Okay, so we've just had one of the dullest NAB shows of all time. Well, yes we did have the Sony EX3 announcement, and Panasonic decided to release several hundred variations of the HVX200 with different model numbers assigned to them. But aside from that NAB this year was seemingly one of the biggest non events since the results of the latest <insert reality show of choice here>.
So, what's a person to do when they can't salivate over the latest and greatest camera? Well if you absolutely must spend some money on equipment you could do no worse than to look other pieces of equipment that would give you the ability to actually improve your video in real terms that both your clients and yourself will notice.
Some people might think that these suggestions are a bit obvious. But as I keep mentioning in articles time and time and time again, you would be totally surprised at the number of people who have been shooting video for years at a time who still just go after new cameras rather than more useful equipment such as lighting and grip. Damn, I've given the game away. I might as well list the stuff now.
1. A jib. Doesn't have to be 100ft high with a remote head, just get one, even a small Hague or ABC. Nothing increases the production value more than a great jib shot. You don't have to do grand sweeping shots either. I find that subtle jib shots work best. Whatever the case, get one.
2. A Steadicam. Yes, they are expensive. But then so is a new camera, and a Steadicam will last you a lot longer and give you far more in terms of increased value than any latest and greatest camcorder will. Besides, if you are in the market for things like EX1's and EX3's a Steadicam Flyer will do you just great for about the same outlay.
3. An HMI light. Get fed up with having to gel tungsten lights? Want to get some oomph when mixing lighting with natrual daylight? Get an HMI. They rock.
4. A dolly. More cumbersome than a Steadicam, but they can be combined with the jib for some truly great shots.
5. Got an ENG camera? How about an Easyrig? Yes, they look silly, but at least you'll save your back while getting some extremely steady shoulder mount shots.
These are just for starters. There is a multitude of equipment out there that is far more useful than a new camera. Forget that NAB ever existed and just get what you need. Its the person behind the camera that creates the magic, not the camera itself.