Pics and comments from my visit to NAB today.. - Page 2 at

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Old April 20th, 2004, 11:50 PM   #16
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I will try to get the pics you guys asked for tomorrow or thursday. Videotaping inside is "by permit only"

but i intend to bring an XL1S tomorrow and shoot as much video as i can manage.. not only to sharwe with you

guys, but so i can review a lot of products later on tape and decide if they are worth the $$.


NAB Day 2.

I started my day off with one of the on-air "talent" from the company i work for. He wanted to see some of

the teleprompters first hand, so we hit a few of those booths.

teleprompt - 1
teleprompt - 2
teleprompt - 3
teleprompt - 4
teleprompt - 5

Random Crane / Jib pics..

Next, since the ZGC Booth was next door, we headed over there so i could show him the mini35. SUPRISE,

SUPRISE, The optex and cooke guys are at the ZGC booth.

Then we split for the south hall.

random pic while walking

Saw some interesting "pelican" type cases..


Some people headed to the south hall in front of us..

apple banner
south hall
south #2

digidesign's rack

HP Guys lecturing about thinking outside the box..

Art Beats (royalty free stock footage.. $150-700ish for each collection)

Saw some interesting "pelican" type cases again..



Random camera

Canon lenses

So, then in the canon booth.. didn't see the XL2 (since it doesnt exist hehe).. but did see an XL1 with..

you guessed it, a mini35. And this one even had a focusroller on it. Pulled some focus, had a nice chat

with the Canon lady there about the mini35.. turns out she was from ZGC and not canon!

Nice. Overall, the mini35 was delightful to use with an actual focus roller.. nice smooth background blur hehe. stuck the camera up to the viewfinder and tried to get a couple shots of me focussing on her hand.

guy after me using it
other xl1 with a goldmt
canon signage

Then off to B&H. Hopefully their quote is waiting in my work email box.

BH.. yay
tall monopod
rows of BH monitors


Now off to the Discreet for my Smoke test drive. 1hr of smoke goodness.


(I don't like when they put stuff behind glass, and i get the reflections of people walking by in it.. that one was especially hard to photo.. i tried 2-3 times after my demo too)
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Old April 20th, 2004, 11:52 PM   #17
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The smoke room had an outkast video edited/posted by MoneyShots (iirc) playing on the monitor. yay



I register, and sit at my work station. Interface looks just like combustion 2, in some ways.. dark gray,

and bleak/empty at first. you can see my workstation LCD in the foreground


overexposed so you can read the top banner.. i was testdriving smoke, obviously.

edge of room

I took a lot of pictures of my smoke session.. so i could later refer to them and categorize the various

things i experimented with, and write down my feelings about it. I was testing with the intention to buy

/something/ in that price range, and i wanted as much advantage to review info later as possible. However,

a lotof these pics are for "my own" use.. so i cut them out. Also, i don't know how much discreet wants me

showing tons ofpics about their session.. i'm sure they wouldnt care much (or they would have asked me to

stop using the camera).. but i think for now, most of these pics will be omitted.

Let me share a few thoughts, about the time i had with the smoke machine.

First off, smoke was, without a doubt, the most powerful, and dare i say, hands down, the BEST editing suite

i've ever had the luck to use. It kicked. I walked out of the discreet booth feeling like i just got laid for the first time. It was that good. There are three reasons I *LOVED* their machine.. in no particular order..

1: it's ability to guess exactly what you want it to do, thus taking out all the guess work. chromakeying

PERFECTLY in there is a matter of seconds.. VS. in Vegas4, might be a matter of never. i liked vegas4 a

lot.. for $499, it's a hell of a deal.. but i really see now how vegas is the "Honda Civic" and Smoke is the

"Porsche 911" .. I can only imagine what inferno, lustre, etc could do. The chroma keying was easy to do

because the source material was very well shot, but ALSO because it had some really nice key filters, for

instance the ability to view the chromakey matte and automatically add other color shades it disregarded. I

only use chromakey as an example.. there were 10 other "finishing" type effects we did that I found to be

years ahead of anything vegas will put out (not to knock vegas though.. $499 to $60k is a big jump)

2: it's speed.. i dunno the system specs, but it was an IBM intellistar station, with TONS of power. the

frame analyzing was easily 50-60x faster than my home system does combustion at.. and i use an AMD XP2k with

1024MB of PC2100 at home for most of my grunt rendering. The motion tracking system was better [more

accurate] than combustion, and easily 50x faster than my home machine does it.

3: robustness/ease of use. the display is VERY complex, but very easy to use once you know how to use it. it

is super robust and laid out very well. the fact that it could do ALLLLL sorts of compositing and post stuff

as WELL as full blown editing.. the color correction was FAR better than anything i've EVER used (although

not as good as other products i've SEEN that are $100k+ (i.e. lustre, quantumEQ) and devoted solely to color

correction.. but still, it was VERY VERY VERY good)


One quick screenshot.. of some source footage from a PAL 16:9 Holden commercial. That grass was BROWN

before i color corrected it (selectively).. and all this was accomplished realtime, in a matter of seconds.



Thomson.. grass.. what? VIPER TIME!


Here it is.. the holy grail. My dream camera. Fresh from using my dream NLE, i figured i could indulge

further and play with my dream cam. 9.2million pixels x 3ccd x 4:4:4 output. A salesman almost immediately

walked up, and started talking with me. We spoke about the output methods, datastorage, cost, etc. He was

really nice, said they were negotiable on pricing to a degree, and when my technical questions got too deep

for him, he handed me off to an engineer. I spoke with an engineer who was involved in buildingit, for a

while, and picked his brain about the storage methods.

For those who don't know, the filmstream viper can shoot 1920x5800 footage, at 4:4:4 10bit. Think i messed up that resolution? nope, the CCD's are STUPID tall, so you can pic any native aspect you want, and not "lose" resolution. I think it might be 5486, and not 5800.. whatever the height, it's big. Basically, shoot with this thing, and get true, uncompressed, SDI 10bit output, color correct it, post it, whatever, output to 35mm, and hello world. Size wise, it was on par with a smaller betacam, and their model was

equipped with a P+S pro35.. oddly they hadn't heard of the mini35,so i filled them in haha.

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Old April 20th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #18
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Back to the South lower area.


cisco had a booth, haha. i didn't see juniper's booth ;)


yay protools
yay sonic scenarist/producer
adobe plugins

I had seen this product on the net before, and thought it was just hype. In actuality, it works very well..

if you had the need for a totally portable key-studio, where you can switch keycolors on the fly (say if

your talent wore blue jeans by accident and you're on a tight deadline). The "Gray" background is cloth,

and has 70,000 glass beads woven into it per inch. they reflect intense light only STRAIGHT ON.. so when

you view it at any angle to the light.. you see gray. the "LIGHT" is an LED light ring they sell, which

mounts AROUND the lens of your camera. when you look through the center of the ring (or your camera) you

are at the perfect angle to see the glass bead reflections and you see the color reflected very intensely.

gray (angle)
monitor (showing it keyed out)
monitor 2

They let me mount the ring on my camera, and looking THROUGH the ring, this is what my camera saw.. SAME

EXACT gray curtain..

green girl!

Without her moving, i then aimed my camera at the monitor, and here is what my camera saw..

If you want to buy.. total package is around $2400 for a 7'x7' cloth and one ring.
their site

OMG MEDIA100 IS THE NEW FUTURE OF EDITING!!!! haha sorry, but i have met too many asshats who edit absolute

crap on media100.. so uh.. i took this pic. yes, i am full of anger haha ;P

media10000000 (zero's added to emphasis coolness)

Turns out mackie is from my home town, like 10 mins from where i grew up.. small world.


This guy seriously held his drink like that for 10 mins. how can that be comfortable?


Towards the end of my day, i had a chance to wander by the MK-V booth, and put on two of their steadycams.

I used one of their ~$30k units and one that totalled about $58-60k. This was the first time i'd every

operated a steadycam. Each person i would talk to there would ask "so you're a steadycam operator" and i

would reply, "No, i'm using rollerblades right now, and we're pretty tired of shooting that way." eventully

i just started saying no and leaving out the rollerblades part, because it was getting redundant. Firstoff,

they were super nice, and super helpful. Howard smith spent about 10-15 minutes teaching me the basics, and

in that timeframe, i was walking 50-100foot distances totally smoothly, and getting what i would consider a

"usable" steady shot. No tricky camera moves.. but i didn't drop the sucker either, and i was moderately

smooth for a total beginner. I learned very quickly the trick (for me) is to use almost no pressure with

the left hand.. just use it to direct (or rediect) the camera.. intentionally, or if it wants to drift.

Their systems, i am quite sure, are the Ferrari of steadycams.. all carbon fiber, very well sorted, and

incredibly smooth and easy to use (look at me.. i'm an idiot, and i could use it).

I have always had a ton of respect for steadycam stuff.. it looks so beautiful when done right, and now i

can barely begin to appreciate just how much work goes into honing one's craft to capture those beautiful


I talked to Howard's wife for a while, who is also very nice, and was an operator for 3yrs (howard, for

17yrs) before she became pregnant. Their gimbal bearings, as you can imagine, were BEYOND smooth.. you

could gently tap the gimbal when the cam was on the c-stand, and it would sway back and forth for at least

45 seconds before stopping. Everything that could be, was made of CF..


i wandered by the arri booth on my way out.. it was now nearing 6pm and past time to go home. no time for

lunch today, or time ot even stop and have a drink, all i did all day was run from booth the booth seeing

stuff, and in between take some picsif i had a chance. i got home hungry, and thirsty as hell, but it was

worth it.


here is that maxell display i was talking about yesterday..


okay, welp, i am off to bed.. gotta be up at 7am, to do it all over again. more pics tomorrow, and

hopefully some video on thursday (barring unforseen scheduling conflicts). i hope someone enjoys this.. it

took me at LEAST at hour to write all of this text/code and have photoshop batch process the pics.

Last pic.. me sitting on my roof tonight, just before i wrote this, in front of a beautiful las vegas


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Old April 21st, 2004, 12:26 AM   #19
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Adam, if you find yourself back in the South Upper, please come back by the Canon booth where I'm working. It would be great to meet you! Thanks a bunch for these reports,

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Old April 21st, 2004, 12:30 AM   #20
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Outstanding report, Adam!


My Final Cut Pro X blog
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Old April 21st, 2004, 12:39 AM   #21
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<< with the Canon lady there about the mini35.. turns out she was from ZGC and not canon! >>

She is none other than our own famous Christine B. from ZGC, she has her own fan club, she's just awesome. No other words to describe her. Christine rules.

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Old April 21st, 2004, 01:10 AM   #22
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Adam, i very much enjoyed your postings, thanks alot for doing them! goodstuff!

Im just curious. is it definit that canon wont be releasing a new dv cam at NAB? I mean, do companies ever pull something out of the hat on the last day and throw everyone for a loop? i guess i'm still hopefull that they will suprise us.
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Old April 21st, 2004, 01:14 AM   #23
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I got half my office at NAB and the only way I'm getting anything remotely interesting out of Las Vegas is through your updates thanks Adam!
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Old April 21st, 2004, 02:49 AM   #24
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Yes, let's see some pictures of you and Chris Hurd... posed compromisingly...
All the best,
Robert K S

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Old April 21st, 2004, 06:29 AM   #25
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Adam rocks! Thanks for the great report.
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Old April 21st, 2004, 08:04 AM   #26
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Compromising poses cost. But, I'll see what I can do.

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Old April 21st, 2004, 08:55 AM   #27
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I am glad someone is getting info

Good job, I expected some of these Digital websites to have some good info to share about NAB.

This is the best reporting I have seen so far. Maybe the other guys are adding their "creative touch" to their stories/reports.

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Old April 21st, 2004, 09:38 AM   #28
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Thank you Adam! Very good report and nice pics!
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Old April 21st, 2004, 09:45 AM   #29
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Yes thank you very much. My supervisor, who is not a video guy, said that I only need to go to NAB every other year, maybe. So this is just great.

Thanks again!
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Old April 21st, 2004, 06:24 PM   #30
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With folks like Adam on the scene, it's the next best thing to being there ourselves!
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