The major broadcast equipment companies go all-out at NAB, and Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and JVC are some of the ones you’d expect to be major exhibitors each year. One year ago, there was so much attention paid to the video applications for Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II digital still camera that it was difficult to get hands-on time with the camera and all the third-party devices that had quickly sprung up to support it for video shooters. The crowds at Canon’s booth and that of Redrock Micro, who make an incredible range of accessory products for the 5D, were the biggest I saw. The 5D has almost single-handedly created a new niche straddling semi-pro and pro video, and then filled it. While I was in Las Vegas, Raj, our technology director, emailed me to say that this season’s finale of House was shot entirely using the 5D and linked me to an interview with Greg Yaitanes, the director of photography.
By the way, Canon’s use of the photographer Vincent Laforet (former NYTimes staffer) was a really good idea. Vincent’s live presentations were riveting (if you could find room to watch him). I took an unscientific survey of his audiences, and they ran the full age range from students in their 20s to shooters who had started with 16mm news film. Even though Vincent and other presenters showed a lot of lovely scenic video and aerials, it’s clear that the 5D is a real crowd-pleaser when it comes to night scenes (complete with mist and wet streets); the music video shooters were all paying close attention.