[Gear/Contest] Best of NAB 2012
NAB 2012 has come and gone, and if you missed it, know that it was a heck of a show this year. Check out our list of the NAB 2012 products that made serious waves for practicality in both function and price, and then let us know your favorites in the comments section! We’re giving away a free year of Animoto to one lucky commenter!
Cameras and Accessories:
Blackmagic has been loved by many for its various software and hardware solutions for the video professional. However, they had something entirely new up their sleeves for NAB 2012: the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. At $3000, this EF and ZF compatible, 2.5K resolution camera is the slickest thing to hit the indy-film market in a while. Crafted out of a solid piece of aluminum, this already sounds like the cinema camera Apple would have designed, though without the exorbitant price tag also associated with the brand. Surely, Blackmagic is focused on serving its customers’ needs at more than reasonable price-points. For more information, check out our earlier post on the camera. The camera is available for pre-order on B&H. See sample footage here!
The bargains don’t end with Blackmagic. The Sony NEX-FS700E features a whopping 4K sensor and scalable high-speed recording up to 240fps @1080p (for 8 seconds). All of this for a healthy bit below $10,000! The news just doesn’t stop getting better. What we’re seeing is ultra-high resolution becoming extremely affordable to the avid user in both video and still imaging industries (with cameras such as these and the D800, etc.). We covered this camera in depth as it came out, as we did with a lot of great NAB 2012 announcements, so check out our previous post on the Sony FS700E for more wonderful info!
The JVC GY-HM650 (also the newly announced GY-HM600′s bigger sibling), sports many great features. But one stands out to me: built-in support for on-the-go FTP upload of video coverage. As great as this is for you breaking news video buffs, I can’t imagine that this technology wouldn’t own the still imaging news media industry if companies like Nikon and Canon were to incorporate similar technologies into their pro bodies. And I’ve been wondering for quite some time why no one has done it yet… Maybe this’ll trickle down as people finally start to ‘get it.’
Ziess released a new 70-200mm T2.9 cine lens. This is my go-to lens for stills, 90% of the time. Okay, maybe not this exact, $20,000 lens, but it’s focal range that I’m always after. Zeiss’ team surely has added some new backbone to its line-up with this one. I can’t wait to see how it performs.
Not to be confused with the Profoto BatPac, GoPro released an accessory that will be compatible with all of its GoPro models in the future, the Wifi BacPac + Remote. This neat device serves as a battery pack and remote trigger device that can trigger up to several dozen GoPros to record from as far as 100 yards away. This has been a long-requested addition to the GoPro line-up that you can read more about on their website. The Wifi BacPac + Remote Combo Kit should be available this summer.
Again, mentioned previously on Fstoppers, Fujinon released some 4K lenses with interesting built-in motorized controls for zoom, focus, and iris adjustment. Read more about those here.
I won’t say much about the Eizo 4K monitor for two reasons. One, we already covered it briefly. And two, it’s so expensive that I can’t help but wonder, who really — I mean REALLY — needs it?
Apple messed up, to say the least, when it introduced Final Cut Pro X — the most awaited upgrade to the now-infamous Final Cut Studio package since its inception. Needless to say, we all saw Apple fall flat on its face when it left out key features to FCP X that left professionals saying, “Did you completely ignore us, or did you just forget we were here? Either way, I’m out.” Well, perhaps a bit too late, Apple is finally attempting a correction with the introduction of promised key features, including RED support, multi-cam editing and syncing, better tools for compatibility with older versions of FCP, advanced chroma keying, and broadcast monitoring. Some fear it is, indeed, too late, however.
When Thunderbolt came out, everyone knew it would be a slow adoption. Yet it’s what the industry has been screaming for. The top contenders in the media storage industry had RAID solutions out quite quickly. But what I assumed would be so easy and so quick to come out was a simple do-it-yourself hard drive enclosure with a Thunderbolt connection. Unfortunately, I was wrong…until last week.
The CalDigit T1 and T2 Thunderbolt enclosures feature one- and two-bay slots (hence the ’1′ and ’2′) for either traditional hard drives or SSDs. They’re they first product on the market to do this and let you buy your own hard drives. Additionally, CalDigit has a mobile app that will allow you to monitor your drives’ performance and health on the go! While pricing isn’t announced, I’m hopeful that, while it may be pricey for a hard drive enclosure, it could at least save us from paying mark-ups on bundles bare drives that manufacturers force you to use in their expensive RAID solutions, as they simply haven’t sold them separately in the past.
Since we’re on the Thunderbolt discussion, G-Tech came out with their G-RAID Thunderbolt drive — their much-anticipated and already-announced Thunderbolt-enabled RAID drive. These are FAST. Of course, there’s a price. But at up to 8TB (two 4TB RAID 0 drives), you get what you pay for.
PROMISE, a leader in the Thunderbolt peripheral industry, has finally released its own enclosures as well: the J4 JBOD and the J2 JBOD. While the J4 is a thick, wide platform the size of an old laptop (and I mean old laptop), it fits four hard drives or SSDs within its chassis and promises throughput speeds of 500-700MB/s depending on the drives you fill it with. Similarly fast, the J2 is the smallest Thunderbolt enclosure out there — it’s just slightly bigger than Apple’s Magic Mouse in all dimensions! And you better believe it’s fast. Unfortunately, we don’t have pricing for this either, though I would expect some savings over buying separate systems with included hard drives.
We don’t all have PCIe slots anymore. First, we switched to laptops. And while we had ExpressCard slots, even those were fairly rare to start. And for Mac users, Apple (like many PC manufacturers) opted for a memory card reader instead of the popular, flexible ExpressCard slot. However, the new Magma ExpressBox 3T PCIe to Thunderbolt adapter is here to save us. Better than a mere ExpressCard slot, this guy can connect us to any PCIe cards to allow virtually unbridled flexibility in what we connect to our computers. Some of these may not be as fast as Thunderbolt itself, but there are still plenty speedy connections that PCIe cards support that can at least hang out somewhere in your daisy-chain of devices. But it doesn’t stop there. The true versatility of this ExpressBox is in the ability to add dedicated video cards through a Thunderbolt connection. Always wanted a MacBook Air (or iMac) but couldn’t do without the processing power of the MacBook Pro (or Mac Pro)? Now you can be assured that your MacBook Air will be more than enough, aided by your new Magma ExpressBox 3T and the graphics card (or cards) of your choice! And did you know they even make giant SSDs that fit on PCIe cards? Yes! The possibilities are virtually endless, especially given that this device has 3 slots! Yes, it’s almost $1000, but that’s well worth it to the demanding video professional. You can currently pre-order direct from Magma.
So which of these most excites you the most? Tell us in the comments section and on Monday April 30, one randomly selected commenter will win a year of Animoto (You can comment as many times as you like, but only one chance to win per person). Pretty sweet right? Animoto turns your photos and videos into pure amazing. If you haven’t heard why we love Animoto, make sure you watch the video, and make sure to comment below for a chance to win!
Congrats to The Dark Room Co! You just won yourself a free year of Animoto! We’ll be in touch.