NAB 2016

Las Vegas, Nevada

It’s been 10 years since the first time I attended NAB in April 2006. I had arrived at an inflection point for the motion picture camera industry – even though I did not realize it at the time.

That year ARRI introduced the ARRI 416, their first completly new Super 16 film camera in 30 years. Super 16 was super-hot at the time. But few realized what was coming.

The 416 would be the last ever ARRI film camera to be developed. It would have a short production run, unlike it’s predecessor the 16SR, which was in production for 30 years and 5100 camera bodies in all it’s variations.

2006 was also the year ARRI was promoting the newly introduced, rental-only ARRI Arriflex D-20 digital cinema camera.  After the ARRI NAB Hofbrauhaus party  I hung out with a few of the ARRI guys. That’s when I first  head of RED, when one of them mentioned visiting their booth. None of us could believe the that they could deliver a digital cinema camera with the promised specs for $17.5k. One of the ARRI D-20 engineers was present, and we asked him “could you buy just the sensor from the D-20 for $17.5k? His answer: “I don’t think so.”

The rest is cinema history. Nothing would ever be the same again.

I’m here again at NAB 2016. It will be interesting to see not only what’s new this year, but to consider the perspective of how much things have changed in the last 10 years.

-Jorge Diaz-Amador