NAB 2015 - What did we learn?

For those who didn’t attend NAB 2015, the news, updates and chatter can wear thin by the following Monday. For those who were there, the sore feet, battered luggage and full memory cards are all recovered for the most part by now.

So what did we learn?

This isn’t going to be a wrap up on everything that NAB 2015 had to offer. Every production news outlet on and offline — including this one — has filled their pages, blogs, feeds, and newsletters with every conceivable product and service offering shown at the massive trade show. Summary: drones buzzed, cameras grew and shrank, RED still has controversial displays, the review and approval space is white hot, hardware and software are working hard at keeping up with new frame sizes and codecs, and the big news from the show wasn't 8K or 20K or 150K.

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This year, the big news of NAB was the general consensus that maybe, just maybe, the market is finally starting to turn around.

In the past few years, despite strong attendance and total exhibitor participation, many companies experienced the effects of a tough market. Lots of tire-kickers, some swag-hunters, lots of perusers, but not a lot of serious buyers.

This year, vendors were hinting at the end of the drought. Attendees this year were, overall, less interested in free t-shirts, and more interested in how the exhibitors’ products and services could make their businesses better, more efficient, profitable, and better rounded. In other words, the companies are adapting to the environment, and hopefully seeing some return on the investment that was the last few lean years.

In other monster news, the downfall of come-lately camera makers, AJA and Blackmagic Design didn’t exactly happen. Many predicted that the major Japanese camera manufacturers such as Sony and Canon would crush the newcomers with new offerings. While the new products out of Sony and Canon were fantastic, AJA added hugely beneficial firmware to their studio camera, CION, and Blackmagic Design launched a handful of new cameras. In contrast, JVC and Panasonic had subtle updates this year, continuing to focus on the time-tested technology that brought them success up until now.

So, overall, what did vendors think of NAB? This writer’s perspective, after asking a couple dozen exhibitors just that, is that this was the best and most successful NAB in many years. In fact, due to this being arguably the most exciting time in production history, with technologies growing and expanding in ways we never dreamed, this NAB was perhaps the best ever.

And that should remain the case, at least until April 16 – 21, 2016, when NAB rolls back into Sin City.

Were you there? Were you following along at home? We want to hear your thoughts on NAB 2015. Hit us up in the comments or write us on Twitter @Videomaker
 

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Russ Fairley
Russ Fairley is a producer, editor and motion graphic designer who enjoys writing for Videomaker. He has also written for About.com (Lifewire.com), RedShark News, Modern Drummer Magazine, and others. He is an Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe Community Leader, and co-founder of After Effects Toronto, Canada's largest motion graphic user group. Fairley is the creator and editor of ProductionWorld.net, a popular production news website.

1 COMMENT

  1. Panasonic and JVC should be improving their time tested technology.

     

    I'm an amateur videographer and two years ago I bought a JVC GZ-EX515. It was an excellent value for money camera. The only quibble was that it offered slow motion at 300 fps at Standard Definition and not full HD. In these days when any new product becomes obsolete within 6 months, they should offer a full HD camera with 300 fps at full HD, for the same price point; why haven't they released such a model?

     

    Panasonic offers the HC-V750 priced at USD178 more with 120fps at full HD, and a pseudo 240fps using interpolated frames. The HC-V750 has a larger image sensor at 1/2.3" compared with the GZ-EX515 at 1/5.8". I'm considering updating to either the Panasonic HC-V750 or the 4k version HC-VX870. I'll use the JVC GZ-EX515 as my 'B' camera.

     

    Although I live in Australia, I prefer to purchase the so-called NTSC or "American" version of any camera, and I avoid the so-called PAL or "Australian" version of any camera; the so-called PAL versions derate the progressive frames per second or fps rates from 30p/60/120p/240p down to 25p/50/100p/200p; the slower frame rates produce jerkier motion, compared with the smoother so-called NTSC frame rates.

     

    Check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxP6tW8BoyE

    for a comparison between 120fps and 100fps frame rates; the jerkier slow motion performance of 100fps is sufficiently noticeable to be annoying.

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