Top Things To See At NAB 2017

NAB 2017
Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 Lens

This week we head to Las Vegas for the annual NAB tradeshow, a global gathering of the latest and greatest products in the motion and broadcast space. HDVideoPro will be on hand blogging live from the show floor during the Expo, talking about the latest trends in technology and workflow.

You can follow our NAB coverage right here in the HDVideo Pro Blog, which is already chockful of great NAB announcements. From cameras, to lighting, to support, to audio—everything seems to be getting an update this year.

This year we’ve seen more announcements of new product introductions than ever before, and we’re looking forward to checking out the range of new products on display. Here is a list of some of the new announcements that are generating the most buzz.

Sigma Cine Lens Additions

When Sigma started to release the ART series of lenses, photographers began to rave about the high-quality images produced with this new line of high-end optics. In our sister publication Digtal Photo Pro, we reviewed the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art lens and found it to be one of the sharpest around. Sigma took these lenses and adapted them for high-end cine work (and changed from f-stops to T-stops in the process).

NAB 2017

Sigma’s cine offerings will increase at NAB with the introduction of the 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF lenses, bringing the total number of lenses to seven, and spanning the range from 14mm to 135mm. All of the lenses will be available in PL, Canon EF and Sony E-mount, and they all offer 180º focus rotation.

The lenses are available in metric or imperial (foot) measurements and come with standard or luminous paint.

The company is also offering a mount conversion service, enabling Sigma cine shooters to convert lenses to and from EF and E mounts.

Available in PL, Canon EF and Sony E-mount, the lenses are optimized to work with full-frame-sensor cameras and higher-resolution shooting up to 8K. The cinema lenses are based on the outstanding optical quality of Sigma’s 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art still lenses announced earlier this year.

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Sigma will be at booth C11525

Manfrotto Nitrotech Video Head

Manfrotto Nitro Tech

We’ve long used Manfrotto tripods in our production work—the BeFree Live, which we reviewed here, is one of our favorite for on-the-go video work with midsized SLR or mirrorless systems (and even some dedicated cine cameras).

Manfrotto’s new Nitrotech Video Head adds features to the company’s already-popular video head offerings. The new head uses a piston system (we presume filled with nitrogen, based on the name) that automatically creates counterbalance during use.

The Nitrotech N8 Video Head can hold camera loads up to a beefy 17.6 lbs and variable fluidity for both the pan and the tilt axis providing butter-smooth movement. As an added handy feature, the tripod has a 3/8” Easy Link for the mounting of an extrenal monitor or recording device.

With a 3/8” thread the tripod can be used on tripod, sliders, rigs and more. This is a tripod head we’re really looking forward to putting through its paces.

Manfrotto will be at booth C6025, along with the Vitec Group.

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Sony a9

Sony a9

This week we joined a select group of journalists for a hands-on first look at Sony’s new a9 camera, and were incredibly impressed by its high-speed capture and silent shutter. The AF in the a9 blows away anything Sony has done before. Our initial video review of the camera is on our YouTube channel. The company will be hosting a press conference Sunday, the 23rd, where we’re likely to see some new gear.

We’re expecting to see the a9, along with any possible NAB new products not yet announced, at the show. For photographers working in the video space, the a9 is a solid choice, offering the same high-quality 4K capture with no pixel binning as the a7-series camera, and the same 10-bit HDMI output to external recorders.

Sony will be on hand at booth C11001.

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ARRI Alexa

Ahead of NAB, ARRI announced an upgrade to their ALEXA SXT platform, which adds a built-in video transmitter, and a WiFi radio, calling the new model (based on the SXT Plus), the SXT W. This model will replace the SXT Studio models as well. Existing ARRI users can take advantage of the company’s popular upgrade program.

With the transmitter built into the ALEXA SXT W, the system is overall smaller and lighter than it would be if shooters added accessory transmitter models, and naturally having no cables to deal with allows for fast setup and easy movement of cameras on-set and on-location.

The WiFi radio system allows the units, when combined with the ALEXA Web Remote, to perform wireless color management, and the company has announced that they are working on multiple other WiFi-based options.

The new system works seamlessly with the existing external gear, which is part of the ARRI Wireless Video Systems toolset, including the stand-alone ALEXA Mini video receiver, the DMS-1 external director monitor and a special model Transvideo monitor.

ARRI will be at booth C7925.

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Zyilght Rayzr 7 Fresnel

Zylight Rayzr 7

Zylight has added to its impressive array of lighting solutions with the seven-inch LED Rayzr 7, a perfect solution for broadcast and studio locations, but also ideal for photographers looking to add the lighting look of a Fresnel lens in their shoots.

The Rayzr 7 comes in four models, 300 and 200, which are 300W and 200W, respectivel,y and are both daylight-balanced. The 350B comes in 150W tungsten or daylight-balanced, and the 200BM comes with 100W tungsten or daylight bi-color settings. The lights all offer spot and flood focus, DMX lighting control and options to connect to AC power or to batteries, and they offer around 50,000 hours of runtime.

Zylight will be at booth C7947.

Canon Compact Serve 70-200MM Telephoto and 5D Mark IV Log

Canon Compact Servo 70-200

Canon announced both a new lens, and new video functionality for their video offerings. For owners of the Canon DSLR series, the most interesting is the addition of a LOG format to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. A combination of a hardware and firmware upgrade, the new support will allow 5D Mark IV owners to capture in LOG for extended dynamic range and better color management.

The company also announced the new Compact-Servo 70-200mm Telephoto Lens, aka the CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS, and is targeting the new cine lens at cinematographers who are looking to have similar optical quality to the company’s larger lenses, but in a smaller lighter package. This lens should be perfect for location work, B-camera work and more. The built-in servo drive creates smooth focus pulling, and the built-in image stabilization, AF and iris functionality give it the features of lenses that would traditionally need to be bigger.

The camera can be combined with a ZSG-C10 accessory grip for “run-and-gun”-style shoots, and the grip connects with a 20-pin cable to enable lens control via the grip. The grip can control zoom, one-shot AF and, naturally, recording stop and starting. EOS C100 Mark II, EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C700 Cinema camera users can also control the zoom and iris from the grip.

Canon will be at several booths on the floor, C201LMR, C202LMR and C4325.

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Fujifilm Fujinon 4K-Studio Zoom and 4K Ultra HD Handheld Lenses

Fujinon 4K Lens

Fujifilm’s Optical Devices Division will be showing off the FUJINON 4K studio lens, the UA27x.5B, a lens in the company’s Premier UA series of 4K 2/3” lenses. Designed for broadcast of 4K footage, the US27x has edge-to-edge sharpness and Fujinon’s legendary quality. The lens has a focal length of 6.5mm to 180mm and a built-in focal length extender.

Fujifilm’s “optical simulation technology” was used to maintain the edge sharpness and reduce the chromatic aberration often found at the edges of lenses that weren’t intended for use in 4K application.

The lens has a 16-bit encoder for high-res output of data, including the focal position and the zoom setting of the lens, and it can be combined with CG applications for use in live action shoots. This lens is expected to ship in late June 2017.

The company will also show off two 4K-compatible Ultra HD handheld lenses, the UA14.5B and the UA18x5.5B, also part of the Premier UA series. Like the studio lens, these new handhelds offer edge-to-edge 4K quality for 2/3” portable 4K devices. The two new lenses join five other lenses in the series.

Fujifilm will be at booth C7225.

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

Panasonic GH5

We covered the announcement of the GH5 on our sister site Digital Photo Pro back at the Photokina trade show, but NAB will mark the official debut of the new camera, and the buzz around the camera has been tremendous.

The camera uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor with a 20.3MP resolution and has no low-pass filter. The GH5 is in a highly weather-sealed body, making it perfect for both A-camera and B-camera use in inclement weather. The camera captures 4:2:2 10-bit video in 5K 60p and uses the whole sensor. Multiple video modes include MP4, AVCHD, MOV, Cinelike D and Cinelike V. The camera also has a waveform monitor and a vectorscope built in, and the use of SMTPE timecode makes it easier to use the GH5 in exacting multi-camera setups.

An accessory grip and two-input XLR mixer will also be on display.

We’ve just received our GH5 to review, and will be testing it at NAB. Look forward to hands-on reviews and sample videos soon.

Panasonic’s various broadcast and camera divisions will be at C3607 and in the North Hall meeting rooms.

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 Yi Technologies YI 4K+ Action Camera

Yi 4K+ Video Action Cam

The 4K action camera market is heating up, and Yi Technology has announced a new contender in the space, the Yi Technology VR-Grade YI 4K+ Action Camera. ­The new device shoots Ultra HD 4K video at 60 fps, a first in the action-camera market.

The new camera has a 12-megapixel imaging sensor, a 2.19-inch “retina” touch-screen display, a processor that can handle 120 Mb/second and about 71 minutes of runtime. Also in the new action camera is an electronic image-stabilizing system, “quality outdoor audio” and a USB-C device with 40 MB/second transfer capability. The Yi camera can handle depths of up to 132 feet, and can operate as low as -22ºF (long after I would probably stop operating) and is shock- and dust-proof.

The 4K+ camera is compatible with the company’s existing Yi 4K accessories, which includes a waterproof housing and two gimbal models.

Yi Technologies will be at booth N1121VR.

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