April 14, 2011

NAB 2011 Show Report

While the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas every year isn’t aimed at photographers, there are all sorts of booths with gear and technology that can benefit photographers.

Show organizers reported a total attendance of 92,708, up from last year’s 88,044. International attendees, representing 151 countries, accounted for 25,691 registrations up from 23,900 last year.

More and more photographers are getting into shooting video on their HDSLRs or on traditional camcorders. To that end, there are plenty of toys here at NAB to attract your attention and it might explain the broader base of attendee interest. There are tripod, LED lights, fluid head, special lenses and a plethora of camera mounting devices for use on dollies and sliders.

Some of the biggest news to come out of the NAB show in my opinion was the announcement that Apple was releasing Final Cut Pro 10 in June for $299 and that Adobe was releasing CS5.5.

This may not on its face interest some of you but you may want to pay attention. FCP will be of value to those who are shooting DSLR video, as will Adobe CS5.5. Moreover, the new Adobe release contains some great tools in the new After Effects 5.5 that panoramic photographers and time lapse shooters should know about.

You can stabilize your footage in After Effects now and get Hollywood caliber results, even if you know nothing about special effects. This will help panoramic and HDSLR video shooters. Then, if you are a time lapse shooter, the tools in After Effects will help you make much better movies from your still frames.

I’ll have more on both of these once they ship.

I also got to see some gear during special previews I can’t talk about yet, but I can give you some ideas. The list includes a lens capable of 3D type performance using only one lens and not requiring glasses to see the effect. I also saw an HDSLR with true professional audio built in. There were a few more goodies so secret I can’t even describe them, but they are all coming and soon enough you’ll hear about it. Suffice it to say that the innovators are still innovating!

The conference classes were well attended. I taught two pre-con days and three conference days. Two of my sessions were standing room only. One was sparsely attended (it was the early morning after the biggest NAB party after all) and two were about half full. This shows that the post-production / HDSLR stuff is gaining steam since in past years most of the crowds were sparse.

The show floor seemed crowded and I bumped into many photographers who were looking at lighting, sound for video and rigs to support HDSLR cameras.

The two worlds of video and still continue to merge. NAB2011 was proof of that for me.

It will be interesting to see all the products from this show actually hit the market.

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