Trade show delegates eagerly await new products from the likes of Sony and Panasonic

Key industry figures have predicted that the influence of Arri’s Amira, which was unveiled at IBC in September 2013, will continue to be felt at next month’s NAB trade show.

Here they reveal what else they think will be creating a buzz, and which rumoured new products they hope will be on show.

Sam Arlow
Area sales manager, Fineline Media Finance

There are whispers that Sony may have something new, possibly a shoulder-mounted F5. Although the F5 is extremely popular, a more streamlined, shoulder-ready version would help its popularity grow as it negates the need for bolt-on rigs.

It would also be a direct competitor to the Arri Amira, which has already attracted phenomenal orders this year. There is a lot of hype and secrecy around the Blackmagic Design dealer event, which would suggest it has something worth seeing. And we’re looking forward to getting a closeup view of the new Panasonic Varicam, which has created quite a buzz since its launch.

Jamie Allan
Solutions & business development, Jigsaw24

I’m looking forward to developments on the Avid Everywhere platform that will shape the way the company does business for the foreseeable future. Secondscreen and multiplatform is gathering momentum outside of the larger broadcasters, so I expect there to be a lot of interest around asset management systems.

I will be checking out Levels Beyond’s Reach Engine, which made huge advancements last year and is a very scalable asset management system. 4K is becoming more of a reality and editing and finishing systems are now catching up with the need to work natively at that resolution, so there is likely to be a lot of hardware and software with features that accommodate native resolution.

Danny Dawson
General manager, Alias Hire

I will make a beeline straight for the Canon stand to look at glass. Rumours are flying around that Canon is releasing something similar to Fujinon’s Cabrios. If it is, I would expect the Canon lenses to be cheaper or faster, and possibly even offer a wider range of focal lengths. We love the Cabrios and think lenses of that type are the future for a range of productions.

Panasonic might have finally cracked the popular market with the launch of the AJ-PX270.

This unit has some wonderful features, including micro P2 cards, with the exception of its small sensor. We also like the look of the Panasonic GH4 DSLR. With 4K recording, I’m sure even the most pessimistic of delegates will want a look.

Ian Jackson
Client contact and DoP, VMI

4K will generate the most heat at NAB. All eyes will be on Arri, which has had little to say about its 4K plans so far – other than stating that there’s more to a creative image than resolution. Everyone from hire companies to DoPs and directors is excited about the Amira and we believe Arri’s NAB announcements are going to influence the decision-making of a lot of other manufacturers.

One camera that will be exciting a certain sector is Panasonic’s GH4. It takes amazing images and comes with BNC connectors, time code in and out and XLR audio, for less than $4,000 (£2,420) with the docking kit. However, the micro 4/3 sensor could challenge some potential users.

Paul Clennell
Chief technology officer, Dock10

Remote production is a big theme for us as we continue to expand our deployment of Avid Sphere and Avid Central. We’ll be exploring various solutions for our field-based clients to deliver content back to Dock10, endeavouring to overcome the challenges presented by limited connectivity.

We’ll be reviewing a variety of real-time streaming products to support the secure distribution of our studio feeds to production teams across the campus network and further afield.

John Brennan
Chief executive, Procam Group

Sony, Canon and Panasonic have all hinted that they will bring out new cameras in 2014, so it will be interesting to see if one or all will use NAB as the platform to make announcements. There is still a lot of buzz around the Arri Amira and we expect other manufacturers to bring out new solutions to compete with it.

With the increasing demand for content to have a cinematic look, 35mm lenses will be on our watch list as we are always looking for ways to give our clients the specialist advice and kit they need.

We’ll also keep a close eye on what new manufacturers such as Leica and Tokina are bringing to the market to help create this kind of content.

Davide Maglio
Director, Loft London

I see 2K to 4K GPU-based upscaling solutions as a large growth area due to the 4K demands that will start appearing this year, as well as the cost difference of 4K vs 2K scanning. I’ll also be looking for file-based standards conversion, as Cinnafilm and Alchemist OD are the only real players here and there is no really great solution in existence.

Norman Merry

Finance director, LipSync

With a busy year ahead at LipSync, we will be looking at a variety of post-production systems and infrastructure tools. At Autodesk the Smoke Advanced and Flame systems are of interest, and we’ll also be going to Avid and AMS to look at their sound mixing consoles.

As our VFX department continues to grow, we’re also looking at VFX camera tracking systems. And with file sizes on the increase things like asset management software, servers and render farms are on our list. Finally we are also interested in encoding systems for UK broadcast delivery requirements.