Live NAB 2014 coverage and Sony A7S announcement video – 2PM PT / 5PM ET and 10PM GMT

Announcement is now live here

Message to sources – if you have any more specs, anonymously tip me about the A7S here!

NAB 2014 kicks off today (Sunday) with the first major announcements. Here’s a look at what could be in store for filmmakers at the biggest video and broadcast trade show of the year…

NAB (Photokina for videographers) is currently being set-up and some of the early announcements will jump the opening day and happen tonight.

Sony have captured attention early on with rumours of a 4K shooting A7S and possibly other cameras which could mark the start of a major push into consumer 4K imaging by the company.

Here’s what I’m expecting to come at NAB! Note this is just fun speculation until the actual announcements…

  • Sony A7S shooting 4K video with XAVC-S and a 1.1x crop from the 12MP full frame sensor, amazing low light performance for both video and stills. E-mount mirrorless design like the A7.
  • New 4K external recorders, hopefully with HDMI inputs to accept the 10bit 4:2:2 4K from cameras like the GH4
  • Pricing and shipping details for Panasonic’s new VariCam 35, a Sony F55 competitor
  • Perhaps the annual surprise from Blackmagic… but this year all I hope for is a major firmware update for their existing cameras
  • New GoPro Hero 4 with 4K (last year’s model was half way there already). A small CineForm shooting interchangeable lens cinema camera from GoPro is only a distant outside bet
  • Pricing and shipping details for Kinefinity’s 6K shooting monster, the KineMAX

Finally what about Canon?

The Canon situation could swing both ways yet but early signs aren’t encouraging. They have already made some NAB product announcements, nothing earth shattering, a new zoom servo lens for broadcast being the highlight. There has been no further info about the rumoured C200 and C400. For 4K the C500 is now looking somewhat dated vs the Sony F55 and Panasonic VariCam 35 when it comes to 4K. Both the C500 and 1D C have recently had price drops. Is this a sign Canon have acknowledged they are weakly specced vs the 2014 competition or a sign that new stuff is imminent at NAB? Let’s hope it is the latter. As for their low end, what a total mess as always. Why continue to shoot 5 year vintage footage on consumer Canon DSLRs now the Panasonic GH4 and upcoming Sony A7S give us image quality in a completely different league? Magic Lantern have been keeping the flame alive with raw and still a lot of great work is shot on DSLRs but I have the feeling shooters are beginning to want more. More resolution, smaller file sizes, more features, mirrorless form factor, less aliasing and moire.

If the A7S ends up shooting 4K on a full frame sensor, Canon definitely need an answer to protect 5D Mark III sales. I can use all my Canon L glass on the Sony E-mount. The Panasonic GH4 is more of a niche as it appeals less to 5D Mark III users due to the lack of proper EF mount adapters and 2x crop sensor, but in video terms Canon don’t have an answer to this either yet. The 1D C is still $10,000 even after the price drop.

NAB show 2014