Cameras, Software and Other Shiny New Toys
Before saying good-bye to NAB 2010, here’s an overview of some new products that were the true stars of the show. From SONY’s Sunday press conference to the 9th Annual SuperMeet held on Tuesday night at the Rio and the booths in the exhibit halls in between there was a sense of fun and anticipation as the shiny new toys made their appearances. A few of the highlights were:
One keynote speaker during the Digital Cinema Summit, John Honeycutt, Chief Media Technology Officer from Discovery Communications LLC, spoke about the “Camera of the Future” being developed in partnership by SONY, Discovery and IMAX. The concept prototype has 3 12” CMOS censors per eye and interchangeable lenses and is designed to be used in small, intimate spaces. Field testing for the new camera will begin in July. Later that afternoon at SONY’s press conference, there was much talk about the next generation in HDCAM technology. Beginning with the recently released SRW-9000PL HDCM SR, discussion soon turned to another new camera on the drawing board, which will be released prior to NAB 2011. Developed to meet the future needs of high end TV broadcast production, it is being touted as the next step on SONY’s 35 mm roadmap and will be a smaller, more affordable camcorder. Although the camera wasn’t seen on the show floor during NAB, we were given an advanced look. Designed to fit easily into post production workflows, it will include all of the features customers have come to expect from a SONY professional 35mm camera. Down on the exhibit floor one of the most interesting parts of the company’s exhibit was the 3D Mobile Production Truck featuring the latest technology available.
At the SuperMeet members from the 65+ Final Cut Pro user groups gathered for the biggest meeting of the year. Co-hosts Michael Horton and Daniel Berube had the distinction of bringing representatives from Adobe, Avid and Apple together on the same stage to help preview the products and show recognition for the needs of independent filmmakers. Saving time shooting and editing and finding ways to integrate software has become a priority.
Saturday Night Live’s, Alex Bueno, who has spent 10 years in the film unit, described his experience using Canon’s 5D and 7D cameras this season to shoot the show’s title sequences with. He liked the fact that he could move quickly with a small crew and shoot in low lighting with the cameras, an important feature since most of their footage is shot at night. Bueno told us that shooting guerilla style is common in his work, admitting that he once used a wheelchair as a dolly in order to get a shot. He explained that some of his team’s footage has been shot using both the RED and the 7D and added that the 7D was less of a hassle than the RED in some instances because it’s easier to get in and out with.
Adobe’s worldwide product evangelist, Jason Levine gave an overview of the new features found in Photoshop’s CS5, describing how it can be integrated with different software allowing more applications to run together and eliminating the need to transcode. Several other products discussed included Avid’s Media Composer 5, which was given the biggest upgrade in years and offers a number of changes to the editing model. Perhaps most significant is AMA support for Quicktime, for native R3d material and Canon DSLR media allowing users to play and edit files without importing them. The Alexa Camera from Arri gathered interest with its direct to edit capability granting immediate access into post. There were also many iPad and iPhone applications available for filmmakers shown to the crowd before some lucky winners received thosands of dollars worth of software during the end of the night raffle.