Outlook: The merging of cinema & broadcast
Brian Mahar
Issue: November/December 2023

Outlook: The merging of cinema & broadcast

Hybrid, flexible, adaptable — these words come up more and more in conversations with filmmakers, broadcasters and other video professionals. And in an industry and macro-economic environment that has shifted rapidly in the recent years, these needs make complete sense. 

It seems that everywhere we look, convergence is happening. Whether it’s the increasing product crossover between professional and consumer markets, the leveraging of cinema-grade equipment by broadcasters and others outside the film/TV market, or the desire for outstanding still and video hybrid products that reflect the needs of modern creation and capture, fluidity is the force driving multiple industry trends. 

In 2024 and beyond, we expect to see more emphasis on products and solutions that blur the line and bridge necessary gaps so that new technical and creative peaks are made possible. 

The cinema market continues to set the tone in terms of aesthetic quality and creative experimentation. We’re increasingly seeing broadcasters, live-events producers, and other customers leveraging cinema lenses to make their content stand out, rather than relying solely on broadcast-market solutions. They’re looking for that Hollywood sheen.  

And in Hollywood (and various other locations where film/TV is made), we’re seeing that directors and DPs increasingly want more options when it comes to camera bodies and lenses, and to combine manufacturers with greater ease. It is this trend that helped motivate the creation of the RF-mount cinema prime lenses, announced in September, that are ideally suited for full-frame RF-mount cameras. These lenses will pair beautifully with both Canon and Red RF-mount cameras. The flexibility and adaptability provided by the RF lens mount empowers filmmakers with a proliferation of choices and combinations for creative expression in the frame.  

For a wide range of shooters, the ability to capture photo and video interchangeably, and without sacrificing quality, is a growing need when working across environments, industries and platforms. This kind of fluidity necessitates equipment that can achieve beautiful results for both still and video, and is one of the reasons why Canon launched the EOS R5 C in 2022.

Lastly, in 2024 and beyond, there is no area that provides more opportunities for creative flexibility than virtual productions. We’re only at the cusp of what can be made possible across commercials, live events, TV/ films and other uses. Canon’s display technologies and solutions for volumetric capture (our Free Viewpoint System) are only a couple of examples of the advancements made in our industry in the past few years. Achievements in lenses, cameras, LED walls and other solutions tailor-made to this exciting growth area will be a top point of focus for us and others in the next decade.

Brian Mahar is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of Canon USA (www.usa.canon.com).