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Is Acquisition Up for Grabs?

Posted by Rebekah Toth Burns on August 14, 2014

When the video and digital cinema world talks about cameras we are often talking about a handful of manufactures: Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Arri, Red, Vision Research, and maybe JVC. Has anybody else noticed the trend of post production companies moving into manufacturing cameras? Ok so they don’t all come from post production but there seems to be more and more nontraditional camera manufactures these days.

This phenomenon first came to our attention with BlackMagic Design at NAB in 2012 when they announced their Digital Cinema Camera. Since then they now offer five cameras from the funny looking studio camera to the Pocket Cinema Camera. All of these cameras from the same guys who brought us DaVinci Resolve, ATEM switchers, converters and so on. BlackMagic stated in a press release on June, 17th 2014 that all of their cameras can capture 3 additional Apple Pro Res codecs (ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, and ProRes 422 Proxy) with the free firmware update 1.8.2 available on their website.

More recently we saw the AJA CION announced this year. From the widely popular KONA card that offers Editors connectivity, to the Ki Pro that enables Pro Res to be recorded on sight, and now the CION camera that captures Pro Res within the camera. Are you starting to see a pattern yet?

Kevin Braband Crews Control represented DP and contributing blogger said this “The new kids on the block are BlackMagic and AJA. I believe these companies are the game changers. They are causing the usual guys to take a look at what they are offering.” He went on to say “This year at NAB, there were really no new cameras introduced from the big guys. Instead, they are offering upgrades, new firmware, etc. to current cameras. The big boys are looking over their shoulders”.

Contributing blogger and Crews Control represented DP Curt Pair clued me into another company who have moved into acquisition recently. Astro Design, as Curt reminded me, has made waveform and vector scopes for years. They also make monitors, peripherals, and all sorts of other video equipment. Once I did a bit more digging I found that Astro has been in the camera manufacturing game for several years and has even successfully transmitted a 4K signal via satellite back in 2012. They are going on to manufacturer 8K cameras as well.

At Crews Control we chat with all kinds of professionals in video production: Media Center Directors, Directors of Photography, independent Video Producers, manufacturers, resellers, and bloggers. We love to share when trends emerge and all signs point to an industry shift in camera manufacturers.

We would love to hear from you. Who thinks this trend is a flash in the pan? Or is this something that we will see more of in the future? Please comment on our blog, Facebook page, Twitter account or LinkedIn page.

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