NAB 2023: Shaping the Future of Photography with Fujifilm and Camera to Cloud
On March 31, 2023, we marked the two-year anniversary of releasing Camera to Cloud along with our two launch partners—Teradek and Sound Devices. Since its launch, we’ve enabled more than 8,000 productions, added numerous new integrations and partnerships, and heard from so many of you how Camera to Cloud has profoundly changed the way you create video.
Today, we’re thrilled to bring Camera to Cloud to a new segment of the industry. With the FUJIFILM X-H2 and X-H2S in-camera integration, photographers can now access the same advancement in cloud-production workflows that video creators have been enjoying for two years.
This first-of-its-kind innovation has been tested by photographers during the beta release, and early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve already heard anecdotes about how important having automatic backups would have been in the event of a corrupted SD card. Or how a photographer was able to deliver a short-turnaround job in the same day. Or how convenient it is to know that at the end of a long shoot day the files were already safely in the cloud without needing to be manually uploaded. And that’s just the beginning.
Fujifilm goes first
As a company committed to innovation, Fujifilm has been at the forefront of development in the camera industry for decades. If you look at their history, they began producing photographic film and other materials in the 1930s. From there, they spotted the trend of film moving to digital, and successfully pivoted to digital technologies in the 1980s. It was, in fact, Fujifilm that created the first fully digital camera to save data to a semiconductor memory card, which they unveiled at the 1988 Photokina show in Germany.
Now, in 2023, Fujifilm is again ahead of the curve by partnering with Frame.io to pioneer the first in-camera integration for photographers with Camera to Cloud (RED, of course, has already deployed their C2C integration in the RED V-RAPTOR, V-RAPTOR XL, and KOMODO).
Like RED, Fujifilm understands the inevitability of cloud-first workflows and how they will save creators time and money, reduce stress, and increase creative control. And like us at Frame.io, they understand that early adopters stay ahead by having the time to build out and fine tune their products while others play catch up.
What Camera to Cloud originally set out to do was to eliminate the need to move physical media in the form of a drive or a card from a set or location before people could view it or begin editing it. Camera to Cloud fundamentally changed the way creatives worked because it broke the barriers of time and distance so that no matter where your collaborators are, they no longer have to wait. Waiting for drives to be shipped, offloaded, transcoded, uploaded, and ingested used to take somewhere between hours and days.
Now, that wait has been reduced to seconds. The fact that your collaborators can be on another continent and participate in your shoot as if they were physically there enables creativity in a whole new way. The fact that your editor can start cutting with takes that were just captured adds their essential voice to the discussion. We’ve seen it demonstrated literally thousands of times over the past two years, most recently with the video team at the Sundance Film Festival, where the creative director discovered how easy it was to “call audibles” for the teams shooting in the field, giving them a “beautiful [creative] dialogue.”
Field tested, photographer approved
We never release a new integration unless we’ve put it through the paces ourselves, and this one is no different. So for our launch video we asked renowned entertainment photographer Kurt Iswarienko to not just star in our shoot, but to also use the FUJIFILM X-H2 and X-H2S Camera to Cloud integration to send RAW files to Frame.io.
As someone who’s used to complicated multi-day shoots with celebrities and lots of moving pieces, Kurt views his role as that of a storyteller first and foremost. Often he’s the one who handles the post-production of his photographs and takes them to their finished form. But sometimes he hands a hard drive with his images off to an agency or studio, who takes over the post from there. For him, what this new kind of workflow importantly unlocks is the ability to more closely achieve his creative vision in camera.
From a practical standpoint, this workflow also saves time. With the kind of high-end shoots Kurt does, there are always lots of stakeholders who need to weigh in, not all of whom are physically present for the shoot. Until now, Kurt’s digitech would have to stop what they’re doing, make a .jpeg, get the person’s email address, send it, and wait for them to see the email and give feedback.
“The RAW file can go immediately to the editor in real time.”
Not only that, they had very little control over how those images would be viewed and at what quality. This new integration means that anyone who needs to give feedback can monitor the shoot as it’s happening, and you know that what they’re seeing is of a quality that’s high enough to give informed notes.
What’s also incredibly valuable is that now, with our new Capture One integration, the RAW file can go immediately to the editor in real time, which helps Kurt share his vision with stakeholders more accurately. The editor can send them images that have already been adjusted, demonstrating more of the creative intent and leaving less to the imagination.
Or, if Kurt’s photographing a subject who’s going to be composited onto a background that’s previously been shot, he now can see how that comp will work and make any adjustments to his lighting, or can change angles or perspective right in the moment, minimizing the “fix it in post” factor.
Beyond that, it’s also a huge time saver for turning around images quickly. Having the RAW file immediately available in Capture One means that the photo can be edited, retouched, finished, and approved even before the shoot is over—and the photographer can participate in that process.
Freedom of movement
Countless photographers use Capture One with a tether that connects the camera to a laptop or iPad so they can monitor what they’re shooting as they’re shooting. And that’s great, because for any camera that’s not a FUJIFILM X-H2 or X-H2S you can still take advantage of Frame.io by sending images from Capture One directly to Frame.io for distribution.
But not all photography sessions are optimized with a tether. Some photographers want freedom of movement without stressing out their clients—who aren’t always able to see what’s being shot because it’s going directly to the camera card. That’s why the ability to untether a camera and still have everyone able to see and sort the images instantly is not just game changing, it’s a snapshot into the future of how we will all work.
The other huge advantage to this integration involves movement of another kind. Because the FUJIFILM X-H2 and X-H2S allow you to also upload 4K or 6.2K or 8K ProRes for projects that require both video and photographic deliverables, it allows you to not just use the same camera, but also the same director so the conditions and creative vision are consistent.
And then, even more than that, the Frame.io integration now centralizes all of your assets for a project in the same workspace. All of your collaborators, whether they’re working on photographs, design files, or video (or all three), can stay creatively aligned and share ideas and assets easily and seamlessly.
Time for more creative control
What video creators have already experienced is now available to photographers and their clients. And the benefits they experience translate from the world of moving images to print workflows. For producers, it’s about saving time and, by extension, money. For clients and stakeholders, it’s about being closer to the production.
But for videographers and photographers, it’s about having the time to be closer to their creative vision. By closing that gap between a shoot and post, by gaining immediate access to what they’ve shot so they can bring fresh insights to the next day’s shoot, by being able to better capture what they intended in camera—the peace of mind this workflow brings to creatives is invaluable.
Ultimately, that’s what drives us, as we seek out more partners and more integrations. We hope you’ll visit us at NAB at the Adobe booth, N2438 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, so we can meet you, learn more about how you work, and show you how we can help.