2023 NAB Show — It’s a Wrap!

100th Anniversary Show Delivers…and Then Some!

Published on in Industry Announcements / Events

Main image source: Dalet

With this being the 100th Anniversary of the “Big Show”, I had the annual 2023 NAB Show in Las Vegas circled on my calendar way in advance. As always, there were so many new and exciting product and technology announcements that I can’t wait to get into with you. You could feel the energy on the exhibit floor with 65,013 people in attendance and 1208 exhibitors. Trust me, the floor was packed with big crowds at all the booths. All I can say is that if you’ve never been to an NAB Show, you really need to go! If you're a newcomer to the business, it’s an eye-opening, one-of-a-kind experience like no other. For returning attendees, it is an opportunity to see and hear what’s trending for the year ahead and to also catch up with our many industry friends. So, let’s dive right in!

Virtual Production is the Real Game Changer

Let’s start with arguably the most talked about trend at the entire show - Virtual Production. NAB 2023 saw companies new and old launch new cameras, switchers, lighting setups, and editing software that will continue to fuel both virtual and traditional production workflows for many years ahead, but for many attendees the real trending story of NAB 2023 was everything Virtual Production. 

There were many companies that presented Virtual Production solutions at various entry points, including Sony with its cloud-based applications and services for enterprises and individual creators. Sony presented their virtual production solutions with products highlighting hybrid on-premises and cloud processing with remote and network connectivity. These solutions were not only presented throughout the Sony booth, but also explained with a trio of enlightening and informative panels. These panels went “behind the scenes” to give attendees a deeper understanding of expanded virtual production workflows for production and gaming. Other companies such as LG drew big crowds on the exhibit floor with their virtual production “wall” highlighting the technology behind their virtual display and the production tools to make virtual production happen for studios, rental applications, and corporate productions.  

Lastly in the VP space — and in a nod to the future of virtual production — one of the big technological hits and real crowd-pleaser was the virtual motorcycle “ride” for NAB attendees. The “ride” I mean collaborative demonstration, was executed flawlessly by MRMC (Mark Roberts Motion Control) along with Vū Studios and Real Engine. Vū Studios teamed up with Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) for a new virtual thrill ride experience with the debut of the “Unreal Ride – A Trip Through Time.”  

Created in Unreal Engine, the experience used Vū’s LED wall technologies for visual display and a BOLT X Robot from MRMC for precise motion control. The collaboration was a technological marvel as well as fun for participants, along with the sea of people that surrounded the sound stage. There was even a nod to the practical with a fan to mimic the wind blowing the riders hair! 

So, if you’re not familiar with virtual production, it’s time to get familiar! Companies all over the world like ReadySet Studios in the Netherlands, and CARSTAGE have built out or are currently building new VP soundstages. Universities like NYU recently announced at CineGear NY that they too are investing in and building virtual production facilities. It's time to do your research. If you are new to the space, here is a great primer produced by Bloomberg Television. It is an excellent explainer video put together by Bloomberg Television. 

Cameras, Lenses, and Production Gear

As excited as I am about the trending and rapidly expanding world of Virtual Production, a lot of what makes NAB so cool to me is there is always a lot of focus (pun intended) starting with cameras and lenses, lighting, and of course the support gear. Also, you can’t forget the myriad of monitors and all the firmware and software updates that keep your production workflow current. 

Here are some of my WOW products along with some ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence winners you will want to check out. FYI, one of my definitions of a WOW factor product is when there are so many people, you just can’t get anywhere near the booth!  

*DJI Inspire 3 - 8K Full Frame Zenmuse X9-8K Air Camera 

Talk about a real WOW factor. The 8K capabilities this drone has are going to be a game changer. I might just have to go get my drone license. The DJI Inspire is a cutting-edge drone featuring an 8K cinema-grade camera that delivers awesome image quality combined with aerial capabilities. 

*SONY FX30 Cinema Line Super 35mm 

Building on the WOW factor I absolutely love the SONY FX30 Cinema Line Super 35mm Compact Camera. It lives up to the compact part and even if you build out a full cage, the FX30 will be in most shooters comfort zone to shoot for extended amounts of time. With dual base ISO and a 14+ stop dynamic range, the camera provides wide latitude and low-noise images, while flexible ISO, Cine EI Quick, and Cine EI Log shooting modes optimize image quality. A game changer for sure. 

*FUJINON HZK25-1000mm F2.8-5.0 PL Mount Box Lens

This is the part where my inner lens geek takes over. This is a new category of lens, the Duvo 25-1000, is one of the most beautiful lenses I have seen in a while. It’s a native PL-mount box lens that combines broadcast with bokeh, delivering a cinematic look to live high value productions. Duvo 25-1000 utilizes innovative optical design technology to achieve a maximum aperture of F2.8 and 40x zoom ratio. This ultra-high zoom ratio lens is compatible with the large sensors of digital cinema cameras yet provides a brightness of F2.8 at the wide angle. Just writing about a lens this good doesn’t do it justice. 

*Premiere Pro Text-Based Editing

I saw a funny video the other day where the character said, “hold the phone”, which is exactly what I said when I saw the amazing Text-Based Editing in Premiere Pro. This will be such a shift in how people manage post-production workflows. Premiere Pro is the only professional editing software to incorporate Text-Based Editing. It will be simple to make a rough edit by copy and pasting text. My demo in the newly resigned and chill Adobe booth let me visualize the transcribed text sitting nice and neat on the left top to bottom next to the program window and my clips moved to the upper right quadrant of the screen. Powered by Adobe Sensei, Text-Based-Editing automatically analyzes and transcribes clips so editors can copy and paste sentences into any order they want and instantly see them appear on the timeline. Transcripts can be searched in the transcript window to identify exact words and phrases. Truly amazing! I cannot wait to try it out. I’m thinking of all the time I will save by not having to endlessly search for the right take.

Matthews Litemover

This is yet another cool, but very practical product I checked out at NAB. Imagine that you have one of two choices on the set to deal with lights you had to extend high up but maybe not on a grid. You can either climb up and down on that rickety ladder or safely implement the Matthews Litemover. The Litemover is a universal remote head designed for large industry specific lights and reflector boards or mirrors. Its advanced features, such as compatibility with DMX, WDMX, RDM, or basic hand control, make it an ideal tool for professionals looking for a reliable and efficient way to control lights and reflectors from the ground. 

Nanlux    

                                                                                                                                             

Nanlux also had a really cool product to showcase: the Evoke 900C LED Video Spotlight. It’s a full-color LED spotlight with 940W of power that’s built for virtual productions. The 900C utilizes a six-color mixing system known as RGBLAC, which provides the user more color options and a wider CCT range of 1800K to 20000K and a CRI/TLCI of 96.   

The Evoke 900C is equipped with four buttons for menu selection and three dials for controlling the output and colors. It features an upgraded 3.5-inch full-color TFT screen, providing users with an intuitive interface and an enhanced operating experience. It also offers a wide range of wired and wireless control options for filmmakers, providing additional operational control. 

Sennheiser

Sennheiser displayed their 5th generation Evolution Wireless microphone systems: the EW-DP for camera systems. The system is built for capturing dialogue which includes content creators, filmmakers, podcasters, and more. The EW-DP line is a fully digital UHF wireless microphone system in portable design. 

Canon       

     

Canon released two new Flex Series Cinema Lenses to the lineup. The latest additions to the Flex Zoom Series are the inclusion of 8K cinema lenses designed for Super 35mm cameras with EF and PL mounts, adaptable for full-frame sensors.  

Technology Panels Discuss Future Trends

As the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB, one of the coolest parts of my job is to explore existing technologies and some of the future technologies that I believe will shape the future of production.

One such technology panel at NAB was aptly called Metaverses for Entertainment and Enterprise — Capitalizing on Worldbuilding, which was moderated by Gregg Katano, Hologate, SVP U.S. Operations, and Co-Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America ‘New Media Council’. 

This panel was developed to explore an immersive world-building that blends business and entertainment. One of the most interesting participants was startup Wild Capture. Wild Capture has a suite of AI-driven tools that enables the integration of volumetric video and realistic digital humans. Evan Pesses from Wild Capture then demonstrated how Wild Capture’s volumetric technology works for film/VFX, events, fashion, and multimedia professionals to create digital human character assets and realistic virtual world experiences. 

The question is…why should media professionals at all levels be paying attention and how does a panel that covers business and entertainment fit into NAB? We are living and working in the “virtual” space more and more with almost every production. Panels like this one at NAB allow creatives, technologists, and business professionals the opportunities to interact and to ask questions and to also learn about technologies like virtual production, AI, and even the technology building digital humans that will impact the entertainment industry and of course the bottom line.

Closing Thoughts

The 100th Anniversary version of NAB was truly a memorable and positive experience. It was great to dive into all the latest technology while meeting in person with all the people that make this industry great. I know that I will be talking and writing about this show in the months ahead. I was able to see that we could celebrate how far we have come while looking to the future with a certain excitement and real energy. It was quite a ride and I think this expression borrowed from my wonderful French colleagues says it all about my overall thoughts about NAB 2023: Joie de vivre,  which is a French expression often used in English to express the exuberant joy of being alive! 

Curious to learn who received the ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence at this year’s show? You can find all the winners in our Awards of Excellence winners post

*indicates a ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence Winner

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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 the 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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