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GoPro Acquires Cinform: My Response

Ah, NAB. ‘Tis the Season. It’s like Christmas for technology announcements. I would be  remiss if I didn’t comment/respond to this post hast due to my extensive (exclusive?) use of Cineform in about every single project for the last ah, 4 years now? @David_Newman’s been tweeting for a few days now that there’s big news coming and this certainly is big news!

You can read the press release here but in a nutshell: GoPro (you know, the awesome action sports cams) acquires Cineform (you know, the totally awesome codec I use for mastering and finishing).

Here are my reactions:

1. AWESOME! A real codec in a camera! Finally!! Seals my plans for a GoPro purchase once the new ones are released.

2. Does this cheapen Cineform? Probably, if they’re only slapping a D-Cinema mastering codec in $300 camera. But They’re not. Cineform is going to become a household name especially in the sports entertainment world and for guys at home recording their latest adventures. This is a GOOD thing. Imagine all the small guys thinking “this codec was used on some of the latest IMAX stuff, 127 hours” etc. Greater adoption and acceptance overall.

The press release indicates that they’re going to continue supporting their cinema and professional projects *here.* The Cineform codec is completely ready to go- no R&D and little tweaking if any is needed to put it in the GoPro line. So what’s that mean then? It means Cineform now has a way bigger budget to put into current and developing work by a company that certainly isn’t going away any time soon.

3. This says a lot about GoPro. They’re doing something no other camera company is doing: taking capture codecs seriously (exceptions being maybe Arri and Red). GoPro’s making a statement about quality and accessibility. That to me speaks volumes about where their values lie as a company when it comes to image capturing.

4. My only reservation is the risk of becoming proprietary to a camera but since they have an existing, open codec supported by everyone from Avid to Resolve, I don’t see any reason why GoPro wouldn’t be seen it as additional revenue generating and beneficial to their products as well as the industry.

As far as how it affects me? I shoot everything to Cineform when possible, usually transocoding when I get it in to my system if it was captured alternatively and I own a Cinedeck and well, this just gives me even more options that fit within my workflow.

PS. The change from Cineform to GoPro Cineform is dumb.


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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