TOMS NAB 2018 REVIEW
As the curtain falls on another NAB in Las Vegas, Rental houses worldwide can breathe a collected sigh of relief. We don’t need to spend much money!
NAB will always be invaluable for networking with current and potential customers but the major manufacturers seem to be bucking the trend of launching their latest products at the show. With the Monstro, Venice and LF all announced before as well as the launch of many large format lenses at last years show it meant there was nothing major to digest immediately.
This meant we could meet with our customers to discuss the current mood regarding everything large format and discuss how we think the market will adopt it. The Interest thus far has been underwhelming, mainly down to Arri’s lazy decision to house the LF in a familiar body. It seems there must have been a warehouse full of SXT chassis in Germany somewhere. I think had the ‘new sensor’ been housed in a different shape body, a different material or even a different colour it would have given the industry something to get excited about, but it seems like we are being sold a rehashed SXT for 30% more money! However, we could be wrong, we weren’t overly impressed with the Mini when it first arrived and considered cutting our order from 20 down to 10…. and now we have the most in the world! So I guess if our customers demand them we will buy them in bulk.
RED announced their latest sensor ‘Gemini’ which has a 5K dual sensitivity ISO a few weeks before the show but we saw it for the first time in RED’s meeting rooms. I think it’s very impressive. But housing it an EPIC-W body and making it low cost could work against it. The Monstro is an incredible sensor but the Gemini could actually be more of what the Arri loving DP’s could warm too, at ‘only 5K’ RED classify it as low end but 5K is more than what the LF offers and is more than enough for most, it’s the Gemini’s low light ability that makes me think it could be a dark horse. RED has never really been able to go beyond 1600 ISO and that’s where Gemini just gets going. Incredibly clean.
Outside of the major manufacturers it’s the same same same, the halls are filled with multiple batteries, wireless video devices, tripods, bags, and filter companies. Some are more impressive than others and some are certainly cheaper than others! As a major rental house though we are somewhat restricted to what we can purchase, whilst something may impress us at a cheaper price our industry is extremely brand driven. We have to have the elite brands as our clients expect the best and will only entertain certain high end companies. These smaller companies are extremely important to the industry though as they keep their keep the larger companies on their toes and force them to keep innovating. Or in Vitec’s case…. just buy them.
Socially it was a fantastic show as always, with some great client dinners and of course CVP’s pool party going down in NAB history! Next up is Cinegear in June, as usual we will be there to keep you updated on the state of the industry and our latest purchases.
Toms’s Top 5 from NAB 18:
RED Gemini Sensor
Arri Signature Primes
Atlas Lens Co Anamorphics
BMD new pocket cinema camera 4K
Steadicam AIR Monopod