Sony's Ci Cloud Production system now accepts video from iPhones

Written by David Shapton

Sony/RedSharkSony Ci

Sony is one of only a handful of companies that has a credible vision - and the means to deliver it - for its cloud services. Behind the scenes, they've been working for a long time with the sort of back-end technology that has to be in place before you can even think about offering a cloud-based production system

And just days after announcing the pricing for their first Ci offerings, Sony has today sprung a surprise by showing another piece of the puzzle: uploads to Ci directly from mobile devices.

Sony's new Ci Capture app, which will initially be iOS-only but is likely to be ported to other mobile platforms as well, is more than just a way of uploading mobile footage. For the first time, it's an acknowledgement that professionally used content can come from non-professional sources.

Ever since the Hudson River incident in 2009, when the world learned first about the safe landing of flight no 1549 on Twitter, the trend towards mobile, consumer devices capturing news footage has been inexorable.

Today, there's a complete of spectrum from high-end digital cinematography cameras to smartphones, and all are capable of acquiring useful content. Smartphones are everywhere, and and you can get some very respectable footage from many of them.

Serious work?

In case you still think that smartphone footage is unusable for serious work, just remember the quality of the original Betacam ENG recordings. A good smartphone (like an iPhone 5s) can easily better this.

So the Sony Ci Capture offers the shortest possible route between an unexpected, breaking news story and the newsroom. Any event, anywhere, can be in front of news editors quite literally within seconds - completely eliminating the need to transfer footage to a laptop computer before uploading to a news organisation or production team. You can even imagine educational projects using Ci where students gather their footage and while their professors or peers asses and comment on the footage.

It's important

It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of this. It's not just an app;  it's an enabler.  It's a missing link between increasingly ubiquitous mobile devices (tablets, smartphones etc) , and a professional production chain. It's expected to be available later this year.

And remember that this is today. Apple's recently announced 5s is no less than 56 times more powerful than the seminal first iPhone. That was seven years ago.

So, what sort of mobile video capture devices will we have in seven years from now? It's hard even to know where to start with that.

These are exciting times.

Tags: Production

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