The NAB Show finally came back in 2022 and we were there exhibiting our lighting along with our lens adapters, WonderPana filters and other smaller accessories lines. For those who haven't heard of NAB, it’s a trade show organized by the National Association of Broadcasters - a trade association representing radio and TV broadcasters.
The NAB Show has everything to do with the people behind radio, tv, and everything that makes it happens and everything that comes from it.
How do we tie into this? Lighting of course! But this year we saw a new trend emerging from newsgroups and more: short-form media and livestreaming using smartphones. This comes from two years of a broader shift towards TikTok’s short-form media and Twitch’s livestream influence during the the absence of the NAB Show. For companies like us, this is where our smaller accessories come into play, like our new Ninja smartphone filter system and our GoTough action camera accessory.
Alright, back to our lighting…
We showcased our diverse assortment of light models around our booth and had a dedicated studio set up to highlight our new Warrior 1000XR. We piqued the interest of the video crowd with our square panels like the Prizmo Go 120W, SkyFiller Wings, and Factor 1x2. The video crowd can agree that square panels are the norm but are divided between the obvious standard of RGB. There was a lot of color at this show, and it solidified RGB LED units as a standard in lighting. But again, there are mixed feelings about it.
On one side you have filmmakers and broadcasters who are looking to upgrade their lighting kits to include something that has the RGB features, and on the other, those who want to stick to the traditional daylight-balanced lights. Interesting enough, this anti-RGB crowd would rather settle for a bi-color unit.
With this in mind, our Prizmo Go 120W captivated RGB enthusiasts because of its thin form factor, easy to use interface, and the value of the light. For just under $1,100 you get a panel with a CRI/TLCI of >95 that outputs 2,895 lux at one meter. It includes a barn door, grid, softbox, and remote, as well as a travel case.
For the more traditional crowd, our Factor 1x2 and 1x1 bi-color units were the preferred style of lighting. Both units are all-metal, include barn doors, and have a color temperature range of 3200k-5600K. On top of that, they eliminate the need for diffusers and rigs because the light produced from these panels is soft from the source.
[NAB5] [wings shot]
However, everyone agreed that our SkyFiller Wings 2x2 was an interesting light due to its ultra-thin form factor and its ability to fold in half for storage. A Kino Flostyle ball head mount keeps the panel propped up and EVERYONE liked that. It was the common consensus that this ballhead was a better option than our competitors models seen at the show. The SkyFiller Wings come in three sizes and in two LED chip flavors. We offer 36-inch round, as well as 2x2 and 1x4 rectilinear panels; all sizes are available in both bi-color or RGB versions. The concept of having the ballast separate from the light was very appealing to everyone since it offers the flexibility to mount the panel anywhere with ease.
Speaking of ballasts separate from the light, our Warrior 1000XR–Fotodiox’s crown jewel at the show–uses that same design principle. This bowens mount bi-color (2700-6500K) LED unit is our first weather resistant light. With the included hyper reflector, the Warrior 1000XR outputs 230,000 lux at one meter, and without it, 18,830 lux (readings taken at 5600K @ 1m). The Warrior 1000XR appealed to freelancers because of its power compared to its relatively compact form factor and competitively priced.
When it comes down to it, our professional LED panels come standard with a travel case and are V-mount battery compatible (sorry, Gold-mount battery users). We are also committed to offering the highest CRI chips and creating lighting units that output soft light from the source.
Now back to smartphones and NAB.
As stated earlier, media groups are using smartphones for their content creation. Aside from accessories, lighting is important which is why our Prizmo Pocket was a hit with these groups. Its small form factor pairs well with a phone rig or mirrorless camera setup. This all-metal panel is adjustable with four lighting modes to work with: CCT, HSI, RGB, and FX mode. The Prizmo Pocket is perfect for short-form content creation on the go. It uses an internal battery that can be charged using the included USB-C cable and can even act as a battery bank.
Another small LED light that made the rounds at our booth was our Factor Radius Mini. A first of its kind, the Factor Radius series features curved LED panels with a 180° beam angle, perfect for lighting large groups of people with no hotspots. The soft, diffused light eliminates the need to use additional accessories to create flattering light. The Radius Mini is bi-color and runs on one NP-F style battery (included). This was an appealing option for camera operators who do interviews at commercial events or work with reporters on location.
Other notable products that caught attendees’ eyes this year were our WonderPana filter system and lens adapters. Our WonderPana system was mostly met by people wanting to know what our ‘matte box looking thing’ was. And if you’re reading this wanting to know what a WonderPana is, it's a Fotodiox-original filter system designed for wide angle lenses that do not have traditional filter threads.
As for lens adapters, people were amazed by our ND Throttle lens adapters. These adapters have a built-in 2 to 8 stop variable ND filter. They offer behind-the-lens filtration while adapting non-native lenses to your camera, and minimize image degradation because the filter is on the rear of the image plane. The PL mount ND Throttles were the most talked about, but our auto focus EF mount versions were also captivating attendees.
For those ‘stills’ guys, our RhinoCam Vertex was asked about due to its unique nature. The RhinoCam Vertex is an adapter that rotates the camera’s sensor in four positions around the image circle of the lens it’s adapted to. These images can then be stitched together to create a square format image. Imagine getting hi-res stills on set with one of these!
Overall, we left a good impression on those who did not know about us. Our large lighting catalog amazed everyone including our loyal customer base who paid us a visit. Although this NAB was somewhat slower than previous years, it gave everyone an idea of what to expect from lighting moving forward. RGB is now the industry standard and weather proofing is the next key feature witnessed at this year's show. The NAB expo confirmed that we are definitely a solid choice in lighting for freelancers and studios. Our lighting catalog reflects that with models for all experience levels. If you want to learn more about our lighting be sure to check out our blog and website or reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’ll check back on this topic in 2023, see ya then, cowboy.