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.

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

Russ Fairley
Russ Fairley
Russ Fairley is a producer, editor and motion graphic designer. He also writes for Videomaker and several other publications.

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