Happy New Year from CineD – A Look Back and One Ahead

Happy New Year from CineD! 2022 was quite a year for CineD – apart from some thoughts on what lies behind us, let’s take a closer look at some noteworthy statistics and a brief look ahead to what’s in store for 2023!

2022 has come to an end, and it’s time to take a step back and look at everything that has happened – in our industry in general, and at CineD in particular. And because we’re only getting started, I’m excited to share some of our biggest plans for the upcoming year with you, as well.

But let’s start with a brief recap of what has happened in our filmmaking technology industry as a whole.

Filmmaking tech in 2022: Disrupted supply chains and industry-disrupting products?

In terms of our filmmaking technology industry, as a late consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the factory shutdowns that followed, we saw unprecedented interruptions in supply chains for many of the components and materials that are needed to build the electronics we love. To put it simply, it was a lot more difficult to get your camera/lens/light in a reasonable amount of time. That also hampered product introductions for most manufacturers, with the uncertainty of when they would finally be able to ship in any meaningful numbers.

Innovation in mid-range cameras …

In terms of camera innovation, I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t a revolutionary year for mid-range cameras like the mirrorless category, but we saw lots of refinement (better AF, better codecs, smaller form factors …) in cameras such as the FUJIFILM X-H2 (our mirrorless camera of the year), X-H2S, Canon EOS R5 C, Sony FX30 and recent updates to the Nikon Z 9. In general, the market is threatened by constant advancements in mobile phone filmmaking (when was the last time you saw a bunch of tourists with cameras instead of phones?) and has also been shrinking for years.

The FUJIFILM X-H2 was selected CineD Mirrorless Camera of the Year 2022. Image credit: CineD.

… and giant leaps for high-end cinema.

Regarding the higher-end cameras though, we witnessed the advent of the ARRI ALEXA 35, which in terms of dynamic range and latitude completely blew the competition out of the water in our much-acclaimed industry-renowned Lab Test. A completely new sensor – the first new one for ARRI in over 12 years – yields results that promise to define the top-end tier of cinema cameras for years to come. And it comes at a great time for ARRI – while the medium-range market is probably shrinking, the high-end market of cameras is booming thanks to the production boom with lots of streaming services competing for eyeballs and subscription dollars (and the best talent).

A revolution for high-end filmmaking: the ARRI ALEXA 35. Image credit: CineD

CineD in 2022: Cameras & Lens Databases launched, more reviews & more education than ever before

With the pandemic being far from over at the beginning of the year, we doubled down on our efforts to become the ultimate online “Swiss Army Knife for Filmmakers” by continuing to invest heavily in new features and content, while working with the best people.

CineD Databases on desktop and mobile devices
Introduced with great success in 2023: The CineD Camera & Lens Databases. Image credit: CineD.

CineD Camera & Lens Databases

In August, we finally launched the CineD Databases, which had been in development for many years. We wanted it to be the ultimate resource for verified and comparable information about camera performance, marrying the results of our much-acclaimed Lab Tests (dynamic range, latitude, and rolling shutter results) and additional camera data such as full lists of recording modes and times for all cameras we’ve tested. On top of that, the Lens Database and a Lens Coverage Tool combine data from the Camera and Lens Databases.

From the feedback we received, I think it’s fair to say we succeeded in our goal to become the ultimate resource for camera tech information. Larry Sher, ASC, director of photography (Joker, the Hangover, and many more) emailed me saying, “The Databases are revolutionary. This is something I’ve wanted to exist in one place for so long and you nailed it.” It’s exactly this type of feedback that keeps us going and makes us strive to give back to the community even more!

The Databases are revolutionary. This is something I’ve wanted to exist in one place for so long and you nailed it.

Larry Sher, ASC

The return of trade shows – and CineD’s return of their video coverage

2022 also marked the return of industry trade shows – at a smaller scale to get them started again, but in general to great feedback. Everyone involved realized what they’d been missing for the last few years when these events couldn’t take place. It’s really not about the gear, but the personal interaction with colleagues and manufacturers in a relaxed atmosphere. And just like before, we began traveling the world again to cover the shows: BSC Expo in London, NAB in Las Vegas, Cine Gear in Los Angeles, IBC in Amsterdam, InterBEE in Tokyo … the world returned to that trade show circus big-time. We shot dozens and dozens of trade show videos and covered many new products, so be sure to head over to our YouTube channel if you have missed some of that coverage.

CineD stand at IBC 2022
CineD stand at IBC 2022. We’ll also be coming to NAB 2023 in Las Vegas, with our own booth. Image credit: CineD.

We were also very proud of our first trade show booth this year at IBC in Amsterdam in September. We’ve been covering trade shows since 2008, but meanwhile, CineD has grown so much that we needed a presence on the show floor apart from our omnipresence covering new products at other brands’ booths – in order to talk and meet all of you, our great audience members, promote our MZed Filmmaking Education products, do giveaways and talk to advertisement clients.

And exactly because our experience at IBC was so great, we have also committed to having a booth at NAB in Las Vegas in April 2023. We’ll announce more details on what we have planned in the coming months. But you can be sure that your trip to Vegas will be worth it when you meet us there – we will do more daily giveaways of gear for sure!

The importance of original video content for CineD

Different from some other sites that cover the industry, we think it’s essential to produce as much original video content as possible for our audience. After all, filmmaking is our profession, so we should also do our best to produce as many moving images as possible for an audience that is professional in exactly that. This is why our YouTube channel is a top priority for the small CineD team: High-quality, unbiased reviews of filmmaking technology as well as relevant industry discussions with thought leaders, and coverage of new, innovative products. In 2022, we produced and published 150 videos on our YouTube channel. In 2023, we will push even more and come up with new formats and try to perfect what we are doing on YouTube, to reach an even bigger audience, and connect the website and YouTube audiences even better.

Most of the 48 reviews we published in 2022 were also video reviews, in addition to the written part. Reviews take most of our time – yet we are committed to testing every single relevant camera in a video review, where we take the camera out and put it in a close-to-real-life situation. On top of the camera reviews, we have also done more accessory reviews this year.

The CineD YouTube channel. Please give us a follow there if you are not subscribed yet. Thank you!

CineD’s written content

But of course, the written content is still at the heart of CineD.com, which is why we pushed hard in that area as well. In 2022, 957 articles were written for the international version of CineD in English, 778 articles for the Japanese version of the site, and 473 for the Spanish version of the site. We can’t thank our editorial team enough for the huge effort. CineD is very prolific, yet relies on the work and experience of a few very dedicated professionals who are scattered around the globe (with our headquarters in Vienna, Austria). If you are interested in joining the ever-growing editorial team, please take a look at our current hiring call for new writers and editors-in-chief. We will get back to every applicant during January.

More important than gear: filmmaking education to develop the skills

In 2021 we acquired MZed, the leading online filmmaking course platform, and made a commitment to filmmaking education. We sincerely believe that next to practicing your craft, only the best filmmaking education can make you a better filmmaker, not the newest gear. Yes, new gear, a new camera with the latest bells and whistles, can get you better visual results if you know how to use it, but it can never replace experience and knowledge on the filmmaking craft itself – be it cinematography, directing, producing, editing or anything else.

Now available: New MZed course on Cinematic Timelapse with Drew Geraci, Part 1. Image credit: District 7 Media/MZed.

2023: CineD is going all-in with more educational courses than ever

Therefore we decided to go all-in with MZed, and in 2022 alone, added 10 full new courses and hundreds of new course lessons, most of which we produced or commissioned. We use our CineD contacts with some of the best filmmakers in the world and world-renowned manufacturers to help shape some of the most amazing courses ever. Just a few days ago we added Part 1 of “Cinematic Timelapse with Drew Geraci”, the brand-new most in-depth brain-picking course of an absolute timelapse master (maker of the famed “House of Cards” intro and many, many more). In the coming weeks, we will add a deep dive into the depth of the Canon EOS R5 C (the Ultimate Video Manual) with Ollie Kenchington, a new course by Alister Chapman explaining how exactly the Cine EI Mode on the Sony FX cameras is to be used, a Wildlife Filmmaking course and a separate Lighting Course by Paul Atkins, ASC and Stephen Lighthill, ASC, and more.

Chock-full of benefits for every serious filmmaker

Our idea is to pack the MZed Pro annual membership with as much valuable content for pro filmmakers and creators as possible, which is why we are also working hard to add as many member discounts and freebies from manufacturers as possible. (My favorite is still the included lifetime 30GB storage from pCloud, a Dropbox alternative that I use day in and day out).

Coming in 2023: a weekly podcast about filmmaking technology

Podcasts are all the rage again, and we’ve been thinking about doing this for a while – and at the beginning of 2023 we will launch it: a regular, probably weekly, podcast on everything that we covered during the past week. “Regular rambling” of Johnnie Behiri and myself, and sometimes other team members and guests, about the newest products, our latest reviews, and our thoughts on what’s happening. The yet-unnamed podcast will be featured on all relevant podcast services as an audio podcast (Apple Podcasts, Spotify…) and likely also in video form on our YouTube channel. More details and a definite launch date in the coming weeks as we figure them out!

Coming soon: Weekly CineD Podcast with our ramblings about what’s happening in the industry! Image credit: Harry Cunningham via Pexels

What else we have in store for you

There’s much more new stuff coming in 2023 that we can’t share just yet. Just be sure to come back frequently to stay updated, as things are moving fast at CineD, and we don’t want you to miss a thing! We promise it’ll be all worth your time and as usual, we look forward to your feedback on everything we do. Let us know in the comments below!

A big THANK YOU to our audience – without you, we’d be nothing. If you like our content, the best way to show appreciation is to watch and read our content, give us a follow on YouTube and Instagram (and any other platforms), and maybe even become a member of MZed Pro, the best online filmmaking education in the world.

Last but surely not least, another HUGE shout-out to everyone at CineD – many faces you don’t get to see that keep everything going, no matter if it’s writing content for the site, the development team, filling the Databases, ad sales, camera assistance, translations and so, so much more. THANK YOU ALL!!

What was your favorite content on CineD in 2022? What do you want to see more of, what do you want us to change? Let us know in the comments below!!

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