While there was no doubt that we saw some memorable displays at Cine Gear Expo 2019, like this Game of Thrones spoof from Kingston, we didn’t see a lot of new products.
As I sit writing this blog post, I’ve been reflecting on this year’s Cine Gear Expo 2019 show and what I saw and experienced.
Now, I’ve been involved in production for long enough and have attended quite a few NAB shows. But I began going to Cine Gear about four years ago, mainly because it is such an easier show for me to attend. Paramount Studios in Hollywood is only about an hour from my home. That’s easier than hopping on a plane or driving six hours to get to Las Vegas for NAB. Granted, NAB is a huge show, but there are downsides to attending the largest broadcast show in the world.
The Upside: The Size and Focus of a Trade Show Matter
The first is the physical size. NAB is spread out all over the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as several other adjacent buildings. It seems to go on for miles, and it’s exhausting. In Las Vegas, it can take an hour just to figure out where a specific exhibit is located and to walk there. Also, NAB, if you haven’t attended, is focused loosely on “broadcast”, but in reality, as you walk the halls at NAB, you see dozens and even hundreds of booths and exhibits, talking about and showing equipment that if you aren’t a TV engineer, you will have no idea what it is or what it does.
I’m not knocking NAB. It’s an amazing experience to go and everyone should attend at least a few times in their life. But after attending a few NABs, it loses its luster.
Conversely, Cine Gear Expo 2019 is neatly contained, just within the Paramount Studios lot, making getting around to see different exhibits simple and easy. Cine Gear is a more manageable show, and it feels like I actually end up seeing and experiencing more at Cine Gear, whereas in Las Vegas, it feels as if I spend a good portion of each day just walking between halls and exhibits. The other great thing about Cine Gear is the focus, which is sharply directed toward production of episodic TV and feature films. And that’s it!
The Downside: Was There Enough New Gear?
I saw a lot of products at this show. However, aside from the Panasonic S1H mirrorless camera, which is an amazingly equipped 6K mirrorless/digital cinema hybrid that will sell for a very reasonable price, as well as the Fujinon Premista lenses and the Atomos Neon Monitors/Recorders, much of what was displayed at Cine Gear Expo 2019 was either the same or slightly revised products that I saw on display at Cine Gear 2018, last year. (I’ll be posting a blog on the three new products that caught my eye shortly.)
It’s a telling sign that the TV-and-cinema production space seems as if it may be finally reaching a spot where frantic growth and innovation are no longer the rules of the day. We may be working with a paradigm like we have had several times over the past few decades in production where we don’t see brand new camera models every 4-6 months or new versions of editing software and lighting every 2-3 months.
The image quality of current cameras is so capable and has evolved so many times that we may be seeing just the beginning of a new paradigm where manufacturers promote and sell models longer than they used to.
And that’s good for business. I, for one, welcome buying a pro-level production tool and having it stay current for a year or two.
What Did You Think of Cine Gear Expo 2019?
How about you? Do we need a constant stream of new products to tell visual stories? Or, if you were there, what did you think of the Cine Gear Expo 2019 show? Post or send us your comments and let us know what you think?
And be sure to come back and visit our HDVideoPro blog for our continuing coverage of Cine Gear Expo 2019.