Last week the world’s largest film and video trade show took place in Las Vegas. I am of course talking about NAB – a week where filmmakers and videographers spend most of their day on the internet drooling over the new gear being announced. This year was no different, and there was a frenzy of exciting new equipment that accrued a hefty amount of buzz. While we would love to discuss every new piece of gear, software, hardware, tool, and technique that came of this year’s show, we’ve compiled a short list of a handful of our favorites.


First up is what might be one of the most exciting camera announcements in a while. Blackmagic stole the show with what might unfortunately be a quantity over quality approach, but fingers crossed that the Ursa Mini and Blackmagic Micro will not disappoint. Black Magic’s Ursa Mini is available in multiple configurations: either with a 4k sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range or Blackmagic’s new 4.6k sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range, and each has the option of an EF or PL mount. Perhaps the best part of this camera? The price. The 4K EF version starts at just $2,995.

In addition to the Ursa Mini, Blackmagic also announced the Micro Cinema Camera. With a super 16 sensor and 13 stops of DR, this looks like the same sensor that’s in the pocket cinema camera, however the Micro is in a compact cube like body perfect for mounting to a drone. The Micro comes in at just $995.

On the audio front, Tascam added a slew of new recorders to their lineup. The DR-70D seemingly replaces the previous DR-60D and DR-60D Mk II. Like the DR-60D, this recorder is designed specifically for DSLR filmmaking and meant to be mounted directly to the bottom of the camera or a shoulder rig, but unlike the DR-60D the DR-70D is a fraction of the size and includes dual built-in omnidirectional mics. With a price tag of $300, this recorder is definitely worth some consideration if you are a primarily DSLR shooter.

NAB not only gave us a lot of cool gear, but also some pretty great software as well. Final Cut Pro X saw a much needed update which included improvements in color grading and motion graphics. Probably the coolest software announcement was Adobe’s Character Animator. Character Animator allows users to take still artwork from Photoshop or Illustrator and animates it using your computer’s camera and microphone to mimic an individuals speech and movements.  Movements of the character are also programmable via the mouse and keyboard. The fact  that this type of technology is available to the average consumer is pretty game-changing.

Last but certainly not least, perhaps one of the coolest things we’ve seen to come out of NAB this year was the 3DR Solo Smart Drone. This thing is beautifully designed, easy to use, and best of all only $999. The Solo is available for pre-order now from B&H. A lot can be said about this thing, but I’ll let the video speak for itself.

AuthorCameron Gray