I went to the show a little misty-eyed today knowing it will be another year before I can hang out with 100,000 professional video-nerd friends again. So, today I was mainly wandering around looking for interesting things I may have missed. I found a few.
The one appointment I did have before wandering was with Atomos. It was tough to miss Atomos, as their advertising was all over the inside and outside the building. Their booth featured a near-naked model having her body painted with the Atomos logo, which people could practice recording to on one of the Atomos recording units. I actually found their recorders more enticing. New for NAB were the Shogun and Ninja Star. The Shogun records 4K to removable removable hard drives, SSDs, or CFast drives with adapter. This recorder features a 7-inch touch screen with 1920×1200 resolution. What sets the Shogun and the other Atomos recorders apart from other recorders is that you can preview and even create a rough cut that you can export as a FCPX XML file. (It can be converted by a third-party program for imported to FCP or Premiere Pro.) MSRP is $1995.
On the other end of their product spectrum is the Ninja Star. This pocket-sized HD recorder does not have an LCD screen, but it can be attached to one. It is for acquiring the highest quality video where size and weight are an issue, such as on a drone. It also records only to CFast media, which is quite expensive at the moment, but in time they should come down. MSRP is $295. I hope to review one of the Atomos recorders in a few weeks.
I finally made it to the Sony booth, since Atomos was saying the Shogun works perfectly with the Sony α7S Mirrorless Digital Camera. The α7S can only record 1080p internally, but can put out a 4K signal over the HDMI to the Shogun. The footage looked excellent. Pricing has not been announced.
Ikan showed PD Movie, a 2.4 GHz wireless follow-focus system that is available in kits from $1599 to $2599. The only other one I saw at the show was from Schneider Optics, in the $25,000 range, so this is a huge cost savings if it does the job.
Matrox Video showed off the Monarch HD ($995), which allows the streaming and recording of HD programming without a computer. While you need a computer to do the initial settings, once they are set, you plug in and stream. (Many pro users will probably team this up with the Matrox MC-100 SDI-to-HDMI converter, which will get an HD- or 3G-SDI source into the Monarch's HDMI input.) You can record a higher bit-rate version of the program for editing on an SD card or via one of two USB ports that you can use with a hard drive or even a USB stick. I think being able to record on to readily available and easily transportable USB drives that many of us already have on our key rings is right up their with sliced bread.
Matrox also showed the VS4 ($1495), a card that can capture four HD-SDI streams to their MPEG-2 I-Frame codec or several others under the Quicktime wrapper. Using the VS4 control software, you can capture an unlimited number of sources by networking several VS4 systems.
Zaxwerks' Pro Animator has always been a favorite of graphics gurus making 3D openers for network programing. The new version being released has been overhauled to take full advantage of the GPU and CPU, allowing for real-time preview for the first time ever. This will show up in the Pro Animator After Effects plug-in at the end of April and in the standalone version at the end of May. The MSRP is $499 for standalone or plug-in versions.
Last but not least for me at this NAB was Digital Anarchy, which was showing Flicker Free ($149) even after the show was officially closed—possiby the last product demo of NAB 2014. The problem with flicker in footage can happen a lot with time-lapse and high-speed recording, as lighting may change between record intervals, or due to something electrical with lighting. Several years ago I used my 60 Hz video camera overseas, where the fluorescent lights were 50 Hz, causing a flicker in the video. There aren't any real settings. You just drop it on a clip and it detects and fixes the problem. This can help a lot of people.
Swag report: Three t-shirts today. Thank you, Zaxwerks, Digital Anarchy, and Rowbyte (I didn't know who they were, but they were sharing the booth with Digital Anarchy and wanted to take home one less shirt. Turns out they make some pretty cool motion graphics tools.) Coolest swag of the day? Zaxwerks pen/flashlight combo. A pen on one side, flashlight on the other. I also found my only tweaker of the show at Markertek. You can't have too many of those little screw drivers.
Look for some in-depth reviews of some of the items I previewed at NAB 2014, right here at StudioDaily.com.