NAB Show is the world’s leading trade event for the A/V and broadcast industries and we’re expecting 2017 to be bigger and better than ever
With online content and emerging technologies, such as drones and VR, dominating the communications and entertainment worlds, NAB Show 2017 holds more relevance to content creators, producers and aspiring camera operators than ever before.
Previously the Las Vegas-based show was more of a closed shop – focusing solely on tradition broadcast technologies. But “broadcast” as a concept has been transformed over the past few of years, so the show has evolved. Over the past decade, NAB has grown in popularity and remit to incorporate everything from showcasing technologies relevant to the entire digital ecosystem; from sports to gaming, the military, augmented reality and VR, live events and the more traditional film and TV industries.
So with all of that said, what are we looking forward to most?
Glass is one of the biggest product stories in the cinema and photography worlds. With camera sales consistently slowing, manufacturers have turned to churning out quality lenses to continue encouraging camera owners and rental houses to keep parting with their hard-earned cash. Lenses announced ahead of NAB Show that we’re looking forward to getting our hands on, include cine primes from Sigma Imaging and Samyang’s XEEN brand, new Schneider-Kreuznach full-frame titling glass for E-Mount, as well as rumoured new glass from Nikon and Canon.
Speaking of Canon, many photographers have been calling for an update to the now classic, Canon EOS 6D full-frame camera, released back in 2011. With having a relatively quiet CES 2017, the rumour mill seems to be suggesting that NAB show may be an ideal place to show off before the company’s most anticipated DSLR of the year. We don’t have a date or any confirmation of release at this point but if we don’t hear anything before the show, we will be looking out for a Canon 6D Mark II in Vegas. There’s every chance Canon may forgo the opportunity to show of a new full-frame camera at NAB though, as it is a primarily video-based affair. Perhaps a new C100 model or a successor the 1D-C could be more likely?
Confirmed is Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini Pro, which will get its first major outing at NAB Show 2017. The latest release from the Australian disruptor cine brand, rights many (but by no means all) of the wrongs that blighted its previous cameras; such as design quirks and unique controls. The URSA Mini Pro shares many of the internals of its predecessor, the URSA Mini 4.6K, but with some highly attractive new features. The stand out additions are the inclusion of mechanical ND and IR filters, user-changeable lens mounts, support for SD-card media and significantly improved physical controls.
After attracting a lot of love for the FS7, shown of in London at BVE 2017, could Sony take the opportunity show off a new FS5 at NAB? Or perhaps the long-rumoured Sony alpha “a9” aka the a7R III or an a7 III? Nothing concrete here but Sony’s relentless assault on the camera world means it’s best to expect the unexpected when it comes to Sony presence at and in the build up to tradeshows.
Panasonic announced the GH5 at Photokina last year, so we’re unlikely to see anything that’s going to top that from them, but the company’s VariCam family may have a surprise or two. But one of the most exciting cameras we are definitely going to see at NAB Show 2017 is the Bexel Clarity 800 high-frame-rate POV camera, designed for live production in areas such as sporting events and concerts. This proprietary camera device records HD video at up to 480fps, while a 4K iteration of the Clarity 800 can record 4K-video up to 120fps – and it’s the size of a business card and only 1-inch thick.
Accessories will undoubtedly be another big segment of interest at NAB Show 2017 and we’re expecting storage media, rigging and LED lighting tech brands to show off the strongest products. Brands to watch include; G-Tech, Sandisk, Lexar, DJI, Steadicam and Rotolight. We will be updating this article if any significant announcements are made in the run up to the show and definitely head back between April 22-27 for updates from the show in Las Vegas. Check out NABShow.com for more info.