There is a ton of cool stuff to see at NAB, no doubt about it. From brand new companies to well established industry veterans, there are new and old products abound and many of them had me itching to max out the credit cards. So let's pretend for a moment that somebody handed me $10,000 dollars, and said I could only spend it on 3 things at NAB. Well, here's what I'd buy.
ARRI L7-C – $2800
For those not familiar with ARRI's L series of lights, they are basically LED lights that have the same light properties as traditional tungsten lights, with some huge advantages. New to the L series lineup this year is the L7-TT. The “TT” stands for tuneable tungsten and while it shares many of same features, I'd still take the L7-C over it. So what makes this light so special? For starters it's got a tuneable color temperature from 2700k to 10,000k, which means you can match it to any other light source you can conceive of. It's also got adjustable plusgreen and minusgreen, so it can be used to match standard fluorescent lights, or even as a backlight for greenscreen. If you need a splash of color, or want to dial in your light color to play to the strength of a specific camera, it's got full gamut color mixing, which basically means you're able to crate any color of light you want, simply by adjusting the dials. Of course they're focusable, dimmable without color temperature shift, produce only a single shadow, and can be controlled remotely. A set of these would make any lighting designer happy.
Genarts Sapphire 7 – $1699
Some of the go-to effects I've used in my career include glow, blur, and lens flares. Sapphire 7 has upped their game with some finely detailed controls and effects that strive to keep a sense of realism. Their Beauty effect and EdgeAwareBlur are impressive tools that must be witnessed to be believed. Their lens flares have precise cotrols, and include flares to match specific camera lenses. Plus, Sapphire is available for just about every program you can think of.
Sony 55” 4K Ultra HD TV – $4999
Let's just forget about the fact that I don't have any way to play 4K source material on this beautiful 55” 4K television. Even the 4K media player from Sony is in “Coming Soon” mode, but I still want one. As I stood in front of this 55” 3840×2160 picture and worked out the math of what viewing distances we'd need to be at to really see the difference I realized that mathematical equations had nothing to do with wow factor of the pictures I was seeing.
Sure we all have limited budgets, and I was able to keep the credit card in the wallet and my impulses under control. Yet still, I can't help but dreaming of these things as I plunge back into the reality of day to day production with limited budgets.