Warning: This won't be a typical best-of-NAB rundown. For me it's not just about the gear, it's broader than that. It's MY best-of-NAB rundown.
Number 1: Companionship
Having my wife there for the first four days was my favorite part of the entire NAB experience. I fly in early to set up the Reflecmedia booth on the Friday before NAB. It only takes a few hours, and then I basically don't have much to do until Monday when the show starts. So this year, I bought my wife a ticket so she could join me for the weekend. I have to say it was a fantastic way to go into NAB! We have five young children, so finding time to be together, alone, is challenging––but this last weekend we actually had multiple conversations... one that went on for nearly two hours. Amazing! Absolutely the best part about my NAB week :) So good to have her around and she really enjoyed being a part of my work.
Number 2: Food
A Facebook friend recommended a terrific vegan restaurant called VegeNation, and my wife and I ate there 3 times before she flew home Monday morning. Anyone in their right tastebuds, vegan or not, would love this food! I'm a little bummed that it's going to be a year before I can go back. The cauliflower 'buffalo wings' are SOOOO good. 8D
Number 3: litra
There's only one thing I bought off the NAB show floor, and it was the litra Torch. This little LED light is so darn useful! It's mini sized, but can put out some serious light, with three levels of brightness, plus a strobe. It was designed to be a companion to the GoPro action camera, but with it's two 1/4"-20 mounts and built-in super magnet, it's easy to put this light anywhere, for any purpose. In fact, I liked the litra Torch so much, you can now buy it at the DVEstore!
Number 4: Panasonic GH5.
I had opportunity to lay my grubby paws on a GH5 (I'm a long time GH series shooter) and it was a beautiful thing. It's definitely a bit chunkier than it's predecessors, but the in-body stabilization, paired with the OIS, is effective. And I found the autofocus to be quite usable, even at 24p. I'm drooling over the 12-60mm Leica lens as well. I texted the following picture to my wife;
Number 5: LED's
This may seem like a small thing, but I finally found what looks to be a worthy LED replacement for the biax fluorescent tubes in my KinoFlo Divas. I've been keeping my eye out for the last few years, for this mythical beast. The Ushio Chromax boasts the following specs; 75% brighter, 95+ CRI, better dimming range, no warmup, tungsten and daylight models. I'm excited that I'll be able to breath some new life into my Kino's and bring them into the modern age. Woohoo! This biax replacement should be up on the Zylight website sometime in May.
Number 6: Atomos
I've been an Atomos user and fan since the Ninja Assassin, pairing it with great success to my Panasonic GH4, then later moving to the Ninja Flame. The new Ninja Inferno, promises to be an excellent companion to the new GH5, offering 4K 60P recording, and of course, a big, bright, beautiful screen.
The Atomos Sumo also needs to be mentioned here. I'm pumped about the quad HD live switching that will be built-in to this 19" HDR monitor. It looks to be equally at home in the field and in the edit suite. Good stuff!
Number 7: Fiilex
Say what you will about the funny name, these folks design their own LED's and their light quality is second to none. As cool as the new P360 Pro and Pro Plus models are, I'm actually really excited about the new clamping V-mount battery plate! Perfect for mounting a battery to a light stand or tripod leg. A much needed accessory!
Number 8: The Weather
I have to include this! It was a nice, sunny, walk-around-in-a-tshirt kind of weather for the whole week. I think it got up to 85 degrees, but it sure didn't feel that warm. I took every opportunity to soak up some much needed vitamin D. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've had an extremely gray, wet and dismal winter with something like 50 inches of rain! The Nevada sunshine was just what I needed. (Just don't ask me to go back in August!)
Number 9: SKB
I stopped by the SKB booth, because I'm always on the lookout for cool and useful flypack racks. The new 1SKB-iSF2U Studio Flyer caught my eye. This looks perfect for smaller live events using a laptop and an ATEM switcher. I love the wheels and pull out handle!
Number 10: Reflecmedia
This compelling chroma key tech was developed by the BBC in the early 2000's, but it's mind boggling that so many still haven't seen it. I had the opportunity to work in the Reflecmedia booth this NAB and enjoyed blowing people's minds by having them look through the Lite Ring at the Chromatte background. It's akin to the scene in The Wizard of Oz where everything is monochromatic, but then Dorothy opens the door to Oz to see a brilliant world of color. I love seeing people's reactions! Every year we get people telling us that it's the coolest thing they've seen at NAB.
Number 11 (surprise!): People
I must say I really enjoyed meeting up with the people behind the products. I like being able to tell them what I really like about the gear and what I would like to see improved or changed. They seem to appreciate being able to hear about what my customers want. I'm looking forward to doing it all again in 2018!
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