Convergent cameras – DSLRs, mirrorless and “video-first” cameras sold for use in professional video production – achieved European sales of €163.6 million in 2021. That’s according to a new pro video report from Futuresource Consulting, which also shows combined shipments of convergent cameras and pro camcorders increased by 6% between 2018 and 2021.
Interchangeable lens DSLR and mirrorless cameras were primarily designed with stills photographers in mind, yet the introduction of video recording capabilities in the late 2000s transformed the landscape. Experienced filmmakers and students alike seized the opportunity to capture a cinematic look at a price point well below that of digital cinema cameras.
“Many industry veterans point to the release of the Canon 5D Mark II in 2008 as the catalyst that spawned this DSLR revolution,” says Chris Evans, Head of Pro Video, Futuresource Consulting. “And although these cameras were met with scepticism from some professionals, their usage has become commonplace.
“Sure, in the beginning these cameras needed cumbersome workarounds in production pipelines, but many of the initial technical challenges have been overcome and acceptance has grown.”
Futuresource describes three distinct waves in the evolution and maturation of the convergent camera trend. First, there was the accidental breakthrough. Video recording capabilities were added as a differentiator and added value feature, yet this innovation radically shifted the playing field for professional video creators.
Wave two saw the conscious inclusion of professional codecs and features, such as .log colour profiles and focus peaking.
Then the third and most significant wave marked the emergence of an entirely new category of camera, video-first convergent devices, a perfect example being Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera range.
“These third wave products are built around the mirrorless camera form factor, favoured by convergent camera users,” says Evans. “However, they are designed from the ground up with professional video acquisition in mind. Stills photography takes a back seat, and video recording specification is front and centre, even down to the button layout and user interface.
“Since its release in 2018, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has had a transformational impact on the convergent market. Now, manufacturers are leaninginto their R&D teams and cultivating value growth in this segment, with more feature rich video-first devices launching at higher price points. There’s a clear and ascending path marked out by the successive release of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K then the 6K Pro, Panasonic’s DC-BS1H and most recently the Canon EOS R5 C.”
Futuresource expects European sales of convergent products into pro video to peak in 2023. The market will begin to approach saturation and the impact of high-quality smartphones will start to be felt at the lower end of the market.
The research firm’s European report offers a strategic analysis of the market, exploring the numbers of DSLR, mirrorless cameras and “video-first” devices being sold into professional video use in the region, with consideration given to other alternative acquisition devices including action cameras, smartphones and video drones. Total value, installed base, and the extent to which the pro camcorder market is being impacted are also evaluated, along with changing technological and behavioural drivers over the next five years
For further information on Futuresource Consulting’s Convergence in Pro Video Report – Europe, or to make a purchase, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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