non-scripted work.
ARRI is also evolving their cameras with the release of the ALEXA SXT, and new updates to their ALEXA Mini. The SXT, with Super Xtended Technology features ProRes 4K recording, full 3D LUT and ASC CDL support, and open gate 4:3 and 16:9 sensor modes which record in ARRIRAW or ProRes up to 120 frames. These cameras have the ability to capture that ARRI look we love in 4K Cine (4096 x 2636 pixels), 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 3.2K, and 3.4K, allowing you to pick the right resolution for your project and post workflow. By incorporating the electronics of the ALEXA 65, the image has enhanced features such as advanced pixel correction and optional noise reduction.
The ALEXA Mini has also got a big update recently with the SUP 4.0 firmware release. This update gives ARRIRAW internal recording as well as 4:3 mode recording license options. With an ARRIRAW license, you get 16×9 Raw recording to the internal CFast 2.0 cards. With the 4:3 license, you can take advantage of the full sensor height in the camera, allowing you to work with anamorphic lenses. Combine both of these licenses and you can record the full “Open Gate” sensor area of the sensor in raw. Pretty big updates for sure. Check out the ALEXA Mini built up in different configurations in the ARRI booth, and make sure to look for their new Camera Control Panel (CCP-1), which can be daisy chained with the EVF on the Mini or AMIRA for camera control on the dummy side of the camera.
Canon has consistently been updating their camera lineup, with the C300 Mark II being their latest big evolution. This year at NAB we should see some firmware updates to the C300 Mark II that add to its already impressive functionality. Look for more details to emerge in the coming weeks.
RED has been expanding their camera platform over the last several months. The WEAPON is now joined by the SCARLET-W and RAVEN cameras, giving you options at all price points. The WEAPON is the full-featured camera with resolutions up to 6K and a huge range of frames rates and compression options. The SCARLET-W drops this to a max of 5K, but with many of the same options, and finally the RAVEN comes in at 4.5K with a feature set perfect for anyone just getting into the cinema world. All cameras feature both REDCODE RAW and ProRes recording, making them fit into a wide variety of workflows. And they all can utilize the variety of DSMC2 monitors, EVFs, and expansion options. And of course, the big thing that we all want to see in the RED booth this year is the 8K WEAPON, featuring a full-frame 8K sensor. Certainly worth the price of admission alone.
Sony has been committed to updating and evolving their F5/F55 platform for years now, adding feature after feature to this camera line. This year they will be showing their new AXS-R7 Raw recorder for the F5 and F55, which enables full 4K RAW at 60 fps in the F5, and up to 120 fps with the F55 camera. For shooting at higher frame rates, the recorder captures 2K RAW at up to 240 fps from the F55 and F5 for playback at 10x slow motion. While we are talking about Sony and Raw, they will also be showing Raw output from the PXW-FS5 camera, which will work well with external recorders from Convergent Design and Atomos. Make sure to stop by the Sony booth to see the R7 and updated FS5.
OZO & 360º Video Acquisition
Another a big focus of NAB this year will be Virtual Reality and 360º video. With new viewing devices and content distribution channels on the horizon, everyone is looking for new tools and technology in this space. Nokia recently announced their OZO camera, one of the first professional VR/360 video cameras. This unique camera features eight 2K x 2K cameras and full 360 audio, all fully synced together on a single recording. It also has the unique ability to live preview an output over a single cable. Nokia will be showcasing some updates to their system along with some live streaming solutions, so make sure to check out their booth in the North hall.
Most 360º video today is produced with GoPro cameras, so this will be a big focus for them. They will be showcasing end-to-end 360º solutions with their cameras and software tools, so make sure to visit GoPro as well.
There will be a full VR pavilion in the North Hall at NAB this year where you’ll find all kinds of new hardware and software.
Servo, Zoom & Prime Updates
Over the last couple of years we’ve started to see proper ENG style lenses coming out for Super 35 or larger sensor cameras. This trend really started with the Fujinon Cabrio and was continued by the Canon Cine-Servo. This year we’re going to see that trend continue with updated optic options from manufacturers like Fujinon and Canon. The Fujinon Cabrio XK6x20 20-120 PL lens was just announced, which gives you an impressive 20-120mm focal range at a consistent T3.5 aperture. This lens performs very well optically, yet comes in at an impressive new price point, which means many more of us can afford a lens of this caliber and function. Be sure to stay tuned for an exciting lens announcement from Canon as well.
We’ve also seen several anamorphic lenses announced over the last few years, and this year Angenieux will add to their collection of anamorphic zooms with their new long-range Optimo 44-440 A2S. This lens builds on 50 years of tradition at Angenieux, who’s first anamorphic zoom was introduced in the 1960s with the Panavision 50-500 APZA. The new lens features traditional 2x horizontal squeeze, minimum breathing and distortion, and a fast aperture of T:4.5 across the zoom range. It has a great close focus of 4′ 1″ (1.24m) and is one of the lightest lens in its class at 16.6 lbs (7.55kg).
Zeiss will be showcasing their latest line of SLR/CSC lenses for E-mount cameras. Starting with the top of the line, the newest lens in the Zeiss Otus line is the 1.4/28mm. With their medium format image quality, even at their fast open aperture of f1.4, the three lenses in the Otus line also feature incredible color resolving power and an easy to grip ring for smooth focus pulls. Next is the latest from the Milvus line. The features of the Milvus line pairs beautifully with cinema use, with precise manual focus, high contrast, and low light stray, allowing these lenses to pair with the latest technology of the newest cameras due to their ability to display HDR and resolve on 6K cameras. Next up are the Batis lenses, the Sony E-mount auto-focus line with two focal lengths of 21mm and 85mm. Both are extremely lightweight (.75lbs and 1lbs), incorporate easy to read OLED displays for depth of field references, and versatility for auto and manual focus.
Other big updates in optics to look for include several new additions to the ARRI Master Anamorphic set, updates to the Leica line of Summicron-C lenses, and something really interesting from Angenieux that you’ll have to wait and see.
Camera Mobility & Smart Drones
Last NAB was the year of the drone. This year things will have calmed down a bit, but we’ll see some impressive updates regardless. Freefly recently had some big announcements in this area, including a new ALTA 8 multi-rotor with payload capacity of up to 20 lbs. The ALTA 8 expands on the original ALTA line with increased payload and improved performance. They have also updated their MoVI firmware with modes for time-lapse and GPS or target tracking. These modes all greatly expand the functionality of the MoVI both on the ground and in the air.
DJI is constantly updating and improving their aerial platforms, both their cameras and the intelligence of their systems. The Xenmuse X5R, 4K Raw capable camera for their Inpsire 1 drone is now shipping. The X5R has a micro 4/3 mount, enabling it to work with a variety of DJI, Panasonic, and Olympus lenses. It is a fully functional camera, and can be controlled completely from the DJI app for iOS & Android. This little camera, perfectly made for their UAVs, could make a real impact. And you can also put it on their Osmo handheld gimbal system. They have also just released the Phantom 4, which has all the features of the 3, but with forward facing sensors to detect objects that it might impact. This gives the system the ability to avoid collisions and track subjects. DJI will have a big presence at NAB this year, make sure to stop by their booth.
Another must see at the show this year will be right in our own booth. We have recently introduced several new pieces in our line of Cameo accessories, including our V-Lock kit, VESA mount system, LANC control cables, and camera risers. They’re all designed to fill in the gaps and make connections between traditional camera gear. We like t0 think of these products as the “glue” that brings your camera system together. This year we’ll be introducing more camera accessories such as our new Cameo Grip, which has LANC functions built in and adds comfort and stability to handheld operation of lightweight cameras.
We’re also excited to see what’s new on the lighting front. We know there’s a definite move towards more output and less power draw from smaller, shapeable sources. This trend enables the use of LED lights with the quality and shape you want for your shot and the mood you are creating. Fixtures are becoming lighter-weight and more practical for your shoot — whether run-and-gun or traditional cinema. Litepanels announced their new 1×1 Astra Bi-Color LED panel, a new light in their LED 1×1 line that has the softest wrap of all of them. Another new trend with lighting that the Astra follows is controllability. It is controllable by 512DMX standard protocol or wirelessly through the Litepanels SmartLite app. The app also lets users control multiple lights at once, with distinct controls for intensity, color temperature, fan, and more. A lot of our favorite lighting manufacturers like ARRI, Fiilex, and Hive are expanding their lineups, so we’re anticipating those announcements as well. We also heard Nila will be offering a discount on their Nila Boxer Deluxe Kit. Stay tuned as we find out more from the showroom floor.
Another important trend at the show that we should all be looking at is the big transition to IP-based video. Traditionally, video is sent around a studio or other facility over SDI and coaxial cable. With the transition to 4K, this is quickly proving to be limiting and not future-proof. So companies like Sony, Evertz, NewTek, and others are developing systems to transmit video over traditional IP networks. This can greatly reduce the costs of upgrading or building new facilities, and adds greater flexibility. Sony has been leading the pack by introducing their XVS-8000 flagship switcher, which can switch 4K or HD and uses the Sony Networked Media Interface (NMI), which transmits audio and video over a standard network cable.
NewTek is also getting into the IP video game with their Network Device Interface (NDI), a new open standard for live production IP workflows over traditional Ethernet networks. NDI allows multiple video systems to identify and communicate with one another over IP, and to receive many frame-accurate video and audio streams in real time. This new protocol can benefit any network-connected video device, including video mixers, graphics systems, capture cards, and many other production devices. The free SDK for NDI will be available in Q4.
Shared Storage & Asset Management
With so much content being produced these days, the challenges of storing, managing, and archiving media comes to the forefront. To learn more about shared storage solutions, stop by the SNS booth to see the latest version of their EVO system. Version 5.8 introduces a way to share Final Cut Pro X libraries, which has been a real challenge in the past. They’ve also updated their ShareBrowser asset management software, which is a tool that’s included with every EVO.
For more shared storage solutions, make sure to stop by ProMax and check out the new updates to their Platform series of workflow appliances. GBLabs will be showing off their HyperSpace SSD Accelerator, which uses a solid state system for speeding up read and write access. Finally, EditShare is debuting their XStream EFS Systems specifically for 4K/UHD systems, as well as new remote collaboration features for AirFlow.
For your asset management, be sure to visit CatDV and Axle Video. CatDV announced a whole new suite of updates including CatDV 12, Worker 7 and Pegasus Server. All are aimed at providing more power with simpler interfaces and new tools for web-based users. Axle will be showing off their new panel for Adobe Premiere CC, as well as overall improvements to the search and administration capabilities.
In terms of archiving, you should stop by the StorageDNA and XenData booths. Both provide unique archiving solutions that are worth checking out. Storage DNA is debuting DNAFusion, a new storage solution built on Sony’s Optical Disc Archive media and StorageDNA’s media intelligent software. The solution presents a new storage media that is removable and capable of a 50-year archive. However, it is random access with plug-and-play ability for tasks such as browsing, playing, sub-clipping, transcoding and more. XenData is showing off their newly announced DX-240, a near-line disk archive system with continuous backup to LTO-7.
We are looking forward to meeting you at booth #C9515 and answering all your technology questions! For regular updates from the show floor, don’t forget to visit our AbelCine NAB portal: nab.abelcine.com/nab-2016