3D Takes Center Stage In Vegas

Cannes Film Festival

M. Galas


Every April, the National Association of Broadcasters holds a four day expo industry members simply refer to as "NAB."  Companies from all over the world gather to highlight their latest innovations, news, and products for retailers and broadcasting professionals to experiment and completely digest.

Prior to the four day event, a two day press conference occurs where participating companies share announcements pertaining to the show and upcoming product releases.  Although attendance to the show floor is strictly prohibited at this time, one on one meetings and press conferences are plentiful.  411 Publishing attended the press weekend to get a peak at the innovations companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Greengrass, Avid, and many others predict will shape the broadcast and production environment over the next year. 

Although each company had unique agendas and goals, a few discussions consistently popped up.  One was the need for mergers between compatible hardware/software companies.  Cooke Optics was partnering with a company to develop smart lenses that store data within the lens itself in a yet to be announced merger.  Avid was acquiring Euphonix, a company merger that would create a workflow that compliments Avid’s Media Control product line.

Another major discussion was the advancement of 3D.  Everyone from Greengrass to Sony to Autodesk had 3D on their mind and was working on projects that would be “shown at NAB in 2011.”

Panasonic proved that the future is now with the announcement of their new AG-3DA1 3D Professional AVCCAM Camcorder.   The camera, weighing in at less than 6.6 pounds, has dual lenses, left and right outputs, stereoscopic adjustment controls, synchronized lens adjustments, and records up to three hours on an SD media card.  With a list price of $21,000, the professional camera’s pre-order process began on the show floor.  Panasonic made an advance deal with VER – Video Equipment Rentals, who pre-purchased ten 3D cameras for rental distribution across the country.

To emphasize the usability of the camera, Panasonic gave the production team from Evergreen Films, known for their documentary footage, and Per Peterson, an extreme sports filmmaker, an AG-3DA1 camera to experiment with.   The team from Evergreen film liked the lightweight aspect of the camera and found it easy to set up.  They felt the footage they shot was “Amazing” and they were happy with the overall experience of the camera.  Peterson, with no prior 3D shooting experience, felt it was easy to learn from his mistakes.  He took the camera out to shoot a series of skateboarders and was happy with the footage he captured on the fly.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get anything,” said Peterson.  “I was really impressed with the amount of error I could get away with, and I’m really excited to apply what I do with this camera.”

In addition to announcing the release of the 3D camera, Panasonic also announced a partnership with Createasphere.  In the fall, Createasphere will be conducting a four day stereoscopic workshop using the Panasonic AG-3DA1 camera.  Workshops will initially take place in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago with additional cities added over time.

“We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Createasphere director Kristen Petrovich.  “This is going to be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn how to shoot in 3D.  We’re really excited to be involved with Panasonic.”

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