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Re: NAB 2016: What is standing the test of time? (The 1 Week Edition)

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Oliver Peters
Re: NAB 2016: What is standing the test of time? (The 1 Week Edition)
on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:30:24 pm

[Bill Davis] "Oliver, what stuck with you? Anything you noticed that you think that you'll look back on NAB 2016 and remember as the year (IDEA X) changed things?"

My gut feeling was that this was a "selling" show. A lot of product that was shipping or very close to that. Less vaporware than normal. 4K is mainstream - at least everyone has real products addressing it. 8K is still far off for most, but it was there.

HDR struck me as more "smoke and mirrors" as I looked at more and more solutions on the floor. Very ill-defined at this point. Most displays seem to bank on the "Best Buy" effect (crank up the "vivid" mode), rather than real science or viable post workflows, IMHO.

360VR strikes me as a niche - albeit a large one (maybe). Since I've worked in themed attraction productions, things like 8K and 360VR seem quite viable to me in specialized circumstances. I just don't see these as the way most of us will do productions for many years, if ever.

As far as FCPX, I didn't see nearly as much FCPX presence in and around the show, as some have stated. It was almost all Premiere Pro, including video journalists in the press room. However, as I looked around at the audience in the "WTF" keynote at PPW on Sunday, I did get the sense that a lot of the folks seemed like they were hearing some of the workflow benefits for the first time.

There were certainly some cool products, like AJA HELO, AJA KONA IP, the Blackmagic 4K SD card recorder/duplicator, the GoPro HERO4 array for flat 360 (16 GoPros in a Circle-Vision style rig). I liked Avid NEXIS - struck me as only applicable to the big boys and the first chance Avid had to drop the ISIS name. But it also struck me that Avid is delusional, because some within the company seem to think Avid storage can live on its own without the customer wanting to also invest in Media Composer as their hero NLE. In fact, at Avid Connect's new products keynote, MC received NO mention, even though 8.5 is still a recent update and one of their best. What DID get a mention was their Media Central UX (interface to search and access media in Avid storage) control panel for Premiere Pro. Hmm.....

Drones were also big - both figuratively and literally, with a lot of good alternatives to DJI, which seems to be the favored system in the past few years.

Sony was a yawn. Panasonic was a yawn, except for Varicam LT. RED has a good story to tell, but friends of mine who were shopping cameras there were put off by RED's usual squishy delivery schedules. ARRI still makes the best image (to my eye) even if you want to argue whether or not it's truly 4K. I don't care. In the testing I've done, even early Alexas HD video (and then upscaled to UHD 4K) still looks better than many actual UHD (4K) cameras on the market today. The exception would maybe be the BMD URSA Mini 4.6 or the AJA CION. But I digress...

So no, I didn't see anything that I would call a "game-changer" at NAB 2016. Everything was more evolutionary than revolutionary.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL

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