Interview with Vitec Imaging Solutions, the leading global provider of premium photography and videography products and our main partner for the 2019 spotlight awards
Vitec has always understood how close gadgets are to every photographer’s and film maker’s heart. For this reason, the company has long embraced and innovated new filmmaking technology to ensure that broadcasters, photographers, film studios and independent content creators have the tools necessary to capture and share incredible shots and footage with the rest of the world.
They recently sat down with Production Paradise to discuss their strong stance in the industry, new possible innovations, and the importance of the right technology for content creators.
Production Paradise: VITEC IMAGING SOLUTIONS has been in the photo and film equipment business for over 100 years. How has Vitec (and your brands) maintained such a strong position in the industry for so many years?
Vitec: The success of Vitec Imaging Solutions is the result of a path of excellence undertaken on several fronts, including innovation and cutting-edge production systems, which are key factors that make it possible to create increasingly competitive products and export the excellence of its products abroad at a global level. A piece of evidence of this winning approach, based on the principles of Open Innovation alongside internal research conducted at the innovation hubs of Cassola (ITA), Ashby (UK), Petaluma (California), Auckland (New Zealand) and Shenzhen (China), there are the many awards won each year by products from different brands. In 2019, for example, Vitec Imaging Solutions was awarded 2 TIPA awards and 7 Red Dot awards.
Production Paradise: One of your company values is “Leading a Fast-Changing Market”. Clearly Vitec products have always been on the technological vanguard. How do Vitec and its brands stay ahead of the curve?
Vitec: Continuous investments in innovation, industry-leading design and a commitment to uncompromising product excellence allow Vitec Imaging Solutions to set new quality standards year after year. The digital context and the world of social media have radically changed the way people create and share images and videos, just like the full-frame mirrorless, capable of combining the needs of professional photographers and video content creators, has created new usage needs. Vitec has responded to the evolution of the market with a strategy based on product and process innovation, expanding its product portfolio. The company’s goal is to continue to grow by investing in people and in digital transformation.
Production Paradise: Manfrotto, that is giving prizes to our category winners, is one of the world’s most recognisable brands for film and photo gear. Can you tell us a little about the story of Manfrotto and how they came to be a part of Vitec?
Vitec: Founded in 1972 by Lino Manfrotto, a photojournalist from Bassano del Grappa, in 1989 Manfrotto was acquired by Vitec Group. Over the years the company has grown and established itself as one of the most sought-after and appreciated brands among photography professionals and enthusiasts around the world, and today it remains the strongest brand among those of the Vitec Imaging Solutions portfolio, thanks to its ability to combine innovation, performance and first-rate quality through the use of cutting-edge production processes and materials. Today the headquarters of Manfrotto in Italy has become the headquarters of the Imaging Solutions division of Vitec Group.
Production Paradise: The Manfrotto motto is Imagine More. What new direction/products do you see Manfrotto offering to photographers in the upcoming years?
Vitec: The new Manfrotto product line-ups raises the bar on innovation that supports image-makers to achieve their most ambitious creative dreams. Manfrotto has kept the production of its heads and support solutions in Italy as part of its commitment to delivering quality that guarantees product functionality and durability over time. The result is design, functionality and technology which are scrupulously tested in the lab and in the field by the industry’s most demanding professional photographers and videographers and advanced hobbyists with a preference for premium quality and flawless performance.
Production Paradise: Gitzo, who is giving a tripod to our grand prize winner, is one of the most prestigious tripod makers on the market and has been for over 100 years. They introduced the world to carbon fibre tripods in 1994 and since 2000 there have been numerous tech advances in their tripods. What is it about Gitzo that has allowed it to be such an innovator over the years?
Vitec: Today, Gitzo still strives to produce the best possible camera accessories and supports using the simplest, most straight forward and elegant solutions, however long and complex the path to get there. This spirit has helped Gitzo pioneer the most advanced and revolutionary technologies, while maintaining its enthusiasm, philosophy and traditions. We know Gitzo photographers have come to demand exactly that: top performance, traditional quality. No compromises.
Production Paradise: How can the right tripod enhance a photographer’s shoot?
Vitec: A tripod allows photographers to create sharp images even with long shutter speeds, it also allows them to better study the composition of the image and a precise focus. All these operations would be difficult to achieve accurately without the use of support.
Production Paradise: For Vitec the customer experience is first. Can you share some examples of how Vitec products have taken a photographer’s work further?
Vitec: The travel segment, conceived for the first time by Gitzo, is an innovation that revolutionized the way of working of travel photographers. Thanks to the travel tripod range, combining sturdiness and reliability with lightness and a compact-foldable size, travel photographers can go everywhere and unleash their creativity, even in the most remote areas. Gitzo and Manfrotto travel tripods, such as Gitzo Traveler and Manfrotto Befree Advanced, are now essential travel companions for all professional photographers and advanced hobbyists, supporting them in capturing key moments of their photographic adventures.