I just got home from Las Vegas. For years I've wanted to go to NAB. Now, since high def video is a must have, and since my camera is dying, I wanted to touch the options to help decide if I will stay with Panasonic, or move back to Sony or Canon. I tried the new JVC HD and three of my fingers went numb for two weeks after shooting it for just three days, so, I'd already crossed that one off my list. The decision is not going to be easy. But, I'm honestly leaning towards the Sony at this point. Now, I just have to find a lucrative project, or something I can sell to pay for it. Maybe the kids should have a bake sale?
The show is one of Vegas's top three, usually drawing 125,000 people. This year, attendance was down to 100,000 - which may have been why I was able to find a round trip ticket and hotel for two nights for $264. I was worried that we would not make it, but we didn't have one problem on our American Airlines flights. I can't imagine what it would have been like if it had been last week, during that ridiculous flight canceling frenzy.
Highlights of the flights were flying over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.
I've been to the Lighting Dimensions show (LDI) a few times, and up until the past one, would say it was incredibly impressive. But, this was AMAZING. My experience at LDI made me think I could get most of it in during the full day I had on the floor.
I was completely overwhelmed. I never even made it to an entire BUILDING full of stuff.
But, overall it was a great time. The first night my friends Scott and Wade and I went to a party on the roof of the Rio, hosted by Barbizon (thanks Sloan!). I took this picture of us sitting together, just before we ate some fantastic food and were joined by our friends from Trident Technical college, Russ and Rebecca (and Glenn, on camera).
The second day at the show, Wade and I stood in line to see the new RED camera. It is bigger than I expected, but seems amazing. They are coming out with a small version, more in line with my price range, in a year or so. Can't wait to see how it fares overall in the market. It appears to be what we've all said we wanted. Basically, a digital movie camera that shoots each frame in camera RAW format on a true 35mm sensor. I talked to a guy who has one. He runs a digital forum on line (and lives in Wilmington where I used to work). He said the camera still has work flow issues, which I would expect when dealing with this size files. It is fascinating, though, and I think it just might be the next big shift in the video/film industry. The guy who started RED evidently owned Oakley sunglasses.
Scott attacked the show like a methodical bloodhound, and I am sure he got the most information out of it. Wade made it through maybe three hours before he took off to play poker (and won $400). I made it through the day, but by the time Scott and I left, I felt like I'd run a marathon after weeks of doing nothing but watching TV. We finished off the night with Indian food and a walk around the strip. Scott won a $100 token from Zoltar at some casino, and Wade won $50, so Scott gave me $50 and we played slots until we lost it all.
Oh, and I won $10 in slots using the quarter David said I could spend. It was $10.25 exactly, and I traded it in for a silver coin from the casino where I stayed, and brought it back for David. The older kids got lots of good swag - pens and tshirts etc. So, all in all it was a great trip. Scott wanted to ride the insane ride at the top of our hotel, the Stratosphere, but we were too tired the first night, and the second night they shut it down because of wind. I did ride one last time I was in Vegas and it was the scariest ride I've EVER ridden.
I hope Wade makes it home. Even after staying up all night, he wasn't finished playing when our flight left . . . .