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Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.

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Chris BellRe: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
by on Jul 27, 2009 at 5:09:27 pm

P2 was designed for ENG. Quick ingest, fast turn around and inexpensive. ENG has been Panasonic's core business for many years where they dominated with DVCPRO. At the end of the day, the Varicam is just a fancy ENG camera. Producers are willing to convert to a new work flow if the ends justify the means. The problem for Panasonic, the new P2 Varicams are neither innovative or ground breaking. 2/3" video is dying in the commercial / high-end corporate world and doc shooters, and network TV folks still want tape. (Notice the HDX-900 is still in production). P2 works for some but not for all, hence it will not be ubiquitous like DVCPRO tape.

I don't believe Panasonic Broadcast will build a big chip camera. The market is just too small for them. If cinema was so big, the Japanese manufactures would have built 35mm cameras years ago. There is a reason Panavision / Arri (and now RED) dominate the cinema industry. It's only big enough for a few players. Sony has dipped their toe into the cinema world with the F35 and their partnership with Panavision, but at $350K each, you can see why the market is so small. Panasonic likes to sell products by the ship load.

Finally, as a freelancer I have become gun shy with Panasonic. I invested heavily into Varicams, only to see their value plummet with the introduction of the HDX-900. I am glad I did not put $65K down on a 3700 at its introduction! If Panasonic expects us to put down serious money for their products, they have to assure us they won't turn around and undercut us with a new camera at half the price or discount the current product so drastically.

This is a great discussion. It sounds like we're all in the same boat. Times are changing.... unfortunately I don't think it going to get any easier. Beta SP anyone?

Christopher Bell
Cinematography
http://www.christopher-bell.com


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