Tops and Flops of 2015

Time is flying, year 2015 is now almost behind us, so we can start looking backwards and analyze the trends.
In an industry like video production, that reinvents itself every few years, it’s possible to see significant changes on a yearly basis.

Three years that changed the Industry

  • 2013 has seen offering of 4K and Digital Cinematography EXPLODE
  • I remember spending the last months of 2013 adding support to Treasured for a slew of new formats and cameras: ARRIRAW, Sony RAW in CineAlta series, Sony XAVC, Canon Cinema RAW, Blackmagic RAW
    It seemed like every vendor had to release the new stuff before end of year. Some products were clearly not ready for prime time, and have been panned by reviewers and early adopters.

  • In 2014 this first wave of new products went from testing to field use.
  • RAW video functionality, a major new feature present in most of those products, turns out to be rarely used. Over the last 2 years, we have not seen any Canon Cinema RAW user requesting our services…

    Canon Cinema RAW frame
    Treasured preview

    Canon RAW is so rarely used that we haven’t bothered to provide color previews in Treasured…

    Winners and losers of the first round quickly emerged:
    Sony presented a coherent and comprehensive solution called XAVC (coherent at least from marketing stand point, in follow-up posts I will explain why technically XAVC is a clusterf…) and won, Canon with its baroque offering confused everybody and lost.

  • In 2015 came the second wave of 4K products
  • After 2013 products rush and 2014 triage, the manufacturers have now a better understanding of what video professionals need and expect.
    In 2015 we are seeing more mature products, and volumes that indicate that they are becoming mainstream and replacing the previous generation:
    Panasonic Lumix GH4, Sony AX, and Sony alpha 7 are replacing older Canon 7D, Canon C300 and other XDCAM products.
    Canon is also the main loser of 2015, its Canon 7D Mark II is not interesting a lot of people. But 2016 could be their year, as the new Canon C300 Mark II looks like a winner.

My 2015 ranking

The trends I have observed through 2015 can be summarized by this ranking:

#5 External Recorders
#4 Sony XAVC-I (Sony F5/F55) and -L cameras (Sony PXW)
#3 XAVC-S Sony A7S, Sony AX series
#2 DJI drones
#1 Panasonic Lumix GH4

In next posts I will go through the ranking, item by item, and explain surprising things about each…
For video file internals often reveals how things were engineered, what the plans initially were, and what the future allows for.