Travel Adventure Documentary Magazine
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Spectacular Electronic Wizardry at NAB Show

Bob DeLoss Posted by Bob DeLoss in Features July 19th, 2012

 The annual National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas is history and with it the closing of a spectacular array of electronic wizardry. Over 92,000 persons attended the meeting last April. Walking the vast display site I would truly describe the event as the  “World Series” of professional production equipment.

If you are in the market for a new camera, all the major manufacturers have a price tag for everyone. And all produce magnificent pictures.  As to choice of production cameras, it’s a matter of what you want to spend and how many bells and whistles are important to you. 

 Cameras from standard definition to the new, now outmoded, high-definition varieties were available.  The latest 2.5K Black Magic camera was displayed by Markertek with a price tag of $2,900. JVC  had their 4Km under $5,000.

 Arriflex touted their Alexa model with a price tag starting at $65,000 on up—and I would say mostly on up.  3D cameras are still out there with a price tag  of $1,200 for a cheap Sony model to Panasonic’s  $15,000 camera.  These are being sold as all-in-one systems despite IMAX  3 D films are being recorded on a two-camera sled system that would be far too large for any travel film producer to haul around.

 Panasonic has recently purchased the Sanyo company’s video projector line and has integrated its technology into its product line.  I looked at the new Panasonic  5000 ANSI lumen projector with interchangeable lenses.  It is compact, produces a wonderful picture and with new technology supersedes any of the systems that most of us have been using.  If your projector is older then five years, take a look at the new line of Panasonic projectors.

 LED lighting has now taken over the world of video production.  Flat panels work great in the field—and they can be battery operated.  The micro camera models are wonderful and are also battery powered. 

 I have three of the micro lights and they are great for stand-ups, sit downs or general interviews.  The micro lights are not intended to be used to light an entire room.  Best of all, they do not emit searing heat and can be packed away immediately after use.

 The price range on all LED systems runs the gamut.  The old adage of you get what you pay for truly applies.  The super cheap Micro lights might work a time or two.  Buyer beware of super low priced equipment.

 Both Sennheiser and Shure had some outstanding wireless systems.  The newer equipment comes with variable tuning frequency to prevent “Joe’s Taxi Service”  from coming through during a taping session or presentation.  Countryman displayed their mini mic that  is so small it fits in the button hole of your shirt.  I commented to the salesman that I have never seen one of the mic’s being used,  to which he responded, “ You shouldn’t.”

 The GoPro camera is the hottest unit on the market with a price tag of under $300.  It has a fixed focus lens and records up to four hours stunning HD quality images on an SDS card system.  They are great for mounting on a helmet for  skiing, motorcycljng or any place action is taking place.  As a second unit camera you can’t go wrong with one in your bag or tricks.

 B&H from New York had some competitive prices and I would certainly look at Sammy’s Camera out of Los Angles if you are in the market for new video supplies.  The bottom line: shop around and ask lots of questions.  

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