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NAB Preview Part I – Glidecam, Pond 5, DJI, Sling Studio, and more

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Honestly, if I did a write up on every press release that I get before NAB every year, I’d have to devote an entire month of all news from the floor and still not cover it all.  So it makes sense to get ahead of the power curve and highlight some of what we’re going to see as we roam the showroom floor.

GlideCam announces the HD Pro. Capable of carrying up to 10 pounds of camera gear, the new GlideCam HD Pro is designed with the camera operator in mind. Light, balanced, and without the need of batteries, software or firmware updates. Just balance your camera and you’re ready to move. Or as Glidecam puts it, “just mechanical reliability” that is affordable.

But I’m trying to figure out how you can have so many designs that are essentially based on the same model, and differentiate them. I know that each can probably carry varying weights, but it has to be a challenge to try and market the same product with a new pair of fins.

Pond 5 has Two Major announcements. The first major announcement for Pond 5 is their collaboration with drone maker DJI Global to create a marketplace for drone stock footage from FAA certified pilots. And that’s the key here. No guy with a drone will be able to start selling, as commercial drone applications like selling your stock footage will require an FAA Part 107 certification.

DJI will be working with Pond 5 curators to offer the most visually compelling and award worthy, studio quality footage.  The cream of the crop will also have access to Pond 5’s premium clipping and tagging services which will take raw drone footage and create and tag it into an effective package for sale. Pilots with a Part 107 certificate who use DJI drones can apply to this program at http://www.pond5.com/dji, with selected DJI aerial footage showcased on the Pond5 content marketplace.

Next is their announcement of the new Pond 5 Enterprise Suite, which offers various administrative tools for large media organizations and production companies. This suite includes options for un-watermarked comps and a special sizzle-reel licenses to present ideas using Pond5 media without the distraction of a watermark. Additionally, companies can approve search results in advance, and can limit them by price, media type, or any other required attribute. Purchase controls will also give administrators control over their media budget at the user level, and there’s bulk downloading available. Available for both Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro X.

Zhiyun’s Smooth 4 Stabilizer Offers Pro Features – Handheld gimbals have been around for awhile now, but for mobile filmmaking, the category has exploded of late. I myself have the DJI Osmo 2, and really enjoy the smooth, floating image it provides for shooting video. But there’s a new face on the scene of late, and that’s Zhiyun Tech, from China. 

 There new Smooth 4 3 axis stabilizer for your mobile device offers hot key buttons, for instant control of pan, tilt and roll angles up to 300°, a 2000 mAh battery handle for up to 12 hours of operation, full speed follow mode and supporting even larger mobile phones up to 3.35″ wide. It’s all wrapped around a 7th generation stabilizing system that supports up to a half pound and features two USB C ports for charging not only the gimbal, but your phone as well.

But what I think is the coolest feature is that it has it’s own wireless follow focus system. By rotating its unique follow focus handwheel, you can smoothly zoom in/out and after pressing dedicated follow focus button, users can then can control the focus manually. No other stabilizer in this category has that. Other features include instant scene transition, object tracking, and a Phone Go mode. And did I mention it’s only $139 at Amazon?

Sling Studio Expands Mac Desktop Support. Sling Studio’s iOS centric live streaming interface is turning heads as it delivers broadcast quality streaming for those on a budget. Using iPhones that can be connected and switched from via an iPad at up to 300 feet away, Sling is really redefining what mobile broadcasting can look like.

For NAB this year, they are announcing expanded MacOS support with many of the features available on iOS now for your iMac or MacBook Pro laptop. Features include video importing capability, instant replay, and streaming from preview to program with the touch of a button. Now you can make your little league or high school football game look like it’s being broadcast on ESPN for a YouTube budget. And all in 4K.

That’s it for the first round of press releases. More coming as we continue our run up to NAB. Stay tuned, there’s plenty more ahead.