BVE is an annual exhibition hosted at The Excel in London, in which the broadcast and production industries show off all the latest video and tech trends. I’ve attended the event for the last few years and always come away with a great sense of what the industry might look like in the future. This year was no exception, with several things standing out.
The first thing that jumped out at me was the sheer amount of LED lighting on display. Whilst there were still many traditional bulb lights at the show, there was an obvious and big shift towards LED technology. As well as the square panel shaped lights there were also extremely powerful redhead LED’s which are trying to directly compete with redheads. I also looked at LED toplights and was particularly impressed with the circular LED toplights that I thought gave a really soft glow which looked great for interviews – perfect for online video production.
With cameras getting smaller and smaller, the need for stabilisation and greater camera control has expanded massively in the last few years. Varying from simple shoulder rigs, to complex gyro stabilisers such as the ‘MoVI’, there is a huge selection of devices available to help steady your shot. However, what interested me were the mid-level Glidecams for camcorders that offer smooth shots at an affordable price. I had a quick go ‘flying’ a Canon C100 and I was amazed at how easily it handled the weight of the camera, and how smooth it made the shot without the need for a bulky vest. In summary – a great way to get the freedom of handheld without all the shake and wobble, something our corporate video production clients will be excited to hear about.
It seemed like the show was all about 4K this year, which if you haven’t heard of it, is a kind of ultra HD which offers four times the resolution of standard HD. I attended the special 4K seminar and watched stunning aerial footage of the capital that was shot in 4K. The amount of detail in the footage is spectacular, and makes me excited for the applications 4K can have in film, television and video production services in the future. Unfortunately, for now the format is still a long way off and is largely unavailable to consumers, but my brush with 4K at BVE has given me hope that it will be with us very soon!
One common theme was that every other stall seemed to have drone mounted cameras. These are small (or in some cases big!) remote controlled helicopters that can hold anything from go-pros to full broadcast cameras. The footage on display in the booths looked incredible, and while they are technically complex, they can offer affordable aerial shots for every kind of production.
There was a lot of buzz around Black Magic Design – a company renowned for making fantastic good value digital film cameras. I managed to try out both the Cinema Camera and the Pocket Cinema Camera, and I was particularly impressed by their pocket cinema camera which is about the size of the iPhone and produces stunning filmic results! It was genuinely difficult to tell the difference between this camera and its bigger brother, which would work as a fantastic B Camera. They were also showing off their new 4K camera.
It was an impressive year for technology at BVE this year, and has already got me excited to go back in 2015!