Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘GoPro’:

My NAB 2013 Impressions

Dedolight-booth-NAB-2013As in many years previous, Visual Departures was in Las Vegas last week to support the Dedolight team, as we are a major distributor of their products in the U.S. It’s always wonderful to reconnect in-the-flesh with Dedo Weigert and the rest of our colleagues; some of them having made the trip from Germany, some merely from California. At any rate, now we’re back from NAB 2013 and, once again, looking back on everything we saw there and trying to make sense of all the new technology.

Drone-2Drone-1

Firstly, it was definitely the Year of the Drone. Unless the FAA steps in soon, the skies above every traffic accident, playing field (including those for kids’ sports), and natural disaster site will be filled with remote-controlled aircraft carrying all kinds of cameras from the GoPro to full-frame DSLRs. I imagine crane rental companies will need to start offering drones very soon, if they haven’t already. Some of the larger units on display have eight rotors and cost in the thousands, but the big crowd attraction was the Phantom from DJI, who had a display with a huge enclosed tower for demos and practice flights.

GoPro-fan-Mason-Massey-at-NABThe Phantom is already fitted for the GoPro camera, whose always-packed booth was right next door. Just like last year, they’re showing the way for everyone from amateur skateboarders to network sports departments. The daily frenzy over give-aways led Mason Massey to turn himself into a walking GoPro in the hope (successful) of winning a free camera.

Abekas-AirCleanerSpend an hour watching real-time demos of the latest rendering software like Maxon’s Cineware and you may think it’s time to give up on live-action video completely.  By the way, here’s something from Abekas that should be scaled down for the dinner table when your kids suddenly discover inappropriate language: the “AirCleaner” profanity elimination system.

With new lenses by Zeiss and Schneider, the use of DSLRs for video shows no signs of slowing down (or does it?) I didn’t get to see it in person, but the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera ($995 without lens), which uses Micro Four Thirds optics generated a lot of buzz. This will definitely be the tool of choice for journalists working in difficult environments. One of my colleagues also came back reporting on a rig for using the iPad as a production camera; hope it looks a bit less embarrassing than this.

And through all this, the marketplace for LED lighting just gets more confused. While Dedolight and other great, established companies like Mole-Richardson and Arri produce superb LED fixtures (both flat-panel and focusing Fresnel-type), there seem to be dozens of companies making really bad, cheap lights in the belief that everything can be ‘fixed in post.’ This is not the attitude people ought to take towards their craft.

Spend many hours at a show like NAB, and you eventually have to take a break to rest your feet and eat something. Fortunately, the location of the Dedolight booth made sure you were tastefully lit while you sat on the floor with an overpriced sandwich.

When in Las Vegas, enjoy al-fresco dining at NAB by the Dedolight booth

GoPro Goes Big at NAB 2012

We’re in Las Vegas this week to support Dedolight at the NAB 2012 show. It’s always interesting to come out here and reconnect with our customers and dealers, and take in as much of the new gear as possible. It seems like the industry changes so much year after year, especially since Canon introduced the 5D Mark II (recently superseded by the 5D Mark III) and the tiny GoPro camera arrived on the scene.

GoPro's NAB 2012 booth is massive relative to their age -- about 1/5th the size of Canon's

On that note, one thing that struck me this year was how much GoPro has grown in such a short time. Their booth at NAB is roughly one-fifth the size of Canon’s main booth — even though GoPro cameras didn’t exist ten years ago… and still cost less than $300! I think it says something about the changing character of the NAB show (the ‘B’ standing for ‘Broadcasters’) when one of the major exhibitors has a product best known in the surfing/skating/extreme sports video industries.

Like the “5D2” before it, rapidly advancing technology and digital workflows enabled forward-thinking crews to get things done faster and cheaper… which just meant that eventually everyone else had to catch up, and then demand the same conveniences from other manufacturers. I find it very, very interesting to see how quickly these new technologies are disrupting a 100+ year old industry — but let’s not forget, at the end of the day, to use these machines to make good images and tell good stories.

GoPro booth at NAB 2012