NAB 2012

7   AJA Ki Pro Rack

Autodesk Smoke for Mac

15   Teradek Cube

4   Small Tree

12   Blackmagic Cinema Camera

13   Blackmagic Teranex 2D and 3D Processors

14   Atomos Ninja 2/Samurai

9   Red Scarlet

11   Canon EOS C300

3  Avid Media Composer 6

Not to be outdone, Avid has come out with the new Media Composer 6.0 editing software. Avid has also worked hard to make their software accessible to Final Cut Pro users. The price for Avid software has also come way down.

Adobe was showing the next version of their creative suite, CS6. To the production suite of applications -- which includes Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and Encore -- they have added a logging software called Prelude and a Color Correction application called SpeedGrade.

Right next to Adobe, in an equally crowded booth filled with excitement, was Autodesk.

Autodesk has introduced a new version of their high-end finishing application called Smoke. Smoke has always been strong when compositing, 3D graphics, and color correction are called for. All of these tools co-exist within the single Smoke application. The newest version of Smoke, however, has been redesigned to include a much more accessible editing mode. Curiously, the added editing tools are somewhat similar to Final Cut Pro 7 and obviously aimed at attracting advanced Final Cut Pro users. As an added incentive, Autodesk has lowered the price of Smoke to $3500. That’s for a software that was very recently priced at $15,000. Lower prices are good.

16  GoPro Hero 2

Each year Blackmagic Design introduces a number of very innovative and inexpensive products.

This year they announced a new digital cinema camera with a price of $3,000. This camera came completely out of the blue. Blackmagic has never produced any type of camera.

Canon had a very big presence at this year’s NAB, riding on the success of the Canon 5D and their other DSLRs that helped start the DSLR revolution. Pictured below is a huge and very impressive display case full of Canon lenses. These include still lenses and their new line of high quality cinema lenses. Canon has always made great DSLR cameras and lenses. Now they are making a big push into digital cinema.

8   AJA Ki Pro Quad

5   AJA io XT

Adobe Premiere Pro is attracting a lot of disgruntled Final Cut Pro users. The BBC has recently switched from Final Cut to Adobe Premiere. They bought 2,000 seats of the software. They are running Premiere on PC’s, not Macs. Hope they got a volume discount on all that software and hardware!

AJA is also known for their innovative Ki Pro unit. The Ki Pro allows you to record files to a removable hard drive. The controls on the unit, appropriately look very much like controls you’d see on a tape deck. The Ki Pro is a $4,000 dollar device with no moving parts that can easily replace a $60,000 HDCam deck. The Ki Pro was introduced as a portable unit, a couple of years ago.

AJA, always an innovator, has developed a number of products aimed at helping the transition to Thunderbolt. AJA is a company known for their Kona 3 video capture and playback cards. These cards are in our MacPro Online machines.

The original Ki Pro concept has also evolved into another product introduced this year, the Ki Pro Quad. The Ki Pro Quad will accept and record 4 HD-SDI inputs at once.

The unit is shown here with the new Canon C300 digital cinema camera. The implication is that the Ki Pro Quad will record a 4K 4:4:4 signal directly from cameras that can output a 4K signal. In other words this recorder can record a whole lot of data at very high quality.

Recently Blackmagic Design bought Teranex. Teranex is a company that has made standards conversion devices for quite a while now. Down converters. Up converters. They have always made very good but very expensive conversion boxes. TPT owns one of the first Teranex Xantus devices. It was bought a while ago, was state of the art at the time, and it cost over $70,000.

Atomos is a company that makes solid state recording devices. These are very small, reasonably priced portable video recorders. We have reported on Atomos products in prior years. The company continues to impress by updating their models and the software that drives them.

One of the companies working on development of Thunderbolt is Small Tree. Small Tree is a local Minnesota company making a big name for themselves nationally. Small Tree configures and connects big storage devices like the one on the right.

Teradek is a company that makes wireless video devices. Mount this small cube on your camera and send live video via wi-fi to an iPad. Great for camera monitoring without the cable. Also great for sending live video streaming to the web.

Adobe has continued to rework and update Premiere Pro, making the video editing software very much like what Final Cut Pro 8 should have been. What is most impressive is the way the applications in the Adobe creative suite work and support one another.

The Adobe booth was packed as usual.

There is a very informative tutorial about what’s new in Premiere 6.0 here.

In a strange case of back to the future, Autodesk Smoke 2013, as it is called, will be available in the fall of 2012. A demo beta version will be available in June. The elegant and sophisticated application was being demoed at NAB on an iMac. The new Smoke has been designed and developed to work on iMacs and MacBook Pros. This is also a good thing.

To the left see Avid’s color grading application being shown on, you guessed it, a MacBook Pro. The laptop is hooked up to fast storage via a thunderbolt connection.

theme.001  the post apple era in post

At last years NAB, you will remember, the big news was Apple’s introduction of Final Cut Pro X. Subsequently, Apple announced they were discontinuing, killing off, the Final Cut Pro 7 suite of applications. This news didn’t go over well with the Final Cut Pro professional editing community. Evidenced by the fact that Final Cut Pro X was nowhere to be seen at this years NAB. There is also the impression that Apple will be discontinuing the MacPro tower as we know it. The MacPro has been the workhorse in our edit suites for editing Final Cut Pro. At this years NAB, demos of software developed for the Mac were done for the most part on MacBook Pro laptops and iMacs.

It has became very clear that the professional video post world is moving on with or without Apple. Companies are taking up the slack and filling in the gaps with both hardware and software offerings.

theme.002  the thunderbolt era

Thunderbolt is a wonderful, new, fast, IO technology that was introduced at last years NAB by Apple and Intel. All new MacBook Pros and iMacs come with a nice, new, bright, shiny, fast Thunderbolt connection. Up to now there haven’t been many devices around to hook to that connection. Finally at this years NAB, there seems to be some significant advances in applications of Thunderbolt.

The question is: how do you connect this gazillion TB raid to something like an iMac. The iMac has no place to put any of the extra cards needed to connect fast storage. But it does have a Thunderbolt port.

The box to the right of the iMac above is a Magma Thunderbolt expansion chassis. It is connected to the iMac via a Thunderbolt port. Pictured to the far right is a rear view of the Magma chassis where you can put a fiber channel card or a fast ethernet card or any old PCI compatible card you want.

This year AJA introduced the Ki Pro Rack, which is, you guessed it, a rack mounted Ki Pro. This is a natural progression for this product, all the ease and dependability of the Ki Pro but in a rack mounted version. The rack mounted unit has two removable hard drives for extended recording times.

6   AJA T-Tap

This is another new AJA product and one of my favorites of the show. It’s called the T-Tap. It is a small cube that converts Thunderbolt to SDI or HDMI. So you can come out of your MacBook Pro or iMac and go directly into a video monitor, or recording unit, or any SDI device. This is a really good way to hook up a really good video monitor to any Thunderbolt equipped Mac. And it’s only $250.

The AJA io XT connects to your Mac with a single Thunderbolt cable and is basically a Kona 3 card outside of the computer. It provides a second Thunderbolt connector for daisy-chaining other devices.

To the right are the connections on the back.

4 SDI spigots in and 4 SDI spigots out and also a Thunderbolt connection.

10   Sony NEX-FS700

theme.003  the post dslr era in cameras

We have officially entered the post DSLR era in cameras and the second wave of Digital Cinema cameras has hit.

theme.004  smaller faster better cheaper

This is how one could summarize the all encompassing theme for this year’s NAB as products continue to get smaller, faster, better and cheaper. What follows are just a few examples of that theme.

This new, smaller Teranex unit introduced by Blackmagic will do much more than the original Xantus and they have brought the price down to $4,000.

The camera has a large sensor, a built-in touch screen LCD monitor and a Thunderbolt connection. It has a built-in solid state memory recorder.

A company called Red is of course the pioneer here. Red is finally shipping the less expensive version of their Epic camera called Scarlet. Scarlet truly represents the next generation of DSLR.

This is not the Scarlet shown here. Unfortunately Red did not have any Scarlets that I could find at their booth. This is a shot of the more expensive Red Epic, which they had a lot of. Most of the cameras were displayed under glass.

It’s always interesting to see the Red booth from afar. The booth, without fail, is intimidating and upon entering I never want to stay there very long.

As opposed to the friendly Sony booth. Sony has become user friendly and accessible. Well, a lot more accessible than they used to be.

Big news for Sony is the announcement of the Sony FS700. The FS100 was introduced at last year’s NAB. The FS700 is the second generation of this camera. Unusual for Sony to come out with the second version of a camera only one year after the first version was introduced. Definitely a sign that they are becoming a more facile company.

The FS700 is a small camera with a large sensor that has a great looking picture with shallow depth of field and the kind of sensitivity in low light that you get with a large sensor.

What is most impressive about this camera is that it will do incredible slow motion. The camera will shoot an amazing 240 frames per second in full HD. If you have something you need to shoot in super slow motion rental of this camera may be in your future.

To the left is the new Canon C300 camera. It is shown here in digital cinema mode with one of the new Canon cinema lenses. The camera itself, without the lens, has the form factor of a small film camera. Small and light weight. The camera costs $16,000. The new Canon cinema lens shown here goes for $42,000. So the lens is almost 3 times the price of the camera. Welcome to the world of digital cinema.

These recorders are designed to mount onto a camera. They combine a recording unit with a video monitor. To the right you see the Ninja 2 attached to a new Sony FS700.

The Samurai and Ninja were introduced last year. The Ninja has an HDMI connection. The more expensive Samurai connects via HD-SDI. The Ninja 2 has been re-designed and upgraded with new software and a retina-display like the Apple iPad.

1  Adobe Creative Suite 6


The GoPro company has grown yearly. Their large booth featured a race car and the helmet clad Mr. GoPro man right in the middle.

Pictured to the left is the HD Hero 2, the newest version of the tiny, go everywhere camera.

To the right is the new wi-fi BacPac which attaches to the back of the camera and allows you to see the shot and control the camera from an iPad via wi-fi. The black remote control to the right allows you to set off multiple GoPros simultaneously.

This is what you will need to do when you use the rig to the right--50 plus GoPros lined up on a roof rack. Get all these firing at the same time and you have a really good poor man’s version of that effect in The Matrix where the camera pans around the action hero frozen in time.