NAB 2012 – Part 2

So I have had a bit more time to get browse the show, and while I haven’t come across anything that totally amazed me, there are a variety of little things that have caught my attention.  GoPro’s Hero2 now shoots 24p, and has some advanced color profile options, both of which will make it much more suitable for my company to potentially use.  But I think we are pretty satisfied with Canon DSLRs as our lightweight cameras for now.

Sony is showing the new NEX-FS700, which has options for shooting high speed or high resolution.  It can record up to 240fps at 1080p, and up to 960fps at lower resolutions.  The camera only records 1080p internally, but it has a 4K capable APS-C sized sensor.  This data will be accessible as 4K RAW over the 3G-SDI output, for external recording.  The interesting catch is that this camera is in Sony’s NXCam line, recording to the AVCHD format.

HP announced the long-awaited next generation to their line of professional workstations last month, and those systems are showing up in a variety of booths, now that they have started shipping.  With Intel’s new 8-Core Xeons, combined with Hyperthreading, you can process 32 threads on a total of 16 cores on the highest end Z820 systems.  There are four memory channels per socket, for a total of eight, meaning we will return to systems having 16/32/64GB of RAM instead of 12/24/48GBs.  The included support for PCIe 3.0, USB3, and SATA/600 will be very helpful, and free up slots for other uses.  The big thing missing, that I was expecting to see, is the Thunderbolt interface, which is absent.  The number of new products being released that utilize that technology has me convinced that it must be coming to PC soon, but I haven’t heard much about it.

I am looking forward to the next generation of NVidia Quadro cards to go with these workstations, but they are probably a ways off, since the GeForce 680s are barely available.  Support for the new GPU-Direct technology is mentioned in a few booths, but no one really seems to understand what it is going to do for the end user.

Red is showing a prototype of their 4K laser projector.  While impressive on paper, at 120FPS 4K on a 15′ screen for $10K, the version they are showing was only 2K, and didn’t really stand out or differentiate itself from others.  The final 4K version could be one of the most affordable full resolution 4K viewing solutions available, but it’s not there yet.  Full resolution monitoring is currently the missing link in the 4K workflow, and I anticipate there will be a variety of more affordable options available by next year.

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