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NAB 2014: Day 1 Roundup

NAB 2014: Day 1 Roundup

So Day One of the show is all over. Here’s our definitive round up of all the most exciting new announcements from Day One of the World’s largest broadcast media show!

Blackmagic Design

Once again Blackmagic Design took centre stage at NAB, unveiling the Blackmagic URSA and Blackmagic Studio Camera.


The URSA is a new high end digital film camera designed to revolutionise workflow on set. It’s built to handle the needs of largee film crews as well as the singular user and comes complete with multiple accessories built in. We were especially impressed with its 10 inch fold out on set monitor – however the product also boasts a large user upgradable Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor and internal dual RAW and Apple ProRes recorders.

The URSA can be used on high end feature films, commercials, episodic television production and more, which makes it a pretty good all rounder. We are told it’s going to retail for $5,995 USD which places it in the relatively affordable price bracket. What impressed us was the customisable options of the camera as you can dress it according to the needs of your production. Thus, buying this camera looks as if it will be a wise long term investment.

Next up we were shown the Blackmagic Studio Camera.


This camera marks out Blackmagic’s place in the live production market as the product is designed for live production. It is available in 1080 HD and Ultra HD models and starts at a modest $1,995. The product has been designed to solve previous problems encountered by those working specifically in live production – up until now, producers have been mostly forced to use cameras designed for general video production for live work so they lose out on essentials such as a large viewfinder, talkback, tally and optical fibre. The camera has a large 10 inch viewfinder, a battery containing four hours of power, talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered microphone connections and a built in optical fibre and SDI connections that allow the use to connect to a live production switcher with a single cable.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera HD can be purchased now and the 4K will be available in June for $2,995


Hot on the heels of Blackmagic, AJA unveiled their CION camera, firmly establishing their mark in the cinema camera market at NAB and stepping out of their firm focus on the prores disk recorder market.


The CION looks fantastic, embracing traditional ENG styling and has a lovely suede contoured shoulder pad and a 6 lb. magnesium body. The CION boasts a true 4K CMOS sensor, PL mount for standard lenses, global shutter, and manual back-focus adjustment. AJA has focused on a ProRes workflow. Cion, boasting 12 stops of dynamic range, supports 60p in ProRes 422, and up to 120fps via the four 3G-SDI outputs, all at TRUE 4k down to HD.

The Cion’s image can be seen easily in a variety of places. Confidence monitoring is built in via the on-board LCD display, while the HD-SDI and HDMI outs are also always active. Multicam users will rejoice in the camera’s ability to also display its image via the built-in ethernet connection. Up to eight of the cameras can be chained together, sync’d, and previewed via a simple LAN configuration.

AJA announced that the Cion will be shipping this summer for $8995.


We were at the SONY press conference on Sunday which saw the announcement of the A7s which is capable of shooting full 4K video.


The camera has a maximum ISO of 409,600. Because it is so sensitive, the camera should be usable in low lighting conditions, and its ISO matches Nikon’s pro level D4S. The A7s has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

Shooters can use XAVC S as well as AVCHD codec. The A7s is the only full-frame digital camera that uses the entire width of the sensor when recording 4K video. Thus meaning that improvements to sensitivity and shallower depth of field will be available to both videographers and photographers. It is worth bearing in mind though, that only 1080p or lower quality video can be recorded on-camera — as 4K requires an external recording device connected via HDMI.

The camera retails for $1,699.00 USD.


Atomos announced the Shogun and Ninja Star at NAB.

The Shogun is a 7″ IPS monitor backed with recording capability. It is the only 4K HDMI recording solution that can take advantage of the A7S’s 4K signal, 120fps HD output and custom HDMI timecode with start / stop trigger. The Shogun also has 12G SDI ports and will record 4K ProRes onto single SSDs or RAID and will be priced under $2k. The product also allows uncompressed raw Cinema DNG capture.


Like previous offerings, the Samurai and Ninja Blade, Shogun allows the recording of 422 10-bit images straight from the camera sensor captured using 4K/HD Apple ProRes, Uncompressed RAW Cinema DNG or Avid DNxHD codecs.  The brand new 4K Apple ProRes Shogun boasts a 1920×1200 7”  monitor and 4K recording. It’s the  first 4K HDMI and 12G SDI monitor recorder and deck with clean HDMI out direct to 4K Apple ProRes onto single SSDs or RAIDed HDDs.

The Shogun utilises both 4K and HD clean output from HDMI cameras such as the just announced  Sony A7S, Panasonic GH4, 4K SDI C500, and can record 24, 25 or 30p from the camera and up to 120fps HD. It  has genlock in for synced playout and features optional Wifi for remote control from iOS or Android devices. Improved audio handling with the included Lemo breakout cable for XLR Audio gives balanced audio, mic and Phantom power.

The Shogun is  the only 4K HDMI recording solution that can take full advantage of the new A7S’s full 35mm ultra sensitive 12 mega pixel video sensor, clean HDMI out, 120 fps HD and custom HDMI timecode and start/stop trigger.

The  Shogun will be available for purchase at the end of  2014 for under $2000.

The Ninja Star is a dinky  3.5-inch ProRes recorder aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) users. It weighs 100gms (3.5oz) and measures 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.8-inches and is suitable for creative or extreme camera work or in situations where it’s not possible to use a large monitor. The Ninja Star can record in HD and ProRes to capture 422 10-bit images to CFast format media with up to 3hrs Apple ProRes and also features timecode and start/stop trigger with audio line in.


The Ninja Star will ship late May for approximately $295 USD.


Livestream unveiled an awesome new control surface along side a new version of their Studio 2 software. We will be finding out more about that tomorrow.


Please check back tomorrow where we will be uploading all our videos direct from the show.

About The Author

Ben McNeill

Founder of NEXI TV, Producer of Film Live, Sound Check & Founders. Bit of a geek.

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Film Live is dedicated to the world of filmmaking and content creating. Behind the scenes, kit reviews, how to's and more.


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