Reviews

May 16, 2012

2012 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show Wrap Up

 

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will usually do a show review and video a couple of weeks after a show is finished. It gives me time to edit the video, put all the facts together, contact the companies we are featuring to get additional material needed and then the arduous task of putting it all together in the articles and videos you will be seeing.

The NAB Show held in April 14-19, 2012 is the world’s largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. With more than 92,000 attendees from 151 countries and 1,652 exhibitors this show was bigger and grander then we expected. This show is way beyond my comfort zone and is really meant for those in the broadcast industry which we are not.

So for those that are or interested in broadcasting this is the show to visit next year. It has book signings, theater presentations, conferences, all sorts of special events at various hotels in Vegas, an outdoor beer garden with Big Daddy BBQ, tons of lounges including a Karaoke lounge and so much more.  Frankly, next year, I will schedule a full week to attend the show and be more diligent in putting a list of exhibitors and events I want to cover while at the show.

Our Show Video

Other NAB Show & Equipment Articles

You can see the first article we published Mics For Your DSLR Camera covers the importance of proper sound when shooting with a DSLR camera.  We featured SHURE in that video because we were able to get Bill Oakley, their product manager to repeat his commentary using three different mics. This was a great way to illustrate what one needs to do to capture good sound both wireless, corded and on camera.

The show was so massive that the two days we spent at the show meant we could only see a dozen or so exhibitors and learn about their products in depth.  Since we had a mission which was to find great solutions to record sound with our DSLR cameras and have the proper LED lighting to light our subjects and sets,  we decided to break the show review and the equipment featured into three separate videos and articles.

Our second article Manfrotto Showcases Their Latest Products At NAB 2012, features a long time IPA sponsor  Manfrotto Distribution, US that we have been working with for over five years now.  Great company, products and people, so with so many new “Toys” we simply had to include them in this video and in their very own article with video too.

Finally this article, which I will attempt to keep short, will be a simple overview of this massive show.  The video has also been kept short to but long enough to give you a taste of what we saw at the show. You can find these products on the internet or can visit the companies websites.

Beachtek DXA-SLR-Pro Audio Adapter

Our goal at the show, was to help our members and the thousands of readers and FB friends, make the transition from photography to videography using their DSLR cameras.  With the latest generation of equipment, like the new Nikon D800, which you can see in John Soule’s D800 intro article on our site, has the latest in audio ability, something we expect to see in the future on all moderate to high end DSLR cameras.

Problems Recording Audio At The Show

My biggest issue shooting with my Nikon D7000 is my inability to monitor the sound I was recording.  This in itself meant I was shooting sound blindfolded.  You can read more about my problems and the only solution I found that will now enable me to actually adjust input and monitor the sound I am recording.

The folks at SHURE referred me to a Canadian company,  Beachtek that produces an audio adapter that is, simply the best way to record sound properly on these cameras. They have  found a niche market of DSLR users that have made the transition to video and need full control over their sound.  They were kind enough to become an IPA sponsoring company and sent me their hot new Beachtek DXA-SLR-Pro Audio Adapter.  I have already run some in house tests and know that this is exactly what I need to cover events.  Watch for reviews on the Beachtek and listen for better sound on my future show reviews.

The NAB Show

NAB reported an uptick in exhibitor participation and an almost 10 percent increase in size. The event comprised 1,600 exhibitors spanning 815,000 net square feet of exhibit space, up from 1,550 exhibitors occupying 745,000 net square feet in 2011. So you can imagine trying to cover this event was impossible. I must credit NAB with their innovative methods of helping attendees find what they wanted to see.

They created an NAB Show app for your iPhone or iPad and it helped us set up appointments, find specific exhibitors and even keep notes. Their GPS tracking also helped us find out where we were in relation to the exhibitors we wanted to visit, ah technology, you have to love it.  Soon, these shows will no longer publish those heavy show books that you have to carry around the shows.

LED LIghting

 Although we missed hundreds of exhibitors and we had a limited focus on what we needed to see, we discovered that the thrust for many companies is more efficient and cost effective lighting.  Companies like Manfrotto and Litepanels, both Vitec companies had a full array of on camera and off camera lighting. Litepanels was showing their “on camera” Chroma which you will see in our video. We hope to have one in our hands soon and can show you firsthand how it functions and how it works for on location shooting.

The newer Croma offers soft lighting and the ability to dial in your desired color temperature. They do this with two sets of LED’s, one that is tungsten and the other is daylight balanced and you can then adjust both with an easy dial to get the exact color temperature you desire.  We have found that the 5600 Kelvin LED’s tend to be too cool and really need to be warmed up for most work, so the latest generation, which comes at a premium cost, may be worth the additional cost.

Litepanels 1X1’s (12″X12″) lights perfect for studio or battery powered for on location shooting these lights are portable and a great way to shoot video on location, in or outdoors.  We are looking for a sponsoring company to provide one to us so we can use it, test it and then show the results in a product review and on future articles.

We currently use the Litepanels MicroPro on camera, a unit supplied by Manfrotto a couple of years ago and don’t know what we would do without it.  Of course it is to be used for close-up work or for interviews as you will see in our video. It comes with warming and diffusion filters as well.

Microphones and Wireless Systems

Microphones were in abundance at the show. One would expect to see every major manufacturer there, after all it is a Broadcasters show.  So being photographers by profession, we are a bit green when it came to searching out the best companies and looking for products we could use with our DSLR cameras.  We saw the SHURE FP system and tested it at the show, but the brief test was not conclusive to receive our full recommendation and we have been promised that we will be able to get our hands on it when it arrives sometime this summer at which time I will take it out on assignment and report back to you at that time with my findings.

Sennheiser  was their as well and received  the ACE (Awesome Cool Exhibit) Award by the NAB Show. Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems and I have used their headphones for years. Now I was looking at their cordless mics and they had plenty to offer.

Sennheiser Worldwide – SKP 100 G3

Sennheiser Worldwide – ew 122-p G3

We liked their wireless devices part of their ENG sets.  They have a lav mic with a transmitter and receiver, small and easy to pack in a camera bag and use when doing these show interviews.  This system offers a great amount of flexibility for portable recording indoors or outdoors. In addition to a lav, you can get their  SKP 100 G3 plug-on transmitter transforms XLR equipped devices (such as microphones and mixing consoles) into wireless devices by simply plugging the unit in. Imagine taking a wired microphone and turning it into a wireless simply by plugging in the SKP 100 G3 to it’s XLR port, great stuff.

The bodypack transmitter, as well as the plug on, can by synced up to the receiver with the simple push of a button. A very small high-quality omni-directional clip-on microphone completes this set.

We are looking forward to working with Sennheiser in the future and using some of their excellent equipment with our DSLR.  Watch for future articles and product reviews, coming soon.

Wrap Up

We have been saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words and realize that our videos can do a better job then a picture, so we will end this NAB Show review. Needless to say, this was only to be a short overview of this show and some of the products we liked, but our trip to Las Vegas was so much more. We had an opportunity to spend two luxurious nights in a private floor VIP Suite at the Mirage Hotel (see video), one of the perks of being with IPA.

Absinthe – Vegas Show

We were invited to see an interesting Vegas show called Absinthe in a huge tent at the Ceaesars Palace.  It was a entertaining show, a cross between a circus and an adult themed comedy show.

Jennifer Diamond Cancer Foundation

I spent two very busy days at the NAB show with my cousin Harvey Diamond. He is in the process of outfitting a broadcast studio in his Los Angeles Jennifer Diamond Cancer Foundation.

Harvey & Alice Diamond In Vegas

The foundation was formed after a promise made to his 32 year old daughter Jen, who finally lost her battle fighting her rare form of cancer.  It is very hard for a parent to lose a child and caring for their daughter for so many years, is very hard on a family.

After three years of taking Jen to specialists, hospitals, talking to doctors, patients and support groups, they decided they would dedicate the rest of their lives to helping other families as the people had helped them during their long journey.  They have now kept their promise to Jen to help others by creating a foundation that supports thousands of families.

The foundation has built cancer research libraries in hospitals that are computer equipped. They are filled with some of the latest research on all forms of cancer, including treatments and doctors who specialize in the rarest form of these cancers. A few years ago, a friend of his invited them to take over  a spacious building,  rent free for their use so they could establish The Jennifer Diamond Wellness Center for cancer patients and their families.

The facility offers cancer patients a place to go to enjoy free therapeutic massages, learn how to cook healthy foods, learn Yoga, Painting and even enjoy some quiet time with family and friends in the many private and relaxing meeting rooms at the center.

I was happy that I was able to introduce him and his important mission to some of our corporate friends at the show. Many have been kind enough to offer equipment to the foundation to help him complete the studio. Any companies looking to support this wonderful project should contact us for further information.

About IPA – Our  Mission

Photographers and journalists must get experience in order to earn a living and today, it is not easy to do this.  Limited job opportunities and even limited non-paying intern positions are hard to find.  IPA is trying to fill that need through our extensive programs.

It has been my personal mission to help as many photographers, videographers and journalists as I can to understand the importance of getting out of the ruts they are in and begin to attend shows and events so they will learn how to conduct an on camera interview and even meet potential clients.

Many will do extensive travel and write about their travels, great way to learn how to be a travel photographer or journalist.  Others are truly wonderful photojournalists that can tell stories simply with their photos and videos. All of the wonderful things they see and do can now be published on our website. IPA gives our members the opportunities and the tools to do this.  We will authorize them to cover these events for publication on our websites, but we insist, if they commit to covering these events, that they follow through and actually do the work.

All articles, photos and videos are submitted to our editorial and professional team who will then review the material and work with our members so they can improve their skills. We want them to publish their best works only on our main site  and after reviewing that work determine if they can qualify for a staff position on IMPress, those that do will become part of our IMPress staff and will then publish their works on this site.

Each one of our members has the opportunity to build a professional portfolio on our main site. Many members that actually follow the program, will now have real working experience to take with them to a new job or a new independent venture.

For over 22 years IPA has been serving the photographic and journalistic communities and we will continue to do so with the support of companies like the ones listed in our reviews and articles. Read a members story about his first year at IPA. This member is now IPA’s Director of Member Services and his name is Dominique Schreckling who heads up our office in Switzerland. See some of his incredible photos and articles now on IMPress.

You can read some of our success stories at our Member Support Blog and find out why we work so hard and ask for the support of our sponsoring companies.

So my trip was full of fun, excitement and promises from a number of companies to support our mission at IPA which is to continue to help our members to “Learn By Doing” which we believe is our version of the popular intern programs now prevalent around the world.

 

Special thanks to the people in our video and all of our NAB articles and of course to the folks at the NAB for inviting us to cover this glorious show for IMPress.

 


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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport

IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive.

For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media.

I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant.
I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.






 
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