April 10, 2017
NAB 2017

Here's What to Expect from NAB 2017: Gear Rumors, Announcements, and More

NAB 2017 is not looking to be a blockbuster year for gear announcements, but here's what you can get excited about so far.

Just prior to NAB 2017, we've already seen some big announcements from companies like Black Magic (Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K, Resolve Control Panels, several studio products) and Pansonic (GH5). In addition, RED announced that it would be taking a pass on NAB this year and focusing entirely on CineGear in June.

NAB is in a transition period into a new era of media, entertainment, and technology convergence. Subjects discussed this year will vary from the creative and technical processes used in creating Game of Thrones to the technical architectures of HDR, ATSC 3.0, and VR/AR. To highlight this transition, NAB announced that there will be 200 first-time exhibitors at the show, a diverse group of companies: Vimeo, Google, Sigma Lenses, YI Technologies, Gracenote, as well as several small lighting companies. 

Rumors abound that Sony will unveil a new full frame, E-mount, mirrorless camera this year​.

While it is not so far looking like a huge year for traditional gear announcements, there will be many new and interesting products to see. As always, we can expect a few surprises. This year, however, some of the most interesting announcements may come from smaller companies in places like the Virtual and Augmented Reality Pavilion, from a technical panel, or from one of the new exhibitors.

360 Designs: Livestreaming VR/Drones

360 Designs will be demoing for the first time on April 24 what it is calling "the world's first live VR drone with broadcast quality streaming." The company claims that it will be able to capture 6K live VR footage from over 20 miles away. 360 Designs specializes in vertically integrated, live VR streaming, with clients like Google, ABC/Disney, Red Bull, and MTV. This should be one interesting demo.

Phantom 4 ProCredit: Courtesy of DJI

DJI: Drones

Last year, DJI made some pretty epic product release announcements at NAB. Rumors have again been exploding about DJI in the past two months. The juiciest—and one that appears to be credible—is that the company will be releasing a Phantom 5 quadcopter very soon. There is a lot of documentation out there about this, with incredible spec details. This would be big news, building on the well-regarded Phantom 4 Pro, especially if specs like "throw-in-the-air activation" prove true.

There is a big possibility that DJI will, like last year, announce multiple products. The other strong candidate is being called "Spark" (recently trademarked by DJI) and is described as the Mavic Pro's little brother. This rumor has been popping up recently on plenty of credible sites.  The Spark's rumored market? Selfies.

Also, remember that DJI recently purchased a majority stake in Hasselblad, so many more exciting announcements are going to keep coming our way.

Credit: Courtesy of B&H

Sony: Full Frame Mirrorless

On the heels of Panasonic's GH5 release, rumors abound that Sony will unveil a new full frame, E-mount, mirrorless camera this year at NAB. However, it is unclear what form it will take: an a7 III or the now-mythical a9? Rumors of a 70+MP a9, and alleged sightings in the wild, have been around for a while. There are no credible rumors about any updates to Sony's cinema cameras this year, so if the company does a major product release, it will be one of the big surprises of the show. The Sony product release press event is on Sunday, April 23.

Canon: C-Log, Lenses, and Drones

Canon Rumors has confirmed that Canon will soon be announcing an update to the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV that will enable C-Log. There is also a whole list of other possible video improvements in the update, including increased sampling for 4K DCI video. However, this update may require sending the camera to a service center, and there has been no announcement as to whether it will be free. There is also a rumor of a heat sink retrofit to accommodate the heat generated by the increased processing workload from the update.

Canon is also expected to announce at least one Cinema EOS lens, probably a zoom, during NAB, according to Canon Rumors. Interestingly, the company also teased a new Cinema EOS camera body sometime later this year.

The camera has an ISO up to 4 million, allowing it to essentially see in the dark.

According to multiple sources, another drone that may make its U.S. debut at NAB is Canon's PD6E2000-AW-CJ1, an industrial drone mounted with a Canon ME20F-SH camera. Canon will not manufacture the actual drone, but has made an investment in a Japanese drone manufacturer and will act as distributor. This product will be intended to fly at night and in inclement weather, for implementations like disaster relief or industrial applications. The camera has an ISO up to 4 million, allowing it to essentially see in the dark.

Fujinon MK 50-135mmCredit: Courtesy of Fujifilm USA

Fujifilm: Lenses

Fuji seems to have already made its major announcements prior to NAB and both are lens-related.  Fuji announced their MK Series of E-mount budget cinema lenses in February.  However, NAB will the first time that the public will be able to actually see the lenses. They will also introduce two new, 4K-compatible, handheld zoom lenses at NAB. They will join the UA lens series, the first 2/3" series designed specifically for UHD broadcast. New lightweight, high resolution, high contrast and high dynamic range lenses designed for handheld UHD shooting will definitely gather a lot of interest from sports and news shooters.

Let us know in the comments what products are you looking forward to, or hoping will be released, at NAB this year? Also, let us know if you've heard any good NAB product rumors.


No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2017 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Vimeo 360, and Blackmagic Design.

 

Your Comment

11 Comments

My guess that Canon is going to give the 5D mark 4 a firmware upgrade is because it is rumored via (Peta Pixel) that Magic Lantern has been able to " hack " into the mark 4. Ofcourse after the announcement of the 5D mark iii and its 4k firmware probably doesn't make Canon comfortable. I'm hoping it will be a bit more than a C-Log upgrade. If so, I might just buy it.

April 10, 2017 at 2:07PM

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Interesting take, with the Magic Lantern release. Time will tell if ML has gone too far for Canon's comfort. Click on the link in the article, there is a laundry list of updates coming with this release. It looks pretty substantial.

April 10, 2017 at 2:18PM, Edited April 10, 2:18PM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

I don't think Canon cares much about the 4K hack, or even ML for that matter. ML can only get, what, 15fps at 4k? What percentage of their market is this going to affect?

Canon's firmware update, I'm sure, will be in response to the Mark IV's lack of use in the video world. Having it fit within the Cinema EOS line will be a big advantage as they try make up ground in the DSLR space that they once exclusively owned. Having C-Log in the Mark IV will make it easier for us to use in our workflow as a B-Cam alongside the rest of the Cinema EOS cameras.

April 10, 2017 at 3:39PM, Edited April 10, 4:19PM

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Agreed, Canon has so far taken a pretty hands-off approach to ML. I would find it doubtful that they'd take a hardline over the new release given that ML states up front that they don't really understand what they're doing with the sensor functions, that what they've achieved is through trial and error experimentation.

My personal take aligns closely to yours vis-a-vis this update. It's all about the video.

April 10, 2017 at 3:46PM, Edited April 10, 3:46PM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

Thinking about it a bit more, the one thing that might trigger Canon to block ML could be heat issues caused by additional processing. If it's true, that the Canon upgrade will really strain the current heat sinks, then they may wish to block having additional sources of heat, i.e., such as additional ML processing. This wouldn't be a major factor in motivating their camera update, but it could be something that they do along with the other video improvements to ensure a better user experience (from the point of view of reliability).

April 10, 2017 at 9:08PM, Edited April 10, 9:08PM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

I wonder why nearly no one has used/is using the Sony F65, what do You think?

April 11, 2017 at 2:41AM, Edited April 11, 2:41AM

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No Canon C100 Mark III? So whats the option beside Sony FS5/7 ... Why does Canon not meet the minimum needs of the sub 10K customers?

April 12, 2017 at 2:24AM

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Lorenz Schuster
One-Man-Band
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No buzz about a C100 refresh. I do a lot of corporate work, and you're right, I see a lot of FS5/7's. They're easy to shoot with and you get beautiful images right out of the camera.

April 12, 2017 at 2:35PM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

There are rumors about an FS5 Mk II at NAB, but no details on it.

April 13, 2017 at 8:22PM

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Timothy McClanahan
videography student
89

I'm hoping for a better Blackmagic production camera or a new Sony A7S with super low light and sharper image!

April 19, 2017 at 3:13AM

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Gregory Althoff
Creative Director
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