Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vegas Flush

I survived NAB 2010.  I can't spend more than a day in Las Vegas without getting alternately annoyed, depressed or creeped out, so it was a very very long day there.  If you want more balanced reports from people more-better adapted to the Vegas ecosystem try my friend Eric Escobar's blog.  He was the perfect person to tag along with for an action-packed day, although I did miss the private hotel room session with Alexa.

 Better living through nodes

What rocked my world?  DaVinci Resolve for Mac for $995.  If you don't know what that means, there are no words I can speak that will make you understand.  BlackMagic hit it out of the park on this one.  Not only have they saved one of the truly great brands (and great product) but they've figured out a way for it to thrive.  Very clever, people who still haven't figured out Color will have to have this.  This seems to be one of the most successful marketing tactics in the film/broadcast world, aspirational marketing.  Adobe has been a genius at it, giving endless presentations of everything their new refreshed product lines can do to people who will buy them and use maybe only Photoshop.  Resolve is a major step up for anyone (well anyone who hasn't worked as a colorist in a high-end professional post-production house),  both in terms of capabilities and the learning curve.  I have to say it again, DaVinci Resolve for Mac for $995.  I still can't believe it.  The multi-point tracker makes Color's look like a toy and it handles high-end workflows that require a lot of tinkering in Color.  This isn't a complaint against Color.  Color is amazing, it just ups the game for those of us who have cut our teeth on it.  And they have created a pricing structure that allows you to grow your capabilities as your business grows.  Thank you, BlackMagic, you get the new marketplace.  Buy only what you need now and invest more money only when it will make you money.

You think you're ready for me, big boy?

BlackMagic also has another genius product, UltraScope.  Tecktronix, et al. should be a little nervous right about now.  This is a professional scope product, capable of 3Gb/s monitoring, every line is there, constantly updated, WITH THE ABILITY NOW TO ZOOM into each scope, for $695.  All the information is there, like a beautiful electronic ghost wave, shimmering and dancing.  Again, if you don't know what this means, there are no words I can speak that will make you understand the beauty of this.   And, they also have a portable version.  They also announced support for Mac at NAB, desktop at least.  The portable version will work with Mac once Apple includes USB 3.0 on laptops (that is a topic for another day).  Do I sound happy about saving $15K on dedicated scopes?  Heck yeah, being able to zoom into your scopes is essential for balancing flesh tones and blacks.

Dance of the RGB Parade

The other genius product?  GoPro HD Hero.   Buy one now.  I did, on the spot at NAB, along with at least a few hundred other people.  $300, or less, for a camera that shoots pretty darn nice 1080/720P, includes sound and a waterproof housing that is good to 180 feet, a focused accessory kit and records to CF?  They sell accessories for helmet cams, surfboard cams and soon, 3D.  A $600 3D rig?  That was the first 3D announcement at NAB that I actually found interesting.

Between decentralized distribution and truly professional grade products that are selling for prosumer prices, it is truly an interesting time to be making media.

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