2020 NAB Show Express Review

The Show Must (and does) Go On!

Published on in Industry Announcements / Events

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced that an estimated 40,000 industry professionals had accessed the inaugural NAB Show Express since the online event launched on May 13. Participants from around the world engaged with content through social media streams, partner programs and directly via nabshowexpress.com.

In total, participants watched more than 1.6 million minutes of video content via the event’s broadcast channels, on-demand videos and social media streams.  NAB Show Express continues to offer free access to more than 200 on-demand educational sessions, executive conversations, resources and exhibits. Registration remains open at nabshowexpress.com through the end of August 2020.

In my opinion, there was a lot to like about the revised format for this years NAB, aptly redubbed 2020 NAB Show Express. Not perfect, but exhibitors and presenters both put their best foot forward to give the industry a glimpse of what the future holds for new products and services. In some cases the online form factor allowed for a more in depth look and the ability to ask product managers more questions. Other presenters touted new products and services with polished slide shows and technical specifications. Here are some of the recent products and presentations that caught my attention.

Cooke

Always an original, Cooke continues to grow their S7/i range with the introduction of the 300mm S7/i as well as their Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus range with the new 180mm. Besides the legendary quality and “look” of Cooke, one can count on incredibly high standards that goes into building one of the premier lens in the film industry.

Additionally, Cooke announced a new branch of the S7/i family by introducing three 1:1 macro Full Frame Plus lenses: 60mm, 90mm and 150mm. All lenses are designed from the ground up, as real motion picture lenses. Personally speaking, I hope we will get the chance a little later this year to pair up a new Cooke lens with one of several new cameras making their way into production in 2020.

Core SWX NEO 150 Mini Batteries and X2 Mini Dual Travel Charger

Always innovative, Core is making the grade with more new products that answer the professional videographers need for clean, consistent power along with what I call “travelability”.  The NEO 150 Mini is fully equipped with all the features of the NEO line including high current delivery, RFID, firmware upgradeable USB, storage mode, modular design, intuitive multi-purpose runtime LCD, p-tap, camera communication, and compatible charging.

The X2 Mini is an even more compact version of the X2 dual travel charger. The new X2 Mini offers a rapid charge bay at 3A, allowing one 98wh pack to charge in 2.5 hours. It also offers simultaneously charging of two batteries at a charge current of 1.5A. There is a trickle charge maintenance program that ensures the batteries are always at maximum capacity.

Panasonic

Panasonic is such a fun company to follow. There is always a lot of high energy and innovation surrounding new cameras. The two cameras that really got my attention were the Panasonic AK-HC3900 and the Panasonic PTZ AW-UE100.   

The AK-HC3900 HD HDR has the capability to be set up either a remote production camera or configured as a studio camera.  It will also be upgradable to native 4K 60p/50p. Improvements distinguishing the AK-HC3900G include a full simultaneous HDR/SDR feature set; expanded multi-format capability (1080: 59.94p, 50p, 59.94i, 50i, 29.97PsF, 25PsF, 23.98PsF; 720: 59.94p/50p) The AK-HC3900GJ/GSJ achieves a high sensitivity of F10 at 59.94Hz (2,000 lx) and a S/N ratio of 62 dB. 

Panasonic has also announced the introduction of the AW-UE100 integrated pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera, which supports a wide variety of IP transmission protocols, including high-bandwidth NDI, high-efficiency NDI®|HX and Secure Reliable Transport (SRT). This new PTZ camera will facilitate live remote and studio production in broadcast, staging, corporate, sports and house of worship applications.

The AW-UE100 features a 1/2.5-type 4K MOS sensor to produce stunning UHD 4K/60p video and offers a wide variety of interfaces including 12G-SDI, 3G-SDI, HDMI and IP. For capturing images in tight spaces to large venues, the UE100 has exceptional capabilities. A wide-angle lens with a horizontal angle of view of 74.1 degrees enables a wide area to be shot from a limited installation space, and its 24x optical zoom maintains high image quality at high zoom ratios, permitting shooting in large indoor spaces.

Lastly, Panasonic has announced KAIROS, a live production platform.  This new IT/IP video processing platform offers an open architecture system for live video switching with complete input and output flexibility, resolution and format independence, maximum CPU/GPU processor utilization and ME scalability. 

Marshall Electronics

I’m always thinking of all the cool projects I could do with a Marshal Electronics camera, and their latest offerings are no exception.  One of the things that is really impressive about the Marshal Electronics camera line up is how much real world engineering has gone into these world class units. The Marshall Electronics CV506 Full-HD Miniature Camera with HDMI offers performance, flexibility in a very small form factor. Built around a 2.5-Megapixel, 1/2.86-inch sensor, the CV506 delivers progressive Full-HD video up to 1920x1080p at 60/59/50fps and interlaced 1920x1080i at 60/59/50fps.

The CV506 utilizes full-sized BNC (3G/HDSDI) and HDMI outputs on rear panel and locking I/O connection for power, control, and stereo audio input (embedded on 3G-SDI output). The CV506's threaded M12 lens mount offers a wide range of prime and varifocal lens options. The CV506 can capture detailed shots while maintaining an ultra-discreet miniature point-of-view perspective. Remote adjustment and picture settings commands are delivered via common RS485 (Visca) or OSD menu joystick on locking breakout cable.

Next up, the Marshall Electronics CV226 All-Weather HD Lipstick Camera is small in size and can be mounted virtually anywhere. It features an IP67 rating for dust and water so you can use it in dirty and wet environments. The camera can capture at 1080p, 1080i, and 720p, outputting through a full-size BNC output. An interchangeable M12 3.6mm lens is included and provides a 72° horizontal angle of view.  I am so ready for that cool project. Are you?

Litra

I am so excited about the Litra Pro and I’ll tell you why. It’s not often that I get to review a new product right out the NAB gates! Normally there can be a considerable lag to delivery time but here we go! Litra brings a fresh take on compact, rectangular LED lights. With a small footprint, the new LitraStudio™ delivers 3,000 Lumens of color accurate RGBWW output—totally cable-free. Complete with integral interior battery, this fixture offers an array of operating benefits like Bluetooth or DMX control, color tuning, gel, and in a rugged, waterproof solution.

There’s a lot packed into this 5.5” x 3.9” x 2”, 33.5 oz. light. Safe within a watertight door is the 9000 mAh rechargeable, hot-swappable Lithium Ion battery. The battery’s auxiliary USB Type C charger port offers power backup when needed for laptops, phones, or other necessities. 

LitraStudio is tunable and color accurate with a 97 TLCI/CRI and 50-degree beam angle. It is dimmable from 100% down to zero. Hey, did I just mention something doing a cool project? 

Stay tuned for an upcoming full review on the LitraStudio. This should be fun.

Ncam Mk2 Camera Bar, Mk2 Server, and Ncam Reality 2020 Software

The Mk2 Camera Bar leverages the Intel® RealSense™ hardware but has also been heavily modified to suit the demanding broadcast and film environments. It is now smaller, lighter, and able to mount more flexibly to an even greater variety of camera rigs, with the result that it can be used with a jib, Steadicam, wire cam, and even with drones.

The next generation software now runs on the Mk2 Server and can be mounted on the camera or rig itself, meaning all camera tracking and lens data is computed locally. This means Ncam can now offer fully wireless tracking on a standard RF camera link. 

The Ncam Reality 2020 software suite has also been redesigned, with key enhancements in several areas, including simplified operation, hybrid feature extraction including natural features, markers and fiducials, wireless-ready functionality with Mk2 hardware, and global performance and stability enhancements. Additionally, the AR Suite software, which in its Lite form comes bundled as standard, provides seamless and future-proofed integration into the latest Unreal Engine 4 toolset, providing a complete out-of-the-box solution for high fidelity real-time VFX.

NAGRA

Has your project work ever been ripped off? Then you end up sitting there in the edit suite looking at the footage that is touted as someone else’s but it is really yours or not the originator? Or you sent something out and it was compromised and posted online? I have been in a similar situation. It really stinks. Who wants that? So, if you have ever been a victim of piracy you know exactly why this next product is so important.

With the NAGRA launch of a new forensic watermarking plug-in for editing and collaboration workflows on Avid’s Media Composer video editing software, content creators and owners can breath easy. The NexGuard Plug-in for Editing Software allows studios, content owners and post-production houses to ensure protection of high-value assets when sharing pre-release content such as feature films or TV series with their editing department, reviewers or their creative agencies. The integration simplifies the watermarking process within the editing software while providing traceability and a strong deterrent against pre-release content leaks. Media Composer is the first non-linear editing software to be integrated with the NAGRA plug-in.

The NexGuard Plug-in for Editing Software, which works as a simple video filter, quickly and seamlessly adds a unique, robust and imperceptible forensic watermark to each copy of the content exported from the non-linear editing software, regardless of input and output file formats.

C300 Mark III

I think we are going to see a lot of this camera. Yes, I know I wrote about it earlier, but there is a lot of good stuff to be had here. 

The C300 Mark lll comes equipped with Canon's new Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) Sensor capable of over 16 stops of dynamic range. The DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor expands functionality and flexibility by enabling features such as internal RAW recording, 4K 120p High Frame Rate recording, and Dual Pixel Autofocus.

Here is one of the more important features to be had. The EOS C300 Mark III features Canon’s next generation Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) Sensor. This new sensor is capable of dynamic ranges in excess of 16 stops and is compatible with Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus technology.

The DGO Sensor is a newly-developed imaging system that generates high dynamic range and maintains low-noise levels by reading out each pixel with different gains. It combines images using pixels shot with a saturation-prioritizing amplifier for bright areas, and a lower-noise noise-prioritizing amplifier for darker areas.

The Next Chapter

As I stated earlier, there were a lot of things to really like about the new ways companies are getting their product information out. Things like more time to look over technical specifications and compare the features and benefits. Of course I do miss the hands-on approach to checking out new products but I think (and hope) that will come back at some point in the near future. 2020 has been a strange year to say the least, but being an optimist I am looking ahead to a different, but brighter future.

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About the Author

Mark Foley
Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest and most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at mfoley@productionhub.com.

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