NAB 2017 Show report

While there were plenty of significant upgrades to camera technology across all manufacturers at NAB 2017 , there were few totally new product launches at the show.  The focus, it seems, was on improving and expanding on current camera products – and there were some pretty impressive improvements on show!  Here’s a brief roundup…

Canon – New lens and new camera to follow

There was a fantastic new Canon CN-E70-200mm lens with servo control on show at NAB 2017, which is a great potential upgrade for existing users of the EF stills range of lenses.

Compact-Servo lenses optimised for video production. Canon are aware that shooting with stills lenses means several operation challenges around zooming and focusing. The drive behind the new compact servo range is to make life easier for video shooters.

The Compact-Servo family of lenses are a new 4K Super 35mm lens category in Canon’s lens range. They promise to keep the great qualities we know and love from Canon’s EF lenses, such as, light weight, compact size, integrated auto-focus and excellent optical quality with the professional video features we need. Best outcome would be minimal focus breathing and par-focal zooming.

These features, along with high level 4K optical performance and functionality such as integrated servo controls for zoom, iris and focus for electronic control from a camera, optional remote controller and optional ZSG-C10 Zoom Servo Grip make the Compact-Servo lenses a fantastic option for fast and compant shooting scenarios.

The Canon CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S 4K Compact-Servo Cinema EOS Telephoto Zoom Lens – EF Mount is expected to ship by the end of 2017 and all the details are available here.

Strong rumours of a new Canon camera have been circulating for months with an announcement expected in the next few weeks. We suspect the camera will sit somewhere in between the EOS C300 MKII and XF range.  We are certainly excited!

Canon showcased solutions for 360 video and Virtual Reality using a large red tent filled with 360 projection. The acquisition was done using Canon ME20 cameras in a bespoke rig. We are really keen to try out 360 shooting systems such as this bringing an extremely high quality to a project. Any low light scenario requiring 360 shooting would surely benefit from the Canon ME20’s staggering maximum ISO in excess of 4 Million!

Canon also has a clever VR app that lets you try out their cameras in a Virtual World. Looks fun!

SONY  – new drives but no new camera – yet.

Sony announced new solid state drives at NAB 2017 in partnership with Atomos.  They claim that the 480GB and 960GB G series Professional Solid State Drives reduce lifetime ownership costs with a nominal 10-year lifespan and provide reliable, high-speed storage to handle high bit rate 4K recordings in the most demanding production applications.

The SSDs were shown functioning with Atomos recorders on the Sony stand for the very first time. This may be of benefit as a collaboration given the robustness of Sony memory products along with the massive popularity of Atomos recorders such as the Ninja, Samurai, Shogun etc. The SSDs are expected to start shipping soon.

The march towards ‘speed to air’ continues from Sony although XDCAM Air was not available at the show – expected launch is within the next few months. Our work with Sony and technologies concerning fast turn around productions continues. Watch out for news of a special event in conjunction with Sony later in the year.

Zeiss – new Compact Prime lenses

For the first time in nearly nine years Zeiss announced a new set of compact prime lenses at the show – which received rave reviews from visitors

The CP.3 prime lenses are considerably smaller than the CP.2 and have an updated rotating focus / iris mechanism. Ranging from 15 mm to 135 mm, the ten focal lengths available in the Zeiss Compact Prime CP.3 or CP.3 XD series cover all applications from wide-angle to telephoto.

The Zeiss CP.3 lenses feature advanced lens coatings, painted lens rims and special light traps within the barrel to eliminate unwelcome veiling glare and flares. The result is higher contrast, richer blacks and more saturated colours.

The first lenses will arrive in the UK from June 2017 with the XD lenses arriving in September 2017.

We think this will offer a great upgrade for existing prime lens users looking for higher performance in a compact design.The compact and light-weight design also enables use with different stabilising systems and to have a compact camera setup that is ideal for shooting in narrow spaces and for capturing dynamic shots.

Full details about the new CP.3 lens are available here

DJI –new version of Ronin gimbal and HMD for drones

DJI showcased the new Ronin version 2 gimbal for hand held camera stabilization at NAB this year.

Like the original Ronin, Ronin 2 was designed for handheld camera applications but is now more versatile with aerial, car mounting, cablecam and Steadicam capabilities.

Higher torque motors give Ronin 2 a larger payload and new GPS algorithms allow it to perform smoothly in high-stress environments.

With up to eight times more powerful motors than previous iterations, the Ronin 2 can withstand sustained speeds of over 75mph with camera builds as heavy as 30lbs.

DJI have increased power without sacrificing control. With encoded motors and extreme precision, the same 0.02° of accuracy remains.

Along with many other improvements, Ronin 2 brings a whole new level of stabilization to Ronin users.  Get all the details here

 

DJI also showcased an amazing concept product in the form of a head mounted display control system for drones.

The DJI Goggles are designed for use with the Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Series and Inspire Series Quadcopters. The concept is based on using standard drone controllers for axis movement (up, down, left, right, backwards, forwards etc) but uses a head-mounted-display (or goggles) to control where the camera points. DJI listed several “Intelligent Flight Modes” yet to be demonstrated, but listed names such as ActiveTrack, TapFly, Terrain Follow, Cinematic Mode and Tripod mode, promising “a totally new flying dimension”. No E.T.A. at the time of the show, but we will look forward to more information and a demonstration later in the year.

 

PANASONIC – Sneak peak of new camera for Autumn

Panasonic had a new camera shrouded in a white cloth on their stand which caused a lot of interest. There were minimal details available such as small and light, low cost media and expected shipping in Autumn 2017. We suspect this is aimed at challenging the Sony FS7 and Canon C300 MKII market, but only time will tell.

Other offerings from Panasonic included an augmented reality window concept and motion tracking devices linked to remote pan and tilt cameras. We will certainly be keeping an eye on Panasonic with keen interest of the next few months!

NOKIA OZO+ upgrade

Nokia announced OZO+ shortly before NAB 2017 revealing fantastic upgrades to the existing hardware. To be clear, OZO+ is NOT a new camera. This is upgrades to the existing hardware and features of the current OZO model. The software improvements include better low light performance, time lapse functions and streamlining for post production and delivery.

Nokia has also significantly enhanced OZO Live, the existing 3D 360 livestream product, with spatial audio mixing and the unique spatial audio technology called OZO Audio.

We’re so excited about these upgrades that we’re dedicating a whole blog to them – watch this space!

If you’d like more details about what we saw at NAB 2017, and how it’s likely to affect production in the future, sign up for our face-to-face NAB review – a simple guide to new tech and how you can use it effectively.

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