The Biggest Product Announcements at NAB 2023
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is one of the most important events in the media industry, bringing together professionals and companies within the videography and broadcasting industry from all over the world. The event is known for its exciting product announcements, where companies unveil their latest innovations and advancements in technology. This year’s NAB conference was no exception, with many companies announcing new products that promise to change the way we consume and create media. From new cameras and editing software to advanced streaming and broadcasting tools, the products showcased at NAB 2023 are set to revolutionize the industry. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most exciting new products announced at NAB and what they mean for the future of media.
DJI Inspire 3
While technically not announced AT NAB this year, the DJI Inspire 3 was just announced a couple of weeks ago and was one of the stars of NAB. As an owner of the original DJI Inspire and someone who appreciates the DJI Inspire 2, I’m personally very excited to see the new model of DJI’s more professionally graded drone. Equipped with the X9-8K Air, an 8K, full-frame, 3-axis, gimbal camera custom-built for the Inspire 3, the Inspire 3 is designed with the professionals in mind, who are looking for an all-in-one solution for their aerial work. Additionally, the DJI Inspire 3 has state-of-the-art RTK positioning, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, a top speed of nearly 60mph, and nearly 30 minutes of flight time on a single battery. There is a reason that DJI is by far the industry leader, and this drone highlights what makes them a cut above the competition. While normally, I’d need to see footage and fly a drone before I could give my personal take on it, I have no doubt that DJI has hit another home run with the DJI Inspire 3, offering the latest in professional drone use.
Blackmagic Product Announcements
Among the biggest hitters at NAB this year was Blackmagic, who had three large product announcements – products we hope to carry once they become available. So let’s look at the releases.
URSA Mini Pro 12K with OLPF
The biggest announcement from Blackmagic was their latest flagship camera system – the URSA Mini Pro 12K. As the name suggests, the latest in the URSA Mini line offers recording up to 12K resolution, has a new color science, and promises 15 stops of dynamic range all in a package priced under $6,400. With a built-in optical low-pass filter, the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K can minimize unwanted image interference in production environments, while also offering 60 fps in 12K 17:9 resolution. Additionally, the camera also offers up to 75 fps in 12K 2.4:1, 120 fps in 8K, and up to 240 fps in 4K Super16. We’re hoping this powerhouse camera enters our inventory soon and are currently taking preorders on rentals.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio 4K8
Adding to their list of products is also an all-in-one live streaming switcher to your television studio, remote production, or live venue, named the ATEM Television Studio 4K8. This super compact TV switcher offers eight 12G-SDI inputs that support up to UHD 4K60 video, built-in live streaming, USB webcam support, a 58-channel audio mixer, chroma keyers, DVE, transitions, media players, internal recording, and talkback support. With this 8-input switcher, you’ll have an excellent solution to switch from multiple cameras on the fly, and with its built-in hardware streaming engine, you can live stream your event to a global audience. Priced very conservatively at $4,600, this is an excellent production switcher that offers a large range of features.
Blackmagic Design ATEM 4 M/E Constellation 4K Switcher
The Blackmagic Design ATEM 4 M/E Constellation HD Live Production Switcher is a powerful and flexible tool for live event HD switching, capable of supporting up to 40 individual 3G-/HD-SDI inputs within a 2 RU chassis. This switcher is fully compatible with both 3G-SDI and HD-SDI signals, enabling seamless connectivity to a diverse range of cameras and sources.
The switcher delivers program output via 24 3G-SDI BNC outputs or a webcam output via USB Type-C, allowing for versatile output options. Moreover, the switcher boasts four multiview outputs that support up to 16 routable windows, enabling the display of inputs, keyed video, graphics, stills from the media pool, and the program output.
Each input is equipped with a frame synchronizer, frame rate converter, and format converter, in addition to a reference video input. This feature set enables the mixing and matching of cameras, formats, along with video input from computer sources. Upstream and downstream keyers and effects are also supported.
All these features can be utilized in real-time, without requiring any rendering. Users can control the switcher through the integrated front panel, optional Blackmagic ATEM panels, or via the downloadable control software. Finally, the built-in Fairlight audio mixer can handle up to 156 channels of audio, providing additional versatility and flexibility for live event production.
amaran 150c RGB LED Monolight & amaran 300c RGB LED Monolight
The 150c and 300c RGB LED Monolight from Aputureis a high-performance point-source light that is versatile, combining RGBWW full-color control and Bowens mount capabilities. It has a variable color temperature light fixture ideal for filmmakers, photographers, and creators, with modifiable magnified or diffused output and full-color control across its expanded 2500 to 7500K CCT range. These lights come in both a 150c and 300c variant, with the latter providing roughly twice the power.
Each also comes with nine built-in special effects, which include paparazzi, fireworks, lightning, faulty bulb, TV, pulsing, strobe, explosion, and fire. The light can be locally adjusted on the fixture or remotely via Bluetooth, using your smartphone and the Sidus Link app. With 150W & 300W of output, these lights can easily illuminate a home studio, and its silent active cooling system makes it suitable for use in quiet environments such as small studios, interviews, and indie film sets. The compact lamp head measures 9.8 x 6.1 x 5.6″ and is ready for worldwide use via its 100 to 240V power supply. The Aputure 2-bay battery power station is available separately, allowing the light to run on optional Gold or V-mount batteries in situations where AC power is unavailable.
Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS USM
The Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is a versatile and well-rounded option for indoor sports, events, theater, fashion, and other subjects that require a unique blend of long reach, high speed, adept image stabilization, and fast autofocus. It combines the flexibility of a zoom lens with the reach and speed of a traditional telephoto concept, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of photographic scenarios.
Drawing on the legacy of the popular EF 300mm f/2.8 prime lenses, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 maintains the quality and speed of those lenses while adding the versatility of a zoom that can widen up to 100mm. The zoom design enables more versatility for tracking moving subjects, capturing candid moments from a distance, and expanding the frame for a wider context.
Despite being a zoom lens, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 boasts a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, which excels in low-light conditions and helps create a shallow depth of field to isolate subjects from the background. This is made possible by a wholly new optical design that includes fluorite elements, ultra-low dispersion glass, and one aspherical element. The result is a higher degree of clarity and sharpness with virtually no distortion.
Canon Flex Zoom Lenses
Canon also teased the announcement of two more lenses in their Flex Zoom Cinema grade lenses – the CN-E14-35mm T1.7 and the CN-E31.5-95mm T1.7 Super 35mm format lenses. Their Flex Zoom series are cinema lenses designed for the full-frame and Super 35mm camera platforms, with sharpness compatible with modern 8K cameras. Aside from that, not much else is known about these lenses, except the price and release date, which can be found in their press release.
RODE Wireless ME Microphone
The Rode Wireless ME is a user-friendly wireless microphone system that enables content creators, vloggers, influencers, and mobile journalists to easily incorporate hands-free wireless audio into their productions. The system features a clip-on microphone/transmitter and a two-channel receiver with a built-in microphone, enabling the recording of audio from the camera operator for interviews and documentaries.
With secure Series IV 2.4 GHz digital transmission at a range of up to 328 feet, the system is easy to use, with no menus or complicated dials to navigate. Instead, it offers instant functionality with clear LEDs that provide critical information at a glance. For those seeking more control, companion apps are available to access a powerful feature set and customize settings. At $150 for the kit, it’s easy to see how this will shake up the audio industry with its easy-to-use platform.
We really love the Roadcaster and used it for our own podcast for several years, so we’re excited to see RODE is adding to the platform with the Rodecaster Duo.
The RODECaster Duo is an all-in-one audio production solution designed to enhance podcasting, streaming, music-making, and content creation. This compact and powerful device boasts similar features and versatility as the larger RODECaster Pro II, but in a more portable form factor. It is ideal for users who require fewer audio inputs and a more travel-friendly design. The RODECaster Duo features a high-powered quad-core audio engine, high-gain, low-noise Revolution preamps, APHEX audio processing, and flexible customization.
The device is equipped with two XLR-1/4″ combo inputs for mic- or line-level signals, one stereo pair line output for speakers, two headphone outputs, a microSD card reader for internal multitrack recording, two USB-C host connections, and an ethernet network terminal for hardware or software integrations. It also provides intuitive hands-on control, including four assignable mixer faders, six customizable SMART pads for audio, FX, and MIDI triggering, a bright and colorful touchscreen, and numerous buttons and knobs for creating engaging content of almost any kind.
In addition, the RODECaster Duo includes Bluetooth technology and integrated wireless microphone receivers for onboard compatibility with all Series IV wireless transmitters. This allows users to handle a variety of usage scenarios and workflows, virtually anywhere.
RODE Streamer X
The Streamer X by RODE is a compact, user-friendly device that combines a professional audio interface and video capture card for an all-in-one solution to deliver high-quality audio and video streams. It features a studio-grade audio input for mic- or line-level sources, a low-noise, high-gain Revolution preamp with selectable phantom power, and onboard APHEX audio processing for clear audio quality. Additionally, the Streamer X has an integrated wireless-receiver technology that makes it compatible with any RODE Series IV wireless microphones and transmitters.
To meet the needs of modern streamers and content creators, the Streamer X also has an HDMI I/O that supports up to 4K 30 fps and 2K 60 fps streaming, and up to 2K 120 fps and 4K 60 fps pass-through for exceptional video quality. Two USB-C connections support dual-PC setups, and the device also includes four customizable SMART pads for triggering sounds, voice FX, and other engaging content. Furthermore, it is compatible with all of RODE’s software solutions, such as UNIFY, RODE Central, and RODE Connect, which expand the console’s functionality.
Added Features for Frame.IO
Even though the updates to Frame.IO aren’t physical products, per se, I wanted to include them in this post because we personally love Frame.IO internally. Whereas Frame.IO was once a tool used specifically for audio and video collaborations, their latest updates off PDF and image support, opening the door to those beyond the podcasting and video industry. With partnerships with Adobe and Fujifilm, Frame.IO hopes to expand to the photography market as the premier source for image collaborations. Overall, their latest updates contain a lot to cover, so I recommend looking at NewscastStudio’s breakdown of the updates.
While we didn’t cover all the updates from NAB this year, these were our favorites from one of the largest conferences in the industry. Is there anything you think we missed? Feel free to chime in in the comments below.
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