By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Day three of NAB 2017 was filled with discovery as I played around with augmented reality for drones, saw the world through the eyes of those gorgeous Sigma Cine Primes, and discovered a very interesting link between GoPro and the Broadway Stage…
Well, going in reverse I stopped by the Sennheiser booth, because they recently announced an amazing new product in partnership with GoPro. It’s the MKE 2 and its essentially the back end of a GoPro HERO4 waterproof case that has a waterproof mic attacked to it. You plug in via miniUSB, then close it up to keep the circuitry nice and dry
The microphone itself is based on the same water resistant mini mics that are used on the Broadway stage (there’s the link I mentioned). Very high fidelity and cloaked with a super thin rubber membrane to keep the water at bay. The housing has super dense nylon hairs that repel water, much like the fur of a sea otter. Sennheiser says that it can withstand the pressure of one meter for a half hour, but the engineer told me it’s seriously over-engineered and could go deeper. It can also go up to 70 mph without visible wind noise.
The MKE2 is only available for the GoPro HERO4, however, since development began before the HERO5 came out with its built-in waterproof design. But Sennheiser is looking to figure out how to re-engineer the design moving forward to work without a waterproof case. And at $199, it could be a game changer.
Radiant Images has an interesting head mounted POV 360° rig called the Möbius 2.0. Radiant says that although it surrounds the wearer with cameras and provides an up close and personal point of view to virtual reality.
It’s surprisingly lightweight with a new carbon fiber and lightweight design, integrated power system, heads-up display, and modular system that allows the use of a variety of cameras. No word on price, but radiants tends towards rental, rather than sales.
Then I admired the confidence of SmallHD with their super bright production field monitors. They not only have their booth outside, but pointed directly into the Las Vegas sun, and you could easily see not only the image but plenty of detail. Even in that bright ambient sunlight.
We talked about the smaller FOCUS model for under $500. But the 703… Man, that monitor is brighter thanks to its larger amount of screen real estate. Pushing out 2500 nit of brightness, it’s easy to see how well it performs in the sunlight. Note there isn’t even a hood.
Moving along, I think I’m in love with Sigma’s Cine Prime lenses. As an affordable, fast, well built lens set, the Cine Primes solid, extremely well put together and surprisingly lighter than your conventional cinema primes. And the image it provides is absolutely buttery!
From 14mm-135mm primes and ten add a pair of Cine Zoom, each have a constant rating of T2 and you’ve got an affordable set of high performing primes that won’t break the bank with a price starting at $4,000. If you buy the whole set, they throw in the Pelican carrying case.
Remember GoPro’s Karma drone system and how it includes the Karma Grip handheld stabilizer that does double duty as the drone’s camera stabilizer? Well if you’re a DJI Mavic Pro user and what if you wanted the option to be able to use the camera handheld. Sure, you could just hold it and shoot on it, but that’s a bit ungainly.
Polar Pro has created Katana, a nifty dual handled cradle for the DJI Mavic Pro that allows you to sling that pocket drone and almost turn it into a Mini Ronin. Seriously cool and it’s under $50.
While we’re talking about the Mavic Pro, Epson is not just a printing company. They’ve created the Moverio augmented reality headset which provides a heads up display of the same information you get from the DJI go app onto the glasses without that large, dorky VR headset. It’s a tad expensive, but for flying and aerial filming for a one person crew, this may be the best accessory you can get for a DJI drone.
Lastly there’s Freecast. This is the third streaming device that we’ve talked about this week, telling me that this year at NAB, live streaming seems to be the thing.
Freecast works with a GoPro or any HDMI connected camera and will then stream the camera signal out to YouTube Live or Facebook Live in a Periscope like fashion through your mobile phone.
Freecast can also work with up to four different cameras and you can switch them from your mobile device. It also has a transmission radius of up to 500 meters, and while it’s only in 1080p right now, but seriously, streaming to the Net, do you need anything else? And you can back it on Kickstarter for under $400. WOW.
That’s about it from Las Vegas. I put nearly 20 miles on my feet and saw some pretty cool tech. But if you cornered me and asked me to choose my favorites, I’d have to say the BoxCast 4K streaming box for under $1,000. Also noteworthy is the Sennheiser Water Proof Mic for GoPro, along with SmallHD’s Ultra Bright Monitors. What’s the best in show? That’ll have to wait for another day.