November 8, 2015 Contessa Abono

Recap 2015: 10 Coolest Tech Tools for the Futuristic Video Maker

2015 has ushered in some truly amazing video technologies.

These 10 cutting-edge advancements have brought video-making to a whole new level.

Check out this 2015 recap and see what cool tech tools you may have missed.

1. Watch and Upload 360-Degree Videos on YouTube:

Back in the first quarter of 2015 YouTube launched support for 360-degree videos on Android, iPhone and Chrome, giving you a new way to connect with your viewers. Imagine sitting front row at your favorite concert or skiing down the Rocky Mountains, video-makers can share their awesome world in 360-degrees.

Take a hot-air balloon ride with this 360 video below. See more on YouTube’s 360 video home hereFacebook is on board too.

2. BLADE Chroma Camera Drone 

Drones are quickly becoming a favorite toy of video and film-makers and this is an exceptional model to consider. The BLADE Chroma Camera Drone with CGO3-GB 4K Camera & ST-10+ Ground Station (RTF) will give you spectacular shots. Sweeping landscapes. All the aerial views your little heart desires.



  • Designed for Aerial Photo and Video
  • Capture 4K/1080p120 Video + 12MP Photos
  • 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizes Camera
  • ST-10+ Ground Station / Transmitter
  • 5.5″ Touchscreen to View/Operate Camera
  • OSD Overlay of Flight Telemetry Data
  • Smart and Aerial Photography Modes
  • Follow Me and Tracking Modes
  • Adjustable Flight Boundaries
  • Included Battery Lasts up to 30 Minutes


Find out more here.

3. Nuke Studio Non-commercial

How about something you don’t pay for? A free version.

Nuke: software for node-based VFX, made a free version available this year. Nuke is used by VFX houses all over the world, even Hollywood uses it, like in The Lego Movie and The Great Gatsby. In case you haven’t downloaded this Nuke Studio free version, you’re welcome. Download it here.



  • 2D format support
  • Planar tracking, 2D tracker & 3D camera tracker
  • 32-bit floating point and OpenIO colour
  • 2D & 3D format support, model building, vector generators and workspace
  • 3D particle systems and re-lighting
  • Asset management, annotations, performance metrics and background rendering
  • Curve editor, denoise, Zdefocus, warping, lens distortion, scopes and match-grade
  • Point cloud and depth generation tools
  • Roto-scoping, editorial tools, and keying
  • Kronos, Oflow, and non-linear retiming
  • Stereoscopic workflow

4. New rigs for GoPro:

To give you more ways to start filming in 360, test out the Jump capture rig, which consists of 16 camera modules in a circular arrangement. Jump lets you capture, assemble and share immersive, three-dimensional content so that people can experience a time or place like they’re actually there.


5. 6K and 8K Full-Frame Cameras  


It’s no longer a dream— 6K and even 8K full-frame footage cinema cameras are hitting the market and more are expected from Canon in the coming year (see press release here.) These mind-boggling high numbers make for the clearest and sharpest images on the planet. Red Weapon Dragon Cameras is currently available in 6K with the 8K not far behind with 8192 x 4320 35-megapixel sensor, capable of 75fps widescreen 8K capture.

The short clip, Ghost Towns was shot on RED Epic Dragon 6K cameras, with footage upscaled/stitched together to hit 8K.


6. Blackmagic Design’s new 4.6K capable URSA Mini

One of the most exciting announcements to come out of July’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention.

The newest miniature procam is said to be the world’s lightest handheld Super 35 camera and shares many of the same features of the larger model but in a compact and far more portable form. This is great news for two reasons: it’s smaller size is great for traveling and on location shooting and it makes for a smaller price tag that even indie filmmakers can get behind.


  • Super-35mm CMOS Sensor
  • 4608 x 2592 Video up to 60p
  • Compressed Raw Recording
  • Ready-to-Edit ProRes 444 + 422 Recording
  • Dual CFast 2.0 Memory Card Slots
  • 12G-SDI Output, Timecode and REF Input
  • 1080p Flip-Out Screen
  • Touchscreen Interface
  • 2x XLR Audio Inputs with Phantom Power
  • Magnesium Alloy Body

Find out more here.

7. Got Cardboard?

Video-makers can create VR (Virtual Reality) for anyone to enjoy in the easy and affordable Google Cardboard which brings an immersive experiences to everyone in a simple way. Whether you fold your own or buy the works with a Google Cardboard certified viewer, you’re just one step away from experiencing virtual reality on your smartphone. Go on a virtual reality walk on the streets in Tokyo or experience Jurassic Park like never before with the Google Cardboard apps.


Find out more here.

8. Canon ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera

4 million ISO, yes, you heard that right. Ah, to be alive in 2015.

This jaw-dropping little number has an expected availability of December 2015. Imagine never missing a shot because it was too dark. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning and more (affordable) models are coming in the years to come. (Sony is already on the ball.)



  • Up to 4 Million ISO & 12 Stops DR
  • Full Frame 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • Canon DIGIC DV 4
  • Full HD up to 60p
  • HD/3G-SDI & HDMI Connectors
  • Canon Locking Cinema EF Lens Mount

Find out more here.

9. Online Video Review and Collaboration  

Video collaboration has taken off in 2015 to a new, simplified direction. Services are now available that give editors more tools focused on post-production collaboration and do away with the need for multiple cloud storage or Dropbox accounts, Vimeo (for reviewing) or email and Google hangouts for communicating with team members. Web-apps like, a collaboration and sharing platform, allow teams to transfers files, review videos, chat and edit all while having members remain on the same page and up-to-date with one another.

It makes the collaboration process much easier and even fun, since you are able to make edit suggestions by drawing and commenting right on the frame.

Find out more here.

10. Flame Unleashed

Autodesk announced that Flame on Linux is available as a software-only subscription and that they will discontinued selling turnkey hardware systems early next year. More platforms and new desktop subscription plans for Autodesk Flame and Flame on OS X makes it possible for businesses to purchase a software subscription for much less investment than having to fork over the money for a turnkey hardware system.

Features include:

  • Flame family available software
  • Flame end-to-end 3D visual effects and finishing software
  • Timelined-based, conform and finishing tools
  • 100% compatible with Flame powerful node-based 3D compositing tools
  • 100% compatible with Flame real-time color grading software for creative look development


Find out more here.





About the Author

Contessa Abono Contessa is a journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area that specializes in entertainment, online and photojournalism. She has written articles, shot photography and videography for many online and print publications such as SF Weekly, The Guardian, Guitar Player Magazine, The Press Newspapers and Pinpoint Music. Her favorite genre of film is documentary, usually about the supernatural or pop culture. She is also an avid pecan pie and kitten enthusiast.