View Full Version : NAB Impressions

04-15-2008, 10:16 AM
OK, I think we can start to voice our impressions at this point.

For me it was a bit disappointing as far as Panasonic products goes.
The HPX 170 seems OK, basically the 200A w/o a tape drive. Cool, it certainly makes sense, I now own a HVX for over 18 months and never used a tape. Most people I work with did the same.
Some improvements were long due, but I would say they didn't covered 15% of what most of us expected.
The new VariCams look great, but they're a bit out of my my $ league.

For the first time in 3 years I left with the impression of a Sony come back.
The EX-3 seems very impressive and no matter what the Pana reps say the 1/2 inch ccd is a great compromise between dof, cost and portability. I know, the long GOP and rolling shutter are killers but overall I hear more and more people very happy with their EX-1s.
Many told me they saw a lot of EX-1 throughout the floors and much more movement on the Sony booth than in any other (including) RED.

RED created another extremely awkward piece of hardware, which (apparently) will produce the images of our dreams for the cost of a weekend in Tijuana.
The Scarlet is weird. Looks like those Canon/shirtpocket cameras on riods.
The 5K thing at this point sounds like trying to driving a Ferrari on your leaving room.
And please, would someone at RED start designing real camera instead of laser guns for 12 years old!

Just to start, MHO.

aw grasshopper
04-15-2008, 10:00 PM
I was surprised to see all the action at the RED tent. I peeked through some openings in the tent and was glad that product held no interest for me. Most of the time there was a big line to get in. For the money they wanted for the camera, I could make some good real estate investments especially in Vegas!

I have been a Sony Vegas baby for quite some time so I found myself hanging out in that booth learning some new tips and tricks. I enjoyed the Vegas party and it was fun to rub elbows with Douglas Spotted Eagle (DSE) and Jeffrey Fischer again (both from VASST). I walked my tail off and saw a lot of fun stuff. Surprisingly I left after two days and only $50 lighter for some animation software!

Hope everyone else enjoyed the show.


04-15-2008, 11:39 PM
I was just a hair disappointed in Panasonic's showing this year (just from a news standpoint, since I didn't attend the show itself).

The HVX200a and 170 are small little upgrades or alterations in my mind. I don't mean to belittle a lighter camera or better sensitivity, but neither of these cameras seem to deliver a much better experience than what's been available for 2 years with the original HVX.

I was more excited about the Varicam models (2700 in particular), but they are very expensive (I hear $40K for the 2700, and $60K for the 3700), and out of my price range for a personal camera.

Sony, on the other hand, offered the EX-3, which is something I can afford, and which does seem appreciably better than what's been available for the last couple of years--ie, 1/2" chips, semi-shoulder mount, and interchangeable lenses, for around $10K street price.

I guess I'm wishing that Panasonic had an update for the HPX500 to a true HD native sensor, or something like that. That would have been exciting, but you can't expect every year to bring a refreshed product. I'm sure Panasonic is cooking up something really exciting in its labs, but the timing just isn't right for NAB 2008.

04-16-2008, 12:28 AM
Guess I'll be the contrarian view point here.

I was VERY impressed with Panasonic's offerings.

The 170 met most if not all of people's wishes for a HVX200 upgrade:

1. 6-pin firewire
2. HD-SDI on a bnc out
3. LCD that flips the image for 35mm adapters
4. New imaging block with less noise in the blacks
5. BUILT-IN waveform vector on the LCD
6. TWO different methods of focusing assist, including one taken from the hpx500
7. Same, if not lower price as the HVX
8. Smaller footprint

Whats not to like? If I didn't already have 2 HVX's, I would DEFINITELY be interested in snapping one of those bad boys up.

Personally, I'm right now deciding on upgrading to the recently radically reduced HPX-500 and the AG-HPX2700 P2 varicam.

The images from the (now old) HPX-3000 from Africa (which, btw was transfered to 35mm for for theatrical release) were stunning.

And as far as the RED Scarlet, delivering a 3K camera for $3,000.00 is unbelievable.

I love the form factor. You basically can look like a tourist, and be capturing 3k images.

All of these people calling for a removable lens on that particular model aren't thinking things through...

Jarek Zabczynski
04-16-2008, 12:28 AM
RED cameras looks awesome...they are made to be functional, not to look like a Sony/Panna Clone.

Oh and I like lasers...:violent5:

04-16-2008, 12:32 AM
I am feeling different than the previous posts. I think the HPX-170 will turn out to be better than people think. The list of improvements are not many, but worth while and directly from end users - something Panasonic is getting good at - listening to us. Heck, even the 200a is improved in the right areas and a new DVX (the 150). The Panasonic booth is upbeat and happy to be expanding cameras and features.

I think the EX-3 is priced out of range for people considering both cameras (for what it adds at a pretty increased price). The HPX-500, with rebates, is an extremely good deal and a great camera.

Scarlet came out exactly as I hoped. You now can get into the Red family and shoot 3k at HDV prices.

My 2 cents...

04-16-2008, 01:51 PM
My NAB 2008 -

Attendence was down. First year I could walk through the main halls dialing a number on my phone and not worry about hitting anyone. Side walkways were much more desolate. Production economy appears to be in a slight slump. Airline issues probably playing a factor in it as well.

This was probably my least impressed camera NAB all around - maybe because I'm not in the market anytime soon for a new cam. Nothing groundbreaking IMO. Sony, Panasonic and Canon (say what you will) are just really upgrading. Nothing extraordinary. I think it's typical though every few years to have a bit of a plateau in new developments though.

Scarlet in concept appears really, really cool for the price point. Nothing though in Red's both worth waiting 20+ minutes in line for though. We'll see how it is next year when they deliver this years prototypes.

EX1's, HVX200's, RED's and XH-A1s littered the booths as the majority of the camers on display in other booths.

Lots of new display panels cropping up though in competition with the bigger manufacters. That's interesting to see now.

My highlights for what they're worth (in no specific order of relevence)

The T-Slide dolly slide. Now I haven't seen the IndiSLIDEpro in action, only what I've heard about it on this forum. However this new T-Slide looks AWESOME - different extrusions for different camera / weight packages. Price point starts at around $600 for 48" - very, very smooth and stable.

Flolights 500watt LED light - Wow - in person, just so, so small and output was fantastic for size. They were also demoing a 1k light that was twice the size but still very small footprint.

Greenlayers.com - based out of OZ, these guys provide alpha-channeled stock footage, mostly talent from what I saw. Aquired in a nice studio on P2, prices range from $10 - $50 per clip (like most stock footage sites) but a great alternative to hiring talent for some shoots. Just comp the actors into your background plates. www.greenlayers.com

digieffects.com has some great new plug-ins for all the big guys -

Indiedolly - showing their new $475 tracking dolly which, if you've followed Helmut's progress over the years is a much improved version of the original dolly he started out with. As far as tracking dollys go, it's probably the most stable I've tried out. Plus like the Indiedolly, will work on pro track too.

Letus - WOW - The Ultimate is just that and the bokeh is stunning. You just have to see it in person. Quyen and Hien Le are the most down to earth guys you could ever meet. Amazingly funny too. We just sat and laughed and laughed during my visit. There were a number of Letus adapters set up throughout booths as well. Their presence was amazing and surely a sign of their place in the 35mm adapter playing field.

On the Letus note - they were in the Zacuto booth. Although I only own a set of zacuto rails (just rails) I was blown away at the quality of their products. I'm in no time ready to purchase a new rig but if I did, after seeing their stuff, I would highly consider mortgaging my house in which to do so ;) - very high quality.

I have to put in a plug for a long-time friend, Marilyn Richards and her stock music company, Downright Music. She had a booth for the first time but is very well known in LA as having some of the best music libraries you could find. If you've never heard of Downright Music, check 'em out. www.downrightmusic.com

Nebtek - Their new 7" HD lcd monitor is the bomb! - Like I said earlier, there were lots of competing display companies there this year, but none matched up to Nebteks 7" LCD - simply amazing and blows Marshall out of the water. Granted Panny / Sony / JVC are in the competition but not at this price point. Even on the EX1, which is touted right now as the best onboard LCD, the Nebtek was better. www.nebtek.com

So much more to say. I'll think about the other "highlights"


04-16-2008, 03:35 PM
Hey Chenopup--

Do you have a link to the Indiedolly thing you're referring to? I can't find it online.


04-16-2008, 04:36 PM
Isn't up on their site - new as of the show. He said about 2 months before they're shipping. Very cool and same big beefy IndieDolly wheels like on the rideable version. I wish I would have taken pictures.


04-19-2008, 03:54 PM
My NAB 2008 -
Nebtek - Their new 7" HD lcd monitor is the bomb! - Like I said earlier, there were lots of competing display companies there this year, but none matched up to Nebteks 7" LCD - simply amazing and blows Marshall out of the water. Granted Panny / Sony / JVC are in the competition but not at this price point. Even on the EX1, which is touted right now as the best onboard LCD, the Nebtek was better. www.nebtek.com

The only downside is the price. For $300 more (the Panasonic comes with a gold mount, you have to buy it seperate for the Nebtek for $155), you get the Panasonic BT-LH80W. It has the same resolution, built-in waveform, focus in red and pixel-for-pixel mapping. And I expect it to be of a even higher quality then the Nebtek. But good to hear that the new Nebtek is better then the Marshall monitors. Choice is always good.

Are we talking about this one:

Thanks for your feedback.

Rob DuBree
04-25-2008, 05:18 PM
Hi Florisvaneck,

I'm sorry I was off the boards for so long, but the new HD monitor has kept me extremely busy for the past couple of months. I thought I'd jump in really quickly to point out that our HDSDI unit is the one that is $300 dollars less than the BT-LH80W. In order to get the SDI card for the Panny you have to spend another $800, or you could stick with our HDA unit for $800 less than the Pansonic.

Here are the differences between our monitor and the BT-LH80W:

NEBTEK has...
Matching self-terminating outputs for all inputs when you need to loop out to another source.

4 Axis Image Flip to correct the image for lens adapters.

Focus Assist in White... easier to see in low light conditions which is when you will need the function the most.

Powerable by your camera's Lithium-ion batteries so you won't need to spend a lot more on additional batteries and chargers only to power your monitor. We also have mounting holes for IDX, Anton Bauer or PAG if you prefer.

Ours only weighs 2.8 lbs.

At 600 NIT the monitor is easily viewable outdoors.

Panasonic has...
A waveform monitor and vectorscope... NEBTEK does not.

I have been swamped since well before NAB and unable to check the boards as frequently as usual, but I am always available to answer any questions at anytime. Please feel free to e-mail me at rob@nebtek.com and I will respond as soon as possible. Right now we are in a transitional phase with our HD monitors, and I am trying my best to stay on top of everything.

Sometimes I think my life was easier when I was still in the field... sigh*

Have to run now... it's back to the basement to bathe the gimp:laugh:

04-26-2008, 08:26 PM
I found NAB to be VERY interesting.

Most years my work schedule does not allow me to go to NAB, so this was one of the few times I could go.

At the Panasonic Booth, the 150 and 170 were like brother/sister products; very close in outside looks. The feel of the camera in my hand told me that I could hold this for hours without any real effort. The lighting in the booth wasn't great, but the improved CCDs seemed to work OK and far as low light and image noise.

I was able to interview Barry Green, David Newman (CINEFORM), and Jan from Panasonic for my Podcasts. You can find the link to the Podcasts in in bottom of this message.

The Samson H2 Portable hand held recorder turned out to be great for my Podcasts and only costs $199. Saw it at NAB, got one yesterday. I might even use it as a back-up to a wireless mike.

The Lite Panels Mini light looked very interesting.

The Zero Gravity Tripod from Varizoom looked interesting; put the center of gravity at the point of rotation. WHY wasn't this done years ago???

Ultra High Definition TV, 7680h x 4320v (16x HDTV Pixels) was an interesting demo. Also, the HARP tube was able to pull in low light images that CCDs couldn't even touch. (NHK Technology Demos).

Fluke had false color IR cameras. OK, I don't need an IR camera, but it was fun to play with it...

The RED Booth was insane, with too many people to even see much, but the playback of the Red One "Films" was worth the wait; great looking images.

... and last but not the least, I got to hear and briefly meet, "SurvivorMan".

So for me, NAB was well worth the trip.

Bob Diaz

04-28-2008, 07:05 PM
Hi Rob,

I can't find any online info about the Zero Gravity Tripod yet. I was in Vegas but missed the product.

Is it kind of like a nodal head? eg: http://cartoni.com/eng/lambda.html
How does it differ? If it doesn't still, I'm sure it won't be $15K like Cartoni's

04-29-2008, 10:15 AM
Here's a look at the unit:



As I recall the whole thing with the legs is around $1,100 or $1,200, I can't recall exactly. It may not be on their WEB Pages yet, because it isn't out yet. I did have a brief comment on the unit on my audio Podcast: NAB-Ten Things


Best Wishes,

Bob Diaz

04-29-2008, 11:12 AM
Thanks, looks like a regular nodal point head but at a (much) more affordable price point!

05-02-2008, 10:18 AM
Thanks, looks like a regular nodal point head but at a (much) more affordable price point!
Here's a link to the Zero Gravity Head on the Varizoom site. Looks kind of cool.