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Tag Archive: 2014

  1. Five Predictions for Video Production in 2015 – Part 1

    future-of-cameras

     Last year, I posted my five predictions for video production in 2014.  Let’s take a look back and see the hits and misses.

    #1 – 4K Heyday

    With far more new cameras offering 4K resolution, I think this was an accurate call. I also suggested selling your Sony EX1. That camera has lost about 40% of its value this year.  I predicted a new 4K camera in the $5,000 to $8,000 range before the end of the year, and the Sony FS7 is exactly that.   This prediction gets a “confirmed” rating.

    #2 – Prosumer Video DSLR

    This prediction is mostly accurate, if you replace “DSLR” with “mirrorless.” The GH4 shoots and records 4K video on a crop sensor and can be outfitted with timecode and XLR ins.  The Sony A7s has significantly larger pixels than previous DSLRs, and definitely qualifies for “far better low-light performance.”  The miss here was all about Canon’s strategy.  Instead of delivering a 4K DSLR, Canon avoided bringing their video and photo lines in direct competition.  While the merits of this strategy may outweigh the risks to Canon right now, there’s a lot of other companies who aren’t afraid to shake up the market between still/video and prosumer/professional. This prediction gets a “sorta” rating.

    #3 – Lytro in Motion

    The closest match to this prediction is Pelican Imaging’s announcement of “upcoming” video support for their light field camera. 2014 also saw the release of the first light-field plugin for an NLE (Frauenhofer’s Light Field plugin for Avid). Lytro, the leader in bringing light field to consumers, spent their efforts on improving photographs. The Lytro Illum is really a fantastic camera within the tiny niche of light field photography, and the Lytro Development Kit has put the hardware and software in the hands of NASA and the DOD, who have video applications on the horizon.  Want to develop with the LDK? You’ll just need $20,000 a year. The part of the prediction I missed? This revolution is not hyped at all.  We’ll probably need a storyteller or brand to start using light field video before the world at large sees it and starts to take notice.  I give this predition a “mostly” rating.

    #4 – LED over HMI

    This year was certainly a banner year for LED technology. We’ve seen a dozen new manufacturers, and several are emerging as leaders in the LED video lighting category. Arri updated their LED fixtures with a 25% brightness improvement. This was significant, but the fixtures are still a long way from matching a 575w HMI in output (to be precise, an L7 has about 40% of the 5600k output of an HMI at 575w). Arri also launched the L5 fixture, with less output than the L7, less color adjustments, and lower CRI.  The biggest advantage of the L5 is battery operation. This prediction gets called a “miss.”

    #5 – Magic Lantern will change or become irrelevant

    2014 saw the announcement of the Axiom line of open-source video cameras, with firmware to be developed by the Magic Lantern team.  I think that qualifies as a significant change.  The ML team put a great deal of effort into making raw recording more stable, but the Blackmagic 4K camera gave shooters raw files with higher resolution, more dynamic range, and significantly more manageable workflow. For shooters that don’t need raw, cameras like the GH4 integrate nicely into existing workflows (and shoulder rigs, memory cards, and lenses too).  We’ve seen the rentals of the Canon 5D3 for video shooters drop around September 2014. This prediction gets another “mostly” rating.

    Now I’m off to write part 2, where I make new predictions for 2015.

    Posted by Jon Kline

  2. Five Predictions for Video Production in 2014

    The Future - Mimi and Eunice

    At the end of every year, Mason Resnick at Adorama does his photography predictions for the next year.  It inspired me to start our own annual tradition, and make this list of video predictions for 2014.  This is where I predict the industry will be headed in the next 365 days.

    4K Heyday

    This will be the year that 4K hits critical mass.  The hurdles (media, processing power, and sensor sensitivity) have all been cleared, and it’s only a matter of time before all broadcasters start accepting 4K content.  If you’re on the fence about selling your EX1 or HMC-150, now’s probably a great time to sell.  With the PXw-Z100 available already, we’ll likely see a 4K offering from either Panasonic or Canon in the $5,000-$8,000 range before the end of 2014.

    The Prosumer Video DSLR

    At first blush, making a DSLR specifically for video seems a little silly.  But being able to pack a large sensor in a tiny package has made a huge difference for film-style shoots.  The Canon 1Dc is the only DSLR camera with professional-level video functions right now, but I predict we’ll see another one under $3,500.  I think the most likely is a Canon 7D-series camera with the “C” designation, shooting 4K video on a 1.6x crop sensor.  We may even see an 8.3MP or 8.8MP DSLR, whose sensor and pixels are engineered for perfect QHD or 4K, with far better low-light performance over “traditional” DSLRs.  Canon spent most of the last few years trying to keep their DSLR market from eating their video market, but 2014 will be the year they start to compete head-to-head.

    Lytro in Motion

    Shoot now, focus later.  The Lytro light-field camera is basically a cool novelty, taking still pictures using complex techniques in a miniaturized system.  2014 will include the first announcement of a light-field video camera system. It will be well-hyped, unstable, impractical, and expensive, and probably not actually available to a consumer for many years.

    LED over HMI

    The engineering challenges that faced LED lighting are starting to be overcome.  2013 saw LEDs take over in the studio and stage markets.  2014 will be the year for Arri to offer an alternative to a 575w HMI, in a format that’s durable enough for everyday location use, passively cooled, and color-accurate enough (90+ CRI) to use on high-profile projects.

    Magic Lantern will Change or Become Irrelevant

    The developers on the Magic Lantern team have completely changed the way Canon DSLRs are used for video.  Their features have been basically required for pro-level shooters using the 5D mark 3 or 7D.  Lately, they’ve been focused much more on building out esoteric features, not creating stable releases.  2014 will be the year the group either splinters off into two groups with significantly different objectives, or pro shooters move en masse to a newer, more stable platform (see the Prosumer Video DSLR above).  Amateurs will likely continue using ML for the next decade, but they’re not the ones who make generous PayPal donations.

    Posted by Jon Kline


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