7 Videography Trends For 2015
There seems to be a new camera or gadget out every week these days and it can be hard to keep up with every advancement. While its important to remember that the person behind the camera and his/her creative team are the most important component for a video shoot, you do need to keep up to date with the latest gear to stay ahead of the curve. Here are 7 trends for 2015 in the video production world:
4K For The Masses
For tech geeks and camera nerds, 4K is nothing new at this stage. YouTube started supporting it as far back as 2010 and most people will have heard of its existence if not know what it actually is. For the last few years more and more cameras have started supporting 4K capture and now even a lot of smart phones and the latest GoPro model have it too.
The difference in 2015 is the consumer market has caught up and with TVs getting so cheap, manufacturers need something to make people go out and spend their hard earned cash on again - especially after the failure of the 3D 'movement'. 2015 will be the year 4K really sells to the average man on the street. While we're a while away from anything being broadcast in it, major streaming services like Netflix now support it and will give people a reason to think they need to go out and upgrade.
2015 will be the year your granny gets a 4K TV. So if you didn't think you needed to be shooting with it up to now, that all might change pretty quickly.
Facebook Video > YouTube
This is the new Google vs Yahoo, the present day Bebo vs MySpace. A battle for the ages. The last couple of years Facebook have been busy working behind the scenes and all that hard work is starting to pay off.
In as good an indicator as you're likely to get, Facebook Video showed this year during the worlds biggest advertising shootout, the Superbowl, that its ready for a battle. In 2014 YouTube had 94% of online views for Superbowl ads. This year Facebook managed to claw 25% of that from YouTube. You can bet that is a sign of what is to come.
There is also a battle for the all-important content creators. Facebook knows that with the talent comes the ad revenue and they've been trying to poach some of these YouTube channel networks recently. Recent reports have claimed that YouTube are scrambling around trying to protect their turf by paying one group of content creators more than $1million for their 'loyalty'.
It will be interesting to see how it pans out over the year but suffice to say that YouTube's dominance over the last ten years will be put to the test. My only issue with Facebook video at the moment is the compression. They don't seem to have figured out how to avoid destroying our beautiful images while keeping download times short.
Canon Let Slip
As a Canon user myself it pains me to admit it but they've fallen behind. Don't get me wrong, Canon still have amazing cameras on the market and will continue to produce great quality but in terms of the great cinematography camera race, they've slipped down a bit in the pecking order.
Only about 4 years ago they were miles out in front for video shooters around the world. People were ditching their HDV Cams or wondering why they spent so much on that Sony EX3, the DSLR revolution had well and truly put the cat amongst the pigeons. They were killing it with cameras like the 5D Mark II and the 7D which changed the way people worked and brought shallow depth of field and beautiful cinematic images to the masses.
But technology moves fast and now people want more, and crucially more bang for their buck. People's wants and needs have moved on from just shallow depth of field and decent low light performance. They want 4K, RAW, super slow motion, slow motion in RAW, 4K in RAW… you get the idea.
Canon have been far too slow to adapt to these needs and their offerings are either coming too late (*cough* C300 Mark II) or are just quite expensive in comparison to some of the competition. All the while direct competitors like Blackmagic and Sony are showing far more innovation and value for money with their latest offerings (See the Blackmagic URSA and Sony FS7).
If you own a Canon C300, while it's still a great camera, if you plan on upgrading to 4K I'd sell early this year before its resale value plummets.
It's nearly two years now since I first heard about the MōVi stabilisation system when Vincent Laforet first blogged about this revolutionary new product.
Working on a 3 axis gyro-stabilised base, the MōVi completely changed that way a small or one-man crew can operate. It opened so many doors into what you could do with a moving camera in your hands without seeing any clumsy camera shake. Dolly moves and jib shots could be achieved in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take.
However the original $15k and $7.5k price points for the two MōVi models, while extremely good value for bigger production houses and the like, still meant a sizeable investment for most of the potential market. With every great invention though, it doesn't take long for people to start to replicating the idea and there's been a few notable competitors that have popped up for MōVi, the DJI Ronin probably being the most well known.
This technology is still relatively new but 2015 will see a whole bunch of new models flooding the market and with that, the price dropping lower and lower. 2014 already saw people developing them for iPhones, GoPros and smaller DSLR cameras but expect to see more and more come on the market making those amazing cinematic shots become a reality for your production.
A Handsome Man Enters
You might have thought the camera market was pretty saturated already. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic are the old boys who aren't going anywhere. Over the last few years though we've seen a few newbies join in, in video at least, with Blackmagic and RED a few years previous. If you were eyeing up your latest investment/toy you'd have been pretty safe in limiting your research to the brands above.
2015 sees a new player that's ready to make some waves - Samsung. More associated with their smart phones and TVs, they have been making cameras for a few years now but if we're honest, not many of us have taken them too seriously. This year we may have to.
They've jumped on the mirrorless bandwagon (See 2015 Photography trends) and by all accounts they seem to be nailing it. Their flagship compact camera, the NX300, is getting great reviews wherever you look but for video it might be the NX1 that will catch your eye.
Camera blogger Andrew Reid over on EOSHD.com recently put this up against the mighty Canon C300, and for pure image quality the results may surprise you. The image is remarkably clear even magnified up to a 1-1 crop on its 4K mode. Far clearer and less noise at its base ISO than the C300. Not bad for a camera that retails somewhere around $10k cheaper.
They're also running with the new H265 codec which will get a lot more information onto your SD cards and the image quality will be far better than its crumby little brother, H264. (Granted that might cause a few issues in post given the slow uptake on support for the codec.)
Another feature that Samsung are leading the way in brings me on to my next trend:
Camera engineers have been remarkably slow are implementing Wi-Fi as a standard feature across the board but this year that might change that. Wi-Fi on most cameras released to date has been unreliable, slow and the pairing apps have been pretty basic.
In 2015, a world of instant connectivity, its surprising that its taken so long for manufacturers to realise that there is big untapped potential here. As mentioned above, Samsung is making it more of a priority using the much faster Wi-Fi 802.11ac as well as bluetooth.
In the coming year expect people to follow Samsung's suit and improve this end of things. The connections will be faster, more people will use it and the Wi-Fi pairing apps which, up to now have left a lot to be desired, will improve.
Marketeers are finally putting their money where their mouths are and investing in video. The last few years, video stats have given marketers the ammunition they need to go to their bosses and get video budget. Brands are communicating differently with their customers online and this movement seems to have finally trickled down to even the most old school creative directors out there.
If you're a shooter, editor, animator, director, producer or all of the above than this is great news. Agencies and publishing companies are throwing themselves at video production and if they're not hiring people in house, their video production companies are getting a bigger slice of the pie than ever before.
You can be thankful you bothered finishing that seemingly aimless media degree now!
Simon is a freelance videographer and photographer based in Dublin, Ireland. Check out his website to see some of his work.