The global pandemic had an adverse effect on production in the early stages of 2020. Many set closures across the industry brought the industry to a temporary halt, until it was able to establish Covid-safe production practices. Once these plans were laid out and adopted across key production hub countries, high-end production was able to resume.
However, this new way of working presented its own challenges. High-end production commenced at a much slower pace than before, often with interruptions due to Covid outbreaks among crew and talent alike. Due to this initial period of downtime for the industry in 2020, a content gap was created. As global SVoD subscriptions and watch time steadily rose, as did the demand for more new shows to watch.
Due to the sharp rise in consumer demand, the industry entered 2021 in a relatively positive state. Largely due to the investments being made across the SVoD space, facilitating the creation of new and original content. As a result, the rise in demand for high-end digital cinema cameras to support the volume of production happening simultaneously across the industry, has risen. As such, many rental companies’ existing camera fleets are being heavily utilised.
Add to this an increased emphasis on regional and localised SVoD content creation, the industry now also has a need for H-E DCC in markets that did not traditionally have a lot of high-end production happening before the pandemic.
From a technology perspective, all major camera vendors have been innovating behind the scenes. Sony, RED and Arri have all recently brought to market products with sensors that are larger in size than the traditional industry standard Super 35 Sensors. This new generation of >Super 35 sensor DCC are providing directors and Directors of Photography with new creative options in terms of the look and visual character they can create in their work.
What’s more, RED and Sony both released new 8K cameras in H2 2021 to cater to the growing demand for capturing projects in the highest resolution available for futureproofing and post-production benefits.
Against the backdrop of chipset and component supply issues, this product category has been quite resilient. Annual sales of these high-end products are relatively low in volume – even on a global scale – yet they are also high in value. This has meant that vendors have often given priority to manufacturing H-E DCC over lower-end products when components are limited.
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