With 2017 almost in the rear view mirror, it’s time to focus on next year. What are the biggest video industry trends for 2018 and, no less importantly, which gear is right for the job?
We’ve seen quite some game-changing products and concepts in these passed years. 8K has really arrived now in various shapes: RED’s Montro sensor, the no less monstrous Sharp 8C-B60A camera or Panavision’s own monster, called DXL. 360°, virtual reality and augmented reality are becoming mainstream. Just grab a RED Hydrogen phone and you’re all set (at least in theory, let’s see when it comes out). Editing and finishing software is getting more and more affordable. DaVinci Resolve is now a full-blown editing, audio mastering & color grading suite with collaboration features for $299. Insane!
Mainstream Video Tech Trends for 2018
But what’s next, how to utilize all these and all other technological advances? And which are the real technical trends you should go for during the year to come? I think there are some siginificant trends you should be aware of for 2018 which have the potential of upping your game as an indie filmmaker.
Autofocus for video
First up: autofocus. Yes, I know, a divisive topic. But the technology is here to stay, that’s for sure. Over the past year the technology has advanced big times and I believe it will play a major role as one of the trends for 2018.
A lot of shots are very complicated to pull off when you are working as a one-man-band. Have you ever tried to execute a fancy gimbal move while maintaing focus through the entire shot? Not a trivial thing to do. Autofocus can help here. There are some quirks here and there, still, but with increasing sensor performance and computing power the abilities of autofocus-fueled cameras and lenses will spiral upwards.
Pro video features in portable cameras
Another trend might be portability. A lot of gear comes in the shape of big, bulky devices, designed to be operated by a whole crew. I personally own a C300 Mark II. It’s a fine filmmaking device but in order to work handheld with it I’ve had to add a baseplate, a Gratical VF, a follow focus and myriads of other tiny bits and pieces. Neither exactly lightweight, nor really portable. I need two ARRI bags all the time and that’s without a tripod.
With small form-factor cameras becoming more and more capable and versatile, you should look out for new compact, yet powerful cameras in 2018! Besides of a possible Sony a7S III, we’ll certainly see other compact yet powerful (and audio-friendly, please) camera package in 2018! The AXIOM camera looks very promising already and devices like Edelkrone’s SliderONE Pro could be a very capable little helper while maintaining a small footprint.
The market seems to slowly recognize a rising need for such devices and, thanks to Moore’s law, a small footprint is no hurdle to power pro gear anymore.
The 3rd of this list of trends is related to portability, but it’s not the same. It’s collaboration. I’m speaking software here. With services like frame.io or wipster.io it’s dead simple to work on a shared project over the internet. With full integration built into popular NLE’s like Adobe Premiere Pro it’s really easy to keep track of changes while on the go. Portability, so to speak. DaVinci Resolve 14 offers collaboration features, too. But these features only work in wired network enviroments for now. Using the aforementioned services also require handling the source footage from one computer to the next unless you’re fine with annotating snippets of the original timeline.
The real trend here is cutting the wires. I think it won’t be long until real co-editing of large video projects over the internet becomes a reality. With services like MASV.io sending large amounts of data over the internet already is a reality. Maybe 2018 won’t be the year of unlimited high-res internet-driven collaboration in post production but this is a very interesting development for the years to come.
What are YOUR shooting trends for 2018?
All of these trends have one thing in common: The individualization of (indie-)filmmaking. No heavy gear and no crew of 5+ people is required anymore. You still can go big, of course. The point is: you don’t have to. With 2018 around the corner you will have the freedom to choose how you want to pull off a given project. No more sacrifices in quality just because the camera of choice is too expensive or too heavy to work with on that job. A good thing, I would say. Hello 2018!
What are your trends for 2018? Do you expect any major breakthroughs in your workflow due to the manifestation of some of the mentioned trends, or completely different ones? Share your thoughts in the comments below!