Early NAB Announcments

It’s that time of year again when the worldwide film and TV technology industry suddenly takes a huge leap forward: NABshow, Las Vegas.

Just days before the event, we were given new product announcements from Sony and Canon (seemingly more competitive with each other than ever before thanks to Canon’s Cinema EOS brand giving Cine Alta a serious run for their money!). Sony announced the quite remarkable high-speed FS700 with 4K output ability in the future.

Canon announced the Cinema EOS C500 which, put simply, is a C300 with much more powerful output options, including 10-bit 4K raw and 12-bit 2K in 4:4:4. In this mode it can also shoot up to 60fps, and 120fps in 10-bit 4:2:2. Final specs are yet to be released, but the camera is said to be available late 2012.

Canon also announced their highly anticipated 4K DSLR, the EOS-1D C. Taking the C-Log gamma software from the C300, the 1D C records 4K resolution in 8-bit 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 onto CF cards.

At the time of writing, NAB has just kicked off and one of the hot new products announced has been Blackmagic Design’s entry into the camera business, the aptly named Blackmagic Cinema Camera. This one has really got people talking – it has a small form factor not dissimilar to a DSLR and is thus aimed at indie shooters wanting maximum quality. It records 2.5K resolution from an active sensor area of 15.6mm x 8.8mm, somewhere between Super-16 and Micro 4/3”. It can record in either Cinema DNG Raw files (12-bit!), or Apple ProRes or DNxHD in 10-bit YUV.

One of the most remarkable things about this camera is it’s price point at under $3K. Like any high-end camera system, further investment would be required to get the best out of it (SSD Media, external batts, rigging, EVF, etc.) It’s also worth noting that this is Blackmagic’s first camera, a company that has made waves in the post production and production accessories, and always been onto it with listening to customer feedback. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.

More updates from NAB coming soon!