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Systems and Solutions? Just say no.

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John Cummings
Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 21, 2009 at 7:07:05 pm

One manufacturer boasts: "Open Systems, Open Minds."
Another promises "Business Solutions and Systems."

My take: There are no "Solutions" and the "Systems" ARE the problem.

Don't get me wrong, taken separately or as a whole, all these new video products are technological triumphs, engineered by some very clever people.

So how did it go so wrong? There are just too many.

These big camera manufacturers aren't interested in selling you a single product. They are really more interested in selling you a system.
They want you to buy a camera that only works with their media, a media that only they sell, recorded with a codec they design, to be transferred by a reader they build, through software they write.
They sell the promise of a closed-loop, blissful "walled garden" where you will happily reside until your system EOL's and the value-added sales rep comes to your salvation, again offering the latest happy system thing. Nirvana, right?

Nope.

That premise was never really valid and never will be...but many of the executives who write some of the biggest checks for these "solutions" are the ones that know the least about how things actually work, and therefore are the ones that unwittingly propagate the fiction of systems as solutions. It seems to me that the more systems you have, the more solutions you need. And all that remains a very profitable proposition for these companies.

And while this fragmentation has worked wonderfully well and profitably for manufacturers for years, things for the customers in the real world are changing, and not for the better. Now, for many of us, these "systems" are, in fact, a chain around our necks, creating enormous problems for end-users, also known as customers. In the ever-expanding digital river we all swim in, all we are now seeing are dams, dikes and ever-smaller, fragmented channels from Sony, Panasonic and other industry leaders. It's not only costing us money, but time and attention that would better used elsewhere.

My small example: A producer in New York wants to hire me, but I have an incompatible format. Will I rent what they need for a day? Let me see...I already own three cameras that are not compatible. Will I drive downtown (assuming I'm not working the day before) through horrible traffic to rent a camera at a rate where I'll probably end up eating most if not all of the cost? Then drop it off the next day on my dime? I pass. So the producer ends up going through the same thing with a half-dozen other crews and eventually winds up with the correct camera, wielded by a third-rate shooter that results in a disappointing outcome. The producer is unhappy. His or her client is unhappy. I'm unhappy. The rental company is unhappy.

An isolated example? No. This happens across the industry, day after day, 365 days a year, and it's not just a problem on the acquisition end of the business.

While it's fun to design a camera on a discussion forum...I shouldn't have to be here doing it. These are simply the tools of my trade. I'm not a hobbyist or a wannbe, but what I am is a representative sample of this industry. The Cow is a fun place, but it's servers and countless others are groaning under the weight of thousands of pleas for help from people in our industry that are looking for help to make these "systems" work.

Bottom line: In our business, when the technology gets in the way of creativity, something's broken. When it gets in the way of commerce, everybody loses. When your customers are unhappy and you are not paying attention, as a manufacturer you will eventually pay a price.

What's the answer? I wish I knew. Standards stifle innovation, but smooth the way for integration. Competition ignites innovation... but perhaps too much innovation--unchecked--has lead to fragmentation and the cesspool of products and formats we have now.

Where's the logical place to start fresh? I say acquisition.
As discussed elsewhere on these threads, perhaps it's time to re-visit the notion of "dockable" cameras (and not hang-on boxes) that use cheap and ubiquitous media that record an array of industry-standard files. If I want to record, say, Quicktime, DVCProHD, AVCIntra or straight MPEG2 long gop, why not give me that option? Certainly any manufacturer that is first to market with a...dare I say it...system...that meets this challenge, with a user-friendly package at a compelling price point, has the opportunity to completely change the game for freelancers.

Red came out of nowhere and shattered the price-performance barrier with it's first product. Problem is, it's poor user design alienated the largest pool of would-be users. New upcoming products from Red and a few others promise even more innovation...yet appear to suffer from the same design and post-production issues that will put off prospective buyers.

So it looks like the door remains open. Is there a product opportunity here? I think so.

As many others here have said:
The problems have been identified.
The technical pieces are in place.
The research has largely been done.

And the market awaits.



J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Noah Kadner
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 1:09:23 am

AJA Ki Pro baby- nuff said.

http://www.aja.com/products/ki-pro/

Noah

Writing RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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John Cummings
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 5:42:39 pm


"AJA Ki Pro baby- nuff said."

That's a great box...for the studio. In the field, I need something small enough to co-exist with a wireless link also hanging from my camera.

The only product that I've seen that will do that is the Nanoflash.

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Noah Kadner
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 7:56:14 pm

[John Cummings] "That's a great box...for the studio. In the field, I need something small enough to co-exist with a wireless link also hanging from my camera.

The only product that I've seen that will do that is the Nanoflas"


Huh? It's like 5 pounds and slides right under the camera on a tripod or into a backpack. Surely you jest next to the kinds of heavy cameras you're listing in your sig.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, and Panasonic DVX100.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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John Cummings
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:33:24 pm

Hi Noah-

Backpack?

Unfortunately, my cameras spend about as much time on my shoulder as they do on a tripod. I do run and gun docs and reality. That means every square inch and pound matters. There's no way that aja box is going to mount anywhere on a shouldered full-size camera, alongside a two-channel wireless link.

Too bad, it looks like a nice unit. Awesome features. Seems to skew more toward the studio shooter...I guess that's to be expected considing its heritage.


J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Noah Kadner
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 23, 2009 at 3:20:45 pm

[John Cummings] "
Too bad, it looks like a nice unit. Awesome features. Seems to skew more toward the studio shooter...I guess that's to be expected considing its heritage."


I think you should check the Ki Pro out, it's anything but a studio unit. Anyways I can see you've got other points to make so I'll leave this thread now. :)

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, and Panasonic DVX100.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Chris Cardno
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 3:11:58 pm

John, your post echoes a lot of what I'm hearing and seeing from camera owners and operators and rental houses. The diversification of formats and standards, coupled with the limitations of proprietary systems, are causing headaches for everyone and reticence to invest in new cameras and move forward -- and that should be the primary alarm bell ringing in the heads of Panasonic and Sony.

The problem as I see it is that image acquisition technology is now equitable to computer technology and is advancing at the same speed. Moore's Law starts to come into play and while that's fine if we're talking cell phones and Netbooks it's a horror show when we're discussing $30,000 cameras. Like you, we've had calls from clients who want to shoot with the latest and greatest gear and if we don't have it we're either going to lose the job/rental or have to sub-rent and say goodbye to actually making any money.

I think RED's idea of selling "brains" is fascinating but, like you said, there are issues that just doesn't appear to be compatible for every type of shooting. Panasonic and Sony don't appear to be moving in that direction but they're kind of like oil tankers out at sea, it takes a loooong time for them to make course corrections due to their size. Given the speed of technology and the grumbling they must be hearing from their customers I have to assume that their R&D is working on next generation solutions.

Which brings me back to your original point: the problem of systems. The next generations cannot be proprietary data acquisition formats. Data is data. Editors reduce everything to 1s and 0s, we're used to transferring footage to hard drives from P2 and SxS cards, the ability to digitize footage from whatever tape format it was shot on is a concern for every producer/production company. The camera manufacturers need to realize two things:

1. Nobody cares how the images end up in the edit room, they just need to get there.
2. There are a LOT of very smart computer people out there who understand how to capture, move and wrangle data and when they start working on this it's going to become as diversified as computer accessories.

Point 1 is not to say that nobody cares about the image -- that HAS to be the largest concern for all. However, once the decision is made to move forward with the tool that captures the quality of image required the data acquisition just has to be safe, reliable and efficient. Which brings to me to Point 2 and two handy examples: Convergent Design and AJA? With the Flash XDR and NanoFlash from CD and the Ki-Pro from AJA we're seeing a shift towards third party capturing tools. This is a field that's going to expand because all we're talking about is data: 101010101010. That's it. And, as I said, there are a lot of clever people who spend all their time thinking about the best way to get data from one place to the other safely, securely and without problems.

Sony and Panasonic cannot (I hope) be thinking that they are going to be able to control data capture and the capture medium -- that ship has sailed and was always going to do so. It's a part of their business that they're going to have to let go. Instead, they need to focus on the part that made us buy their cameras in the first place. Image. Give us the best image possible. After that, sure, if you've got the best capture device/codec/future doohickey, yeah, we'll buy that as well.

While I'm stunned to be typing this in 2009 our Sony DXC-D50, like yours, John, is beginning to look like a prescient camera system. Imaging Block + Acquisition Device = Flexibility. And as we try and do business in an industry that's evolving now as quickly as the computer industry, flexibility is going to be key.

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
http://www.visualedge.tv
Bethesda, MD


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Erich Roland
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 9:54:46 pm

John and Chris, You guys are all spot on with the problem and possible solutions. We have perfectly good and capable cameras, that will potentially be worth very little next year when the next codec or storage devise comes out, and that's not going to fly in this 21st century and weak economy.

The thread someone started earlier wondering if the 3700’s are “shovel ready” to scoop up big bucks from clients is interesting. I suppose he thought money was to be made because of the 30k discount, I’m not sure. The part maybe he hadn’t considered was WHY this camera was discounted by 30,000 dollars? I wouldn’t buy that camera right now even for much less. I bought the HPX-3000 for our rentals a year ago and it has not earned its keep, not by a long shot. And not one client has asked when I would have a 3700, not one.

Shovel ready you ask? Well.. yes, but its to dig you deeper into DEPT!

These expensive 2/3” P2 cameras are not selling much for a number of reasons that have been chronicled in other threads. The “work around” after market products like the Convergence and AJA recorders are doing what is needed to a degree. That's what a product (with issues) and industry needs will bring on… "Necessity, the mother of invention". Just the fact that these after market recorders exist at all sends us (and the manufacturers) a message worth listening to. I have more people interested in these after-market flash record devices then any of the high-end P2 products!

These big companies need to wake up to where we are, where we are headed and build camera systems accordingly. P2 is already an advancement limiter. The 3700 is a testament to what this record codec and memory platform can NOT do. It cannot deliver frame rates over 30; the 3700 is maxed out. Same with the XD-cam. Sony now offers a higher frame rate but has compressed the vertical lines more to accommodate…. XD is maxed out. How can we advance from here? How can we get higher frame rates, higher pixel count, 1080 imagers, and or bigger sensors when we can’t get above 30fps?

What’s missing is a system that makes sense for us to INVEST in, and GROW into, one that will last more then 2 years, this is a business after all. The first legitimate company that can bust out of the constraints of self serving memory sticks, and proprietary codec’s, and deliver this industry a modular camera/recorder system will likely win the prize of robust orders, and lead us forward with room to grow to the next level and beyond.

It’s called “Investment Protection”, and that’s what’s sorely missing right now and a big reason why consumers are not buying these expensive cameras. These companies need to address this basic problem. Cameramen who own Varicam’s know what I’m talking about. People who bought the Sony PDW-700 understand...when the 800 arrived unexpected, and no trade in was offered. Your investment drops in value by huge sums, you’re screwed.

As John Aptly named this thread “Just say no”... I agree, I’m not buying! Wait a year or two see what happens next. Keep the gear you have, there is plenty of gear out there to service current your needs.

ER


Erich Roland
http://www.dc-camera.com
HD camera rentals, Washington DC
(and Cameraman)


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John Cummings
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:15:49 am

Funny, that Aja unit would be just dandy as a dockable recorder.

For anyone that doesn't remember phones with cords, here's a little history lesson: There is precedence for all this. Once upon a time, Sony, Panasonic and Ikegami all somehow agreed on a standard interface for dockable recorders. MII, DVCam and Betacam formats were all available as dockable recorders, and all these manufacturers produced dockable front ends (cameras) as well. You could actually mix and match! I'm sure there were licensing fees...just as there would probably be licensing involved with codecs like AVC flavors and Apple's ProRes.
There were tradeoffs...most notably weight...the entire camera/recorder tended to be somewhat heavier than one piece cameras.

The point is that it was done once. So why not do it again? Electrically, all you are basically doing is passing power, HD-SDI, record contol and a little data through a standardized multi-pin connector. It's not exactly rocket science.

Can it ever happen again?
I should live to be that old to see it.

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Erich Roland
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 23, 2009 at 2:35:19 am

John, That's exactly what I've been thinking would make mountains of sense to the consumer and therefore sales. These companies would have to give up the notion of capturing the customer into they're lair. Both Sony and Panasonic seem to gravitate towards this idea, and away from community or shared anything.

But then lack of sales could be a strong motivator. Could it happen?

I was surprised when Panasonic adapted the camera plate that Sony had already designed years ago. Panasonic also copied almost a blueprint of the way Sony had lad out the controls on the cameras. It was a smart move on they're part. We knew exactly where everything was when it came to shooting a Panasonic cameras after Sony had ruled the roost for eons before. As you’ve stated John they have actually done this very thing before between these same companies in the 80’s.

It’s a bold and forward thinking idea that protects the consumer from getting in trouble with they're investment. But these companies want you to be in trouble and have to buy the next best thing, that's the basic problem that would be tough for them to overcome. They love that technology is changing fast and we have to toss perfectly good equipment to get the next thing.

But then again, the speed at which things are changing these days might be too fast even for the big boys to keep up, as the product cycles need to last a few years to recoup the RnD etc. When technology advances move too fast then they miss the move they should be making, and they loose the round to the next guy.

Hmmm, this dockable camera idea with licensing fee's being paid for rights to the docking usage, and or codec’s.... might just be an idea who's time has come!

Each company might have 2-3 different levels of cameras with different feature sets, all with a common docking rear end. Sony makes SxS backs, XD-disc backs, and even HD cam, Panasonic has P2 of coarse, and even a tape recorder for those still working out there tape decks till they die. AJA or Convergence could make non-proprietary Pro-res type backs or whoever could develop the next better way to wrap digits. It’s a win/win for everybody, and more important there might not be any losers in this concept, and I’m afraid there maybe some serious downturns in one or more of the big companies we speak of here, at least in full size pro video equipment anyway.

Its a great idea for the consumer and the industry in general. It would be tough hurdle for Sony and Panasonic I'm afraid.

best, ER





Erich Roland
http://www.dc-camera.com
HD camera rentals, Washington DC
(and Cameraman)


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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 23, 2009 at 1:56:12 pm

I'm curious if someone from Panasonic is following this string and if he/she has any thoughts to add.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Erich Roland
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 27, 2009 at 12:56:29 pm

Mark, It would certainly be interesting to engage in these conversations with Panasonic designers or market strategist, but I suspect that won’t happen.

It seems a large portion of what that game is about is indeed “market strategy”. There is a chess game going on with these guys and they always have to be careful about what they’re next move may be, because if the rest of the world knew the next move the competition could cut them off in some way. So for them to openly engage in the conversation could tip a hand somehow.

The introduction of those “limited life span” P2 cards was a very interesting insight into how “market strategies” have become very important to Panasonic. Can you imagine there were probably many high level meetings to determine how long should they allow these cards to work before they would “pull the plug” on its life span!

Consumers have always suspected manufacturers built into products (like cars and such) this designed “life span failure” concept in order to sell you the next one. But I don’t remember this practice ever being quite so blatant. These cards should last a lot longer in normal usage. Whether or not anybody will care about a 32gb P2 card 5 years from now is another question.

I suspect if the Panasonic folks read these blog’s (and they should) it makes them a bit nervous, because as one guy said to me recently it’s like calling out that the “Emperor has no clothes” and attempting to get a look behind the curtain of what these companies are thinking about (or what they should be thinking about). Panasonic has been all over these boards in helping the consumer work through technical issues (to they’re credit) but I'd guess Panasonic doesn't much like seeing this particular conversation.

The problem (again) is the market is changing so fast and these big companies cant swing that fast. You need a few years to develop the next big move, then a year or so to design and tool up, get parts in the pipeline for repairs and service technicians up to speed, its very expensive. So then you need a few years of healthy sales to pay back on the design and build investment, and to then profit on top. This is all a total guestimate on my part. You can also look to the past at how long products lasted before the new model arrived as a rough gage to whats needed for a product cycle.

My question is... what if you make a huge bet (like this company has done with P2 products), and because of how fast things are changing it turns out it was a bad move? The cam-corder market is a “Transition Phase” and I don’t think anybody can tell us where the prevailing winds will be blowing 2-3-5 years from now. Given the product cycles needed for these big companies I’d guess that’s a HUGE issue, and challenge for them!

The big profits have always been in the 2/3” camera’s and the customers aren’t buying expensive camera’s right now (in big numbers) because I think we all understand these problems inherent in the current times. The small camera market is growing fast but the margins I’d guess are much tighter. The volumes have to be substantially higher to find the profits these big companies are used to. This (mini-cam) side of the market is getting much more competitive with DSLR’s coming on fast, Red’s Scarlet coming soon, and who knows what else coming to the growing mini camera market. Suffice to say, it will only get tougher for the big boys to grab a big share of that pie. They are not used to competitions coming from all angles. Also with mini-cams it’s a whole different market psychology (we are learning) and you really do have to keep up with the next guy, so faster product cycles decrease the profit margin on mini’s even more then the bigger cams.

Because of all these factors talked about in this thread, anybody who’s thinking about buying into these P2 Varicam’s better know where those jobs are going to come from to pay for it, because if you are thinking “Buy it, and the customer will come” .... may be in for a rude and expensive awakening!

Interesting times for sure.

Panasonic (if your listening), These large investments you'd like us to make (in 2/3") need protection designed in (not like your new P2 cards with "Death" built in). Deliver us what works best for our investment, otherwise we wont buy. Flexibility is the key factor for some years to come. Keep thinking this word "Transition", and design with this in mind.

Little cameras are another story, but if you want us to spend 30-50k on a full size camera, you need to figure out how to protect your customer FROM "planned obsolescence".... not deliver it. This shift to a 21st century strategy will bring you to market dominance, otherwise.....

Many thanks to Red for shinning a powerful light on this issue!


Peace, ER


Erich Roland
http://www.dc-camera.com
HD camera rentals, Washington DC
(and Cameraman)


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Chris Bell
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
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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Erich Roland
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 31, 2009 at 1:52:53 am

Chris, You put your finger on a few important points.

Our 2/3” cameras may be headed the way of the dodo bird. Not tomorrow or next week we have a lot of these cameras out there working, but I can picture the sales slowing dramatically in this market segment going forward because of the costs involved.

The growth spurt in 1/3 and 1/2” camera systems is easy to see, and clearly these mini-cams are here to stay. New production avenues have opened up because of the cost and size of these smaller/cheaper systems. Also important is they have robbed a large slice of market from 2/3”, and more will be lost in the future. It’s getting harder to distinguish the image quality between a well lit and shot Ex-3 camera, and a F900 (at least for television). So the question becomes who is going to spend 80-100k for a high-end F900 system (camera and lens) when 10k can get you pretty dang close? I personally don't want to use these mini-cams but what if the clients don't want to pay the costs because they cant see the difference?

Big screen and movies aside, at least for television we may be transitioning into a period where the gap between price and performance isn’t justified, where less clients will spend the (2/3” camera) bucks we used to because they don’t have to. Nobody should be surprised to see a lack of big sales where P2 Varicams are asking for 45-65 thousand dollars respectively when these little cameras look better everyday. XD-800 same problem, cost a ton and for what?

The other point I wanted to talk about is your comment that Panasonic wont build a big sensor camera because it’s a slim market. It is indeed slim in the “High End” F-35, Red, Phantom, etc, portion of the market, but the 35mm lens look has been steaming hot for a few years (at the low end of the market) and it’s what everybody and they’re brother wants these days. We’ve been achieving this look with adapters and its here now in 2600 dollar DSLR’s. So my question is since the big boys are loosing market fast in 2/3” when do they recognize the demand (for slim depth) and deliver this look to the masses at a lower price point? Or do the marketers control the roost, and put they’re foot down to the problem of cannibalizing they’re own more expensive products?

When money is tight (as it is these days) then we are figuring how to make it work with a 5d instead of renting the Red, etc. The market forces are moving everything cheaper because the cheap cameras can look great and big bucks are not necessarily required. These Japanese companies need to understand that the day of spending 50-60k (in the general market) may be over for ever, and get on board with cheaper more flexible camera systems, and deliver what the main stream are obviously clamoring towards. Whether they deliver us the cheaper big sensor/35mm lens system or not, we have the “aftermarket” products and competitor cameras to achieve this look already so we are working around the lack of desired products from Sony and Panasonic.

Red is delivering it for the most part. Flexibility... And camera “Obsolescence Insurance”. Red has the right combination of features at exactly the right point in time ... amazing really! The Scarlet might just be the hot camera for the next few years.... If it shows up, and if it works smoothly.


Erich Roland
http://www.dc-camera.com
HD camera rentals, Washington DC
(and Cameraman)


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Jeff Regan
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Aug 1, 2009 at 6:37:08 pm

I agree with Erich. The HPX3700 trade-in program is going to skew the high end 2/3" market for a long time to come--$30K will be the new price point limit going forward for high end 2/3" cameras.

The market for large sensor or 35mm DOF is NOT small. RED ONE has sold very well--I'm pretty sure that their approx. 5,000 units compares very favorably to the HPX2700 and HPX3700 combined sales. The inexpensive 35mm DOF adapters in combination with SLR prime lenses and palmcorders had been very hot, probably slowing down due to RED and Canon 5D. Canon is coming out with a prosumer large sensor palmcorder, supposedly. Scarlett will definitely make an impact.

I bought a Letus Ultimate 35mm adapter last year at this time and it has been my most popular rental item. Many of my clients would rather use a low cost 35mm adapter in combination with an HD palmcorder than rent a 2/3" HD camera with HD ENG zoom lens. Therefore I added an HPX170 and EX1 to our rental inventory. My HDX900 has not done quite as much volume this year compared to last year--partially due to the economy, but also due to the options above.

$60K 2/3" cameras will indeed be a thing of the past. Proprietary memory media will also go the same way.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Robert Sullivan
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Aug 11, 2009 at 4:09:57 am

Ai Lads, The Camera Rebellion is on...I love the idea of modular...but more important would be cheap media that is somewhat archival....like SDHC or CF cards. If Convergent Design and AJA can make after market units that record data and store it on these cards, why, in the name of Sweet Jesus, can't Panasonic take the cards/codec system of the HMC150 and stuff it in the rear ends of the HVX300, 500, 2000, 2700, 3000, and 3700. Oh, my goodness, ...It would be ....Err...just like Betacam days....Cheap archival media shot with really great cameras that sit properly on your shoulder.
Sony, Sony, Sony....Remember, you came up with Betacam...Those were glorious days...Everybody in the entire video world used your equipment...Well, you could do that again, if you just came to your senses and put SDHC and CF card in "Anything you make"...EX1, EX3, EXDCam (keep your codec and get rid of those disks and SxS cards). I wonder how great the image from a SRW 9000 series camera head would look recorded onto a well made Sony CF card system...Red records to CF cards...Why not Sony? I'll bet somewhere deep in the Sony research caverns are flash cards systems that will record stable, beautiful images from F23s and F35s right now. This thread is depressing because it shows our equipment "solutions" are in disarray. But it also shows that many Cinematographers are digging in their heels until the manufactures come up with what we need and want. That is a good sign. We are awaking from our dogmatic slumbers.


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